A Small Voice

 

 
   
 

 

 

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerety and truth."

 
   
   
 

Appendix C: The Feasts of the Lord in Prophecy


The vast majority of teachers who weigh in on the subject of a propetic storyline in the feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23) promote the idea that Jesus Christ is seen returning to Earth in the feast of Trumpets. We believe these teachers are mistaken, and that our Lord's return can be found more reasonably at the feast of Fristfruits/Weeks/Pentecost instead (Lev. 23:9-22; Nu. 28:26; Acts 2:1).

 

Now it's certainly easy to see how many have looked to the feast of Trumpets for the return of Messiah, especially since the book of Revelations reveals seven great trumpet blasts which are said to immediately precede His return (Rev. 8:2-11:19). And one cannot easily get around the fact that Paul also spoke of a trumpet blast to blow at Christ's return (1Cor. 15:52; 1Th. 4:16). But are we to base the return of Messsiah on this alone, especially when nowhere in the Holy Bible can the words be found which clearly and specifically states a direct connection between Christ's return and the trumpets blowing at the feast of Trumpets? Are we to merely connect the two because trumpets blasting is said to happen at each event? Truth be told, there were trumpet blasts commanded on all feast days (Nu. 10:10).

 

For us it would logically make much more sense to connect the trumpet blasting at the feast of Firsfruits to the return of Christ. Especially when Scripture says the resurrected Christ and His faithful saints are both called firstfruits? Notice, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 1Cor. 15:20-23; KJV.

 

And, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." James 1:18; KJV.

 

Along with, "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount of Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled of women, For they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Rev. 14:1-4; KJV.

 

Why should we bypass a special day that Scripture refers to as feast of firsfruits, in favor of some other, when the return of Christ and the 1st resurrection of saints are also called firsfruits? In our opinion we shouldn't!

 

 

Firsfruits Trumpet Blasts

Just as there is a set time with God's clock for the ending of this current age (Matt. 24:36), so there is a set ending time in Scripture for the firstfruits harvest. Those familiar with the feasts of the Lord (in both the Old & New Testaments) know that the firstfruits harvesting season began counting its length of seven weeks with the wave sheaf offering during the feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:15-16). At the end of seven weeks of work, the firstfruits harvesting season was complete and the feast of Firstfruits/Weeks/Pentecost marked its end. And numerous trumpet blasts are seen ushering in the return of Christ, and this first resurrection.

 

So how do the seven trumpet blasts from the book of Revelations, and the ones spoken of by Paul announcing the arrival of King Jesus Christ's kingdom fit into the feasts of Firsfruits harvest, and not the feast of Trumpets? It's rather simple according to the book of the Law. In Numbers 10 it's revealed that when the leaders of the people were to be called, it would be done by blowing of a single trumpet blast. Notice, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to theee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee." Nu. 10:1-4; KJB.

 

Certainly it's unavoidably apparent that the Bible here clearly makes a distinction between the two callings of assemblies. One was for the leaders/princes, and the other was for all of the assembly. In the case of the leaders/princes, they were called by only one single trumpet blasting at a time. What many have overlooked in the trumpet blasts announcing the return of Jesus Christ is that they are said to be of the single blast variety. Paul said, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1Cor. 15:52; KJV. And, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1Th. 46; KJV. There are no multiple trumpets being blasted simulaneously here. Rather only one at a time. The same goes for the seven trumpet blasts in Revelations. They sound off one after the other, but never simultaneously. Hence, we declare that these trumpet blasts are a call of the princes, or rulers of Israel, and not for everyone.

 

Scripture does indicate how those who are called with a single trumpet blast announcing Christ's return in the 1st resurrection will be considered the princes, or rulers, in His kingdom. Notice, "John to the seven churches which are in asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. 1:4-6; KJV.

 

And, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:10; KJV.

 

And, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Rev. 20:6; KJV. (Ps. 47; Is. 61:6; 1Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 3:21) In light of these statements it makes perfect sense that those saints who are resurrected as rulers in God's soon coming kingdom (in the 1st resurretion) are called with single trumpets blasts!

 

The single trumpet blast pattern also fits with regards to ancient Israel as they were originally called to be the rulers over all others that might follow. Notice, "And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the childtren of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled." Ex. 19:3-16; KJV.

 

It would be extremely difficult to think Israel wasn't originally called with a single trumpet blast to be rulers in God's kingdom. God had instructed Moses to tell the people to wait until a particular day before He would meet them. A day when a single trumpet blast called them to assembly. It was on this third day that Israel was married to the Lord, marking the birthday of the Old Testament church of God. The prophet Jeremiah quoting God said concerning this wedding event, "Go proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest;" Jer. 2:2-3a; NIV. Here at the feast of weeks/firstfruits Israel wedded God, and this is referred to as the firstfruits of his harvest.

 

In the Jewish tradition, this wedding day is associated with the feast of Firstfruits/Weeks, being the same day that the New Testament calls Pentecost at Acts 2:1. If the calculation is correct in counting the days after leaving Egypt to correspond with this wedding day of Ex. 19:16 as many scholars agree, then Pentecost/Firsfruits would also be a logical and proper day to have been chosen as the birthdate of the New Testament church of Giod. And, it was! Just like with Israel at Ex. 19:16, so did Christ after His resurrection also tell the faithful to wait for a particular day (Acts 1:1-5; Acts 2:1) which was the feast of Pentecost. Now doesn't it make sense that since Israel was betrothed to God at this same feast of Weeks/Firstfruits, that this same day of Pentecost in the New Testament carry with it a marriage symbolism? Certainly! So it is that we have the feast of Firstfruits connected to a Scriptural marriage ceremony in Israel's past, with a marriage ceremony foretold to happen just prior to the setting up of Christ's kingdom here on Earth. And we're to ignore these connecting symbols in favor of instead believing in some never stated connection to the feast of Trumpets? The feast of Trumpets representing the return of Christ doesn't fit here at all.

 

 

Booths at Firstfruits

After Israel had entered the promised land and was taught and retaught about the feast of Tabernacles at the end of each summer's harvesting, the workers would have then been encamped in the fields in their booths/tabernacles as the late summer harvesting demanded they stay near the work instead of going back home at the end of each day's laboring. And this would doubtless be an ideal way for God to have reinforced the symbolic teaching that Tabernacles not only represented their living in booths when they left Egypt, but also portraying the celebration of a year ending harvest season.

 

What is surprising to many is that it wasn't only near the feast of Tabernacles when Israel would have dwelt in booths after entering the promised land. They also resided in them during the firstfruits harvest every year as well. Notice, "The wheat followed [the barley] from a week to six weeks later, depending on the altitude. Toward the end of May or in early June, which marked the beginning of the dry season, reaping began, a task which occupied all members of the family and often meant living in the fields until harvest was over." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; vol. 1; AGRICULTURE; 1979.

 

Also, "The reapers were the owners and their families, along with hired labourors (Mt. 9:38). the latter of whom probably followed the harvest from the plains to the mountains." A Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings; 1898. These laborers also remained in the fields until their work was completed, dwelling in temporary shelters just like in the summer ending harvest season near the feast of Tabernacles. It makes sense on many fronts to look at the feast of Firstfruits/Pentecost as prophetically representing the return of Jesus Christ. No other patterns fit.

 

 

Trumpets & Atonement in the 2nd Resurrection

When considering the command concerning single trumpet blasts from Nu. 10:4 it makes little sense to connect those with a feast called trumpets; i.e. in the plural sense. Wouldn't it make much more sense to have referred to it as the feast of "Trumpet" if it really did represent the return of Christ? For Scripture is very clear in stating that single trumpet blasts usher in Christ's return, and never are two mentioned that sound off together! Now some might think we've lost our heads in this line of reasoning, however we aren't the auther of the laws that state a specific difference between trumpet blasting.

 

Regarding the feast of Trumpets: those who are raised in the 2nd resurrection make ideal candidates for hearing more than one trumpet blowing as they are the masses who are called to assemble themselves, and who are not considered princes, or rulers in God's kingdom when they first awake. Notice, Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:25-29; ESV. The judgment period for those waking up in the 2nd resurrection comes 1,000 years after the 1st resurrection (Rev. 20:5a, 11-12).

 

The memorialization (remembrance) of trumpets blowing which fits best in the feast of Trumpets symbolism (Lev. 23:24; Nu. 29:1) is easily derived from the statement about the two silver trumpets blowing at Nu. 10:3, "And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." In our view the memorial of blowing of trumpets simply means a calling of all of the people in the 2nd resurrection, of whom most will sometime after waking up also become a part of Israel (Rev. 21:9). It is for all of those in the 2nd resurrection who slept during the 1,000 years after Christ has set up His kingdom on Earth. Our contention is that two simultaneous trumpet blasts are logically expected in the prophetic timeline regarding the feast of Trumpets, calling all to the tabernacle of God. hence, it makes perfect sense that this 2nd resurrection feast is called Trumpets; in the plural sense.

 

The well established patterns of understanding in the day of Atonement (which quickly follows Trumpets) also fits perfectly into this formula. For it was on this day of Atonement that the high priest went into the holy of holies to make atonement for the sins of all of the people (Lev. 16:32-33), which for us represents all of those who did not come up in the 1st resurrection; already explained. Consider, "Then all that the Day of Atonement looks forward to will be realized when Israel enters into blessings springing from the atonement for the holy place wrought by Christ. There the uncleaness of Israel and their transgressions in all their sins will be washed away and the nation saved (Rom. 11:26-32)." Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament. (The scapegoat symbolism also fits here, except instead of it representing Satan being bound for only a thousand years in the millenium as most teach, it rather speaks of a permanent banishment/destruction after the 2nd resurrection (Ezek. 28:2-10, 18-19; 2Pet. 2:17; Jude 13).

 

 

End of Harvesting

What appears to be unavoidable in this discussion is the fact that the Bible clearly makes a connection to God's annual feast days with three harvest seasons. The first harvesting is represented with the resurrection of Jesus Christ at the wave sheaf offering in the feast of Unleavened Bread; the second harvesting is represented in the feast of Firstfruits/Weeks/Pentecost; and the third and final harvesting is represented in the feast of Trumpets and feast of Atonement. By the time we get to the feast of Tabernacles, Scripture reveals that this was to be a celebration of a harvest already complete. Notice, "Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath." Lev. 23:39; KJV.

 

And, "Thou shalt observe the feast of Tabernacles seven days, after thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days thou shalt keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose; because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt rejoice." Deut. 16:13-15; KJV. A time of rejoicing for everyone; and not just for those in the 1st resurrection.

 

The feast of Tabernacles represents the celebration of a harvest already complete. This realization helps to explain why 13 bullocks were sacrificed on the first day of the 8 day feast (Nu. 29:13). The number 13 is indicative of rebellion, and in this case apparently represents the enemies of God in the very end time after the 2nd resurrection harvesting is complete. In Number in Scripture, E. W. Bullinger makes the case for a special significance between the numbers of 8 & 13 as seen throughout the entire Holy Bible, and in the feast of Tabernacles season we also have these same two numbers connected; 8 days in total, with 13 bullocks sacrificed on the 1st day. At the end of this subsection for explaining 8 & 13 together in Scripture, he states, "It is surely impossible to explain all the evidence on the doctrines of chances. There must be design. And design so perfect, so uniform, so significant can only be Divine. And being Divine is as unanswerable argument in favour of the verbal and even literal inspiration of the Scriptures of Truth." In this case we certainly concur with Bullinger's comments as the patterns indicate that the 2nd resurrection harvesting was supposed to be over, meaning the feast of tabernacles could not possibly represent the millenial rest as the majority thinks.

 

There is in Scripture another striking example that helps to support our point that the feast of tabernacles represents the celebration of an end of summer harvesting. It has to do with the very special feast of tabernacles celebration that Solomon hosted upon the completion of the building of the Temple! Notice, "In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month of Zif. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it." 1Ki. 6:37-38; KJV. It is declared in this passage that Solom had finished building the Temple in the eighth month after 7+ years of work. However, what is especially remarkable in this situation is how he waited until 11 months later to actually celebrate the temple's completion.

 

Why did he wait until the feast of Tabernacles way later in the following year before celebrating the Temple's completion? Consider, "Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month." 1Ki. 8:1-2; KJV. Our view is that the feast of Tabernacles being chosen then was confirmation of the prophetic nature to this celebration. Within this prayer to God while dedicating the Temple, Solomon said, "Hear thou in heaven thy dwellingplace, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name." 1Ki. 8:43; KJV. Could it be any plainer? Solomon waited until the feast of Tabernacles to dedicate the completion of God's Temple. Included in the festivities was a special prayer request that God have mercy on "all people on the earth." In the prophetic sense this perfectly pictures a scene where all men are seen having opportunity to become members in God's family, after the 2nd resurrection.

 

While Tabernacles represents a great celebration after the year ending harvest season was over, we also see in the Last Great Day where all of those in that year end harvest are then seen living in God's heavenly Temple! Notice, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neiother sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:3-4; KJV.

 

 

Conclusion

Scripture clearly states that there was to be three times in a year when Israel was to present themselves before God: 1) in the feast of Unleavened Bread when the wave sheaf represented the resurrection of Christ; 2) at the feast of Firstfruits/Pentecost representing when the firstfruits harvest of Christ's faithful is complete at His return; 3) at the feast of Tabernacles when the last harvest season is completed.

 

The patterns are clear and undeniable for us. How about you?