Why the Fall Feasts Are So Important Now

To our surprise we found a book written by the late Johannes de Heer[1] during the Second World War, ‘God’s Plan for Salvation Established in Appointed Times in Leviticus 23.’ From his perspective as a Protestant writing at one of the darkest moments of our history, he already saw that the blueprint for God’s plan of salvation could be found in the sequence of the biblical feasts. Here we’d like to examine how the meanings contained in the Fall Feasts should be an urgent wake up call for today’s Church. What do these Fall feasts have to do with the End Times?


The series is made up of the feasts God instigated at the time of the exodus out of Egypt. The people coming out of slavery received Instructions as part of the covenant the invisible God established with a visible people, the newly freed slaves. God gave His people instructions so they would be set apart from other people and be able to live lives that pleased Him. God gave seven special feasts to be celebrated at appointed times. These feasts were divided into Spring and Fall feasts, as God had instructed them to celebrate during specific (harvest) seasons. But why did God instruct His people to celebrate such feasts? Because He wanted the pattern of His salvation plan to become visible. Each feast was imbued with a meaning. Then, they were celebrated annually as rehearsals for events that were yet to come in God’s Plan. These events would become realities in the future. As each of the feasts is fulfilled, a clear pattern will be revealed showing that God has always had a plan.


Spring Feasts

The Spring feasts originated in and just outside Egypt, during the exodus and the journey into freedom, through the Red Sea, and the covenant that the people entered into with the God Who had liberated them from the powers of slavery. The true meaning of these Spring feasts was only revealed 1600 years later, during the Passion Week of Christ. When God sent His Son to be the mediator of a new covenant relationship, He also showed us the deeper meanings embedded in the Spring feasts. He showed His people the Exodus in a New Covenant meaning. Jesus precisely fulfilled every layer of meaning in these Spring feasts, exactly on the same date of each of the feasts:

  • He died as the Passover Lamb on Pesach (Feast 1, Pesach)
  • During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He entered death, completely sinless, and came out victorious over Death (Feast 2, Unleavened Bread)
  • He rose as the First Fruit of those who have fallen asleep and was presented before God as the First Fruit of the Harvest (Feast 3, First Fruits)

The rituals performed during these feasts revealed the essential meaning of Christ’s holy acts in the establishment of the New Covenant. Later, this New Covenant relationship was sealed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Although we as Christians call this Pentecost, it occurred precisely during the ancient Feast of Weeks, and when we look at this feast, we see that it had also been foreshadowing the New Covenant promise for over 1600 years. Do you see the parallels between the Shadow feasts and their fulfillment in Christ?

The Spring feasts are still significant for Christians today due to the fact that Christ Himself is their obvious focal point. If Christ is removed, these feasts become deprived of their deeper meaning and we are left with merely a series of memorials to the historical Exodus out of Egypt. In this context, they appear only to be for non-messianic Israel[2]. However, when we look at Christ in the feasts, we are reminded of the personal “Great Exodus” that Jesus has made possible, and how it began with Him becoming the sacrificial Passover Lamb and how His blood can be applied to our “doorposts.” These feasts are not meant to be left in the past, for even today, when someone gives their life to Christ, they experience the New Covenant meaning hidden within the feasts that celebrates the exodus into freedom.

God does special things on special days, days that He Himself has appointed, according to His personal calendar, because He specifically wants us to see the pre-established pattern woven into His Salvation Plan.

Now that the Ascension and Pentecost have taken place, believers are left with three feasts which are yet to be fulfilled.


Why Are the Fall Feasts So Important for Believers Now?

It’s been almost 2000 years since Christ fulfilled the last Spring feast. After Pentecost[3], the following feasts have not yet been fulfilled. When we study the pattern of the “Jewish feasts”, we can also see that there is a long period of time on the calendar before the next one takes place. Only after a long, dry summer does the first Fall feast occur, and then things accelerate. All the Fall feasts take place within 15 days.

If Christ revealed the true meaning of each of the Spring feasts precisely on the day that they were scheduled on the calendar, will He not do the same for the Fall Feasts? If we look at the timelines and the signs, we must conclude that we are living in the End Times. We are in the middle of a time period filled with significant anniversaries. Timelines are converging and we can see God’s planning, as well as the important role Israel plays within this Plan. By the end of 2017 the State of Israel will have celebrated:

  • The 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s existence as the undivided capital of Israel (1967)
  • The 70th anniversary of the UN’s decision to establish the Jewish State of Israel (1947)
  • The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration (1917)
  • The 120th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress (1897)

Few pulpits preach warmly on the subject of Israel and few churches are focused on the yet unfulfilled Fall feasts. In spite of this, many things point to how the Second Coming of Christ and His Reign of Peace will reveal the New Covenant meaning of the Fall feasts.


The Pattern of the Fall Feasts

Just as we have seen with the Spring feasts, there is a clear pattern in the celebration of the Fall feasts, as well as an obvious relationship among them. The Feast of Trumpets is the first in line to be fulfilled. For Christians who are waiting in earnest expectation for the sounding of the last trumpet, (in Hebrew “tekiah g’dolah”) referred to by the apostle Paul[4], the deeper meaning of this feast will cause their hearts to skip a beat, for it is centered around the moment Christ will reveal its true meaning, when He comes in all His glory to fetch His Church.

Then, there are still two more to be fulfilled. The Book of Hebrews describes in urgent detail how Christ is our High Priest, always interceding for us. Although believers can have deeply experienced the Feast of Passover in their lives, they can still sin. Luckily we have a Mediator in the realms of Heaven. However, the Book of Hebrews tells us that Christ will no longer play this role after His Second Coming.[5] At that time, the feast and the cycle of the Great Day of Atonement will be completed. How beautiful it will be when Jesus Christ fulfills His role as the high priest Who comes out of Heaven on a Day of Atonement, after which he will lead the “goat for Azazel” (satan)[6] to the desert and lock him in the abyss for a 1000 years.

We also look forward to the fulfillment of the last feast, the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast will be fulfilled in Christ after His Second Coming. It will be the starting point of His Kingdom of Peace on earth.

God gave these feasts and their cyclical times to His people for a reason. Those who aren’t believers won’t understand, but believers will[7]. With joy and hope, they can look forward to the completion of this cycle taking place during these current times.

This generation is experiencing more and more hopeful signs. Every year can now be the last rehearsal of the true Feast of Trumpets. This year, the Feast of Trumpets should start on the evening of September 20, but only if the first sliver of the New Moon becomes visible on this day.

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[1] Johannes de Heer (1866-1961) was one of the founders of the well-known Maranatha Movement in the Netherlands

[2] However, it should make us think why the messianic Jews are still celebrating the feasts? There is a Biblical and New Covenant reason for this.

[3] Or the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)

[4] 1 Cor. 15:51-52

[5] Hebrews 9:29, D.H. Stern translation

[6] keep in mind that this goat will be send in the wilderness after the High Priest comes out of the Sanctuary. This timeline of rituals is important to understand who this goat is.

[7] Matthew 13:10-17; John 16:13

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