Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. 4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
It's important to note that God says, these are HIS feast days. Somehow in modern Christianity we have this idea in our heads that these are only for the Jew; nowhere in Scripture are they designated as belonging to the Jews only, these are God's days. As such, we as believers need to come into an understanding of them.
The Feasts are broken up by season, the Spring and the Fall. The first coming of the Lord Jesus completed messianic aspects of the Spring Feasts: Passover (when Messiah is killed), Unleaven Bread (when Messiah is buried), First Fruits (when Messiah is raised from the Dead), and Pentacost (when believers received the Holy Spirit). These feast days were fulfilled with perfect accuracy and in order.
The prophetic calendar is not random; the religious leaders of the day knew when Messiah was born, they knew the times of Daniel were being fulfilled, they were not ignorant of the celestial signs in the Heavens nor of God's timetable. God did not want them to be ignorant then and He does not want us to be ignorant now.
There is a season in between the Spring Feast and the Fall feast: Summer. This waiting time represents and correlates with the church age for which we currently reside. Daniel's 69 weeks for Israel were completed, we await the final 70th week, given for Israel. The long hot Summer will not last forever, we know that the cooler days of Autumn are coming. 2 Timothy 3 describes exactly where we are right now:
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.
So to recap:
- God makes appointments with His people
- The Feasts are Messianic dress rehearsals
- The first coming of Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts in perfect order
- Prophetic time tables were known to the religious scholars ahead of time
- God does not want us to be ignorant and tells us to be ready
- God is not random
- 2 Timothy 3 perfectly describes the end times which we now live
The first of the Fall Feasts is Rosh Hashanah, Leviticus 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Rosh Hashanah is a day of Judgement, where God records the names of those in the Book of Life and those in the Book of Death. The verdict is not final until Yom Kippur, there are ten days of mercy that those in the Book of Death can repent and believe. It begins a period where men search their souls and repent of their sins and seek forgiveness from God and man. Teshuvah (literal means Returning) is the process by which a sincere Jew seeks forgiveness, it is a foreshadow of the process of Salvation: "First one must recognize that they have made a mistake and genuinely desire to change for the better. They must then seek to make amends for their actions in a sincere and meaningful way, and finally demonstrate they have learned from their mistakes by not repeating them. When a Jew is sincere in his or her efforts at teshuvah, it is the responsibility of other Jews to offer forgiveness." (sited from About.com).
The Feast of the Trumpets; we are told that the Rapture will be accompanied by the trumpet of God. 1 Corinthians 15:52 it indicates it will be the last trumpet. "The blowing of the shofar announces and reaffirms God as ruler of all mankind. The "trumpet-like" sound of the shofar also serves to stir the soul of all Jews, to awaken the Jewish people to the omnipotence and omnipresence of God and the chance to receive his mercy through prayer and repentance." (sited from how stuff works.com)
Okay, so now we have to address the "No man knows the hour or the day of the coming of the Son of Man, only the Father knows." Did you know that is an idiom for a Jewish Wedding? If I say to you as modern American Christian, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..." You know I am talking about a wedding. The same is true for "No man knows the hour or the day." In Jewish marital customs after the betrothal the groom returns to his Father's land to build his new bride a home. He was not released to go pick up his bride until his father said the house was ready. When people would ask when he was returning to his bride he would answer, "No man knows the hour or the day only my Father knows."
It is also a phrase that refers to the uncertain nature of exactly when Rosh Hashanah will occur. Since it is a Lunar Holiday, the task of setting the date fell to the religious rulers of the day based on the testimony of two witnesses. Rosh Hashanah is the only feast that occurs on the first of the month, thus the determination of the day was extremely important. The phrase, "No man knows the hour or the day" is also specific to Rosh Hashanah. When Jesus said this to his disciples THEY understood that he was talking about Rosh Hashanah!
To use the proofs established for the Spring Feasts, we can apply to the Fall feasts in like manner.
- God makes appointments with His people, the next Messianic appointment is Rosh Hashanah
- Rosh Hashanah is a dress rehearsal for Israel's acceptance of Jesus as King
- It is a time of repentance, remembrance, and forgiveness
- Prophetic time tables are known and the prophetic Scriptures have all been fulfilled
- The Church is the Bride of Christ and Rosh Hashanah is mentioned by Jesus as his time of returning
- God is not random
- Feast of Trumpets and Trumpets of the Rapture