Yahweh’s Appointed Times – Feasts
There are two important Hebrew words appear in same word “Feast”. First one is chag, which means a “festival,” is derived from the Hebrew root word chagag, which means “to move in a circle, to march in a sacred procession, to celebrate, dance, to hold a solemn feast or holiday.” Second one is mo’ed means “an appointment, a fixed time or season, an appointed time, a set time or exact time, an assembly or congregation (as convened for a definite purpose).” By understanding the Hebrew meaning of the English word feast, we can see that Yahweh is telling us that He is ordaining a “set time or exact time or an appointed time” when He has an appointment with humanity to fulfill certain events in the redemption. Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, and Deuteronomy 16 speaks of the yearly feasts, or rather “appointed times” of the Mosaic Law. The yearly “Appointed times” had several purposes, all directed to Israel’s spiritual we being and fellowship with God. However, there is the secret testimony concerning the feasts!
Yahweh said – “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles) at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.”
It was forbidden to attend any of the three divinely ordained feast weeks (Appointed times) with no fruitfulness to offer Yawheh. Why? Why these three specific feasts that Yahweh demands males to appear with fruits/sheaf of wheat & barley they had harvested ? The answer to this ‘why’ question is absolutely fascinating.
This agricultural division of our Creator’s creational testimony forms much of this foundational platform for the examination of the three annual harvest feast weeks mandated in the laws of the Kingdom of God. These three harvest feast weeks are shadow projections of the three great divine harvests in our Creator’s plan. He has and will harvest the mature, fruit bearing development where He sowed His image and likeness over that last (almost) 6,000 years. We noted how the three annual harvest feast weeks mandated under the laws of the First Kingdom of God parallel these three immortalization events in the divine plan. Each of the three progressive feast weeks is a perfect and highly specific projection of one of these immortalization ‘harvesting’ events. This is the observation that opens up the entire consideration of the incredible three dimensional shadow testimony of these feast weeks.
The Shadow Patterns of the Three Immortalizations harvest events in the divine plan are exceptionally easy to identify.
- The (1st) Feast of Unleavened Bread is a perfect shadow of our Messiah’s immortalization almost 2,000 years ago.
- The (2nd) Feast of Weeks is a perfect shadow of the impending immortalization of the enlightened saints who are selectively invited to inherit the Kingdom at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.
- The (3rd) Feast of Tabernacles is a perfect shadow of the third and last immortalization event of the Millennium saints at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.
Let’s begin by examining the initially odd distinction of the first two feast weeks highlighting first fruits but the last feast week not only having no identification with first fruit but a direct identification with “last” fruits. Since our premise is that the three harvest feast weeks project the three divine harvests in our Creator’s plan then how can we have two different feast weeks with a “firstfruits” focus? The Feast of Unleavened Bread (projecting the immortalization of our Messiah) demanded the unprocessed first fruits grain of the corresponding harvest (barley) to be waved heavenward on the second day of that feast, the day after the High Sabbath that started that feast week (Lev. 23:10-11). The Feast of Weeks was repeatedly identified with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest (Ex. 34:22-23; Ex. 23:16). The Feast of Tabernacles is repeatedly identified as the feast of ingathering at the year’s end (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). While the seventh month certainly wasn’t the end of the calendar year, it did identify the end of the agricultural year. So our question is how can we have two separate firstfruits? How does this distinction project truths about the three immortalization events (harvests) in our Creator’s plan? It is elemental to recognize Jesus Christ was the firstfruits of his Father.
Since Jesus exclusively qualifies as the firstfruits to God, we should ask on what basis the saints blessed with immortality at the beginning of the restored kingdom can be projected through that Feast of Weeks as being firstfruits? We have our answer if we simply continue reading in 1 Cor. 15:20-23 – “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.” The immortalized saints at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom qualify as the firstfruits to both God and Christ, while Christ was the firstfruits of his Father. This is exactly how these saints are expressed in the vision of the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom in Rev. 14:4: These are they which were not defiled with 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. While Jesus Christ qualifies as the barley-like firstfruits of Yahweh in 32 that first Feast of Unleavened Bread, the saints at the beginning of the Kingdom qualify as the wheat firstfruits to both God and Christ. This is why the Feast of Tabernacles is never associated with first fruits, despite the harvesting of completely different fruit categories. The Feast of Tabernacles exclusively projects the third and last immortalization in the Creator’s plan, at the end of the harvest. This cannot have any association with firstfruits. This is one of several observations that completely eliminates any possibility of an application for the Feast of Tabernacles to be identified with the return of Jesus Christ for the harvesting of his own ‘first’ fruits. The Feast of Tabernacles had nothing to do with ‘first’ fruits, simply ‘last’ fruits. This is why the Feast of Tabernacles will still be observed during the Millennial Kingdom (Zech. 14:16-19; Ezek. 45:25) yet there is a distinct absence of any prophecy concerning observing the Feast of Weeks during the restored Kingdom.
The distinct difference between the basis for our participation in the second immortalization event (projected by the Feast of Weeks) and the basis for our Messiah’s exclusive participation in the first immortalization event (projected by the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the absence or presence of leaven. Unlike ourselves, our Messiah’s immortalization was not dependent on grace or forgiveness. This feature of immortalization (divine harvesting) qualification separating the Messiah and the saints is highlighted in the complete absence of leaven in the first feast week as opposed to how the second feast week is actually initiated by waving two leavened loaves of wheat bread heavenward. This leaven differential is another one of those silent shouts intended exclusively for the hearing ears of those within the enlightened community. Leaven was not allowed to be consumed with the Passover meal. The leaven consumption ban continued through the Feast of Unleavened Bread for a total of eight days (Ex. 12:8,15-20). If any one ate leaven during that timeframe they were to be permanently ostrazised from the community of the enlightened. For whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. However the first day of the Feast of Weeks had the priest waving two baked and leavened loaves of bread (from the wheat harvest) as a wave offering to Yahweh (Lev. 23:15-21; 34:22).
Therefore the complete absence of leaven from the first feast week makes perfect sense, as this feast week projects the divine harvesting of the one man who was never polluted by any unGodly leavenous activity. He suffered with the same unclean, sin generating, cursed nature as the rest of us. Unlike ourselves, he remained unleavened for his entire life. Christ’s immortalization was not based on grace but on works. Death could not hold Jesus. However, death could certainly hold us, if not for the principle of grace whereby our Messiah is free to extend his salvation to those he selectively invites to inherit his Father’s nature. This is why the second feast (Feast of weeks) was initiated by waving two leavened loaves heavenward. We can be saved despite the polluting leaven generated in our lives. These observations perfectly validate our premise that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a shadow projection of the immortalization of our Savior while the Feast of Weeks is a shadow projection of the immortalization of the saints at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. This would also explain why the waved firstfruits of the Feast of Unleavened Bread had to be sheaf of harvested but unprocessed grain (representing Jesus). However the waved firstfruits of the Feast of Weeks were ground and baked with leaven and water and salt into two loaves of bread (representing the Jew and Gentile saints). Our prospective salvation is offered on a different basis than our Savior, as he alone earned it by breaking the power of sin on the basis of his validation of his Father’s right-ness through his violent death on Passover.
The Feast of Tabernacles was the feast of the final ingathering. We have already noted how the Feast of Tabernacles has no association with first fruits, unlike the two previous feast weeks. The Feast of Tabernacles is simply described as the feast of ingathering at the year’s end (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). Although the seventh month was not the end of the calendar year, it was the end of the agricultural year. There was no specific product associated with this harvest as opposed to the wheat in the previous Feast of Weeks, although the vineyard would be prominent. There are unique distinctions with the Feast of Tabernacles that separate this last harvest celebration from the preceding two feast weeks. The Feast of Tabernacles was uniquely extended to eight days. There was no fruit waving to heaven for the Feast of Tabernacles, as opposed to the two preceding feast weeks. Similar to the Feast of Unleavened Bread but dissimilar from the Feast of Weeks we see a High Sabbath assigned to the first and last days of this last feast.
Our understanding that the Feast of Tabernacles is a prophecy projection of the terms, features and timing of the third immortalization event in the Creator’s plan at the end of His 7,000 year plan is validated by the scriptural and creational foundations and extensions for all the details of this third harvest feast. The requirement of moving into these new tabernacles made of tree components perfectly expresses its anti-typical fulfillment as the third divine harvest in our Creator’s plan.
Additionally these new tabernacles had to be constructed of tree components. This was not a convenience accommodation but a significant component of the shadowed principles. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths (Lev. 23:40-42). The observation that this harvest feast projects salvation is validated by the realization that God appointed a tree in the Garden of Eden to be the symbol of eternal life.
The terms of the judgement project the requirement of fruitfulness. If we do not bear fruit to the honor and glory of our Creator then we can expect no approval. This was the resolute law for each of the feast weeks: Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty (Deut. 16:16). It was forbidden to attend any of the three divinely ordained feast weeks with no fruitfulness to offer Yahweh. Therefore, if we have no fruit (no personally generated projections of our Creator’s righteousness) to offer His son at our judgment, then we are nothing but the tares among the wheat. This fruitfulness is also scriptural defined as our works and deeds, by which we will be judged (Rec. 22:12; 20:12; 2 Cor. 11:15; Rom. 2:6). We certainly cannot earn salvation through whatever degree of our Creator’s righteousness we personally project in our lives, but without any personal righteousness (fruits) to offer, then our eternal rejection by Christ is absolutely assured. We are required to demonstrate, to the full extent of our capacity and courage, our Creator’s vision for creation in our lives. Creation was always intended to be a radiation of the eternal truths and principles of the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Mighty One who had no beginning and will have no end. The only real question for us to determine is whether or not we share His vision. The foolish challenge to this divine principle is the suggestion that all we have to worry about at the judgment is whether or not we have been forgiven of all our sins or not. That isn’t enough. The other judgment issue is how we have demonstrated the righteousness of our Creator (or not) in our lives. We have to come to the anti-typical Feast of Weeks with fruit to offer or we will offend our Creator and His son. The three judgment parables in Matthew 25 present this same theme. The rejected wedding attendants, investment servant and goats are not rejected for anything they had done wrong, but what they had not done right.
At the conclusion, we noted the odd absence of any required observation of the Feast of Weeks during the approaching restoration of the Kingdom of God, despite the required observance of both the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles (Ezek 45:21-25; Zech 14:16-19). Why is the Feast of Weeks exclusively absent from the Kingdom ? While there does not appear to be a specific injunction against the Feast of Weeks during the restored Kingdom there is a distinct absence of reference, initiating the curiosity. The initial answer seems to be that the anti-typical application of the Feast of Weeks is completely fulfilled with the immortalization of the saints at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. As we have previously noted, Christ’s parable of the wheat and the tares is a parallel prophecy of the Feast of weeks, projecting the resurrection, judgment and immortalization of the approved and the burning of the judgmentally rejected at the beginning of the restored Kingdom. The wheat harvest specifically identified the Feast of Weeks.
The problem with this suggested solution to our queries is that another question would be prompted. If the Feast of Weeks will not be observed due to its anti-typical fulfillment with the harvesting of the saints at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom then why would Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread still be mandated during the restored Kingdom, since Passover projects the death of our Messiah and the Feast of Unleavened Bread projects the resurrection to immortality of our Messiah?
The truth of the matter is that the complete anti-typical fulfillment of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread will be when death will be completely eliminated (that last enemy) and all of creation finally enjoys a flawless confirmation of the Creator’s righteousness without any contradictions whatsoever, so making peace. The Creator will “be all and in all”. Jesus still has work to do. His assignment is not finished. He saved himself. He has to save the saints in two stages over that 7th Kingdom millennial day and then has to save all of creation in the eighth day.
[This article was summarized which derived from Vocational Training for an Immortal Priesthood by Bro Jim Dillingham. Timeline graphic by Bro. Robert Devine.]