Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them concerning the Divinely appointed times of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy Dress Rehearsals even these are my Divinely Set Appointments. – Leviticus 23:2 (MBV)
Now on the first day of the Feasts of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” – Mathew 26:17
Leviticus 23 lays out seven holidays as times for them to meet with Him. These times were established in order to remind them of His miracles, give them rest, give thanks for gifts received, repent for wrongs, and for the reading of scripture. These holidays were also provided to foreshadow the first and second comings of Christ. The scriptures even call these times “Dress Rehearsals” for things to come.
Liberty Life observes and celebrates the Feasts of the Lord and often teaches extensively on them, especially regarding end time events and the Fall Feasts.
Below is a short article written by Pastor Gary Smith explaining more fully Liberty Life’s heart for the feasts.
A Pastor’s Look at the Feast of the Lord
God has an appointment calendar! In the opening verses of Genesis God begins to announce his event planner for history. It doesn’t always match our (Gentile) calendar of time, but any student of the Word should know God’s ways are not our ways. God’s calendar was established in the beginning and will not change until time is no more.
In Gen 1:14 the Lord spoke of the sun, the moon and the stars and said let them be for sign and for seasons and for days and years. Notice the two part purpose. Not only was the sun, moon, and stars put in place and motion to keep chronological time and markings for hours, days, weeks and years, but also for “signs” and “seasons”. The Hebrew word used here means for “signals” and for “appointed times”. The signals, we will discover are for the Lord’s appearing in history and the appointed times of His works of redemption and judgment. As history proceeds this becomes more and more obvious as major biblical events take place on days and weeks God appointed from the beginning of time according to his timetable.
The Lord revealed more specifics of his day planner and spoke unto Moses on Mount Sinai of the appointed feasts the people were to observe from generation to generation so that they would be prepared for the Lord’s visitations upon the earth. The word for feasts here is the same word used in Genesis 1:14. These seven feasts were called the feasts, or appointed times, of the Lord. Not the feasts of the Jews! The feasts of the Lord were to be continual convocations of remembrance of God’s past redemptive work and ‘dress rehearsals’ for the Lord’s future appearing and redemptive work.
The feasts are divided into three groups. The First three, Passover, Unleavened bread and Firstfruits, are close together in 1st month (Nissan) of the Jewish calendar.
The 4th feast was connected to these three but was 50 days later during the summer harvest of wheat. And the final three, Trumpets, Atonement, & Tabernacles came in the 7th month, that right 7th month, and all close together at the time of the final harvest of the land which was the fruit harvest.
All of these feasts remembered something of the past but looked forward to or rehearsed something yet to happen.
Therefore not only do we find Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and crossing of the Red Sea and the giving of the Ten Commandments marked by the spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost, but we also find the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord, as well as the birth of the Church in Acts 2 occurring exactly on these ‘appointed times’, the very days, even the very hours the Lord prescribed.
It is no coincidence that the exact times and words of Jesus while being affixed to the cross and dying on the cross matched perfectly with the times of the Passover sacrifice in the temple and the words of the High Priest when the Passover lamb for the nation was killed.
It is also no coincidence that 50 days later was the 4th feast called the Feast of Pentecost and the celebration of the wheat harvest. And do you know what happened then? Exactly- Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the church and they were given great power to be witnesses for Jesus. 3000 were added to the church that day. That is a pretty good harvest.
The feasts centered around the harvest times in Israel- the Barley harvest in the spring, The Wheat harvest in the summer and the final harvest, the fruit harvest, in the fall.
Now we know God’s final harvest on the earth has not happened yet. When Jesus will come with a sickle in his hands and separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. But God gave us the fall feasts to rehearse for his coming again. Just as the spring and summer feast reveal, or give a picture of Jesus 1st coming and the birth of the church, so the final 3 feasts will reveal what will happen when he comes again.
These final three feasts happen close together in the 7th month of God’s bible calendar (and you know 7 is an important number to God- It means complete, and rest).
It is always during this time of year we should be most watchful as the fall feast are the appointed times of the Lord’s second coming, just as the spring feast were the appointed time of his first coming.
The Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23) announces the ‘gathering of the Church’, His Body. Trumpets were used to gather the people, to warn or prepare for battle, and for victory. During that feast, in Jewish tradition, the shofar is sounded 100 times. The last blast of the shofar is called “the last trump”. Going to the New Testament, we have the apostle Paul giving assurance of resurrection from the dead and proclaiming, 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. ( 1 Cor 15:52)
Also we see the ‘catching up’ of the church at the sound of the trumpet in 1 Thess 4:16-17. It is quite fascinating to study the Lord’s feasts and discover that long before Jesus came to earth the Feast of Trumpets was also called The Feast of the Twinkling of the Eye because it began on a new moon, when the moon winks, and they looked for that first sliver or ‘twinkling’ of light to begin the feast. This feast was also called The Feast No One Knows the Day or the Hour because no one really knew when the feast was to start since it could only be announced after the High Priest received word from two witnesses that the new moon was sighted. Then runners were sent with signal lights running rapidly to the east and to the west “like lightning” to proclaim the feast. That certainly brings more light to passages like Matthew 24:27!
The Feast of Trumpets also announces the beginning of God’s judgment being poured out upon the earth. Trumpets announce warning for the Dark Day of the Lord is at hand.
Ten days after the Feast of Trumpets is the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. This feast announces the ‘gathering of Israel’ and the time they will look upon the one they have pierced and mourn. (Zech 12:10) As judgment begins to fall upon the earth, the veil is taken from the eyes of God’s chosen people and they repent and turn to Messiah so their sins may be ‘atoned’ for. “ And so all Israel will be saved , as it is written:”The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Rom 11:26-27NKJV
Five days later the Lord commands the Feast of Tabernacles to be celebrated. This feast looks toward the ‘gathering of the nations’ as the Lord established his thousand year reign on the earth and the time where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Zechariah 14 even prophesies of this time when all nations shall come to Jerusalem to keep the feast of Tabernacles. To choose to not do so would mean that nation would receive no rain!
Tabernacles is a joyous celebration where sukkahs (small tents) are built (Lev 23:42) to remember how the Lord provided for his people as they journeyed through the wilderness and to be reminded that we are sojourners here on the earth and this is not our eternal home. Most of all it speaks of the time Jesus will once again come and ‘tabernacle’ among us. And by the way, there is much biblical and historical evidence that is was during the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus was born therefore the most appropriate time to celebrate his birth!
Every year the fall feast of Leviticus 23 remind us to be watchful. The day of the Lord is near!
It is unfortunate that the church has distanced itself from the Feasts and changed the church calendar celebrating important events like Christ’s death and resurrection and even Christ’s birth. In doing so we have lost much of the very rich connection of the Feast days and their fulfillment, as well as their coming fulfillment in Christ.
One of the greatest consequences of distancing ourselves from the feasts and the biblical calendar and we have taken ourselves off of God’s timetable and therefore less equipped to prepare for and recognize his future work of redemption and judgment in his second coming which will surround the fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Trying to read Revelation and prophecies of the Lord’s second coming without understanding the Feasts of the Lord is like trying to open locked doors without keys.
Though this article confronts some of our current practices and vocabulary in connection with our Lord’s resurrection it is by no means intended to condemn. My desire is that as Christians we would continue to grow in revelation and be in awe at the wonder of our great God as revealed in his Word. My desire is that we continue to prepare ourselves for his glorious great appearing in his second coming and that we do not miss it, or be caught off guard, as so many were at his first coming.