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> The Seven Jewish Feasts, Their Prophetic Significance
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 06-Aug-2004, 10:18 PM
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Hello everyone!

Lately I've been doing some reading on the seven Jewish feasts and find this to be a fascinating topic! Has anyone else done any reading on the topic? I'd love to discuss it!


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MacErca 
Posted: 07-Aug-2004, 09:04 PM
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Lets discuss away I have studied the subject somewhat.


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Elspeth 
Posted: 08-Aug-2004, 12:56 PM
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 08-Aug-2004, 09:45 PM
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Hi Elspeth!

This is a rather complicated topic, so this post may get a little long-winded, but I'll try to keep it in a nut-shell, then if there is interest, I might go into more detail.

Leviticus 23:1-2 says: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.'" The word "feasts" which is used here is a Hebrew word phonetically rendered as "mo-a-deem." It means "appointed time," but it also carries with it the idea of a rehearsal. So each of the 7 feasts which God then went on to outline for Moses was actually a rehearsal, practice if you will, for something yet to come.

The 7 feasts are broken down into the four Spring feasts and the three Fall feasts. They are:

The Spring feasts:
Passover (Pesach) (Occurs Jewish month Nisan 14, around March/April)
Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) (Nisan 15-21)
Firstfruits (HaBikkurim) (Nisan 16)
Pentecost (Shavuot) (50 days after Firstfruits around May/June)

The Fall feasts:
Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) (Tishri 1, our calendar around Oct/Sept)
Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Tishri 10)
Tabernacles (Sukkot) (Tishri 15-21)

The Spring feasts have been celebrated by the Jews for thousands of years, but from a Christian standpoint, they have already been fulfilled.

Passover was in remembrance of the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt. They were to kill a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the door posts, thus saving themselves from the spirit of death that came to kill the Egyptian first born. This was fulfilled in Christ's crucifixion, when our Lamb was slain and His blood is applied to our lives to save us from spiritaul death.

Unleavened Bread also commemorated the exodus. In their haste to leave they were unable to make bread which required rising (yeast or leaven) so they had to make bread without it to have food for their journey. Leaven is often associated with sin in the Bible. During the feast, three pieces of bread are presented. The middle piece (which is striped, pierced, and of course without leaven) is then broken and hidden in the house for the children to look for. The finder gets a prize. This was fulfilled in Christ's burial. Jesus, the middle person of the Trinity, was pierced and striped and without sin. He was hidden in the tomb, and of course whoever seeks and finds Him gets the prize of eternal life.

Firstfruits is an agricultural festival, celbrating the first of the early crops which came to fruit in the spring. Just as that first crop came up from the ground, so also did Jesus rise from His tomb. 1 Cor. 15:23 says: 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. Keep in mind that the word Firstfruits impiles that there will be second fruits, third and so on. Jesus was the first in resurrection, but on that appointed day, many more will rise from the ground, resurrected to meet Him in the air!

Pentecost occurs 50 days after Firstfruits. It marked the summer harvest. After His resurrection, our Lord rejoined his disciples and taught them for forty daysand them bade them to wait in Jerusalem for the Comforter who was to come. So 50 days after Firstfuits, exactly on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit reaped a harvest of three thousand souls who were filled with his presence!

As you can see, each one of these has already been fulfilled, literally just as was promised, by our Lord Jesus!

There is then a long break before the three Fall feast which have yet to be fulilled!
There has been a long break since Jesus ascended to heaven, which we call the Church Age. We now await the literal fulfillment of the Fall feasts!

The feast of Trumpets is the Jewish new year and is celebrated much like we do, with resolutions, though these are of a much more spiritual nature. The ten day period from Trumpets until the feast of Atonement is knownas the Days of Awe, and its is believed that during these ten days God reviews the Books of Judgement and dcides whehter a person will live or die in the coming year. These ten days are believed to be the last chance a person has to repent before God's judgement is finalized. The beginning of Trumpets is anounced by the sounding of a trumpet just as the first sliver of the new moon appears. It is believed on this day that God opens the three books: the Book of Life for the wicked, the Book of Life for the righteous and the Book of life for the in-between. He reviews these books and makes His final decision. The week before Trumpets is spent in recitation of heart-rending prayers for forgiveness of sins. A Rosh Hashanah ceremony which takes place during the days of awe is the Casting Ceremony. The penitent gather by a body of water and cast bread crumbs, representing their sins, in remembrance of God's propmise to cast sins into the depths of the sea. Obviously this will be fulfilled by the Rapture, when the great trumpet sounds and we are judged by God Himself. During this time God will be begin to work with His people the Jews trying to raise up the remnant spoken of in Revelation.

On the fearosme Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Jew literally lived or died. It was and is a day of confession whenb Israle was to indivdually afflict their souls and be conscious of their national sin.The high priest would make his sacrifice before the Holy of Holies where God dwelt, purchasing a year of atonement for the people. The Church is not in need of atonement, since our atoenment was paid for by Christ Himself. This feast, therefore, will not be fulfilled by the Church but by Israel when the remnant finally accepts Christ and turns to Him in faith and trust.

The feast of Tabernacles celebrates the time when the children of Israel finally entered the promised land. They were directed by build grass huts (booths or tabernacles) and dwell in them for 7 days in remembrance of the booths the Israelites dwelled in there (see Lev 23:42-43). This feast represents the fact that in the final, millenial kingodm, god will Tabernacle amongst us, in the New Jerusaem, and we will no longer be separated from His presence. Tabernacles is the one feast that we are assured will be an important part of kingdom worship in those days (Zechariah 14:16-19)

Well, that is just a brief overview of what I have learned. I hope I haven't confused you in my brevity or poor explanations! If you have any comments, corrections, or questions, please post them here! I find this fascinating and would love to hear your thoughts on it!
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MacErca 
Posted: 09-Aug-2004, 03:43 PM
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Very well done brother. Wouldnt add one thing to it.

"Baruch haba hashem Adoni."
"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the lord."
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cori 
Posted: 20-Aug-2004, 06:37 PM
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Wow, it looks like you did a lot of studying. I have never looked into this topic before, but it sounds very intriguing. Where did you get all your information?

Leslie






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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 23-Aug-2004, 08:02 PM
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Hi Cori!

Here are the main resources that I have studied:

The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal (EXCELLENT book! I highly recommend it if you have an interest at all in the subject. Very thorough and gives lots of info I haven't been able to find anywhere else!)

The Seven Feasts of Israel by Zola Levitt, a Jewish believer. Another excelltent book! Because Zola is a Jewish Christian, he gives a lot of interesting detail from the Jewish perspective.

The Final Feasts by Bill Cloud. This is a two-cassette set that covers only the final three holidays, the fall feasts. This is very good also.

And, lastly, here are a couple of booklets that you can either download in their entirety from the internet or order for FREE from RBC (these are the people who produce the Our Daily Bread series of daily devotionals.

The Holidays of God: The Spring Feasts This booklet can be downloaded at http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q0407/

The Holidays of God: Fall Feasts This booklet can be downloaded at
http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q0408/

Hope you find these resources useful!
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cori 
Posted: 25-Aug-2004, 01:56 PM
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Wizard,

Thanks for all the info. I do have one question concerning this study.

QUOTE
It is believed on this day that God opens the three books: the Book of Life for the wicked, the Book of Life for the righteous and the Book of life for the in-between. He reviews these books and makes His final decision.


This particular idea provokes my thoughts and much as I try, I cannot find that it is backed up with Scripture. The "in-between" is not a concept I am familiar with. The rigtheous attain heaven, and the wicked are bound for hell. The bible does not allow for "in-betweens". A man is either a friend of God or a friend of the world and therefore the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

I just was wondering which resource you found this in?

Thanks,
Leslie
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 25-Aug-2004, 08:47 PM
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Hi Leslie!

I am in complete agreement with you that this belief in a middle book for the in-between is not backed up by OUR scripture, but you must keep in mind that we are not talking about the Christian faith here, we're talking about the Jewish faith which, while for the most part is identical to ours, is not exactly the same. You must remember that the Jewish holy book contains many books that are not included in our Old Testament, including laws, traditions and beliefs that even Jesus did not agree with. (Remember how He blasted the scribes and Pharisees for enforcing laws and traditions that were man-made rather than God-given!) Also, keep in mind that the Jewish faith did not simply stop growing and changing with the last of the books in the OT. It has continued to grow and evolve over the past 2000 years, incorporating things not even mentioned in the OT, Hannukah, for example. And since we know that, with the coming of Jesus, God has withdrawn somewhat from the Jewish people, then most of what has been incorporated since that time has been man-made and not divinely inspired.

I am quoting here from The Feasts of the Lord by Howard & Rosenthal, pg. 108:

"According to Jewish tradition, three books are opened on Rosh Hashana: the Book of Life for the wicked, the Book of Life for the righteous, and the Book of Life for the in-between. As the Judge of the Universe reviews mankind's deeds of the past year, He inscribes the names of every individual in one of these books. Judgement against the wicked is final and irrevocable; they will have life cut short in the coming year. Those recorded in the Book of the Righteous will be mercifully granted another year of life and prosperity by the Lord. For the remainder (those not written in either of these books), the sealing of their fate is deferred and hangs in the balance until Yom Kippur. If they sincerely repent during the Days of Awe, tradition holds that God will grant them life until the following Yom Kippur. Reflecting this tradition, the common greeting during the Days of Awe is "Leshanah tovah tikatevu" ("May you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good year!")."

Here I am quoting from Bill Cloud's The Final Feasts, tape 1:

"Now, if you were going into a synagogue during the time of Rosh Hashana, a seasonal greeting in Hebrew would be, "Leshanah tovah tikatevu" which means "May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life." And what they mean by that is they believe that on Rosh Hashanah your name is written down in one of three books. They have the Book of the Righteous, then they have the Book of the
Wicked, and in between they have the Book of the Intermediate, for those who are not completely righteous and those who are not completely wicked. Of course, that middle book is considered to be the biggest book because there are so many people who are riding the fence. So when you greet someone with "May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life," you're talking about the hope that you're going to be inscribed in that Book of the Righteous. And so Rosh Hashanah is believed to be the day that your name is inscribed."

Neither Zola Levitt's book nor the RBC booklets mention the middle book.

I hope this helped!

By the way, another source I forgot to mention was Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny by Grant R. Jeffrey. While not specifically about the Jewish feasts, it does discuss the prophetic connection between the feasts and the end times in chapters 4-6.
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cori 
Posted: 26-Aug-2004, 08:24 PM
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Wizard,

Thank you for your help. I have never studied more than passover before and I am finding it all tho be extremely interesting.

Leslie
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 09:33 AM
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Hi Leslie!

I'm so glad that I could help! If you have any more questions, just let me know and I will try to answer them for you!
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