Shemini Atzeret – the Eighth Day of the biblical Seven-Day Festival of Succot

Today is the celebration of the Feast of Shemini Atzeret – the Eighth Day of the biblical Seven-Day Festival of Succot (Booths, Tabernacles).

In the wilderness, God “Tabernacled” in the midst of His people.  

Leviticus 23: 23 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LordOn the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to theLord; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.

37 ‘These are the appointed times of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the Lord—burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day— 38 besides those of the sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts and besides all your f]”[f]votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.
39 On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a g]”[g]rest on the first day and a h]”[h]rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the i]”[i]foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.41 You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall j]”[j]live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall k]”[k]live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” 44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the Lord.

My thoughts on Shemini Atzeret (the eighth day of the seven-day festival of Succot) is that following the Thousand Year Millennial Reign of Yeshua over all of the earth – ruling and reigning from Jerusalem – and after the White Throne Judgement, the fulfillment of Shemini Atzeret (the day that never ends) will take place.

When the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven,
 God will tabernacle with those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life for ETERNITY!!.

Revelation 21:1-4  (NASB)

The New Heaven and Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will a]”[a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among themb]”[b], and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:10-27  (NASB)

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away g]”[g]in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her h]”[h]brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.12 i]”[i]It had a great and high wall, j]”[j]with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The one who spoke with me had a k]”[k]gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the l]”[l]rod, m]”[m]fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, n]”[n]seventy-two yards,according to human o]”[o]measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like p]”[p]clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 I saw no q]”[q]temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its r]”[r]temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth s]”[s]will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those t]”[t]whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.Have a joyful Shemini Atzeret!!!  Despite all the evil that is taking place on in the earth today, REJOICE!!  The best is yet to come…Shalom!!

October 15, 2014

The Feasts of Israel – Do they have prophetic significance?

Origin and Timing of the Feasts

The feasts were a part of the Mosaic Law that was given to the Children of Israel by God through Moses (Exodus 12; 23:14-17; Leviticus 23; Numbers 28 & 29; and Deuteronomy 16). The Jewish nation was commanded by God to celebrate seven feasts over a seven month period of time, beginning in the Spring of the year and continuing through the Fall.

The first three feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, occur in rapid succession in the Spring of the year over a period of eight days. They came to be referred to collectively as “Passover.”

The fourth feast: Harvest, occurs fifty days later at the beginning of the Summer. By New Covenant times this feast had come to be known as Pentecost, from the Greek word pentekonta, meaning fifty, the feminine is pentekoste.

The last three feasts: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles extend over a period of twenty-one days in the Fall of the year. These are known as the “High Holy Days.”

The Nature of the Feasts

Some of the feasts were related primarily to the agricultural cycle. The feast of First Fruits was a time for the presentation to God of the first fruits of the barley harvest. The feast of Harvest was a celebration of the wheat harvest. And the feast of Tabernacles was in part a time of thanksgiving for the harvest of olives, dates, and figs.

Most of the feasts were related to past historical events. Passover, of course, celebrated the salvation the Jews experienced when the LORD passed over the Jewish houses that were marked with the blood of a lamb. Unleavened Bread was a reminder of the swift departure from Egypt so swift that they had no time to put leaven into their bread.

Although the feasts of Harvest and Tabernacles were related to the agricultural cycle, they both had historical significance as well. The Jews believed that it was on the feast day of Harvest that God gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. And Tabernacles was a yearly reminder of God’s protective care as the Children of Israel tabernacled in the wilderness for forty years.

The Spiritual Significance of the Feasts

All the feasts were, and are, unto the LORD. They served to tum- yank! -the people from the pagan Egyptian ways they’d been surrounded by and so greatly influenced by, to set the Hebrews apart from all of the pagan peoples on the earth. Thus, the Feasts of Israel are all about the spiritual life of the people. Passover served as a reminder that there is no atonement for sin apart from the shedding of blood. (Lev. 17: 11) Unleavened Bread was a reminder of God’s call on their lives to be a people set apart to holiness, as leaven was a symbol of sin. They were to be unleavened, that is, holy, before the nations as a witness of God, as Yeshua is the Unleavened Bread of Life.

The feast of First Fruits was a call to consider their priorities, to make certain they were putting God first in their lives. Harvest was a reminder that God is the source of all blessings. The assembly day of Trumpets informs us of the Rapture to come, and of the LORD Yeshua’s Second coming! The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, was, and is, a reminder of the need for repentance, and was, and is, also a solemn assembly day, a day of rest and introspection. It was a reminder of God’s promise to send a Messiah whose blood would cover the demands of the Law with the mercy of God.

In sharp contrast to the Day of Atonement, Tabernacles was, and is, a joyous celebration of God’s faithfulness, even when the Children of Israel were unfaithful.

The Prophetic Significance of the Feasts

What the Jewish people did not seem to realize is that all of the feasts were also symbolic types. In other words, they were prophetic in nature, each one pointing in a unique way to some aspect of the life and work of the promised Messiah.

1) Passover – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover Lamb Whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to Him in Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”

4) Harvest or Pentecost – (Called Shavuot today.) Pointed to the great harvest of souls, both Jew and Gentile, that would come into the kingdom of God during the Church Age. The Church was actually established on this day when the Messiah poured out the Holy Spirit and 3,000 souls responded to Peter’s first proclamation of the Gospel.

The long interval of three months between Harvest and Trumpets pointed to the current Church Age, a period of time that was kept as a mystery to the Hebrew prophets in Old Covenant times. That leaves us with the three Fall feasts which are yet to be fulfilled in the life and work of the Messiah. Because Yeshua literally fulfilled the first four feasts and did so on the actual feast days, I think it is probable that the last three will also be fulfilled on the actual feast days.

5) Trumpets – (Called Rosh Hashana today.) Points to the Rapture when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a Bridegroom coming for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52)

6) Atonement – (Called Yom Kippur today.) Points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the day of atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

7) Tabernacles – (Called Sukkot today.) Points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again tabernacle with His people when He returns to reign over all the world from Jerusalem (Micah 4: 1-7). I believe it is correct to understand that Biblically, the LORD was probably conceived at Hanukkah, during the Winter Solstice, and delivered 287 days later, at full human gestation, at Tabernacles.

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