Part I - The Feasts of the Lord: Rehearsals for Messiah’s Coming

by Voice of Judah

UNDERSTANDING THE FEASTS AS REHEARSALS

WHAT ARE THE FEASTS?  

The Feasts of the Lord are probably better known as the Jewish holidays. Most people quickly recognize the Passover, or perhaps Pentecost. But there are more than just two holidays. God gave eight special holidays for His people to observe. A great summary of them is found in the Bible in Leviticus chapter 23.

One of the most exciting revelations of the Bible is that the Feasts of the Lord are rehearsals for the Messiah's coming to the earth. The traditions and rituals within each of the Feasts are symbolic of specific events which would occur during the Messiah’s advents to earth. How about that for God sending a message to humanity!

As we compare the traditions of the Spring Feasts to actual events that happened at the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, we see that He perfectly fulfilled the rehearsals in the Spring Feasts to the very day and hour as they occur on the ancient biblical/Jewish calendar. Once we see this and understand that the Feasts of the Lord are indeed rehearsals for the Messiah’s earthly advents, then we can get a better grasp on the biblical end times and the events of the future coming of Messiah.

The Feasts of the Lord are God’s appointed times and seasons for public gathering for His people, which today can be said to include both Jewish and Christian people, to celebrate and rehearse special events. While the feasts do indeed commemorate historical events in the story of Israel, they were, and are, rehearsals for future events.

The Spring Feasts - Are prophetic shadow pictures of the 1st coming of Messiah.

The Fall Feasts - Are prophetic shadow pictures of the 2nd coming of Messiah.

So let’s move on and see how God created these feasts as rehearsals for two of the most important events in human history.

THE FEASTS: GOD'S APPOINTED TIMES AND SEASONS  

In the biblical story, after Israel made their exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:29 - chapter 14), God called Moses to ascend Mt. Sinai and receive the Torah and commandments. During this time God gave His Feasts to Israel:

"1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: The feasts 4150 of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations 4744, these are my feasts.4150” Leviticus 23:1-2 KJV

Let’s define these words from the original Hebrew so we understand what God is saying.

Feasts: In hebrew the word is pronounced “moedim.” It is Strong’s Dictionary #4150 and it means: an appointment (a fixed time or season), an appointed time, an assembly (of a congregation), a place of meeting, a signal (as appointed beforehand).

Convocations: In hebrew the word is pronounced “mikra.” It is Strong’s Dictionary #4744 and it means something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons or the place); also a rehearsal - an assembly, calling, convocation, reading.

Now let’s place the definitions of the words back into the verse to get a better understanding:

"1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: The appointed (beforehand) times and seasons 4150 of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy public meetings and rehearsals 4744, these are my appointed (beforehand) times and seasons 4150” Leviticus 23:1-2 KJV

God is describing specific times of the year when His people are to meet with Him to memorialize and rehearse special events. These “appointed times and seasons” have become better known to people today as the Jewish holidays. They are feasts or holidays on the Jewish calendar which are to be observed every year. For thousands of years now the Jewish people have been celebrating these holidays. Each year the feasts serve not only as a witness to God’s people (Jewish and Christian) of God’s two most important events, but the feasts also serve as a witness to everyone on the earth. Whether we realize it or not, God is sending a message to the earth year after year after year...  

For thousands of years now, the Jewish people have remained faithful to God's commandments and maintained the witness of the feasts. They were often persecuted for doing so. Imagine if they had abandoned keeping the feasts, or if they had been completely wiped from the earth as so many nations sought to do. Could the Messiah have even come at all? Would the Church today even exist? Perhaps we should all be thankful for the Jewish people's devotion to God and His commandments... maybe even tell your Jewish friends "Thank you"      selah 

THE FEASTS AS REHEARSALS 

The Feasts can be understood from a number of viewpoints. They are important holidays for Israel to celebrate and mark their agricultural seasons. For example, the Day of First Fruits (Yom Bikkurim in Hebrew) is a holiday within the Spring Feasts which focuses on giving God thanks for the first fruits, or the beginning, of the barley harvest. Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) is another Spring Feast, and it involves thanksgiving for the wheat harvest.

The Feasts can also be understood as memorial holidays to remember and celebrate special events in the history of Israel. For example, God told Israel to celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread each year to remember how God delivered the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt and took them to a promised land to live in freedom (Exodus 13:3-8). Another example is the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot in Hebrew). It memorializes how the Lord Himself led Israel through the wilderness for forty years and dwelled with them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 40:36-38) and Israel lived in portable/temporary “sukkahs,” booths or tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-34, 42-43). This holiday is celebrated by people constructing temporary “sukkahs” (think of a camping tent) and living in them during the seven day feast.

But what has not been understood by many is that the Feasts are symbolic “rehearsals” for future events. God established His appointed times for all of Israel to celebrate His Feasts because these times would mark the two advents of Messiah to earth. God was giving pictures or foreshadowings to His people of how events would occur during the ministry of Messiah on earth.

We know this because we can look back in history, see the events of Jesus’ ministry, compare them to the traditions in the feasts as they had been practiced for centuries, and understand how the feasts were actually rehearsals for the Messiah's coming to earth. We’re going to do exactly that in the next article and see how:

The Spring Feasts are prophetic shadow pictures of the 1st coming of Messiah!

http://voiceofjudah.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98&Itemid=81