Part III - The Feasts of the Lord: Rehearsals for Messiah's coming

by Voice of Judah

AERIAL VIEW OF THE END TIMES AND FALL FEASTS  (Daniel's 70 Sevens)

THE AERIAL VIEW

In this article we are going to discover that just as Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts on the earth to the literal day and hour in which they occurred, He will fulfill the rehearsals in the Fall Feasts on the earth to the literal day and hour in which they occur. The parameter and example set by the historic, must also hold for the future. With that in mind, I want to give you an "aerial view" of the biblical end times to show you how the Fall Feasts fit into the end times scenario.

For those who are familiar with these subjects, the aerial view may speak for itself. If this is your first time seeing these things you will definitely want to read on. Following the illustration I will show you the prophecy from the book of Daniel which gives us the aerial view outline. Then we will unpack Daniel’s prophecy and study it to gain a broad understanding of how the feasts fit into end time events. After this article you can read through the subsequent ones were we will focus individually on the feasts and their rehearsals.

The Church is supposed to clearly understand end times events and be ready for the future.

“But you, brothers, are not to be in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4

Below is our aerial view:


DANIEL'S SEVENTY 'SEVENS,' THE END TIMES AND THE FALL FEASTS

snapshot bp

DANIEL'S PROPHECY - 9:24-27

Keep in mind that any explanation of the biblical end times truly requires hours and hours of teaching and discussion. Our purpose is to simply get a big picture  so we can understand how the feasts’ rehearsals fit into the big picture. Even though this is an overview it’s still rather extensive, although I have tried to keep it as simple as possible. If this is your first exposure to the biblical end times and the Fall Feasts, give yourself time for it to sink in. I hope you enjoy the journey. It’s an exciting one.

A prophecy from Daniel sets the stage for the big picture. Daniel describes a 490 year period. Different events will occur within this time which will mark and divide the 490 years into three smaller sections: 49 years, 434 years and 7 years. The 7 year period is the last seven years of this age, which are concluded by the coming of Messiah as He fulfills the Fall Feasts’ rehearsals. The complete prophecy is below in bold. After this we will break it down and study it.

“24 Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.

-------------- What we have read so far as already occurred in history --------------

---------------------- What comes next will occur in the future ----------------------

The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:24-27

Seventy ‘sevens’ = 490 Years. (verse 24) Seventy ‘sevens’ is understood to be a period of 490 years (70 periods of 7 years = 490 years) because we can look back at historical events and make that determination. This is a definite period of time which God has set to allow transgression (the power of sin and its effects) to remain in His people and in Jerusalem. God will conclude that time with the events of the Fall Feasts. In doing so God will accomplish four things:

“...finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness...” (v.24)

God will completely remove sin from Israel and His people. Additional verses describing this event are below:

“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah...This is the covenant I will make...I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people...I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” Zechariah 13;1

“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins’ [Isaiah 59:20]”  Romans 11:26

“...bring in everlasting righteousness...” (v.24)

God will establish His righteousness and holiness in His people and in Israel. Additional verses describing this event are below:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:5-6

“...seal up vision and prophecy...” (v.24)

God’s Plan and the biblical prophecies for this age will be complete. Additional verses describing this event are below:

“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

“...anoint the Most Holy Place.” (v.24)

This is a reference to Yom Kippur. It is the culminating event of God’s Plan, biblical prophecy, the events at the end of this age, and the final judgement event of the Fall Feasts. Nearly a thousand years before Daniel's prophecy, God referenced the same thing in the Torah as He spoke through Moses:

“Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.” Deuteronomy 32:43

Now let’s continue examining Daniel’s prophecy.

“25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  Daniel 9:25

Seven ‘sevens’ and sixty two ‘sevens’ = 483 Years. (verse 25) Seven ‘sevens’ and sixty two ‘sevens’ is understood to be a period of 49 years (7 periods of 7 years = 49 years), and a period of 434 years (62 periods of 7 years = 434 years). Combining those two periods gives us 49 + 434 = 483 years. Again, we can determine this by looking back at historical events.

Biblical historians have determined that four decrees to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem” were made at different times by Persian kings. However, by identifying historical events we can determine that only one decree fits the puzzle of the seventy ‘sevens’ by landing at a biblically significant date 483 years later. That decree was made by Artaxerxes I to Ezra the priest in 457 BCE (Ezra 7), because 483 years later lands us at the year when Jesus started His public ministry in 27 CE. The event of Jesus starting His ministry precisely fits the verse’s description of the time when “the Anointed One, the ruler, comes...” We can confirm our calculations by examining verse 26.

“26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing...” Daniel 9:26

“...the Anointed One will be cut off...” after 483 years. What does this mean? It means 483 years must elapse, starting with the issue of the decree to “restore and build”, before the Anointed One (Messiah) is cut off. Because we know Jesus was crucified, we can approach this verse with the idea that the verse is referring to His crucifixion. When we do the math our approach is confirmed, and we also verify that the “cutting off” is indeed the time of Jesus’ crucifixion:

27 CE = the year of the start of Jesus’ public ministry. Completion of this year, which will then place us in 28 CE, marks the end of Daniel’s seven and sixty-two ‘sevens’ or 483 years.

28 CE = the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. This is the year “After the sixty-two ‘sevens’...” (Although the commonly accepted duration of Jesus’ ministry is 3 and 1/2 years, a duration of 70 weeks may be more accurate as it is posed by some biblical scholars. I agree with the 70 weeks duration because it reveals another layer of understanding Daniel’s prophecy, and better fits the chronological sequence of events in the Gospels, especially the book of John, who seems to lay out His account in chronological order according to the feasts.)

The destruction of “...the city and the sanctuary.” Historically we can see that this part of verse 26 refers to the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Roman armies in 70 CE. The Jewish people were either scattered to foreign lands or killed at this time, and the geo-political state of Israel ceased to exist. At this point, the Messiah will “...have nothing...”

God accepts the Gentiles in the New Covenant. Now we have completed the seven and sixty-two of Daniel’s seventy ‘sevens.’ In other words, we have moved through verses 24-26 of Daniel’s prophecy and the historical events which fulfilled the prophecies. When Israel ceased to be a nation, God’s time clock in Daniel’s prophecy for Israel came to a halt. This occurred so that God’s plan for bringing the nations into the New Covenant with Him could go into effect. In the Torah, God said He would do this (Deuteronomy 32:21).

As we saw in the Spring Feasts, Jesus implemented the New Covenant with His own body and blood. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the time of the New Covenant when God would bring in the Gentiles through His servant, the Messiah, Jesus:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” ...This is what God the Lord says— “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness...I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles...” Isaiah 42:1-6

“And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—he says: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5-6

The Apostle Paul, who understood these things, also spoke of this time period in his letter to the Gentile church in Rome when he warned them not to consider themselves as having "replaced" Israel:

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” Romans 11:25

Daniel’s final ‘seven’ - the final 7 years of this age. Remember Daniel’s prophecy spans seventy ‘sevens’, or 490 years. Historical events have covered only sixty nine of them so far. There is one final ‘seven’ remaining, or one last period of 7 years remaining in God’s prophetic time clock in Daniel's prophecy. Let’s examine the final verses of Daniel’s prophecy.

“26 The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:26-27

How does a flood come? Quickly, powerfully and often unexpectedly. For the most part - Israel, the Church and the world are not ready for what’s coming. We are mostly asleep. When the final 7 years come upon us, they will come like a flood.

“He” in verse 27 is referring to the “the ruler who will come” from verse 26. This ruler’s identity is determined from other biblical references as the one who will become the Antichrist, or Anti-Messiah. “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’“ Pay attention here, because what the Bible is describing will most likely be an international peace treaty signed with Israel following a global war of some magnitude. And right now, world events are potentially lining up for that to happen, particularly with Iran and Israel.

(As an aside here, which warrants additional teaching I won't get in to, I think the global war is the 6th seal of the book of Revelation. We're not there yet. I believe we are approaching the fullness of the 3rd seal - global economic chaos, reorganization and hyperinflation.)

Following the global war, as part of the internationally-brokered peace treaty (the “covenant”), Jerusalem will most likely be divided. Israel will be allowed to build their 3rd temple as a concession to them for allowing the division of their capital city. The Temple Mount will be shared by the Jewish people, Muslims and Christians. A new Sanhedrin (Jewish priesthood and ruling council) will be established and temple sacrifices will commence. This will begin Daniel’s last ‘seven’ years. They will be the final 7 years of this age, and they will conclude with the Fall Feasts and the coming of Messiah to fulfill the feasts’ rehearsals.

The Abomination of Desolation. As Daniel’s prophecy continues, we read “In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering...” (v.27). Approximately 3 and 1/2 years from the start of the final 7 years the Antichrist will take over the Temple, stop the daily sacrifices and set up the Abomination of Desolation. Sounds crazy huh? As far-out as that may sound, consider this: other than the “Day of the Lord,” the Abomination of Desolation event may be the most referenced end times event in the Bible. With that much additional, specific biblical reference we can be assured it will happen. (Understanding God’s purpose for this event gives further support for its occurrence, but that topic is beyond the scope of this article)

Here are additional biblical verses describing the Abomination of Desolation:

“It [Antichrist] set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Daniel 8:11-12

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains....For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—never to be equaled again.” Matthew 24:15-21

“He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4

“1 And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name...3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed... 4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” 5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them...11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth...12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast...He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” Revelation 13:1-15

An important note here! Paul gives us very clear notice about the timing of the Rapture when He tells the church of Thessalonica that it will be AFTER the Abomination of Desolation:

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

The Great Tribulation. From Revelation 13:5 above we see that after the Antichrist takes over the Temple, he has power “...to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.” In other words, the Antichrist rules the earth for the next 3 and 1/2 years. This period is commonly referred to as the “Great Tribulation.” This time is concluded with the Fall Feasts. And as we shall see in the following articles, the events of the feasts’ rehearsals, and their timing, are supported by additional verses in the Bible. Together they give us a vivid picture of how the final 7 years will unfold.

TIMING OF THE FALL FEASTS

As you can see from the aerial view illustration at the start of this article, the Fall Feasts do not occur until the very end of the final 7 year period. We can accurately come to that conclusion because we know the feasts (and the events within the feasts) must occur in their natural order according to the biblical Jewish calendar. The events cannot occur otherwise because Jesus set the precedent for this by fulfilling the Spring Feasts in their natural order; the historic precedent sets the parameter for the future. Furthermore, additional Bible verses will confirm this as we assemble the chronological puzzle of the end times. It’s not that difficult really; but it does require a Hebraic understanding of the Bible and God’s plans - something the Church mostly “lost” about 1700 years ago. (See our teaching on Replacement Theology)

What am I saying? In short...

An incorrect doctrine exists in the Church about the rapture. It has the Church being swept off the earth in a “secret, pre-tribulation rapture” which is thought could occur at any time. Then the Church immediately celebrates the 7-day Wedding Feast of the Lamb over a course of 7 years while Israel and the earth go through the final 7 years of end times events (Daniel’s seventy ‘sevens’).

The danger here for the Church is this: For those who insist on adhering to the “pre-tribulation rapture” idea, they can end up being part of the Church which Jesus said would “fall away” in the end times because they are incredibly offended. They will be offended with God for not saving them out of hard times, and they will be offended with their church leadership for not teaching them correctly and preparing them for the future.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other...” Matthew 24:9-10

The correct theology follows the timing of the feasts. First, we simply cannot have a “secret rapture” occurring on some “random day” which is not Yom Teruah because Yom Teruah is the rehearsal for the rapture (and the resurrection). As we shall see, that day will be a glorious one which the entire world will witness.

Furthermore, we cannot go straight from the rapture (symbolized by Yom Teruah) to the Wedding Feast (symbolized by Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles) because two significant events occur between Yom Teruah and Sukkot: the Ten Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. In other words, there are not 7 years between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur, there are only 8 days between them. Therefore, there will only be 8 calendar days between the rapture and the coming of Messiah on Yom Kippur. The book of Revelation gives strong indication of this.

The Fall Feasts, including the events which they foreshadow, must occur in their natural order as they do on the calendar. As we go through the following articles this will become clear to us, and we will see additional Bible verses which confirm this.

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