Doctrine of Feasts

October 24, 2014


A. Definition.
1. The word feast is derived from the Hebrew noun CHAGAG which means to dance, to jump, to be happy, to celebrate.
2. Feasts were designed to commemorate the grace of God. They were also a test to see how much doctrine the believer had in his soul.

B. The Feasts Related to the First Advent.
1. Passover, the fourteenth of April, 1441 B.C.; Ex 12:1‑14; Lev 23:5.
a. This feast portrayed the work of Christ on the cross with emphasis on redemption. 1 Cor 5:7, “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.”
b. It also portrayed freedom from slavery and the establishment of a new client nation. People who have capacity are the only people who are ready for freedom and can enjoy freedom.
c. The Passover emphasized redemption, the cross, and the road to glory in the supergrace life.
d. The Passover connoted the beginning of God’s plan, Eph 2:8‑9.
2. Unleavened Bread, April 15‑21.
a. This feast lasted for seven days, and it occurred immediately after the Passover.
b. Unleavened bread represents fellowship with God.
c. This feast taught that all Israel is not Israel. To be true Israel, you had to believe in Jesus Christ, Lev 23:6‑7.
d. It portrayed phase two or living grace, which is everything God provides to keep you alive in Satan’s world, 1 Cor 5:8.
e. It also portrayed the Hypostatic Union of Christ, for Jesus Christ is called the Bread of Life. So unleavened bread also emphasizes the impeccability of the humanity of Christ in His prototype divine dynasphere, and therefore His qualification to be our sin offering.
3. First Fruits occurred on the first Sunday after the Passover. It fell on the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Lev 23:9‑14.
a. In our Lord’s day, this feast came on a Sunday.
b. This feast portrayed the resurrection of our Lord who is the first fruits.
c. This feast indicated that only those who were regenerate in Israel would live in the future to receive the unconditional covenants, 1 Cor 15:20‑23.
4. Pentecost was a one-day feast in the first week in June.
a. This feast occurred exactly fifty days after the Passover, Lev 23:15‑21. Hence, it occurred sometime during the first week in June.
b. It represented the beginning of the fifth cycle of discipline for the Jews and their dispersion.
c. It represented the beginning of the Church Age and the times of the Gentiles.
d. Our Lord was resurrected forty days after the Passover. Ten days later the Church Age began on the Day of Pentecost, signified by the baptism of the Spirit which forms the royal family of God.

C. The Elapse of Time between Feasts for the Church Age.
1. The gap between Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets is six months. This time gap represented the mystery age of the Church, during which the royal family is being called out.
2. Intercalation means insertion. It is called the intercalation when the Church Age is inserted into the Jewish Age.
3. A new dispensation, the Church Age, was inserted into history.
4. The Church Age is the intensified stage of the angelic conflict.
5. The Church Age as an intercalated dispensation was unknown to any Old Testament writer, Rom 16:25‑26; Eph 3:1‑6; Col 1:25‑26.
6. Doctrines pertaining to the Church Age are not found in the Old Testament. No Church Age doctrine was ever revealed prior to the universal indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, except for some principles taught by Christ, as in the Upper Room Discourse.
7. Doctrine pertinent to the Church Age is intercalated by the New Testament epistles.
8. The Old Testament reveals prophetic doctrine that covered the time until the session of Christ, then it skips the Church Age, and resumes with revelation about the Tribulation, Second Advent, and Millennium.
9. All during the time of the Old Testament, there were no feasts during this period (except in apostasy when some holidays were added).

D. The Second Advent Feasts.
1. The Feast of Trumpets, Lev 23:23‑25.
a. This feast represented the termination of the fifth cycle of discipline to Israel.
b. It represented the regathering of Israel.
c. It represented the establishment of Israel as a nation, Isa 5:26‑30, 10:19‑23, 11:11‑16, 14:1‑3, 60:4‑6; Joel 2:16ff; Zech 10:6‑12.
d. Since Israel was dispersed during the Church Age, our Lord first regathers Israel at the Second Advent. Then He judges the unbelievers, resurrects the Old Testament believers and Tribulational martyrs, and brings them with Him into the Millennium.
e. So this was the assembly feast.
2. The Feast of Atonement, Lev 23:26‑32.
a. This feast represented the fulfillment of the four unconditional covenants to Israel: the Abrahamic, Davidic, Palestinian, and New Covenants.
b. These covenants are fulfilled to born‑again Jews only, not to racial Jews.
c. This means that believers of the Old Testament are resurrected at the Second Advent to go into the Millennium, in order that they might realize the fulfillment of the unconditional covenants. Tribulational believers alive at the Second Advent live into the Millennium to repopulate the earth.
d. While “all Israel is not Israel,” the born‑again Jew is eternally saved through faith in Christ, and he will have the land and the covenants forever.
e. God must keep His Word, especially in an unconditional covenant. Unconditional means these covenants require nothing from man to be fulfilled and executed.
f. The New Testament commentary on this feast (known today as JOM KIPPUR) is found in Rom 3:23‑26 and Heb 9:24‑28.
3. The Feast of Tabernacles.
a. This feast lasted seven days and represented the perfect environment of the millennial rule of Christ, Lev 23:33‑43; Zech 14:9,16. Satan and his demons are gone, Rev 20. Optimum spirituality will exist, Isa 65:24; Joel 2:28‑29.
b. Israel is restored as a nation and the four unconditional covenants are fulfilled. There will be perfect objectivity in the administration of justice.
c. At the end of the Millennium, there is a revolt of unbelievers who have no capacity for life or freedom, Rev 20.

E. Hanukkah.
1. The Jewish fourth of July held on December twenty-fifth is a holiday that continues until January 1, called Hanukkah.
2. When the temple was cleansed of the pigs’ blood from Antiochus Epiphanes and his evil dictatorship over Israel, the nation celebrated their freedom on 25 December 164 B.C.
3. This celebration was a feast of lighted candles, paraded and displayed as a memorial to the restoration of the freedom of the spiritual life to the nation.

F. The Relationship of Feasts to the Agricultural Economy of the Ancient World.
1. The Passover was held during the time of the latter rains or the barley harvest. This was a reminder of the importance of free enterprise.
2. The Feast of the First Fruits was held during the wheat harvest. It was a reminder that God has provided through free enterprise the only basis for sustaining a nation.
3. Pentecost was the time when early figs ripened. This was a reminder to the Jews that, always under free enterprise, there is opportunity for new business.
4. During the six months lapse, there was the grape, olive, fig, and date harvest. This depicted the principle that even the delicacies of life all come from free enterprise.
5. The Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles were observed during the early rains and the time of sowing. This was a reminder that as a nation sows against divine institutions, they destroy themselves; but as they sow in the utilization of divine institutions, they become great.
6. In other words, feasts were related to the practical, every-day living of the Jews. Bible doctrine has practical and temporal applications as well as spiritual blessing. Bible doctrine produces common sense.

G. The Sabbath Month as a Feast.
1. The Sabbath month is called TISHRI, the seventh month, from 15 September to 15 October. It is related to every blessing concept of grace. The Jews had a thirty-day month and a twelve-month year. Their leap year added a month.
2. The month of TISHRI had seven feasts.
a. The first day of the month was the Feast of Trumpets and the new moon.
b. The third day of the month was a special commemoration for the murder of Gedaliah.
c. The seventh day of the month was a fast for the golden calf incident.
d. The tenth day was the Feast of Atonement.
e. On days 15‑21 was the Feast of Tabernacles.
f. The twenty-second day was the solemn assembly and the prayer for rain.
g. On the twenty-third day, the Jews celebrated the dedication of the first temple.