Introduction

I realised that the fall feast had just started in Israel. While today the internet is peppered with countless of modern day studies by numerous scholars in academia, at the same time we have  many Christian scholars linking these festivals with the second coming of Christ. While all these excitement is generated within Christendom I wonder what is their significance to normal believers like me.

Before I continue I must admit, I am no scholar, I  do not know  the intricate process of playing around with ancient Greek and Hebrews text nor can I appreciate the excessive reliance & use of lexicons and ancient dictionaries by the modern academics.

First Things First

My approach when studying the fall feast is simple. My first rule is not to dwell on excessive speculations of the feast and their significance to the end day. Instead I choose  to focus on what the feast Is truly about, based on the objective of the feast as described in the law of Moses.

The second rule which I applied is to avoid linking the feast with other prophecies in the bible using keywords. With the help of modern website, it is now possible to run a key word search and pick up every verse in the bible that contains the key word. But appearance of the word in a verse doesn’t necessary indicate a link between the verses.

For example, the bible talks of many instances of the blowing of trumpet. Some are blown in battle, some in war, some for during  resurrection while some are used to herald the coming judgement of the Lord . These trumpets may not necessary have a link to the feast of the trumpet.
As far as I am concerned, I wanted to seek the meaning and the spirit of the festivals base on its definition in the Law Of Moses.

The Basic Principle Between Old And New Testament

As a Christian I believed in the words of Jesus.

“Do not think that I came to destroy
the Law or the Prophets. I did not
come to destroy but to fulfill.”- Jesus (Matt 5:17)

The author of Hebrews tells us

“For the law, having a shadow
of the good things to come,
and not the very image of the
things, can never with these
same sacrifices, which they
offer continually year by year,
make those who approach
perfect” – Author Of Hebrews (Heb 10:1)
Throughout the book of Hebrews, the author of Hebrews compared and contrast the covenant made between God and Israel in the old testament to the covenant that Jesus made with both the circumcised and the uncircumcised.

The author of Hebrews talk about how the covenant with Christ is better than the former covenant of Moses. Whoever who approach God with the new Covenant would be made perfect and sanctified. In the Mosaic Covenant, God had to be veiled away and man can only approach God for atonement once a year. Under the covenant of Christ, our sin are once and for all forgiven and today the spirit of Christ dwells in the heart of the believers. The Holy Spirit became the counsellor to teach and help the members to achieve perfection.

This contrast is most plainly seen from the fall feast. That is why I feel it is worth our time to look at this feasts and see the difference between the two Covenant.

An Overview Of The Feast

The fall feast begins around the time of October this year, but due to the differences in calendar, they can start as early as September. It spans across a period of about 22 days. Besides celebrating the completion of the harvest. The fall feast also heralds the beginning of the sowing season, the season of the early rain. (Autumn rain)

Feast Of Trumpet

It begin with the new moon (AKA Rosh HaShanah) to most Christians it will be know as the Feast of Trumpets. On that day the blowing of the trumpets signals the beginning of the festivals. It is meant also as a reminder of Israel to finish their harvest and to go up to Jerusalem for the feast

Day Of Atonement

After 10 days from the trumpet, on the 10th of the month. There is an event known as the Day Of Atonement (Yom Kippur). In Hebrew, to Atone (Kaphar) is to cover. It is the appointed day for the high Priest to make atonement for Israel. This is a yearly event when the High priest would enter the Holies of the Holies where the presence of God is present.

There he will make sacrifices first for his own sin and the sin of his family. Then he will make sacrifices for the sin of Israel. He will enter the Holies Of Holies with the blood of the sacrifice and spinkle the blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. As he depart from the temple, he would have to pour the blood on the altar to sanctify the altar.

It was the instruction from God that the high Priest to enter the sanctuary once a year. This rule was set after 2 Priests was killed by the Lord when they offered profane fire before the Lord. (Lev 10:1-17, Lev 16:1-2). These priests were killed on their first day of service, for they did not follow the command of the Lord.

The Day Of Atonement contains many prophecies regarding the Messiah, one I would dwell in greater details in later blog post

To prevent unnecessary deaths, God  only allowed Aaron to come into his presence once a year.

Announcement Of The Year Of Jubilee

The day of atonement is also used to declare the year of the Jubilee, it is a once in 50 years event where all debts, properties and payment are all forgiven. It is a day where all Israelites who are made a slave could get his freedom.

Feast Of Tabernacles

From the 15th – 22nd of the month marks the feast of the Tabernacles. The Israelites have to dwell in booths for 7 days. They are supposed to have a gathering on the 1st day and the 8th day of the feast. The purpose of the feast of Tabernacles is clear. It is meant as a re-enactment of the 40 years of dwelling in the wilderness. Lev 23:42-43. On the Sabbath years, which happens once every 6 years, they are suppose to read the Law of Moses. This serves as a reminder to the Israelites to keep the law of God.

The Feast And Their Sacrifice.

While the Christians of today like to talk about the things done on these festivals. We often neglect the fact that all these sacrifices are heavily tied to the sacrifices. The main sacramental effect behind the feast came from the many animals that are sacrificed during the festival.

I have compiled the dates for the fall feast base on the Jewish Calendar of 2016. I have also tabulated the number of sacrificed animals in the diagram below.

A Chart of ceremonies and sacrifices made during the fall feast

A Chart of ceremonies and sacrifices made during the fall feast

Indeed, the Children of Israel is suppose to come up to Jerusalem for the feast, but the main part of the feast was the sacrifices to be made to the Lord. During the fall feast , sacrifices are constantly made on the altar.

Base on the Mosaic law, the fall feast requires a total number of 280 animals to be sacrificed on the altar. On average, it would always be 1 animal killed every hour.  The animal sacrifices are made in the form of burnt r sin offering. By offering these animals, the sin of Israel was atoned.  This was the method used in the Old testament for forgiveness of sin.

We know from the author of Hebrews that the blood of Animals can never take away sins (Heb 10:1-4) they are only meant as a reminder of sin and cannot lead to forgiveness. All these sacrifices are symbols of the sacrifice of Jesus that is to come. All the feast of the Lord are prophecies that describes the salvation of Christ. They are not the solutions to sin. The offering of Jesus is the eternal sacrifice.

The Effect Of The Blood Of Christ For Atonement

After the death and resurrection of Christ ,  there is no longer a need to sacrifice on the feast days. Without sacrifices, the sacramental effect of the festival are lost. The feast no longer holds an effect to salvation.

What is more important is that these feast were a copy and image of what is to come. They are a copy of the reality that is happening in the spiritual realm. Today at baptism, the blood of Christ sanctifies believers. That is why in the new covenant there is no longer the need for the high priest to enter the Holies of Holies with blood. For today our high priest is Jesus, he had open a way for us to enter the holies of the holies. (Heb 10:19-21)

Since we can enter the heavenly sanctuary with Christ, that is why today as Christian we are given the right to come directly before God to ask for forgiveness. the blood of Christ will continue to wash us and sanctify us, as long as we repent with sincerity.

Since we can enter the heavenly sanctuary with Christ, why is there a need for us to continue the practice of walking into the physical sanctuary with blood?

The Location Of The Mercy Seat In The New Covenant

There is another significance of this in the last days. For God once promise through Ezekiel that he will dwell among man.  Ez 37:14. This prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to live in the hearts of the believers. From then on,  our heart is the mercy seat where the presence of God dwells.

In this new covenant with Christ there is no longer a need to enter the Holies of Holies to meet the Lord. For the Spirit of God had moved from the Holies of Holies in the temple and dwells in the hearts of man. Any Christian who received the H/S had the mercy seat and the presence of God with them. Therefore we are in the Holies Of Holies forever. Since we are always within the Holies of Holies, is there still a need for us to depend on the High Priest to enter Gods presence on our behalf?

This made the day of Atonement Obsolete, both in its role to forgive sin and its role in allowing man to enter the presence of God.

That is why the fall feast are no longer relevant to the Christians under the new Covenant.

Keeping The Spirit Of The Feast

That is why Paul remind us in Colossians

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink,
or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
which are a shadow of things to come, but the
substance is of Christ.”- Paul (Col 2:16-17)

That is why it really doesn’t matter if we want to do anything special on those days anymore.

However, Christians ought to learn from these feast and keep the spirit of these feast. For the Christians of today are part of this never ending feast in the presence of God. There are things that we ought to learn from the feast.

Blowing The Trumpet To Tell Others Of Gods Atonement

We are supposed to blow the trumpet and to declare the salvation of God to the rest of the world. Just like how the ancient Israelites blow their trumpet to signal the day of Atonement. We need to accept the baptism of the Lord for sins to be forgiven (Acts 2:38) For that is when the blood of Christ is sprinkled into our lives.

To Remove Our Heart Of Stone And Keep Gods Commandment

When our hearts are sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our heart became the mercy seat of God where the spirit of God dwells within us. We need to take out the stone tablets in our hearts and allow God to put in the heart of flesh. We must allow the spirit of God to once again inscribe the commandments of God in our heart. For the Lord once said

“Then I will give them one heart,
and I will put a new spirit within
them, and take the stony heart
out of their flesh, and give them a
heart of flesh, that they may walk
in My statutes and keep My judgments
and do them; and they shall be
My people, and I will be their God. “-Ezekiel (Eze 11:19-20)

To Dwell In Tents, Living A Life With A Hope In Heaven

Let us keep the feast of the Lord every day in our hearts. Let us be prepared to suffer for Christ, let us be willing to put aside our worldly comfort to dwell in tents serving the Lord in the wilderness. Let us live our lives as if pilgrims living in tent, knowing that this world it only a temporary stop. Let us remember that the promise of God is waiting for us in the promise land. While we live in this wilderness, let us dwell in the wilderness in the world with contentment, walking in the Lord.

To Believe In The Salvation Of God

Most importantly, let us not die in this wilderness because of our unbelief, for many of the Israelites failed to enter Canaan because they refuse to believe that God will give the land to them. As the result they fall in the wilderness one by one. Let us learn to appreciate the promise and salvation of God, let us look onto the bronze serpent and live (Num 21:4-9, CF Jn 3:14-16). Let us be like Joshua and Caleb, who survived the journey from Egypt to Canaan and receive their inheritance.

Conclusion

If we are able to do all of these then we are forever keeping the spirit of the fall feast. Our hearts will always be the Holies of Holies, for we have already entered the heavenly sanctuary with the blood of Jesus. If we can do this we are keeping the fall feast on a dally basis.

May we all reach the promise land safely.

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