The Seven Feasts

Certain days of the year play a critical role in the fulfillment of the prophetic word of God. We learn that after 400 years of slavery under pharaoh, the children of Israel departed Egypt on the 15th day of the first month (April).[1] This is the same day that Jesus lay in the tomb, after being crucified on the 14th day of the first month, Passover.

On the 10th day of the first month (April), the children of Israel crossed the Jordan river with Joshua and entered the land that God had promised them when they departed Egypt.[2] When we arrive at the New Testament, we see that it was also the 10th day of the first month, that Jesus came to Jerusalem to announce to the world that He was the promised Messiah.[3] Jesus waited until this day, when on many occasions before, the disciples had urged Him to go to Jerusalem and declare who He was. The Lord has ordained certain days in which He would fulfill His prophetic word.

We discover that the day Jesus came into Jerusalem, as the Messiah, was also the precise day that the Lamb for Passover was brought for inspection. If the Lamb was found to have any defect, He could not be offered to cleanse the people of their sins. Jesus came to Jerusalem as the Messiah, on this day. He presented Himself as “The Lamb of God,” and allowed the world to inspect Him. Jesus was without sin; perfect in every regard. Being perfect, He was able to offer His life for the sins of the world, just four days later; on Passover, when He was crucified as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

As we examine the important Feasts of Israel, we discover that they are really the Feasts of the Lord. These days of observation were extremely important for Israel. It is by the fulfillment of each of these seven feasts, that we see the purpose and ministry of Jesus as He came to earth the first time, the second time, and the fulfillment of all the prophecies which concern every person.

The Messiah will fulfill all seven Feasts of the Lord.

Old Testament Prediction:

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

New Testament Fulfillment:

Passover:
Mark 14:1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Jesus by trickery and put Him to death.

Firstfruits:
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Pentecost:
Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Four months of Harvest (interval):
John 4:35 Do you not say, “There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

Trumpets:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Atonement (afflict your souls):
Matthew 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Tabernacles:
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

The Real Purpose of the Feasts:

The key to understanding these seven feasts is to define who the LORD is in the term: “The Feast of the LORD.”

When we examine the chapter; Coming as a Shepherd, that concerns Psalm 23, we notice that the LORD (all caps) is called “my shepherd.”

Psalms 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd….”

In the Old Testament, the term Lord in Hebrew is Yahweh.[4]

In the New Testament, the word Lord in Greek is Kyrios.[5]

Kyrios is often used as a polite way to address a person, such as when we address a man today as “sir.” It can also mean “master,” as in one who rules over a servant or slave. Any person who was able to speak Greek during the time that Jesus was here on the earth, understood that the New Testament word: Lord was the same as the Old Testament word: Yahweh. The Lord was understood to be the Creator and Sustainer of all life. There are several places in the New Testament where the translation of Lord as Jehovah is used to describe Jesus Christ. Clearly, the New Testament translators intended that we understand that Jesus is the Yahweh of the Old Testament.

Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord (Yahweh).

“Today in the city of Bethlehem, the baby that has been born is the Messiah who is God Himself.” This is why the shepherds were so amazed at the angel’s statement.

With this in mind, we understand that when the Lord told Moses that these seven feasts are the Feasts of the LORD, the reference is to the coming Messiah. Since these are the Messiah’s feasts, we will investigate whether Jesus fulfilled these special events, and confirm whether or not He is the object of the prophecy of Leviticus 23:1-2.

Passover was the first feast that God instructed Israel to keep, every year on the fourteenth day of the first month in the Jewish calendar (April). The following day, they were to observe the feast of Unleavened Bread. Then three days later, the feast of First Fruits. Fifty days after this, they were to observe the feast of Pentecost.

There are seven feasts that Israel was to observe from the Book of Leviticus Chapter 23, and each one of these feasts has a counterpart in the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament.

The Seven Feasts of Israel

In the Books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the Lord commanded Israel to observe seven feasts or festival days.

1. Passover
2. Unleavened bread
3. First Fruits
4. Pentecost
5. Trumpets
6. Atonement
7. Tabernacles

When Jesus came into the world the first time, He perfectly fulfilled the first four of these Feasts on the precise day they should be fulfilled, and with the exact requirements that each of these feasts called for. Matthew said on seventeen occasions, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying.

Matthew 21:4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying…

Jesus understood that He was purposely fulfilling these seven feasts. The question is: Why? What do these feasts of the Lord have to do with Jesus’ appearance on earth and His return at the end of the age?

Jesus fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost perfectly. Why did He stop at Pentecost and not also fulfill Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles?

Remember that Jesus not only fulfilled the first four feasts on the exact day that the feast was called for; He also fulfilled all of the details that each feast required. Because of this, I believe that when Jesus returns for His church at the Rapture, He will do so during the next feast after Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets. It is my opinion that the feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah will be fulfilled by the coming of Jesus for His church.

It is important to understand that the Jewish day begins at 6:00 p.m. and continues until 6:00 p.m., the following day. When the Bible states that Passover begins on a particular day, this means that the feast will begin at 6:00 p.m. and continues for seven days, ending at 6:00 p.m., on the seventh day.

We often speak of the next major prophetic event that we are watching for as: The Rapture of the church.

According to the Hebrew scriptures, the prophecy that will signal that the Lord’s return is near is from the prophet Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37.

Ezekiel 36:24 24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. (NLT)

After 70 A.D., the Jews of Israel were deported to the nations of the world. For the past 2,000 years they have remained in exile from their own country, in fulfillment of Jesus prophecy, #13. Before the Rapture and the Tribulation can take place, Israel must be back in their land once again. According to Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37, in the last days, the Jews will return to their own land, in preparation for the seven year Tribulation. During these final seven years, the nation of Israel will come to a knowledge of their true Messiah.

The prophecy of Israel’s return to their land was fulfilled on May 14, 1948, when Israel became a nation for the first time in two millennia. From that time forward, there were no other prophetic events that were required before Jesus could return at the Rapture to remove His church from the earth.

The fulfillment of the first four of these feasts are closely linked to the return of Jesus for His church. Jesus fulfilled the first four at His first coming to earth; He will fulfill the last three at His return.

The seven feasts that God commanded Israel to observe are found in the Book of Leviticus.

Leviticus 23
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 “These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 1. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover. 6 And 2. on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’ ” 9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, 3. then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. …it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Leviticus 23
15 4.“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD

23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 5. ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ” 26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also 6. the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.

33 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 7. ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it.36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD .

Exodus chapter 12, defines the specific details of the Prophecy of the Passover Lamb.

The Lamb, Examined from the 10th to the 14th day

Exodus 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

Jesus announced His arrival as the Messiah on the 10th of Nissan

Matthew 21:8-11 …And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

The Lamb will be sacrificed on the 14th day of the month

Exodus 12:6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.

Jesus was crucified on the 14th day of Nissan:

Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

You must take your own Lamb

Exodus 12:4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

Jesus is the Lamb who takes away all our sins:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The Lamb must be without blemish

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Paul wrote that Jesus is without sin:

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Peter testified that Jesus is without sin:

1 Peter 1:18-19 “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Jesus claimed to be without sin:

John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin?

The Lamb is killed at Twilight

Exodus 12:6 …. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Jesus was killed at twilight:

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

The blood of the Lamb must be on your house

Exodus 12:7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

You must personally receive Jesus as your Savior:

Romans 10:9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

You must eat the flesh of the Lamb

Exodus 12:8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Jesus said that we must eat his flesh if we will be saved:

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

The Blood shall be for a sign

Exodus 12:13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you

Jesus blood is a sign upon our life that removes all judgment:
1 John 1:7 “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Not one of the Passover Lamb’s bones shall be broken

Exodus 12:46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.

Not one of Jesus bones were broken:

John 19:31-35 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

The Feast of Passover

The Lamb for the Passover sacrifice is examined on the 10th day of the month of Nisan, the first month in the Hebrew calendar, our month of April (Exodus 12:3). This was the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey—Palm Sunday, April 6, 32 A.D., to be examined before He would die four days later on the precise day that Passover Lamb would be sacrificed.

Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on April 6, 32 A.D. was the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of a command-given, followed by 173,880 days, when the Messiah would come to Israel. On March 14, 445 B.C., Artaxerxes gave his decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem was the fulfillment of this prophecy from Daniel, Chapter 9. For more on the details of this important prophecy, see: Arrival of the Messiah.

According to the book of Exodus:

1. The Lamb must be examined for defects on the 10th day. (Exodus 12:3)
2. The Passover Lamb must be a Male. (Exodus 12:5)
3. He Must be Spotless, or perfect. Jesus is perfect, without sin. (Exodus 12:5). For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.(Hebrews 4:15)
4. He must be killed at twilight on the 14th day. (Exodus 12:6) This was early evening, the time when Jesus was crucified. And About the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. (Matthew 27:46)
5. The whole assembly of the congregation shall kill it. (Exodus 12:6) The Jews who were gathered before Pilate, declared that Jesus blood would be upon them: Let His Blood be upon us and our children. (Matthew 27:25)
6. The Blood shall be for a sign (Exodus 12:13) …the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) .
7. Not one of His bones shall be broken (Exodus 12:43, 46).

Comparing the text of Exodus, describing the Passover Lamb with the New Testament narrative of Jesus fulfillment of Passover:

Exodus 12:13: When I see the Blood, I will Pass Over you.
Romans 3:25: …by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.

Exodus 12:13: The plague shall not be on you to destroy you.
Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Exodus 12:14: This day shall be to you a memorial.
Luke 22:19: …And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

This feast begins immediately after Passover (Exodus 12:6)

• Unleavened bread is bread without Yeast.
• Yeast is a picture of sin.
• Yeast, even in small amounts will permeate the whole lump of dough.
• Bread without leaven or yeast, will not raise.
• Jesus is The Bread of Life.
• Jesus is without sin/Leaven.
• After Jesus was crucified, He lay in the tomb un-raised.

1 Peter 1:18-19 “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Jesus fulfilled the feast of Unleavened Bread, by remaining without sin, and not raising from the dead on this day.

The Feast of Firstfruits

• Firstfruits began exactly 3 days after Passover. (Exodus 12:10)
• Jesus died on Passover, then raised to life 3 days later on the feast of Firstfruits.
• Paul said that when Jesus died and rose, He became the Firstfruits of those who have died believing in Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:20 ..But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s.

In other words:

• When Jesus died, He forever defeated death.
• When Jesus rose from the Dead, He would never die again.
• When anyone dies who has trusted in Jesus for their salvation, they will also be raised to life, never to die again.

Jesus was the Firstfruits, (the first to rise from the dead), of all those who will also never to die again. We, in our own order, when Jesus returns for His church, will also will rise, never to die again. This means that Jesus also perfectly fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits, on the exact day that it should be observed.

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He was very specific in telling the disciples that they should wait for the promise of the Father in Jerusalem. precisely 50 days after He was resurrected, the disciples were in the upper room, on the Feast of Pentecost—when the Holy Spirit came to inhabit every believer.

The Feast of Pentecost

• 50 days after Passover (Exodus 12:15)
• Jesus fulfills Pentecost, by sending the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).
• The Church was born on Pentecost (Acts 2).

Examining the narrative of the New Testament, we notice that fifty days after Passover, Jesus birthed His church on the specific day that the feast of Pentecost should be observed.

Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost (Pent=50) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood before the gathered crowd from many nations. He declared to those who were before him, that Joel’s prophecy that the Holy Spirit would be poured out in the last days, was being fulfilled at that very moment.

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel…”

The Harvest

From Pentecost until the feast of Trumpets, there is a four-month interval called: the harvest (Leviticus 23:22). This is the period of time when Israel would harvest all the crops that have been grown during the summer months. Jesus made reference to this harvest in His statement to the disciples regarding the gathering of believers into the Lord’s church, which Jesus called His harvest.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

It is certain that the harvest, between Pentecost and Trumpets, is the same Harvest period that Jesus is speaking of, here in Matthew Chapter 9. This is the time when the Lord will bring, into His Church, all those who will be saved. You are saved when you believe that Jesus died for you, and confess with your mouth that He is your Lord and Savior. This “Harvest,” is the period of prophetic history that we are living in today. We are waiting for the Trumpet to sound and the voice of the Lord to call us to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

When the Harvest is complete, and all those who will come into Jesus church is complete, the Feast of Trumpets will occur. At that time Jesus will return for His church, fulfilling the 5th feast of the Lord.

The Feast of Trumpets

At the end of the summer harvest, when it is time for all of God’s people to be gathered together into one place, they begin this gathering by the blowing of the Shofar (ram’s horn), a Trumpet blast.

“…For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…”

The text of 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 gives us a vivid description of what will happen at the moment Jesus returns to earth from heaven, to retrieve His church.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

In these 6 verses of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul confirms:

• Verse 13: He does not want us to misunderstand the doctrine of the Rapture, this is why he is expounding on the details of what will take place.
• Verse 14: Paul’s explanation includes a description of what has happened to all those who have already died—believing in Jesus as their Savior: When Jesus returns, He will bring with Him all those who have already died. It is important to notice that the people who have died have been with Jesus in heaven, not in purgatory or in a soul sleep. The term those who sleep in Jesus was a polite way of saying that a loved one had died.
• Verse 15: Those who are alive on the earth at the time that Jesus returns will not rise to meet the Lord ahead of those who have died.
• Verse 16: How the Rapture will happen: Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, a likely similarity to the shout given during a traditional Hebrew wedding that signals the coming of the Bridegroom. The shout will be made by one of the archangels, such as Michael or Gabriel. The sound of a trumpet or shofar will be heard. The shofar was blown in Israel as a signal for the people to gather together.
• First, those who have already died, will rise—in their new bodies, from the grave or wherever they have been placed after death. (We know today a person’s body can completely be reconstructed from just one cell which contains all of the DNA material necessary to build an entirely new body.)
• Remember, Jesus said that He is bringing with Him, every person that has died believing in Him. This confirms the scripture: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). Jesus is bringing the spirits of all those who have died believing in Him and have been with Him in heaven, since their death. These persona will be joined at the Rapture with their new glorified body, being raised first to meet Jesus in the air.
• Verse 17: Finally, those of us who are alive when Jesus returns, will also rise to meet the Lord in the air, while we are still alive. We will be transformed from mortal to immortal, receiving a brand new eternal body, similar to the body that Jesus displayed after His resurrection. (A complete description of this new body is given in 1 Corinthians 15) .
• It is important to understand that the living Christians will be transported into the outer atmosphere to meet Jesus. These believers who are alive at the time Jesus returns at the Rapture are a unique group of people who will never taste death. In the same way that Enoch was Raptured to meet the Lord while alive.
• Both groups of believers will meet Jesus in the air, in the atmosphere above the earth. The Rapture is not the second coming. The second coming of Jesus will not occur until the end of the seven-year Tribulation when Jesus returns with His church. (See Revelation Chapter 19)
• The fact that Jesus returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation with His church is evidence that the Rapture must occur before the Tribulation begins.
• Verse 18: The words of these scriptures are given to us as Jesus church, waiting for the return of our Lord, for the purpose of bringing us comfort. Paul wrote these words of comfort and encouragement so that we would understand that Jesus can come for us at any moment. He will take us to heaven before the time of God’s wrath, which will be poured out during the seven-year Tribulation.

For a detailed look at the important event called The Rapture, see the chapter: Coming For His Church.

As the Messiah, Jesus will fulfill the feast of Trumpets at His return for His church. He will fulfill the remaining two feasts, after His return.

Jesus Became:

• The Passover Lamb, who is sacrificed on the 14th day of the month, when Passover was observed.
• He lay in the ground, un-raised, to fulfill the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
• He rose three days later to fulfill the Feast of Firstfruits.
• Fifty days later, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to birth the church on the Day of Pentecost.
• Jesus said that He was the Lord of the harvest, (Matthew 9:37-38). He defined the harvest as the period of time from Pentecost until He returns.

The questions that we should ask at this point:

1. Was it an accident that Jesus fulfilled each of the first four Feasts, on the precise day and in the precise way that they should be fulfilled?
2. If Jesus purposely fulfilled each of the first four feasts, it is also certain that He will return to fulfill the last three.

After this current harvest period that we are living in today—between the 4th and 5th Feasts, Jesus will return for His church in fulfillment of the 5th feast: Trumpets. It is certainly reasonable that this will be in fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

The Feast of Atonement:

The sixth feast; The Feast (also called “day”) of Atonement, will be fulfilled during the seven year Tribulation period.

Matthew 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

The Feast of Tabernacles:

The seventh feast will be fulfilled by the establishment of Jesus’ kingdom on the earth for one thousand years.

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

The Return of the Lord

The reality that Jesus purposely sought to fulfill the first five feasts by His death and resurrection, is a stunning revelation. When we consider that the LORD created these feasts in Leviticus 23:2, designating them as My feasts; for the purpose of a future fulfillment. Jesus came to earth as the Messiah and displayed His incredible control over time and every event; to ensure that each of the first four feasts were perfectly fulfilled by Him.

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

Understanding that Jesus used these seven feasts to illustrate His death, resurrection, and return for His church, at the Rapture, is extremely exciting. As we realize that we are now in the Harvest Period, between Pentecost and Trumpets, it is certain that Jesus could return for His church at any moment. Jesus will return to fulfill the fifth feast during the Rapture, when He will take us home to be with Him, before the horrors of the seven year Tribulation begin.


[1] The Jewish calendar begins with the first month of April
[2] Joshua 4:19
[3] The Jewish calendar begins with the first month of April
[4] Strong’s Hebrew Concordance # 3068
[5] Strong’s Greek Concordance # 2962