by Paul Benson
The Prophetic Feasts Of The Lord
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39
One of the greatest blessings I have ever had in studying the Scriptures is how God revealed to me the prophetic nature of the Old Testament feasts. That from Passover right through to Tabernacles the ‘Feasts of the Lord’ present an awe-inspiring prophetic picture of the birth, life, ministry, death, Resurrection, ascension, and current role as intercessor of our Lord Jesus Christ; as well as his future Coming to rule and reign!
How amazing that all these things concerning Christ could be perfectly foretold in the various aspects of the yearly feast days celebrated by God’s people down through the centuries. As a student of God’s Word I had always had a tiny glimpse of these truths through the New Testament usage of phrases like ‘Christ our Passover’ and ‘Christ the Firstfruits’ and so on. But it took an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit to really shine the light on this; and when he did a whole new dimension of God’s Word wonderfully opened up to me.
A Hunger For The Truth
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6
This all came about over a struggle I was having with a conflict between the traditional celebration of Good Friday and the teachings of the Bible. It was just before Easter season 1997, and I had this nagging voice in the back of my mind that kept saying, ‘You know Jesus said he would be in the grave three days and three nights. Friday afternoon until Sunday morning IS NOT three days and nights! Something is not right here!’ I just could not shake this feeling that this conflict was a puzzle God wanted me to solve.
Somehow I knew the answer had to do with the Passover which was being observed the week Jesus died on the Cross.
But what was I missing?
Seeking for clarity on this matter, that nagging voice became an earnest heart burden. But having no messianic roots (born and raised in Montana USA), and knowing no one who seemed to have much savvy concerning the feast days (and no Google yet), I was a bit perplexed. As I went to God about this matter it led to some serious travailing in prayer and study of the Scriptures. And by the quickening of the Holy Ghost, the Lord graciously answered my hunger for truth with what seemed like a Tsunami of Revelation!
…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32
I must embarrassingly admit, when the Lord directed my focus of study back to the Law of Moses, I was briefly hindered by the dread that came over me. ‘Oh no! NOT the book of Numbers Lord!’ What came to my mind was all the times I had fought my way through the genealogies and numbering of the people of God; suffering through it all to dutifully read through the entire Bible yet one more time.
But this time it was quite a different experience! Each ‘piece of the puzzle’ the Lord showed me there (and other places as the study progressed) seemed like finding precious treasure; and like a miner with ‘gold fever’ I went after those nuggets of truth with great enthusiasm. Every where I looked I was seeing an image of Jesus there in the Law. It was like that boring old section of the Bible had come alive, and was preaching Jesus with a megaphone!
As the Lord painted this picture upon the canvas of my heart of Jesus in the O.T. feasts it was more than I could contain; and I was sharing it with any who would listen. It was the topic of discussion for weeks on end in the little cell group I was attending. I was finally making sense of all the references to these feasts in the writings of the Apostles.
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 1Corinthians_5:7
At first it was the beautiful symbolism of the Passover, and how each aspect of that celebration spoke of Jesus in one fashion or another. From the Blood on the door posts, to the many elements of the Passover dinner, to the care taken not to break one bone of the sacrificed lamb; all became a wealth of revelation and edification as they unfolded to me.
Then on to an understanding of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the connection to purity and repentance preaching. And then came the overwhelming insights on the Feast of Firstfruits. I had rejected the whole rabbits and eggs aspect of Easter (as well as the unbiblical celebrating of Christmas) as a new believer in 1980, but had never learned that the day of Christ’s Resurrection was a fulfillment of Firstfruits, or how that related to my identification with Christ’s death and Resurrection.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1Corinthians 15:20-23
What a wonderful time I had learning the means of my redemption was prophesied in the Old Testament practice of a husbandman taking the first portion of his crop to the priest as a firstfruits offering. This sacrifice would sanctify the remainder of his harvest. When the priest would raise it up before God as a firstfruits offering that was actually foretelling the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus; the offering which sanctified the remainder of God’s harvest of us the Righteous.
Now I could see clearly that Jesus rose on the feast day called Firstfruits, and the coinciding pagan celebration of the spring equinox (Easter / Ishtar) was irrelevant to what God had going on!
A SHORT RANT: I cannot express how greatly dismayed I was that I had never heard of these things from the pulpit in all my visits to the steeple house! All those years of being Pentecostal, and I had never once heard a message that what took place in that upper room was a fulfillment of the prophetic Feast of Pentecost? Or how ALL the feasts pointed to Christ? Forgive my Montana lingo, but that seriously chapped my backside!
I had to find out by revelation from God that when (fifty days after the children of Israel celebrated the first Passover) Moses brought down the Word of the Law this was a foretelling that fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed God would once again send down his Word. But this time not written in stone, but the fleshly tablets of men’s hearts. And whereas three thousand died at the sending down of the Law, three thousand found life from the Word spoken by the Apostles by the power of the Holy Ghost sent down upon them in that Upper Room. Why was I not taught these things in Church? Grrr! 😦
The Passover Week And The Crucifixion
Once the light comes on, so to speak, you can easily recognize all the various elements of these feast days being fulfilled by Christ. Here are some of the more significant fulfillments of the Spring feasts (there are many, many more!):
- On the tenth day of Nissan, when everyone was to choose their lamb for the Passover (Exodus 12:3-6), Jesus rode into town on a donkey while the people lined the road, and strawed it with palm branches and their garments, and cried ‘Hosanna!’ (save us). They we choosing their lamb (Mark 11:1-10)
- While the people were obediently removing the leaven from their houses in preparation for the feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:15-20) Jesus went to his Fathers house and (with a whip) ‘removed the leaven’ from the temple (Mark 11:`5-17).
- As the people had their lamb examined for defects (Lev. 22:18-21) The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians closely examined Jesus to see if they could find fault, but found none (Matthew 22:15-26).
- While the lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the Passover to be observed that evening (Duet. 16:6) Jesus our Passover was on the Cross dying for our sins (Matt. 27:50).
- Three days later (on Sunday) as the people were observing the feast of Firstfruits (Lev.23:10-11) Christ the Firstfruit of God’s harvest rose from the grave! (1Cor. 15:20-23)
- Fifty days later as the Jews celebrated the Feast of Pentecost commemorating the giving of the Law (Lev. 23:15-21) 120 faithful disciples of Christ tarrying in the upper room received the Living Word through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4).
All these magnificent truths God showed me concerning Christ in the O.T. feasts may be old hat to someone with a messianic background or the privilege of sitting under someone who knows these things. But to me, searching these things out became a fabulous adventure which continues to this day as I explore the yet to be fulfilled end-time prophesies portrayed by the fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.
Jesus is coming!
And his glorious Return is patterned for us in the prophetic imagery of these Old Testament fall feasts! Oh, how I long to see their fulfillment in my lifetime! It is what the Church has been praying for all these years with the words: ‘Let thy Kingdom come!’
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2Corinthians 13:1
There is a principle stated numerous times throughout the Bible that additional witness gives greater credibility to a matter. The types and shadows which paint a picture of Christ are found throughout the Old Testament. Once you learn to look for them you will see them all over the place! This amazing hidden feature of the Bible could only be possible by supernatural design. It is one of the strongest evidences we have that the Bible is of divine origin.
Seeing Jesus and his life, ministry, death, and Resurrection throughout the pages of the Old Testament has been a great source of edification to me, and has definitely strengthened my faith. I hope you have learned to recognize the types and shadows in God’s Word, and the amazing prophetic nature of the Feasts of the Lord. If not, why not begin that adventure today?
Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. -Jesus Christ
*(A word of caution here: some folks try to twist the Scriptures and present the fall feasts as evidence of the erroneous ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ teaching. That theory is not correct doctrine, and it is NOT portrayed in the prophetic imagery of the Feasts of the Lord.)
Here is a site that gives a very detailed look at the different feast days, but in an easy to understand fashion. I do see a problem with the theory the rapture will happen on the Feast of Trumpets.
Here is another site with great insights. The notion presented here that the ‘catching away’ will be a Yom Kippur typed event instead of Feast of Trumpets is a better understanding (in my opinion).
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