I feel led to pray for encouraging words, as much as for myself as others. This forum is precious and it has become a lifeline to other believers, who believe as I do, that the Rapture is imminent. Still, each day begs the question “How soon?” And with each passing day, we sigh, and we long, and we ache to be in the Presence of Our Lord Jesus.
In light of that, I came across a booklet I’ve had for years, written by Zola Levitt, no doubt some of you will remember him. The booklet is “The Seven Feasts of Israel” and as I paged through it, I found some exciting information and want to share it with all of you.
These are excerpts from that booklet, not my words–they are the work of Zola Levitt.
The festival year begins with Passover, to be held at the beginning of Spring: “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover.” (Lev 23:5)
God’s calendar is a lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon rather than the earth’s revolutions around the sun. Each month starts with a new moon, reaching a full moon in the midst of the twenty-eight day cycle. Thus, Passover always falls on a full moon – the first full moon of Spring. Passover represents our salvation.
The second feast begins on the next night: “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” (Lev 23:6).
Unleavened bread, eaten over a period of time (seven days), symbolized a holy walk, as with the Lord.
We readily see from the Gospel that Jesus was buried at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread since his body was interred at sundown of Passover Day, the beginning of the fifteenth of Nisan, the first month. Our “kernel of wheat” was indeed placed into the ground…to rise again, in accordance with the schedule of the feasts.
Men have speculated just how it was Jesus died so quickly on the cross. Crucifixion normally took three days. That was the point of it. The victim died by inches as the people passed by the cross, morning and night, morning and night. The Romans utilized this slow and terrible way of death to terrify the population of provincial Israel. We see in the Gospel the centurion was not ready to believe that the young, strong Carpenter of Galilee was dead in just six hours. The speculation is ended of course if we simply understand the schedule of the two feasts. Our Lord died in time to be buried at sundown that day…that’s all the time He could spare. Our Lord never omitted a feast.
The third feast is held on the Sunday following Unleavened Bread: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest; and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Lev 23:10-11)
It was not some other day He chose but the very day of First Fruits, just as He had performed on Passover and Unleavened Bread, each with the appropriate action. It was the last of the feasts the Lord was seen personally fulfilling on earth, but His ministry to the Church was to go on in the ensuing feasts, and again, each on their appropriate days.
God gave very specific directions for counting the proper number of days until the Feast of Harvest, which we refer to as Pentecost. It actually marked the summer harvest, the second of the year, in which more crops were available than at First Fruits. “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.” (Lev 23:15-16)
Pentecost, then, occurs on a Sunday, exactly fifty days after First Fruits. Quite a few directions are given…but two verses in particular give us most interesting facts, which show God’s careful planning for the future: “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.” (Lev 23:17)
This subtle instruction indicates a great truth. These two “wave loaves” are of equal weight and they are baked with leaven. They are called “firstfruits.” Since they represent sinful man and since they are “firstfruits” they are redeemed or resurrected men. Obviously God was predicting here the Church would be comprised of Jew and Gentile.
Also interesting in the direction for Pentecost is this peculiar command: “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger; I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 23:22)
The Lord rejoined His disciples after His Resurrection and taught them for forty days (Acts 1:3), and then bade them wait at Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit would come. The Holy Spirit did come exactly on the day of the feast (Acts 2:1) and gathered a harvest of three thousand souls.
How rejuvenating this was to the handful of followers who waited fearfully on the Lord’s promise of a Comforter. The fulfillment was exactly in keeping with the purpose of the feast. It was a greater harvest of souls than the Lord had presented at First Fruits, but only a token of the great harvest to come at the Rapture of the Church.
Whatever the disciples may have thought previously of the rustic teacher from Galilee, they certainly had to admit it seemed more than coincidental He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, raised on First Fruits, and had sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Four coincidences are hard to explain away, especially when each one is so completely appropriate to its purpose.
God seems to have enjoyed the trumpet. Ever since Isaac was spared by the ram being caught in the thicket by its horn, the trumpet, the ram’s horn, was special to God.
God actually seemed to enjoy hearing trumpets blown and He used them to great effect when Joshua conquered Jericho. He also specified their use in the Year of Jubilee (Lev 25:8-10) having the trumpets “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof.” But even previous to Jericho, God instructed Moses about trumpets on Mt. Sinai, in regard to our fifth feast!
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.” (Lev 23:24)
Our first three feasts occurred in the first month, normally in April. Pentecost occurred at the early part of summer, usually late May or early June. Now we go to the first day of Tishrei, on the Jewish calendar, the seventh month, which occurs in fall, in September.
This jump in time seems to represent the Church Age in God’s planning, since the trumpet unquestionably represents the Rapture of the Church. When that great trumpet sounds, the miracle to surpass all miracles will take place. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
(1 Thes 4:16-17)
This is a good place to break. Look up! Our redemption draws near! It’s almost time to go home Church!