A Long Time Between Meals

or The Feasts are the Key to the Revelation

All Christians recognise Christ’s fulfilment of Passover (crucifixion) and Firstfruits (ascension), followed by Pentecost. Futurists, who major on all things Jewish, recognise that Trumpets and Atonement follow, but they push them into the future.

At the Feast of Trumpets, Israelites were summoned before God, and they paid money for the privilege. Ten days later, following a time of mourning and fasting, was the Day of Atonement. Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, a celebration to which the world was invited.

Why do we not see these feasts in the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem? The church is summoned throughout the Book of Acts, and there is holy war. There is a symbolic “ten days” of testing (Revelation 2:10) and then the Day of Atonement, where the church ascends to God (the first resurrection – the first goat) and the Roman Beast and Herodian false prophet (and of course, Jezebel) are exiled as the second goat. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb fufils the Feast of Booths.

Pushing these last feasts into our future makes a long time between meals, but there is a good reason for the confusion: the entire Bible follows the same Feast pattern (from Leviticus 23). I have outlined the first century picture, but in the big picture it was the patriarchal era as Passover (the beginning of circumcision), the entire history of Israel as Firstfruits (the priesthood draws near). The life and ministry of Christ is the centre of history, the giving of the Law at Pentecost. He was both the Law-Word and our representative under the Law. The history of the first century church was Trumpets, the mustering of the holy army. With Jerusalem as Jericho, our own gospel era is Atonement, with the High Priest, totus Christus, representing the nations before God at the open door. The saints are dividing up the Land as their inheritance. And of course, the end of history brings the big fulfilment of the glorious Tabernacles, the feast where God lays on oxes and strong drink for all the redeemed.

The hyperpreterists, however, confuse the first century pattern with the big Bible pattern. So they think AD70 was the consummation, when it was only the end of the first century pattern. In the big picture, the final party is yet to come, and the noise will split the ground (1 Kings 1:40).

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