Leviticus chapter 23 gives eschatology students the Lord’s “Seven Great Divine Appointments”, which are incorrectly translated as feasts days. They were all prophecies foreshadowing future events and some have been fulfilled and other appointments are yet to be fulfilled. They are the shadow for things to come and apocalyptic events, where Messiah Yeshua is the “body” and substance, according to Col. 2:16, Col. 2:17. They were “Holy Convocations” for the people. The Lord instituted these Divine Appointments. The people had no say in the sacred matter. God promised that if the males went up at the “set time” to Jerusalem to keep these Divine Appointments, He would protect and care for their families.
The Lord’s “Divine Appointments” are seven in number. If we include the Sabbath there are eight. However, the Sabbath stands by itself. It was to be observed “weekly, “the other Divine Appointments “annually.” The Sabbath was to be observed in the “home, but the other Divine Appointments in “Jerusalem.” The “Seven Divine Appointments” may be divided into sections of four and three. The first section includes the “Passover Divine Appointment, the Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment, the First-Fruits Divine Appointment and the “Pentecost” Divine Appointment. Then there was an interval of four months, followed by the Trumpets Divine Appointment, the Atonement Day Divine Appointment, and the Tabernacles Divine Appointment. The “Three Great Festivals” were the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. They extended from the first month’s 14th day to the seventh month’s 22nd day. The first four Divine Appointments foretell truths connected with this present gospel age and those who form the Lord’s “Heavenly” people the Church; while the last three Divine Appointments foreshadow the blessings in store for God’s “Earthly” people, the Jews.
THE PASSOVER DIVINE APPOINTMENT
The Passover Divine Appointment had its origination in Egypt. It became Israel’s memorial and redemption because it reminds them about their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. It was to them the beginning of a new era and their birthday as a Nation, according to Exodus 12:2. This period included the killing of a male lamb, without blemish, during the first year on the 14th day of the month in the evening, and sprinkling its blood, with hyssop, on the two side posts and the upper lintel of the door of their home. When the Lord passed through Egypt that night and saw the blood on the doorposts, He would spare the first born sheltered within. The lamb’s flesh was roasted and eaten completely with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The Israelis who ate of it were to do so with their loins girded and their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand, because they were ready to leave Egypt. The Passover Divine Appointment was a memorial and they were to keep it as a Divine Appointment throughout their generations and as an ordinance forever, according to Exodus 12:14.
The Passover Lamb was a type of Messiah Yeshua, the “God’s Lamb.” The shedding of His blood on Calvary, and our applying it to our hearts by faith, has the same effect as to our salvation, as the applying of the Passover Lamb’s blood to the doorposts of those Egyptian houses was necessary for those who were sheltered within. As that night was the beginning of new era to them, so the moment we accept Messiah Yeshua as our Lord and savior, during that moment we are born again, and we enter a new life because Messiah is our Passover who was sacrificed for us, according to 1-Corinthians 5:7.
The first time the Israelis observed the Passover Divine Appointment it was amid God’s terrifying judgments and plagues in Egypt, which represents the world. Thereafter its yearly observance was as a joyful Memorial of their deliverance from Egypt. While they still observe the Passover Divine Appointment no “lamb” is slain, and no “blood” used, but when they get back to their own land they will again keep the Passover. The Messiah’s Church does not observe the Passover, but they do observe as a Memorial the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper that Messiah instituted in its place.
THE UNLEAVENED BREAD DIVINE APPOINTMENT
The Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment began on the day after the Passover Divine Appointment, and continued for seven days, according Leviticus 23:6-8. The lamb was slain on the 14th day at sunset, which ended the day. The Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment began immediately after sunset, which was the beginning of the 15th day. Thus there was no interval between them. The Passover Divine Appointment is a type of Messiah’s death and the Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment is a representation of the believer’s “Walk” Messiah, and there should be no interval between the believer’s salvation and his or her entrance on a holy life and walk with Messiah. The “seven days” sketch the whole course of the Believer’s life after conversion.
Leaven in the Holy Scriptures is symbolic of evil; therefore, the Divine Appointment was to be kept with “unleavened” bread, according to Exodus 13:7. Paul speaks of “malice” and “wickedness” as leaven. “Purge out therefore the ‘old leaven’ that you may be a ‘new swelling, ‘ as you are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the Divine Appointment, not with ‘old leaven, ‘ neither with the ‘leaven of malice and wickedness,’ but with the ‘unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, according to 1-Coronithian 5:7 and 1-Coronithian 5:8. The Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment teaching means we are saved by Messiah’s shed blood the believer’s Passover; therefore, we are to “walk” in life’s newness and purge out the leaven of unrighteousness, and doing no “servile work,” or work that is done to earn salvation.
THE FIRST-FRUITS DIVINE APPOINTMENT
The Passover Divine Appointment happened on the 14th day of the month, the Unleavened Bread Divine Appointment on the next day, which was the Sabbath, and the following day, which was after the Sabbath when the First Fruits Divine Appointment was to be celebrated. This however could not be done until after the Israelis had entered Canaan, therefore the First Fruits Divine Appointment was not observed during the Wilderness Wanderings. The Offering was a bundle reaped from the waving fields of the ripened harvest, and carried to the priest to be shown before the Lord for acceptance, and was to be followed by a burnt, meat and drink offering, but no sin-offering. The burnt-offering was to be a male lamb without blemish of the first year. The First-Fruits Divine Appointment presage Messiah Yeshua’s supernatural resurrection from the dead. On the “morning after the Sabbath He arose and St. Paul spoke of His resurrection, as the “First-Fruits” of the resurrection of the dead. Like the wheat’s corn (John 12:24), He was buried in Joseph’s Tomb, and His resurrection was the “First-Fruits” of the Harvest of those who will be with Messiah during His coming, according to 1-Coronithians 15:23.
When the Priest on the day of Messiah’s resurrection show the First-Fruits’ bundle in the Temple, it was before a rent veil, and was but an empty form, for the substance had come and the shadow had passed away, and Joseph’s empty tomb proclaimed that the “Great First-Fruits’ Sheaf” had been reaped and waved in the Heavenly Temple. There will be a First Fruits Divine Appointment in the millennium age to remind future generations of Messiah’s fulfillment of this Divine Appointment.
THE PENTECOST DIVINE APPOINTMENT
Fifty days after the First-Fruits Divine Appointment, the Pentecost Divine Appointment was observed. The space between the two Divine Appointments, which included Seven Sabbaths, was called the Appointment of Weeks. It began with the offering of the First-Fruits of the Barley Harvest, and ended with the ingathering of the Wheat Harvest. The First Day was the First-Fruits Divine Appointment and the Last Day was the Pentecost Divine Appointment. Only the First and Last day were celebrated.
During the Pentecost Divine Appointment a new meat offering was to be offered before the Lord. It was called “new” because it must be of grain from the “new” harvest. During the First-Fruits Divine Appointment, stalks of grain were to be offered and waved, but at the Pentecost Divine Appointment the grain was to be ground and made into flour, from which two loaves were to be baked with leaven. The “two loaves” represent the two population groups that were to form the Church, the Jews and Gentiles, and because believers are not perfect, even though they are saved, that imperfection is represented by the leaven.
A burnt Offering of seven lambs without blemish of the first year, one young bullock, and two rams, was to be offered with the wave Loaves, as was also “meat” and “drink” offerings for a sweet savor unto the Lord. These were to be followed by a “sin offering” of a kid of the goats and two lambs of the first year for a “peace offering.” The “wave loaves” were to be waved before the Lord. Notice that it is now “loaves, and not loose stalks of grain. The “loaves” represent the Church’s homogeneity. The Pentecost Divine Appointment had its fulfillment on the day when the disciples of the Lord were baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit, according to Acts chapter two and 1-Cororinthians 12:13.
Between the Pentecost Divine Appointment and the Trumpets Divine Appointment there was a four month period when the harvest and vintage were gathered in. There was no convocation of the people during those busy months. This long “Interval” symbolizes the current present era where the Holy Spirit is gathering out the Church’s elect while Israel is scattered among the Nations. When this present age has run its course, and the “fullness of the gentiles” has been gathered in (Romans 11:25) along with the “remnant according to the election of grace” of Israel (Romans 11:5), then this “age of grace” will end while Israel’s elect is being gathered back from the Earth’s four corners (north, south, east and west) to keep the Trumpets Divine Appointment in Jerusalem, according to Matthew 24:31.
THE TRUMPETS DIVINE APPOINTMENT
The Trumpets Divine Appointment, which was observed on the seventh month’s first day, ushered in the second series of the “set Divine Appointments.” Arriving on a Sabbath Day, during the new moon, and ushered in the Jewish New Year. It was followed by the Atonement Day, a on the month’s 10th day, and by the “Tabernacles Divine Appointment” which began on the month’s 15th day, a Sabbath day, and ended on the month’s 22nd day, which was also a Sabbath day. It was ushered in with the blowing of Trumpets. During the Wilderness Wandering two silver Trumpets, made of the atonement money of the people, were blown for the “calling of the Assembly, ” and for the “the camps’ journeys,” according to number 10:1-3.
The fact that the Trumpets Divine Appointment comes immediately at the close of the long “Interval” between the two series of “set Divine Appointments” is not without significance. As we have seen the “Interval” represents this “Grace Age” and we know that two things are to happen at the close of this age. First the Church is to be caught out, and secondly Israel is to be gathered back to the holy land. When the Church is caught out, the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God” (1Thes. 4:16), and “We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Trump; for the Trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed,” according to 1-Corinthians 15:51, 1Cor. 15:52.
This “last trump” is not the list of the “Seven Trumpets” that sound in the Book of Revelation, for it does not sound until the “Middle of the Week,” while the Church is caught out “before” the beginning of the “Week.” We probably are to understand by the “last trump” the last of the Two Trumpets used by Israel, the first, for the “calling of the Assembly, ” will call out the dead in Messiah from their graves, and the second or “last, ” for the “journeying of the camps, ” will be the signal for the upward journey of the risen and transformed saints to meet the Lord in the air.
Then we read in Matthew 24:31, that the Son of Man, when He comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory at His Revelation of Himself, will send His angels with a great sound of a Trumpet, and they will gather together His “elect” (not of the Church but of Israel) from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” From this we see that the “Divine Appointment of Trumpets” has a typical relation to the “catching out” of the Church, and the re-gathering of Israel at the Second Coming of Messiah. This has led some to believe that as Yeshua was crucified at the time of the Passover, and the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, that when He comes back the “Rapture” will take place at the Divine Appointment of Tabernacles, and the “Revelation” seven years later at the time of the same Divine Appointment. Time alone will reveal the correctness of this view.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
The “Day of Atonement” was Israel’s annual cleansing from sin. For a full account of the day and its services read Leviticus 16:1-3. This typical meaning was fulfilled in Messiah. He is our Great High Priest, who instead of offering a “Sin-Offering” for Himself, offered Himself as a “Sin-Offering” for us, according to Hebrews 9:11-13. However, the fact that the “Day of Atonement” is placed between the “Divine Appointment of Trumpets, “which we have seen will have its typical fulfillment at the Second Coming of Messiah, and the “Divine Appointment of Tabernacles,” which is a type of Israel’s “Millennial Rest,” implies that it has some typical significance between those two events. It must therefore refer to the time when a “Fountain will be opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness,” according to Zech. 13:1. This means there will be a National “Day of Atonement” for Israel after they have been gathered back to their own land unconverted, and will repent and turn to God, according to Zech. 12:9-11.
THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT OF TABERNACLES
This was the last of the Seven Set Divine Appointments. It was a “Harvest Home” celebration to be observed at the end of the harvest, and was to continue seven days, according to Deut. 16:13. The people during the Divine Appointment were to dwell in booths (arbors) made of the branches of palm trees and willows from the brook, which would remind them of the palm trees of Elim, and the “Willows” of Babylon, according to Psalm 137:1-3. The Antitype of this Divine Appointment has not as yet appeared although Peter anticipated it, when on the Mt. of Transfiguration, he said “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you will, let us make here three Tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” according to Matthew 17:4. What Peter desired was the dwelling of Heavenly with Earthly people on the Earth and this was not possible then, but will come to pass in Millennial Days, when Heaven and Earth will be in closer union.
The Divine Appointment of Tabernacles points forward to Israel’s “Millennial Rest.” What the “Seventh Day, ” or Sabbath, is to the week, a day of rest; so the “Seventh Month” to the other six months of the “Seven Month Cycle, ” typifies a period of rest-the “Sabbath Rest” of the “Millennial Age, ” or 1000 years, in relation to the other 6,000 years of the world’s work day history. Like the Lord’s Supper is to us, a “Memorial” pointing back to the “Cross” and forward to the “Coming”; therefore, the “Divine Appointment of Tabernacles” will be a “Memorial” to Israel, pointing back to Egypt and forward to Millennial Rest. While the Divine Appointment of Tabernacles began on the Sabbath and continued seven days, it was to be followed by a Sabbath, according to Leviticus 23:39. This Sabbath on the “Eighth Day” points to the New Heaven and Earth that follow the Millennium, and to the “Eighth Age,” the Age of the “Fullness of Times.”
RELATED SOURCES: Blood Moons by Pastor John Hagee. Blood Moons by Mark Biltz. Dispensational Truth by Rev. Clarence Larkin. The Seven Feast of Israel by Zolah Levitt.