Lisa Taylor (6 July 2011)
"To KML re: The Church and God's Appointments"


 

Dear KML,

 

          You asked:  “My Question to you and to everyone else here who hold the belief that the CHURCH, will have any part, in any of these Appointments, is why?  Why all of a sudden does the church take claim to these appointments that are set aside for Israel alone?”

 

          Ultimately, the feasts of Leviticus are the Lord’s Feasts.  “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.”  Leviticus 23:2.  Yes, the Jews are commanded to observe them, and I agree that each feast has or will have a direct prophetic application for the Jews.  But does God really limit His feasts to the Jews?

 

          No.  When Jesus comes to rule here on earth, all (Jews and Gentiles) will be required to observe the Feast of Tabernacles.  “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.”  Zechariah 14:16-17.

 

          In fact, all of the feasts will still be observed during the Millennium.  “It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths – at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.”  Ezekiel 45:17.

 

          So, I would not limit the Feasts of the Lord to the Jews.  Take a look at Pentecost, for example.  Can you really look at the history of the Church and not include Pentecost?  Peter was there and Jesus Himself connected Peter to the Church.  “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Matthew 16:18. 

 

          And Peter was also key to the first Gentile conversions to the Church.  He and the other Jews who were present at the time were amazed to see Gentiles experiencing the same thing that they did on Pentecost: 

 

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.  Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’”  Acts 10:44:47.

 

          And don’t all of us who come to Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit also experience Pentecost? 

 

          “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”  Acts 10:34-35.

 

          God is not limited and neither are His feasts.  The answer to your question is that the Feasts of the Lord can have more than one application. 

 

          Should God choose to rapture the Church on a feast day, however, it will have a special impact upon the Jews.  I won’t repeat a previously posted study here, but an argument can be made that the 3 Pilgrimage Festivals (i.e. Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles) are the Sign of Jonah that Jesus said would be given to the Jews.  (See Matthew 12:39-41).  There seems to be a correlation between these festivals and the reluctant prophet.  The book of Jonah highlights the mercy that God shows to a group of repentant Gentiles.  Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish.  Jesus was 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth – the fulfillment of Unleavened Bread.  120,000 Ninevites were saved.  (See Jonah 4:11).   120 people initially received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  (See Acts 1:15).  Jonah built a tabernacle to watch the destruction of Nineveh – but the Ninevites were saved.  (See Jonah 4:5).  Time will tell if another group of converted Gentiles will be saved from wrath on a future Tabernacles.  If so, it will coincide with a pattern foreshadowed in the book of Jonah.

 

          I believe that the Church is the fulfillment of the Sign of Jonah.  Yes, Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, but the efficacy of His death and resurrection is not limited to the Jews.  (Thus, the Feast of Unleavened Bread applies to Jews and Gentiles alike.)  Like Jonah, Israel has seen Gentiles receive forgiveness and reconciliation from their God.  Someday, Israel will also see the primarily Gentile Church get saved from a day of wrath. 

 

          Every person, who believes in Christ the Unleavened Bread, will experience the power of Pentecost through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and will Tabernacle with the Father forever.  Each one of us must find our own reconciliation to the Triune God through these three Pilgrimage Festivals.

 

          In conclusion, the day of the Rapture is up to God – whether it is on a feast day or not.  But I would not disregard speculation based upon the Feasts of the Lord simply because you think that they are exclusive to the Jews.  Scripture shows us that they are not.

 

          Maranatha.

 

                        – Lisa Taylor