I came across a figure in the Bible who instituted his own religious festival. The intriguing thing about him is that he appears to be a Type of Antichrist. If so, the date of his festival may point to a future date that will be important to the Antichrist.
The man's name is Jeroboam and he became the first king of the 10 northern tribes of Israel.
He was actually chosen by God to be a tool of judgment, but he became corrupt and rebelled against God :
"About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam, 'Take ten pieces for yourself for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and give you ten tribes. But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statues and laws as David, Solomon's father, did. But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who observed my commands and statutes.'" 1 Kings 11:29-34.
After the death of Solomon and his 40 year reign, the 10 northern tribes rebelled against his son Rehoboam because he promised to rule them with an even heavier yoke than his father. So the people made Jeroboam their king, with only the Tribe of Judah remaining loyal to the house of David. See 1 Kings 12:20.
Unfortunately, Jeroboam forgot that God was the one who put him in power. He took steps to keep the northern tribes separate from Judah, which had its center of worship in Jerusalem. Instead, he set up a new worship center to discourage the people from going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple.
"After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there. Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings." 1 Kings 12:28-33.
Jeroboam as a Type of Antichrist
(1) Jeroboam ruled 10 tribes. Antichrist will rule 10 kingdoms. (See Revelation 13:1 and Daniel 7:24.)
(2) Jeroboam was the king of the northern tribes. Antichrist is called the King of the North. (See Daniel 11:28.)
(3) God eventually punished the 10 tribes for the idolatry originated by Jeroboam. The Northern Kingdom was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, and many of its people were exiled. The Antichrist is called the Assyrian. (See Isaiah 14:25 and Micah 5:5.)
(4) Jeroboam instituted his own apostate religious system, which included the worship of images. Antichrist will institute his own apostate religious system, which will include the worship of his image. (See Revelation 13:11-18.)
(5) Jeroboam discouraged the offering of sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem. Antichrist will put an end to sacrifice and offering. (See Daniel 9:27.)
(6) Jeroboam tried to change God's calendar by adding a festival modeled after the Feast of Tabernacles. He put it in the eighth month, when God's cycle of Levitical feasts ended in the seventh month. Antichrist will "try to change the set times and the laws." See Daniel 7:25.
(7) When Jeroboam reached out his hand against a prophet, his hand shriveled up. (1 Kings 13:4.) Antichrist will be struck by a sword which will result in his arm being "completely withered." Zechariah 11:17.
(8) There was a man of God from Judah who decried an altar set up by Jeroboam. On his way home, he was deceived by another prophet who gave him a false prophecy. (See 1 Kings 13.) Antichrist will have a False Prophet who will deceive many. (See Revelation 13:11-14.)
(9) Jeroboam is known as the man “who caused Israel to sin.” (2 Kings 23:15.) Antichrist is known as the man of sin. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:3.)
(10) The house of Jeroboam was completely destroyed. (See 1 Kings 21:20-22.) Antichrist will be completely destroyed. (See Daniel 7:11 and 2 Thessalonians 2:7.)
Because of the similarities between Jeroboam and the Antichrist, it is possible that the festival of Jeroboam is prophetically significant to the Antichrist. On the Jewish calendar, the eighth month is called Cheshvan.
This year, the 15th day of Cheshvan falls on November 12, 2011. Since Jewish days start at sunset on the previous day, it will actually start on the evening of 11-11-11. So, there may be another reason for us to keep our eye out on this date.
(This probably does not mean anything, but Jeroboam reigned for 22 years. See 1 Kings 14:20. I could not help noticing that there are 2 sets of elevens in the number 22.)
Keep looking up! Maranatha.
– Lisa Taylor