Journey Through
The Religious Festivals of the Sanctuary
Page Two

by Ulrike

Overview of Feasts, and the Spring Festivals On page one

Pentecost or Feast of Weeks
Moving into the Fall Feastivals
Feast of Trumpets
Day of Atonement
Feast of Booths or Tabernacles
Added Feasts, Dedication, Purin

Feast of Weeks or "Pentecost"

We have now looked at the “spring festival” Which we see co-relates to the courtyard symbolism of the sanctuary. It deals with justification, deliverance, forgiveness. Being delivered from the cords and bonds of sin so we can serve our Lord.

Forgiven and clean, we now move into the holy Place with Christ.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, following His resurrection, He presented Himself to the Father as the first fruits of a coming harvest.

The ascension is the transition of Christ’s redemptive work on earth (in the courtyard of the sanctuary) to His intercessory work in the heavenly sanctuary.

Rev. 4 and 5 shows the opening of the heavenly sanctuary ministry, where Christ appears as the “lamb as it was slain”. He took into the Holy Place “not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing and eternal redemption” Heb. 9:12.

Rev. 4:1 reveals that the sanctuary door in heaven is now open, but then the anguished question is asked, “Who is worthy?” Who is worthy to take charge of the work?

Leviticus tells us that the sheaf of the first fruits ( who we discovered is the resurrected Savior) was waved before Jehovah and had to be accepted for Israel. So Christ, the first fruit of the resurrection, appeared before God and was accepted before God for us and exalted in heaven. Only then could the work of the heavenly sanctuary begin. As Christ is declared worthy.

In Revelation 4 & 5 we see the seven lamps of fire and the Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He took the scroll and the elders proclaim, You are worthy to take the scroll..for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.

The outpouring of the Holy spirit at Pentecost is seen as evidence of the official enthronement of Christ in the Holy Place in the sanctuary above. And the beginning of His ministering work in the heavenly holy places. We’ll spend more time on the sanctuary in Revelation in the next few days.

For now, let’s go back to the first Pentecost in the old testament, in the wilderness.

Again we see Israel, now free from the bondage of Egypt, having been delivered by God’s mighty hand, baptized in the Red Sea, fed with living water and manna from heaven, fifty days later, encamped at the foot of Mt. Sinai preparing to go into a covenant relationship with God.
Notice the sequence.

God FIRST delivers, and then He opens up before them the way of His commandments.

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now if you will obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me, above all people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex. 19:5,6)

Can you see from this that God wanted to establish a special relationship?

They were to wash their clothes and prepare their hearts and consecrate themselves to meet God. And God Himself “descended upon the Mount in fire. And the mountain shook greatly and God spoke His commandments.

Let’s compare this with the first Pentecost after Christ’s death. The disciples were gathered in the upper room, at the command of Jesus, to wait there for the Holy Spirit to be revealed.

It’s interesting, reading in John chapter 14:15 where Jesus promises the Holy Spirit:
He says: I will give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the spirit of truth...He shall be with you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The trinity is hard to understand, for as Jesus says, they are all ONE, yet three. When the Holy Spirit came, Christ came to them in the Spirit. And they were to abide in Him and He with them forever. That is a relationship!

And the disciples continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, consecrating themselves to the Lord.

Suddenly there was a sound from heaven, like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house, and fire descended like large drops of rain and sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak and preach in different languages. They even had a message almost identical to the one given at Sinai.

1 Peter 2.9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: The day of Pentecost points to the covenant relationship between God and His people.

In the old covenant God spoke His law from the Mt. and wrote it upon two tables of stone. In the new covenant God sent His Spirit to write the law in the minds and hearts of His people. Actually, if you read Deut. You will find that God always wanted His laws to be in the heart, not just on two tables of stone. The stone symbolizes the indestructible nature of the commandments. But unless they are engraved in the heart and mind they are of little value.

A peculiar ceremony took place on the Day of Pentecost. On that day they were to bring TWO loaves of bread baked with leaven.

This at first seems strange because 50 days earlier they had a feast of unleaven bread, symbolizing the putting away of all evil influences. Why are they now presenting two loaves of leavened bread to the Lord.

We see in scripture that “leaven” is not always evil.

Luke 13:16-19 tells us that faith is like a mustard seed, it grows, and the kingdom of God is like leaven, once it takes root, it too will grow!

So we see that Paul tells us all the old leaven must first be set aside. “Purge out the old leaven,” he says. Then the leaven which Jesus likens to the kingdom of God, the seeds or leaven of faith and goodness can grow.

The leaven of truth makes a change in mind and heart. The entire character is transformed. All who will receive into the heart the truth as it is in Jesus, will reveal its leavening power. When the kingdom of heaven is established in the heart, the whole character is conformed to the character of Christ; for the truth is a life-giving principle. The power of God is working, like the leaven, to change the entire being. Even the thoughts are brought into captivity to the will of Christ. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new."

At the first Pentecost

Duet 4.13
God declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

At the second Pentecost

2 Cor. 3.3
Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.

If the law and will of God are written only on stone or paper they cannot transform the life. But when the Spirit of God writes them upon the heart and mind, then the whole being is leavened, not with the leaven of sin or hypocrisy, but with truth and goodness.

Deliverance from sin is incomplete if we are still living in opposition to God’s will. It is incomplete if we are not in a covenant relationship with Christ. True liberty and peace is found in living in accordance to His revealed will. The ultimate deliverance is not from the external physical bondage of external pressures or restraints, true deliverance from sin comes when we are released from the internal spiritual bondage that controls us. And walk in a covenant relationship with Christ.

This is true sanctification.
Romans 8.2-5
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (free from that other law in our members that is in direct opposition to God’s law. Romans 7:23).

For what the law could not do, because of the weakness of our sinful natures, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the sinful nature, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the sinful nature have their minds set on the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit.

John 16:7, 13.
"When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth:

The result of Pentecost was a totally changed life. Look at the disciples before Pentecost. Look at them afterward. Before, they were fearful, rather self centered men.
After Pentecost they were bold for Christ, no longer seeking to exalt self, but to exalt Christ and bring glory to Him.

These men had fully entered into the covenant relationship with Christ. The new covenant as described in Hebrews 10:16, when God writes His law on the minds and hearts, when they know their sins are forgiven and they no longer look to please men; then their primary goal is to please God.

One thing that always intrigued me about the book of Daniel was it’s many references to the covenant. Yet it seemed that most of these references were never looked at as God’s covenant, but given some political meaning.

Someone wanted to discuss Daniel 11. So just a few words to get you thinking on that chapter.

Daniel 11 describes a war against the covenant which Christ confirmed in Daniel 9. It’s a war against the covenant and the sanctuary from which the covenant is administered.

In Daniel 11 we find a power trying to overflow the Prince of the Covenant. This power is described as one whose heart is against the holy COVENANT; who has great indignation against the holy COVENANT: and who works with intelligence with them that forsake the holy COVENANT.
This power pollutes the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily, do wickedly against the COVENANT, it shall corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do great things.

The word COVENANT is prominent in Daniel 11 and should receive a lot more attention in understanding what this chapter is actually telling us.

Pentecost is the entering into a covenant relationship with God. Pentecost is total commitment and dependance upon Him and the receiving of His Power, His Spirit, Who writes His law upon our hearts and minds.

What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? We already mentioned the results in the changed lives of those disciples. They were different men, who now moved forward with power proclaiming the glad tidings of a risen Saviour to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message.

Daniel 11 shows that those who stay with the covenant will be strong and do great things. Pentecost is walking in the Life of Sanctification in Christ, by His Spirit.

Pentecost was a harvest festival of harvesting the spring crops. And Pentecost was the early harvest of souls won by believing in Christ and receiving His Spirit. The great harvest is yet to come.


Moving into the Fall Festivals

So now we have covered the early festivals.
Passover week : Christ’s death, burial and resurrection Which all speak of deliverance.

Pentecost: Christ’s work of Empowering His People in the life of sanctification. And entering into a covenant relationship with Christ.

These festivals were all at the beginning of the “spiritual year”. They pointed to Christ’s ministry at the beginning of the Christian era, the benefits which are very important to every age. The benefits which MUST be experienced FIRST in the lives of all who are on the journey of salvation.

Now we move on to the third group of festivals.
This is usually where we part company with other Christians.
Most do not see the “spiritual year” of festivals as having a linear fulfilment.
Therefore they see no difference between the Passover and the day of Atonement. Both, they say, point to Christ on the Cross and were fulfilled at the cross.

. While we too, see all “sacrifices” pointing to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We do not see all the feasts prophetic fulfillment taking place at the cross

. We see the spring feasts as having their prophetic fulfilment in 31 A.D. They are the feasts of deliverance. Of course, once the initial day has been ushered in it remains open to all who wish to benefit from the marvelous redemption offered by Christ.

The fall festivals portray the preparation for entry into the promised land. They are feasts of warning, judgment and final restoration. They depict Christ’s work at the end of the “salvation” journey.


This feast was observed on the first day of the seventh month.
Now the first day of every month was begun with the blowing of trumpets and special ceremonies. So why make special mention of the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month?

It was important because this was the seventh month, and the trumpets were announcing that this was the month for the Day of Atonement and all were to consecrate themselves to the Lord in preparation for this solemn day.

It is interesting that seven months pass. Each beginning with a trumpet blast. On the seventh month, we have the seventh trumpet blast, announcing the day of atonement.

Are any bells ringing in our minds? Is anything in the Bible corresponding with this in our minds?

There we have seven trumpets blown consecutively, not all together . And when the seventh trumpet blows, in Revelation chapter 11, we see the inner door into the Most Holy of Heaven opened and we see the ark, while the 24 elders declare that the time of judgment has come.

It seems very likely that the blowing of the seven trumpets in Revelation correspond to the blowing of trumpets at the seven New Moon (or New Month) festivals in the Old Testament. Each new moon trumpet blowing was understood as a day of judgment in miniature, which warned people to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. When the seventh trumpet blew, it was to announce the Day of Atonement was at hand.

In the same way, the trumpets in Revelation each have a warning function and after the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:18) the judgment is announced and the ark of the covenant is shown.

Did the prophetic fulfilment of the feast of trumpets occur when the 1844 message was sounded around the world by Miller and others with the same message. Prepare to meet your God, they preached. This was not just a local event, a large number of internationally known scholars, who were among the most highly educated men of their day, endorsed the message we now know as the “Millerite” movement. The world was awakened with the message that a day of reckoning was at hand. Those who proclaimed the message thought Christ was coming to earth at the time, but it was actually the announcement of the inauguration of the great day of atonement.

During that time period, the people prepared themselves to meet their God. They rested in sweet communion with God, and the grand hope of the peace that was to be theirs in the bright hereafter.
Says one who experienced the time, “None who experienced this hope and trust can forget those precious hours of waiting. For some weeks preceding the time, worldly business was for the most part laid aside. The sincere believers carefully examined every thought and emotion of their hearts as if upon their deathbeds and in a few hours to close their eyes upon earthly scenes. There was no making of "ascension robes"; but all felt the need of internal evidence that they were prepared to meet the Saviour; their white robes were purity of soul--characters cleansed from sin by the atoning blood of Christ.”

The Jewish understanding of the Feast of Trumpets is an annual trumpet call to stand trial before God and seek for His cleansing grace. The ten days between the feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement were seen by the Jews as a time of judgment. They even have liturgy to capture the awesome qualities of judgment and trial. One of there ceremonies included going to a body of water and sprinkling crumbs on the water while praying; “You will cast all my sins into the depths of the sea, and they shall not be remembered or visited or come to mind,”

The ten days leading up to the day of Atonement is a period of deep soul searching and repentance to prepare themselves for the final cleansing and judgment on the day of atonement.

A beloved hymn sung at this time by the Jews (according to Bacchiocchi’s research) has these words::

And thus let all acclaim God as King:
It is He who ordains judgment;
He searches hearts on the Day of Judgment.
He reveals hidden things in judgment.
He ordains righteousness on the Day of Judgment.
He applies knowledge in judgement;
He bestows mercy on the Day of Judgment.
He remembers His covenant in judgment’
He spares His creatures on the Day of Judgment.
He clears His faithful in judgment;....

It was also a time when the principles of the law were studied.
At the time of the feast of trumpets, in Ezra’s time, he asked the scribe to bring the book of the law,. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month, explaining to the people the principles of the divine law. "So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the meaning, and caused them to understand the reading." . And he read the law to them. . . . And the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law."


On the day of atonement all sin is dealt with. It is a most solemn day as the people realize their unworthiness as they stand before God. Yet, with humble hearts, emptied of sin, they look to the “blood of the sacrifice” to make them acceptable in His presence. This is when the High Priest enters the Most Holy Place. This was the day which served to differentiate between the genuine believers and the false believers. Those who humbled themselves before God and availed themselves of the provisions for cleansing, and those who did not. Those whose sins were confessed and forsaken were declared as cleansed by the blood placed upon the mercy seat and their sins were then taken and placed on the instigator of sin and cast out into the wilderness. Those who refused to confess and forsake their sins are also cast out into the wilderness.

This represents the final separation from sin.

As one writer, stated, “People dredge up their sins, but in a way they are glad to do so because the sins remembered and repented of, are all forgiven...Thus, Yom Kippur is both a fierce jolt and a great relief.” (Irving Greenberg--quoted in “God’s Festivals”)

Another very interesting ritual on the day of atonement as recorded by Ben Zion Bokser, (quoted in “God’s Festivals”) is when the ark is opened and the scrolls of the law are shown draped in white.

The festival year leads us from the Passover, the feast of deliverance through to the Day of Atonement, the day of judgment. We know that Jesus is now still giving us opportunity to confess, to repent in deep humility, and have our lives purified by His spirit leading us in obeying and living out the truth. Now is the time for wrongs to be righted and sins to be confessed, or they will appear against us in the judgment. We know we are living after the seventh trumpet has sounded announcing that judgment when the ark of the testimony is revealed. This judgment happens before Christ appears in the clouds of glory!

We are living in the time of judgment.

Looking forward to the final feast of rejoicing!

Feast of Tabernacles

The feast of “Booths” or Tabernacles, is a mixture of symbols.

One of the chief requirements was that the people have to leave the comfort of houses and build a booth to live in for a week. This came to be quite an elaborate affair. But the significance of leaving the shelter of man-made protection and living in a booth made mainly from branches, shows they were to place themselves under the protection of God. It was to teach them to be willing to give up solid security, if necessary, in the journey of salvation.

It was a celebration of how God protected them and lead them through the wilderness experience.

It was also a celebration of the final harvest gathered in. There was much “palm branch” waving and singing and rejoicing.

“The flowing of the water from the rock in the desert was celebrated by the Israelites, after their establishment in Canaan, with demonstrations of great rejoicing. In the time of Christ this celebration had become a most impressive ceremony. It took place on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the people from all the land were assembled at Jerusalem. On each of the seven days of the feast the priests went out with music and the choir of Levites to draw water in a golden vessel from the spring of Siloam. They were followed by multitudes of the worshipers, as many as could get near the stream drinking of it, while the jubilant strains arose, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:3. Then the water drawn by the priests was borne to the temple amid the sounding of trumpets and the solemn chant, "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." Psalm 122:2. Songs of praise rang out, the multitudes joining in triumphant chorus with musical instruments and deep-toned trumpets.

"The Lord Jehovah is my strength and song;" "therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation!" All the vast assembly joined in triumphant chorus with musical instruments and deep-toned trumpets, while competent choristers conducted the grand harmonious concert of praise.

The festivities were carried on with an unparalleled splendor. At night the temple and its court blazed so with artificial light that the whole city was illuminated. The music, the waving of palm-branches, the glad hosannas, the great concourse of people, over which the light streamed from the hanging lamps, the dazzling array of the priests, and the majesty of the ceremonies, all combined to make a scene that deeply impressed all beholders.


We may have to give up house and home and security just before Jesus comes, but it will be worthy it, for Jesus is taking us to the promised land!
The symbolism reminds us of the victory scenes in Revelation.

The water- reminds us of the river of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.

The lights- there will be no night there- they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. God and the lamb are the light thereof! the singing and palm branches- depict the saved rejoicing

Rev. 19 shows a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”
Rev. 7:9 again shows a great multitude standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches and shouting: “Salvation belongs to our God....”

The feast of Tabernacles has it’s final fulfillment in the new earth, when the redeemed are in the REAL Promised Land, in the presence of God, forever.

Other Feasts
The three main festivals groups we have studied above were commissioned by God to reveal the plan of salvation.
Two other feasts, which were added much later, deserve some attention.

Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights

The Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights, is a winter celebration, which celebrated the restoration of the temple services which occurred during Judas Maccabees time. The historic background is Antiochus Epiphanies destructive oppression in Judea. During his rampage he desecrated the temple, setting up idols and sacrificing swine in the temple. In time a group of Jews lead by Judas Maccabees rose up in revolt and drove Antiochus Epiphanies from the area and re-instituted the temple services. Maccabees removed the old polluted altar and restored the worship of the Lord.

It is extremely interesting to see how the Bible relates to this feast. In John 10:22-35 we see Jesus attending the Feast of Dedication. Here the Jews are celebrating Judas Maccabees as the great “sanctuary cleanser” and pick up stones to stone the true Sanctuary Cleanser! The Jews, during this feast, challenged Christ to clearly and plainly tell them if He was the Messiah. Jesus reminded them that if they were His sheep they would have heard His voice as the Shepherd The very fact they did not hear His voice proved that they were not of His fold.

But the Jews try to seize him and stone Him!

If Judas Maccabees was the one they celebrated and remembered as the “the Temple-cleanser and illuminator” then shouldn’t they have recognized their Messiah, the true light of the world and the true temple cleanser? Twice during His earthly ministry Christ cleansed the temple, there in Jerusalem, from defilement and pollution, and the “idols” of “money and greed”, but they only got mad about that cleansing, and rejected it. They weren’t interested in any “cleansing of the sanctuary” at all. They weren’t interested in the true sanctuary cleanser at all either.

And so it is today. People still reject the true cleansing of the sanctuary. People still look to Judas Maccabees as the temple cleanser. The very prophecies pointing us to the true sanctuary and to the ministry of Christ for the salvation of mankind, are reinterpreted to continue to honor Judas Maccabees and reject the true temple cleanser in the heavenly sanctuary.

Feast of Purim

Another winter celebration, which was added and developed, by the Jews is the feast of Purim. This feast is not mentioned in the NT. The Feast of Purim is founded on the story of Esther and actually decreed by Esther and Mordecai after the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s plots . (See Esther 9:29-32)

The feast revolves around cheering for Mordecai and “booing” Haman. There is even a custom to make a dummy Haman and beat it, hang it, and then burn it.” Modern interpreters have pictured Haman and his ten sons as the “beast” with “ten horns” that will plague God’s people in the end.

When I read the descriptions of these two feasts, the focus always seems to be on people, rather than on God. While the story of Esther has profound lessons for the last days, I find this feast of Purim (which is not commanded or instituted or described by God in His Word) is developed to teach false doctrines . For example, Esther is pictured as the church who will crush the serpents head and bring peace to God’s people right here on earth. Esther, the church will, arrange the destruction of the antichrist----and then people will join the people God.

The Feast of Dedication focuses on the wrong sanctuary Cleanser.
The Feast of Purim forcuses on a wrong type of deliverance and endtime scence.


The Feasts that God instituted reveal the full plan of salvation and the ministry of Christ to bring about this salvation.

The Passover/unleavened bread, typifies Christ’s sacrifice to deliver us from the bondage of sin. It is Justification. The Pentecost, is Christ sending His Holy Spirit and bringing us into covenant relationship with Himself. It typifies the sanctified life. The Fall Feasts typify Christ’s ministry in the Investigative judgment, final cleansing and final redemption and “taking home” of His people.

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