The Jewish calendar plays an important role when it comes to the seven Jewish festivals and the new moons. God’s calendar is based on the phases of the moon. Each month in a lunar calendar begins with a new moon. Passover falls on the first full moon of Spring. The first three festivals are in March and April. Pentecost, the fourth, marks the summer harvest in late May or early June. The last three festivals occur in September and October.
Amir Tsarfati, Founder and President of Behold Israel, and Barry Stagner, Senior Pastor of Calvary Central Orange County in the US and the host of The Line Up, World Events in Bible Prophecy News Chanel joined Robbo on 20Twenty to discuss End Times Bible Prophecy.
These times of celebration are important because each one symbolises an aspect of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The seven festivals are:
The Feast of Passover (Pesach)
The Festival year begins with Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. It is the feast of salvation that is celebrated for seven days.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMotzi)
On the fifteenth day of the same month (the next night following Passover), only unleavened bread can be eaten for the following seven days.
The Feast of First Fruits (Reshit Katzir)
This takes place at the beginning of the harvest and signifies Israel’s gratitude and dependence on God.
The Feast of Pentecost (Shavu’ot)
This occurs 50 days after the First Fruits festival and represents gratitude to God for the harvest. Pentecost means fifty in Greek.
The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teru’ah)
This festival is held on the first day of September, the seventh month. In the Bible, Moses would blow the trumpet one way to call different groups to assemble and another way to signify it was time to pack up and move camp and another way to signfy to commence their trek to a new camp. The blast of the horns on Rosh HaShanah is a signal for preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
This festival occurs on the tenth day of the seventh month after the Feast of Trumpets. This is the one feast that is not fulfilled by the church. The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled in the second coming of Jesus.
The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
This is the seventh and final feast and takes place five days after the Day of Atonement, on the fifteenth day of the seven month. The Lord will establish His Tabernacle in Jerusalem, and the world will come every year to appear before the King and worship Him.
‘Just as the four spring festivals were fulfilled chronologically at the time of Jesus, I believe that the last three festivals will also be fulfilled chronologically when Jesus returns to Earth,’ said Amir. ‘He will come back on the Feast of Trumpets for the people of Israel. They will repent when they see Him, and that’s the Yom Kippur. And they will, after accepting him, enter into the millennial Kingdom, which is the Feast of Tabernacles.
So, I do believe the importance of understanding the calendar for the sake of understanding the festivals that he prescribed. And God actually was very angry at what Israel turned these festivals, New Moons and Sabbath into. If you want to understand the level of God’s frustration about what they turn these festivals into, go to Isaiah chapter one. But God has prescribed those festivals because that was a blueprint of His plan of salvation for Israel and for the whole world. And so for that matter, I would say yes, it’s important to pay attention to the festivals.
A lot of Christians are looking into the Feast of Trumpets as the potential time for the rapture of the church. I will say the calendar of the Jewish people has to do with the Jewish people and with how God is dealing with the Jewish people. So, I wouldn’t necessarily connect the rapture of the church to any of the Jewish festivals because the Rapture is a day that no one knows the day and the hour. But when it comes to the second coming, when Jesus will come back to earth with us, not for us, that’s when the latter three festivals will be fulfilled.
Colossians 2:16 says that the Sabbath, the new moon and the festivals are all the shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.’
Barry clarifies some misconceptions people have who try to make accurate calculations based on the Jewish calendar.
‘There are a lot of people that will try and create an equation based on the Jewish lunar calendar’s 30-day cycles,’ said Barry. ‘The interesting thing that often happens is people look at what Peter said in 2 Peter 3:8—that one day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years as one day, and they try and create some kind of equation by calculating the fact that the seven thousandth year when we enter into that time period or move beyond the original 6000 years on the lunar calendar, then all of a sudden here we are in the millennial Kingdom. But Peter is just making an observation that God dwells outside of time. He’s not giving us a calculation to determine when all this is going to happen.’
The Purpose of The Millennium
Barry explains what he believes is the purpose of the Millenium.
‘The important thing for us to recognise is that the Bible doesn’t tell us the purpose of the Millennium. So there’s a certain element of speculation that’s calculated that we can make based on the fact that God, throughout the course of history, has been trying to reach mankind,’ said Barry. ‘What follows the Millennium is the Great White Throne Judgement. And the reason I think it’s important is because, for the first time in the history of the world, this place is going to be run, right. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is going to rule from Jerusalem with a rod of iron. There will be justice. There will be fair judgement, and matters will be decided quickly and decisively. One thing I think that everybody in the Millennium will enjoy is there’ll be no politics. There will only be government.’
‘Then we’ll see at the very end, when the true King has ruled for a thousand years, the instant Satan is released to deceive, massive numbers of people in the world will follow him instead of Jesus. So, if we’re going to come to a ‘why’ about the Millennium, that basically completes the loop. At that point in time, God will have done everything to reach mankind, including not just sending His son to die for the sins of the whole world but sending Him back to rule the whole world and judge it fairly and run it the way it should have been run the whole time. So, in a sense, not that God needs to justify his behaviour, but it causes the Great White Throne Judgement to make a lot more sense,’ said Barry.
‘Connect’ with Amir
In 2024, Amir will be taking a sabbatical from touring to set up a CONNECT network where he will report on local and global news and how it is lining up with Bible prophecy.
‘The Lord really spoke to me saying that next year, if we’re still here, will be a very critical year with major events that will require me to stay home and be with my family,’ said Amir.
For more information about Amir Tsarfati, visit Behold Israel.
For more information about Barry Stagner, visit Calvary Central OC
Amir’s passion to reach the lost makes him think of creative ways to present the Gospel. He has written a series of fictional novels, incorporating true military operations and espionage that tie in with end times Bible prophecy and the Gospel. Out of the Far North is his latest novel, soon to be released. To purchase Amir and Barry’s book, visit the Vision store.
Bible Prophecy: The Essentials
In this age of uncertainty, Christians want and need more than ever before to understand what the Bible reveals about the future. Amir and Barry team up to answer 70 of their most commonly asked questions. User-friendly and organised by topic, this thoughtful and informative question-and-answer book will become your go-to resource as you prayerfully grow in your understanding of Bible prophecy.
This article is part of a series based on Amir and Barry’s visit to Vision Christian Media.
To listen to Amir Tsarfati and Barry Stagner’s full interview on 20Twenty, click the link below:
Images supplied by Canva and Behold Israel