Fall Festival Season Overview

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Note to parents

We encourage you to read through this material with your children to provide an overview of the meaning of the fall holy days and what they picture. Then go through each festival in detail along with supplemental pages you feel would be helpful in teaching and reinforcing the meaning of the days. It might also be helpful to review all of God’s holy days to provide an accurate and complete understanding of God’s plan of salvation. For a good review, see “God’s Plan and Purpose for Humanity Illustrated in the Seven Annual Festivals” located in this section of the Manual.

OVERVIEW

God’s desire is to build His family. This is the reason He created people in the first place. God plans to bring many people into His family by helping them build holy, righteous character and later changing them into spirit beings who will live forever with Him. This is called God’s plan of salvation.

God has given us an outline of His plan by giving us special days to observe.

How do we know this is what God is doing? God has given us an outline of His plan by giving us special days to observe. Each of these holy days explains a part of God’s plan to us. These days are kept once each year to remind us of God’s work. They illustrate the steps God is taking to complete His family. By keeping these days holy, we show honor to God, we learn what God is doing, and we learn about the major events coming in the future. Jesus set an example for us by keeping these days holy. So did His disciples.

Holy means “sacred” or “set apart.” So when God labels these days as “holy days,” we treat them as very special because they are important to God. He commands us to do specific things on these days: rest, meet with God’s people and celebrate! We are happy and celebrate on these days because of what they mean and teach us. The holy days God gives us to observe in the fall season (in the northern hemisphere) teach us important steps in His plan.

We are happy and celebrate on these days because of what they mean and teach us.

The Feast of Trumpets teaches us that God is going to send His Son, Jesus Christ, back to the earth with great power and glory. Jesus will take control of the earth as King so that He can bring peace, safety and happiness to the whole world. He will set up the Kingdom of God on the earth and begin to help people learn what is right and good by teaching them His law.

Jesus will take control of the earth as King so that He can bring peace, safety and happiness to the whole world.

Jesus Christ offers us the opportunity to help with this job. When He returns, He will resurrect His faithful people who have died and make them spirit beings who will live forever. Those of God’s people who are still alive when Christ returns—true Christians who have the Holy Spirit—will be changed from physical beings into spirit beings who cannot die. These resurrected and changed people will live with Jesus and help rule the world. They will help the humans who are left start to live the right way—God’s way. By learning and living the right way now, you are being prepared to help teach others how to live at that time.

The Day of Atonement is the next step in God’s plan to bring many people into His family. The Day of Atonement shows us what God will do to get rid of the one who constantly encourages people to sin— Satan the devil. After Jesus returns to begin ruling the earth, He will remove that being who always tries to entice people to turn away from God and to sin. The devil is a mean-spirited, angry being who is the enemy of God. He wants to see people reject God and fail. The Day of Atonement shows us that in order to have a pure, peaceful and happy world, God will need to remove Satan from influencing people.

God instructs us to leave our homes, go to a place He has chosen, and be with His people for seven days.

The Feast of Tabernacles is the next step in God’s plan to build His family. The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day festival beginning with a holy day that shows us what the world will be like after Jesus returns as King of Kings and sets up the Kingdom of God here on earth. God wants us to imagine what the world will be like after Jesus returns when everyone is living according to God’s law. It will be a time of great happiness, prosperity and enjoyment! To help us look forward to this time—to picture and imagine it—God instructs us to leave our homes, go to a place He has chosen (where He sets His name), and be with His people for seven days. By experiencing living in peace and prosperity with everyone who is trying to live as God teaches, we see a glimpse of what it will be like once Jesus rules the world. When all people commit to living God’s way, very good things will happen.

God teaches us what He will do for all those people who never had a chance to learn His way—those who lived and died without knowing God and His way.

Right at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, God attaches the final holy day. Because the Feast of Tabernacles is seven days long, God refers to the holy day that immediately follows these seven days as the Eighth Day. We have also traditionally called it the Last Great Day. By having us keep this day holy, God teaches us what He will do for all those people who never had a chance to learn His way—those who lived and died without knowing God and His way. God promises to bring all those people back to life and teach them His way. Then they will have a chance to learn and live by God’s law and to show God they want to be in His family. This day shows that God is very fair and will give all people a chance to know Him and live His way.

ACTIVITIES

You can use the following activities to deepen your child’s understanding of and appreciation for God’s fall holy days.

Holy day card games

Download and print the file “Holy Day Card Game” on card stock.

Have your child cut out the cards and place the holy days in the correct order.

Have your child match the correct meaning to each holy day.

Play “Concentration” with all the cards, pairing the holy day with its meaning to create a correct match.

Mix up the cards. How fast can your child sort the holy days and their proper meanings into the correct order?

Make a mobile with the cards.

For older children: Research and add scripture references to the cards.

“The Final Four” poem

Download and print the file “The Final Four” on card stock.

While reading through the poem, identify the holy days pictured throughout: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day (or Eighth Day).

Display the poem.

Invitation activity

Download and print the file “By Invitation Only” on card stock.

Have your child fold the “invitation” in half so the words are inside and the outside is blank.

Read through the invitation, look up the provided scriptures and fill in the missing information:

  • Date and Time: We do not know the exact hour of Jesus Christ’s return. The seventh angel will sound, God’s Kingdom will be announced, and Jesus Christ will return.
  • Place: Earth. (Discuss the fact that we will not be going to heaven.)
  • RSVP: We let God know that we want to be a part of His family by loving Him, obeying His commandments and loving our neighbor; by praying and telling God that we want to be in His family; and by responding to Him so He knows we are planning on coming to His Kingdom.
  • Directions: The Bible tells us exactly how to obey, honor, serve and love God. We know exactly how to live by studying the Bible. We can follow Christ’s example; He will lead us into God’s Kingdom.

Allow your children to design and decorate the front of the invitation with a scene from the Kingdom. They can draw a picture, write a Millennial scripture (Isaiah 11:6-9; 35:1; Habakkuk 2:14; Zechariah 14:9) or come up with their own design.

Explain that not everyone has received an invitation to be in God’s Kingdom at this time. Discuss the privilege (but not superiority) and responsibility related to knowing God’s plan now.

Emphasize that the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day (Eighth Day) portray the time in the future when everyone will have the opportunity to know and understand God’s truth.

Further Your Study

God’s Plan & Purpose for Humanity

God’s Plan & Purpose for Humanity

Review God’s step-by-step plan of salvation for all of humanity by being reminded of the meanings and fulfillment of each of the annual festivals outlined in Leviticus 23. See how all seven festivals fit together to provide a complete Read More >

Feast of Trumpets

Feast of Trumpets

Teach your children about the astonishing events pictured by the seven trumpets of Revelation, culminating in the return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings. Review the scriptural evidence of a first resurrection. Several pages of discussion points are included, Read More >

Day of Atonement

Day of Atonement

What is the one pivotal event that must still happen before the establishment of God’s Kingdom? Teach your children about the annual festival that pictures the removal of Satan the devil, and review the purpose of fasting. Several Read More >

Feast of Tabernacles

Feast of Tabernacles

This seven-day festival pictures the establishment of the Kingdom of God, beginning with the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth commonly called “the Millennium.” Review with your children the miraculous transformation of all creation that will occur Read More >

Last Great Day

Last Great Day

Referred to as the “eighth day” in Scripture, this final festival of the annual cycle pictures God’s offer of salvation to all people who have ever lived. Review the second resurrection and the continuation of the Read More >

Holy Day Card Game

Holy Day Card Game

Print these festival flash cards on card stock to create multiple game possibilities. Play “Concentration,” matching games, sequencing games, and the list goes on. See our “Spring Festival Season Overview” lesson or our “Fall Read More >

Poem: The Final Four

Poem: The Final Four

Enjoy this poem written with the final four annual festivals in mind. Makes a great accompaniment to our “Fall Festival Season Overview” lesson. Read More >

By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

Print this file on card stock to create your own festival card designed to look like a special invitation from God the Father to become a part of His Kingdom. Makes a great Feast of Tabernacles activity for your children. Read More >