Why We Break for Biblical Festivals
The people behind Life, Hope & Truth are observing the last four festivals found in the Bible. Do you know about these feasts—and what they mean?
Life, Hope & Truth is not just a website. It represents people—from all over the world. Collectively, we are called the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. As you have probably figured out by reading our content, we are quite a bit different from other churches and religious organizations.
One of the key differences is our observance of the biblical festivals found in Leviticus 23. These feasts take place in the spring, early summer and autumn of the year in the northern hemisphere.
In just a few days, our staff here in McKinney, Texas, and our members around the world will be leaving their homes for over a week and observing the last two of those annual festivals: the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. Over the next few weeks, you will not see much new content added to Life, Hope & Truth, but we will be back.
This year the planning of these special observances has been challenging due to COVID-19 and a hurricane hitting a site on the U.S. Gulf Coast. On a normal year, many of our U.S. members travel to our international sites to celebrate these days, but this year that will not be possible due to travel restrictions.
Observing these special days will be a bit different this year, but it will be an opportunity to practice the biblical principle of rejoicing despite challenging circumstances (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2). Our article “4 Ways to Find Joy in Trials” covers this principle in greater depth.
If you would like to learn more about these festivals, please view our “Feasts of the Lord” video series. This short series explains how each of these festivals reveals inspiring knowledge about God’s purpose and plan.
Here’s a brief overview of the biblical festivals we have been and will be observing over the next couple of weeks.
The Feast of Trumpets
We observed the Feast of Trumpets on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. You can find this feast described in Leviticus 23:23-25, where the dates are given based on the Hebrew calendar: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.”
When we observe this festival, we celebrate the future time when a trumpet blast will announce the return of Jesus Christ to earth (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 11:15). This festival is always a very positive day for us because it celebrates the future time when Christ will intervene in our world and start fixing mankind’s many problems.
To learn more about this day, read “The Feast of Trumpets: Alarm of War, Announcement of Peace.”
The Day of Atonement
On Sept. 28, we will observe the Day of Atonement. You can find this holy day commanded in Leviticus 23:26-32. This is a unique observance, because it includes a 24-hour fast (going without food and water). This day is all about reconciliation with God and shows us that the only way mankind will be fully reconciled (at one) with God is through the removal of Satan (Revelation 12:9; 20:1-2).
To learn more, read “The Day of Atonement: Removing the Enemy, Reconciling All to God.”
The Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles is a weeklong festival that will be observed Oct. 3-9. You can read about it in Leviticus 23:33-36, 39. God’s people are told to “rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days” (verse 40). This festival is an incredibly uplifting seven days, and we travel to locations around the world to observe it. This year the Church is hosting the Feast of Tabernacles at 46 sites around the world.
This festival pictures the coming millennial reign of Jesus Christ on earth. As we rejoice for seven days, we focus on the rejoicing that will come when mankind lives in peace and safety under the rule of Jesus Christ’s government (Revelation 20:4-6).
The Last Great Day
This festival is the last of God’s annual feasts and falls on Oct. 10 this year. Though it is associated with the Feast of Tabernacles, it is a separate stand-alone observance. You can read about it, under the name “the eighth day,” in Leviticus 23:36.
This day pictures the future time of judgment that will occur after the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:11-12). This is also an incredibly positive day because it celebrates the time when salvation through Jesus Christ will be offered to billions upon billions of people who never had the opportunity during their physical lifetimes!
To learn more, read “The Last Great Day: The Final Harvest.”
The festivals and you
If you are just learning about these festivals, we invite you to study more about them. Just as they are an important part of our life and annually remind us of what God is doing, they can become a part of your life too! The plan of God, as outlined by these special days, encompasses the three main things we seek to share with everyone. The festivals teach how eternal life will be offered to all; they provide hope for the future; and they show the truth about what God is doing today and in the future.
Yes, they are all about life, hope and truth. And that, my friends, is what we strive to be all about.