I always find it interesting to see how people approach holy day studies and messages. There are a couple of ditches that we can fall into when it comes to the holy days.
It’s understandable when something only comes around once a year to want to go over a certain set of scriptures that clearly pertain to that day. Some people give the same message year after year or cycle through a few, sometimes taken almost straight from church literature, often implying that church leadership of a few decades ago figured out all the major things we need to know and that trying to dive deeper or consider something in a different way is simply a liturgical fidget at best and potentially hubris to think you could find something more.
Others try so hard to figure out every single detail, plot out specific timing and order of events, and connect every scripture that could possibly be related. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this at face value, because we’re supposed to be searching the scriptures and God expects us to have studied the events of the end time so we’re prepared for what’s to come. The danger in this approach can be a myopic approach to individual holy days and how they fit together, and being too invested in our own way of looking at it to consider other ideas.
In giving each holy day its moment in the spotlight, we sometimes fail to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and some of the keys that God has given us to help made sense of His plan. One of those big thematic keys is the idea of harvest seasons.
God’s holy days and the harvest seasons
The bible is chock-full of harvest symbolism, of sowing and reaping, cycles of growing and coming to maturity. It’s no accident that God tied His holy day calendar to the agricultural cycles. Based on what He laid out in His word, I believe that the spring holy days and the fall holy days picture two distinct harvest seasons—each separate and complete. This isn’t earth-shattering or “new truth”, but sometimes the actual implications of the harvest seasons in prophecy get overlooked.
- The spring holy days are a smaller harvest, focused on the journey of God’s spiritual firstfruits from calling, repentance and reconciliation (Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread) to resurrection and acceptance into God’s spiritual family (Pentecost). The spring holy days are focused on a very small, specific group of people, and do not apply to the world at large.
- The fall holy days tell the same story, but for the whole world—and because this physical world is hostile to God, the process of reconciliation requires its complete destruction as a starting point.
- Traditionally, the Jews believe that Adam was created on Trumpets. In this case, then, we have Trumpets picturing the creation of physical man and this physical world, and then finally Jesus reclaiming dominion of the kingdoms of this world from Satan as the earth nears self-annihilation.
- In Atonement we see (again, traditionally) the fall of man with the first sin in the Garden of Eden (requiring the death penalty), and ultimately Jesus’s perfect sacrifice being applied to all mankind to wipe away its sins, which makes reconciliation possible.
- This larger harvest ends with a seven-day journey toward eternal life for those still alive and the establishment of God’s kingdom on this physical earth, followed by the resurrection of all of humanity since the beginning of time.
- The entire plan is capped off with the cessation of the physical and creation of a new heaven and new earth on the eighth day, as all of mankind is brought into God’s family and this physical world ceases to exist.