There has been much speculation during the past couple of years about the culmination of the end of times due to certain signs in the sun, moon, and stars: ranging from the recent cycle of the four “Blood Moons” to the alignment of the stars on September 23, 2017. Various prophets of doom have used the Bible along with science and astrology to try to prove their theories but have only shown once again that man is incapable of predicting the date and time of the end of the world.
The Bible is an amazing book that contains truths about the past, present, and future, however, we as human beings must continually be careful to not put ourselves in God’s place and attempt to assign dates to God’s timetable. While many Christians around the world are quickly drawn into the latest sign in the stars they often miss the more practical timetable that God has given us through the prophet Moses: “The Appointed Times of the LORD” (Lev. 23).
Sukkot – The Feast of Booths
On Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017, the Jewish people, together with Gentiles around the world, will celebrate one of the Appointed Times of the LORD, the Feast of Booths or its Hebrew name “Sukkot.”
The Feast of Booths is unique among the seven Appointed Times of the LORD as the one feast which will certainly be celebrated during the reign of the Messiah on earth:
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. – Zech. 14:16
The Bible speaks about the past of the Feast of Booths and about its future. It seems wise for the people of God to know, understand, and celebrate this biblical Feast with a prophetic future.
The Significance of The Appointed Times of the LORD
We read in the pages of the New Testament that when Yeshua came to this earth 2000 years ago, He clearly fulfilled the Appointed Times of the LORD which fall in the spring season: Passover (1 Cor. 5:7-8), First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:20), and The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). It is commonly believed amongst many evangelicals today, that just as Yeshua fulfilled the spring Appointed Times in His first coming, He will fulfill the fall Appointed Times at His second coming.
Although God does use signs in the sun, moon, and stars to speak to those of us living on earth (Luke 21:25-28), He has also given us His Appointed Times (Lev. 23) which are continual reminders of who God is in relation to His people. These Appointed Times also help us to keep in step with the Creator of the universe as we observe these specific days.
The Forgotten Feast
The Appointed Times of the LORD, as found in Leviticus 23, are generally classified into the spring and fall Feasts, however, this only includes six of the seven Appointed Times. Unfortunately, there is one Appointed Time which is generally overlooked and forgotten by many evangelical Bible readers. This forgotten Appointed Time is called the Sabbath!
The irony of the Sabbath being the “forgotten Feast” is that it is actually the first Appointed Time mentioned in the list of seven (Lev. 23:1-3). The God of the Bible gave preeminence to the Sabbath in His list of Appointed Times for a reason. I believe that one of the reasons that God put the Sabbath first in His list of seven was in order to provide a basis to understand all of His Appointed Times.
The Preeminence of the Sabbath
The Appointed Times of the LORD are specific days that God has commanded His people to remember and observe in order to properly worship Him. A fundamental practice of these days demands a cessation from work and the practice of a day of rest. This is the very essence of the weekly Sabbath practice.
Without becoming legalistic or putting ourselves under the Law, it would behoove each one of us to consider afresh the Appointed Times of the LORD, beginning with the Sabbath day.