Last updated on November 24, 2023
“…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…”
Do you know that the return of Jesus (Yeshua) most likely will occur in autumn at God’s appointed time? In Genesis through Leviticus, God lays out His timetable in minute detail. Unfortunately, after centuries of pagan influence, liberal Bible translations, and a lack of Old Testament understanding, most Christians are unaware of God’s appointed times and their significance. God said in Hosea 4:6a, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
In Genesis 1:14, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years…” In this passage, “seasons” refers to “appointed times or festivals,” not the more familiar meaning of spring, summer, fall, and winter.
The Jews celebrate seven festivals or appointed times—but they are not Jewish appointed times; they are God’s appointed times. Unfortunately, when Constantine changed the official calendar from a lunar calendar to a solar calendar, our “Christian” holidays merged with pagan holidays. In the process, Christianity absorbed many pagan traditions.
For example, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Historically, this day coincides with a pagan holiday following the flood and the Tower of Babel. Easter, because it is set according to the spring equinox, is often days apart from Passover and the crucifixion of Yeshua.
Christmas is another Christian celebration mired in pagan practices. It originated in Egypt long after Yeshua’s birth and resurrection. The first recorded date of Christians celebrating Christmas did not occur until 336 A.D. A few years later, Pope Julius I established December 25 as the date for Christmas and Jesus’ birth. This became the second date on the Christian calendar to be associated with a pagan holiday. Jesus said in Matthew 15:9, “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
Through God’s appointed times, we see the timeline of Jesus’ (Yeshua) ministry. Just as He fulfilled the first four festivals at the time of His first coming, so will He fulfill the remaining three feasts at His second coming.
In Leviticus 23:4, God said, “These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”
While we are not obligated to keep the festivals in the church age, knowing what they mean has enriched my Christian walk. The sound of the shofar blowing reminds me of the Feast of Trumpets. All around the world, in recent years, people have heard mysterious trumpet-like noises coming from the heavens. You can listen to these sounds on YouTube.
Could these trumpet calls be announcing the Lord’s imminent return? Knowing that three of the seven festivals remain unfulfilled gives me heightened awareness that Jesus could return at any moment. If you long for His return as I do, thinking about these things brings a quickening of the spirit. As saints have cried through the centuries, “How much longer, oh, Lord, until your return?”
I have listed below the seven Levitical Feasts and their meaning in reference to the Messiah. Remember, feasts (moadim) in Hebrew mean “appointed times.”
- Feast of Passover – Fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming. Jesus (Yeshua) is the Passover lamb. His sacrifice occurred at the very hour the high priest slaughtered the lambs within the temple.
- Feast of Unleavened Bread – Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible. Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights following His crucifixion as God’s unleavened, spotless Son. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
- Feast of First Fruits – Jesus was the first to be resurrected. In I Corinthians 15:20, Paul refers to Jesus as the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – Occurred fifty days after Passover. On Pentecost, Peter preached from Jerusalem, and 3,000 people responded to the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit, sparking the beginning of the Church Age in which we live.
- Feast of Trumpets – While the first four feasts were fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming, most Bible scholars believe the last three will be fulfilled at His second coming. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the fall feasts. Many believe this is the feast when Jesus will rapture the church from the Earth.
In I Thessalonians 4:16, Paul wrote, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The first day of the Jewish New Year is the Feast of Trumpets. Remember that the Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah, falls on the calendar dates of 1 and 2 Tishrei. In 2023, that started on September 15 at sundown and concluded at nightfall on September 17. In 2024, the date for Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on October 2 and ends at nightfall on October 4.
While we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ return, that day is fixed at an appointed time. If you look at the signs Yeshua gave in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, He tells us what signs to look for that would mark His return. He wanted us to prepare for His coming. In Matthew 25:1-13, in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, He warns us what would happen if we didn’t.
- Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Many associate this day with Jesus’ physical return to Earth following the Great Tribulation. On the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur occurs on 10 Tishrei. In 2023, that began at sunset on September 24 and ended at nightfall on September 25
In 2024, Yom Kippur falls on the Gregorian calendar on October 11, beginning at sundown, and ending at nightfall on October 12.
Zechariah 12:10b says: “…then they [the Jews] will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
- Feast of Tabernacles or Booths – Looks ahead to when Yeshua will reign from Jerusalem over all the Earth for one thousand years. (Micah 4:1-7).
As the return of Jesus draws near, I always look at the unfulfilled fall feasts knowing this year might be the year. The Feast of Trumpets would most likely be the appointed time for the rapture.
Knowledge of God’s fixed days assures us that even though Gentiles have altered the calendar, forgotten God’s appointed times, and imbued the Christian faith with pagan practices not found in the Bible, God never changes. His return is set—if not this year, maybe next year—in 2024, 2025, 2026 or beyond. Regardless of the year, when autumn draws near, I remember—and hope, this is the “appointed time.”
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to keep looking up and not lose heart as the world devolves into chaos. I know You will return at the appointed time, and I wait expectantly for the Blessed Hope.