You Shall Observe the Feast of the Harvest
1. Feast of the Harvest
There are 3 main Holy Feasts in the bible: Feast of Passover, Feast of Harvest (Pentecost Day), and Feast of Ingathering/Tabernacles.
The Feast of Passover is to celebrate liberation from Egypt, the sinful world and death through a lamb sacrifice which foreshadows Jesus Christ. So this marks the day when we came to salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.
50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is Pentecost Day which is the second season and that is today. This is the first fruit of the barley harvest. So this is a day to give thanks after the sowing of the Passover. Spiritually this is a time we give thanks to God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit that came as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So we must consider what fruits of the Holy Spirit can we present to God in our life?
The final harvest season is the Feast of Ingathering or also known as the Feast of Tabernacles which coincides with our Thanksgiving Day in November.
These feast days or ‘appointed days’ (Moed in Hebrew) follow the pattern of seven. Sabbath day also follows a pattern of sevens. It is a day God wants us to remember that foreshadows the eternal Sabbath that God will give us. These appointed days with the pattern of sevens is also fulfilling God’s spiritual number seven.
Seven represents completion or perfection because it is a combination of four and three. Four represents this world, the 4 cardinal directions. Tables and chairs have 4 legs, and cars have 4 wheels. Thus, it is the number of stability in this world.
The number three is a heavenly number that represents the Trinity of God. And the fulfilment that God wants to see in us and in the History of Redemption is for the heavenly will to be fulfilled on this earth; for three to come together with four and become seven. God works through the number seven throughout the bible. Therefore, these Feast Days are days to remember and fulfil God’s heavenly will on this earth and it is repeated every ear until God fulfils His work of redemption in the end.
In the bible, we see that when the Israelites kept these days they were blessed and protected by God. But if they observe these days out of formality and not from the heart, their lives went to destruction. The restoration was marked by remembering these days. Many religious reformations in the bible included observing Feast days. Thus, if we are seeking restoration, recovery or for God to start blessing us then we must carefully observe God’s Feast Days because of the following reasons:
(1) YHWH(Yahweh)’s feasts are a prophetic shadow-picture of things to come (Col 2:16–17; Heb 10:1). These feast days pointed to future events that would occur to Israel. The spring feast days point to the Messiah’s first coming, while the fall feast days point to His Second Coming, and into eternity beyond.
(2) All the feast days point to Jesus (Yeshua). The name Yeshua means “salvation” and these days all point to the various steps along the path of salvation that redeemed believers experience.
(3) These appointed times are when YHWH makes a spiritual appointment to meet with his people (Leviticus 23:1–2,4) and teaches them about His plan of salvation through the Messiah.
(4) The feast days set forth the pattern of heavenly things on earth (Hebrews 8:1–2,5; 9:8–9,23; Exodus 25:8–9,40; 26:30; Numbers 8:4; Ezekiel 43:1–6,10–12). God is welcoming us into the heavenly realm even though we are on this earth.
(5) We as physical beings need physical means and methods to help us understand spiritual realities. YHWH gives us things to do in this physical dimension to help us to understand the spiritual level (1 Corinthians 2:9–13).
So these 3 Feast Days in a year foreshadow the beginning to the end of God’s redemptive work through the First and Last coming of the Messiah.
How should we observe the Feast of Harvest?
(1) Deuteronomy 16:9-10 tells us to observe the Feast of Harvest 7 weeks from the feast of unleavened bread or Jesus’ resurrection. 7 weeks is 49 days. But it says one day after, so it is 50 days. This is the day the Holy Spirit comes and frees us from our sins. 50 is the number of Jubilee. So it has a theme of Jubilee.
(2) Deuteronomy 16:11 says everyone in your household, in your town and in your midst should observe it. Basically, this is everyone. So we need to think about the people we need to pray for to receive salvation on this day.
(3) Deuteronomy 16:11 also tells us that we must observe it in the place where God chooses to establish His name. 1 King 8 tells us that place is the temple of God, the church. It’s not just a physical location, even though coming to church is better, but it is whether God is there or not.
(4) In Leviticus 23:16–19, we see so many different kinds of offerings. We need to consider what kind of offerings have we brought to God? Not just physical offering but our status of faith.
This is a time to not only offer physical offerings, but we must also specially offer our heart and thanksgiving. Leviticus 23:38 tells us that this is a special offering that is added onto our regular offerings.
What happened on the Feast of Harvest? On the 50th day after the Exodus, God proclaimed the Ten Commandment with His own voice. So this is the day when the Word came down, thus this foreshadows the Messiah coming down to us and giving us the Word. So this represents the day the Word came to me. This day is also when they were able to give the first fruit in the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. So this is the fruit of God leading them out of Egypt into the Promise Land. Thus, we give thanks for God leading and guiding us into our new life so that we can enter the Promised Land.
The Advent of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension is also on this day. Those who receive the Word will receive the Holy Spirit. And through the Holy Spirit, we will understand the Word and believe that Jesus is our Lord. The true fruit that God wants to see in us is to believe that the One who came down, who witnessed and died for us is God.
On this day, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit, which is the church, was also first established. Thus, this is a day of a new beginning and it is a time where we give all of our heart and ability to give thanks to God. Spiritually speaking, the Feast of Harvest is when the Word came alive in us and we made a turning point.
The success of these three harvests was contingent upon the arrival of the fall and spring rain or also known as the former and latter rains. In biblical and Jewish thought, these rains are prophetic of an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the earth, as well as an outpouring of YHWH’s Torah understanding of the Word.
Deuteronomy 32:2 tells us that rain is God’s teaching. Rain comes from heaven and pours down to earth where we are. Deuteronomy 11:11–14 tells us that in Egypt they drank water from the ground but in the Promise Land they will drink water from the rain from heaven. So this is referring to God’s blessings, His Word and His Holy Spirit. However, if we reject God’s Word, which is Jesus Christ who came down from heaven to us, then we shall be cursed (Deuteronomy 28:23, Jeremiah 5:23–25).
The blessing of early rain allows the fruit to appear and grow, the late rain allows the fruit to ripen, so these rains refer to the First and the Second Coming Lord. These rains are the blessing of reversing the curse of the fall. May we receive both the former and latter rain and be the fruit God is looking for.