The civil and the religious calendars operated at the same time. Joel 2.23 says, “For he has given you the early rain for your vindication and he has poured down for you the rain, the early and the latter rain in the first month (KJV; Mishnah Ta’anit 1.2).” Where it says “early rain” it is “moray tzedekah” in Hebrew, meaning “teacher of righteousness” which is a name for the Messiah. So, this verse says that the Messiah will come as the early and later rain “in the first month.” How can that be possible because these rains are about six months apart. Well, it is possible if you have two calendars. What this is saying is the Messiah will come in Nisan of the religious calendar and Tishri of the civil calendar. We know that he came in Nisan and fulfilled the spring feasts, and so we know he will come in Tishri to fulfill the fall feasts. Hos 6.1-3 says that the Messiah will come and revive Israel after two days (2000 years) and raise them up in the third day (the Atid Lavo, the seventh day, or Millenium). It says that Messiah will “like the rain.” James 5.7 says, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and the late rain.” So, we are to be patient for the coming of the Messiah.
Now, in the Mishnah, Rosh Ha Shannah 1.1, it says that there are four Rosh Ha Shannah’s New Year, or “head” of the year) in a year. Nisan 1 is for festivals (religious calendar) and kings; Elul 1 the tithe of animals; Tishri 1 for years (civil calendar), the Shemitah and Yovel; and Shevat 1 for tree’s. The festivals and their dates should be memorized because when you see a date in Scripture it is telling you something, possibly relating to a festival. The civil calendar is used until Exodus 12.1, then any date given after that is according to the religious calendar. Here is an example of how this is valuable.
The Ark of Noah rested on Ararat in the seventh month and the seventeenth day. According to the civil calendar, this would be Nisan 17. Yeshua (the Ark) was resurrected according to the religious calendar on Nisan 17 as the first fruits of those who rose out of the flood of death permanently. Israel passed through the Red Sea (death) and was resurrected on the other side on Nisan 17 of the religious calendar. Hezekiah consecrated the Temple and finished on Nisan 16, then worship began again on Nisan 17 after the Temple was set in order (2 Chr 29.1-36). You see, Lev 23.4 says that the festivals are to be proclaimed at a certain time, when the Lord said to proclaim them. This is because certain events are going to happen on those days in biblical eschatology. Remember, the word for “moed” is “appointment” and “mikrah” is “rehearsal in Lev 23.2. The festivals can only be kept in Jerusalem and the Temple because certain prophecies about the coming of the Messiah can only be fulfilled there. So, here are some terms and concepts to know if you are going to understand the Gospels and Epistles. They are: Moed, Mikrah, Shabbaton, Chol ha Moed, the civil and religious calendar. Now, we are going to go into more.
One of the things that you can do is “track the dates” given in the Scriptures. Look at the dates and you will see patterns. We have shown you how the Ark of Noah rested on Nisan 17 and how this corresponds to the resurrection of Yeshua on Nisan 17. Israel crossed the Red Sea on Nisan 17. They left Egypt on Nisan 15, which is the same day the Covenant Between the Parts was made with Abraham in Gen 15. They leave from a place called Sukkot. Israel was only given permission to go into the wilderness for three days. So, why did Pharaoh go after them? Joseph was buried in the Faiyum, in Middle Egypt. Moses went there and took his remains which were in an “ark” (Gen 50.26). The bones were in a sarcophagus. Now, Pharaoh knew about the request of Joseph to be buried in the land of Israel, and to be carried there when the people were led back by the Lord. So, Joseph’s tomb was empty and Pharaoh knew they were not coming back after three days. So, God causes him to chase them into the Red Sea and he dies, or is “cut off” on Nisan 17, thus freeing the slaves. The “sea” is seen as a tomb, death. Pharaoh is a type of Satan and the false Messiah. So, Joseph’s tomb was empty and Pharaoh is cut off on Nisan 17 and the people are free. It is the same with Yeshua. After three days, another Joseph’s tomb is empty and Satan is cut off on Nisan 17 and believers are free.
Esther 3 is another picture. Achashverosh (Xerxes), Esther, Mordechai and Haman are the main characters. Mordechai is Esther’s uncle and he is from the tribe of Benjamin, the family of Kish, the same as King Saul. Hamn is an Amalekite and a picture of the false messiah. Lots, called “purim” are cast to find a suitable date to exterminate the Jews because Haman has convinced the king they deserved to die. A decree goes out on Nisan 13. Esther 5.1 says that on the third day (Nisan 16) there was a banquet. Haman also has to honor Mordechai for saving the king previously. He is invited to a second banquet on Nisan 17 (7.2). Haman’s plot is exposed and he dies on Nisan 17. So, as we are beginning to see, there is a pattern developing concerning Nisan 17. It is becoming a day of deliverance, salvation and redemption and the defeat of God’s enemies. The Ark rests on Ararat, Pharaoh dies, the Temple restored, Haman dies, Yeshua is resurrected and death and Satan defeated.
Let’s look at some eschatological aspects of the festivals and the Sabbath. Eschatology is defined by many as the “study of the last things” but it is really the study of the Messiah and the redemption. Biblical Eschatology begins in Genesis 1 with a blueprint, a tavnit, of the 7000 year Plan of God. There is a 7000 yer plan timeline which is this. If you draw a straight line, divide it up into four sections. The first three sections are 6000 years called the Olam Ha Zeh, with the fourth 1000 years. The first section is 2000 years and it is called “Tohu” meaning “destruction, void.” The second section is another 2000 years called “Torah” meaning “instruction.” The third section is called Yom’ot Mashiach, or “Days of the Messiah” and the last section is called the Atid Lavo, or “Future Age.” We are right at the end of the 2000 year period called the Yom’ot Mashiach, or “days of the Messiah.” After that the 7000 years are over and we enter into the Olam Haba.
God creates the sun on day four (Gen 1.14-19). This is a picture of the Messiah who is from the fourth tribe of Judah and comes after 4000 years (Gen 29.31-35, 32.30-31; Psa 19; Mal 4). The moon is a picture of Israel. The sun is seen as a “bridegroom” and the moon the bride who reflects the sun’s light. The New Moon festival happens every month. It is called the “born again moon” by the Jewish people, so the term “born again” is not a new term given by Yeshua. It was well known. This festival speaks about a wedding because Rosh Ha Shannah, the day the catching away of the believers will happen, occurs on a New Moon (Tishri 1). Creation began on Tishri 1, the first day.
There are many pictures of this 7000 year plan. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, Gen 6.3 talks about 120 years. If you multiply 120 by 50 years of the Jubilee years, it is 6000 years. Jacob works for seven years for a wife. Leah has six sons, then a daughter (Gen 29.1 through 30.21). John 1.19 through 2.1 describes six days and then a wedding. 2 Kings 11 talks about a six year drama and the coronation of Joash in the seventh year. Isaac is 40 when he marries Rebekah, and 60 when he has children. In Joshua 3, the Ark is 2000 cubits ahead of the people. 2 Sam 13 begins a seven year drama with Absalom ending, in his death. These are just a few of the pictures in the Scriptures alluding to the 7000 year plan of God.
So, we have a 6000 year period called the Olam Ha Zeh, or “this present age.” Then we come to the last 1000 year period called the “Day of the Lord” or the Atid Lavo, the Future Age. Matt 24.1-3 refers to the Olam Ha Zeh where it speaks of the “end of the age.” The next age they expected was the Atid Lavo. In 1 Thes 5.1 it talks about the “times and seasons.” The “times” refers to the “moedim” or appointed times, and the “seasons” refers to the seasons of Passover, repentance, the Yamin Norain (days of awe), the festival season from Passover to Shavuot (spring season), the fall festival season of Rosh Ha Shannah to Shemini Atzeret and so on.
When Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation comes, the “rapture” of the believers, also known as the “gathering” in Scripture, will occur. This begins the 1000 year period called the Day of the Lord. Ten days later, on Tishri 10 and Yom Kippur, a seven year period called the “Birthpains of the Messiah” will begin, also called the “Tribulation” period. References to the Day of Lord can be seen kin many parts of Scripture, and it will say, “in that day” or “the Lord’s Day”, “My day”, “in those days” or “at that time.” There are many good sources to go to when studying about the Day of the Lord. One is the Jewish Encyclopedia, and look up “Day of the Lord” and “Eschatology.” These terms are all over the Scriptures because they refer to the time of redemption You have to understand the Day of the Lord before you can understand biblical eschatology. And you must understand biblical eschatology before you can understand the Gospels and Epistles. Another name for Rosh Ha Shannah is “the Lord’s Day” or “day of the Lord” (Rev 1.10).
In Part 10, we will pick up here.