Book: The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah
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How Jesus Christ’s Second Coming is Pictured by
The Annual Feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets

While the apostles did not completely understand “the times or the seasons” in 30 AD, it is apparent that they learned more of God’s plan as time advanced. Likewise, over time God’s servants in the latter days have increased in knowledge concerning the timing of Jesus’ return. Clearly, as Christ said, no one can know the exact day or hour of His return. But we can know the approximate time (I Thess. 5:1-2). The ultimate key to pinpointing the “appointed times” of Jesus the Messiah is to understand the prophetic significance of God’s holy days and festivals.

God’s holy days form a framework or substructure upon which prophecy, as it is fulfilled, is ordered or arranged. God has precisely designed the role of Jesus the Messiah in accordance with the “appointed times” of His holy days. Indeed, each key event in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ has been correlated to the various aspects of the Passover and holy day framework. As this chapter will demonstrate, the Feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets clearly picture Jesussecond coming.

Scripture gives us three key events that signal the beginning of the end, the Great Tribulation, and the return of Jesus Christ. Other preparatory events occur in conjunction with these major events, and serve as end-time benchmarks. Chapter Seven outlined the first two of these key events—1) the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, and 2) the setting up of the abomination of desolation” by the Antichrist. Other preparatory events include the work of the Two Witnesses, the three angels’ messages, and the enforcement of the “mark of the beast.” These events set the stage for the third and final event announcing the awesome return of Jesus Christ, which everyone on earth shall see.

The Third Event Signaling Jesus’ Appointed Return

Jesus Christ Himself foretold of this third major event signaling His return—the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. As we will see from the Scriptures, this colossal event transpires over a period of time. While it begins at a set or “appointed time,” it is not a single day’s event—neither is it a “secret rapture.” In order to better understand this key development, we must look at its place in the framework of the holy days—particularly Pentecost and Trumpets—as they unfold in the book of Revelation.

This event is the sixth seal of Revelation six—the heavenly signs. When Jesus opens the sixth seal, He dramatically reveals Himself by an awesome display of divine power. The whole world will know it and see it—but they won’t believe it.

“And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?’ ” (Rev. 6:12-17).

As Lord God of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ prophesied that He is going to shake the heavens and the earth at His second coming: “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once again—it is yet a little while—I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations; and the desire of all nations [Jesus Christ, the true Messiah] shall come’ ” (Haggai 2:6-7).

Isaiah also wrote of this event. Notice how similar this is to Revelation six: “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth for fear of the LORD and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth” (Isa. 2:19-21).

What happens when the heavens are rolled back like a scroll? Instantly, the heavens all around the world will be changed. The heavens, our entire solar system, the earth, the oceans, and all nations will be shaken! Such an event has never happened in the history of mankind. Everyone will witness and experience awesome, all-encompassing terror! Jesus Himself described to His disciples how these occurrences would unfold, beginning with the start of the Great Tribulation:

“For then shall there be great tribulation [it begins when the “abomination of desolation” is set up in the holy place], such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited [to three and one-half years], there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be limited. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘He is there,’ do not believe it. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you. Therefore, if they say to you, Come and see! He is in the wilderness; do not go forth. Come and see! He is in the secret chambers; do not believe it” (Matt. 24:21-26).

Clearly, Jesus is not coming as an ordinary man. Rather, He is coming in power and glory as God and King to rule the world! (Zech. 14:9).

When we combine Revelation 6:12-17—picturing the heavens rolling back as a scroll—with the following passages of Matthew 24, we can begin to visualize the overwhelming and fearful power of the sixth seal.

For as the light of day [the sun], which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be…. But immediately after the tribulation [of two years of punishment on the twelve tribes of Israel] of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:27-30).

Luke records some additional details: “And there shall be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress and anxiety among the nations, the seas roaring with rolling surges; men dying of heart attacks from fear and dread of the things that are coming on the whole world; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).

When the heavens roll back as a scroll, the entire world will suddenly see the sign of the Son of Man. But what will people see? Jesus said that the sign of the Son of Man will shine from east to west, as does the sun. Therefore, we can conclude that all the people of the world will see what appears to be a new sun—a second sun—never before observed in the heavens. Undoubtedly, it will appear to have suddenly originated from somewhere beyond our solar system. This will be an alarming event, indeed! As a result, with two suns shining in the heavens, there will be confusion as to which day is which. This is why no man will be able to know the day or hour of the return of Christ. Moreover, from these passages we can determine that the return of Jesus Christ does not take place in a single day. When we put together the rest of the scriptures from the book of Revelation, it is evident that the whole world will continue to see the sign of the Son of Man—this new sunshining in the heavensfor more than a year.

As we will see later, it is significant that the sign of the Son of Man appears in the heavens just before the next-to-the-last Pentecost during the three and one-half year Tribulation. This mind-boggling action by Jesus Christ occurs after the first two years of the Great Tribulation have been completed (Rev. 6:12-17).

As foretold by the prophet Hosea, the first two years of the Great Tribulation is the time of God’s punishment on the modern-day, end-time descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel for their sins. Concerning the start of the Great Tribulation, when God begins to punish Israel, He says, “I will go; I will return to My place until they confess their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will seek Me earnestly” (Hosea 5:15).

While in captivity for grievously departing from the Lord, the twelve tribes of Israel will repent when they witness the events of the sixth seal— the heavenly signs, when the heavens are rolled back as a scroll. They will know that this is the hand of God! Notice, as the prophecy of Hosea continues, that there is a time period defined in terms of “days.” However, as we see in Numbers 14:3 and Ezekiel 4:4-6, a “day” in prophecy typically equals a year in fulfillment. Notice what the children of Israel will say as they repent: “Come and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days [two years in fulfillment] He will revive us; in the third day [after the beginning of the third year] He will [begin to] raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).

From these Scriptures we can conclude that God’s correction on the modern nations of the twelve tribes of Israel for their sins will last for two years. Then, just after the beginning of the third year, He will end their time of punishment and begin to deliver them, starting with the 144,000 of Revelation seven.

The Sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation Seven
And the Great Innumerable Multitude

From Revelation six, the sequence of events continues in chapter seven. There, the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of the children of Israel signals that God has begun to liberate them from captivity in the third year, after two years of punishment for forsaking the Lord.

Immediately after the heavens are rolled back as a scroll—when the heavens and earth are shaken and the sign of the Son of Man appears as a new sun in the heavens—there is suddenly a great calm. John writes:

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.’

“And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel. From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Zebulon, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed” (Rev. 7:1-8).

Combining the prophecies of Hosea and Revelation shows us that God begins to raise up or deliver the children of Israel by sealing the 144,000. Since this is after the beginning of the third year of the three and one-half year Great Tribulation, there is approximately one and one-half years of the Tribulation left, which comes against the rest of the world.

Furthermore, not only are the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel sealed—that is, they are given the Holy Spirit for salvation—a great, innumerable multitude is also sealed. Notice:

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands; and they were calling out with a loud voice to Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, saying, ‘The salvation of our God has come’ [showing that they will also receive the Holy Spirit and salvation].

“Then all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and strength be to our God into the ages of eternity. Amen.’

“And one of the elders answered and said to me, ‘These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?’ Then I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, “They are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb’ ” (Rev. 7:9-14).

Based on the framework of the holy days for the time of the end, this sealing takes place at “the appointed time” on the next-to-the-last Pentecost during the three and one-half year Great Tribulation. This is God’s own personal harvest. Just as the apostles and others were sealed with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 30 AD, as recorded in Acts two, the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude are likewise sealed on this Pentecost—which is one year before the first resurrection that will take place at the next Pentecost. In the parable of the vineyard master and laborers, the workers hired at the eleventh hour are a type of those who are sealed as shown in Revelation seven on this next-to-the-last Pentecost (Matt. 20:1-16).

Approximately three and one-half months after rescuing and sealing the 144,000 and the great multitude, the final year of the Great Tribulation starts on the next-to-last Feast of Trumpets. The Tribulation will continue with greater intensity upon the rest of the nations of the world for one year until the next Feast of Trumpets. This last year is called the “Day of the Lord” (Rev. 8:1-6).

The Seven Trumpet Plagues

Each of the seven angels sound a great trumpet in succession to announce the seven trumpet plagues.

[T]here was silence in heaven for about a half hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:1-5).

These “trumpet plagues” begin a more intense phase of the Great Tribulation, pitting the angels of God against Satan, his demons and wicked men. The first four trumpet plagues occur in rapid succession (Rev. 8:6-12); the last three plagues escalate in such intensity and power that they are called the three “woes.” In Revelation nine, when the fifth angel sounds his trumpet, which is the first woe, demons like “locusts” are loosed out of the Abyss (a prison for demons) to join with men in inflicting pain for five months upon the armies of the East and North (Dan. 11:44). Their torment is caused by some satanic “secret weapon” that causes grievous pain as if one is stung by powerful scorpions (Rev. 9:1-12).

When the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, which is the second woe, it is even more horrific. Using powerful futuristic weapons, the armies of 200 million men and demons launch a counter attack against the Beast and the False Prophet and their armies in the holy land. Four demons bound in the great Euphrates River are loosed and the river dries up, opening the way for the hoards from Asia (Rev. 9:13-19).

While these great battles are being waged, the sign of the Son of Man—the new “sun”—will continue to shine every day from the east to the west. By this time, “day and night” and time in general will be in great disarray. Indeed, with two suns in the sky it will be impossible to determine the beginning and ending of a day. This is why we cannot know “the day or the hour” of Jesus’ actual return to resurrect and gather the saints. Only God the Father and Jesus Christ will know exactly when the day of the last Pentecost for the first resurrection will be—for that is under the Father’s authority.

After this new “sun” has been in the sky for a nearly a year and a half, people will have become used to its presence, taking it for granted. They will shrug it off, dismiss it as an astronomic anomaly. But at the set time—just before the first resurrection—this shining new “sun” will suddenly streak toward the earth. The whole world will be terrified that it will collide with the earth. But as it comes into the clouds, this “sun” will suddenly be changed into a great “Sea of Glass.” Indeed, that is when “every eye” will see Jesus Christ coming in the clouds with great power and glory—as the Sea of Glass descends into the clouds at a point right over Jerusalem. Rather then repenting, however, the nations will interpret this as a vast “alien” invasion and gather to fight against Christ.

Once the Sea of Glass is positioned over Jerusalem, the seventh angel will sound his trumpet—on the final Pentecost—and the dead in Christ Jesus will be raised to immortality and carried to the Sea of Glass. Next, those who are alive will be changed and caught up in the air by angels and brought to the Sea of Glass. Notice: “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [the seventh trumpet]; and they shall gather together His elect [to the Sea of Glass] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31; also see Rev. 11:15-19; I Thess. 4:13- 17; Rev. 14:14-16; Rev. 15:2-4). No doubt the people of the world will witness the resurrection of the saints to immortal glory—and assume that it is part of this “alien” invasion! This is how all those in the resurrection of the saints will meet Christ in the air, in the clouds—from righteous Abel to the Two Witnesses.

The Seven Last Plaguesthe Wrath of God: From the time of the first resurrection—on the final Pentecost during the last three and one-half years—until the next Feast of Trumpets is a period of three and one-half months. During this time the seven angels will pour out the seven last plagues—which are the wrath of God—upon the armies of the nations that continue to fight against Christ and the resurrected saints on the Sea of Glass in the clouds over Jerusalem. After the first resurrection has been completed and the saints are all standing on the Sea of Glass, John writes:

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up…. And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (Rev. 15:1, 6-8).

“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.’ And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image. And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood.

“Then I heard the angel of the waters say, ‘You are righteous, O Lord, Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment. For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.’ And I heard another voice from the altar say, ‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.’

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire. Then men were scorched with great heat; and they blasphemed the name of God, Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; yet they did not repent of their works” (Rev. 16:1-11).

When the sixth angel pours out his plague, the Euphrates is again dried up “so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared” (Rev. 16:12). In a last desperate attempt to defeat Jesus Christ and the saints, Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet will send out demonic spirits to persuade the nations and their armies to come and fight against Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints—they are convinced it is an alien invasion from outer space:

“Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; for they are spirits of demons working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God…. And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (verses 13-14, 16).

The prophet Joel describes God’s preparation for this battle against all nations:

“I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for My people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided My land…. Proclaim this among the nations, ‘Prepare for war!’ Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’

Gather yourselves and come, all you nations, and gather yourselves together all around; cause Your mighty ones to come down there, O LORD. Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations all around. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, come down; for the press is full; the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great [see Rev. 14:18-20].

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision! The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD shall also roar out of Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. And the heavens and the earth shall shake. But the LORD will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:2, 9-16).

Thus, the nations gather at Armageddon for the final, end-time battle— where they are utterly destroyed:

Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘IT IS FINISHED.’ And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell; and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. And every island disappeared, and no mountains were found; and great hail, each stone the weight of a talent, fell down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceedingly great” (Rev. 16:17-21).

Then, on the final Feast of Trumpets ending the Great Tribulation, after God’s judgment against Babylon the Great (Revelation 17-18), Jesus Christ and the saints prepare for the final battle against the Beast, False Prophet, Satan the devil and His demons, and the remnant of their armies. As Revelation 19 depicts:

“And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven [all those of the first resurrection standing on the “sea of glass”], saying, ‘Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are His judgments; for He has judged the great whore, who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.’ And they said a second time, ‘Hallelujah! And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity.’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, Who sits on the throne, saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’

“And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.’ And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned. Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’

“And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’ And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, ‘See that you do not do this! I am a fellow servant of yours, and of your brethren, who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

“Then I saw heaven open; and behold, a white horse; and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war. And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no one knows except Him. And He was clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is The Word of God. And the armies in heaven were following Him on white horses; and they were clothed in fine linen, white and pure.

“And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations; and He shall shepherd them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fury and the wrath of the Almighty God. And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of chief captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great.’

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked miracles in his presence, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Those two were cast alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone; and the rest were killed by the sword of Him Who sits on the horse, even the sword that goes out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:1-21).

The prophet Zechariah also foretold of Jesus Christ’s powerful return to the earth with the resurrected saints:

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst, ‘For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem; and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women raped. And half of the city shall go into exile, and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.’ And the LORD shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south….

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. And it will be one day which shall be known to the LORD, neither day nor night; but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light…. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name shall be one…. And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the people who have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets. And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall be in that day that a great panic from the LORD shall be among them. And they shall each one lay hold of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations all around shall be gathered—gold, and silver, and clothing in great abundance. And likewise shall be the plague of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the donkey, and of all the beasts which shall be in these camps—it shall be as this plague” (Zech. 14:1-4, 6-7, 9, 12-15).

Immediately following Jesus’ return with the resurrected immortal saints, He will dispatch an angel to bind Satan the devil and his demons in a great abyss for the entire 1,000-year period during which Christ and the saints rule. This is “the appointed time” Satan will be bound and imprisoned in the abyss: “Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Then he cast him into the abyss, and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time” (Rev. 20:1-3).

Every year on the Day of Atonement this “appointed time” was depicted by a ritual at the Temple. The high priest was commanded to select two goats—one for the Lord, a type of the Lord—and one for “Azazel,” which is another name for Satan the devil. The goat for the Lord was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled upon the Ark of the Covenant in the holy of holies, signifying “the appointed time” when God makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ available for the people of the whole world. The goat for Azazel was not sacrificed; rather, it was left alive as it represented Satan the devil who is composed of spirit and does not die. The priest confessed all the sins and transgressions of the children of Israel upon the head of the Azazel goat, thus showing that all human sin originated with Satan the devil. Ultimately, a “strong man”—a type of the angel of Revelation 20—led the Azazel goat into the wilderness where it was “let loose,” signifying Satan’s imprisonment in the abyss (Lev. 16:8-10, 20-22).

After Satan has been bound, the world is then poised for a new beginning at “the appointed time”—the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21)! Indeed, the resurrected immortal children of God will help Jesus Christ rescue this world from sin, corruption and vanity:

“Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God; because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:17-21).

Thus, the prophecies concerning the appointed times of the return of Jesus the Messiah, the resurrection of the saints, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God are fulfilled—and the glorious millennial reign of God begins at “the appointed time” as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. Revelation 20 describes this glorious event: “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6).

The Final “Appointed Time”—The Last Great Day

There remains to be examined one, final “appointed time” in the work of Jesus the Messiah. Mentioned only three times in the Bible, it is the least understood of all the “appointed feasts” of God. This final holy day, commanded in Leviticus 23:36, is called the “eighth day” because it follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. This “appointed” festival is a holy convocation, a high day.

As pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, the 1000-year rule of Jesus Christ with the saints is the time of the “restoring of all things” (Acts 3:21). The Millennium, however, is only preparatory to this final “appointed time” pictured by the “eighth day”—the Last Great Day. As heir to David’s throne, Jesus the Messiah has been promised an eternal dominion (Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:33). Thus, “the appointed time” of Jesus’ reign is not limited to the millennial age—but extends into the ages of eternity!

This is why this particular feast falls on the “eighth” day. The number eight points to abundance. The Hebrew root word for eight means “to be fat”—as in plentiful. Based on its use in the Old Testament, the number eight is primarily associated with new beginnings. For example, circumcision was on the eighth day, signifying a new beginning under the sign of the Abrahamic covenant; a sacrificial animal had to be at least eight days old to be sacrificed; and, various cleansings were for a full seven days, allowing the person to re-enter the camp on the eighth day. Noah was called the “eighth person” (II Pet. 2:5) as mankind embarked upon a new beginning after the Flood.

The apostle John writes what Jesus said on this very day during His ministry: “Now in the last day, the great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and called out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink’ ” (John 7:37). Verses 38-39 show that Jesus was referring to the living waters of the Holy Spirit—which makes eternal life possible.

Thus, this feast is called the Last Great Day—but why? For the answer, we need to look again at the 70-week prophecy, as this decree is all encompassing—reaching from Daniel’s time to the beginning of the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev. 21-22). Notice what Daniel was commanded to write: “Seventy weeks are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Dan. 9:24). According to this decree, there are three aspects of the work of the Messiah which He must yet accomplish to completely fulfill the prophecy. They are: 1) finish the transgression; 2) make an end of sin; and 3) bring in everlasting righteousness.

Throughout the 1000-year reign of Jesus and the saints of the first resurrection, Satan and his evil spirits will be bound in the abyss (Rev. 20:2- 3). At the end of the Millennium they are released for a very short period of time (verse 7), during which they mastermind a brief but destructive rebellion against God (verses 8-9). Once this rebellion is put down, Satan and the demons face their final judgment (verse 10)—to be cast into the lake of fire and then banished forever into eternal “blackness of darkness” where they can never again exert their evil influence (Jude 13).

After God executes His judgment against Satan and the demons, the final “appointed time” of the 70-week prophecy begins. It is known as the “Great White Throne Judgment” (Rev. 20:11-13), wherein all who have ever lived and died without having received an opportunity for salvation are resurrected to a second physical life for a “first opportunity” for salvation (Ezek. 37:1-14). In Revelation 20:5, they are referred to as the rest of the dead: “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.” This resurrection is known as the second resurrection. Based on Isaiah 65:20, a period of 100 years is allotted for those of this resurrection to learn God’s way of life and qualify for His gift of eternal life (Rev. 20:11-13). In spite of His offer of mercy and forgiveness, an incorrigible few will reject God and His way. They will be cast into the lake of fire and suffer eternal destruction (verse 15). Ultimately, the grave and death itself are destroyed (verse 14). When this 100-year period has been completed, Jesus will deliver the kingdom up to God the Father (I Cor. 15:24). Now the stage is set for the New Heavens, the New Earth, the New Jerusalem, and the eternal presence of God the Father.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men; and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be any more death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away’ ” (Rev 21:1-4).

Thus, Jesus the Messiah will entirely fulfill the 70-week prophecy of Daniel nine: 1) The transgression of Satan and the demons has been finished; 2) He has made an end of all human sin; and 3) He brings in everlasting righteousness—into the ages of eternity.

The entire spiritual Family of God—now composed of billions and billions of immortal spirit beings who were once human—will live forever as the spirit-composed sons and daughters of God the Father. Jesus will proclaim, “Behold, I make all things new!” It will truly be a new beginning in a perfect world, in a perfect universe—an “open door” to all eternity (Rev. 21-22).

Finally, Jesus the Messiah will triumphantly announce, “It is done!” The entire plan of God has been fulfilled, leading to a completely new eternal, spiritual beginning—“I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of [eternal] life” (Rev. 21:6).

What, then, will be the new “appointed times” of God the Father and Jesus Christ for “the ages of eternity?”