For nearly 6,000 years, ever since the sin of Adam, God has allowed us humans to reap the consequences of going our own ways. Man now stands poised to destroy all life on this planet. And unless Jesus Christ returns to earth to restore the government of God and put an end to warfare, not a single human being would be left alive!
In God's 7,000-year Master Plan of salvation, the first 6,000 years have been allotted to man to do as he wills. During these 6,000 years, civilizations have developed based on the way of Satan, who sits on the throne of the earth.
Christ, at His return, will end Satan's rule, and begin 1,000 years of God's rule, the rule of the Kingdom of God on earth. A new civilization based on God's law will grip the earth. Peace, happiness, and prosperity will soon be everywhere!
God begins His annual festivals with the Passover, which reminds us that the Messiah's-- Christ's--sacrifice makes it possible for the firstfruits to be forgiven of their sins.
Next comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread, picturing the continual need for God's people--the firstfruits--to put out the "leaven" of sin from their lives and to obey God. Then the day of Pentecost, the final spring festival reveals that without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to please God and overcome our sins.
But the firstfruits will not be reaped into God's Family until they are "born again" (John 3:3-8)--resurrected and changed into spirit. That will not occur until Christ comes again--and that brings us to the next festival, the Feast of Trumpets!
The Feast of Trumpets is, in a sense, the focal point, the central, pivotal Holy Day in God's plan. It not only pictures the terrible time of misery and war to befall this generation, but also the intervention of Christ to save the living from annihilation and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. It also pictures the coming of Christ to resurrect the firstfruits from the dead. As the disciples saw Christ ascend to heaven in A.D. 31, two angels told them that He would come again (Acts 1:11).
Christ came more than 2,000 years ago as a humble messenger to announce the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. But this time, when He returns, He will come in all the power and supernatural glory of God's Kingdom! Instead of submitting to death as the sacrificial Lamb of God for our sins, Jesus Christ will return to earth to put an end to sin, forcibly!
Christ's return, announced by the last trumpet, will usher in the Millennium--the 1,000-year period when He and the resurrected saints--the firstfruits-- will rule on earth. Then will begin the great spiritual harvest into God's Family.
During the Millennium all mankind will learn God's truth, and be offered, freely, salvation and sonship in God's Family. Most will choose to obey God and will be born into the Family of God.
Members of God's Church today rejoice on the Feast of Trumpets because they look forward to the return of Jesus Christ when they will be made immortal, and will rule and reign with Him on the earth. Then, there will come peace, happiness and joy--worldwide!
But this utopian world tomorrow will not happen immediately. Satan must be put away, restrained from influencing humanity. Only then can the world have peace. This event is pictured by the Day of Atonement. The next lesson tells us all about this festival and what it pictures in God's Master Plan of salvation.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
For a more in depth study of this annual Holy Day see Lesson 4 of the Holy Day Series.
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