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Trevor Huthnance explores the meaning of the final day of God's Holy Day plan, also known as the Day of Judgement.
The 8th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles is an intriguing day with enormous significance. Trevor Huthnance explores the meaning of the final day of God's Holy Day plan, also known as the Day of Judgement.
In the graciousness of God's loving character, He has given all people on earth the greatest gift that we can possibly have; the wonderful precious gift of physical life. And we should rejoice in that life. Death on the other hand is a sobering matter for everyone who draws breath. Death is an enemy because it is opposite to what the joy of life can bring to us!
And in Ecclesiastes 7:2, we find a great truth in the statement that is found there: It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
When we are with people who are mourning the loss of a loved one, it should be a sobering time for us. It's a time when we often reflect on our own lives, and stop and think seriously about what we are doing with the time we have been given and whether we are using that time in creating character or in destroying it. To repeat what Ecclesiastes says about death; the living will lay it to heart. It is something to consider carefully!
What is sure - is that one day our physical life will end.
As Benjamin Franklin said "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes"
Or as one anonymous person wrote: "Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box". Our physicality will return to dust from where it came! For those in the body of Christ, we have faith in God and His plan and we have faith in the first resurrection. But for the world, death can sometimes be a big concern!
When we lose a loved one ourselves, it's a very upsetting time – but we do have hope because we know of God's wonderful plan which is revealed in His Word – the bible – but others in the world don't have this same hope! Many are seduced into believing falsehoods which give then some comfort!
Some become quite philosophical about death and are quite resigned to it in their own way!
Sir Winston Churchill was one man who believed that God had worked with him during his lifetime, particularly during the war years! In his later life he wondered about many things – and he said this: "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter"
Psalm 90: 1-4 Just to get perspective on life from God's viewpoint!
In this Psalm, Moses contrasts man's frailty with God's eternity! And Moses sorrows over the repercussions of sin, and longs for God's divine favour and great mercy on mankind.
1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction, (dying man to dust) And say, "Return, O children of men." 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.
God here is describing the shortness of man's life; he is gone in a blink of an eye, compared with God's eternity! But Moses says our dwelling place, our hope, has always been with God – even before this creation began!
10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Help us to use our time you have given us wisely!
13 Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.
It is saying - Come back to us God - don't leave us to perish without hope!
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil.16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. 17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
The hope of all mankind lies in God coming to them, as He has come to us and by a miracle has opened up our minds and blessed us incredibly!
But today, for those who have not had their minds opened by God yet, this physical life, marvellous as it can be, can be a source of frustration because of obvious limitations. One famous man said this at the end of his life:
"I do not know what I seem to the world, but to myself I appear to have been like a boy playing upon the seashore and diverting myself (being continually distracted) and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay before me all undiscovered"
These were purported to be the last words of a frustrated Sir Isaac Newton. He knew that there was so much out there but he didn't have time to discover it! He wanted the chance to really develop his potential to learn and understand. There is so much to life – so much to see; so much to do; so little time! One day, according to the plan of God, Isaac Newton will have unlimited abilities to develop his great potential – but he never knew it in his lifetime!
Other people have been frustrated because they couldn't develop their meagre talents to a higher level. Another man said this:
"I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have"
These were the Last words of Leonardo da Vinci. I wish!
Physical life is precious but limited. It is ended by death - often after a life of many trials! We in the Church have the hope of the first resurrection to eternal life. This knowledge should totally and completely change our outlook on life now and motivate us greatly - and give us great internal joy, regardless of any suffering we may endure in our physical lives today.
In the book of 2 Peter it says that the Lord (that is the One in Supreme Authority over all things), is NOT willing that any should perish, but that ALL (everyone) should come to repentance. Because with repentance under God's plan, comes Eternal LIFE!
The Holydays of God show us that in His wonderful plan, eternal life is available to all mankind, even though billions have died without the knowledge of their creator. This holyday today in scripture is called the Eighth Day. This day gives hope to all mankind who have lived and never really knew their God! I wish to go through some of this teaching today. We'll start in Leviticus!
Leviticus 23:36-39 Begins here addressing the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.
36 'For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. So today is a high Sabbath!
39 'Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest , and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest .
Here we can clearly see that the eighth day, although attached to the Feast of Tabernacles, is a separate holyday and not specifically part of the Feast – the feast is for seven days only! As the Feast of Tabernacles represents the millennium, what is attached to the millennium but not part of it? No indication of the meaning of the eighth day is given here at all!
40 'And you shall take for yourselves on the first day (the Feast) the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. It is a time of abundance and joy!
42 'You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,
From this we can see that on the eighth day, there was no requirement to dwell in temporary dwellings! The eighth day was separate with a separate meaning. This Eighth Day Is also mentioned in Numbers, Chronicles and Nehemiah and called the Eighth Day!
Nehemiah 8:17-18 At this point, some of the Jews had returned from captivity from Babylon, and Ezra the priest was restoring the law of God and the feasts.
17 So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness.
Now there is record that the feast had been kept previously in David's and Solomon's day and the meaning here is that possibly it was not kept in such an exact way, or perhaps in such a joyful and zealous manner since Joshua's day.
18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days. Notice the wording here, the seventh day was the Last Day of the Feast! – then it says: and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner – or according to the rule of law which is stated in Leviticus. Again, this was separate day to the feast!
So in Old Testament terminology, the eighth day was called the Eighth Day and the last day was the seventh day of the Feast.
So where do we go to begin to find the meaning of the Eighth Day and what is the Eighth Day called in the New Testament?
Revelation 20:1-4 The setting here refers to events on the Day of Atonement at the beginning of the Millennium.
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
So we see here that Satan will again be let loose on mankind at the end of the wonderful millennial period which we have been celebrating this last week! Then verses 4- 6 are speaks of the millennium:
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them.
King David was promised a throne in scripture, so were the twelve apostles – verse 4 may be a fulfilment of these and similar promises! Continuing...
.....Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
As we have heard all through this Feast – this is our destiny – if we stay the course! Then something else happens...
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is an explanatory statement inserted into the text and into the timeline. Then the subject goes back to the beginning of the Millennium again. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
This is where our focus must be in this life today! But notice it says Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power. This would indicate that in the other resurrections the second death does have power – the other resurrections then must be physical! Verses 7-10 describe events at the end of the millennium!
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
This is an interesting comment on the human condition!
9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are (were cast). And will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
This is the proper rendition of that verse and refers to the mental torment of Satan whose plans for both heavenly and world domination have been brought to nothing.
Now we come to verses 11-15 which relate to the meaning of the Eighth Day, and we see that it concerns a Judgement!
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
In contrast with the other thrones mentioned previously, this throne is Great. It is also White! – which is symbolic of purity and righteousness – this is the throne of our Creator, our King and our High Priest Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 25:31 it is called the "Throne of His Glory" – same throne.
In John 5:22 it says "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son"
The Great White Throne of Glory is the throne before which all mankind will be judged, even today we are being judged before this throne! So at this point, at the end of the Millennium after Satan's final rebellion has been put down, the resurrection of the dead takes place – all those who never really knew or understood about God – including Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci!
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
At this point, people's minds will be opened to the truth of God and a greater accountability or judgement then comes into effect upon then. Repentance will be required and they will be judged on their actions from that point on. And most (I am sure) will be overjoyed at the truth of God's great plan for them and the opportunity that they now have been given!
The books which were opened we believe to be the bible and the fact that the book of life was opened may reflect the fact that opportunity now exists for them to be written in that book – precious eternal life is now open to them!
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it,...
All those who drowned in the great flood come up and see a brand new prosperous world. And they will say UH OH – Noah was right – God did kill us because we did not listen to Him! What can we do now to make up for it? And they will be taught – and this time, most will listen!
Pharoah's army who drowned in the Red Sea will come up from the sea – and perhaps Moses is there to greet them – they knew Moses well, he was one of the royal leaders and heroes of Egypt – but one who said the God of Israel was greater than the gods of Egypt! Uh OH – he was right. OK Moses- what do we need to do now? There will be some interesting scenarios around.
And those who will come up from the sea will be taught Moses prayer in Psalm 90 (which we read earlier) - 14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Rev 20:13 cont..... and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Again – each person's life will be examined and a program for redemption mapped out for them. And people will be given time to learn and to change – if they wish! Indications are that this Judgement day will last for their lifetime because these people are physical only – made of the dust of the ground. And God will give to them what He gives to us today - time – time to change! God is fair and merciful and gracious! Remember – it is God's will that all men be saved.
The next two verses then jump ahead to the end of the Judgement period when all mankind have been given their chance to come to God. Some few, even after all the opportunities which would have been presented to them, will still not come to God, and will stay in a condition of pride and rebellion. They will be totally destroyed.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Firstly, what does it mean, "death and hades were cast into the Lake of Fire"? An interesting explanation I found for this was in the Matthew Henry Commentary. I quote some excerpts: (changed wording but not the meaning of this point)
"All those who have made a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell, shall then be condemned, cast with them into the lake of fire, as not being entitled to eternal life, according to the rules of life laid down in the scripture; .... those whose names are written in that book (Book of Life) .... have nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or from wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. Let it be our great concern to see on what terms we stand with our Bibles, whether they justify us or condemn us now; for the Judge of all will proceed by that rule."
Well put! All mankind, including ourselves, may enter into a covenant with God (the New Covenant) and eventually enter into eternal life, or we may enter into a covenant of Death (with Satan and his ways) and be destroyed when death itself comes to an end and will be no more. Death will no longer be an enemy because at that time, all repentant human kind will then be in the spiritual family of God, not subject to death!
This section of the Book of Revelation is a very good blueprint of the holydays after Christ's return. The Eighth Day in Leviticus immediately followed the Feast of Tabernacles and was separate from it. The Day of Judgement in Revelation immediately follows the Millennium and is separate from it. The Eighth day is the day of Judgement! Revelation chapter 20 is the blueprint!
Did Jesus Christ mention this particular time of Judgement when He was here on earth? Yes He did!
Matthew 12:34-50 At this point Jesus Christ is having a polite conversation with the Pharisees who want to kill Him because He is healing people and casting out demons. He is proclaiming and demonstrating the healing and peace which will be extant in the Millennium! And they are slandering Him – speaking evil of Him because they believe they are righteous and Jesus is evil. So Jesus politely educates them
34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
So firstly we see that there is a specific time called The Day of Judgement and in that day people will be judged by the words that they have uttered and not repented of! People of course will also be judged by their actions. Words and actions demonstrate our true character!
So in this passage of scripture, Jesus says that at some future time, people will have to justify what they have said as well as what they have done – and the result will be – they will need to repent!
37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
A SIGN? They had been condemning Jesus for the miracles He had done! A Sign?
39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Which did literally happen as prophesied! But Jesus then uses Jonah as the starting point of what He had to say about the Day of Judgement – the Eighth Day!
KJV 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching (proclamation) of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
Jonah was just a prophet whose job it was to proclaim the words that God had given him. He was not to vary the message. Jonah was a messenger only. And he was a very reluctant messenger. And the people of Nineveh repented at the word of God coming from a reluctant prophet. Contrast that to the Pharisees who had the incarnate Creator God preaching the gospel to them personally and performing great miracles, which was a witness to them. With all that – the Pharisees (unlike those in Nineveh) did not repent. What a comparison!
And when they all rise together in the second resurrection in the Day of Judgement, the actions of the Ninevites, will in themselves, condemn the rebellious mindset of the Pharisees!
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
The Queen of the South travelled a great distance to hear the wisdom of a man who had a reputation of being wise in the ways of God and governed his country accordingly. And when she arrived, the account given in 1 Kings said that she examined him with hard questions – she sought out truth and wisdom! After a while she opened up and discussed everything that was in her mind with Solomon. And the wisdom of Solomon and the way the royal court and the country was governed under the principles of God impressed her so much, that, it said, her spirit left her. She was drained; it was so overwhelming for her!
So here was a woman, a leader, who took a long hard journey through dust, dirt and sand, with camels spitting at her, to see a man, and to learn of God and to learn wisdom. She had an open inquisitive searching mind. Compare this to the situation of the Pharisees – they did not go great distances to seek the truth but the living God actually came to visit them, who were the leaders of the people. Jesus, the Son of the living God, came with a message of salvation - but with their closed, vicious little minds, they would not accept it.
And in the Day of Judgement, when the Queen of Sheba hears about the Pharisees, she will shake her head in wonderment - and they will stand condemned because of her actions. And because of the Queen of Sheba's mindset, it will be much easier for her to throw her energies into serving God, than it will be for the Pharisees who have developed a rebellious mindset against Jesus! What we do in this life affects our eternity (that's a quote from the film Gladiator – but it's true)!
1 Timothy 2:1-6
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
"All Men" is mentioned twice! Again, God's view is long-term, His desire and plan is to bring all men – all mankind into His Kingdom! We need to see that clearly because it will then guide us in the way in which we deal and pray for people today – everyone has the potential to be a child of God!
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself a ransom for all (again for everyone – no exceptions), to be testified in due time (or 'testified in due season' as it can be translated).
The main point is that God wants and will give the Queen of Sheba and all mankind opportunity to come to Him. Many scriptures show that in the last days, God's Holy Spirit will be poured out on all men who desire it. The greatest fulfilment of this could be after the Second Resurrection has taken place. It is estimated that between 50 and 100 billion people have lived on this earth so far. And Matthew 12 indicates that they will all be resurrected together. Imagine the logistics of that situation!
To provide food and clothing will be an enormous undertaking in itself which will need great planning particularly towards the latter part of the millennium. I would suggest that the millennium itself will be a very busy and a very focussed period of time in preparing for the resurrection of God's beloved children!
Mark 5:22-43 This is an account of a resurrection to physical life.
22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came,(to Jesus) Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live." 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
During the journey, Jesus was held up and when He arrived the child was dead! And Jesus speaking figuratively said she wasn't dead!
40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
Jairus came to Jesus in faith! His daughter was raised from the dead and was told to eat! Dying people do not eat! Sick people often don't eat. This young girl was healed from her sickness. I am entering a section of speculation here! If this event has set a precedent, then we can surmise that the 50 – 100 billion people raised in the second resurrection will be raised physically healthy with all their faculties. Babies who died with some unknown complaint will be resurrected healthy. That is speculation but is based on biblical precedent!
And in the resurrection, people will still remember their lives and their tragedies and we should consider the mental condition of those being resurrected:
These people will need personal one on one comforting and empathy when they are resurrected. To God, every person is important – – a potential child of God! - and they will not be left without help when they rise up! And we of course must never undervalue anyone in this life! One last scripture:
John 11:20-36 This is the account of the death of Lazarus. Mary and Martha were grieving greatly.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
She knew God's Plan!
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept.
The Son of God shed tears! Our High Priest relates totally to the human condition! Our Great Redeemer relates to our human sorrows and suffering. The One who holds our life or death in the palm His hands, is a Being of great compassion! Be glad for that!
Jesus then raises Lazarus from the dead and Lazarus, as in the case of the daughter of Jarius, would have had the support and comfort of his family. Would the God of compassion allow any less in the second resurrection? When these people rise up in the Day of Judgement, the compassionate God will ensure that there is support and comfort for them. Eventually all these people will be invited to enter the eternal kingdom of the Father.
Most will produce fruits of repentance and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all those who thirst for it. At the end of their physical lives they will be born into the Kingdom of the Everlasting Father.
At the end of the Judgement period, the remaining rebellious men will be destroyed; death itself will come to an end (or will be destroyed) and the New Heavens and the New Earth will begin. We don't know a great deal about that, but David, in Psalm 16, under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit says this:
"in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore".
The fulfilment of the meaning of the Eighth Day is the icing on the cake of God's great master plan. The final result will be that the Father and Jesus Christ would have produced a family numbering perhaps over 100 billion God beings who will live in a joyful, exciting and productive life together forever.
And that brethren is something to think about!
God wants His servants to follow Abraham's example of faith and trust in their Creator.
How does the new covenant differ from God's previous covenant with ancient Israel?