“Those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ”
Harvest festivals: the prefiguration of the different resurrections
“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. You will observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. You will eat unleavened bread for seven days, just as I have commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Aʹbib, for at that
time you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. Also, you are to observe the Festival of Harvest of the first ripe fruits of your labors, of what you sow in the field; and the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you
gather in from the field the results of your labors” (Exodus 23:14-16).
What is the biblical quote that clearly links the resurrection hope with the prophetic dimension of the
festivals of the different harvests? Israel's three annual festivals coincided with the harvests of the agricultural seasons. We will note, with the Bible, through the resurrection of Christ and the birth of the Christian Congregation or Christian Church,
that these "harvests" of spring and autumn, are the prefiguration of the different resurrections: that of Christ (the presentation of the "firstfruits" (harvest of spring)), the 144,000 (heavenly resurrection) (festival of Pentecost (spring harvest)) and the earthly resurrection
of the righteous (the festival of booths (autumn harvest)). The main key to understanding is the resurrection of Christ, which by domino effect makes possible to understand that these harvest festivals are the prefiguration of the different resurrections:
"For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).
The Christ resurrection is referred
to be the "firstfruits". The Israelites were to celebrate the Festival of Firstfruits, after the celebration of the Passover: "Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you eventually come into the land that I am giving you and you have reaped its
harvest, you must bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he will wave the sheaf back and forth before Jehovah to gain approval for you. The priest should wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you have the sheaf waved,
you must offer a sound young ram in its first year, as a burnt offering to Jehovah" (Leviticus 23:10-12). This festival corresponded very exactly to the date of the resurrection of Christ, Nisan, 16. Jesus Christ died the day before a Sabbath, a Friday (John
19:31). On the Sabbath day (Saturday), the second day, Christ was in the tomb. “The day after the Sabbath” (Sunday), the third day, Jesus Christ has been resurrected (John 20:1 “the first day of the week” is Sunday in the Jewish calendar).
Therefore, the "firstfruits" of the harvest represent the resurrection of Christ. And it is confirmed by the apostle Paul, under inspiration: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death" (1 Corinthians
15:20). It is this text that clearly suggests that the resurrection is a future "harvest" of humans brought back to life by God, through Christ: "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death".
On Nisan 16th, God raised his Son Jesus Christ on the third day: "God raised this one up on the third day and allowed him to become manifest" (Acts 10:40). What did the Law require on the same
date of Nisan 16th? "Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you eventually come into the land that I am giving you and you have reaped its harvest, you must bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he will wave the sheaf
back and forth before Jehovah to gain approval for you. The priest should wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you have the sheaf waved, you must offer a sound young ram in its first year, as a burnt offering to Jehovah" (Leviticus 23:10-12).
The burnt offering of the young ram symbolizes the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of the sinless human body of Christ, enabling this exchange for everlasting life, through resurrection
and survival of the great tribulation. As the apostle Paul wrote, under inspiration, the resurrection of Christ, of Nisan, 16, symbolized by the burnt offering of the ram, is a redemption, an exchange by the resurrection of Christ, and a guarantee of hope
of a resurrection (heavenly or earthly): “So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living person.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"" (1 Corinthians 15:45). How? By the resurrection of Christ, from Nisan,16, where a ram was
offered as burnt offering: "For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. But each one in his own proper order: Christ the firstfruits,
afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence” (1 Corinthians 15:21-23). All humans will be brought back to life through the resurrection of Christ on Nisan 16, symbolized by the burnt offering of the ram.
The offering of the sheaf waved, of Nisan 16, seems to have the same symbolic meaning of the resurrection of Christ, to whom God, his Father gave him a new spiritual body: "Nevertheless, someone will say: “How
are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?” You unreasonable person! What you sow is not made alive unless first it dies. And as for what you sow, you sow, not the body that will develop, but just a bare grain, whether
of wheat or of some other kind of seed; but God gives it a body just as it has pleased him, and gives to each of the seeds its own body"" (1 Corinthians 15:35-38). Thus, the sheaf waved offering is the evocation of this resurrection of the seed which is put
in the ground and which "dies", to born again in the form of an ear of wheat, by a resurrection of the "grain" (previously buried).
Pentecost, the harvest festival, the festival of weeks
The heavenly resurrection of the 144,000
To have confirmation of this point of biblical teaching, namely that the harvest festivals are the prefiguration of the different resurrections (harvests of humans brought back to life),
this time, we will begin from the reasoning of the Apostle Paul, under inspiration: "For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. But each one in his own proper order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to
the Christ during his presence" ( 1 Corinthians 15: 22,23). Who are those who "belong to Christ"? This group appeared during the celebration that followed, the feast of unfermented cakes, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, during the harvest festival,
the festival of weeks, Pentecost, Sivan 6th of the year 33 (Month of Jewish Calendar) ( Exodus 23:16; 34:22).
What happened at Pentecost of the year 33, in the spiritual fulfillment
of the Harvest Festival and the weeks? The birth of the heavenly congregation of the 144,000, which belongs to Christ through the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit over the first 120 disciples of this group: "Now while the day of the Festival of Pentecost was in progress, they were all together at the same place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven, just like that of a rushing, stiff breeze, and
it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed, and one came to rest on each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak in different languages, just
as the spirit enabled them to speak" (Acts 2: 1-4; 1: 15 "the number of people was altogether about 120"). The new birth (for each of the disciples of Christ) of this heavenly congregation, which belongs to Christ and definitely completed, just before the
great tribulation, by the death and instantaneous resurrection of the 7000, is their announced resurrection (as a group), just before the thousand years (Revelation 11:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:17):
"And I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had
not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Happy and holy
is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years" (Revelation 20: 4-6).
Let us see the offerings in connection with this celebration of the birth of this select group of Christians with the Heavenly Hope, whose number of 144,000 will be revealed later (Revelation 7:3-8; 14:1-5): "You will
count off 50 days until the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then you should present a new grain offering to Jehovah. You should bring from your dwelling places two loaves as a wave offering. These should be made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour.
They should be baked with leaven, as first ripe fruits to Jehovah. And you should present along with the loaves seven sound male lambs, each a year old, and one young bull and two rams. They will serve as a burnt offering to Jehovah along with the corresponding
grain offering and drink offerings, as an offering made by fire, of a pleasing aroma to Jehovah. And you must offer one young goat as a sin offering and two male lambs, each a year old, as a communion sacrifice. The priest will wave them back and forth along
with the loaves of the first ripe fruits, as a wave offering before Jehovah, together with the two male lambs. They should serve as something holy to Jehovah for the priest. On this day you will make a proclamation for a holy convention for yourselves. You
may not do any hard work. It is a lasting statute in all your dwelling places for all your generations" (Leviticus 23:16-20).
The 144,000 people redeemed from the earth are set apart
(holy) to Jehovah as a holy offering (set apart to Jehovah God and the high priest Jesus Christ) (Revelation 5:10). The wave offering and the two loaves with leaven, alludes to this group of humans on earth, set apart (holy) to God and Christ for the earthly
ministry (until their death and heavenly resurrection). The grains and the two loaves represent this group of humans with their heritage of Adamic sin (the number two symbolizes the group), the grains and the loaves with leaven (the ministry of humans, on
earth, with their heritage of sin inherited from Adam). In 1 Corinthians 15:35-41, the apostle Paul compares a human body to a bare grain, which, later after its death, is put in the ground to sprout (resurrection) for a new life (heavenly in this case (however,
this can apply to the earthly resurrection too)). Just as the unleavened bread represents the sinless (unleavened) body of Christ, so the two loaves represent a group (two), of humans with the Adamic sin genes (1 Corinthians 5:7 (remove the old leaven ); 10:16-17
The Festival of the Booths, the Festival of Tabernacles, the Festival of Ingathering
After the resurrection of Christ "the firstfruits" and "those who belong to Christ", the 144,000, the book of Revelation, alludes to a last resurrection: "The rest of the dead did not come
to life until the 1,000 years were ended" (Revelation 20: 5). This last earthly resurrection is also described in a vision in the same chapter of Revelation, as that of the "resurrection of righteous and unrighteous" (Acts 24:15):
"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls
according to their deeds" (Revelation 20:12).
And this last "harvest" of humans
resurrected, this time on earth, was without a doubt foreshadowed by the celebration of the Festival of the Booths, the Festival of Tabernacles or Festival of Ingathering, that took place in autumn, from Ethanim 15 to 21 (Tishri 15 to 21))
(Month of the Jewish Calendar) (Leviticus 23: 34-43, Numbers 29: 12-38, Deuteronomy 16: 13-15):
"With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with
mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have
passed away" (Revelation 21: 3,4).
It is very interesting to note that the
apostle Paul associates the beginning of the resurrection (in the heavenly context) with the sounding of the trumpet: "Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye,
during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51,52). "Because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice
and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Nevertheless, this exceptional trumpet sound must rather be linked to that of Ethanim (Tishri), 10, of the jubilee year which celebrates the
release from slavery of death (Romans 5:12).
Therefore, the sounding of the trumpets is closely associated with the beginning of the resurrection. Here is what is written in Numbers
10:10: "Also, on your joyous occasions—your festivals and at the beginning of your months—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your communion sacrifices; they will serve as a reminder for you before your God. I am Jehovah
your God". Jehovah God, in these commandments, associates the joy, the sound of the trumpets of the beginning of the month, with the burnt offerings which symbolize the redemption (what belongs to Jehovah) by the resurrection. There is also the expression
of memorial, which seems to indicate, that the tables of monthly sacrifices, the different festivals like Pentecost, the Festival of Booths and the Sabbaths of the weeks and the beginning of the month, seem to describe joyful festivals which will celebrate
the joy of the resurrection.
However, the exceptional trumpet blasts in the years were also those of the 10th, of the seventh month of the year of the Jubilee Year, which seems to indicate
the precise date of the beginning of this great earthly resurrection: "You will then sound the horn loudly in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month; on the Day of Atonement, you should cause the sound of the horn to be heard in all your land. You must
sanctify the 50th year and proclaim liberty in the land to all its inhabitants. It will become a Jubilee for you, and each of you will return to his property and each of you should return to his family" (Leviticus 25:9,10).
The jubilee year from Ethanim (Tishri),10, is symbolic of the liberation of mankind from the bondage of sin which results in death (Leviticus 25:10). This liberation has no better symbol than the resurrection which
will deliver billions of humans during the reign of 1000 years: ““Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” The sting producing death is sin, and the power for sin is the Law. But thanks to God, for he gives us
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). The sting is the stick with a pointed end that the plowman uses to guide an animal when plowing. For 6,000 years of history, sin and death have held mankind in bondage. Therefore,
it is logical to think that Ethanim (Tishri) 10, 2024, will be the first Jubilee of the millennial reign, which will usher in the beginning of the resurrection: "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will
hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28,29).
This jubilee, which
will be fulfilled, will see the return of the dead to life and to their family with cries of joy. In addition, Leviticus 25 specifies that there will be a "return" in his property, which means that the resurrected one will henceforth have a property or an
earthly lot which will belong to him forever: "But as for you, go on to the end. You will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days" (Daniel 12:13). This "lot" is double, with the everlasting life and an earthly property that the Owner
of the Earth will have granted to him: "Because the land is mine" - Says Jehovah (Leviticus 25:23).
Therefore, the different biblical elements show that the Great Tribulation should
take place on Tishri 10, 2023, that is, Friday, September 22 after sunset, until Saturday, September 23, 2023, until sunset (Jerusalem time), being itself, a sabbatical year (7 times seven sabbaths) (this date is a double sabbath). However, Tishri 10, 2024
(October 9/10, 2024 (According to the astronomical new moon)), will be the official beginning of the planetary Jubilee year which will inaugurate (2024/25 (Autumn)), the release of humans from the death, through the resurrection. The apostle Paul showed that
the resurrection is "everlasting deliverance": "He entered into the holy place, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time, and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us" (Hebrews 9:12). This everlasting deliverance
will be the beginning of the resurrection on Tishri (Ethanim) 10, 2024 (October 9/10, 2024 (According to the astronomical new moon)), the beginning of the planetary jubilee year...