It was always puzzling to me how the Israelites were to celebrate both the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Ingathering at the same time. They were to make offerings by fire for 7 days, followed by the 8th day solemn assembly (Leviticus 23:34). They were also to thank God for the final harvest of the year, followed by a Sabbath Day (Leviticus 23:39). Additionally, they were to dwell in booths 7 days, as a reminder that God protected them when they came out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:43). It always seemed like a tall order, doing several completely different things and not focusing on one at a time. Both feast days were to start on the 15th day of the 7th month in the calendar of their day. The Feast of Ingathering pointed to the Latter Rain, or the final harvest of souls, which began on the Memorial of the Jubilee in a Jubilee year, September 7, 1994. The Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of the Bible, pointed to the very end of the world, the fulfillment of God’s salvation plan and final judgment.
The Dedication of Solomon’s Temple is a parable of the completion of God’s Temple at world’s end, made up of all those people saved during their lives on this earth. The dedication ceremony took place during the Feast of Tabernacles, as we would expect, but the timing is not quite what we thought. There are two similar accounts of the dedication, one in the Book I Kings, and the other in the Book II Chronicles. In both I Kings 8:2 and II Chronicles 5:3 we read that all the men of Israel assembled at the feast in the 7th month, not mentioning which feast in particular. I Kings 64-65 talks about King Solomon making burnt offerings and also holding a feast for all of Israel. We would expect this to be for 7 days, but the Bible says “…seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.“ In II Chronicles it states “And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days,” again a total of 14 days, not 7 days. God is linking the two feasts together, then saying that they are to start on the 15th day of the month, putting them consecutive, not concurrent. This is a thought process we would not normally take without the example of the Temple Dedication.
Applying what we have learned to pinpoint the end of the world this very month, we know that the 7th month in the Jewish Biblical calendar started September 29, 2011, when the new moon was actually first sighted. The 15th day of the 7th month, then, was the 13th of October. For 7 days the altar would burn sacrifices, (spiritually), and the 8th solemn assembly day would be October 20, 2011, the 22nd day of the 7th month of their calendar. II Chronicles 7:10 says “And on the 23rd day of the 7th month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and marry in heart…“ Up to now, we thought that the 23rd day of the 7th month (October 21) was the end of the world, and that they just went home at the end of the feast. However, sending people into their tents is covering them, like putting them in booths, the first day of the second 7 day period! God’s people remain protected from October 21 to October 27, which is the very last day.
In Genesis 2:4, God speaks of the 7 days of creation as a day. And we also know, for another example, that the Day of Judgment is actually 153 days long. John 7:37 calls the Feast of Tabernacles “…that great day of the feast…” – a 7-day “great day.” October 21 is still the end day, Biblically speaking, but it is actually 7 days long, a final test to see who will finally be faithful all the way to the end. In John 6:54 we read “…and I will raise him up at the last day.” God’s elect will rise up to enter Heaven on October 27, not October 21.
Acts Chapter 27 is an historical parable, an actual event that teaches spiritual lessons. The chapter is about a ship and its crew struggling during stormy conditions. This description is concerning the ending days of our creation, and the story mentions the 14th day. ”…This day is the 14th day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.“ “Meat” is spiritual truth from the Bible, urging us to keep studying for guidance, while waiting throughout the last 14 days. The chapter ends with them all escaping safely to land, meaning the security of Jesus Christ.