Explore the Jewish Feasts and their prophetic significance with guest Richard Hill and hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: March 25, 2023
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Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy. We are certainly glad to have you here today. And we have a special treat in store for you. Many Christians realize that as Brock and Bodie Thoene like to point out, everything in Scripture means something. As we demonstrated in our Jesus in the Old Testament series, the Old Testament is chock full of prophetic references and types, Christophanies all pointing to Jesus Christ. That is true about people and incidents. We know that when we study Scripture and the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of our heart, we discern things that point to Jesus as the Messiah. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Over the next several weeks, we are going to explore the Feasts of Israel from a prophetic perspective.
Nathan Jones: The Feasts of Israel are commemorations or celebrations ordained by God. Still observed by Jews around the world today the feasts offer tremendous insight into God’s provision for His people. When instituted by God, all of them pointed backwards to a specific event or idea that God wanted the Jews to remember. But they also pointed forward, indicating a future fulfillment in the fullness of time. Taken together, they offer a foreshadowing of God’s plan for the ages, and they clearly and prophetically point to the Messiah’s First and Second Coming. What was the overarching reason for the feasts that have been observed by the Jewish people for thousands of years? How did each of them point forward to a prophetic fulfillment? Which ones have already been fulfilled, and which of them still await final fulfillment?
Tim Moore: As Nathan said, some of the feasts have already been fulfilled, as documented in the New Testament. Others still await fulfillment and should lead us to anticipate our soon returning King. On that note, we’ve invited an expert on the Jewish Feasts to join us for this series. Dr. Richard Hill is a longtime friend of Lamb & Lion Ministries and brings not only an appreciation of all the feasts as a Jew but understanding of their prophetic significance as a follower of our Jewish Messiah.
So Richard, we are delighted to have you with us today. And we want you to tell us a little bit about your own background, just a little testimony, how you came to understand Jesus as the Messiah.
Richard Hill: Well, it’s great to be here and such a blessing to be able to teach about these very dear feasts, dear to my heart, but also dear to the Jewish people, and I believe should be dear to all Christians, everybody that believes in Jesus. And so both my wife and I, we actually came to know Jesus while we were going and attending Hal Lindsey’s church in Los Angeles. Can you imagine that back in the 90s? And so we ended up there, and heard the Gospel preached, and about how God loves us, and God’s grace is triumphant overall. And so we just received that message, and both of us got saved and got our names written in the Book of Life. And that’s a key when it comes to Jewish people getting your names written in the Book of Life. The only way to get in there is through Yeshua, Jesus.
Nathan Jones: Oh, wow. It’s amazing how many people that we encounter say that Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” and other teachings brought them to Christ. I ended up having to read the book recently, I was like I teach Bible prophecy, but I hadn’t read the book. So, I finally read the book, you could see the Lord was speaking through Bible prophecy.
Richard Hill: We did it the other way around.
Nathan Jones: You did the other way? Okay.
Richard Hill: We actually listened to him at his church first to get saved, and then we got the book afterwards, and learned about the Rapture and learned about the Great Late—
Tim Moore: “The Late Great Planet Earth.”
Nathan Jones: Yeah, I always get tripped up too. And then you ended up writing your own book, which teaches a lot of what the “Late Great Planet Earth did, right? I mean but seems like a lot more detail.
Nathan Jones: Yes. Oh, yeah. And now “Israel in Prophecy” that is a book that talks about end times, but it really focuses on where is Israel in all those end times? Now I bring in the world and we talk about what’s going to happen to the world as well, but there are over 150 sets of scriptures from Old Testament and New Testament that talk about Israel in prophecy.
Tim Moore: I think that’s what you bring even today, is an understanding and an appreciation from a Jewish perspective. Many Christians, and dare I say Gentile Christians read the Bible. Some will even say, “Well, I’m a New Testament Christian,” which is sometimes to dismiss the Old Testament. There are even pastors who say, “Ah, we don’t need to look at the Old Testament there’s nothing relevant there.” But if you don’t understand the Old Testament, then you will not understand many of the prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus, many that are still awaiting fulfillment. And not just prophecies and promises to the Church, but prophecies and promises that deal with Israel, and those are still relevant. And yet woven into all of that history, and the narrative contained within the Old Testament are beautiful signs pointing to the Messiah. We did a whole series on that, but now we want to explore the feasts and see what they have to offer us. And perhaps some of us as Gentile believers especially, don’t have a complete understanding of the feasts, and so we hope to bring that out over the series.
Richard Hill: Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve been studying the feasts, but also living the feasts. Both my wife and I, we were Messianic Jews that were living in all of the feasts. And we also celebrate the Sabbath, and so we have a Messianic Jewish lifestyle, which is a little bit different.
Nathan Jones: Well you also have a Messianic church, you pastor, as well as a ministry that reaches out to Jewish people, right?
Richard Hill: Yes, now we’re in Las Vegas. And so I’m with CGF Ministries as a missionary in Las Vegas, we’re preaching the gospel to the Jewish people there. We have 80,000 Jewish people that live there, if you can imagine that.
Tim Moore: So what does CGF stand for? Because that is a shortened version of another name.
Richard Hill: Well, we used to be called the Christian Jew Foundation.
Tim Moore: Okay.
Richard Hill: And now it’s just CGF. You take the letters, first letters.
Nathan Jones: And you said how many Jews got saved through your ministry last year?
Richard Hill: This past year, just 12.
Nathan Jones: That’s still amazing considering how hard it is.
Richard Hill: That’s the most we’ve ever had in one year.
Tim Moore: And that’s one per tribe. I think that’s a godly number right there. Well, obviously, as we dive into the feasts, the feasts themselves harkened back to being ordained by God Himself during the time of the Exodus and shortly thereafter. But they kind of follow an agricultural cycle. So let’s explore briefly, without diving into complete detail, because we’re going to do that in the episodes to come. But just an overview, tell us a little bit about the timing of these feasts.
Nathan Jones: Because as a Gentile I think it’s mostly over our heads.
Tim Moore: It is.
Richard Hill: Oh, it’s not over your head.
Tim Moore: We’ve just not been introduced to it, as our growing up years like most Jewish children.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, pretend we know nothing about it.
Richard Hill: So you have seven feasts that God gave to Israel and found in the book of Leviticus chapter 23, that’s the summary chapter that we usually tend to direct to. And then you can go to lots of other verses throughout the Bible. So all of the feasts, all those seven feasts are in there. And we have four spring feasts. you start in April. So that’s the first of these Passover, and that’s the beginning of the cycle of the years for the Jewish people as well. God introduced a new cycle for the Jewish people when He brought them out of the land of Egypt, said, I want you to begin your year this year and this month. So starting with Passover. And so you’ve got Passover, then you have Unleavened Bread and then you have First Fruits. So those first three feasts all happened within a day of each other. Boom, boom, boom, knock those three out.
Tim Moore: Now, I got to interject one thing, because even some of our viewers may not be as familiar with agriculture. We have kind of lost that sense in our own society here in America. Most people live in cities or suburbs, and they don’t grow and plant their own food. So you think, well, now wait spring is when you plant, fall is when you harvest. But farmers even here know that there are winter crops, and so they will plant winter wheat and it is harvested in the spring in time to then plant another set of crops that will be harvested in the fall. So when you talk about spring being a first fruit, there are fruits, grains that would be harvested. And especially in a place like Israel there in the Middle East, the agricultural cycle would be year round with something that would be produced and grow even for a spring harvest, and yet another greater harvest come in the fall, that’s the first fruits.
Richard Hill: And that is, and in Passover you’re talking about the barley harvest. First is the barley harvest. And then by Pentecost, which is the fourth feast, then you have a wheat harvest. And so the barley is called the poor man’s bread, you know, the poor man’s wheat, basically. And the bread that’s made out of it is the poor man’s bread. So, but it’s still, you know, very tasty and very good for you.
Nathan Jones: And on the timeline, then between the first three feasts that kind of fall on to the same weekend, how many days between? You’ve got the First Fruits and Unleavened Bread and then.
Richard Hill: The Passover, you have Unleavened Bread and then First Fruits and then you’ve got 50 days. Then you count 50 days to get to Pentecost. So it’s kind of interesting. The first three feasts are all knocked out right away, and then you wait 50 days after them to get to the next feast. And so the fulfillment is kind of interesting as well, because Jesus fulfills those first three feasts in His First Coming. But then the fourth feast is after His coming, after He leaves. We have the ascension and then the fourth feast is fulfilled because that is the giving of the Holy Spirit. But it came after, you know, so it was kind of tied into the First Coming, but it’s a little bit interesting, comes after. And then when you get to the last three, you have the last three feasts that fall in the fall occur in the fall, and you’ve got Rosh Hashana, Yom Teruah which is Rosh Hashana, and then you have Yom Kippur, and then you have the Feast of Tabernacles.
Tim Moore: And so you called it Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah, but many of our viewers may know that fifth feast as the Feast of Trumpets.
Richard Hill: The Feast of Trumpets. Yom Teruah is the Feast of Shofar. So you’re blowing the shofar, Feast of Trumpets, right. And but that feast actually occurs before the Second Coming in the fulfillment. We’re seeing that feast as the Rapture. And so in the first three, then you have the fourth one that comes after just a little bit. And then the last three, the first one of the last three comes before the Second Coming. So it kind of involves the Second Coming as well, but there’s a separation of at least seven years from that feast to the next feast of Yom Kippur.
Tim Moore: So using some of the some of the Jewish terminology, obviously we talk about Passover, but the Jewish word for that feast would be?
Richard Hill: Pesach.
Tim Moore: Pesach. And then we go to Unleavened bread.
Richard Hill: But Passover is a very, very wonderful feast where families come together.
Tim Moore: Yes, they have special meals.
Richard Hill: Family and friends, they have a special meal.
Tim Moore: Called a Seder.
Richard Hill: Passover seder. And it centers around the Seder plate. It centers around all the foods that are involved in the feast as well.
Tim Moore: And the foods themselves are symbolic to point back to the exodus, to the time of bondage and to the deliverance from captivity.
Richard Hill: Yes. And it even involves in the future as well, the future fulfillment.
Tim Moore: Of course.
Richard Hill: And we’ll talk about that when we get to that feast.
Nathan Jones: So to understand then the Lord had a purpose for the Jewish people, to remember their history and how He delivered them, but also to look forward to future deliverance.
Richard Hill: Yes, exactly.
Nathan Jones: Wow.
Richard Hill: So there’s a historical fulfillment of all of the feasts. And it also does point to something God did great for Israel. And then there’s always an aspect of a Messianic fulfillment. How is the Messiah going to fulfill these feasts as well?
Tim Moore: Okay.
Nathan Jones: Because you hear Christians say, especially Gentiles, well, the first four feasts, yeah, you could calculate that it fell on Jesus death, burial and resurrection, and Pentecost was the beginning of the Church. And then they get to the final three feasts which are future, and say, oh those don’t apply to anything and all. As a Jewish person, as a Messianic Jewish person, your eyes have opened you can see that those will be fulfilled one day. Right?
Richard Hill: And here’s the thing, God fulfill them in order that He gave them to the Jewish people. Passover was fulfilled first, then Unleavened bread was fulfilled second, and then First Fruits and then Pentecost.
Tim Moore: Pentecost, also known again to give just a little bit of Jewish flavor, also known as what in the Hebrew?
Richard Hill: Shavuot.
Tim Moore: Shavuot. Which means?
Richard Hill: Sevens
Tim Moore: Sevens. So seven Sabbaths have passed since the Feast of First Fruits seven Sabbaths and then one more day for the day of Pentecost. So by definition it would have been on a Sunday.
Richard Hill: And it’s 50 days.
Nathan Jones: Similar to the Jubilee.
Richard Hill: Yes, similar. And the 50 days is Pentecost in the Greek. So a lot of Christians don’t know that Pentecost means 50 days.
Tim Moore: 50 days, but that’s a Greek word that we’re using to describe a Jewish feast, that was originally Shavuot.
Richard Hill: Shavuot, yes.
Tim Moore: I’ll try to get my Hebrew down. Seven weeks and a day. All right, then we have a period throughout the summer months as the agriculture is producing yet another harvest and a bigger harvest. So the First Fruits is celebrating God’s provision, His promise that more harvest is coming.
Richard Hill: More harvest is coming. That is the key to those.
Tim Moore: The key to those. And yet part of the Jewish practice is to take those first fruits and you think, boy, we’ve been hungry, we’ve been going through winter, now we finally have produce, but we’re going to give the first portion to God. Which is a demonstration of their faith that He is going to bring in more.
Richard Hill: Faith and trusting in God and that He is going to provide, continuously provide. But what’s the key? We have to follow Him. We have to listen and obey God.
Nathan Jones: Well as important as Passover is, it’s when we get to the sixth feasts, that’s really the most important, right, that deals with atonement. And what is the significance of the sixth feast?
Richard Hill: Well, the sixth feast is Yom Kippur. And that’s the day of atonement for the Jewish people. And so what they are doing, and even to this day, if you can imagine, they’re still doing this, they are repenting and confessing their sins for the last year.
Nathan Jones: So it’s an atonement.
Richard Hill: So it’s an atonement for their sins. And the idea is to get your name written in the Book of Life, you see. And so their belief is Rosh Hashana God opens up the Book of Life, and now you have ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur to get your name in it. And so you have to do certain things. You’ve got to perform good works. And of course, there’s a telethon if you want to give to the telethon.
Nathan Jones: Isn’t there always.
Tim Moore: Yeah.
Richard Hill: You can give to the telethon and that’s a good work though. But Jewish people are really concerned about getting their names in the Book of Life. And so that’s a great time to be able to share the good news message of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah to the Jewish people, because they are considering this right here. Where is my heart before God?
Tim Moore: I don’t know of any other culture, including our own, which has Thanksgiving, which originally was designed to give thanks, an outpouring of gratitude to Almighty God. Today you hear people talk about I’m just thankful for being thankful. Then you think, who are you thanking? I don’t know. No, Thanksgiving was designed to be thankful to Almighty God who was the provider of every blessing. But only the Jewish culture has a day of feast, a period called Yom Kippur where they look inward and they actually confess their sins. And it’s very introspective to come humbly before God, recognizing that I’m not worthy. And then the final feast that they would celebrate is Sukkot which is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.
Richard Hill: Tabernacles, yes, of course.
Nathan Jones: And that happens after the ten Days of Awe?
Richard Hill: What’s interesting though, and I wanted to mention this about Tabernacles is here in the United States guess what feast Thanksgiving is patterned after? The original Pilgrims came, they patterned Thanksgiving after Tabernacle.
Tim Moore: Really? Okay. I did not know that.
Richard Hill: That’s a historical fact in our nation here. But they wanted a feast that was joyous, and one where you can obviously eat a lot of food.
Tim Moore: Yeah.
Richard Hill: And Tabernacles is that feast.
Nathan Jones: Richard if the Feast of Trumpets is supposed to be the Rapture. And the atonement is the Second Coming, then what about the seventh and last feast where the Lord Tabernacles with us? Does that point to the Millennial Kingdom?
Richard Hill: Yes, that’s a points to the Millennial Kingdom. And Jesus even said that the Gentiles are going to be coming to celebrate every year at the Temple. And so we’re celebrating what? God with us. That’s a theme of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles, God is with us.
Tim Moore: God is with us. You know, I think that there was a pre-fulfillment of this feast for a window of time when Jesus was called Emmanuel, God with us. So I think it’s almost a preview of how He intends to dwell with us, with His people forever, but especially in that Millennial Kingdom when all the nations are streaming to worship Him. What a time that’s going to be in tabernacling with our Lord.
Richard Hill: And it’s going to be great for families as well, to come together to be able to worship together and come to the Temple on the Temple Mount. And Gentiles from around the world are going to be required to come every year to worship the King.
Tim Moore: To worship the King.
Richard Hill: To worship the King, right.
Nathan Jones: So, we will be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles and the other feasts you think throughout the Millennial Kingdom?
Richard Hill: We’re going to be celebrating all of the feast. And I believe we’ll be celebrating Hanukkah and Purim during the Millennial Kingdom as well. All of those feasts are very prophetic.
Tim Moore: I’m glad you mentioned Hanukkah and Purim, because although they’re not part of the seven feasts, we do plan to have a little special treat for our viewers regarding Hanukkah and Purim. But in just a moment, I’d like to talk more about the family aspect, really the community aspect of all these feasts. But before we get into that, we’re going to take just a moment to share a special offer we have with for you today if you really want to dive into God’s Prophetic Word and begin to understand what He has in store for you.
Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We’ve been talking to Richard Hill about all the Feasts of Israel. And obviously with both our offer today and with what we have in store for you in the weeks to come, we want to point you to our soon coming King, and we’re talking about the feasts. Richard, in our previous segment, you mentioned about how they were important to families. So give us an understanding, even as Gentiles, of how significant the feast are, to pass on awareness to the next generations about what God has done and what He has in store for the Jewish people.
Richard Hill: Well it is really important in the Jewish world for family and community as well. And that’s why you see synagogues. Synagogues were developed so that the community would come together and worship God in their little cities, in their towns and villages all across Israel. And so it’s very important. And as we’re going to see each of those feasts, God is directing the Jewish people to pass on down the information to the next generation. And so it was really important that everybody know about this. And obviously God knew that there was going to be attacks against the Israel people and against the Jewish people. And so these things, these aspects, these feasts bring the Jewish people together in love and joy and peace and obviously helping to develop the community and to keep it strong.
Nathan Jones: And so it’s interesting that how as a Jewish people who have been so persecuted and dispersed twice around the planet, yet 3,000 plus years later they still have their identity and their culture. I can’t go back and say, you know, I don’t know any Welsh culture from the Jones a long time ago.
Richard Hill: There are no other ‘ites, I call them ‘ites. The Canaanites, they’re all gone. All the other ‘ites that are found in the Bible except for the Jewish people the Israelites.
Nathan Jones: And because of these cultural feasts have kept them as an identity?
Richard Hill: And of course, God, we know God is the one that kept their identity. Yes. But this is an aspect of bringing it together for the Jewish people. And you can go anywhere around the world and be able to celebrate Passover. And guess what? You’re going to be invited in with the family and be one.
Tim Moore: I think that’s something that we, even as Christians in a Gentile context, miss because we enjoy going to church, but sadly, sometimes today churches have almost devolved. During the last few years, people stopped going to church as regularly, and some of them have not returned. You hear Christians say, “Well, I don’t need to go to church, I serve the Lord, I love the Lord.” And we miss that community aspect that the Lord intended for the body of Christ to be. And He ordained for the Jewish people these feasts to keep them connected to a body, to the Jewishness, that is part of their identity.
Richard Hill: And this can help the churches as well, celebrating all these feasts as well because they’re for us as well.
Tim Moore: They are for us as well. Well, Richard, I’m looking forward to all that you’re going to bring in all the episodes to come because we’re going to review all of these feast again with some special treats to come. And we’re going to intersperse some testimonials, even as we’re discussing the feast throughout this series. But your expertise is going to be a blessing to us, to our viewers and I know will glorify the Lord God.
Richard Hill: Praise the Lord.
Tim Moore: Praise the Lord. So stay tuned for all that we have in store for you. We know it will be a blessing.
Part 3: Testimony of Baruch Korman
Baruch Korman: Well, the festivals of Israel, more than anything else, they are kingdom messages to us. They all point in different ways to a different aspect of the person and the work of Messiah. We know that Paul says that these things are a shadow of things that are coming. But what casts that shadow, the substance, is indeed Messiah, Jesus Christ. So these festivals, whether we’re talking about Passover or Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost, whether the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we examine them and unravel them according to God’s revelation in His Word, we see that they all point in a very specific way to who Jesus is, and also what He has done, but also and this is what excites me, what He’s going to do in establishing that kingdom and bringing about a full fulfillment of what prophetically we should expect and also what God has promised us.
So they all point to God’s redemption. And when we talk about redemption, many people don’t know that in the Hebrew language there’s two different words for redemption. One speaks about the payment for redemption, making it possible. A great example of this is Passover. But we also need to know that there’s a second word for redemption, which speaks of the outcome of that. And the outcome of redemption well, the rabbis say it’s Yeshua, salvation. So salvation, that word means victory. So if you’re interested in experiencing God’s victory in your life, both here in this age and the age to come and the kingdom, the festivals of Israel reveal to us these principles of salvation. How we can experience victory on a daily basis, and that great victory in the Kingdom of God when we will have the privilege of being in the presence of the King.
Tim Moore: I’ve been excited to launch this study of the Feast of Israel for some time, not only because I think they mean something to our understanding of God’s Gospel plan for salvation, but because I believe they have prophetic significance.
Nathan Jones: Some of the feasts have already been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ or in the birth of the Church. Others await final fulfillment at the Rapture or the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ and His Millennial reign upon this Earth.
Tim Moore: In the weeks to come, we will walk through all the feast while sharing testimonies of people who have beautiful memories and insights on the various feasts. We know that you will be blessed by what we have in store for you. But Nathan and I, along with Richard and every other believer who is excited about the Rapture of the church, are looking forward to another great feast.
Nathan Jones: That’s right! We’re looking forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when Jesus celebrates His gathering of His church, the Bride of Christ. Only invited guests will partake at that great heavenly feast.
Tim Moore: Our earnest prayer is that you have embraced Jesus as Savior and worship Him as Lord. If you have, He is your bridegroom. Soon He will come for you and take you to His Father’s house, rescuing you from the wrath to come. If you don’t already know Him, do not delay, place your trust in Him right now. Well, that’s our program for today. We hope you’ll join us next week for another episode of Christ in Prophecy. Until then, Godspeed.
End of Program