Bible Study Guides – “The Solemn Feasts of the LORD Our God”

October 15-21, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 537–542.

INTRODUCTION: “Anciently God commanded His people to assemble three times a year, and from every city from Dan to Beersheba the people came to these annual feasts. The one at the commencement of the season was to entreat God’s blessing upon their families, their lands, their flocks, and their herds. The one at the close of harvest was the crowning festal gathering, to bring their offerings to God.…Joy and rejoicing were there combined with the solemnities of a holy and sacred convocation.…Many sacrifices were made at these feasts; and this profusion of blood shed in connection with the harvest of thanksgiving was significant to them of the fact that even the bounties of the earth could come to them only through the cross of Calvary. By thus assembling and bringing their tithes into the treasury, they ever acknowledged the Lord to be the giver of all their blessings.” Review and Herald, July 10, 1879.

“Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for Us”

1 What was the opening feast of the year? Leviticus 23:5, 6.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 277.

2 How did Paul explain the significance of the Passover? 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 278.

“The First Fruits of Them that Sleep”

3 What service followed the Passover Sabbath? Leviticus 23:10,11.

NOTE: “Christ was the first fruits of them that slept. This very scene, the resurrection of Christ from the dead, was observed in type by the Jews at one of their sacred feasts.…They came up to the Temple when the first fruits had been gathered in, and held a feast of thanksgiving. The first fruits of the harvest crop were sacredly dedicated to the Lord. That crop was not to be appropriated for the benefit of man. The first ripe fruit was dedicated as a thank offering to God. He was acknowledged as the Lord of the harvest. When the first heads of grain ripened in the field, they were carefully gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem, they were presented to the Lord, waving the ripened sheaf before Him as a thank offering. After this ceremony the sickle could be put to the wheat, and it could be gathered into sheaves.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1092.

4 How does Paul explain the fulfillment of the Feast of the First Fruits? 1 Corinthians 15:20.

NOTE: “Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.” The Faith I Live By, 180.

“Feast of Weeks”

5 What feast followed fifty days later to celebrate the end of the spring harvest? Deuteronomy 16:9, 10.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 540.

6 In what wonderful way did the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, reach its fulfillment? Acts 2:1–4, 41–47.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 44, 45.

“The seed had been sown by the greatest Teacher the world had ever known. For three and a half years the Son of God had sojourned in the land of Judea, proclaiming the message of the gospel of truth and working with mighty signs and wonders. The seed had been sown, and after His ascension the great ingathering took place. More were converted by one sermon on the day of Pentecost than were converted during all the years of Christ’s ministry. So mightily will God work when men give themselves to the control of the Spirit.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1055.

“Blowing of Trumpets”

7 What ceremony marked the beginning of the autumn feasts? Leviticus 23:24.

NOTE: “To prepare the camp of Israel for [the Day of Atonement], ten days prior to this special occasion a solemn service was conducted when the trumpet was blown and a warning sounded. The preceding service, observed on the first day of the seventh month, was a holy convocation. It was to be regarded as a sabbath. The people were prohibited from performing secular labor on the first day of the seventh month. An offering must be presented to the Lord. Till the present day the orthodox Jew, in all parts of the world, calls the ten days prior to the Day of Atonement, from the first day to the tenth day of this same month ‘the ten days of repentance.’ These are preparatory days to the solemn Day of Atonement.” F. C. Gilbert, Messiah in His Sanctuary, 60, 61.

8 How does the prophet Joel convey the message of the Feast of Trumpets? Joel 2:1, 12–18, Compare Amos 4:12.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 311.

“Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed”

9 What was the purpose of the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:30, 31.

NOTE: “In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life, should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.…There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another.…Every one must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. The Lord declares, . . . ‘I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ Isaiah 43:25.” Maranatha, 93.

10 What decision is made concerning those who refuse to afflict their souls? Leviticus 23:29.

NOTE: “Sins that are not confessed will never be forgiven; the name of him who thus rejects the grace of God will be blotted out of the book of life. The time is at hand when every secret thing shall be brought into judgement, and then there will be many confessions made that will astonish the world. The secrets of all hearts will be revealed. The confession of sin will be most public. The sad part of it is that confession then made will be too late to benefit the wrongdoer or to save others from deception. It only testifies that his condemnation is just.…You may now close the book of your remembrance in order to escape confessing your sins, but when the judgement shall sit and the books shall be opened, you cannot close them. The recording angel has testified that which is true. All that you have tried to conceal and forget is registered, and will be read to you when it is too late for wrongs to be righted.…Unless your sins are cancelled, they will testify against you at that day.” Review and Herald, December 16, 1890.

See also Testimonies vol. 5, 331.

“To Keep the Feast of Tabernacles”

11 What feast closed the annual round? Deuteronomy 16:13–15.

NOTE: “The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated to commemorate the time when the Hebrews dwelt in tents during their sojourn in the wilderness. While this great festival lasted, the people were required to leave their houses and live in booths made of green branches of pine or myrtle. These leafy structures were sometimes erected on the tops of the houses, and in the streets, but oftener outside the walls of the city, in the valleys and along the hillsides. Scattered about in every direction, these green camps presented a very picturesque appearance. The feast lasted one week, and during all that time the temple was a festal scene of great rejoicing. There was the pomp of the sacrificial ceremonies; and the sound of music, mingled with hosannas, made the place jubilant.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 344.

12 To what great harvest does the Feast of Tabernacles look forward? Revelation 14:14–20. Compare Matthew 13:37–43; Joel 3:13 and Jeremiah 8:20.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 541.