A Real Feast

It was the summer of 1989
while having some meetings in London, Ontario, that I picked a book out of the
library of my host called Harvest Festivals by H. K. Downie. I had never read
anything on the Feasts of Jehovah before and had never in adulthood heard them
expounded from the platform. I was fascinated with what I read. Not having completed
my reading before I left, I found an old copy in Grand Rapids and finished the

That Fall, a brother dropped
off a chart he thought I might use. It was a large wall chart of the Feasts
of Jehovah. Right then I knew this study I had promised myself had to commence.

During the following Spring,
I had the unusual opportunity of having six days to drive across the country
from Nashville to San Diego by myself; so I took that opportunity to dig into
a study of the Feasts. What a treasure of material I found! As a result, this
has become one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Its rich truths scan the
whole Book and is full of the doctrines of salvation, as well as dispensational
and prophetic truth.

While Harvest Festivals
is out of print, there are some good books available that would be useful additions
to any library.

The standard work is The
Feasts of Jehovah
by John Ritchie. Included in this book is a very helpful
chart. Its straitforward exposition makes this book one of the beginning books
of your study. One word of caution I feel is in order. The Feast of Trumpets
signifies the returning of Israel as a nation at the second coming of Christ
(Mt. 24:31). Mr. Ritchie, while emphasizing this in his book, also points out
that the church is looking for a trumpet as well. In recent years, that interpretation
has spurred many outlandish "date-setting" schemes. Mr. Ritchie certainly believed
in the imminent return of Christ and never had date-setting in mind. But in
our day, we need to be clear on its true meaning. The trumpet sound that you
and I are looking for, calls the Bride away from earth to heaven. The trumpet
sound that Israel hears brings them back to Jerusalem and into the glorious
kingdom prophesied in the Old Testament; this is the fulfillment of the Feast
of Trumpets.

The second book that I found
of great value is The Outpouring by Elwood McQauid. He is the editor
of the magazine, Israel My Glory, published by Friends of Israel. His
book looks at the Lord's trips to Jerusalem during the feast days as emphasized
in John's Gospel. He explains many Jewish traditions that had sprung up around
the feasts; with that as a backdrop, he shows how the miracles He did, the actions
He took, and the words He spoke at the feasts not only demonstrated His Messiahship
but proved He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament types to which the feasts
pointed. The Jewish people had missed the point of the feasts and their traditions
had made them "the feasts of the Jews." Jesus drew their hearts back to the
real intention of the feasts, Himself. It is well written, and a fresh look
at the feasts.

Another book recently written
is God's Prophetic Calendar by Lehman Strauss. In his exposition, Mr.
Strauss lays particular emphasis on the prophetic overview of the plan of salvation
from the death of the Lord Jesus to His second coming. He states in the introduction:
"I have not located a single chapter in the Bible that, in my judgment, is more
doctrinally and prophetically profound and fraught with more of the weight of
God's plan for holy living, than the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. Here
is an orderly unfolding of the prophetic panorama, reserved in clarity for the
student who will take the time to study it carefully." This book, while not
complete in many details, does demonstrate the chronological order of God's
program of salvation for Jew and Gentile.

With these books you will
have some good help in the study of this very full chapter in God's Word. And
in understanding this chapter you will have a better grasp of the whole of God's
great plan of salvation, centered in the Lord Jesus, initiated by Christ in
His first coming, and completed in His second coming.