The Fall Feasts

IAUA God's Sacred Calendar
IAUA End Time Ministry
Preparing for the End of Time
(Book Contents) Home

Chapter Contents

The yearly Sabbaths have many meanings and fulfillments. The spring yearly Sabbaths are most associated with events of the First Coming of the Messiah. The fall yearly Sabbaths are most associated with events of the Second Coming. This relationship was recognized by the Millerites and Ellen White even with a limited understanding of the yearly Sabbaths and their practice.

The slaying of the passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ. Says Paul, "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." [1 COR. 5:7.] The sheaf of first-fruits, which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking of the resurrection of the Lord, and of all his people, "Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." [1 COR. 15:23.] Like the wave-sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest, Christ is the first-fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into the garner of God. {GC88 399.1}

These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which, for fifteen long centuries, the passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the passover with his disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate his own death as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." That same night he was taken by wicked hands, to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave-sheaf, our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, "the first-fruits of them that slept," [1 COR. 15:20.] a sample of all the resurrected just, whose "vile body" shall be changed, and "fashioned like unto his glorious body." [PHIL. 3:21.] {GC88 399.2}

In like manner, the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. Under the Mosaic system, the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great day of atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month, [LEV. 16:29-34.] when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless his waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great day of atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the 22d of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord's coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible. {GC88 399.3}

The Millerite lack of understanding of the Calendar caused them to select the wrong date for Atonement on the Gregorian Calendar. They were probably misled by Jewish advisers. Nevertheless, they correctly understood the time on the Biblical Calendar, the meaning, and the purpose of the day. The failure to understand an astronomical detail of the Calendar is no excuse to dismiss the rest of their understanding.

The Fall Holydays are a time of great excitement because one year very soon I believe they will be the time of prophetic fulfillments for the end of the reign of sin and the start of eternity living without sin and its terrible results.


The Feast of Trumpets does not have a clearly identified fulfillment in the past. There were numerous events, which occurred on Trumpets, but nothing clearly identified of the type of magnitude as has been observed for the Spring Feasts.

The first day of the seventh month is mentioned at the rebuilding of the temple after the captivity (See Ezra 3:6). Nehemiah describes the reading of the law on the first day of the seventh month (See Nehemiah 8:2). The Bible describes Trumpets as a time of blowing the trumpets or more literally "shouting".

1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.
Numbers 29:1

Trumpets Sabbath is the concept of an alarm, an awakening, a great announcement, and a warning. I am reminded of this text when considering Trumpets Sabbath.

17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Ezekiel 3:17-21

I believe one year very, very soon, there will be a prophetic fulfillment on Trumpets Sabbath, which may be something similar to the description in these quotes from Ellen White. Part of these events sounds like Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but the concept of a loud sound is a bit like the concept of Trumpets Sabbath.

"... we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints, 144,000, in number, know and understand the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder & an earthquake..." {DS, January 24, 1846 par. 1}
Ellen G. White, The Day-Star January 24, 1846
"... there was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, which shook the heavens and the earth. The sky opened and shut and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus' coming and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. And at the end of every sentence the saints shouted, "Glory! Alleluia!" Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory, as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image." {EW 34.1}
Ellen G. White, Early Writings (1882), Experience and Views


The Day of Atonement is the day God commands we should search our hearts, afflict our souls, fast, and pray. It is an apostasy to make the first day of the year have this significance. This day was recognized by the Millerites as having the most significant fulfillment at the end of time. This day may be the final sealing of the righteous of the world.

7 And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:
Numbers 29:7

The entire chapter of this next scripture is valuable reading and study on an Atonement Sabbath because it describes the rituals and meanings of the Atonement Sabbath for the cleansing of sin and the scapegoat. This ritual sounds like a symbol of the destruction of Satan and sin after the millennium. Surely it will occur on the day which God commanded a rehearsal of the symbolism.

29 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
Leviticus 16:29-31

Here the typical words "holy convocation" and "no work" indicate the proper observance of all weekly and yearly Sabbaths. Atonement Sabbath has something more, "ye shall afflict your souls". The primary interpretation of this command is to fast. This was mentioned even in the New Testament.

9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
Acts 27:9

Fasting from food and drink is a healthy act of self-denial of pleasure, which can be so easily over-indulged for the gratification of lust and appetite. This is a valuable act of healthy self-discipline, which is medically safe and has well known benefits.

Some practice the exclusion of even water during a fast. This does not make any sense to me. Water is not a pleasure, which can be over-indulged for the gratification of lust and appetite. The opposite is true. Water is vital to health. Abstaining from water is not self-denial and self-discipline but rather self-destructive. It reminds me of the practice of self-flagellation and other mortifications (self-destructions) of the soul practiced by some in the Catholic Church in some regions.

It is true God can sustain us if there is a need to go without water. The first question in my mind is, are we tempting God if we abstain from water for supposed religious reasons, which are our own traditional devising.

16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Deuteronomy 6:16

It is important to note there are special warnings for those who fail to observe the fast "he shall be cut off from among his people". Those who fail to abstain from work "the same soul will I destroy from among his people".

Atonement Sabbath is expected to be the day of the close of probation for the world. All will have made their final choice for good or evil. I suspect anyone who does not observe Atonement Sabbath by then will be "cut off from among his people" and "the same soul will I destroy".

Another valuable Atonement Sabbath activity would be to look up the Hebrew word for "afflict" (#H6031) in Strong's Concise Hebrew Dictionary and meditate on its application., Lexicon Results, Strong's H6031

There are other valuable lessons and disciplines associated with the word. Humbleness and self-examination are also valuable practices. These practices receive special mention from Paul.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
II Corinthians 13:5


The Feast of Tabernacles is the Jewish Hag ha Sukkoth or the Feast of Booths. The feast was also called Hag ha Asif (Feast of Ingathering). It is valuable to notice the dedication of the temple which Solomon built was the Feast of Tabernacles which God commanded as a time of national gathering in the seventh month (See I Kings 8:2, II Chronicles 5:3, II Chronicles 7:10).

"The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but, as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner."
Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, Chapter 52, The Annual Feasts, page 541

The Feast of Booths was a time of living in temporary shelters. This was a symbol of having no earthly home. This may be the time of the rapture. The seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles may be spent in transit to heaven. Ellen White makes an interesting statement from one of her visions, which has a compelling relationship to the seven days of Tabernacles.

"We all entered the cloud together, and were 7 days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought along the crowns and with his own right hand placed them on our heads." {DS, January 24, 1846 par. 1}
Ellen G. White, The Day-Star, January 24, 1846

Tabernacles had additional observances beside the typical Sabbath rest and the call for a holy convocation. There was a special observance identified as specifically for those who are born Israelites. They would live in booths for the seven days of the feast. This can be recognized as the traditional basis for the concept of camp meeting.

40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 23:40

It is prescient to notice Ellen White saw something of the importance of the Feast of Tabernacles as a time of gathering.

"Well would it be for us to have a feast of tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to us as a people." {RH, November 17, 1885 par. 14}
"We see that the forces of the enemy are strengthening, and that the ministers in every place are making earnest efforts to oppose the truth, and more so in Wellington than any place I ever visited. Everything is said to present Seventh-day Adventists as only a few in number, and inferior in every respect, possessing little influence. And shall we not on this occasion represent the believing rank and file the very best that we possibly can? Will our brethren not come up to the feast of tabernacles?--Letter 8a, 1893. (Written October 31, 1893, at Gisborne, New Zealand.)" {11MR 9.1}
"The forces of the enemies are strengthening, and as a people we are misrepresented; but shall we not gather our forces together, and come up to the feast of tabernacles?" {BEcho, December 8, 1893 par. 5}

Ellen equated the Feast of Tabernacles with a camp meeting. She did not see the importance of the date specified in Leviticus.

This building of branches into booths is a puzzling observance. The spiritual significance and lesson has some apparent interpretations but you wonder what is really behind it when you look at it in depth.

It is important to reflect on why this observance was only for those born in Israel. I cannot help but wondering whether this only means it is an observance, which those not born in Israel do not practice. Limiting the requirement to those in Israel has significance for when the religion became worldwide to avoid major disruption for those in other parts of the world. Is there some other significance?

It is also important to note God ties this observance to the 40 years in the wilderness. This was a time of wandering prior to entering the Promised Land. There is a compelling parallel to our wandering prior to entering heaven.

Last Day - Shemini Atzeret

This holy day is considered an extension of the Feast of Tabernacles. I refer to this yearly Sabbath as "last day" Sabbath because of the reference below:

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
John 7:37

In Jewish terminology this Sabbath is called Shemini (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary H8066) Atsereth (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary H6116). (There are probably as many different ways to spell Jewish names in English, as there are Jewish communities around the world.) This phrase is translated as Eighth Assembly.

35 On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein:
Numbers 29:35

It is interesting to note the word atsereth (Strong's Concise Hebrew Dictionary H6116 - assembly) appears eleven times in the Old Testament. Ten of those times my study concludes it refers either directly or indirectly to Last Day Sabbath. It would be a valuable Last Day Sabbath study for you to investigate this yourself using your favorite Hebrew word study tool.

The only other use of the word is once to refer to the second Unleavened Bread Sabbath. I find this fascinating because the meanings of these two Sabbaths are the most mysterious and unclear to me. Yes, I have heard a lot of scholarly presentation, speculation, and conjecture. The other yearly Sabbaths have concrete fulfillments and interpretations. The meaning and purpose of the second Unleavened Bread Sabbath and the Last Day Sabbath seem to remain somewhat tenuous and elusive.

8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.
Deuteronomy 16:8

There is a thought, which has come into my mind and has been the subject of some prayer and meditation. There is no reason to assume fulfillments of the yearly Sabbaths end at the Second Coming. There may be fulfillments of these things even with the major events to occur at the end of the millennium. There is so much to learn and understand. It is no wonder all God has done in dealing with the problem of sin and providing salvation will be the subject of much study even in eternity.

Continuing with the subject of Last Day Sabbath are some thoughts I hesitate to share. This is an observation of patterns and interpretations, which has no specific Biblical basis.

The pattern of seven days ending with the Last Day Sabbath has a parallel to Ellen White's vision of the seven-day journey to heaven. Therefore, Last Day Sabbath could be fulfilled when we reach heaven as the marriage supper of the lamb or similar celebration.

This pattern has a parallel where creation and the re-creation could occur during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles with the final fulfillment of Last Day Sabbath as the final celebration of the end of sin when all tears will be wiped away.

Similarly, the Day of Atonement could be the final judgment when Satan is thrown into the lake of fire and the final cleansing of the earth by fire would finish by Tabernacles Sabbath.

Continuing with the observation of patterns and their possible relationship to the yearly Sabbaths, leads in some amazing directions. Many suspect as I do, The Messiah was born on Tabernacles Sabbath. Circumcision was commanded on the eighth day therefore this would have occurred on Last Day Sabbath.


The Thanksgiving holiday celebration is a part of the American law and tradition. The modern children of Abraham (See Galatians 3:7), the end time children of Israel (See Revelation 7:4), will have already celebrated their thanksgivings a month or two earlier for over a week during the Feast of Tabernacles in the way God commanded.

The Thanksgiving holiday does not appear to have a pagan/pseudo religious background. This is unlike some other holidays, which are clearly of pagan origin and adopted by the Catholic Church. Therefore, the devoted follower of the Lamb can participate in Thanksgiving without dangerous associations.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Revelation 14:4

Apparently, the word "Thanksgiving" has too much reverence associated with it for this irreverent world. Many refer to the day simply as "Turkey" day. The modern children of Abraham can comfortably socialize on the worldly day of thanksgiving since there are no obvious associated pagan customs. This is unfortunately not the case with the "Christmas" season.


It is with a very sad heart I take note every year of the approach of the Christmas season. Stores will have been putting up displays for weeks. The day after Thanksgiving, lights begin appearing on the homes in the neighborhood. The rampant commercialism, the shallow season's greetings, and alcoholic cheer continuing right on through New Year will begin to surround us. The "exchanging" of gifts is such a shallow replacement for true gift giving. There is such a materialistic focus with its "shop til you drop" attitude. I find it all very sickening and always have.

This is all before taking note of the fact it is a Roman Catholic holiday with a pseudo-religious veneer placed over a pagan holiday. Churches make a half-hearted attempt to provide religious teaching of what this is all supposed to be about. The results are more like pageantry and having a good time.

Now let us note the idolatry of pagan symbols. There is the decorated tree. This travesty invades even some of our churches. I once set a resolve for myself to let anyone know who will stand still long enough to listen I will not attend church as long as a tree is displayed. There have often been "Christmas" programs in the church during the worship service. I now endure such things in sadness. I am reminded of the experience of Ezekiel in dealing with abominations occurring in the church.

11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
Ezekiel 5:11
4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Ezekiel 9:4

What is the meaning of the lighted candles? Candles are replaced in modern times by electric lights. You realize don't you December 25th was originally intended to be the date of the winter solstice. This is the yearly equivalent of the New Moon. It is the rebirth of the Sun. Modern astronomy tells us the actual winter solstice is closer to December 22.

Where in the scriptures are we to celebrate a birthday? The Jewish people have no birthday holidays for any of the great men of faith. I suspect the celebration of birthdays is of a pagan origin also. The parties, gift giving, and all the other trappings look suspiciously familiar to other known pagan customs. What is the religious basis? Where are the spiritual lessons?

This is a time of great testing and temptation. Will we be like Elijah and stand for truth? Will we be like Daniel, Joseph, and the three worthies? Will the blazing furnace of social conformity cause us to worship God in the presence of pagan idolatry?

How can we worship God in honesty and truth while we allow our minds to be clouded with human traditions and pagan concepts? This abomination is so prevalent in our church that to speak against it leads to instant shunning. One year I was asked to participate in the "Christmas" program. I did! I did a reading. I read a statement I had written, which noted the pagan origins of Christmas and redirected attention to God's holidays, the annual Sabbaths. Talk about reverence in church... there was dead silence.

Diatribe over... Soapbox pushed back under the desk... At this point, it is necessary to remind ourselves harsh criticism and condemnation is not an appropriate response to this situation. I know my blood boils over this issue and it may for some of you. As hard as it may be, we must pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern proper action and response to these challenges. Raising a ruckus is not appropriate. Keeping silent is not appropriate. I can identify these two extremes. Only the loving Holy Spirit of God can help us to discern the middle ground.

I have heard some startling comments from several individuals including Adventist Pastors on the observation of Christmas. I was shocked to hear statements insisting Ellen White supported the observation of Christmas. I immediately investigated this and found many contradictions with what she is claimed to have said.

The most extensive quotes are summarized in the Adventist Home chapter 77, “Christmas”. A careful and thoughtful reading of this chapter is very profound. What I read is not a hearty support of Christmas. This comment really sums it up for me.

"As the twenty-fifth of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose." {AH 478.1}

This does not sound like a recommendation of Christmas observance. I hear a lot of reluctance to go along with the world. Every word in the chapter emphasizes steps to make the observance of Christmas as much unlike the world's observance as possible. Other more complete quotes, which take a broad swipe at much about which I have already commented.

"How the enemy has wrought to place temporal things above spiritual! Many families who have but little to spare for God's cause, will yet spend money freely to purchase rich furniture or fashionable clothing. How much is spent for the table, and often for that which is only a hurtful indulgence; how much for presents that benefit no one! Many spend considerable sums for photographs to give to their friends. Picture-taking is carried to extravagant lengths, and encourages a species of idolatry. How much more pleasing to God it would be if all this means were invested in publications which would direct souls to Christ and the precious truths for this time! The money wasted on needless things would supply many a table with reading-matter on present truth, which would prove a savor of life unto life." {RH, December 23, 1890 par. 11}

"Satan's suggestions are carried out in many, many things. Our birthday anniversaries, and Christmas and Thanksgiving festivals, are too often devoted to selfish gratification, when the mind should be directed to the mercy and loving-kindness of God. God is displeased that his goodness, his constant care, his unceasing love, are not brought to mind on these anniversary occasions." {RH, December 23, 1890 par. 12}

"If all the money that is used extravagantly, for needless things, were placed in the treasury of God, we should see men and women and youth giving themselves to Jesus, and doing their part to co-operate with Christ and angels. The richest blessing of God would come into our churches, and many souls would be converted to the truth." {RH, December 23, 1890 par. 13}

Notice how unlike the typical "decorated Christmas tree" is what she describes.

"We are now nearing the close of another year, and shall we not make these festal days opportunities in which to bring to God our offerings? I cannot say sacrifices, for we shall only be rendering to God that which is his already, and which he has only intrusted to us till he shall call for it. God would be well pleased if on Christmas, each church would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small, for these houses of worship. Letters of inquiry have come to us asking, Shall we have a Christmas tree? will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen, and placing it in our churches; but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action, and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree." {RH, December 11, 1879 par. 15}

"The tree may be as tall and its branches as wide as shall best suit the occasion; but let its boughs be laden with the golden and silver fruit of your beneficence, and present this to Him as your Christmas gift. Let your donations be sanctified by prayer, and let the fruit upon this consecrated tree be applied toward removing the debts from our houses of worship at Battle Creek, Mich., and Oakland, Cal." {RH, December 11, 1879 par. 16}

Will your Christmas be filled with lights, decorations, indulgent feasts, parties, and the exchange of gifts? What gift do you bring and for what purpose in the memory of the baby born in Bethlehem?

New Year

After the travesty of Easter and Christmas celebrations comes the Gregorian Pagan Catholic New Year. Most will take this excuse to party and stay up all night. This is a sad violation of the laws of health.

It is also yet another mockery of the Biblical Calendar. Atonement Sabbath is God’s special yearly time for reflection on the past in humility and earnestness.

(Book Contents) Next: The Jubilee / Sabbath Years

Revised 2015-08-16