The Gospel of the Kingdom is the ageless story of when the Kingdom of Heaven comes to earth. The event known as the Day of Yahuah (Day of the Lord) was a key component of Yeshua’s Gospel message from day one of his ministry. This unique day in history was written about by Enoch, prophesied by Isaiah, envisioned by John, and authored by our heavenly Father before the creation began.
At his first coming, Yeshua’s mission was to proclaim the eternal benefits of his Father’s Kingdom to come. He said it would be a place devoid of disease, poverty, hunger, thirst, fear, or sin. Peace would abound. Citizenship in this Kingdom will ultimately be granted to those who put their faith in him as their Redeemer.
The Gospel of the Kingdom unlocks the mysteries of heaven, speaks of Yeshua’s high priesthood, explains the ministry of angels, and speaks of the eternal destiny of the righteous.
Most of us have understood the Gospel to mean Yeshua’s death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. But there is more to this amazing story. Much more.
The Feasts Proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom
Our heavenly Father never intended for his children to be left stumbling in the dark, confused about their future. He left us evidence of his plan to redeem mankind within the pages of our Bibles. When you thumb through chapter 23 of Leviticus, you will discover how this Gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed during appointed times and feast days. Read on.
Then Yahuah said to Moshe, speak to the Israelites and say to them, “These are My appointed feasts, the feasts of Yahuah that you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.”Leviticus 23:1,2
The twenty-third chapter of Leviticus gives us a detailed outline of the annual appointed times and holy convocation assemblies we are expected to honor as covenant keepers.
These are Yahuah’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.Leviticus 23:4
This goes beyond ritual. These assemblies encourage spiritual discipline, obedience, and brotherly/sisterly love – integral components of Kingdom life.
For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a day of sacred assembly. You must not do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to Yahuah.Leviticus 23:3
Kingdom Key: The seventh day Sabbath rest is a hallmark of the Gospel of the Kingdom promises. The Sabbath represents the covenant promise of resurrection given to us by Yahuah.
The weekly Sabbath is a perpetual weekly reminder of what’s in store for those who endure until the end. Amongst other things, it teaches us how to rest in the promises of our heavenly Father as we walk in obedience to his commandments.
It is a holy convocation whereby we are told to assemble for worship and study of the scriptures.
The Passover to Yahuah begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.Leviticus 23:5
The Hebrew word for passover is pesach or pesah (#H6453) which is derived from pasach or pasah (#H6452). Some have defined this word to mean to “pass over” or protectively cover the houses of the Israelites when the destroyer was sent out that fateful night in Egypt. (Exodus 12:23(b), Hebrews 11:28).
Pasach or pasah can imply the merciful passing over of a destructive power or outcome. This occurred in ancient history when the destroyer killed the firstborn of those without blood on the doorposts of their homes.
Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin, and brush the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When Yahuah passes through to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway; so He will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.Exodus 12: 22,23
That you will say, It is the sacrifice of Yahuah’s Pesach, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses. And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.Exodus 12:27
The etymology implies that when the Messiah returns to earth with his warrior angels, he will “pass over” first resurrection believers who are being taken up to New Jerusalem. This is the moment when saints are literally passed over while in the air until after the “indignation has passed.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)
For Yahuah will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.I Thessalonians 4:16,17
Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed. For behold, Yahuah is coming out of his dwelling place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed and will no longer conceal her slain.Isaiah 26:20,21
The New Testament Greek word pascha (#G3957) can either refer to the actual paschal lamb that was slain at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month, or the Passover itself.
Kingdom Key: Passover represents the moment Yeshua returns and resurrects us. His wrath passes over us as he descends to battle the wicked.
Passover and Unleavened Bread point to Messiah’s death. His death was necessary so this Lamb without spot or blemish could be resurrected and enter into his High Priesthood. As our High Priest, he is now able to mediate with the Father on our behalf and ultimately resurrect us from Sheol.
Feast of Unleavened Bread
On the fifteenth day of the same (first) month begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahuah. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day, you are to hold a sacred assembly; you are not to do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. On the seventh day, there will be a sacred assembly; you must not do any regular work.Leviticus 23:4-8
Kingdom Key: The feast of Unleavened Bread represents the glorified, sinless bodies we will receive and the clearing out of the wicked from the geographical Promised Land.
Read: Make Unleavened Bread
And Yahuah said to Moshe, speak to the Israelites and say, “When you enter the land that I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you are to bring to the priest a sheaf of first fruits of your harvest. And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahuah so that it may be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.Leviticus 23:9-11
This is a special offering but is not to be placed in the category of a “holy convocation” feast assembly. (The greater harvest comes 50 days later during the wheat harvest.)
A way to understand this dichotomy is to look at the timing of spring harvest seasons. Deuteronomy 8:7-8 tells us that Israel’s major crops were olives, figs, grapes, pomegranates, honey, wheat, and barley.
During the Spring the most important crops harvested were barley and wheat, which were planted during Autumn. Since the barley harvest came first, a sheaf of this first fruit would be waved by the priest on the “day after the Sabbath” following the feast of Unleavened Bread.
Kingdom Key: Yeshua is a type of the early yield of first fruits. Our wonderful Redeemer is symbolic of the first fruits of the harvest of righteous souls to come.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.1 Corinthians 15:20-23
Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Feast of First Fruits
From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you are to count off seven full weeks. You shall count off fifty days until the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.Leviticus 23:15,16
Kingdom Key: This is a dual feast. It represents us fully receiving the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) upon resurrection during the “wheat” harvest of righteous souls, which takes place when the Day of Yahuah commences. This is the first resurrection event. It is during this holy convocation that the covenant with Yahuah is renewed each year.
And He gave Noah and his sons a sign that there should not again be a flood on the earth. He set His bow in the cloud for a sign of the eternal covenant that there should not again be a flood on the earth to destroy it all the days of the earth. For this reason, it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the feast of weeks in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year.Jubilees 6:15-17
And this whole festival was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noah – twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years [1309-1659 A.M.]: and Noah and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noah’s death, and from the day of Noah’s death his sons did away with (it) until the days of Abraham, and they eat blood. But Abraham observed it, and Isaac and Jacob and his children observed it up to thy days, and in thy days the children of Israel forgot it until ye celebrated it anew on this mountain.Jubilees 6:18-19
Shavuot did not begin with Moses. It has been celebrated since creation.
Yahuah also said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah.’ ”Leviticus 23:23-25
Kingdom Key: At the sound of the last trumpet, believers in Yeshua will be resurrected and/or translated if still alive on earth at this time. The “wheat” of the second harvest will be escorted by angels into barns while the “tares” will be burned.
His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”Matthew 3:12
And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.Matthew 24:31
Day of Atonement
Again the LORD said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves,f and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day. You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live.Leviticus 23: 26-31
At last! This day marks the final and complete forgiveness of all our sins. We are given resurrection bodies made of water and spirit that will be incapable of ever sinning again.
Yeshua answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of Yahuah unless he is born of water and the Spirit.John 3:5
Kingdom Key: With our redemption complete we will be able to fully participate in Yeshua’s Melchizedek priesthood. In our resurrected state we will be ordained as priests with the law written on our hearts.
Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles
And Yahuah said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles to Yahuah begins, and it continues for seven days. On the first day, there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work.Leviticus 23:33-35
Kingdom Key: Sukkot points to the time when Father and Son will tabernacle with us in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth – The New Jerusalem. We will be joined by those righteous angels who remained faithful to the Most High and their mission to minister to those of us who were destined to inherit eternal life. We will also serve those who survive the Great Tribulation and who will learn Torah during the Millennial reign of Messiah.
Feast of the In-Gathering/Addition/The 8th Day
For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. On the eighth day, you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.Leviticus 23:36
Kingdom Key: This 8th Day is symbolic of the second resurrection event and the time when death and Sheol will no longer exist. It is a time of great joy which comes at the end of the Millennium as we enter the eternal age. These will be days of rest that will be never-ending.
In the Book of Jubilees, Jacob is credited with adding this extra day to Sukkot.
And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name ‘Addition,’ for this day was added. And the former days he called ‘The Feast.’ And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called ‘Addition,’ because it was recorded amongst the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.Jubilees 32:27-30
Although covenant promises will not be made real until the resurrection, how we behave now matters.
Our behavior is evidence of our faith in Yeshua’s ability to redeem us from the penalty of sin. It is also a sign that we truly belong to him.
The Torah of Yahuah is eternal and has not been “done away with.” When we obey the commandments to honor feast days and appointed times, we are living the Kingdom life now.
As you prepare to welcome a new biblical year, we pray you will appreciate the Gospel of the Kingdom signposts that have been embedded in Yahuah’s calendar.
Photo by: Luis Gonzalez/Unsplash
Brenda Ross is a co-author of the book, “The Gospel Worth Dying For.” She is a former major market radio and television broadcaster who has served as Single’s Ministry Director at one of Houston’s Memorial Drive-area churches, a Jews for Jesus staff volunteer, and participated in mission outreach activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, and China. Urban mission experience includes volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and catering to the homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.