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Last Great Day

 

The Last Great Day, the eighth day or Shemini Atzeret, is technically not a part of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.  Due to its association, however, when this holy day is mentioned, it is always a part of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

It is known as the closing assembly and occurs on the eight day.  It is the finale of God’s holy Festivals, the last festival of the year, and it has considerable symbolic significance!

 

 

The symbolic significance of the number eight is: “new beginnings”.  Or the number one “beginnings” and the number seven “perfection” or “perfect beginning” also forms the number eight.

Leviticus 23:33 The LORD said to Moses, 34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.

Ezekiel 43:26 Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, and so consecrate it.  27 When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you,' says the Lord GOD."

John 7:37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

 

Second Resurrection

The first resurrection occurred with the “righteous” ecclesia (the called out ones) on the Feast of Trumpets.  Now on the Last Great Day, the rest of mankind “the wicked” is resurrected on the second resurrection!

Acts 24:14However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

Revelation 20:4
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a[a] thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Who are these people in the Ezekiel’s vision?  It is all of Israel!  This will be literally billions of humans.

Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." 15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Notice what God does after they are resurrected: He gives them His Holy Spirit!  For the first time in their lives, the will not be blinded, they will not be deaf, they will finally know the true God!  They will finally have “a circumcised heart”!

Ezekiel 37:14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

John 7:37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Consider those in the second resurrection: evil empires, evil kingdoms, all mankind including: Sodom, Gomorrah, Cain, Eve, and Adam.   Consider the first family: Adam and Eve.  If they did not have the Holy Spirit, then god’s opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit is given to them:

Matthew 19:30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God’s desire is that “everyone to come to repentance”. 

 

 


 

Physical Circumcision

If we want to understand some of the deeper meanings of the Last Great Day, we need to study a “strange symbol”: circumcision. Circumcision is a physical symbol of the contract between God and Abraham.  The Hebrew word for circumcision is muwl and means to “cut off”.

Genesis 17:10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. [NKJV]

Romans 2:25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[c] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. [NKJV]

When is this event supposed to occur?  It is on the eight day.  This day and its timing will mean more as we begin to understand the significance of spiritual circumcision.

Genesis 17:12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. [NKJV]

Luke 2:21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

 

 

Spiritual Circumcision

To help us understand His ways, God always gives us a physical representation of the spiritual. But from the very beginning, God desired man to circumcise his heart to “cut off” the blindness of the mind rather than his flesh. 

Deuteronomy 10:16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. [NKJV]

Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

Romans 2:28A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

 

Circumcised Heart

Characteristic

Verse

Humility

Leviticus 26:40 " 'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin,

Submissive

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 

Repentant

Jeremiah 4: 3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

Loves God's Word

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed [a] so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

 

 

Spiritual circumcision happens through baptism!

Colossians 2:11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Circumcision removes spiritual blindness is removed and now God can offer salvation to others.

Exodus 7:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it."

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed [a] so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Jeremiah 9:25 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh- 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. [d] For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."

2 Corinthians 4:4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Romans 11:32
For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Acts 26:17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

Romans 11:25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27And this is[f] my covenant with them when I take away their sins."[g]

What does this mean?  Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy 30.  God tells us His plans:

Deuteronomy 301 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes [a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.

Remember Christ’s words and notice the words “before you”, there is a time element to the salvation of man:

Matthew 21:28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.'  29 He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went.  30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go.  31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to Him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

John 7:37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Isaiah 25:7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;

The blindness of all the nations will be removed, a circumcision will occur that will allow everyone to spiritually see and hear clearly.  Isaiah indicates what happens when this blindness is removed, and will see what happens to all people:

Isaiah 25:8  he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. 9 In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."

Revelation 22:17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 


 

Release of Satan

Like man in the second resurrection, Satan has his own resurrection from his prison.  However, once released, he returns to his perverted ways and tries again to destroy God’s Kingdom.

Revelation 20:3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Revelation 20:7
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Satan is allowed to deceive man again.  However, this time, everyone will have access to God’s Holy Spirit.  However, if man chooses Satan’s way, he will pay an eternal price and will take part in the second death.

 


 

The Judgment

The judgment is after the millennium, not after the first death.  Notice the sequence of events in this verse:

Revelation 20:11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

Hebrews 9:27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

One of the considerations in the judgment is the personal acceptance as Jesus as their savior and reception of the Holy Spirit.  Without Christ and Holy Spirit, then there is no hope of life and no possible eternal life in man!

Matthew 12:31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

John 14:6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 


 

Eternal Punishment and Eternal Life

At the very end of all things, God provides eternal punishment and eternal life. 

Matthew 25:31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

 


 

Satan's Punishment

During the millennium and prior to the judgment, the Satan and the demons are bound in prison or “Tartarus”.  This word is Greek and is often translated “hell” but means prison is used only one time in the bible.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God didn't spare (H) the angels who sinned, but threw them down into Tartarus (I) [a] and delivered them to be kept in chains [b] of darkness until judgment; (J) [HCSB]

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them into gloomy dungeons[b] to be held for judgment;

However, after the judgment, the eternal punishment for Satan and his demons is clear: eternal torment.

Revelation 20:10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Satan and the rebellious demons will be an eternal example to all who look upon them.

 


 

Human Punishment

The eternal punishment for man is clear: death.  However, before the second death, before they loose their life, before they die, before they are burned in the flame, those perishing will be in torment.

Luke 16:23And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame. [AMP]

Matthew 13:41The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [[m]persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly, 42And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth. [AMP}

Revelation 14:11And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no respite (no pause, no intermission, no rest, no peace) day or night--these who pay homage to the beast and to his image and whoever receives the stamp of his name upon him.(C) [AMP]

And then their torment is ended with their death in the lake of fire.

Matthew 10:28And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna). [AMP]

Revelation 20:14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

Contemporary thought makes us think that the eternal punishment for man is life: eternal torment.  But God’s word is clear. Those rebelling and rejecting Christ, Holy Spirit and God the Father are thrown into the Lake of Fire which is the second death.

 


 

Death and the Grave Are Destroyed

Notice the word Hades.  It is usually translated as hell in all other areas of the bible but in this translation it is left in its original form. Notice that “Hades” is destroyed as well.  Hades is Greek and means: grave.  It is equivalent to the Hebrew word Sheol which also means grave.

1 Corinthians 15:24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Revelation 20:14
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

 


 

Eternal Life

For those who have the accepted Christ and have the Holy Spirit, they will live with God for ever.

Revelation 21:6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Revelation 22:12"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.