THE FESTIVAL OF THE EIGHTH DAYBack to Alphabetical Index | Back to Chapter Index
The seven-day festival of the seventh month is followed by another festival that is simply noted as The Eighth Day. It is a mistake to assume that this day is just an ending to the Feast of Shelters/Ingathering, because it is not. The Festival of the Eighth Day has its own separate and distinct meaning within God's plan for the salvation of humanity.
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, Saying, In the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be a feast of shelters seven days to the Lord . . . on the eighth day you shall have a holy gathering; and you shall burn the offering by fire to the Lord; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no work of service. . . on the first day a Sabbath and on the eighth day a Sabbath" (Lev.23:33-39 Para.).
"And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast seven days:. . . On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly: you shall do no servile work therein" (Num.29:12, 35 KJV).
The Eight Commanded Festivals
"And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings" (Lev.23:1-3 KJV).
The weekly Sabbath is the first of eight commanded festivals and sacred assemblies listed in Leviticus, chapter 23. Through these festivals, God reveals his plan, purpose, goal, and rewards for those who successfully obtain salvation and enter the Family and Kingdom of God.
The Eight Festivals:
1. Weekly Sabbath
2. First Day of Unleavened Bread
3. Last Day of Unleavened Bread
4. Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
5. Feast of Trumpets
6. Day of Atonement
7. First Day of the Feast of Shelters/Ingathering
8. Feast of the Eighth Day
There are a total of eight festivals that picture the plan of God for the salvation of humanity. These festivals include the weekly Sabbath and the six annual festivals that follow the Passover observance, which shows the way to obtain forgiveness of sin and become justified before God.
The Passover Begins the Annual Festivals
Although the Passover is called a feast in Luke 2:41 and John 13:1, it is not a festive occasion. The Passover that occurs on the first day of the first annual festival of the sacred year begins the festival days of the sacred year and is extremely important because it pictures the beginning of God's plan for the salvation of humanity.
It is during the beginning of the evening portion of the first festival day of Unleavened Bread that the elect partake of the Passover rituals through which they acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Savior and renew their covenant with God the Father and show their willingness to serve him, his son, his elect children, and humanity.
It is also during this first festival of the sacred year that the Lift Offering, which symbolized our Savior being offered to the Father as the firstborn of the new creation and the sacrifice for the sins of humanity, was presented to God.
The Mysterious Festival
The meaning of the Sabbath and the first six commanded sacred assemblies and festival days can be understood from the Hebrew words that are used in each of their titles. Moreover, each of these festivals and observances has clearly defined meanings that can easily be found in the scriptures. However, the meaning of the Festival of the Eighth Day is difficult to find.
The following questions and their answers will help to lay a foundation for the information that is presented in our study of the Festival of the Eighth Day. Additionally, these questions focus attention on understanding this festival's importance to God's plan and why this festival's meaning has been hidden until this age.
Q. Does the Festival of the Eighth Day show God's plan for humanity like the Sabbath and six of the annual holy convocations?
A. As we will see, the Festival of the Eighth Day does show God's plan for humanity, but its focus is on the totality and end result of his plan.
Q. Why has so little been understood about this festival throughout history and why are there no scriptures that clearly state its meaning?
A. This festival's meaning has been kept secret until the end of the age, just before the return of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords because it reveals the future beyond the return of Christ and the culmination of God's plan for the salvation of humanity. See Dan.12:4, 10; Lk.8:9-10; 1.Cor.2:11-16.
Q. What is the key to finding and understanding the meaning of the Festival of the Eighth Day?
A. Just as some of the understanding and meaning of the other festivals is held within their titles, it is through the Festival of the Eighth Day's title and the festival being the last of the annual celebrations that some of its many meanings can be discovered.
Long ago, God inspired the prophet Isaiah to reveal one of the keys to discovering and understanding the many secrets hidden within the scriptures.
"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" (Isa.28:9-10 KJV).
Isaiah reveals that, in order to be able to fully understand the teachings of God, one must first be weaned from the milk of the word (i.e., have basic foundational knowledge). After acquiring a basic understanding of God and his way of life, one can progress toward gaining knowledge and understanding into his more complex teachings. To do this, one must spend the time and effort to diligently search out, study, and combine all related information on a given subject. In this way, the meaning or concept of a particular teaching becomes more clear.
It is through studying the meaning of the title of the Festival of the Eighth Day and the symbolic and prophetic meaning of the many scriptures and events that surround the use of the number eight that much of the meaning and understanding of this festival is revealed. This study will show the following:
The Prophetic Order
In the prophetic order of events for the salvation of humanity, which is pictured through the annual observances and festivals, the celebration of the Festival of Shelters/Ingathering signals the end of the effort to convert humanity to the ways of God and transform those who are worthy into spirit-beings.
With the harvest of humanity into the Kingdom of God completed, there will only be two major prophetic events left to be fulfilled:
1. The resurrection to death for all the incorrigibly wicked humans who have ever lived. See Ezk.18:4,20; Matt.25:31-46; Rom.6:23.
2. The coming of God the Father to claim the kingdom that he has placed under the rule and care of Jesus Christ. See 1.Cor.15:24-28.
Our studies into the Festival of the Eighth Day show that all of the things listed below are included in the meaning of this festival: