Imagine a celebration pointing to a time when everyone will have their chance to become a citizen in the Kingdom of
heaven. Where could one find a more joyful event to honor?
Believe it or not, many are already observing such a day. It comes at the end of the Biblical calendar, and is known as the Last Great Day. It immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles in the Scriptural seventh month (autumn).
Man’s holidays all commemorate past events. But Yahweh’s appointed days (Heb. moedim) not only have a historic focus, but also foreshadow the future salvation of the people of Yahweh. No unrewarding, worldly celebration can even begin to compare with the significance of Yahweh’s days.
Return to the Country
To understand the Last Great Day is to understand Bible prophecy. All of Yahweh’s Feasts have a prophetic basis. That is one important characteristic that sets them far apart from the days the world observes. Man tries to give his own significance to the days he celebrates, while the Creator Yahweh Himself gives meaning to the appointed times He gives to His people.
The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyous, seven-day observance that pictures the millennial reign of Yahshua, who will govern with His saints on the earth (Rev 5:10). Notice:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness Yahshua, and for the word of Yahweh, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).
The earth will return to an agrarian economy in a rural setting as people are scattered and cities are left desolate by the returning judgment of Yahshua. The prophet speaks of this: “Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants thereof” (Isa. 24:1).
The cities and their dwellings will be uninhabited: “The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that No man may come in” (Isa.24:10),
Just as Israel left the cities of Egypt, so will those remaining on earth in the Millennium leave the cities to dwell in the countryside, even as Yahweh’s faithful do at the Feast of Tabernacles each year. In fact, during the Millennium He says He will cause the people to dwell in tabernacles (ohalim, tents) “as in the days of the solemn feast,” Hosea 12:9. In the Millennium they will come up to Jerusalem to learn Yahweh’s laws and way of true happiness.
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts has spoken it” (Micah 4:1-4).
At last the world will learn the ways of peace and security. The rat race of today’s culture will be replaced by the serenity that comes with a return to the land as it was in Eden. Yahweh’s laws will be enforced worldwide, and wars will finally cease.
After the Millennium, What Then?
But what happens when this thousand-year reign of Yahshua and His saints is completed? To understand, we must go to the final Feast day, the Last Great Day.
In John 7:37-58, after observing the Feast of Tabernacles, Yahshua the Messiah made this statement on the Last Great Day: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Judgment and the Throne
This concluding Last Great Day pictures the final judgment of man on earth, the Great White Throne judgment. It is the last opportunity for those who lived in ignorance of Yahweh’s Name, Sabbaths, Feasts, and laws the past 6,000 years to accept the ways of Yahweh before He completely cleanses and renews this earth and establishes His throne at New Jerusalem.
Having missed the first resurrection, the rest of the dead will come alive again for the Great White Throne judgment. If they are found guilty of unrepented sin and of having rejected the truth of their Savior, they will be destroyed in the lake of fire. If they never knew the truth, this is school time.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that those in the Millennium will be allowed a 100-year life span to learn of Yahweh and the laws He expects all to follow: “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isa. 65:20).
Conceivably, the same opportunity will be given to those in the second resurrection under the White Throne Judgment. We note that in Revelation 20:13 that those in the second resurrection are judged “by their works.” They must be given time to prove themselves.
Hundreds of millions will be resurrected to learn Yahweh’s truth for the first time. True understanding was purposely withheld from them in this life (Matt. 13:11). Only a select few “firstfruits” have been allowed to understand Yahweh’s plan of salvation, and, if they accept Yahweh’s covenant terms and follow them now, will be in that preferred first resurrection to rulership.
Daniel explains more about this Great White Throne Judgment: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Dan. 7:9-10).
These “books” are mentioned in Revelation 20:12 as well, also speaking of this White Throne Judgment:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Elohim; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
These previously unsaved people who have never been given the opportunity to learn the true Good News and to keep the renewed Covenant originally made with Israel, will now have their chance. They will be taught and judged by Yahshua, helped by the saints who came up in the first resurrection.
But by what standard will their “works” be judged? It won’t be by pleasant feelings of their hearts, by the nice thoughts they had, or by an occasional kind deed. Both Daniel and Revelation say they will be judged out of what is written in the “books.” One of the books is identified as the Book of Life. The rest can be nothing other than the books of the Bible — and the books of the law therein (“books” is biblos in Greek, from which we get the word Bible, Strong’s No. 976).
This is the same standard of judgment by which Israel of old was judged. Notice that they are judged “according to their works” in conjunction with the standard of the law found in Yahweh’s Word: “For the word of Elohim is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Only those who were found written in the Book of Life will be in the first resurrection. So why would the Book of Life be opened if not for the purpose of entering new names into it of those found worthy?
Saints Are Judged Right Now
The criteria for righteousness and judgment are the same today. “That you might walk worthy of Yahweh unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of Yahweh” (Col. 1:10). Also, “For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom. 2:13). The prophetic Psalm 96:13 says, “For He comes to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His Truth.” The standards of the Bible were in force from the beginning and are the law by which humanity is and will be judged.
John wrote, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning” (John 2:7).
The law of Scripture, especially the Book of Deuteronomy, was the constitution of the ancient Israelites. Notice: “And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which he shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing” (Deut. 31:10-11).
The year of release and the Feast of Tabernacles picture the Kingdom coming to earth. All the earth will comply with Yahweh’s laws — or else! “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength” (Rev. 1:16). “And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3).
His laws will be Constitution of the coming Kingdom. What a wonderful thought to know that we can learn about His laws and obey them right now, for salvation’s sake.