Blogs

8 minutes reading time (1574 words)

Which day is “the Last Great Day of the Feast”?

Hint: John 7:37-39 is not about the 8th Day!

Sabbath keeping Church of God groups have for decades taught that John 7:37-39 was preached on the 8th day Feast, the single day after the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot, in Hebrew). They've called the 8th day, the day after the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), “The Last Great Day of the Feast”. In this blog I share why I've taught for many years now that surely this is an incorrect conclusion in light of the facts and scripture. I’ll record a full featured sermon with far more facts and points than I can cover in this blog. Be sure to hear and study it. I’ll give a partial bullet-point version in this blog. You can also go to the sermon I preached in October 2006 expounding on the real message Jesus spoke on the 8th day, but that what he said in John 7:37-39 was given on the true Last day of the Feast, the 7th day. 

Here’s the heart and core of it. What church organizations choose to do with their teachings when faced with the facts is up to them. I believe at least two or three COG organizations now “see the light” of this truth and are preaching it correctly. Hundreds of church groups continue in their error, however, of explaining Jesus’ statements in John 7:37-39 were spoken on the 8th day.

John 7:37 NKJV

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

John 7:37-39 Apologetics Study Bible

37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! 38 The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” 39 He said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been received, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. 

• Yeshua (Jesus) made reference to drinking, thirsting and to rivers of water. That’s the context. Water was poured out all 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, but no water was ever poured on the 8th day. Yeshua was alluding to lots and lots of water when he spoke in John 7:37-39. But, NO water was poured out on the 8th day according to the Jewish Mishna. What Jesus says makes sense only while a lot of water is being poured out – which happened on the 7th day, the last special day, of the Feast of Tabernacles.

• What’s called “The Feast” of Tabernacles went for seven days from Tishrei 15-21 (Lev. 23:34-36). Deuteronomy 16:13 also says to keep the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days.

The last day of the Feast is therefore the 21st of Tishri, or the 7th day of the Feast itself, not the 8th. In fact, at the end of the 7th day of the feast, the sukkah (or booths) were taken down, in obedience to Yahweh’s command that “SEVEN days (not eight) you are to dwell in booths” (or temporary dwellings). Hmm. How are we doing on that one? Deut 16:15 says “Seven days you shall keep a feast to Yahweh your God….” There was no such thing as “the 8th day of the feast” because “the feast” had ended by the end of the 7th day.

• The 8th day is a separate festival. It is one day. It is linguistically impossible to talk about this one day feast by saying “on the last, the great day of the feast” when it is only one day long. Do you see why it is clear as day that the “last day of the Feast” had to be the 7th?

• Jews have for millennia called the 7th day of the Feast “Hoshana Rabbah” – a wonderful day of deliverance and salvation for the whole world. Hoshana Rabbah means “the Great Hosanna” – or the great time of salvation and praise. They never referred to the 8th day as “the Great day” or “the last day of the Feast” – for indeed it isn’t, it can’t be, “the last day of the Feast”! It’s a separate day. It’s a separate festival. That’s plain as day. But because what Yeshua said fitted so neatly into COG prophetic theological understanding, they made it refer to the 8th day, when the very language in the verses makes that impossible. In fact the 8th day has a unique name among Jews – Shemini Atzeret. So my teaching is more in line with what has always been taught for Millennia: the “last day of the Feast, that Great Day” – HAS to be the 7th day of the Feast, not the 8th. (Note: as usual, Jews keep two days actually, the day after they 8th day they call Simchat Torah). The Feast of Tabernacles is always, every time, referenced as a feast of SEVEN days in Scripture, as I’ve already shown in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Therefore the last day of the 7 day Feast would HAVE to be the 7thday of the Feast of Tabernacles, not the 8th.

I know I keep saying it, but because the wrong explanation keeps being repeated, the truth has to be repeated as well. We are to GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Growing in knowledge means acknowledging when we had misunderstood something before or didn't see something before that we now see. 

Nehemiah 8:17-18

“So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.”

2 Chronicles 7:8-9 “At that time Solomon kept the feast 7 days….v.9 And on the 8th day they held a sacred assembly, for they observed the dedication of the altar 7 days and THE FEAST SEVEN DAYS.” (Verse 10 says he sent them away on the 23rd day of Tishri, the

day after the 8th day of the Feast. Remember again, the Feast went from Tishri 15-21, 8th day was Tishri 22.) 

• The 8th day Feast is simply called that – “the 8th day”. So that’s what I call it. I no longer call the 8th day “the Last Great Day’. It’s a misnomer. The focus is on the word “eight” – which has strong scriptural symbolism of newness, new beginnings. Also, it is never called “the 8th day of the Feast”. Never. It is therefore incorrect to call the 8th day “the Last Great Day of the Feast” – though that incorrectly persists in 98% of the COG groups. Again, the “Last Great Day” of thefeast of Tabernacles HAS to be the 7th day of the Feast.

• In my sermon of Oct 2006 I describe the REAL message of the 8th day – the day AFTER Yeshua said what He said in John 7:37-39. The message of the 7th day, the TRUE Last Day of the Feast, that Great Day, is about the abundance of God’s Spirit flowing by the time we come to the end of the Millennium. I will go in-depth on that in my sermon on and about the TRUE Last Day, the great day of the Feast.

 

John 7:37-39 Apologetics Study Bible

37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! 38 The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” 39 He said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been received, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Jesus spoke of rivers of living water. What happened on the 7th day of Sukkot (FOT)? Jews had a very loud, celebratory finale to the Feast of Tabernacles. They drew much water from the Pool of Siloam at the bottom of the hill, near the Kidron valley. We’ve seen this very spot. Priests took it up to the altar and had loud celebratory water ceremonies on the 7th day of the Feast. What Jesus says in John 7:37-39 makes sense in context of a lot of water being poured out. Again, there was no water being poured out on the 8th day. I’ll explain this water ceremony in detail in the sermon.

This raises the question of what makes the 7th day of the FEAST of Tabernacles such a “great” day. I answer all that in the sermon. 

• Why were there 70 bulls sacrificed during the 7 day feast? What did that mean?

• What water ceremonies were conducted on the 7th day and what did they represent?

• Why did Yeshua say what He said on the last day of the Feast? 

Be sure to hear my sermon. And help spread the word: it makes NO sense at all to call the 8th day the “Last Great Day of the Feast” especially in context of Yeshua’s message of water.

You can also hear the REAL message Yeshua preached and DEMONSTRATED on the real 8th day, the day after the Feast of Tabernacles. You can find that sermon in Oct. 2006 on this website.

Is a Nineveh repeat possible?
Did you pray for President Obama today?
 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment