By: Evangelist Kelly McDonald, Jr.
The Lord’s Feasts in Leviticus 23 follow the harvest cycle of ancient Israel. The Passover Season and Pentecost represented the initiation of the barley and wheat. The full harvest of certain crops, such as grapes, was expected to occur just before the Fall Feasts. For this reason, God called the Fall Feasts and, especially Tabernacles, the Feast of Ingathering (Ex. 23:16, 34:22). Jesus compared the physical harvest of crops to the spiritual harvest of people coming into the Kingdom (Matthew 9:36-38, John 4:33-38). This means that the Lord’s Feasts also connect to this deeper truth!
All the Fall Feasts have a future prophetic meaning connected the harvest of people coming into the Kingdom. In particular, the Feast of Tabernacles foreshadows the 1,000 year reign of Christ. This will be the greatest harvest of people up until that point in human history. In this article, we will review how this incredible harvest comes about.
We presently live in an age. The chronology of our current age started in Genesis 1:3 and concludes with the events relating to Christ’s return to rule and reign. To learn more about the Biblical doctrine of ages, look up our Winter 2021 Pursuit article entitled “The Doctrine of Ages.”
At the beginning of this age, the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is recorded in Genesis chapter 3. This event caused a major shift in this age. Because humanity listened to the words of the serpent, Satan became the god of this age.
“in whom the god of this age did blind the minds of the unbelieving, that there doth not shine forth to them the enlightening of the good news of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4, NIV).
What does this mean? The vast majority of humanity follows the alternative ways authored by Satan, who is the father of all lies (John 8:44). Since the first sin of humanity, Satan and his angels have blinded most people from receiving the light of Christ into their hearts and minds. The deceiver obscures humanity’s perceptions about the true God so that humans either completely or partially misunderstand God and His way.
Man’s sinful lusts for that which is forbidden and the rampant deception of Satan results in an age where mankind loves the darkness. In this present age, only a few will find the narrow way that leads to God through Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13:22-24, John 3:16-19).
Jesus’ first coming initiated changes within this age. He fundamentally transformed it through His death, burial and resurrection. His first coming signaled the countdown to the end of the age. The Kingdom message is being proclaimed by those that He has empowered through His Spirit. While the vast majority of mankind runs from His ways, a remnant of humanity has accepted the call to believe in God and Christ. We are ambassadors of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus is coming back to rule and reign for 1,000 years. He will end this age and establish a new one. The coming age will have a much different spiritual atmosphere than our present one. When that time comes, MANY will seek the Light of the God of Jacob .
“2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God 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 the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3, KJV).
How will we transition from this age, where so few believe, to the age described in Isaiah where MANY will seek the Light of the God of Jacob?
As the second coming of Jesus draws closer, certain events will shake the established order of this age. They will thoroughly reform the earth and subsequently alter the way mankind responds to God. We will briefly review this below.
Just before Christ returns, wars will break out across the earth. Famine and pestilence will follow (see Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7, Luke 21:9, Rev. 6:1-11, Rev 13:1-12; 16:12-16). God will also pour out His wrath upon the world for wickedness and their mistreatment of the saints (Rev.6:17, Rev. chapters 15 and 16). At the end of God’s wrath upon sinful mankind, the armies of the earth will converge on Jerusalem for world domination. As they are gathered in the Promised Land, Christ will suddenly appear with the armies of Heaven to defeat them (described in Zechariah chapter 14 and Rev. 19:11-20).
Many lives will be lost during these events. By the time Christ returns to rule and reign, very few people are left. In Isaiah 13:12, God said: “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”
These few people left alive are described in Zechariah 14:16 as the “survivors of the nations” or those that are “left of the nations.” They will be flesh and blood human beings still alive when Christ returns. These survivors will repopulate the earth in the coming age.
After Christ returns and finishes judging humanity, he then deals with satan and his minions. In Rev. 20:1-3, we learn that they are bound and cast into the Abyss. Without satanic influence on earth, humans will not have the temptation experienced in this present age. There will not be a spiritual force to present an alternative way to that of the Lord’s.
In Rev. 20:4-6, we learn about Christ setting up the thrones for the resurrected saints. “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 of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4, KJV).
These events initiate the 1,000 year chronology of the next age. At that time, Christ will be physically ruling on earth. There will only be one God worshiped worldwide, not many gods (Zech. 14:9). There will only be one way: God’s Way! The resurrected saints will rule with Him.
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment” (Isaiah 32:1, KJV).
Together, we will lead the world in understanding judgment or true justice towards God and fellow man. What will the result be?
“And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly” (Isaiah 32:3-4, KJV).
We will lead the whole world to Christ. The survivors of the nations who were once spiritually blinded by Satan will be able to receive truth. Those among them who were unable to hear the message will hear it clearly. Their children will not have to worry about Satan’s temptation. For 1,000 years, there will not be any fouls of the air to scoop up the seed of the Word when it is presented (Matthew 13:4, 18)! All this will result in a great harvest of people coming into the Kingdom. In Isaiah 2:1-5 (partially quoted above) and Micah 4 we learn that people will WANT to learn about God; they will say “Let us go.” And they will flow like water to hear the Law of God.
How will this harvest come about? What factors will exist in that age which will beckon people to the one true God?
The first two factors that will contribute to the Millennial Harvest is the fact that Christ is ruling the entire world and the resurrected or glorified saints will be ruling under His authority. How will this help the harvest?
In this age, we have selfish rulers who look out for their own interests, the interests of the few who want to dominate others, or the interests of their party or other groups. They do not always address important issues either at all or in a timely fashion. Sometimes a bandage is put on a problem; sometimes there is a lack of resources and time to address the issue. Tax monies are not spent wisely. Judges often do not judge in righteousness; they are influenced by their own bias and political ideology. This list of our current problems is lengthy! Because flesh and blood humans are limited, these issues cannot be properly addressed in this age. This causes the average person to feel disappointed, misrepresented, and disconnected from their officials and representatives.
In the Millennial age, Christ and the saints will look out for the best interests of all humanity. We will be able to address the issues of all municipalities in a timely fashion. True justice will be administered without partiali
ty directly from the Law of God, which is also called the Torah. Issues will not be allowed to compound and get worse like they do today. Crime, injustices, special interests, wickedness, and other issues will not be existent. People who are wronged will be fairly and timely compensated.
Because the survivors of the nations will be flesh and blood, they will still have babies. The babies born during the Millennium will still have to be raised in the nurturing and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). With Christ and the resurrected saints ruling the world, we can develop strategies for every nation and family to ensure proper education.
How will the resurrected saints help flesh and blood humans during that time? In John 3:1-2, the Apostle John wrote that when Christ appears we (believers) will be like Him. Christ’s interaction with the disciples after the resurrection exemplifies how the glorified saints will interact with human beings during the Millennial age. We reviewed characteristics of our glorified bodies in the Summer 2021 edition of Pursuit. We will look at a few of these characteristics as it relates to the Millennium Harvest.
One characteristic of the resurrected body is the ability to read the minds and intents of those who are still human beings (Luke 24:36-53). The disciples were filled with fear and doubt when they first saw Christ. He called out their inner thoughts. In our glorified bodies, we will instantly be able to perceive the inner thoughts of every human being. This is true for humans near us and even far away from us (in time and location). Jesus knew the thoughts of Thomas Didymus from a distance. While Jesus was not visibly among the disciples, He knew that Thomas had doubts about His resurrection. When Jesus instantly appeared among them, He resolved the issue.
The magistrates of today are far off and mostly unable to empathize. Many of them have never experienced the struggles of the average person. As aforementioned, the common person today feels out of touch with the ruling class. During the Millennium, when someone thinks of us, needs us for something important, or has doubt about something, a magistrate from God’s Kingdom can instantly appear to provide a solution. If people are confused or even about to do wrong, we can appear instantly to correct and direct in the right direction. The whole world will know that the Kingdom of God operates in truth.
We will also guide people towards actions to help their natural lives. After the resurrection, the disciples were fishing and did not catch anything. Jesus then directed them towards the right area to catch more fish (John 21:5-6). They obeyed and caught a major harvest of fish! In the same way, we will be able to direct other humans towards their destiny and success. We will be able to help people find natural resources, such as silver and gold, and resolve natural conflicts which cannot be quickly resolved in our present age.
Another way that we will help humanity during that time is to reveal to them the meaning of the Word of God. On the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-32, Christ was speaking with two of the disciples. Christ went through the Law, Psalms, and Prophets and explained to them the true meaning of the words they had heard their entire lives. Not long after this event, He appeared to the disciples and supernaturally opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:44-47). In the Millennium, the resurrected saints will have these same capacities.
We will give people time to grasp the truths of God’s Word. However, we will also be able to explain by words or instantly open up their minds to understand the Word. No more will people spend years or decades trying to figure out what certain verses mean or decipher the simplest truths of the Bible. We will be able to walk up to people when they just don’t seem to get it and instantly shine the light of Christ within their hearts/minds. On top of all this, the enemy, Satan will not be there to hinder us! Glory to God!
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6, NIV).
One thing that will magnify this aspect of our Kingdom work is that we will be able to communicate the complete, full knowledge of God’s Word without any hindrances or missing pieces. In our present age, our personal knowledge of the Word is incomplete.
“9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (I Cor. 13:9-10, KJV).
When perfection comes at the resurrection (Col. 1:27-28), we will have perfect knowledge of the Scriptures and God’s plan in a way that far surpasses our current understanding. This will help us to communicate the plan and purposes of God to people in a more thorough and complete way. Nothing will be missing when we present it. Because we will know a person’s thoughts and needs, we will be able to present the truth in a personalized way that will maximally reach that person.The age to come will be truly magnificent. As we fix the problems of that world with speed, efficiency, and perfection, it will increase people’s confidence and faith in the Kingdom of God. This will in turn increase the spiritual harvest as people will want to worship Christ and God because of their goodness and righteousness displayed by them and the resurrected saints (Rom. 2:4).
The next factor we will look at is how the natural blessings of the Kingdom will facilitate and work together with the spiritual blessings!
As reviewed in the Fall 2020 Pursuit article “Satan’s Deception at the End of the Millennium”, the population of the world will increase greatly during the Millennial age. There will not be wars, crime, famine, disease, or want. People will not live in fear. There will be plenty for everyone to eat and endless opportunities to develop one’s God-given potential. People will live longer, as they did in the days before Noah’s flood.
Wars, political conflict, crime, famine, and disease in our current age rob the world of its best, brightest, and hardest working people. In the next age, there will not be issues like these! The amount of food available in quantity and quality will enable each individual to work and produce at maximum capacity. People will not have mineral deficiencies. This means that a person’s mental, emotional, and physical development will not be hindered by a lack of nutrition. The nutritional advancements in the Millennial age will allow a person to learn spiritual truths at the highest level because their brains, bodies, and bio-chemical processes will be properly nurtured and function at a high or the highest capacity.
In our current age, the brevity of life and limited capacity to communicate ideas causes a certain amount of knowledge to be lost from one generation to the next. People will live much longer in the age to come. We will also have better communication as satan’s influence and the fear of other groups will not hinder us. Longer life and better communication will enable maximum transmission of Godly ideals and practices from one generation to the next.
The infrastructure of that time will be so advanced and properly designed that travel will be much easier than it is today (imagine roads without potholes). One can only imagine the transportation methods that we will develop! Better infrastructure and transportation methods will enable spiritual truths to spread farther and faster than ever before. Remote areas of the world in today’s age will be easily accessible in the age to come. The absence of war will allow more energy and finances to go towards funding the gospel effort. The energy of youth will be directed towards constructive projects rather than spent in frivolous pursuits.
As amazing as these natural developments will be for the average person, they will have a profound connection to the spiritual harvest of that time. In other words, these natural benefits will have spiritual implications for the Kingdom of God. The natural and Spiritual will work together.
The next factor that will impact the Kingdom harvest is that disobedience will be quickly disciplined. Those who disobey will be able to connect their misbehavior with the punishment they receive. In Zechariah 14, we learn that those who do not go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles will not receive any rain (Zech. 14:17)! This allows a person to quickly see a stark contrast between the way of God and the way of disobedience. Others can see and easily learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others.
The next factor that will contribute greatly to the millennium harvest is the cohesion of the family unit. In this age, there is division in most families. Jesus discussed how families would be divided over serving Him (Matthew 10:34-39). Currently, only the first fruits are being called out from among mankind (Romans 8:23, James 1:18; look for more articles on this subject in the future).
In the age to come, whole families will follow the Lord and worship together. All the families of Israel will be in unity. The families of the nations will be encouraged to come together as a unit to worship God.
“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:1).
“And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain” (Zech. 14:17).
Imagine a world where your entire family will worship together. You will not have to wonder which people among your family will reject you or harbor ill-will because you worship God. They will all show respect for God. Some people cave to family pressure – that is why so many have a hard time following God in this age. Jesus taught that we will receive a great reward in the age to come if we will resist familial pressures for the sake of the Kingdom (Matthew 19:29).
The final factor we will briefly review is generational unity. As mentioned earlier, people will live longer in the Millennium. This will allow multiple generations to worship God in unity. How many of us had Godly grandparents or great-grand parents? What if they lived much longer and could be known to future generations? Patriarchs and matriarchs of generations can show the way to the younger ones in the worship of God. The younger ones can set an example for the older ones (I Tim. 4:12). Each generation will work together to honor God.
“Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations” (Isaiah 60:15).
“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (Psalms 145:4).
In the coming age, the natural and spiritual will work together. Spiritual beings will rule over physical locations for the benefit of the Kingdom and its King, Jesus. Truly, one fulfillment of Daniel 12:3 will come to pass in the Millennial age. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
In the Millennium, the entire world will have a consistent message about the Kingdom of God and it will be broadcast through as many different methods as possible. There will be true education and true communication. There will be no need to worry about ‘fake news.’ During the reign of Christ, only truth will be allowed to spread throughout the world. And so will come to pass the verse which reads: “…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
As we ponder these amazing promises, we must also realize how imperative it is for Christians to obey God now. We must show ourselves faithful in our personal lives, work, family, and church. Those who endure in this age will reap a great reward with Christ in the age to come; part of this reward will be a place of rulership in His Kingdom.
In the Millennial age, people will want to be involved with the Kingdom of God and King Christ because they will clearly see the benefits and blessings that are available through them. All these factors will create a great world-wide synergy which will result in exponential spiritual growth and a great millennial harvest.