The Last Great Day is the final holy day of the year, and it depicts the final steps in God's plan. After this—eternity!
Richard Ritenbaugh, realizing that some words are inadequate to describe the magnitude of certain things, ponders why the Last Great Day is called great! God's great outpouring of His Spirit will be poured out upon billions—perhaps upward of 60 billion people. Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire where he will never be allowed to torment anyone again. In the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), the massive mega-miracle of Israel's resurrection occurs. Afterward, God places His Holy Spirit into them, making them inclined to follow His law, and thus to love, serve, and cooperate, and they shall truly live. At that time, the entire area of earth will be made arable. Massive food, housing, and clothing production, along with godly educational programs will be put immediately in place. In one grand-slam operation, God will have billions of spiritual sons and daughters. Yet, most important of all, it is a great day because we have a great God who will bring these things to pass.
Rehearsing the significance of the Last Great Day, John Reid encourages us to feel encouraged and inspired as we return to our homes and jobs, realizing that our involvement in the Kingdom of God will in no way be passive, but extremely active, serving, caring for, and teaching the billions that will be resurrected within the timeframe represented by this day. As our Elder Brother Christ can empathize with our nature, having become one of us, because we have to go through our lives struggling with overcoming, we also will have a strong bond with those we will be working with. Because we have been tempted and failed many times, and had to overcome, we can encourage them, proving that it is not impossible.
The Eight Day (or Last Great Day) has little written about it, but the patterns of Scripture reveal much about the abundance of this holy day.
If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.
Both the time element and the significance of the Great White Throne has been lost on most of 'Christianity' because it refuses to keep God's Holy Days.
Are millions lost because they never heard the name of Christ? What about infants who died? Are the doors forever shut on those born into false religion?
We often speak confidently of friends and relatives who will rise in the second or general resurrection to have their opportunity for salvation—but what a shame it would be if we were not there to greet them! Mike Ford, reminiscing about being there for his grandfather, urges us all to make our election sure!
Looking at death as 'gain,' Jesus Christ and Paul calmly looked upon death as a natural part of life, as a transition to a better life in the resurrection.
The Eighth Day (or Last Great Day) is a separate festival from the Feast of Tabernacles, which can only derive its significance in the New Testament.
Richard Ritenbaugh, returning to the saga of Captain John "Blackjack" Geary, a leader who transformed his men from reactive to thinking, teaching them more by example rather than abrasive exhortation, now is assigned the task of scouting out a sinister threat of alien species. This mission proved exceedingly dangerous for the newly promoted Admiral Geary, to some extent because of crooked politics and jealousy, undersupplying Geary and his officers, forcing them to rely on their resourcefulness to deal with the wily, crafty enigma, who did not act predictably or lawfully, but deceitfully and secretively, using ambush, computer viruses, and trickery. When their forms are analyzed, they resemble slithering salamanders, bovine teddy bears, and spiders with wolf-like faces cruising in dazzlingly beautiful silvery seamless ships. Geary, by appealing to their engineering intelligence, was able to forge a non-aggression pact. Using Geary's analytical probing of the enemy mind is a technique we, as God's called-out ones, need to emulate. In the Second Resurrection, we will be obligated to understand minds totally alien to God's way of doing things. We could conclude that the eighth day—sometimes called the last great day—is an enigma. The Great White Throne Judgment, a time all those who have not yet been called (billions and billions of people at different times, different locales, and different cultures, different mindsets, different languages, different religions—all extremely different from us) are judged by their works, and their eternal fate is decided. We are going to have to find ways to make God's way appealing to people of alien cultures, emulating our Elder Brother Jesus Christ, gently bringing them to a tipping point by asking them just the right question or giving just the right answer. In the overview of John 8-10, we see that we must
Richard Ritenbaugh, acknowledging the premature death of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and his accomplishments, reports he had a darker side, dying as a Zen Buddhist and displaying the characteristic of a tyrant. Though he was highly successful by worldly standards, he was not called, and had no concept of God's plan. This 8th Day, symbolizing the Great White Throne Judgment, depicting the huge harvest, will be the harvest of the greater part of mankind—all the rest of the dead. What Jesus preached about in John 8-10 is the gold standard of instruction about the eighth day. Jesus comes in as the Light of the World, providing forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery and rebuke for the recalcitrant Pharisees. People in the world cannot understand without God's Spirit. Jesus Christ knew that God the Father had his back. At the conclusion of His confrontation with the Pharisees (pointing out their hopeless bondage to sin), the next part of God's plan is revealed—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Pharisees, by their behavior, proved that they had not the foggiest concept of God the Father, but instead were children of Satan, as is the bulk of the world's population. The episode contained in John 9, about the man born blind from birth, depicts the hopeless spiritual blindness of most of the earth. Only Jesus Christ, as the Light of the World, can release the world from spiritual blindness. The clay and spittle Christ uses possibly depicts or alludes to a new creation in the future. Jesus Christ's admonition for the blind man to walk and cleanse himself emphasizes the works of repentance. The pool of Siloam alludes to the paradise of creation -waters of Eden from Gihon Spring, perhaps depicting the Holy Spirit and its power to heal.
Richard Ritenbaugh contrasts the true view of the afterlife with the prevailing Protestant view as reported by patheos.com, stating that at the end time, God will judge between the righteous and unrighteous, consigning the righteous to a blissful heaven or a tormenting hell. In both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, there is a total lack of ideas as to what we will be doing in the afterlife. People are more apt to believe the traditions than the truths of scripture. After the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, the people left their booths and returned to their permanent homes on the Last Great Day. The following day a holy assembly was again called focusing upon the time of judgment, a time our temporary existence is exchanged for a permanent one. The Last Great Day represents changelessness, endurance, or eternity, a time when all mankind's destinies will be set in stone; everyone will be judged and will cease being transitory and will have their fates permanently sealed. The general resurrection or the Great White Throne Judgment will occur right after the Millennium. Jesus Christ will have gathered His first fruits from their graves or transformed in the twinkling of an eye at His coming. The saints will then become the sons of God, totally composed of spirit, no longer subject to death. Like our Elder Brother Jesus Christ, we will attain spiritual son-ship (membership in the God family) through resurrection from the dead, following the same process that Christ began. We have hope of the resurrection because Christ went through the resurrection. The promises in the Beatitudes are that we shall see God as sons of God, inheriting the new heavens and earth, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, shining as luminous suns. The saints are going to be glorified as God at Jesus Christ's second coming, well before the general resurrection, serving in God's kin
We each have an eternal responsibility to do the will of God, continually seeking Him. Those who do not choose God's way of life will be mercifully put to death.
Martin Collins contrasts the corrupt, perverse judgment meted out in human courts with the equitable, patient, and forbearing judgment of God Almighty. God's judgment on His called out ones has already begun (I Peter 4:17) and comes in incremental stages, somewhat like a divine installment plan. As God's spiritual offspring (or the first fruits), we are, through God's shaping experiences, preparing to share with Christ the prospect of preparing the earth for billions of people awaiting their opportunity for eternal life, assisting in harvesting the wheat from the tares. The prospect of this glorious opportunity (I Corinthians 2:9) is incomprehensible (except as through a glass darkly) in our present state.
Richard Ritenbaugh, suggesting that many people go to their graves with their spiritual problems unresolved, suggests that they carelessly follow the dictates of their own hearts. Even just men fall into sin. Many people have lived their whole lives not aware of their sin, unaware of the law that defines sin. The Great White Throne Judgment is not a special judgment, but a general judgment or resurrection to mortal life, allowing the vast majority of those who have ever lived opportunity for salvation. Jesus Christ is the source for the Holy Spirit, the way to Eternal Life, where we can with joy draw water from the wells of salvation. At the time of the Great White Throne Judgment, there will be a Utopian environment with abundance, a time when the majority of the world will experience God"s way for the first time. The etymology of Jesus Christ"s name is inextricably connected to Yeshua or "salvation," the Savior of Israel and a light to lighten the Gentiles. Salvation is all about Jesus Christ.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the massive drought in the continental United States, observes that nothing makes one appreciate water like drought. Water has great metaphorical significance on the Last Great Day of the Feast, symbolizing God's Holy Spirit given without measure. Prefigured by the annual Jewish water ceremony, Jesus assures His followers that compared to the meager golden pitcher of water, He would provide rivers of living water. To the Samaritan woman, He suggests that Jacob's Well is paltry compared to the healing, living water of God's Holy Spirit flowing from the Rock. The water flowing from the Millennial Temple mirrors the outflowing of God's Holy Spirit, filling up the whole earth with the life-saving knowledge of God.
The Lake of Fire (Second Death or Third Resurrection), dreadful as it initially appears, produces both immediate as well as ultimate benefits or good.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the pouring out of water as a symbol of the pouring out of God's Holy Spirit during the Second Resurrection. The vast majority of people who have lived on this earth have never heard the true Gospel of God's Kingdom. God, not willing that any should perish, has a timetable, carefully calculated to allow people to receive and respond to the truth at their maximum opportunity for salvation, each in his own order. The Judgment indicates a process, requiring considerable time, a turning point, leading to a just and equitable decision. This conversion process, requiring the use of His Spirit, symbolized by water has already begun for God's called-out ones. Without the quality of life imparted by God's Holy Spirit, eternal life is not worth living.
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that the scene does not change between John 7 and 8, but the location changes in chapter 9, a location where He heals a man who had been blind from his birth. This stirred up another controversy with the Pharisees. All of the events occurring in John 8-10 occurred on the Last Great Day, six months before Jesus was crucified, in the same year on the Hebrew calendar, but on two separate years on the Roman calendar (30 AD and 31 AD). Jesus Christ healed the blind man on a double Sabbath, a high day, and a weekly Sabbath. This verse proves that the seventh day of Feast of Tabernacles is not the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and that Christ was crucified in 31 AD, and that the postponement rules of the Hebrew calendar are accurate. In October 30 AD, the Feast of Trumpets and the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles both took place on the Sabbath, while the Last Great Day occurred on the Sabbath. In the spring, calculated with postponements, the crucifixion occurred on a Wednesday while the Resurrection occurred on a Sabbath. According to the scripture, the calendar has to match both years. The only calendar which will fit is the calculated Hebrew calendar using the postponements. The events of John 7:37 categorically prove the veracity of the Hebrew calendar with its postponements. In John 8, Jesus shows us the mindset of the people coming out of the grave. The blind man healed in chapter 9 represents the whole world, spiritually blind from birth. Chapter 10 indicates that there will be no shepherd except for Him. When the resurrection of the rest of the dead occurs, judgment will be rendered on the basis of a person's works. They will be resurrected, either to eternal life or oblivion. This will be a permanent change.
Richard Ritenbaugh, referring to the caption, "The End," suggests that "The End" may also fill our minds with prophetic symbolism at the end of the age. Noah's flood was an end, the temple's destruction was an end, Christ's second coming will be an end, and the Last Great Day will be an end as well as a beginning. The prophetic messages carry the understanding that the physical earth and the heavens will be replaced while God endures forever. Isaiah 65:17-19 describes the end as depicted by the Last Great Day, a time joy will replace weeping, and sorrow will be remembered no more, Christ will turn over the Kingdom to God the Father, death is totally destroyed, Satan is put away with no chance of parole, and billions of people will be led to salvation,a time God will be all-in-all. The only thing that will remain after the destruction of the heavens and the earth (perhaps in the Lake of Fire) will be holy righteous character. This climactic event should motivate us to overcome and grow spiritually. When we enter the golden age of God, the bad old days will be remembered no more. Only those written in the Lamb's Book of Life will be there, receiving direct access to God in a time of perpetual illumination, ushering in an endless period of creativity. God's testimonies are absolutely certain; every word He speaks comes to pass. Holiness will grace God's residence forever.
The world will learn that God judges—that He has the ultimate decision over everything. After Satan is bound, God will bring about seven reconcilements.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the life of Ryan Leif, an athlete who had all the advantages, suggested that his stupidity ended up mitigating his advantages and achievements. As he started his rookie year, he fumbled and made many errors, destroying his reputation as a sterling quarterback. His subsequent life went downhill, as he succumbed to controlled substances, leading to burglary and other crimes. He sits in a jail cell in Montana, deemed a failure, down in the gutter. If we do not establish a relationship with God, we will also be failures. Thankfully, in the Great White Throne Judgment, these failures will be turned into successes if those God resurrects establish a relationship with God. Access to God is made possible only through His calling. Everyone alive has sinned; without God's Spirit, it is impossible to access God. The world will be in a debased state until the time of Christ's return, when God's Spirit will be generally available, poured out on all flesh. The Great White Throne judgment will feature a mass physical resurrection, beginning with the House of Israel followed by the rest of humanity. God will convert all of humanity from all time since the Garden of Eden. Psalms 105 and 106, considered teaching Psalms, set the ambience for this time period, expressing the yearning desire to be included in His Kingdom, and declaring God's praises to everyone, exhorting everyone to seek the Lord. We are encouraged to see God at our side through our spiritual wilderness journey, a parallel to the wandering of our forebears on the Sinai. Those in the Great White Throne Judgment will undergo the same process, but will not have Satan and a corrupt world to contend with. They will have to contend with carnal nature. Priests and Levites will be reprogrammed to do their jobs right, distinguishing between the sacred and the profane. God has always been faithful
God does not like to inflict punishment on people, but because of sin, He is obligated to correct. But as quickly as God punishes, God restores and heals.
The Sabbath is an antidote to the weariness we experience. It recalls God's pausing after completing His physical creation, focusing on the spiritual creation.
Richard Ritenbaugh, exploring the different nuances of the word "according to," in the context of the expression, "according to their works" suggests that parallel expressions "depending on," "equal to," or "in the same measure," seem to have the best fit. God demonstrates rock solid consistency in His judgments to all men at all times, including the hideous pagan religious practices of the Amorites as well as the insidious, political plotting of Sanballat. God applies the same measure to all men at all times: His standard is always the same. Because God, the Perfect Judge, sees the content of our hearts, nothing ever escapes His attention. God mercifully judges us over a lifetime of behaviors, not just one or two isolated incidents. As parents, we judge our children on their works- (whether they get done or not) over a lengthy period of time. Fruits, as a metaphor for works, we also judge longitudinally, but we must also scrutinize in a plural sense because not all of our fruit come to maturity. Works, fruits, or actions are the concrete proof of our belief and our growth. We are under God's scrutiny and judgment right now. If we fail to repent, getting on the right trajectory, God will have no choice but to reject us.
Christ's teachings on the Eighth Day revolved around light and darkness, and twice on that Holy Day He proclaimed that He is the Light of the World.
We must look beyond our own calling, realizing that the sacrifice of Christ was for all men, with the hope that they will be added to the family of God.
Satan can fine-tune the course of this world (Zeitgeist), customizing it depending on whom he may seek to murder. We need to be thinking and vigilant.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the culture of the Baby Boomers, suggests that this generation has taken on characteristics of narcissism, self-absorption, and excessive self-centeredness, leading to rampant materialism. A narcissist looks neither outward nor up but inwardly, mindful only of self. In Acts 8:9-24, Simon Magus,the quintessential narcissist, who had practiced sorcery, trying to gain control over people, attempted to get God's power by offering money. Peter charged that Simon was wicked to the core, shackled by sin. God wants us to think outwardly rather than selfishly. In Isaiah 12, personal salvation occupies the first stanza, while public responsibility (praising and worshipping God) occupies the second stanza. The vast majority of salvation comes from God, prompting us to shower God with praise. In Colossians 3:1-3, we learn to live so intimately with (hid in) Christ, that what people see is Christ. We have to mortify our flesh, putting on the good, the righteousness of Christ. It's not about us, but instead Christ. I Corinthians 15:20-28 shows us that God will be all in all.