The Feast Days in Elijah's Story
The Bible gives us still another pattern story about the sequence of the autumn feast days in the account of Elijah. This story is, perhaps, one of the most important of the patterns--especially dealing with the day of decision, the Day of Atonement--because we are told specifically that Elijah would come "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD" (Malachi 4:5). While most Bible teaching seems to focus more on Elijah himself, our focus is upon the story of Elijah and the work that was accomplished by his ministry.
It is our understanding that Elijah himself will not be reincarnated, but that the Elijah calling and ministry will be repeated in a company of people. Our view of this Elijah ministry is similar to our view on the Body of Christ; there was originally a single person to do the work, but that person sets the pattern for a company of people, a body, that would finish the work along the same patterns.
The Famine in the Land
The story of Elijah begins rather abruptly in 1 Kings 17:1, where the prophet confronts King Ahab with the Word of the Lord:
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."
In those days a Word like this would mean that there was going to be a famine in the land. No rain or dew was always cause for famines. We read in Luke 4:25 and again in James 5:17 that there was no rain for three years and six months. While this was a literal time of no rain in Elijah's day, this set a more serious prophetic pattern for our own consideration today. Amos 8:11-14 prophesies,
11 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 "And people will stagger from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it. 13 "In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst. 14 "As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, who say, 'As your god lives, O Dan,' and, 'As the way of Beersheba lives,' they will fall and not rise again."
In other words, the famine in the story of Elijah was a pattern of a much greater famine that was yet to come. But it was not to be a literal famine from lack of literal rain. Instead, it was to be a famine of hearing the Word of God, caused by a lack of the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth in the land. Men and women would search everywhere for the Word of God, but they could only find significant spiritual food by the mouth of the Elijah company--the overcomers, or the remnant of grace that was not blinded (Rom. 11:5-7).
The story of Elijah shows that this condition was to last through the fulfillment of Passover (Jesus' crucifixion) and through the fulfillment of Pentecost (Acts 2), until the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Elijah's Passover and Pentecostal Patterns
After Elijah gave the famine word to King Ahab, God told him to hide by the brook named Cherith (1 Kings 17:3). The name of this brook means "a cutting." It comes from the Hebrew root word, karath, which means "to cut." It also means "to covenant," and it is translated in this manner in 2 Chronicles 7:18 and in Haggai 2:5. To make a blood covenant meant cutting an animal in two pieces and walking between them, as God did in Genesis 15. That is why "to cut" also signified making a covenant.
When God told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith, He was setting a pattern for the Feast of Passover, wherein God sent the Messiah to offer Himself for us as a blood covenant. While at this brook, Elijah is said to have been fed by ravens. Ravens normally symbolize unclean spirits, in contrast to the doves, which symbolize the Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word translated "ravens" here is oreb. The root of this word is arab. For this reason, Ferrar Fenton's translation of the Bible indicates that Elijah was fed by Arabs, rather than by ravens.
For our purposes, it does not really matter which understanding is correct, for we are more interested in the symbolic meaning of the story. It might be that the ravens are symbolic of Arabs, even as other animals or birds often symbolize people and nations.
We today need to know how the story applies in the fulfillment of the feast days. The brook Cherith speaks of Passover; the Arabs feeding him speaks of the "food" of the Feast of Pentecost. How? Because Pentecost is identified with Mount Sinai, which is in Arabia (Gal. 4:25). In the New Testament, after Saul was converted, he spent a few years in Arabia, no doubt spending time in the cave on the mount where both Moses and Elijah received divine revelation.
Elijah's being fed by Arabs typifies Pentecost in another way as well. The story of Ishmael (son of Abram) and Isaac (son of Abraham) not only typify the Old and New Covenants, but also show the contrast between Pentecost and Tabernacles. As we explained more fully in chapter five of our book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost, Ishmael was called a "wild-ass man" (Gen. 16:12). We showed that this is one of the primary symbols of Pentecost in the Bible, and that, therefore, Ishmael was a pentecostal type. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations, and so for Elijah to be fed by Arabs or by ravens representing the Arabs, the story speaks of the Elijah company in the Age of Pentecost.
From the brook Cherith, Elijah was sent to Zarephath, a city of Zidon north of Israel. There he was fed by a widow woman, but because of her faith, Elijah sustained her by the miracle of the never-failing flour and oil. This portion of the story is really just a secondary picture of the Feast of Pentecost.
Zarephath means "refinery." The name of the town is from the Hebrew word, Zaraph, which means "to smelt or refine." This is, of course, the purpose of Pentecost. At Sinai, God came down upon the mount as fire, and Moses told the people to draw near to Him. They ran the other direction, of course, not wanting to die, and not knowing that the fire of God was sent to refine and purify them. Only Moses went up the mount, for he represented the overcomers, those willing to truly experience Pentecost as God intended the feast to be experienced. Ultimately, Moses returned from the mount with his face glowing in an early Tabernacles pattern. He came off the mount carrying the tables of the law as well, in order that we might know that the overcomers have the law written on their hearts by the finger of God.
Pentecost was given to the Church and to Israel in order to sustain them during the famine of hearing the Word. Unfortunately, a large portion of the Church has followed the pattern of Israel at the mount, rather than of Moses. They have refused to hear the Law or have it written on their hearts. Like Israel of old, they run the opposite direction, not wanting to die (Ex. 20:19). They often prefer a prosperity message, rather than a call to die. They do not comprehend that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a refiner's fire that causes the fleshly nature to die, that the spirit might be made alive.
Elijah's Feast of Trumpets Pattern
1 Kings 17:17-24 tells how the widow woman's son died and was raised to life by the ministry of Elijah. This is Elijah's pattern for the Feast of Trumpets, which speaks of the resurrection of the dead. Verses 22-24 tell us,
22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, "See, your son is alive." 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth."
The son of the widow woman here is the body of overcomers, who must be raised from the dead at the Feast of Trumpets before the Feast of Tabernacles can be fulfilled. This event proved to the widow woman "that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth." In the same manner, the resurrection of the overcomers in the first resurrection will prove the validity of the Word that the overcomers have been given. No doubt this is the catalyst for the Church's repentance for its blindness, persecution of the overcomers, and unbelief--all of which, from the beginning, have caused the famine of hearing the Word.
Elijah's Day of Atonement Pattern
After the widow woman's son was raised from the dead, God told Elijah to go back to Israel and speak to King Ahab. The king accused Elijah of being the one who was causing all the trouble in Israel, regarding the famine. Elijah countered that it was the king's disobedience to God and His law that was causing the famine. There are always two sides in any dispute, but as Christians, we side with Elijah. Any time we refuse to hear or obey the Word of God, we will experience a famine of hearing and obeying.
In the types and shadows the lesson here is that the Church has largely rejected the divine law, somehow thinking it to be irrelevant or evil. Jesus said that we should live by EVERY WORD that God speaks, rather than picking and choosing which portion we wish to hear. Because the Church largely rejected the law, they received very little revelation of the law, and this is why there has been a famine of hearing and understanding the message of the Feast Days and many other teachings. The Feast of Tabernacles was almost unknown in Christian circles until the middle of the twentieth century. Today the law is finally coming alive, and Christians are beginning to recognize that they have missed many marvelous revelations of the Word by not studying the law.
Elijah and Ahab agreed to hold a showdown on Mount Carmel to see whose opinion was true:
20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel, and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD [Yahweh] is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. 23 "Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox, and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. 24 "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."
This was the great day of decision for the people on Mount Carmel. It was a day to choose whom they would serve. It was a day when the people sat on the fence, not knowing whose Word was truth, or too frightened to side with Elijah. How similar this was to the day that the twelve spies gave their report, where the people had to choose whether to believe the evil report of the ten spies or the good report of Caleb and Joshua. Would they choose to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles or not?
This is the great spiritual wrestling match in the Church. The problem is not the world; the problem is the Church. It was Ishmael who persecuted Isaac. It was Saul who persecuted David. It was the New Testament Saul that persecuted the early Church. It is the realm of Pentecost that persecutes those of Tabernacles. It is always those who have a limited vision of God who persecute those who want more of God. So the question is the same: will they take the responsibility upon themselves and repent for refusing to hear the Word and thereby causing a famine of hearing? Or will they simply continue to blame Elijah, the overcomer company, for all the problems in the Church?
The 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the groves prayed and danced all morning, attempting to bring down the fire of God--the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They failed. At noon Elijah began to taunt them:
27 And it came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened." 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 And it came about when midday was past, that they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
Finally, it was Elijah's turn to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit, for it was the time of the evening sacrifice. There were two sacrifices a day in the old temple: the morning sacrifice, and the evening sacrifice. Prophetically speaking, these two times of sacrifice depict the two outpourings of the Spirit and the two comings of Christ. For this reason, the two times of sacrifice overlay upon the two seasons of the feast days as well--that is, the spring feasts and the autumn feasts. The spring feasts were fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and culminated with Pentecost, the first outpouring of the Spirit. The autumn feasts have yet to be fulfilled with the second coming of Christ and will culminate with the second outpouring of the Spirit at the Feast of Tabernacles.
The prophets and priests of Baal did not know God, nor did they know the secret of timing, so their attempt to bring down the Spirit of God failed. This showdown was a pattern of the Day of Atonement--an autumn holy day--but their prayers were depicting the morning sacrifice. Prophetically speaking, they were attempting to bring the fullness of the Spirit at Pentecost--or attempting to establish Pentecost on the Day of Atonement. Obviously, they did not know the mind of God.
On the other hand, Elijah did know the mind of God. He had just established a pattern of resurrection (Feast of Trumpets), and this was the signal to go back to Israel to establish a Day of Atonement pattern. So it is no coincidence that Elijah prayed in the afternoon and that the fire of God came down at the time of the evening sacrifice. First the prophet took twelve stones and repaired the altar of the Lord (1 Kings 18:30 and 31). Twelve is the biblical number of divine government. It represents the overcomers, upon whom the Spirit of God was to fall.
Next, the prophet told the people to pour twelve barrels of water upon the sacrifice and upon the altar. It indicates not only an outpouring of the Spirit, but particularly of the Word of God. This either indicates that there is no drought or famine of hearing the Word where the overcomers are concerned, or perhaps it indicates an end to the drought for the overcomers. Even overcomers experience drought and famine of the Word, especially during their training period in the "wilderness." But at some point in their life God blesses them with the revelation of His Word, whereby they are prepared to receive the outpouring of the Spirit at the fulfillment of Tabernacles.
Keep in mind, however, that this showdown is not a pattern of the Feast of Tabernacles, but of the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is preparatory to the Feast of Tabernacles. The fire of God came down to consume the sacrifice on the pattern day of the Day of Atonement--but then the RAIN came to depict the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Tabernacles.
The purpose of the fire at the evening sacrifice was to prove, as Elijah said, "that this people may know that Thou, O LORD, art God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again" (1 Kings 18:37). This was the heart of Elijah's calling and the purpose of his ministry. This is why Malachi 4:5 and 6 tells us,
5 "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 "And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse."
The Elijah ministry is important in the plan of God, because without it the land (really, the whole earth) would come under the curse of the law and be destroyed. The purpose of the Day of Atonement is to bring revival--a genuine revelation of truth--to the Church, so that they would know that the Elijah company really is of God. The Church will come to this day of decision after they realize that the resurrection of the dead did not include every believer throughout history.
There will, no doubt, be many factors that will turn the hearts of the people. The "children" here are the people in the latter days. The "fathers" are, I believe, the prophets of God who have given us the revelation of the Word in the past, such as Moses and Elijah. Ultimately, of course, the heart of the children must be turned back to our heavenly Father from whom the Word came.
Elijah prayed, and God accepted the sacrifice by fire. 1 Kings 18:38 and 39 says,
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD [Yahweh], He is God; the LORD, He is God."
The fire of God is the manifestation of His presence. When God is present, men cannot help but fall on their faces in repentance. This is what will happen on an unprecedented scale when the Day of Atonement is fulfilled. This revival will prepare the hearts of the believers to assist in the spread of the Gospel in the Age of Tabernacles. In this coming age we will witness the greatest outpouring of the Spirit that the world has ever seen.
After God accepted Elijah's offering by fire, the prophet said in verse 40,
40 Then Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
There are some who predict death and destruction to those they consider to be modern prophets of Baal. Our view is different. There is more than one way to bring death upon people. There is, of course, literal execution for sin, but there is also a death known as repentance. Generally speaking, what is death in the Old Testament is life in the New. For example, when the people worshipped the golden calf under Mount Sinai the site of the original Pentecost, 3,000 men died by the sword (Exodus 32:28). But at Pentecost in Acts 2:41, we find that the disciples used the sword of their mouth, and 3,000 men were converted to Jesus Christ.
We believe the same pattern will hold true at the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. Whereas all the prophets of Baal were killed under Elijah in the Old Testament, we believe that the "prophets of Baal" will repent with more weeping than all the others, for they will then know the error of their ways and teachings.
Remember that the purpose of Pentecost in the book of Acts was to equip the pentecostal Church to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. The same is true of the purpose of Tabernacles. This feast does not mark the END of man's opportunity to hear the Word and accept Jesus Christ; rather, it marks the BEGINNING of the time when the world will be able to see Christ manifested in a complete way. They will be compelled to accept Him as King of all nations, not out of force or violence, but because the love and works of Jesus, as manifested in His body, will awaken in them the DESIRE to submit to Him. He is, indeed, "the desire of all nations" (Hag. 2:7), but not all recognize Jesus as being everything they desire in a King.
In the Passover Age the nation of Israel did a very poor job in manifesting the character of Jesus Christ to the world, and so their role as a priestly nation was severely limited. In the Age of Pentecost the Church had a bit more success in manifesting Christ to the world, but as time passed, they lost their first love. And so instead of manifesting the love of God, they ultimately substituted fear, force, and violence as the primary means of converting people.
It will not be this way in the Tabernacles Age, because God is not interested in forcing people to submit to Him. The heart of God is to draw all men by His love, not by fear, coercion, or force. And when a company of people are finally brought to full birth to manifest the true character of Jesus Christ, they will not need to use force to convert the world. The love of God is irresistible. People everywhere will fall in love with Jesus Christ and earnestly desire to know what the overcomers know and experience.
The Age of Tabernacles will be a time when a worldwide revival will happen on a scale that is unprecedented in history. The overcomers will attain immortality and will manifest Christ in the fullest sense of the Feast of Tabernacles. The rest of the believers, including all the new Christians who come to know Him, will be able to experience the fullness of Pentecost, but not come into the fullness of life and immortality.
Even so, it will certainly be a glorious time for them, comparable to the book of Acts. The difference is that this time the Church will recognize the overcomers among them and will submit to their counsel and teaching. They will be a Melchisedec priesthood who will keep the fire burning--unlike the Levitical priesthood, where Nadab and Abihu allowed the fire to be extinguished, making it necessary, they thought, to light their own fire (Lev. 10). This time the fire from heaven that the Elijah company receives in answer to prayer will never be extinguished, for its administrators and caretakers will do all things correctly. The fire will be in them until it consumes all things, even the very dust of the ground--that is, all mankind. It will burn until all things are put under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:27 and 28).
Elijah's Feast of Tabernacles Pattern
After the showdown on Mount Carmel, Elijah then began to pray for rain. The story is found in 1 Kings 18:41-46,
41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower." 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked and said, "There is nothing." And he said, "Go back" seven times. 44 And it came about at the seventh time, that he said, "Behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea." And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you'." 45 So it came about in a little while, that the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.
Elijah had to pray but once for the fire of God to fall upon the sacrifice. Why would it take seven times for the rain to fall? The answer is easily seen when we understand the sequence of events as fulfilling the pattern of the feast days. After the Day of Atonement comes the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the rain, the outpouring of the Spirit for which Elijah was praying. He prayed seven times because the Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day feast, but the Spirit cannot come until the eighth day of Tabernacles.
We are not told if Elijah had to pray for seven days or if he simply repeated his prayer seven times over a period of hours. We believe, however, that Elijah prayed for seven days, because that would better fulfill the feast-day pattern. In fact, we believe that all of these events actually occurred on those feast days, though it is impossible to prove this by any written Biblical statement. Even so, the first-century historian, Josephus, tells us in Antiquities of the Jews, VIII, xiii, 2,
"Now Menander mentions this drought [of Elijah] in his account of the acts of Ethbaal, king of the Tyrians [and the father of Jezebel, Ahab's wife], where he says thus: 'Under him, there was a want of rain from the month Hyperberetaeus till the month Hyperberetaeus of the year following; but when he made supplications, there came great thunders. This Ethbaal built the city Botrys, in Phoenicia,and the city Auza, in Libya.' By these words he designed the want of rain that was in the days of Ahab; for at that time it was that Ethbaal also reigned over the Tyrians, as Menander informs us."
Menander, whom Josephus quotes here, lived about three centuries before Josephus. Menander was a well-known Greek dramatist of his day and wrote over 100 plays. Most of his works are lost, but Josephus had access to some of his works and was able to quote him. He says that Menander mentions the drought during the time of the king-priest Ethbaal of Tyre and King Ahab of Israel. It occurred, he says, in the month known to the Greeks as Hyperberetaeus, which is the seventh month that the Hebrews called Tishri. This is the month of the autumn feast days in Israel, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets on the first day of Tishri and ending with the Feast of Tabernacles on Tishri 22.
Menander was obviously incorrect in thinking that the drought lasted only one year, but it does support the idea that these events occurred in the month of Tishri. And so, we do enjoy some secular history that supports our belief that these pattern events in the life of Elijah actually occurred on the feast days that they were meant to represent.
At any rate, it is apparent to us that the seven days of prayer represent the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, during which time there was still no rain. On the seventh day Elijah's servant saw a small cloud rising out of the sea (vs. 44). Elijah then sent word to King Ahab that he should ride quickly to Jezreel, so as not to bog down in the mud and rising creeks. Ahab believed Elijah and rode hard in his chariot, but Elijah ran ahead of him and beat him to Jezreel (vs. 46).
This supernatural strength--or perhaps a miracle of time travel like Jesus did in John 6:21--occurred at the same time as the downpour of rain. This, too, is a part of the Feast of Tabernacles, that is, the eighth day of Tabernacles, the day on which we could expect to see the fullness of the Spirit manifested in the earth. We will discuss this in greater detail in our next chapter when we can devote ourselves to a fuller study of Tabernacles. For now, however, we must content ourselves to point out the pattern of timing AFTER seven days, that is, the eighth day of Tabernacles, when the rains came in abundance.
Elijah ran to Jezreel. Jezreel has a double meaning: God scatters and God sows. The meaning of this name is taught in the first two chapters of the prophet Hosea. There the prophet had a son named Jezreel, because God intended to "scatter" the House of Israel. But by the end of Hosea 2 we discover that God was really only "sowing" the House of Israel in the field, which is the world (Matt. 13:38) to prepare for a great harvest of souls yet to come.
The House of Israel was carried into the land of Assyria from 745-721 B.C. and never returned to their old land in Canaan. The House of Judah, on the other hand, was deported to Babylon a century later, but they were allowed to return after just 70 years in captivity. There are distinct prophecies of both Israel and Judah, but few people today recognize those differences and make the mistake of assuming that they all apply to the Jews today. They do not. The Jews are fulfilling one set of prophecies; but those of the House of Israel are fulfilled in people other than Jews. We will explain this further in chapter 11.
The story of Elijah shows that the prophecies regarding Jezreel will begin to be fulfilled on the eighth day of Tabernacles. That is, the fulfillment of this feast day will begin the great harvest of worldwide revival. The rain of the Spirit will cause the seeds to grow and produce an abundant harvest in the Tabernacles Age. Lost Israel will be found and restored, because Jezreel is merely another way to spell "Israel." Many others will be gathered with them into God's kingdom, as we read in Isaiah 56:6-8,
6 "Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and holds fast My covenant; 7 even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples. " 8 The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered."
At that time many people from all nations will desire to learn of God and His law. Those who have been taught to think in terms of a "rapture" have generally thought that the coming of Christ is the end of all things. They have been taught incorrectly that Jesus is coming soon, and when He does, there is no more chance to be saved. This teaching has been used to frighten people into accepting Christ at millions of altar calls. But these teachings are not based upon any understanding of the feast days and their prophetic fulfillments.
The fact is, the Age of Tabernacles will be the time of tremendous evangelism throughout the world. What has been done under Pentecost is only a dim picture of what can and will be done under the anointing of Tabernacles. Isaiah 2:2-4 says,
2 Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
Not one word in this passage hints that people will have no more opportunity to learn of God and become Christians. It is, in fact, a very optimistic passage that portrays a worldwide move of God. In one sense, this evangelistic effort began under the anointing of Pentecost, but ultimately it is fulfilled in Tabernacles. The timing of this is proven in the story of Elijah, who supernaturally ran to Jezreel in the rain of Tabernacles.
We come now to a more complete study of the Feast of Tabernacles and the prophetic laws that give us a greater understanding of events yet to come.