The Last Great Day
October 8, 2012
Last Great Day
Before I began preparing this message, I had one thought or another about what might make an interesting topic to speak on concerning the Last Great Day.
I thought perhaps that I might highlight the significance of the eighth day.
Then my daughter Abigail asked me a question: “Dad, what happens on the Last Great Day?”
You see, we had been talking about how the Feast of Trumpets pictures the return of Jesus Christ, how
the Day of Atonement pictures when Satan is locked away for 1,000 years, and we were just beginning to discuss what the Feast of Tabernacles was all about.
It was one of those questions that made me stop. What happens on the Last Great Day?
Shortly after our talk with the girls, we were over at the home of some good friends of ours. (It just so happens that that friend of mine is also giving a sermonette on this Last Great Day at another Feast site). That evening, we had the most in-depth discussion on the subject of the Last Great Day that I think I have ever had.
What I found interesting was the observation of how little attention this day actually gets. After all, it comes right on the heels of the Feast of Tabernacles, where we have been rejoicing for seven days!
How many times have we taken this day for granted, perhaps thinking mostly of how sad we are that the Feast is over. We think about how we will miss everyone very much, and how difficult it is to say "goodbye" for another year. We think about our return trip. Are we all packed and ready? What time do we need to leave? Further observation was made in our discussion that evening how we tend to have a lot of things on our mind on this day.
Then the question was put forth, “But what does
God think about this day?”
I asked my girls the following night if they remembered what the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day pictured. Abigail, who has been especially keen on asking about the nature of the animals, especially snakes, wants to know when they will be changed. She asked us if, when we get home from the Feast, all of the animals will be tame. Our children are, of course, still learning to remember what these days mean.
So like any good father, I set out explaining as eloquently as I could what a wonderful picture these Holy Days represent.
I was particularly getting into my explanation of what happens on the Last Great Day, when Abigail asked the next monumental question: “Do aardvarks eat ants?”
Let us reflect for a moment now on what this day is all about. This day is the culmination of all of God’s work down through all ages.
I Peter 1:20 tells us that Jesus Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world, and that through Him we believe in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that our faith and hope are in God.
Pictured, performed and proclaimed on Passover, Christ’s sacrifice was the first major step in the redemption of mankind from Satan’s house of bondage.
From that point on, we rehearse a series of observances that remind and teach us,
both of past and future events that are monumental to the salvation and deliverance of
all mankind, beginning with a smaller selection (or harvest) at first.
In keeping the Holy Days, we begin to understand the hope of God’s plan of salvation for all mankind. Please pause and reflect for a moment on what God must have seen man doing all over the world, throughout the centuries. We can get sick watching even just fifteen minutes of the evening news. However, from our observance of the Holy Days, we are given a great hope and we understand that there is a happy ending.
11: Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12: And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13: The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14: Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15: And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
1: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2: Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5: Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
6: And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Just a thought about there being no more sea: the book of Isaiah 57:20 talks about the wicked being like the troubled sea. We might also think of the wicked as being unconverted or uncircumcised in heart. Among all the significance of this day, we find that the eighth day was the day for circumcision as well as cleansing and sanctification.
If we consider further that Jesus Christ is the Life (John 14:6), then it stands to reason that everyone must be found in Him, according to His Book, in order to be truly circumcised in heart.
The Eighth Day or Last Great Day clearly portrays a time when
all mankind will be converted to God’s way, and God will be all in all, with all things made
new (I Corinthians 15:28; II Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5).
Back in Ecclesiastes, Solomon notes that there is nothing new under the sun. Think about that. Everything we see, every thought, every idea, every sound, every event, every miracle, and every atrocity. There is nothing new under the sun. Let’s go to Ecclesiastes and read it:
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
This is aptly put after reading the tremendous magnificence of the Great White Throne Judgment.
Verse 9: That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
10: Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11: There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after.
That is quite a statement to contemplate.
I find it a little hard to fathom. Consider the immensity of what Solomon is
recording here! Our minds are so very limited in what they are actually able to
comprehend; and I think that this could, in part, be a merciful blessing. We
cannot know it all now. As Solomon indicates, there is no remembrance of former things.
It is what we do with what which we do know that really matters.
We have been given this gift of a very special day to observe. It is not just the "book-end" to the Feast of Tabernacles. This day is monumental! This day pictures a time when all things are made new. Let that just settle for a moment. All things made new. Can we even begin to imagine such a time?
My friend stated it this way, “We have the Old Testament, and we have the New Testament. This day pictures the beginning of an as yet unwritten Testament. We are to be married to Christ and we will be a part of the God Family for all eternity.”
Another observation we discussed is to think back on our wedding days, especially us husbands! Recall that feeling when you first saw your bride about to walk down the aisle – perhaps on her father’s arm. The feeling is tremendous; she looks so stunningly beautiful! Your mouth is dry; your knees are weak; and there is an inexpressible joy in your heart, your head and your gut; and it all morphs together there!
Revelation 21:2 portrays the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. This is the city that Abraham looked for (Hebrews 11:10); this is the vision that our fathers in the faith looked for, to the point that they would not recall the former country from which they came.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
What about us? Do we grasp the vision that involves what this day represents? This day looks forward to the time when the tabernacle – the dwelling-place of God – will be with men!
Not only that, but everyone who ever lived will be raised to have an opportunity to learn God’s ways.
You and I are to play a part in that!
In addition, God says that He will wipe away every
tear; and that there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain; all the former things will have passed away.
What a tremendous time of healing!
Every year, my children talk about – even pray about – how the people all around us don’t understand what it says in the Bible. They don’t listen to God, but keep Christmas and Halloween, thinking all that is okay. We tell our children how special an opportunity they have been given to understand and to keep God’s Holy Days. Do we grasp this, as adults? This is the day that pictures a time when everyone – all our neighbours – will know God!
I believe that too many times, we tend to get caught up in the physical day-to-day. We get so focused on what is in the evening news – what others are doing out there. We get so focused on the next thing we need to do or the next place we need to go.
Observance of God’s Holy Days –
especially the Last Great Day –
can so easily, if we're not very careful, fall into our "box of
just going through repetitive motions.
Do we know what to focus on and talk about? I heard one man that evening describe how he wondered if God might give him the job of resurrecting his son who died as a baby. Magnify that feeling to consider how God must feel about His creation, His sons and daughters by the billions. Think of the thousands, millions and billions of people who ever lived, created in the image and likeness of God. It can be too easy to casually read over the accounts of the hundreds of thousands who died here and there throughout history. Innumerable nameless faces; but God knows their every name – and much more: Right now, a silent witness to the price of rejecting God’s way; and of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the future, the prodigal sons and daughters of God – restored to His Family.
I asked my girls again this morning about what they remembered about the Last Great Day. This time, Hannah replied that this is the day picturing when all people will learn God’s way. Abigail’s answer was that this is the day when all the people "get washed up!"
For now, we still must carry onward with the vision of this day firmly established in our minds and hearts. For now, we must endure for a moment the sojourning we have in this age. We must remember our calling and the gifts God has given us to prepare us for our role in the fulfillment of the Last Great Day.
And yes, for the time being, aardvarks do eat ants!
The meaning of this day pales into insignificance all that we might get worked up about. This day pictures the reality, when all things are made new. There is completion of the spiritual order in the plan of God for the providence of life to mankind. This is the day that looks forward to the day when God says, “It is done.”
This day must be very tremendous to God. Do we take it for granted?