Immediately after the seven day Feast of Tabernacles is the Last Great Day, the final festival and holy day of God. It pictures the final stage in God's plan for the salvation of mankind.
The Last Great Day pictures the general resurrection of mankind, an event after the millennium when the vast majority of the billions of people who lived and died before the second coming of Jesus Christ are raised from the dead back to physical life.
This festival is both a continuation of the Feast of Tabernacles and a separate festival. It immediately follows the seven day Feast of Tabernacles, and it is called the "eighth day" of the Feast (Leviticus 23:36, 39). It is also called the "last day" and the "great day" of the Feast (John 7:37). We in the Church of God, following the example of Mr. Armstrong, call it the "Last Great Day".
And it is indeed a great day in what it represents.
We in the Church of God, because we observe the annual holy days and festivals of God as well as the weekly Sabbath, understand God's plan for the salvation of mankind.
Satan rules this world through deception (Luke 4:5-7, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Revelation 12:9). He deceived Eve, and through Eve he tempted Adam into sin, and he has been leading mankind in his evil way of sin ever since.
God is more powerful than Satan, and Satan can only do what God allows (Job 1:6-19, 2:1-8). Nevertheless, God has allowed Satan to rule and influence this world for nearly six thousand years for a special purpose.
Mr. Armstrong understood that God is teaching mankind a lesson written in human history that Satan's way of life only brings suffering, heartache, violence, destruction, and death. But after six thousand years of Satan's rule, he will be banished, removed from his throne, and Christ and the saints will rule the earth God's way for a thousand years. Mankind will be able to contrast the happiness of the millennium with six thousand years of Satan's rule and see that God's way is best.
Mankind in the millennium will be able to know the truth of God. They will hear the true gospel. Their minds will be opened, and they will be able to hear, understand, believe, repent, be converted, and be saved.
But what about the billions of human beings who have lived and died during the six thousand years of Satan's deception without ever having the chance for salvation? Many have not heard any gospel, and almost none have heard the true gospel, and many of those who heard were never able to understand and believe the gospel because Satan has deceived them and God has not specially called and drawn them to Christ.
The vast majority of mankind has not been able to hear the true gospel, understand it, believe it, repent, and be converted and saved. God is only calling a few to salvation in this age. Only those the Father draws to Christ can come to Him. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).
Without that special calling and drawing by God, no one in this age can be converted. It is impossible for the majority to be converted in this age.
So what happens to them?
Most of this world's traditional, mainstream Protestant churches have taught that the majority are lost forever. They understand, correctly, that salvation is only through Jesus Christ. But then they conclude, since the majority of the world's population throughout history has not accepted Christ, even nominally, that they are lost forever.
Yet, this is an insult to God. It slanders God by painting Him as weak or uncaring.
But the truth, as represented by the Last Great Day, honors, magnifies, and glorifies God's name and reputation for righteousness. The truth shows God's greatness, wisdom, power, and love. For God has a plan to save all of mankind, except those who knowingly reject God. God will give everyone a chance for salvation.
Yet, traditional, mainstream churches and their members do not understand this because they do not keep the Last Great Day and all of God's holy days and festivals.
The 37th chapter of Ezekiel shows how God will save the billions who have died without a chance for salvation up to their death.
"Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it," says the Lord.' " (Ezekiel 37:12-14). See also verses 1 to 11 to get the full context and to see that God is talking about resurrection to physical life, life that requires the breath of air, not immortal spirit life.
This passage speaks about Israel, as an example, but the same event will occur for all mankind, as indicated in Revelation and other places (Revelation 20:11-15, Matthew 12:41-42).
All who have lived and died without a chance for salvation will be raised back to physical life in a general resurrection of the dead, the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-12).
They will come alive again into an environment free of Satan's influence, and they will be offered their first real chance for salvation.
They will all hear the true gospel at that time. Jesus Christ and the saints will be ruling the earth. They will learn of the whole history of the seven thousand years - the six thousand years of Satan's rule, which they lived in, and the one thousand year rule of Jesus Christ and the saints. Moreover, they will be resurrected into that happy environment of Christ's rule, and they will be able to contrast the happiness they can come to know then with the state of this world today which they lived in. They will be able to see and experience that God's way is best.
They will be able to understand, believe, repent, obey, receive God's Holy Spirit and be converted, and be saved. They will be able to live forever in God's kingdom. And that will be a much happier result than the traditional view of this world's churches that they will suffer forever in hellfire because of circumstances of birth over which they had no control.
Here is a link to more information about the Last Great Day. This link is to last year's post in this blog about the Last Great Day, and you can follow the links at the end of that post to more posts on this subject and to a section in my book, Preaching the Gospel, about the Last Great Day and what it represents.
"The Last Great Day, and How Righteousness Will Fill the Earth", dated October 4, 2015, link: