Yahweh's Feast Days

Yahweh’s Feast Days

by / Thursday, 30 May 2013 / Published in Every Day Topics

The Passover Service

The Passover Service introduces us to the first of the annual memorials in the sacred calendar. It was first kept in ancient Egypt when after four hundred years of slavery the Almighty rescued His people Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. In that well known episode Yahweh “passed over” the houses of the believers who had obeyed His command to apply the blood of a literal lamb to the lintel and doorposts of their houses. The Almighty spared the lives of Israel’s eldest sons, but authorised the Destroyer to kill all the firstborn of the Egyptians who had refused to obey.

Exodus 12:29

“And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”

Surprising as it may sound, that awesome experience in ancient Egypt on the night of the 14th Abib (the first month in the sacred calendar) was merely a “scaled-down preview“, a “miniature object lesson“, a “dramatised prophecy,” a “spiritual blueprint” of a far greater deliverance of Jehovah’s people scheduled to occur at the midnight of this age. For the real meaning of the Passover is this:

  • JEHOVAH (Yahweh), the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel plans to deliver from eternal death ALL who express their faith in Him and accept His offer of eternal life made possible by the death of His Son Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
  • Yeshua the Messiah’s death on Calvary was prefigured by the death of the Passover Lamb. (John 1:29, 1 Cor. 5:7).
  • Yeshua sacrificed His life on the Passover, at the divinely appointed time, to rescue mankind from the ‘slavery of sin’ and its tragic consequences – eternal death!
  • And all those who by express faith in the Almighty and His Son, the ‘Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,’ will be pardoned, spared and granted eternal life according to His promise.

“And how,” you may well ask, “is the blood of the real Passover Lamb, the Son of the Almighty God, applied to a believer in this electronic age?” The answer is: By taking part in a special memorial service called the Passover Service on the evening of the 14th Abib each year, which is the divinely appointed time. The Passover Service is a memorial of the Saviour’s death on Calvary and every believer in the Messiah is commanded to keep it. “this do in remembrance of me” said the Messiah, the Lamb of God. Memorial services, incidentally are not observed several times a year; neither should they be observed at any time people fancy. The time to observe the Passovere Service has been divinely appointed; and that time is the evening of the 14th day of the month of Abib. Let all who read, pause and take note.

The new covenant emblems of the Saviour’s body and blood are “unleavened bread and wine.” (Luke 22:14-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) These emblems have replaced the need to slay a literal lamb each year, for the Messiah, the real Passover Lamb, has already been slain. But the TIME set apart for this memorial service remains the same. It is the evening of the 14th day of the first month (Abib) in the sacred calendar (Exodus 13:5-11). The date is important and can never be altered, because it is the memorial date of our Saviour’s death, when he paid with His life to rescue mankind from extinction at the hands of the Destroyer. When a believer takes part in this service he/she is, figuratively speaking, applying the blood of the Messiah to his/her mind, which is the lintel of the soul. This act of faith is a clear sign to the Almighty that that soul seeks pardon, protection and salvation. That is how the Passover Lamb’s blood is applied to the lintel of a believer’s mind in this century.

Incredible as it may seem, the fulfilment of the Passover (the day itself , not the Lamb) is still future. According to Scripture that day will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the Saviour is awaiting the approaching midnight of this age when the Destroyer will be compelled to spare or passover all those who are displaying the sign of the Lamb’s blood.

Luke 22:

15: And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Note those words, “until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” This points to a still future fulfilment of the Passover, an event which will take place just prior to our entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. I repeat, the Passover Lamb (Yeshua the Messiah) has been slain; it now remains for believers to symbollically apply his blood to their hearts and minds before the midnight of this age when the Destroyer will once again circle the earth on his mission of death!

Believers in the Almighty who, therefore, celebrate the Passover Service on the appointed evening each year will be greatly blessed; for as they eat the unleavened bread and drink the wine (the new covenant emblems of the Saviour’s body and blood) they are, in truth, applying the Saviour’s life-giving blood to the lintels of their souls..

Put differently, we may say that Yahweh’s main purpose in staging such a breathtaking Passover display in ancient Egypt was His way of giving the entire universe a ‘prophetic preview‘ of His earth- encompassing plan to ‘pass over’ and deliver His people in the closing days of this age. Yes, the LORD God of Israel is in the near future going to personally visit all the nations of the world, and as before, ‘pass-over’ (pity, spare and deliver) all those who faithfully display the Sign of His Son’s blood on the lintels of their minds and the door post of their supporting actions. Thus we can see that ancient Israel’s exodus from Egypt was a “prophetic drama,” a “living blueprint,” a “meaningful model” of a far greater deliverance of Yahweh’s people which is scheduled to take place on a world scale in our day. In view of this, believers in the Messiah should beware of failing to keep this memorial service at its appointed time. (See How to hold the Passover in your own home.)

The Week of Unleavened Bread

The week of unleavened bread is often referred to as the Passover Week. The first and last days of this week (15th and 21st Abib) are Sabbath days, on which all believers are commanded to rest from their labours and to assemble to worship the Almighty. (Leviticus 23:5-8)

Leaven (yeast) is a symbol of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine, a week represents eternity and a house represents the church of God. Thus the week of unleavened bread (when every trace of leaven is cleared from the houses of believers) symbolises the church which is to be purged by God:   of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine – for all time. Only when that work has been done will the church be a fit “Temple of God,” a spiritual home the Almighty will inhabit for all eternity. Yes, before Yahweh’s Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in ‘His house’ (the church) He has scheduled Himself to purge His people of every trace of (leaven) sin. (Matt. 16:6-12, 1 Cor. 5:6-8, Luke 12:1).

I repeat, there is coming a time when the Almighty will purge hypocrisy, false doctrine & sin (leaven) from the minds of His people; and only when that time arrives will the Week of Unleavened Bread have found its fulfilment, not before.

Scripture tells us that this Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Sacred Sign on the believer’s hand and mind that the Almighty’s law is inscribed therein. This Feast is, in fact, the appointed sign of faithful obedience, as opposed to the Mark of the Antichrist, which is the brand mark of disobedience.

Exodus 13:6:

Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
7: Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.
8: And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.
9: And IT
(this particular Feast) shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
10: Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
Note: that specific reference to this Feast being a sign on the hand and a memorial between the eyes (the mind).

The Feast of Pentecost

The Feast of Pentecost, also called the Feast of First Fruits, falls on the 50th day after the Passover Sabbath. This feast is a reminder, a guarantee of Yahweh’s power to produce spiritual fruit in the field of human salvation. The literal first fruits of the soil are merely the physical types or expressions of the real first fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are the true believers won to God by His Son the firstborn. (1 Cor. 15:20&23, James 1:18, Rev. 14:4)

The ancient ceremony of presenting the Almighty with the firstfruits of the earth (Deut. 26:1-11) with two oven-baked loaves, in which the leaven had been de-activated (Lev. 23:15-17), was a figure, a type, a shadow of the spiritual harvest of human souls in whom the yeast of sin will one day cease to exist. There is coming a day when the power of sin will be de-activated in us believers just as the power of leaven is neutralised in an oven baked loaf.

The breathtaking experience recorded in Acts 2 was but the early harvest, a kind of “firstfruits” of an even greater out-pouring of divine power scheduled to fall upon the church in the near future when the main harvest of human beings will be gathered in.

The Feast of Pentecost, in short, prefigures, guarantees and commemorates the early harvest, the first fruits of human souls: and those who celebrate it declare their willingness to be part of that spiritual multitude which will one day be gathered in and presented to the Almighty by His Son – the Firstborn!

The Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated on the first day of Ethanim (Tishri) the seventh month in the sacred calendar. (Lev. 23:24)

Trumpets were used by Yahweh’s command in ancient Israel:

  • To assemble the congregation and to start journeying (Numbers 10:2)
  • To call the leaders of Israel together (verse 4)
  • To sound the alarm for war and to signal an attack (verse 9, Judges 3:27, Job 39:25)
  • To accompany the praises of Israel at the appointed festivals and the days of the new moon (Numbers 10:10)
  • To proclaim the accession of kings (2 Sam. 15:10, 1 Kings 1:34, 2 Kings 9:13)
  • And to announce the Jubilee year of freedom (Lev. 25:9)

The Feast of Trumpets is a memorial Sabbath, a day of special significance, designed to bring the faithful into remembrance before the Almighty. The two silver trumpets mentioned in Numbers 10 were types of the great originals in the heavens – the Trumpets of Yahweh & His Son. Those divine originals are mentioned several times in the Scriptures and at their sounding events of awesome importance have and still will take place. We read about the trumpets past and future used in:

  • The giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:14-19)
  • The world wide warning still scheduled for the future when Yahweh Himself will blow the trumpet. (Zech. 9:14, Isaiah 18:3, Zeph. 1:14-16)
  • Signalling the events scheduled for the close of this age. (Revelation chapters 8 & 9)
  • The Second Advent of Jesus Christ; at which the resurrection will take place. (Matt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:51-52)

A study of the texts listed above will show how Yahweh Himself has planned to use His heavenly trumpets again. He and His Son will blow them to gather His people as in days gone by; gather them for the climatic events scheduled to take place at the Messiah’s return. Did he not say:

Isaiah 18:3

“All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when He bloweth a trumpet, HEAR YE.”

Zechariah 9:14

And the LORD shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south.

The prophecy of the Revelation tells of the sounding of heavenly trumpets – possibly starting at a Feast of Trumpets – which will probably coincide with the gathering of Yahweh’s people in the last days and the final war in heaven between the forces of good and evil. (Rev 12) See Understand the Revelation, in which the Seven Trumpets are explained.

No one will doubt but that the Feast to Trumpets has still to find even partial fulfilment; and it is because of this fact and the many texts which tell of the use of the Trumpets of God in the future that believers should beware of ignoring this important feast day.

On some future Feast of Trumpets the mighty Trumpet of the LORD will sound. It will be heard throughout the world!   and will reverberate with tones as awesome as the rushing sound which filled Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost some 2000 years ago (Acts 2:2). All of mankind will hear the Trumpet, for the Bible says:

Zechariah 9:14

“And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south.”

Isaiah 18:3

“All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

Only when that event happens can we justifiably say that the Feast of Trumpets has found fulfilment. For further information see the Shofar;   herald of the coming kingdom.

The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement is observed on the 10th day of the seventh month of Ethanim (tishri) by abstinence from daily labour, by a holy convocation and by fasting. It is the only commanded fast in the year and is, doubtless, the most solemn day in the sacred calendar. (Lev. 16 also Lev. 23:27-32). On this day the high priest laid aside his official ornaments and dressed in a white linen garment entered the Most Holy place to make atonement for himself, the priesthood and the congregation of Israel. The Epistle to the Hebrews (chapter 9) explains that this annual entry by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies foreshadowed the entrance of the Messiah the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Heb. 7:15-17) into Yahweh’s presence to secure salvation for His people.

Our salvation, in other words, will only by complete when we are actually brought into the very presence of the Almighty.

The word “atonement” means to make amends for, to reconcile, to restore, to repair, to make at-one again. And that is exactly what the Day of Atonement prefigures. It points to a specific time in the future when the great High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Yeshua the Messiah) will literally bring the redeemed host of mankind right into the very presence of His Father, in order that we may be AT-ONE with YAHWEH.

That indeed will by a reconciliation beyond compare, when the Almighty’s estranged human family – alienated from Him by sin – will actually be brought into His presence to be AT ONE with Him. Can you now begin to see the plan of salvation prefigured in the feasts?

Yahweh’s family of true believers:

  • Ransomed at the Passover and liberated by the blood of His Son – the Passover Lamb.
  • Purged of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine during the Days of Unleavened Bread to become a holy Temple of God.
  • Filled with the power of the Holy Ghost in order to bear fruit for all eternity.
  • Victoriously gathered and defended at the Feast of Trumpets when the trumpets of Yahweh will sound throughout the earth.
  • And finally on the Great Day of Atonement, brought into the very presence of the Almighty by his Son the High Priest to be at-one with Him for all eternity.

Oh what a glorious day of reconciliation that will be! Catch a glimpse of it in these words from that famous parable of the Prodigal Son.

Luke 15:11-32

“Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. Bring the fatted calf, kill it and let us eat and be merry. For my son here was dead and he has come to life. He was lost and he is found.”

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths or Shelters) is celebrated on the 15th day of Ethanim (Tishri) the seventh month in the sacred calendar.

This feast begins a week during which all ‘Israelites born’ are required to live in temporary dwellings or shelters. (Lev. 23:39-43). It is, at its basic level, a memorial of the time when Yahweh made His people live in tents and temporary shelters in the wilderness when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.

At a higher level it is also a reminder or memorial of the fact that the Almighty came down from heaven to live in a Tabernacle (a tent) amidst His people Israel. (Exodus 33:7-11 & chapters 35 to 40)

The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible has this to say about the Tabernacle in the wilderness. “The movable sanctuary in the form of a tent which God directed Moses at Sinai to make, that God might dwell as king among His people.” (Exodus 25:8-9) Hence it was called:

  • the dwelling” (chs 25:9 margin of RV 26:1) and as the place where Jehovah met His people.
  • the tent of meeting” (Exodus 40:34,35 RV), and as the depository of the tables of the Law of testimony,
  • the tabernacle of the testimony” (Exodus 38:21, ch 25:21,22, Numbers 9:15)
  • It was also known by the general designation “house of Jehovah” (Exodus 34:26, Josh. 6:24)”

From these and other passages we can see that the literal Tabernacle which Moses built according to the Almighty’s design was merely a type, a shadow, a physical expression of:

  • Yahweh’s real spiritual habitation
  • His point of contact with His people
  • His law court or seat of justice, which not only housed his commandments but from where He personally dealt out Judgement.

These three functions of the physical Tabernacle find fulfilment in Yeshua the Messiah the only begotten Son of the Most High, who is, in reality, the true Tabernacle of God.

Consequently, we may say that the Feast of Tabernacles is also a memorial of the Almighty’s astonishing condescension to come down to earth to tabernacle or pitch His tent with humanity in the person of His Son. For Jesus Christ is Immanuel, GOD WITH US, God incarnate; that is the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel taking up his abode in the tabernacle of a human body, in order to redeem and enable mankind to obey His eternal law.

Romans 8:3

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Is it any wonder that the profound reality of this fact (that God is going to tabernacle with mankind for eternity) drew from the lips of an angel these amazing words:

Revelation 21:3

Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God.”

I repeat, Yeshua the Messiah is the Tabernacle of God!; and on the earth made new he will again dwell in the midst of His people just as surely as He occupied the tabernacle built by Moses in the days of old. That is what the Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder and foretaste of.

The Last Great Day

The feast, known as the Last Great Day, occurs just after the week of Tabernacles. It is celebrated on the 22nd Ethanim. (Lev. 23:36)

The Last Great Day prefigures the endless cycles of eternity when the life-giving power of the Almighty God will flow to and through His people on the earth made new. At the moment (1999) the reality of the Great Day of the Feast is an event to look forward to; but in the hereafter, when the saints occupy the new universe, the breathtaking bliss of the Great Day will begin to be appreciated as each anniversary – through the endless ages of eternity – brings unspeakable joy to the ransomed host. The Great Day will have begun – never to end!

A special invitation to this great spiritual banquet of an endless life of bliss is given to you by the Master Himself in John 7:37-39.

John 7:37

In the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

Here is an invitation that tells of how the true believer will not only live with the Almighty for all time, but will go on with the Creator to become the channel and co-producer of life everlasting to others, just as a young wife is the potential mother of many generations to come. Oh! the astonishing wonder of that declaration in John 7:37-39. Can you afford to ignore it?

These, then, are the appointed, memorial feasts in the Almighty’s Programme of Salvation. As you can see each and every one of them commemorates in a special way a unique accomplishment of the Holy One of Israel.

  • Passover – when Yahweh, the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel paid the price for the redemption of mankind by sacrificing His Son Yeshua, the Passover Lamb for the sin of the world.
  • The Week of Unleavened Bread – when the Almighty puts sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine out of His church, His house, His Temple – for all time!
  • Pentecost – when the Almighty begins to produce spiritual fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, kindness etc.) in the lives of His true followers.
  • Trumpets – when He calls, gathers, protects and battles in their defence.
  • Atonement – when the ransomed church is brought by the Almighty’s Son into the very presence of His Father to be made ‘at-one’ with Him.
  • Tabernacles – when Yahweh takes up His eternal abode and tabernacles with His people in the person of His Son.
  • The Last Great Day – when through the power of the Holy Ghost Yahweh’s church will become the channel of blessing to the entire universe – for the great day which we call Eternity!

This is the message of the Bible concerning the Feast Days of Yahweh the Holy One of Israel. And it is concerning these sacred feasts that He says:

Leviticus 23:2

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS…
4. These are the FEASTS OF THE LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Who are the Children of Israel?
The true children of Israel, astonishing as this may sound, are those who have put their faith in the LORD God of Israel and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:29

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

Romans 2:28

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

Gentiles who believe in the Messiah of Israel are, according to the Holy Scriptures, grafted into the Olive of Israel. They become part of the commonwealth of spiritual Israel and thereafter share all the blessings of the chosen race. Paul’s letter to the Romans (chapter 11) makes this fact abundantly clear.

Romans 11:17

“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree…
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again…

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. “

What do these facts mean? They mean exactly what they say: that all true believers in the LORD God of Israel and His Son Yeshua are Israelites and are included in this gracious invitation to become part of the Olive of Israel. As Israelites we rejoice greatly and gladly observe the Feasts of the LORD; the eternal memorials of our salvation!

Leviticus 23:2

” Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them. Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my Feasts!

If you are a believer in the Son of the Most High, then the invitation to keep His appointed feasts is extended to you. Accept it without delay.

The Feast Days were Ordained at the Creation

The very first reference in the Scriptures to the sacred seasons and feasts of the Almighty was made on the fourth day of creation: that is, before mankind had even entered the picture.

Genesis 1:14

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night: and let them be for SIGNS, and for SEASONS, and for DAYS, and YEARS.

The capitalized words in this verse are extremely meaningful; because they link the creation of the sun, moon and stars with the sacred seasons and feast days of the Creator. Using Strong’s dictionary a close look at those words reveals that:

  • SIGN #0226 ‘owth’ {oth} is translated a signal, a distinguishing mark, banner, a remembrance, an omen, a warning, a token, an ensign, miracle and proof!
    In other words, the sun, moon and stars were created primarily to signal events of special importance. More about this later.
  • SEASONS #04150 ‘mow`ed’ {mo-ade’} or mo`ed {mo-ade’} is translated a congregation 150, feast 23, season 13, appointed 12, time 12, assembly 4, solemnity 4, solemn 2, days 1, sign 1, synagogues 1 making a total of 223 times.
    In other words the sun and moon would signal the TIMES of the appointed Feast Days, Sacred Seasons (Passover, Firstfruits, Tabernacles etc) and Sabbatical Years when the people of God were to congregate to worship their Creator.

This verse (Genesis 1:14), right there in the very first chapter of the Bible, is the earliest reference concerning the awe-inspiring signs mankind would witness in the heavens on the Almighty’s Feast days, sacred seasons and Jubilee years. It proves beyond any doubt that Jehovah’s feasts were an integral part of His emergency plan; which would come into action should Adam and Eve choose to sin. The Plan of Salvation and the Feast days which concern the timing of that plan, were not a divine after-thought hurriedly put together by the Almighty when Adam sinned: but a pre-planned, standby schedule in which each major act in the drama of salvation was to occur at a divinely appointed time. It was a rescue programme held in readiness in the event of mankind sinning.

Yahweh’s solemn festivals, in other words, are part of the Plan of Salvation; for they not only prefigure the seven major events in His plan, but they specifically identify the appointed times WHEN those mighty events are scheduled to take place.

Genesis 1:14

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

In other words: Let there be SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars to signal the Feasts days, sacred seasons (Passover and Tabernacles) and the Sabbatical/Jubilee years of the Creator!

The Feast Day Commandments and their Eternal Nature

Many sincere believers suppose that the Feast Days mentioned in the Bible were a temporary feature instituted by the Eternal only till the time of the Saviour’s death and resurrection: that they were ‘done away with,’ ‘nailed to the cross‘ and are therefore of little importance to Christians under the new covenant. Nothing is further from the truth. To prove this we will examine Yahweh’s commandments concerning His Feasts to see if they were in fact temporary or eternal.

The commandments concerning the Feasts of Yahweh are found in the following passages: Exodus 12:14-24, Exodus 13:5-16, Leviticus 23 – the whole chapter but note carefully verses 14, 21, 31 and 41. Space does not allow us to quote all these verses, but let us look at one or two and refer to Strong’s dictionary in order to appreciate the kind of language Yahweh used when giving His Feast Day commandments. The verse I have have selected is in the book of Exodus, but the other verses mentioned above are just as meaningful because they use similar or identical terms.

Exodus 12:14

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance FOREVER.”

According to Strong’s dictionary the word Forever # 05769 `owlam {o-lawm’} or `olam {o-lawm’} means: everlasting, perpetual, evermore, always, everlasting, continuous, unending future or for eternity! In other words, Yahweh’s feasts were appointed by Him to be celebrated from generation to generation, age after age, for all time, throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity! They were never to be abrogated. The word “abrogate” means to cancel, to nullify, to repeal, to do away with, to abolish. Does that sound as if He would a few hundred years later do away with them? Certainly not. The very suggestion is insulting the intelligence of the Almighty and casting doubt on His ability to say what He means and mean what He says. Also remember that there are other Bible verses – every bit as powerful as the one given above – which in exactly the same way define the eternal nature of Yahweh’s festivals. Turn to them in Leviticus 23 verses 14, 21, 31 and 41. There, over and over again, you will see how the Holy One of Israel commands His people in everlasting tones to celebrate His feast days for all time.

So do not let anyone confuse you by saying that the Feast Days of the Almighty God of Israel have been done away with: because they haven’t. All who make such wild and totally irresponsible claims – and you will hear them – are insulting the intelligience and ability of the Most High to formulate His own laws; and it is unthinkable that He who knows the end from the beginning would have used such enduring language, terms such as ‘for ever and ever,’ ‘perpetual’ and ‘from generation to generation,’ if all along His plan was to do away with the Feasts at Calvary. The very idea borders on blasphemy and is only being given this coverage because of the untold damage that false doctrine is causing in the ranks of the Christian church.

The Plain Truth is this: That as the supreme Judge and Advocate in the law court of Heaven, Yahweh knew perfectly well what He was saying when He commanded that His solemn festivals were to be celebrated for ever, from age to age, for ALL TIME!.

Further confirmation of this fact will be given later where you will see that in the coming millennial age, and in the age after that (on the new earth) the redeemed host of mankind will celebrate the Feast Days of the Almighty with great gladness and respect.

The Feast Day Sacrifices

Even a quick survey of this subject will surprise the reader; for whereas the Daily Sacrifice was 2 lambs, the Feast day sacrifice was a bull, a ram, 7 lambs and a male goat. Indeed during the Passover week some 49 lambs were slain, in addition to several bulls, rams and male goats. And even this number fades by comparison when one considers that during the Week of Tabernacles 98 lambs, 70 bulls, 14 rams and 7 male goats were slaughtered. All these sacrifices were made in addition to the Daily Sacrifice of 2 lambs. See Numbers 28 & 29 where these sacrifices are detailed.

This multiple slaughter of innocent victims was, bear in mind, carried out by the Almighty’s command. “What was the purpose of all this killing on the Feast Days?” you may well ask. “Wasn’t the sacrifice of one lamb at the Passover enough to illustrate the innocence of the Saviour?” or “What was the point in slaying some 200 animals at the Feast of Tabernacles when Christ – to whom all the sacrifices pointed – was slain at the Passover some six months earlier?”

The answer, briefly, is this: that whereas the sacrificial lamb symbolised the innocence of Yeshua (Jesus) the Lamb of God; the multiplied slaughter of victims – the sheer number of animals – prefigured in mathematical terms the manifold results the single sacrifice of the Saviour would bring about at certain appointed times in the great Plan of Salvation. For it is a fact that numbers describe the magnitude, the capacity, the value and the overall results of an achievement far more accurately and meaningfully than all the adjectives in the dictionary. Thus the significance of Yahweh’s Feast Days are also numerically described by the massive number of sacrifices made upon them as days of supreme importance when the Almighty’s greatest achievements will be made manifest to the whole universe.

The Sin of Jeroboam, Israel’s Catastrophic Blunder

After the death of King Solomon the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin (and some Levites) stayed loyal to Solomon’s son Rehoboam and formed the Kingdom of Judah. The other tribes broke away under a man called Jeroboam the son of Nebat. They retained the title the Kingdom of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was in Judah and its crowning glory was the Temple which Solomon had built. Three times a year all Israelite males were commanded by God to go up to Jerusalem: at the Passover, at Pentecost and at the Feast of Tabernacles. (Exodus 23:17, Deut. 16:16). Israel’s new king Jeroboam feared that his rebellion against Rehoboam would collapse if his people went up year by year to Judah for the sacred feast of the LORD. He was extremely worried. At all costs he must prevent the men of Israel from going to Jerusalem for the Feasts of Yahweh. And this is the record of what he said.

1 Kings 12:27

“If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again to their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
28. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold, thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt.
29. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. 30. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31. And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not the sons of Levi.
32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he has made.
33. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eight month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, the burnt incense.”

Believe it or not that seemingly insignificant act of worshipping two metal idols on unsanctified feast days was the most catastrophic blunder ancient Israel made. It is a sin so grievous that over and over again the wickedness of succeeding kings was measured against it. Repeatedly these words appear: 1 Kings 15:34, 16:2&26, 2 Kings 3:3

“And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin”

Why was Jeroboam’s sin so grievous? Because by it, with one master-stoke, he allowed Satan to sever the nation’s main spiritual link with Yahweh’s appointed Sabbaths and form of worship. The sacred feasts were times for spiritual instruction and revival, when the men and families of Israel gathered in Jerusalem to learn of the Almighty and His requirements. (Exodus 34:23) Jeroboam’s bogus feasts and substitute form of worship at Bethel broke that spiritual link and like a rudderless ship the nation of Israel began to drift away from the Creator.

The results were appalling, for very soon millions of Israelites completely lost their spiritual bearings and adopted the basest forms of paganism. Many were the calls to repentance, but the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat (the sin of using substitute forms of worship on unsanctified festivals) was not given up. As a result the Almighty carried out His predicted threats given through His servants the prophets and handed the people of Israel over to their enemies. After a serious of devastating defeats they were deported from the Promised Land and sold like cattle in the markets of the Middle East.

2 Kings 17:20

“And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
21. For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.
22. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them.
23. Until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”

The action of Jeroboam, apparently trivial as it may seem, was obviously a most grievous sin. It was spiritual adultery at its worst; the act of mixing and diluting truth with error. In essence it consisted of merging the laws of the Almighty with human tradition and trying to worship Him on bogus festivals and sabbaths which were nothing but unauthorised imitations of Yahweh’s appointed feasts.

Hundreds of years earlier the prophet Moses had foretold Israel’s scattering and deportation if they forsook the commandments of God and here it was happening exactly as foretold.

Deuteronomy 28:64

“And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other Gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.”

Strange as it may seem, that selfsame sin of adulterating truth with error, of introducing bogus religious festivals into true worship has been repeated on a world scale by the Christian Church. Yes it is true, the mighty congregations of Christendom have done – and are still doing – what ancient Israel did under king Jeroboam. Over the centuries truth has been diluted with error and the introduction and acceptance of unsanctified sabbaths and feast days is now so widespread that comparatively few believers are even aware of the deception.
This may sound like a shocking statement, but it is absolutely true; and if the reader is not afraid of truth he/she must read on, for proof of this fact will follow in abundance.

At this very moment the whole of Christendom is steadily – yea almost imperceptibly – splitting into two distinct camps:

  1. Those who respect the laws of LORD God of Israel and add to their faith obedience, especially that form of obedience which manifests itself in keeping the Bible Sabbaths.
  2. And those who look upon obedience almost as though it were a competitor of faith. This persuasion, surprisingly, sees little amiss in clinging to the popular but unsanctified festivals of Christendom and the bogus sabbath of Sunday. Like Israel of old these believers are, in the main, refusing to keep the Almighty’s feasts; but like Jeroboam of old, they worship on man-made feasts which have no divine authority whatsoever.

Sooner or later all those who classify themselves as believers in the Creator will move into one or other of these two camps.

 

The Feast Days … Times for Revival

No one can study the history of Israel as recorded in the Scriptures without becoming impressed with the fact, that whenever Yahweh’s people chose to break His law they suffered the consequences. And if they persisted in their rebellion by refusing to forsake the path of disobedience, then the Almighty invariably withdrew His blessings and allowed their enemies to rule over them. This tragic sequence of disobedience (sin) always being followed by punishment of one kind or the other happened over and over again in Israel’s past; and it happened in direct fulfilment of the divine pronouncements made through the patriarch Moses. A survey of Deuteronomy 28 will prove this point and a study of the books of Judges, Kings and Chronicles will fix the lesson in your mind for life.

In short, when Yahweh’s people disobeyed Him, they were punished – often very severely – but when they repented of their sins and turned back to the pathway of obedience they were blessed; blessed in a measure that was quite breathtaking in its effect and out of all proportion to their obedience. The Almighty literally showered upon His people the spiritual riches of heaven and the bounties of the earth. When they obeyed His commandments they prospered in all that they did, and when they refused to obey they suffered the consequences. In a sentence, that summarises Israel’s history.

Now bear in mind that Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel has not changed. (Mal. 3:6) He still blesses those who obey Him and punishes those who sin. No matter how people try to ignore this fact, it will not go away, because it is a fundamental teaching of the Scriptures. If you trust and obey the Most High you will be blessed. But if you persist in sinning you will be punished; it’s as basic as that.

Let us now look at four revivals recorded in the Scriptures to illustrate this point.

1. The Revival under King Hezekiah

Before Hezekiah came to the throne, the Temple in Jerusalem had been tragically desecrated. The holy lamps had been put out and the Temple doors shut. Organised worship of the Creator had been more or less suspended. As a result the Kingdom of Judah was spiritually bankrupt. But when Hezekiah came to the throne a great change took place. On the first day of the first month in the sacred calendar – the real New Year’s Day – he ordered that the doors of the Temple be opened and the filth that lay in the Holy Place removed. (2 Chron. chapters 29 & 30)

This cleansing work was soon finished and royal invitations to come to Jerusalem for the Passover were sent out by special couriers to every corner of the Promised Land. The record reads:

2 Chronicles 30:5

“So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it is written.
6. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying. Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7. And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethre which transgressed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9. For if ye turn unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.”

The vast majority of the Israelites treated this invitation with blasphemous contempt. “They laughed them to scorn and mocked them.” (verse 10). Nevertheless a great multitude of believers humbled themselves and assembled in Jerusalem to keep the Passover. Thus began one of the greatest revivals in Israel’s history.

The Spirit of the Almighty was present at that sacred season, the Passover; and there followed a great outpouring of blessing on the assembled worshippers. A revival shook the city of Jerusalem and it sent spiritual vibrations to the furthermost corners of Israel. The nation once again began to obey Yahweh’s law and to remember His sacred Feasts. For His part the Almighty in His great mercy pardoned their sins and blessed them abundantly. When did that extraordinary revival begin?

It began, as pointed out above, on New Years Day (1st Abib) and it came to a climax at the sacred season called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Bear that little known fact in mind because it has deep spiritual significance.

2. The Revival under King Josiah

After Hezekiah died, the nation of Judah under their next king (Manasseh) soon slipped back into the ways of heathenism.

2 Chronicles 33:1

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:
2: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
3: For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
4: Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.
5: And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6: And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.”

The spiritual repercussions of these blatant sins came with frightening severity. verse 11. “Whereupon the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. “
Tremendous confusion broke out in Judah and when Manasseh died his twenty-four year old son ascended the throne; but he was murdered in the palace after reigning only two years. It was the same old story: sin degrades a nation and punishment always follows disobedience.

Then onto the stage of time came Josiah, one of Judah’s greatest kings. Josiah was only eight years old when he came to the throne; but he accomplished more for the truth of God by the age of twenty five than all the kings of Israel and Judah before him. The reformation under Josiah was swift and astonishing in its effect. With terrifying ruthlessness he demolished the altars of Baal and cut down the Asherim (heathen poles) in the high places. He literally purged the land of paganism and humbly reinstated the worship of Jehovah in accordance with His law. (2 Chron. 34) King Josiah then organised the Passover celebrations and invited the whole nation to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 35:17

” And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.
18: And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Once more revival swept the nation and Yahweh blessed Josiah with a blessing that will clothe him with honour and glory throughout the endless cycles of eternity. When did that nation-wide revival begin? The answer is, it began at the sacred season of the Passover in the month of Abib. Bear that little known fact in mind because its significance will be explained later in this study.

3. The Revival under Ezra and Nehemiah

After Josiah’s death the nation again sank into grievous sin. It seemed as though a devilish addiction for disobedience had gripped the people. They simply refused to obey the Almighty and continued to follow the practices of the heathen around them. As for the Almighty’s sacred Sabbaths, they totally forsook them. The lessons of the past were all forgotten and the warnings of Yahweh’s prophets were treated with blasphemous contempt.

2 Chronicles 36:14

” Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
15: And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
16: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
17: Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.
18: And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.
19: And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
20: And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
21: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.”

The prophet Jeremiah lived during this period of rebellion and his book of Lamentations is, perhaps, the saddest book in the Bible. What did Jeremiah say about Yahweh’s feasts? He said this:

Lamentations 1: 4

“The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.
5: Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions…

The tragically misunderstood prophet Jeremiah could not imagine anything more distressing than his country’s destruction, her capital city burned to the ground and her beautiful Temple reduced to a pile of rubble. Yet he knew within his bones that a mocking disregard for Yahweh’s law and especially His Feasts was the forerunner of national catastrophe. Jeremiah could see, and that very plainly, that Yahweh’s law – the irrevocable constitution of the mighty universe – was being contemptuously set aside by the masses; who were being deluded by their blind and stubborn religious leaders.

The nation of Israel rejected Jeremiah’s call to repentance and in the course of time the inevitable happened. The LORD God of Israel allowed the city of Jerusalem to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. His well disciplined but ruthless battalions stormed the capital and literally tore it apart. Thousands of terrified half-naked captives were brutally deported to Babylon and the land of Judah was subdued and lay desolate for seventy years. Note that significant reference to the Sabbath which even the land was to keep every seventh year. (Lev. 25:1-7)

Time passed, the predicted seventy year captivity ended and the returning exiles came back in waves to the Promised Land. Under Zerubbabel the governor, Nehemiah the prophet and Ezra the priest, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh were rebuilt. There followed a revival of mighty significance and one which caused the enemies of truth to tremble throughout the Middle East. With astonishing speed the wall of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh were rebuilt and the sacred feast days of the Almighty proclaimed. A holy spirit of dedication swept the country and all pagan associations and alliances were broken off. Multitudes of believers attended the sacred feasts and the blessings of the Almighty poured down on the nation.

These events are recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah and what thrilling reading they make. Yahweh’s people after a long and painful exile return to the land of promise and to the city they love. The spiritual lessons for the church of today are too numerous to tell, though thousands of worthy sermons have been based on them. What is not generally known is this fact, that all those recorded experiences of ancient Israel and Judah:

  • The slavery in Egypt
  • Salvation through the blood of the Lamb
  • The exodus under Moses and the giving of the law at Sinai
  • The entry into Canaan under Joshua (Yeshua)
  • The nation’s repeated backslidings and the revivals at the sacred seasons
  • The punishment during times of apostasy
  • The blessings during times of obedience
  • The defeats and the dispersion because of national sin
  • And finally the return to the Promised Land.

Yes all those experiences were figures, types, dramatised real-life examples and prophetic illustrations of what was later to happen to Yahweh’s church on a world scale in days to follow. Here is proof of this amazing fact.

1 Cor. 10:11

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. “

Yes, believe it or not, the Christian church, for all its boasted knowledge and wealth, is, in fact, repeating those ancient experiences on the spiritual plane in this very day: and what is even more amazing is that she is doing so according to a divinely appointed schedule which parallels those revivals of long long ago. In this revival under Nehemiah and Ezra take special note of these points.

  • The burnt offerings to the Eternal were resumed on the 1st day of the seventh month – the Feast of Trumpets. (Ezra 3:6)
  • Ezra, the scribe of the law of God, set out from Babylon on the 1st day of the New Year (1st Abib – not 1st January) and arrived at Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month. (Ezra 7:9)
  • A programme of separation from pagan alliances began on the 1st day of the tenth month and was completed exactly 3 months later, by the 1st day of the first month. (Ezra 10:16-17)

Are these facts and times significant? I believe they are. Indeed if you were to take a concordance and read every text in the Scriptures where the word month is mentioned your eyes will be opened to this astonishing truth: that Jehovah is working to a carefully planned schedule in which every future stage of the plan of salvation has already been prefigured by a literal event, a ‘type’, a ‘shadow’, a ‘miniature demonstration’, a ‘spiritual blueprint’ which has already taken place in the history of His people at an appointed time. And those appointed times of long ago – all of them – are directly linked to end-time events in the Almighty’s calendar. We refer to it as The Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel.

  • The exact moment when the Abyss burst open in Noah’s day (Gen. 7:11) and the tops of the mountains appeared (Gen. 8:5)
  • When the covering of the ark was removed (Gen. 8:13)
  • The date of Israel’s exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:13)
  • The date the Tabernacle was erected in the wilderness (Exodus 40:17)
  • The day Moses re-iterated Yahweh’s law to Israel (Deut. 1:3)

All these and numerous other events are specifically referred to by date: which means that the details of those ancient events and their dates should be closely studied by believers living in the closing days of this age. (1 Cor. 10:11)

Why? Because when the spiritual realities portrayed by those ancient events occur in our day, we can be certain that they will occur on the same dates in the sacred calendar as their Old Testament counterparts did in days gone by. In othere words, future events have not only been foreshadowed, but the dates on which they will occur have also been specified.

Just as Noah removed the covering from the ark on New Year’s Day (1st Abib) after having being shut in by Yahweh for almost a year (Gen. 8:13), so too will the Almighty remove – on an appointed day – the covering that is draped over the minds of millions.

Isaiah 25:6

“And in this mountain shall the LORD of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7 And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death in victory;
and the LORD God will will wipe away tears from all faces: and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it.”

 

4. The Revival under the Apostles

No revival in the history of the church can compare with the one which began on the Day of Pentecost in the year of the Messiah’s resurrection. For forty days after His passion the Master appeared several times to His disciples and proved that He was alive. During those days He talked with them about the Kingdom of God and gave them this specific order:

Acts 1:4

“And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the father, which, saith he, ye heard of me.
5. For John truly baptised with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. “

Here the Saviour was commanding the Apostles to wait for the Feast of Pentecost, to gather and stay in Jerusalem till that sacred season arrived. In obedience to His command they stayed in the city and awaited the day of Pentecost and the promised gift.

Acts 2:1

“And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

This outpouring of Yahweh’s Spirit was, and still is for that matter, accompanied by power to witness effectively; not merely to perform miracles. Note these words:

Acts 1:8

“You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

This prophecy began to come to pass within a few days of being spoken with an experience on the Feast of Pentecost that transformed the early church from a small timid group of believers into a spiritual dynamo that lit up the whole civilised world with the glorious gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then for the very first time, the real significance of Yahweh’s Feast Days became apparent; for here indeed was the Almighty setting before His obedient church a spiritual banquet of undreamed-of content; a divine infilling so glorious that the finest feast of literal food could only be a faint shadow. Here was spiritual nourishment for the soul: a banquet of power for the whole church that was scheduled to come at the appointed time in Yahweh’s programme: supernatural power which would enable the disciples to take the Gospel to the civilized world.

Now, let no-one suppose that the mighty outflow of spiritual power which came on the church at Pentecost some two thousand years ago was all that the Eternal has planned for His people. Oh no! The prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 goes far beyond the happenings on that memorable day in Jerusalem. The events recorded in Acts chapter 2 are by comparison only the ‘appetisers,’ the ‘starters,’ the ‘foretaste’ and ‘beginnings’ of a much greater Banquet of Power still to be set before the obedient church in the near future. On some coming Feast Day – any year from now – the LORD God of Israel is going to astound the universe with the next great event in His Programme of Salvation. And we can be certain that it will be an event more spectacular, more wonderful, more powerful and more effective than all the sons of men have hitherto seen or even remotely imagined.

Now pause a while and consider – yea analyse the revivals recorded in the Scriptures. Did you notice that they were all directly linked with the sacred seasons in the Almighty’s calendar? That they all either began with or climaxed on one or the other of the Feasts Days?

And why not? For that is exactly why the Eternal, at the creation of the world, ordained His feasts. The Feasts are His appointed times and sacred seasons, and are entered in His diary as days of special significance, days to keep, days to look forward to, days to remember, sacred memorial days set aside to mark the times when He would perform His greatest acts in the Programme of Salvation. That is why He has commanded His followers to remember them, to celebrate them with feasting, joy and gladness; for they are the sacred memorial days of our salvation.

The Feast Days in the New Covenant

“Just a moment,” someone will say “are not these Feasts all part of the old covenant? And as such, they have been fulfilled by Jesus and nailed to the cross at Calvary. They are, therefore, obsolete and it is no longer necessary for believers to observe them. Besides, are they not Jewish?”

Doubtless some of you may have heard these and similar statements. But are you sure they have the backing of Scripture? Have you examined the evidence to see if that is what the Bible says? Have you looked into the New Testament record to see what the early church did after the Saviour’s resurrection? Have you read the prophecies concerning the new covenant and the Feasts of Yahweh, prophecies identifying who the new covenant is made with and what’s new about it? Prophecies which tell of the coming millennium (the 1000 year) Reign of Peace) when all the nations of the earth will obediently keep the Feasts? Have you considered that weighty Scripture which tells of the Sabbaths of Yahweh being observed for all eternity on the New Earth?

Or are you believing what you want to believe, because you are secretly afraid of the truth, incorrectly supposing that it will somehow ruin your life if you accept it? Always bear in mind that facts do not cease to exist because people refuse to accept them. Facts are stubborn things, and the only effective way to deal with them is to examine them and then act upon them.

In view of this, I would advise that before you make any lasting judgement one way or the other, before you settle your mind in a fixed position which you may well find impossible to abandon, examine what the Scriptures have to say about the new covenant and the Sabbaths of the Most High under it.

1. New Covenant Basics

Consider these four eye-opening facts about the new covenant mentioned in the Scriptures:

  • FIRST:   The new covenant is not made with ANY Gentile church, however dedicated, large and special it may consider itself to be. Instead, it is made between the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His people ISRAEL & Judah!   That is the first stunning fact the Christian church must come to terms with.
  • SECOND:   The new covenant became necessary because ‘God found fault with them;’ that is, with those early Israelites, because deep within their hearts they didn’t really want to obey the Almighty, but rebelled against Him time and time again.
  • THIRD:   In the new covenant the law of the Almighty still abides; however this time it is not written on stone tablets, but on the hearts and minds of His people Israel! Note that it is the same law under consideration here; albeit it is written in a different place. Before it was written on stone tablets. In the new covenant it is written on the true believer’s mind.
  • FOURTH:   Once the new covenant is ratified and becomes fully operational, there will no longer be a need for teachers to teach spiritual lessons about the LORD; because every Israelite who accepts the new covenant will know Him. At that time we will no more need instruction about things spiritual than we currently need instruction as to how to breath air or digest our food. This last fact proves that these vital aspects of the new covenant have still to be ratified. Now let us consider the texts which prove the above statements.

Jer.31:31

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL, and with the house of Judah:
32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Heb.8:7

“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8: For finding fault with THEM, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL and with the house of Judah:
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

These four facts mean that if any believer wishes to be party to the new covenant, he/she must agree to be grafted into the Olive of Israel and then have Yahweh’s law written on his/her mind. Those who stumble at this prospect have absolutely no place or function in the new covenant! For more information see Sacred Covenants.

The Saviour’s Advice

Matthew 24:20

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.

We now ask, for the sake of all the respect and honest analysis that this subject deserves, what was the point of the Master giving this kind of advice to His predominantly Jewish followers, who all kept the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) if the Sabbath commandment was going to be abolished at the cross? Why advise them to keep a commandment, and even pray to God that He would arrange circumstances to facilitate its keeping, if the Sabbath command would supposedly be obsolete at the time of Jerusalem’s fall?

The answers are perfectly obvious. The Master knew that the Sabbath commandment would still be valid long after his resurrection and he wanted his followers to keep it. He knew very well that at the approaching fall of Jerusalem they would be in danger of breaking the Sabbath command; so he advised them to pray to the Father to make it possible for them to be obedient. And this unequivocal fact – that He advised His followers to pray about Sabbath observance some 40 years after the crucifixion – proves that the Sabbath commandment was not abolished at the cross. Historical records tell us that the early church fled from Jerusalem in the middle of the week when the Roman armies mysteriously withdrew their forces from the besieged city. This indicates that those early believers followed the Master’s advice and prayed to the Father about Sabbath observance and the Almighty in His great mercy answered their prayers and made it possible for them to keep the Sabbath amidst all the confusion that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem. Do remember that these events took place in the new covenant era – some 40 years after the Messiah’s death on the cross.

2. Paul’s Example

According to the Scriptures, the Apostle Paul and his companions were keeping the seventh day Sabbath and the Feast days of the Almighty many years after the Saviour’s resurrection. Here is proof:

Acts 17:2

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in into them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.”

Acts 18:20

“When they desired him (Paul) to tarry a longer time with them, he consented not; 21. But bade them farewell saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem…”

Acts 20:16

“For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend time in Asia, for he hasted if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”

Acts 13:14

“But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. …
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43: Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44: And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”

Acts 18:4

” And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”

1 Cor.5:7

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
8: Therefore LET US KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The above verses prove that Paul observed Yahweh’s Sabbath law and went to great lengths to dispel any doubts the early church may have had that he was abandoning God’s law given through the patriarch Moses. Spend a little time reading Acts 21:17-24 and there you will see to what extraordinary lengths Paul went so “that all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing: but that thou thyself also walkest orderly , and KEEPEST THE LAW!

In Hebrews 4:9 we read that
There remaineth therefore a REST to the people of God.
According to Strong’s dictionary the Greek word translated rest is sabbatismos, #4520.
Sabbatismos
means
1) keeping sabbath.
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians.

In other words, here we have proof in the New Testament that not only did the weekly rest day (the Sabbath) remain; but that the true worshippers of God and true Christians were still looking forward to the Sabbath’s fulfilment in the age to come.

Once again we must remember that these events and observations were recorded some 30 years after the Messiah’s death on the cross. They tell of the early church – including converted Gentiles – keeping the Almighty’s Sabbath days; and also of how Paul went out of his way to prove that he still kept the law of God!

3. The Feast Days in the Millennium

When the Messiah returns to earth and begins his millennial reign over all nations, the Feasts of Yahweh will be observed by every soul on earth. Consider this astonishing passage.

Zechariah 14:1

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken…
3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south….and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one….
12: And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth…
16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
17: 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.
18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
19: This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.

Can anything be clearer than that? Does this amazing prophecy – which has obviously still to find fulfilment – give the impression that the Feast of Tabernacles has been done away with? Oh no dear friend, the presence of this prophecy alone demolishes forever the delusion that Yahweh’s Feasts are obsolete or that they are only to be observed by the nation of Israel. Anyone with spiritual eys will plainly see that this prophecy teaches that in the millennium Yahweh’s Feasts will be observed by all the nations of the world!

If you have an open mind, if you are not afraid of the truth, if you have ‘eyes to see, and ears to hear’, then you will see and hear and understand this unmistakable fact that Yahweh’s Feasts have not been done away with at all; and what is more, they will be observed by all nations of the earth during the Millennium.

That is what the Scriptures teach.

4. Yahweh’s Sabbath on the New Earth

After the millennium (the 1000 year Reign of Peace) Yahweh will re- create the universe.

Revelation 21:1

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. “

Will Yahweh’s Sabbath be observed on the New Earth? Yes they will and here is the proof.

Isaiah 66:22

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23: And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. “

Here we have another plain prediction about the future age when the redeemed of all mankind will come Sabbath by Sabbath to worship the Almighty God of Israel.

What of those “new moons”, are they significant? Certainly they are. Abib’s new moon is New Year’s Day in the sacred calendar. (Exodus 12:1-2 & 18, Exodus 13:4) and Ethanim’s (Tishri’s) new moon determines the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24). Indeed in the sacred calendar every month begins on the day of the new moon. Indeed, the Almighty’s church, the woman in Revelation 12, is seen standing on the moon; which means she takes her stand on the Sacred Calendar of the Most High and the Sabbath days and years in it.

Isaiah’s prophecy highlights several important points about the Sabbaths of the Eternal. Here are two of them:

  • That even the Gentiles who observe them will be allowed access to the Temple of the Most High and will share in the heritage of Jacob. (Isaiah 56:1-7 and chapter 58:13-14)
  • And that Yahweh’s Sabbath days will be observed on the new earth by the redeemed host of every nation. (Isaiah 66:22-23)

Now we can plainly see why the Almighty used those everlasting tones when He commanded that His Feasts were to endure from “generation unto generation,” from age unto age,”“for all time.” He meant just that – for all eternity! No other sensible conclusion is possible.

Tagged under:
TOP

Hit Counter provided by orange county divorce attorney