lunar sabbath; lunar sabbath vs seventh day sabbath; moon sabbath

The Lunar Sabbath Illusion

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Biblical months are based on the moon, and they begin at the first appearance of the visible crescent new moon. Our word month even derives from the word moon, moon(th). But a surprising doctrine is taking hold among a few contending that the weekly Sabbath is also set by the new moon each month. It teaches that the weekly Sabbath day floats all over the week.

Once you recover from your utter disbelief at first hearing such a teaching, you entertain the possibility of trying to fit this lunar sabbath notion into Scripture. You quickly realize that no matter how you try to coax it, twist it or force it, establishing the weekly Sabbath by this method is impossible. It does violence both to historical fact and to Yahweh’s clear commands

Here is how the scheme works:

MP900444188[1]The new moon is considered like a sabbath — a day of no work. Every month begins with a new moon. The first work day is the second day of the count followed by 5 more work days. That gets you through the 7th day of the month (new moon  day plus 6 work days). The 8th day of the month is also the first weekly Sabbath of the month. Six more days of work gets you to the 15th as the next weekly Sabbath. Six more days of work and you come to the 3rd weekly Sabbath on the 22nd. Six more work days gets you to the 29th of the month, which is the last weekly Sabbath in the month. Then comes the next new moon, which is a not a work day but is a sabbath, but not a weekly Sabbath. Thus the weekly Sabbaths will always land on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of month. Some months will end with the weekly Sabbath on the 29th followed by the new moon  Sabbath the next day. More often, months will have an extra day or two between the last Sabbath and the next new moon day. Therefore you often have two or three Sabbaths or “non-work days” in a row before the new month begins.

As we will show, the new moon is not a day of rest or a sabbath. In addition, the word week derives from a Hebrew word meaning “sevened” (sheb-u-wah).  It is connected to a sequence of sevens, not to the new moon and not to more than seven. It begins with day one and ends with the seventh day, not the eighth day. Neither is “Sabbath” in any way linked etymologically to the word moon.

Falling on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th day of each lunar month initiated by the new moon means the Sabbath would also fall about the time of the new moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter. Most lunar sabbatarians do not consider the new moon day to be a day of the week, but rather a day of “no regular work.” The first day of the actual week for them comes on the second day of the lunar month, making the eighth day the first weekly Sabbath and not the seventh as Yahweh commands.

But dissension exists in the lunarian ranks because some lunar sabbatarians believe that the weekly Sabbath falls on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days of the month.

Such details aside, the general thrust of this theory is that just by looking at the moon you are supposed to be able to tell when the weekly Sabbath occurs, always falling on specific lunar phases. That is the main point for this doctrine–to produce a heavenly marker to determine when the Sabbath occurs, instead of associating the Sabbath with Yahweh’s own example of rest as we are commanded, Exodus 20:11, 31:17. We will show the fallacy of the heavenly marker notion momentarily.

The scheme also means that the Sabbath floats around and can land on any day of the week each month. If the new moon falls on a Tuesday, the Sabbath will be on succeeding Tuesdays of that month. Then it will flip to another day of the week the next month when the Sabbath is “re-set” by the appearance of the new moon.

Consider the logistical nightmare for a moment. If you as a lunar sabbath follower have a regular job or are responsibly self-employed, you are continually taking off work to observe the Sabbath on different days of the week depending on the moon. Does Yahweh require playing musical chairs with the Sabbath and make earning a living nearly untenable for the vast majority of believers? Hardly. He is an Elohim of order and consistency, not confusion (1Corinthians 14:40, Malachi 3:6).

Many more difficulties than this, however, are presented by the lunar sabbath doctrine. As noted, when the end of the month comes it will typically have an extra day or two left over before the next new moon arrives. That’s because the month is 29.5 days from new moon to new moon and not four sevens (28 days).  These extra days don’t fit in anywhere. The Scriptures nowhere recognize them or address them. So what do you do with these leftover days?

Many lunar sabbatarians just ignore them. Others keep them as Sabbaths, meaning they observe an additional sabbath or two or three in a row. Try explaining that to your employer, or to Yahweh for that matter. The Fourth Commandment says to work six days and rest the seventh, which is the Sabbath, not Sabbaths. Scripture nowhere allows for or addresses multiple consecutive Sabbaths. No day can be added in and none can be ignored. All days must fit into the Fourth Commandment command of work for 6, rest the 7th.

Nothing in Yahweh’s Word says the moon has anything to do with the weekly Sabbath. Regardless, there are Herculean efforts to force the lunar sabbath teaching into the Scriptures. Some lunar proponents also say that the seventh-day Saturday Sabbath is pagan, and that even the universal weekly cycle is pagan in origin. They have a problem with the Sabbath falling on Saturn’s day (Saturday) but apparently have no issue at all when it falls on Sun’s Day, Moon’s Day, Tiw’s day, Woden’s Day, Thor’s Day or Frei’s Day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—all honoring heathen deities). Which came first, Saturn’s-day or the seventh day? Man’s spin is irrelevant.

As with every teaching, to be true it must stand up to the scrutiny of the unadulterated Word of Yahweh. If not, it’s bogus. In that case we abandon the teaching.

MC900433135[1]Genesis 1:14: A Generic Proof Text

Genesis 1:14 is often cited to support a smorgasbord of calendar teachings, including a sunrise Sabbath doctrine and a solar-based, calculated calendar. Not to be left out, the lunar sabbatarians also seize on this Scripture as the preeminent proof for their doctrine. Because the passage is so general in its wording it can be applied to any number of anomalous teachings—a one-size-fits-all scripture.

Here is Genesis 1:14: “And Elohim 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: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and Elohim saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

Most lunar sabbatarians will make the following assumptions from this verse:

  • only the “lights in the heavens” determine the Sabbath, and
  • to determine the monthly cycle of Sabbaths requires the use of both heavenly lights—the sun and the moon.

In truth, what the passage does specifically tell us is that the sun is to mark the day and the moon is to rule the night and that Yahweh set the sun and moon in their orbits on the fourth day of creation. That is the end of the specifics. Asked how this passage directly links the moon with the Sabbath, the lunar sabbatarian begins a game of dodge ball. He must do that because nothing in this pericope links the moon and its phases directly to the weekly Sabbath. Incidentally, what role the stars play the lunar sabbatarian does not explain, giving only a selective interpretation to the passage.

Attempts at a Sabbath in the Sky

Lunar Sabbath proponents believe that the moon must be used to identify the Sabbath because the seventh-day Sabbath rhythm is not otherwise evident in nature. That is not entirely true. Science is finding a continuous, rhythmic, seven-day behavioral cycle built into both the plant and animal kingdoms. Even humans need a regular rest every seven days to maintain good physical and mental health.

Not even seasoned astronomers can simply look at just the moon’s phases and distinguish one day from another with 100 percent accuracy every time. Quarter phases can be confusing in their closeness. Because of such close resemblances in the moon’s appearance the average person would need technical training to determine the Sabbath. He would also need a lot of clear skies during each of those critical phases in order to get the Sabbath right.

When it comes to the Full Moon it gets really uncertain, with three or four consecutive moons every month all appearing full. Which one do you choose as the Sabbath moon? Note this from scientists: “Although Full Moon occurs each month at a specific date and time, the Moon’s disk may appear to be full for several nights in a row if it is clear. This is because the percentage of the Moon’s disk that appears illuminated changes very slowly around the time of Full Moon. The Moon may appear 100% illuminated only on the night closest to the time of exact Full Moon, but on the night before and night after will appear 97-99% illuminated; most people would not notice the difference. Even two days from Full Moon the Moon’s disk is 93-97% illuminated” (quotation from U.S. Naval Observatory).

But that’s not all. Every 2.7 years there are two full moons in a month, the second of which is known as the Blue Moon. So how would the average believer know when that will happen, not to mention decide which full moon is the correct one?

Now be honest: does Yahweh establish His weekly Sabbath amid all this uncertainty and confusion? He is not the author of confusion, 1Corinthins 14:33. Are His people supposed to be aware of and distinguish among all the anomalies and similarities in lunar appearances when they keep the day of rest? Do we need college degrees in astronomy to observe the right Sabbath holy? Does that sound like the design of a wise Creator who gives plain and simple laws for us to keep? What about David out tending his flocks in the field, did he know all of this? Or did he just need to know how to count to seven for the proper time to observe the Sabbath? Frankly, the lunar Sabbath scheme appears like the shenanigans of mythical Greek deities trying to frustrate their human subjects just for the fun of it.

The creation account in Genesis 2 plainly teaches that the weekly Sabbath cycle was not based on the heavenly luminaries but simply on the seven days in the original creation week put in perpetual motion by Yahweh:

“And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made” (Gen. 2:2-3).  The reason the Sabbath is the Sabbath is not because of an association with the new moon and other lunar phases, but because Yahweh Himself blessed it and set it apart on the final day of creation week. No wonder He commands us to “remember” the Sabbath to keep it holy. We remember the original Sabbath He created by keeping it exactly as it has been passed down through the millennia. Man-made calendars may tweak the months, but the Sabbath continues in its cycle unchanged and unfazed by any calendar.

The Sabbath and its sequence in the week is the result of a direct action of Yahweh—originating entirely from His own personal rest on the seventh day. Because of His own activities the weekly Sabbath is directly tied to worship of Him following His own example. It is His day made for man. No wonder He says the Sabbath is the one sign identifying His people. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: [now notice the special link:] for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed,” Exodus 31:17.

Notice further that the “week” is not mentioned in Genesis 1:14. The reference is simply to “seasons” [moedim], “days,” and “years.” Clearly, Yahweh established the weekly cycle differently, basing it upon His own example of rest and not on what is seen or reasoned by man. Otherwise He would have included the word “weeks” in the list of things to be determined by the greater and lesser lights of Genesis 1:14. Yet He did not—not in Genesis or anywhere else.

“But seasons means appointed times and the Sabbath is an appointed time,” will be the argument. That is correct. But where does this passage or any other specifically link the new moon to the weekly Sabbath? Nowhere but in the imagination of the lunar sabbatarian.

Is the New Moon Day a Sabbath of Rest?

Some say the new moon was a day of rest because David was to meet with the king at his table on the new moon, 1Samuel 2:5. They also say that sacrifices were offered on the new moon, Ezekiel 46:6, just as they were commanded on the Sabbath.

When does a meal with a king constitute a weekly Sabbath? Wouldn’t a Sabbath be indicated by a meeting with a priest at the temple? Neither do sacrifices in themselves prove a Sabbath, because there were sacrifices commanded every day, Numbers 29:6 and Hebrews 7:27.

Was the new moon celebrated with rest in the same way as the Sabbath, as one branch of lunar sabbatarianism claims? If so, why does Yahweh command work on new moon days, and why do we find labor being done on new moon days?

Exodus 40:1, 2 and 17 reads: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shall you set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation… And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.” (Read all of Exodus 40 to learn just how much work was done on the new moon day.)

If every new moon day is a Sabbath or a day of no work, why does Yahweh command Zerubbabel to gather wood and build the temple upon the first day of the month? (Haggai 1:1, 2, 8, 12).

If every new moon day is a Sabbath, why do we not find any command to rest upon it (with the exception of the Feast of Trumpets, which falls on the new moon of the 7th month)?  Shouldn’t we find it listed as a Sabbath among the appointed times of Leviticus 23? What explanation can be given to the fact that nowhere in Scripture is the command to cease from labor upon the new moon day, or upon the extra days that fall out each month?

Shabbat and Shabbatown: Different Kinds of Sabbath

Another contention by lunar sabbath proponents is that because the seven annual feast day Sabbaths are determined by counting from the new moon, so also should the weekly Sabbath be set by the moon because an annual Sabbath is no different from a weekly Sabbath.

Not so.  The word used for the weekly Sabbath (in Hebrew) is “shabbat” (7676) while the word behind the feast day Sabbath is “shabbatown” (7677). High-day Sabbaths are different from the weekly Sabbath. From Exodus 12:16 we learn that on the high day Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, for instance, some work to prepare food is allowed “so that all may eat.” No such leeway is given for the weekly Sabbath.

The weekly Sabbath is a memorial to Yahweh’s creative act and His subsequent rest. He did not create high day Sabbaths by resting on them. To say the weekly Sabbath changes every month according to the cycles of the moon is to make the memorial to the creative rest of Yahweh into a memorial to the moon.

More Problems Using Genesis 1:14 

A key problem with the lunar sabbath doctrine is that events surrounding the creation of the moon in Genesis 1:14-16 did not take place until the 4th day. The week was more than half over by the time the moon was placed into orbit, so how can the moon establish the start of the week?

Never did Yahweh ever say He reset the week after four creation days by utilizing the now-orbiting new moon. That is a critical piece of information we must have if we are to base Sabbath observance on the moon’s cycle as shown by Yahweh.

Attempting to be free of this difficulty, some lunar sabbatarians speculate that the moon was created in an advanced phase and that the Sabbath would be made to synchronize with it later on; others speculate that perhaps the moon was already in its orbit the first day of creation but was just hidden behind heavy mist. Or that Yahweh’s creation week and our week are different. To which we ask: where is the chapter and verse supporting these hypotheses? Genuine doctrine does not rest on supposes or maybes. There is not a shred of evidence in Scripture to support such assumptions.

Genesis 1 and 2 are crystal clear that Yahweh created the heavens and the earth in six days and then He rested on the seventh. Lunar sabbatarians ignore Yahweh’s rest on the seventh day and go solely with a Sabbath-setting lunar phase.

Mysterious Math

Failed Test ca. 2001

The count to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost also reveals the error in the lunar sabbath teaching.  Not only must there always be exactly seven days every week in every month of Yahweh’s calendar (by Fourth Commandment authority), but the count to Pentecost must also be seven complete weeks of seven days each, all adding up to exactly 49 days.

Yahweh commanded, “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete,” Leviticus 23:15. Pentecost means 50th.  It takes exactly 50 days to arrive at Pentecost—seven Sabbaths of precisely seven days each or 7 x 7 + 1 = 50. Partial weeks or extra days don’t compute.

Numbers 28:26 says the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost comes “after your weeks be out.” “Weeks” is the Hebrew shabua and literally means “sevened” not “lunared.” After your seven sevens are over and complete, then you observe the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. The Bible, An American Translation by Goodspeed says, “…counting fifty days to the day following the seventh Sabbath, and then you shall present to Yahweh a grain-offering from the new crop.” The New English Bible says, “The day after the seventh Sabbath will make 50 days…”

You can’t have 7 Sabbaths totaling 51 or 52 days. Because you are spanning two months it is impossible to accomplish this as commanded when a new moon interferes with one of those weeks by adding extra days. You cannot get 7 Sabbaths to equal 49 days under the lunar sabbath scheme. This fact alone proves the lunar scheme bogus. One lunar sabbatarian claims that Pentecost is counted for seven weeks and then 50 days are added on top of that, making a combined 99 days. He has apparently never looked at the Hebrew behind the command.

We read in Leviticus 23:15-16: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering unto Yahweh.” In the phrase “unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath,” the word “unto” is the Hebrew ad and means against or until. Therefore the count goes all the way up to, until, the seventh Sabbath. And the numbered count totals 50 days, not an additional 50 days.

Consider how the manna was regularly provided each week. When Israel was in the wilderness Exodus plainly teaches that the manna fell for six days, with a double portion falling on the sixth day because none would fall on the seventh-day Sabbath. This went on continuously for 40 years, Exodus 16:35.

Nothing is said about a big interruption of this weekly manna cycle every fourth week by a couple of additional days at the end of the month when the new moon  resets the week.

Nothing is said that Israel starved for a few days at the end of each month because of additional Sabbath days or “non-work” days added to the month. For those who count those extra days as non-days, did it mean that a quarter of the time Israel got not 6 but 7, 8 or 9 days of manna gathering? If so, where in the Word is it found?

To mention such a critically important lunar interruption in the 7-day week could not possibly have slipped Yahweh’s mind. It is inconceivable that He would not have warned Israel to prepare for it!  After all, He warned them to be sure to gather extra on the sixth day to make up for none on the weekly Sabbath. So why did He not tell them also to gather extra manna the sixth day to eat on the seventh, eighth and possibly ninth day at month’s end? Obviously no lunar-added days ever existed.

This monthly lunar disruption is found nowhere in the Word because the Sabbath cycle that began in Genesis continued unabated. No additional, interpolated days ever interfered with it.

MP900341714[1]New Testament Dynamites the Lunar Theory

When it comes to the proper biblical calendar, we need go back no further in time than when our Savior walked this earth. Some proponents claim that the lunar sabbath was established in Genesis but was replaced by today’s continuous Sabbath cycle soon after the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity.  Thus, lunar sabbatarians would have us believe that the remnant who returned to the land of Israel were keeping a false sabbath.

This would have been front-page news! Yet, not one word in Scripture about it.

The Sabbath set in motion by Yahweh continued to be in effect down to the first century, when Yahshua came in the flesh. We know that He came as one “under the law,” and that He never sinned (i.e., transgressed the law, 1Pet.2:22).We find Yahshua keeping the same Sabbath day holy as did His fellow Jews around Him (Matt 12:1-12; Mark 2:23-28;Mark 1:21; 3:1-4; 6:2; etc.). Yahshua never rebuked the Pharisees for keeping the wrong weekly sequence.

These Events in Yahshua’s Life Disprove Lunar Sabbaths

In John 7:37 it is recorded that on the “last great day” of the Feast of Tabernacles (a high Sabbath that always falls on the 22nd day of the month) Yahshua cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink!” In chronological sequence, John 8:1-2 says, “Yahshua went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.” So now it’s the 23rd day of the month.

Chapter 9 is a continuation of the events of that same day when he heals a man of blindness. We are told that this was the weekly Sabbath, the 23rd of the month, verse 14. But lunar sabbatarians say the lunar sabbath falls on either the 21st or 22nd. Either scheme violates this provable 23rd day Sabbath. (See John 7:37-38; 8:1-2, and John 9:1-3, 14, 16.)

Another math meltdown for the lunar sabbath scheme comes with Passover, which falls on the 14th of the month of Abib. Yahshua was laid in the tomb at the end of Passover day the 14th, just before sunset when the 15thstarted. He rose three days later (Matt. 12:40), making it the end of the 17th of Abib. He came out of the tomb just before sunset the weekly Sabbath because the two Marys found the tomb already empty at “the end of the Sabbath,” Matthew 28:1. Lunar sabbatarians say that the Sabbath must fall either on the 14th or 15th, but here on the most important week in all of human history the weekly Sabbath falls on the 17th.

Having no other response, some lunar advocates take issue with Matthew 12:40, saying Yahshua’s words about being in the “heart of the earth” for three days and three nights does not mean in the tomb. Yahshua, however, directly compared it to Jonah’s being three days in the fish’s belly.  And Jonah describes his experience this way: “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto Yahweh, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell [sheol, grave] cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For you had cast me into the deep, in the midst [heart] of the seas; and the floods compassed me about:  all thy billows and thy waves passed over me,”Jonah 2:2-3. “Midst” means to be enclosed (Hebrew labab).  Jonah was encompassed about by water. Obviously Yahshua was enclosed by the tomb in the earth for three days just as Jonah was enclosed in the belly of the beast for three days.

Yahshua clinches it when He Himself “began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again,” Mark 8:31. See also John 2:19 and 21. Paul confirms it as well in 1Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that the Messiah died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Even the chief priests and Pharisees testify to Yahshua’s statement that after three days He would rise again, Matthew 27:63.

Furthermore, those who contend that the 14th of each month is a Sabbath of rest and no commerce must explain why this 14th day of the month of Abib is called in the New Testament a “preparation day” (which is Passover day, the day of preparation for the high Sabbath and not a Sabbath itself). This 14th day is a day of work and commerce, not a day of rest. See Mark 15:42-46;Luke 23:53-54; John 13:29.

Those who believe a switch to the universal Sabbath cycle came after the time of the Messiah and who believe the Jews (including Yahshua) were still keeping lunar sabbaths must explain why both Scripture and subsequent history show the contrary.

Pagan Participation

Throughout history men have instituted their own calendars for determining time. The Assyrians and Babylonians set up a weekly cycle based upon the moon—somewhat like the lunar sabbatarians of today.

The Babylonian calendar was lunisolar with years consisting of 12 months. Counting from the new moon of every month, the Babylonians celebrated every seventh day as a “holy-day,” also called an “evil day.” On every seventh day offerings were made to a different deity. Merodach and Ishtar on the 7th, Nergal and Ninlil on the 14th, Shamash and Sin on the 21st, and Enki and Mah on the 28th. Tablets from the sixth-century BC reigns of Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses give validity to these dates. The Babylonian calendar had a lunation of 29 or 30 days, containing three seven-day weeks, and a final week of nine or ten days which ended the continuous seven-day cycle. The remarkable similarities with the Babylonian calendar give us great insight into the origin of this doctrine and its error.

Being idolaters, the Babylonians perverted the true Sabbath Yahweh instituted at creation. Such perversion has continued throughout biblical history. Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah and founder of Babylon, is one of the earliest examples. His perversions can still be seen today. In Genesis 10:10 we read the account of Nimrod: “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Strong’s Concordance says that “Babel” or “Babylon” means confusion through a mixing. Ancient Babylon mixed truth with error, which is strongly condemned in the Word of Yahweh.

Lunar sabbatarians would have us believe that the pagans corrupted only the nature of Sabbath worship, not the actual weekly cycles supposedly based upon the moon. Ancient Babylonians worshiped the moon (“Asherah”) as part of their shabbatum veneration. This fact strongly suggests that they also perverted the weekly cycle to complement their devotion to the moon.

Again we ask, is there any place in Scripture saying that the weekly cycle is established by the sun or moon? If lunar sabbaths are truly based in Scripture, why would we have to search all over its pages with a magnifying glass to find even a hint of them? When something so simple as the continuous weekly cycle is made so complicated, then something is instinctively wrong. When a doctrine lacks scriptural evidence and must be explained with suppositions, human explanations and a host of forced or twisted Scripture, then it is always suspect.

Ha Satan is working with all power and lying wonders to deceive even the very elect (Matthew 24:24). His greatest desire is to cause those who are under “the sign of the covenant”— the Sabbath—to become confused about that “sign” and turn away from the covenant. If he cannot get them to keep Sunday in place of the true seventh-day Sabbath, then He will be satisfied just to have them turn to “floating sabbaths” as taught by lunar sabbatarians. Either way the true Sabbath is violated and the Adversary is pleased.

Scripture warns us of Babylon’s influence “And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth,” Revelation 17.

The Start of the Modern Lunar Sabbath Doctrine

It has been suggested that a convicted felon, who wrote a book in 1998 popularizing the lunar Sabbath, was the catalyst for the spread of this doctrine. He was described by Nashville police as helping a juvenile “racist” in a synagogue shooting. The court documents also reveal he attended a meeting of white supremacists known for their antisemitism. Any exposure to this doctrine reveals a radical departure from the traditional way the Jews count the Sabbath as established by Yahweh at creation.

 Various Verses Vindicated

Here are common passages used by lunar sabbatarians equating the new moon day with the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:2-4: Yahweh’s command for the seven annual Feasts is prefaced in verse 2 by the statement that these are the Feasts of Yahweh and holy convocations. Then He notes the weekly Sabbath in verse 3, placing the Sabbath equal in significance to the Feasts. Yet it is not one of the annual Feasts because verse 4 restates that these (meaning what is to follow) are the Feasts of Yahweh. Not being an annual Feast, the Sabbath is not set by the monthly new moon as are the annual Feasts.

Ps. 81:3: “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” The reference in Psalm 81:3 is to the Feast of Trumpets on the first of the seventh month, the only festival that falls on a new moon; the verse calls it a solemn feast day because it is Trumpets, not because it is a new moon. Other versions split the verse and speak of two different observances: the new moon and a separate feast day:
The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament
“Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast.”

New Living Translation
“Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!”

The New Jerusalem Bible
“Blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full moon, for our feast day!”

Psalm 104:19: “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.”

“Seasons” is moedim, meaning fixed times, festivals. In His commands for the Feasts, Yahweh clearly gives the day of the month when they occur, such as Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and the exact count to the Feast of Weeks. All are based on the start of the month and its new moon. But He never describes the weekly Sabbath as being so many days from the beginning of the month or new moon. The Sabbath link to the new moon is nonexistent.

Amos 8:5: “When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?”  Is this passage saying the new moon is a Sabbath with no commerce allowed? As shown, work on the new moon was prescribed by Yahweh and therefore the new moon cannot be a non-labor Sabbath. Amos 8:5 is likely speaking of the Feast of Trumpets, a Feast that is also a new moon day. On a Feast high day no work or commerce is to be performed.

Another possibility centers on the Hebrew. Because the Hebrew word translated “new moon” here (chodesh) can also mean “month,” some scholars (going back 2,000 years) have interpreted Amos as referring to a harvest month: Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of the month of harvest, when the poor found what to eat in the fields; when they gleaned there they got a sufficiency of bread, and so had no need to buy corn [Lev. 23:22]; and hence these rich misers, who hoarded up the grain, are represented as wishing the harvest month were over that they might sell their grain to the poor, having had no demand for it during that month.  (John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible, Amos 8:5 note) “Month” is how the Douay-Rheims version translates “new moon.”

Regarding sacrifices, if every new moon day is a Sabbath then we should find the command to make the Sabbath offering on new moon days as well. Yet, no such command is given (Numbers 28:1-15).

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The Sabbath Revealed

What day of the week did the Messiah and His apostles worship on in the New Testament? According to most ministers, it was Sunday, the first day of the week. What if we told you that this is not what we find in the New Testament; that they actually worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath and that Sunday was only the result of man’s tradition?

In this study we will consider six facets about the Sabbath: (1) its origin; (2) the sign of the Sabbath; (3) its meaning; (4) why this day is still valid; (5) examples of this day in the New Testament; and (6) examples of the Sabbath being observed in the Coming Kingdom.

Where do we find the first mention of the Sabbath? The command goes all the way back to the beginning of Creation. In Genesis 2:1 we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.”

We see that Yahweh, our Father in heaven, rested on the seventh day following the six days of creation. We also see that He blessed and sanctified this day. As believers in the Word, we are to follow this example and do as He did. He rested for a reason, which was to give us a pattern to follow.

Now what does it mean when it says He “blessed” and “sanctified” the seventh day?

The word “blessed” comes from the Hebrew word barak. This is a primitive root in the Hebrew language and literally means, “to kneel; by implication to bless Elohim” (as an act of adoration). The word sanctified comes from the Hebrew qadash, which again is a primitive root meaning, “to pronounce as clean.”

We find first that the Sabbath is the seventh day, which corresponds to our Saturday. Second, our Father in Heaven set the example by resting, blessing, and sanctifying this day.

This day is filled with importance. Yahweh told Moses in Exodus 31:13: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Yahweh that doth sanctify you.”

What did He mean by “sign”? It comes from the Hebrew word owth and refers to a signal as in a flag, beacon, monument, or evidence. So through this word we find that the Sabbath provides a sign or evidence of His people.

This passage also says that Yahweh sanctifies us. Sanctify is to set something apart as holy. We must understand that no other command is called a sign in the Word. It is unique to the Sabbath.

How do we observe the Sabbath? To begin with, the Sabbath is a day of rest. We find this in the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates” (Ex. 20:8-11).

We learn that the Sabbath is a day of solemn rest and is mandated to all within our household. This restriction is embedded in the meaning of the word Sabbath. The primitive root is shabath, meaning, “to repose” or “to cease from exertion or labor.” On this day our labor or work is to be suspended and we are to allow ourselves to rest. This was and is the main purpose for the Sabbath.

Our great Creator and Designer understood the need for the human body to rest one day out of seven. Science is now finding a seven-day cycle within nature and the need for the human body to rest, confirming what our Father in Heaven established some 6,000 years ago. Everything in Yahweh’s Word has meaning and purpose. Yahweh gave this special time for our own benefit. Therefore Yahshua said the Sabbath was made for man, Mark 2:27.

Problematic Passages Explained

Let’s look at a few of the reasons some believe that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer necessary in the New Testament. The most common case made against this time is the belief that Yahshua’s resurrection supposedly changed the day of worship. Many theologians believe that our Savior rose early Sunday morning.

What if I told you that Yahshua did not rise Sunday morning but late on the Sabbath?

According to Matthew 12:40, Yahshua said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the fish’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Tradition says that He was buried Friday evening and resurrected Sunday morning. In this time span there is only one day and two nights. Have you ever wondered why? Clearly this is not when He was in the tomb!

If you study the evangels you’ll find that He was placed in the tomb Wednesday before sunset and then resurrected late on the Sabbath, as we find in Matthew 28:1. “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

Notice the resurrection occurred at the end of the Sabbath. In ancient times the Sabbath was from sunset Friday through sunset Saturday, which continues to this day in the true biblical calendar. It says that the women came to the tomb as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. At first glance it certainly sounds like Sunday morning. However, we find an eye-opening truth in the Greek of the passage.

The phrase “as it began to dawn” is from Greek epiphosko and can be rendered, “to draw on.” It occurs only twice in the New Testament. The other instance of this Greek word is found in Luke 23:54: “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.” The phrase “drew on” here is from the Greek epiphosko.

Based on this we find that the first day of the week was drawing on, but had not yet come. The women came to the tomb late on the Sabbath or near Saturday sunset.

Where’s the Authorized Change?

For a moment let’s just assume that the Messiah rose early Sunday morning. Is there any passage commanding us to change the Sabbath to the day of our Savior’s resurrection? To the surprise of many, there’s not one verse in the New Testament providing such a command. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature verifies with this startling statement, “….it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day.”

As we’ll see, not only is there no command, but we also have many examples of the Apostle Paul and others still worshiping on the seventh-day Sabbath.

One passage often used as an attempt to prove that the apostles worshiped on Sunday is Acts 20:7. It says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

It is not hard to see how some can read this passage and believe that it refers to Sunday worship. But again, as we saw inMatthew 28:1, we must look beneath the surface to uncover the truth. So let’s do that now. The word “week” here is from the GreekSabbaton and refers to the weekly Sabbath or the time between two Sabbaths. Also, the word “day” here was added by the translators, meaning that it’s absent in the Greek text.

With this in mind, this passage literally reads, “and upon the first of the weeks.” The other fact about this passage is that it falls chronologically between the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, as found in verses 6 and 20.

For this reason some scholars believe that this passage refers to the first week of the count to Pentecost, including E. W. Bullinger in his Companion Bible. He states: “…the first day for reckoning the seven Sabbaths to Pentecost. It depended upon the harvest (Deut. 16:9), and was always from the morrow after the weekly sabbath when the wave sheaf was presented (Lev. 23:15).”

Pentecost was determined by counting seven complete weeks or Sabbaths from the firstfruits of the barley harvest during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Based on this evidence, this passage likely refers to the count to Pentecost and not to the first day of the week.

A Day Regarded

Another passage that is frequently used to support Sunday worship is Romans 14:5. Paul says there, “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Is Paul saying that we have the authority to choose any day for worship and that it doesn’t matter which? This is how many interpret this passage. With Yahweh’s Word it’s always important that we consider the context of the passage. In this case if we simply continue reading we’ll find that this passage has nothing to do with a day of worship.

Verse 6 reads, “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto Yahweh; and he that regardeth not the day, to Yahweh he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to Yahweh, for he giveth Elohim thanks; and he that eateth not, to Yahweh he eateth not, and giveth Elohim thanks.”

The context shows that this passage is referring to fasting. What is fasting? It’s going without food and drink to show one’s devotion and sacrifice to the one worshiped.

As with the previous passage, this one has absolutely no connection with Sunday worship. Paul was simply making the statement that fasting was a personal conviction and should not be restricted to a specific day. In other words, it doesn’t matter which day a person may fast. It is a personal conviction. Nothing is said about a day of worship.

Another passage that’s often misunder-stood as referring to Sunday worship is 1Corinthians 16:2. It reads, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Paul tells the Corinthian assembly here to collect something on the first day of the week. Many think he means tithes and offerings for the Sunday offering plate at church. Let’s again look beyond the surface and decipher the true meaning of this passage.

The word “day” here again was added and is not in the Greek text. This passage actually reads, “upon the first of the week,” a non-specific time. For this reason this passage may not refer to Sunday at all, but to the second or even third day of the week. So if this passage is not referring to Sunday worship, to what then is it referring?

At the time this epistle was written there was a great famine in the land of Judea, as we find in Acts 11:27-30: “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”

In 1Corinthians 16 Paul was organizing a relief effort in response to the famine. He was gathering food items for his fellow believers in the land of Judea. So once more this passage has no correlation with the first day of the week as a day of worship; instead the Apostle Paul was gathering supplies in advance for those suffering in Judea.

Matthew Henry notes in his commentary, “He begins with directing them about a charitable collection on a particular occasion, the distresses and poverty of [believers] in Judea, which at this time were extraordinary, partly through the general calamities of that nation and partly through the particular sufferings to which they were exposed.” Matthew Henry is also addressing the famine.

‘Day of Yahweh’ Is Not Sunday

Consider another passage that many use to support Sunday worship. In Revelation 1:10 we find, “I was in the Spirit on Yahweh’s day….” You may know this as the “L-rd’s Day.”

What day is it? Is it referring to a day of worship? Actually this passage has been twisted from its original intent! It is describing the day of our Savior’s Second Coming, when He will pass judgment upon mankind. How do we know this? It can be verified from several Old Testament prophecies. Here are just a few:

● “Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! to what end is it for you? the day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18).

● “The great day of Yahweh is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of Yahweh: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Yahweh: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung” (Zephaniah 1:14-17).

● “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come” (Joel 2:30-31).

From these passages we see that the day of Yahweh will not be a time to be desired; it will be a day full of darkness, desolation, wrath, trouble, and distress. It is, again, a prophecy of Yahshua’s return, when He will come to reap the wicked. So as we find, this day doesn’t describe a time of worship, but of anguish.

New Testament Sabbath Proof

Let’s now move on to the evidence we find in the New Testament for the seventh-day Sabbath.

Possibly, the biggest surprise to many Bible believers is the fact that the Apostle Paul faithfully observed the seventh-day Sabbath. One of the first accounts is in Acts 17:2: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

This is an important passage. Here Paul habitually worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath. The word “manner” is the Greek ethos and refers to a habit or custom that is either a personal conviction or by command.

In this case we know it was both – Paul observed the Sabbath from both a personal conviction and from the fact that it was required in Yahweh’s Law.

This passage took place some 20 years after Yahshua’s death and ascension. Now you would have thought that after 20 years Paul would have received the memo about a change in worship, yet Paul continued to worship on the Sabbath as he always did.

We find here also that he reasoned in the synagogue for three Sabbath days. This phrase refers to three consecutive Sabbaths. There should be no question as to on which day the Apostle Paul worshiped.

But just in case doubts remain, we find another example in Acts 18:4. It reads, “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”

Not only was it Paul’s custom, but we find that he literally observed every Sabbath. What did he do on the Sabbath? Besides worshiping his Father in heaven, we see that he persuaded both Jews and Greeks. The word “Greeks” is from the Greek word hellenand refers to “a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew.”

This confirms that Paul was persuading both Jews and Greeks on the Sabbath. Why were Greeks worshiping in the synagogue on the Sabbath? According to many theologians, the Sabbath is only for the Jews. They were all still worshiping on the Sabbath because the day of worship never changed.

Enter Mystery Worship

In addition to the New Testament, we also find evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath throughout the history of the “early church.” According to Dr. Augustus Neander in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church: “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine com-mand in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday” (1843, p. 186).

Dr. Neander, who’s birth name was David Mendel, was a protestant minister and professor. In his book he validates that the change to Sunday was not inspired by the apostles, but was established on the law of man. As we saw earlier, there is no law in the New Testament promoting Sunday worship. All examples expressly establish the seventh-day as the only inspired Sabbath.

In his book History of Romanism, John Dowling confirms that paganism entered the early church. He writes, “There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruptions of Christianity, which are embodied in the Roman system, took their rise; yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery” (13th Edition, p. 65).

According to Dowling, the paganization of the church went far beyond the Sabbath. It touched almost every facet of the church and in so doing polluted what Yahshua and His apostles established in the New Testament. This included not only the Sabbath, but many of the popular holidays that are observed today, including Christmas and Easter. True to suspicions, we find an association between Sunday and Christmas. Both were connected with sun worship.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the word Sunday literally means, “day of the sun.” (1966, p. 1826). Sunday was the ancient day of sun worship. In like manner, Christmas was chosen because of its connection to a Roman cult known as Mithraism. This cult worshiped the sun deity Mithra, whose birth was on December 25. Once the church realized that they could not overcome the popularity of this pagan cult, they decided to adopt December 25 as a Christian day of worship.

Constantine Commands Sunday

Issuing the first civil edict making Sunday the day of worship for his Roman Empire was Constantine I, also known as Constantine the Great. He was emperor from 306 CE to 337 CE and according to history was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However, prior to his conversion it is well documented that this man was a sun worshiper and only converted upon his death bed. This is the same king who required Sunday observance by civil command!

constantine-the-greatIn his famous edict of 321 CE, Constantine declared, “On the Venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”

Think about this — a sun worshiper changed the day that our Father in heaven established in favor of a day that was being honored and observed to the sun. This edict undeniably verifies the paganism of Sunday worship. There is not a single verse in the New Testament confirming that the day of worship changed from the seventh to the first-day of the week. This change was only through the pen of man, not through the inspiration of Almighty Yahweh, the only One with whom we should be concerned.

At the Council of Laodicea in 325 CE, sixteen years after Constantine’s original edict, we find a second attempt to remove the Sabbath. In this decree the counsel of bishops declared, “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.”

Not only did the bishops state here that Sunday was to be observed in lieu of the seventh-day Sabbath, but we find that they also forbade Christians from Judaizing the Sabbath. This provides irrefutable evidence that for 300 years after the death of Yahshua there were still “Christians” observing the biblical Sabbath. It also shows the desire of the church to move away from its Jewish or Hebraic heritage.

In addition to absorbing pagan converts, antisemitism was a key reason the Church abandoned many of the beliefs taught by the Messiah and His apostles, including a rejection of the Passover and the acceptance of Easter, a day that originally honored Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) g-ddess of light and spring.

It is essential to note that Sunday observance was not left to man’s freedom, but was, again, enforced by strict command of the government. In essence, it was forced obedience to man’s dogma, i.e., man-made doctrine. Through this decree and others that would come afterward Sunday became the counterfeit Sabbath.

However, even with these efforts to criminalize those who would honor the true Sabbath, there are records showing that Sabbath observance was never completely removed.

For example, W.T. Skene writes in his book Adamnan Llife of St. Columbs about the Scottish church in the sixth century, “In this latter instance they seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours” (1874, p.96).

As believers we must realize that our assurance is rooted in the Hebraic faith, the same faith given to Abraham. To deviate from this is to forsake the faith of the Messiah and the forefathers of the Old Testament. In expounding upon His own coming, Yahshua made the following statement in Luke 24:4: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” Nowhere in those Old Testament writings is there anything about Yahshua’s life or resurrection changing the Sabbath.

Sabbath in the Millennium

In addition to the scriptural and historical evidence, do we find evidence for the Sabbath in the coming Kingdom? In Isaiah 66:23 we read, “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 Yahweh.”

In Yahweh’s very Kingdom everyone will worship Him from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another. At that time Yahshua will rule this earth for a thousand years. So in the coming Kingdom we find that all people everywhere will be required to observe Yahweh’s Sabbath.

We also see proof for the Sabbath in the coming millennial Kingdom in Ezekiel 46:1, 3: “Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened…Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before Yahweh in the sabbaths and in the new moons.”

In the coming millennial Kingdom Yahshua and His saints will govern this world for 1000 years. The gates will be opened two special times – on the Sabbath and new moons. While the new moon is not a day of rest, it shares one requirement with the Sabbath: both are days of convocation and worship.

Knowing this, does it make sense to have the Sabbath observed in the Old Testament, kept by the Savior and His apostles in the New Testament and will be observed on into the Kingdom ‒ but is not necessary for those of us now in the New Testament? Such a question illustrates the inconsistency of stating that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer required today.

With this being the case, should we not follow the Fourth Commandment today? Remember that it’s the only command called a sign of Yahweh’s people within the Word. No other command shares this same blessing. May you honor your Father in heaven through your faithful observance of His Sabbath.

Watch “Sabbath or Sunday” on Discover the Truth TV below.

feast holy days bible

Compelling Reasons to Keep the Feasts Today

The typical reason many study the seven annual Feasts of the Bible is to wonder at the curiosities of days gone by. For most the intent is not to inquire into keeping the Feasts. Rather, it’s more about what quaint tidbits that can be picked up about “Jewish” worship.

Almost universally ignored is that the Feasts were strictly observed in BOTH testaments. The Feasts were kept by our Savior throughout His lifetime and followed by a faithful observance of all His apostles after His death, including Paul. These days will also be enforced on the pain of plague in the coming Kingdom. These facts alone should convince even the staunch skeptic that there is great importance in these days.

Most think we are in a kind of donut hole today where there is nothing to do or follow, just believe.

If you really want to be blessed by your Creator Yahweh, just do what His Son did. Follow everything He taught and practiced. If you do, you will find that He also kept the seven annual observances with His family as a child and afterward as an adult.

Feasts’ Amazing Milestones

Most all the major events in the life and ministry of Yahshua revolved around Yahweh’s annual observances. That is one of the most profound and well-concealed revelations of the ages.

In fact, Yahshua was very likely born on one of them (Tabernacles), died on another (Passover – while not a Feast, this is one of Yahweh’s annual observances) and was resurrected three days later during yet another Feast (Unleavened Bread). The Holy Spirit was sent on still another Feast (Pentecost) and Yahshua may return at the Feast called Trumpets. These profound truths should shake every Bible believer to the core of his beliefs. With so much significance for us today, how can anyone ignore the Feasts ofLeviticus 23?

These are the only yearly holy days decreed in Scripture. No other annual observances are commanded in your Bible. In fact, Yahweh directs us not to observe other days. “Hear ye the word which Yahweh speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good,” Jeremiah 10:1-5.

According to the “it’s only for Israel” group, nothing in the Old Testament is for us today.

Therefore we must be consistent. If the biblical Feast days are only for the ancient house of Israel, then this command would only apply to them as well. We today should be conscience-free to learn and practice all the ways of the heathen. We can worship Dagon and Moloch and Vishnu, and Buddha. Now we can bring trees into the house, adore them and place gift offerings beneath them.

If the Old Testament is only for Israel, then this warning and all others against false worship also apply only to Israel.

Of course, that is not the case. The Bible is a consistent unit, teaching the same salvation message anciently as it does today.

By the way, the term holiday is a contraction of the Old English haligdæg or “holy day/Sabbath.” Holiday means a holy Sabbath.

Why don’t today’s mainstream “holidays” live up to their name by being observed as holy, Sabbath days? Maybe they should be called something else, like “pointless practices” or “superficial superstitions.” Either would be far more fitting.

Even though the world has concocted its own annual observances, only the yearly Feast days of Scripture are holy, and only the COMMANDED celebrations encompass Sabbaths and impart deep, spiritual blessings on the faithful who observe them.

Is it any wonder that man’s observances typically end in a big letdown?

When you follow the ways of Scripture there are always benefits from obedience. Yahweh guarantees it.

If that weren’t enough, just a brief analysis of these special celebrations will deliver up a bounty of insights on a number of key, biblical teachings.

Feasts Full of Fundamentals

First, Yahweh’s holidays reveal the important work of the priesthood, while pointing to the ongoing work of the Messiah Yahshua, today’s High Priest.

Second, they show us proper worship through the scores of lessons they teach.

Third, opening the way to physical life for the people in the Old Testament, today they point to everlasting life for those in the New through their New Covenant lessons.

The Feast days not only encapsulate the plan of salvation, but by keeping them as part of an obedient life, the seeker of Truth will also find the path to everlasting life.

It is no secret that the Father in heaven demands obedience while punishing disobedience. It is a fact in BOTH testaments. He says in Malachi 3:6, “I change not.” What He demanded of Israel He demands of the True Worshiper now. The statutes of old remain active statutes today.

Yahshua plainly and clearly said He did not come to destroy them in Matthew 5:17. Rather, He said He came to establish them. He came to reveal their GREATER importance. He came to reveal their great spiritual side as well.

Understanding the significance of the Feast days in the whole plan of Scripture, it is nothing short of incredible that the Bible’s only yearly holidays have been glossed over for centuries, or simply brushed off as “just for Jews.”

But if they were just Jewish holidays, why was Israel commanded to keep them? The fact is the Jews or Judah made up only one of the 12 tribes of Israel. A common mistake is to interchange the terms “Jews” and “Israel” as if they were the same thing. All Jews were Israelites, but not all Israelites were Jews. In fact, only a fraction of Israelites were Jews.

The Jews were just a part of the greater family of patriarch Jacob, whose name became Israel when he wrestled with that angel. The angel finally decided that the man wasn’t going to give up so he blessed him. That is why his name means, “Contender with Elohim.”

Almighty Yahweh says about His Feast days in Leviticus 23:1-2: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Why didn’t He call them, “feasts of the Jews”? Because they belong to Him and were not “owned” by the Jews nor were they exclusive with them.

Keep them, He said, because they are sanctified gatherings. Being that they are His should be reason enough for those who desire a close relationship with the Father in heaven to include these days as a central part of their worship.

Anyone serious about their eternal future needs to look into the clear necessity to keep the Bible’s seven annual observances called Yahweh’s Feasts. We cannot blaze our own trail to the Kingdom. Yahweh Himself set down the only road to salvation and we His worshipers need to be faithful in following it, not widen the narrow way and add alternative routes as we see fit.

The word feast is related to festival. The root of festival means to celebrate a religious holy day.

These seven annual observances of the Bible are packed with significance and are crucial for today’s worship in a number of ways.

Each of the Feasts marks a milestone in biblical teaching. Beyond that, they are historical and prophetic markers, as key events occurred on them and will happen again as we near the close of the age.

If you know the meaning of each Feast and the significance of its teachings, then you have the true key to the timetable of the Savior’s return and the close of this age.

Yahweh’s Feasts reveal the special blueprint plan for His people and ultimately, and this is quintessential, they impact salvation itself. Can you name any other observances that reveal so much Truth as Yahweh’s annual moedim?

Yahshua the Messiah is clearly seen in every one of the annual holy days. If all of this is not enough to fire your interest and desire for His Feasts, Yahweh Himself comes right out and commands the truth seeker to observe His Feast days.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:2, 4.

If you want blessings, keep the days Yahweh commands. Nothing on earth is more important than to receive the rewards that come with obedience to your Father in heaven.

Some may still say these observances are for ancient Israel and not for them. If so, then the entire Bible is meant for someone else, seeing these Feasts are in both testaments for Israel and gentile alike. They were observed by the apostles long after Yahshua died. He never abolished them or His Father’s laws.

Others may say they just don’t have the time or means to keep them, but they have no trouble finding the time and means to keep superficial worldly holidays every year, not to mention the man-made observances that lack any blessings like the Feast days.

Agriculture Themes Are Key

To lay some groundwork in the basic understanding of these days, we must start with fundamentals.

Our word month and the word moon derive from the same source word. That’s why “month” sounds like “moon.” At one time the moon was used to establish the start of every month. Now it floats all over our modern wall calendars. But Yahweh’s biblical calendar still begins the months with the moon. Namely, the visible new moon crescent, which marks the first day of the biblical month.

In addition to the moon, the Bible’s calendar is also agriculturally based. The creation of man was in the garden called Eden. The word Eden, actually pronounced “Aden” in Hebrew, means, “delight, luxury, pleasure.” It was literally a paradise until sin entered the picture. Prophecy in Micah 4:3-4 indicates that those in the millennial Kingdom will return to an agricultural lifestyle as the intended environment for man.

“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts hath spoken it.”

The agriculture theme is prominent and central in the Bible. Firstfruits of the harvest translate to firstfruits of the spiritual harvest of souls. This speaks to the first resurrection, where those relatively few who are faithful and obedient now will rise to meet the returning Savior. The Bible’s sacred calendar is based on the growing patterns and harvest cycles with the greening of the barley crop to establish the first month called Abib.

The feast days continue with this motif with harvesting of souls.

With all of the importance in the Bible’s annual observances, it is mindboggling that these scripturally mandated, yearly holidays have been totally ignored by New Testament believers for millennia, and replaced by observances that are far more secular than religious. Which will you choose: secular or religious? Blessings or no blessings; obedience to the Father in heaven or disobedience?

Trivial Pursuits

In the grand picture, this world is nothing but a striving after wind and for that which will tarnish and perish.

If there is any one word that best summarizes our physical existence, it’s “temporary.” You can be consumed all your life in a quest for status, and advancement, but at retirement it all comes into focus. You may enjoy it for a brief few years, and then comes the Alzheimers or the stroke or the heart attack. And you give it all up for a life of convalescent living and looking at what comes next…

I’d far rather have Yahweh smiling back at me for a life lived in obedience than staring at a reward of pitch blackness of eternal death when my day comes.

Whatever rewards our life earns us, it will be for an eternity. What we do here in obedience is setting the permanent mold for what we will do or not do in the coming kingdom.

They Are YAHWEH’S Feasts

Someone once asked a minister the following:

“Some Christians are keeping the Holy Days; Feast of Atonement, Unleavened Bread, Trumpets, Tabernacles, and are claiming real blessings from [Yahweh] as a result. Should we be keeping [Yahweh’s]Holy Days as a way of drawing closer to Him and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth?”

The minister wrote back:

“Thank you for your question. There are indeed some who are advocating that Christians return to their Jewish roots and start keeping the feast days. They teach that by doing this you will be blessed by [Yahweh]. However, it is important to base what we believe upon the teachings of Scripture and not on personal testimony or experiences.

“Is it scriptural that Christians are to keep the Jewish festivals of the Old Testament in order to worship Him in spirit and in truth, obtain His blessings, and have the Spirit move in our lives? Let’s let the scriptures answer for themselves.

Leviticus 23:2 reads, ‘Say to the Israelites, the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, even My set feasts, are these…’

Leviticus 23:37 tells us, ‘These are the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh], which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering made by fire to [Yahweh], a burnt offering and a cereal offering, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its own day.

Leviticus 23 records seven feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] in which the Israelites would gather to meet with [Yahweh]. Notice that they were to be for the Israelites to keep. There isn’t any mention of the Gentiles being required to observe these feasts.”

First, he ignores the clear statement that these are Yahweh’s Feasts, not Israel’s or Jewish Feasts.

Yahweh told Israel that His laws are an ordinance forever. So is this what you have: Israel, commanded to keep the Feasts even today, running on a parallel track with gentiles who don’t have that requirement? Is Yahweh the same yesterday, today and forever? According to Malachi 3:6 He is. He does not have a double standard for different people.

Note how the minister continues: “These were the seven feasts that [Yahweh] gave the Israelites, His chosen people, to keep in the Law of Moses. These feasts were not optional. They were part of the Law [Yahweh] gave the nation of Israel. Blessings only came by keeping the entire law (Deut. 15:4-5). If you broke any part of it, you broke it all (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10).”

He is absolutely correct. Consider this, there are lots of ways you can fall off a roof. Your ladder can slip as you reach the top; you can trip and roll off; you can lose your balance and go down headlong. No matter how it happens, you are going down.

Breaking any law of Yahweh is still breaking law and carries the penalty of punishment. Any disobedience still violates Yahweh’s command. It all falls under the category of sin.

Few would ever even think of murdering or stealing, but by not following Yahweh’s commands regarding His Sabbath and Feasts, His law is still violated, regardless.

Paul wrote in Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.” The last part of this verse is rendered by the New Testament in Modern English as: “indeed it is the straightedge of the Law that shows how crooked we are.”

To correct that situation we need to straighten out, and that can only mean to align with Yahweh’s law. First, acknowledge the consequence of your sin, stop sinning, and become law-obedient.

But What of My Relatives?

We ran across a letter someone had written in an effort to excuse herself from Feast keeping. Her reasoning is all too common with those who can’t break themselves free of entrapment by unenlightened relatives.

“It would be lovely for me to be able to keep the proper biblical Feasts, however I live with a family who always celebrate the “church” events such as Easter, Christmas, etc., and it would be very hurtful to them if I suddenly dropped out of family celebrations. So I try to commemorate the biblical feasts, whilst at the same time joining in with the other stuff. It isn’t easy, but it would be very hurtful to not celebrate with my lovely family.”

The pressures that a believer’s relatives can exert are among the most powerful and seductive deterrents to the Truth that most truth seekers will ever face. We see it all the time: the husband who defers to the wishes of an unbelieving wife even though He knows he must follow his Savior when it comes to Sabbath and Feast keeping.

This is just what Yahshua meant when He said He didn’t come to make everything peaceful. To defer to spouse or relatives when it comes to obedience to the Word is to turn one’s back on Yahshua and accept error over Truth. He said in Matthew 10:35-37: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Who are you willing to offend most? Family or Yahshua? Is your salvation worth the risk? Once you understand the truth you are then accountable to walk in it. The unenlightened are not at the same level of understanding, where Yahweh demands we make hard choices. At the same time you teach by what you do.

The broad superhighway that leads to destruction is the way of the Adversary. This is his world. Why stay lodged therein when Yahweh opens the way of truth to you? Is it our goal to make the ignorant comfortable in error, or is it to show them the way of Truth and salvation out of genuine love for them?

Many will only dabble in the truth for fear of what their spouse or family will say if they went wholeheartedly into Truth. The reaction of others should not be our concern.

Yahweh is calling YOU right now. He is the one separating you out. Being afraid of what relatives may say is only frustrating what Yahweh is trying to do with you. Let Him work with the rest of your family in His own time. Your time is now, so don’t let anyone hijack it.

Yahweh hates a lukewarm attitude that tries to please everyone by condoning sin. This walk of Truth is not for the weak of heart or passive of will. Take a bold stand and see how your own resolve will influence others to be obedient to the Word in all things as well.

Watch the “Prophetic Feasts Part 1” below:

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

The Spirit of Pentecost

Not even movie script writers could come up with a more awesome concept. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost entails Yahweh’s plan to “harvest” a specially chosen people from this earth ostensibly to sit in future rulership of the planet under Yahshua the Messiah.

The objective of the saints is to fulfill the grand plan by being part of that harvest. Their command and desire is to be “holy to Yahweh,” the same message emblazoned across the miter of the high priest. A kingdom position of serving Yahweh as a kingdom of priests is what the righteous are promised.

Pentecost and what was done on this moed is the avenue accessing Yahweh’s salvation. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits, anticipating a time when the saints as firstfruits are gathered from the earth into the Kingdom.

In Exodus 34:22 we read of the Feast of Firstfruits. “And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.” If you seek greater understanding of the Kingdom the answer is found in the Feasts of Levicitus 23. It’s all there. The coming rulership of Yahshua is also revealed in Yahweh’s seven annual Feast Days.

Elect on the Cutting Edge

The key to understanding the Kingdom is the selection of the elect who will receive favored positions. They are known as firstfruits. A firstfruit is a first comer and the first taken. On the cutting edge of truth, he blazes the trail directly behind Yahshua and navigates the way for an entourage who follow later. But it is a challenging way of briars, obstacles, sharp turns, potential dangers and temptations and is not for the weak or faint of heart. Unlike the popular message, it’s not a free ride.

Who naturally seeks the difficult way? Isaiah wrote that most individuals prefer the downhill, comfort ride requiring little to no exertion or commitment: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” Isaiah 30:10.

No better example exists of Yahweh’s Truth in operation than the personal sacrifice of Yahshua, who was our example through His obedience to Yahweh. He was the first of the firstfruits harvest, symbolized by the barley wave sheaf’s initial offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Apostle Paul writes of this in 1Corinthians 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits [wavesheaf]; afterward they that are Messiah’s at His Coming.”

Fifty days later at Pentecost the second firstfruits offering is presented, represented by the first of the wheat harvest. This harvest symbolizes the saints who are specially chosen now for an extraordinary position in His priesthood. Finally, the general harvest occurs in the autumn, at the Feast of Tabernacles—also called Feast of Ingathering.

Pentecost is the only festival of Yahweh for which no specific date is given in the Scriptures. It must be counted out seven weeks from the day the wave sheaf was offered during Unleavened Bread. (See accompanying article, “A Feast that Counts.”)

In Force in New Covenant

Here is a key fact most of churchianity fails to grasp because of traditional blinders: Yahweh presents His plan of salvation through the Feasts in both testaments.

In the Old we see the Feasts as central to the covenant of Israel that established His chosen ones. We see the Feasts again in the New Testament as foundational to the New Covenant for those grafted into Israel.

Obedience to Yahweh’s commands is central to each. Paul in Acts 24:14 wrote, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Law and prophets is another way of saying the Old Testament.

Most worshipers have been told that the Feast days are just dead, Old Testament ritual, which were abolished along with the animal sacrifices performed on them. They are never told that the Feasts are central to New Testament worship as well, with Yahshua’s one-time substitute sacrifice (on Passover, not Easter) in force now.

References to Yahweh’s annual observances are all over the New Testament. They were diligently celebrated by Yahshua and His followers before and after His resurrection. They answer the big questions of salvation. And they are key to prophecy.

New Testament ‘Spirit’ Feast

Other than the Passover, the observance given the most details in the New Testament is Pentecost in Acts 2. Here we find the New Testament assembly gathering as they always did in obedience to keeping a Feast. Clearly this and all Feasts are still in force. Yahshua told His disciples that once He was gone they were to tarry at Pentecost to wait for the giving of the Spirit.

Pentecost in the New Testament book of Acts 2 was 10 days after Yahshua’s ascension to heaven and 50 days following His resurrection. Had the followers gone home from Jerusalem or had they not come for the Feast of Firstfruits or Shavuot, they would have missed the opportunity to receive the Spirit.

The same lesson is for us. If we are not assembled with the brethren on Yahweh’s Feasts we will miss out on key blessings—even the blessings of the Kingdom when Yahshua returns.

All indications are that Yahshua will return at a Feast, a “time appointed” or moed, as Daniel 8:19 indicates. When the woman (Assembly) is carried on eagle’s wings into the wilderness, it is for her protection.

The first time such an occurrence happened ancient Israel was taken into the wilderness to keep a Feast to Yahweh, even as Moses had implored Pharaoh for permission to do. Yahweh protected Israel from Pharaoh’s pursuing army. Israel had the flame by night (Spirit) and cloud of protection by day. Because so much of what happened of old will happen again, all evidence points to a similar scenario of protection for those gathered at a Feast in the last days.

Compare Exodus 19:4 with Revelation 12:6.

Exodus 19:4: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

Revelation 12:14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Fire, cloud, and bird wings are symbolic of spirit.

In the Revelation account we learn that spiritual Israel is: taken to the wilderness (just as Israel was); to a place prepared of Yahweh (we are to keep a Feast where Yahweh places His Name; just as Israel did—not in our own backyard); and the Assembly there is fed of Yahweh for a period of time, three-and-a-half years.

Similarly, we feed on Yahweh’s Word at His Feasts just as Israel fed on manna. Some believe that manna will be provided again at this time to Yahweh’s obedient.

Let’s suppose you are gathered with the brethren at a Feast, either Trumpets or Unleavened Bread or Pentecost—the three mainmoedim that have been cited as possible times of Yahshua’s return. There you will find protection while others who are disobedient are left to suffer wrath unleashed on the earth.

Yahweh works in parallels, in analogies, in type and antitype, in duality—especially in prophecy’s ancient and modern fulfillment.

The Bible is so complex a collection of books that most everything significant in it has a parallel or connection to something else or to another place or time. If we didn’t “see through a glass darkly” we would be able to discern the many prophetic parallels far better and more accurately.

Yahshua’s Pentecost Teachings

In chapter 1 of Acts, Luke picks up where His Book of Luke leaves off—discussing the life of Yahshua the Messiah and His last activity on earth, known as the transfiguration. Following is that account:

“For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Master, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:6, 7, 8.

In verse 5 Yahshua showed that there would be an advancement between John’s baptism and New Testament immersion, and the giving of the Holy Spirit which would begin with Pentecost,.

They were looking for Yahshua to establish the Kingdom with Israel. They knew that Israel is the firstfruits, with others to be added through obedience and faith in Yahshua. Notice in verse 7 He doesn’t say, you have it all wrong, the Kingdom will be set up with the newly established New Testament church.

“Power” is Greek dunamis — from dunamis we get our word dynamite. This Power was for effective witnessing of Yahshua throughout all the earth.

At Sinai, when the Israelites heard the thunder and saw the lightning, and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.

In Hebrew “thunder and lightning” literally is “voices and flashing” or “torches.” But when the Greek Septuagint was completed in the 3rd century B.C.E., “voices” was translated “thunders,” while “torches” was translated “lightnings.” So in Acts 2, when we see the tongues like fire on the heads of the people and the instant translating of the Apostles’ words going on through the Spirit, we see a parallel to Sinai and Yahweh’s communicating to those gathered.

The events in Acts 2 Pentecost were not just some isolated miracles without purpose. When you pull it all together, you come to an exciting conclusion, and it’s the very same conclusion that Peter arrived at in Acts 2:15: “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.”

What did Joel prophesy?

Among other things, he said that Yahweh was going to do something very special at one special mountain: Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.”

Connecting Mt. Zion to Mt. Sinai we come full circle. Isaiah2:2-3 holds the answer: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.”

Yahweh interacted with Israel both at Mt. Sinai and in Mt. Zion (Jerusalem).

In John 1:7 we see where John came to bear witness, meaning a bearing witness, the Greek word is marturia. An active witness, not just a showcase.

Too often the idea is that I must get baptized and receive the Holy Spirit for the sake of my salvation, while a whole other aspect of the personal giving of the Holy Spirit is overlooked. The Holy Spirit is given for a reason—to accomplish a purpose, just as we are saved for a purpose not just to do nothing but proclaim, “I’m saved.”

Yahweh doesn’t function that way. Yahweh is a Mighty One of work, of activity and creativity and power and function. He expects nothing less of His people. To get out there and get a job done of teaching the truth to the world.

When you save earnings in a bank you save it from being lost or wasted. The same goes for Yahweh’s people. Salvation is to keep our talents and gifts from being wasted. To employ us in His service. Both now and in the Kingdom.

The power of the Holy Spirit is not for pizzazz — something impressive to watch, something to dazzle the eyes and excite the imagination or to draw attention to oneself in charismatic displays. The Spirit is imparted to accomplish a work, it’s the dynamic power of Yahweh (dunamis is used in Acts 1:8, meaning strength, ability, power).

Greatest Power in the Universe

When you look at the whole plan of Yahweh’s Feast days you see something dynamic operating on a very personal level:

In the Passover we find Yahweh separating a people out from the Egypt of sin. This follows with the eating of unleavened bread, rooting out the falsity from our lives and hearts and arming us with truth. Then comes the Feast of Weeks, where we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to tell others the truth of Yahweh.

Now Yahshua prepares the disciples, telling them not to go anywhere, but to be at Jerusalem where they must wait for the promise of Yahweh. That promise was the power of dunamis—active force—to be used to actively bring a forceful witness to the world through powerful communication and miracles.

We are a witness of the greatest power in the universe. The danger is in allowing this gift to be a show of our own greatness! That’s what the heretic Simon wanted.

“For as yet he [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahshua. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of Elohim may be purchased with money,” Act 8:16.

Access Through Obedience

How does one receive this Spirit power? Acts 5:32 explains that it is given to those who obey Yahweh.

∙ Some say you get the Holy Spirit when someone hits you on the forehead and knocks you backward. But what about Acts 5:32?

∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. I would refer them to Acts 5:32.

∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you are saved. They need to read Acts 5:32.

Here is what one denomination teaches in getting the Spirit:

“Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as possible. At the same time he should tell G-d in his heart, ‘I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.’ I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak out whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising G-d with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.”

Nowhere is this procedure supported anywhere in the Word. Here is what we find in 1John 3:24: “And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.”

True baptism for the obedient is in Yahshua’s Name. That is how the Spirit is given. The Holy Spirit force is manifest by the many number of gifts it bestows, detailed in 1Corinthians 12, like wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, and even just stamina for living the truth.

At immersion each individual is given one or more of the Holy Spirit gifts. In Acts 2 Peter and the rest had been waiting in an upper room as Yahshua had told them to do. They were of one mind as the Spirit descended like flames on their heads. As the dunamis was imparted they were able to speak different languages (heteros, different kinds of tongues or languages). This power translated into the ability to communicate to the 15 different languages and dialects represented in the gathered crowd.

That Feast in the New Testament was unique and never have those phenomena been duplicated since.

Many Worshiping Own Way

One person wrote us, “You aren’t going to tell me what name I can pray in.” No, but Yahweh, whom you’re assuming to pray to, definitely is. You have no more authority to decide what you will call Him than Israel had to make their own image of Him through their idols. There is no difference. Whether you make your own image of Him or call Him by whatever name you please, it’s the same thing, idolatry.

Yahweh says in Deut. 29 that if you don’t honor me with my Name, but serve me under common names of idolatry, then I will blot your own name out of the book of life.

When we seek the Holy Spirit we do it Yahweh’s way, on His terms, not our own. True Worship is about obeying Him, not church traditions or private notions.

Does Yahweh allow us to decide which Feast days we choose to keep and which to ignore? How about just keep the weekly Sabbath and ignore the annual ones, as one large denomination does?

If we accept one commanded observance then Scripturally we must accept them all, 2Timothy 3:16. All of Yahweh’s Holy Days are presented as an entire package to us to observe, with the admonition that they are all sanctified by Yahweh (and are not just Feasts of Jews). “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:4.

To argue that these annual Feast days are Jewish or “Mosaic Law” and therefore are done away is to be uninformed on multiple levels.

Many statements in Scripture tell us that these are Yahweh’s observances, not Mosaic ones.

John taught old truths in the New Testament, writing, 1John 2:7: “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.” The only Word they had from the beginning was the Old Testament. Verse 24 continues, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”

Yahshua kept every one of the annual observances, from Passover through Tabernacles. He is our example. He said He had kept His Father’s commandments and we are to follow Him, John 15:10. He did so perfectly, without fail, otherwise He would have sinned,1Peter 2:21-22.

The Spirit and the Law

A command for the Feast of Weeks is found in Deuteronomy 16:9-11: “Seven weeks shall you number unto you: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn. And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto Yahweh your Elohim with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give unto the Yahweh your Elohim, according as Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you: And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Yahweh your Elohim has chosen to place His name there.”

This Feast is marked by offerings and rejoicing. It was probably at the time of the Feast of Firstfruits that Israel received the law at Sinai, which can be determined by paralleling the timing of their journey in the wilderness with the timing of the Feast.

The Biblical Feasts are a type of the spiritual trek we make as we come out of the world and follow the ways of Yahweh. Seeking Truth is also is a wilderness adventure at times as we travel a path not well-traveled.

The significance of the Feast of Firstfruits centers on teaching of the Truth with the Spirit given to keep it. In Acts 2, after the 120 received the power of the Holy Spirit, they began to teach the truth boldly and powerfully. Peter gave such a stirring message that 3,000 people sought and received baptism in the Name of Yahshua.

Peter and John spoke with uncommon power and boldness, Acts 4:13. Miracles began happening, and these disciples had powers and maturity they never had before in their ministry.

The Feast of Firstfruits shows us that Yahweh’s laws exist more than in the physical sphere. Now the spiritual intent of obedience must be emphasized. The real purpose for obedience becomes clear and a righteous attitude is made manifest.

Hebrews 8:10 says that Yahweh’s laws would be put into our minds and written on our hearts. Some may say that this means we obey only spiritually and not actually participating in Sabbath or Feast observance.

However, in Biblical terms, writing something on a heart means to obey even more closely. Read Ezekiel 11:19-20: 19: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim.”

We “take to heart” Yahweh’s laws when those laws are in our hearts.

May this key observance in Yahweh’s scriptural calendar become one of the seven you keep annually.

biblical feast days; old testament feasts; seven annual holy days; holy days in the bible; moeds; moedim

Keeping Your Biblical Appointments

The Feast days are evident from the beginning of creation, and they go through to the end of the age and even on into the Kingdom. How significant is that in their importance for us?

When it comes to Yahweh’s Biblical Feasts, most Bible professing individuals make two mistakes. They assume the Feasts are just for Jews and they believe these annual holy times are part of an Old Testament ritualistic law that was abolished with the coming of Yahshua the Messiah for all who believe in Him.

The Feast days are not only the original “holidays” of humankind, which inspired the very concept of keeping annual celebrations, but these days are also a part of an ongoing, living law of Yahweh specifically given to man. They are not just “Jewish” observances but special days for all the world to keep.

Most of the world utterly fails when it comes to these sacred appointments. First, they skip right over them, not even acknowledging these days given in the Scriptures. Second, they substitute secular holidays—which is the biblical definition of idolatry. Most will throw biblical Feast days in the category of old Mosaic laws that were abolished by the Savior.

This presents sticky problems, however, because we find compelling evidence that the patriarchs were involved in the appointed Feast days even back at the time of the first human family long before Moses even entered the picture.

In Genesis 4 we learn:

▪ Abel was a sheep herder; Cain was a farmer.

▪ The phrase in verse 3, “In the process of time” in Hebrew means, “at the end of days.” This indicates a counting period. At the end of a specified number of days an offering was to be made. This also points strongly to an appointed Feast.

The animal skins that Yahweh clothed Adam and Eve with after their sin in chapter 3 meant blood was shed so that their sins would be covered.

But Yahweh was the one who sacrificed the animals to produce the leather. In the Passover Israel had to participate in the sacrifice in order for their sins to be covered. We find the same with Abel, who brought a sheep from his herd to offer in sacrifice.

This was likely the precursor to the Passover lamb. Just as you can’t get blood from a turnip—Cain’s offering was not a blood sacrifice. It was a crop offering and Yahweh was not pleased. If this is a Passover-category event, then a grain offering won’t do. Animal blood must be shed. No wonder Yahweh was not pleased. He is never happy when mankind makes up his own rules for worship. No doubt Cain’s bad attitude played into this as well.

Notice that Cain brought from the regular fruit of the ground, while Abel from the firstlings of his flock. Cain’s was not a firstfruit. It was just part of the normal crop that he harvested from the field.

Yahweh wanted the firstfruits of our increase dedicated to Him, just as He does today, whether it be tithe or offerings or sacrifices of praise—He wants the best we have to offer. For Israel it was always to be the firstfruits of what they produced. Giving to Yahweh off the top shows our devotion to Him as supreme in or lives, before anything else.

Genesis 4:4 reads, “Yahweh had ‘respect.’ That means that fire probably went out from Yahweh and consumed the offering, as we note how He accepted other passages. It shows that He was pleased.

Verse 7 is fascinating. Cain did not please Yahweh. He sinned. The Hebrew does not simply say that that it was just sin that lay at the door, but that a sin offering was still at the door. In other words it wasn’t accepted, it wasn’t consumed. It was not of an animal but a crop, and he didn’t offer in the right spirit. This was also symbolic of an unresolved sin that now wants to control Cain.

Cain’s real problem was not his brother. Cain’s problem was Cain. Yet it was his brother Abel who ended up on the receiving end of Cain’s wrath. And that scenario has been repeated throughout all of history.

Can we find evidence of more Feast-like activity early on, before the covenant with Israel? We certainly can.

In Genesis 17:21 Almighty Yahweh dis-cusses with Abraham plans for a covenant with his soon-to-be son, Isaac. Set time means appointed time, a moed. Psalm 104:19 tells us that Yahweh appointed the moon for moedim, “fixed times or festivals.” The same thing in Genesis 1:14, where the sun and moon are for “seasons,” moedim, appointed times. Yahweh built feast observance into creation itself.

How can these Feast days be done away today when the very sun and moon above our heads attest to them and set their times by their revolution year after year? What can be more permanent when planets and stars set the agenda?

Feasts Before Moses

Important events typically occurred on Yahweh’s Feasts, from the exodus at Passover and Unleavened Bread as well as entering the Promised Land at this same time, to the giving of the law and covenant and the Spirit at Pentecost, to the return of Yahshua perhaps at Trumpets.

In Genesis 18 three angels come to Abraham and he makes a meal of unleavened cakes, v. 6. In verse 14 the term “appointed time” is again the word moed, elsewhere used for Feast.

In Genesis 19:3 Lot baked unleavened bread for the two angels who came to Sodom.

Clearly Yahweh’s Feast commands did not originate at Sinai. Let’s look at a few other cases:

Moses asked Pharaoh to let the people go to observe a Feast (Ex. 3:18; 5:1; 8:25; 10:9). In Exodus 16:4 the Sabbath law is in effect! In Exodus 18:16 we see statutes and laws before Sinai.

These commands to keep Feasts, appointed times, were intended for all mankind for all ages. But because most everyone else chose to ignore them, Yahweh zeroed in on a select group called Israelites, making a covenant agreement with them to keep these times and in return to be blessed above all people on earth. Judah was only one of the 12 tribes of Israel. So we can dismiss the idea out of hand that these Feasts are only for Jews. They were given to all Israel in a special covenant, both Jews and non-Jews.

Also, most assume the Feasts are part of the law that was abolished by Yahshua’s death, and therefore are no longer in effect. However, it was only the ceremonial/ritual law that was superseded by Yahshua’s death, as we find in Heb. 9:10 and foretold inIsaiah 1:11-20.

We must not thrown the baby out with the bathwater. If the whole law were abolished, then we no longer can know what sin is, because by the law we have the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20, and even further, that sin no longer exists, Romans 4:15—no law, no sin.

In fact, there are five kinds of law in the Scriptures:

1)  Spiritual law, including the Ten Commandments

2) Commercial/civil law, governing interpersonal and business relationships

3)  Ceremonial/rituallaw—governing priestly activities

4)  Natural law, the laws of nature

5)  Judicial law—dealing with crime and punishment.

The Feasts fall under the spiritual law—those laws that shape our character and lead to everlasting life. Like the Ten Commandments and other character-shaping laws.

When we keep Yahweh’s Feasts we draw closer to Yahweh and understand His plan for His people better. Which directly impacts us, strengthening our faith and leading to a closer walk.

Yahweh chose the people of Israel because of His covenant with their forefather Abraham. He didn’t chose any other nation. As Shaul explains, others can be grafted in to that same relationship and receive the same promises, Romans 9 and 11.

In 1John 2:5-7 we are instructed to walk as Yahshua walked. How did Yahshua walk? Was He obedient to the law? Did He not set an example for us by His obedient walk? Were not the Feasts part of His walk? Of course. Let’s see a few examples:

As a child He went with His parents to keep Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Luke 2:42.

In Matt. 26:18 and Luke 22:11 we find Yahshua observing Passover and unleavened bread. He instructed His disciples to stay in Jerusalem in Acts 1:4 to wait for the giving of the Spirit which would happen at Pentecost.

In John 7:10 He went up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and in the middle of the Feast we see Him teaching, verse 14.

Again on the Last Great Day of the Feast in John 7:37 Yahshua stands up and teaches from the Old Testament. Here Yahshua is teaching from the Old Testament, which includes Yahweh’s laws. We must walk as He walked.

In Exodus 12:14 Yahweh says to keep the Feast “forever.” Who is He talking to? The only nation He ever made a covenant with—Israel.

If He kept the Feasts, so should we. If He did not observe Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, neither should we.

Follow the commandment you heard from the beginning. Base your faith in the same Scriptures Yahshua and the Apostles did—the Old Testament. They had no other to go by.

They Kept the Feasts

The Feasts represent the plan for man from the beginning, as we saw in Genesis. The plan involves us today as His people, and beyond this life into the Kingdom.

When Yahweh says these are ordinances “forever,” that is just what He means. No fewer than four times in Levitics 23 Yahweh declares the Feasts a statute “forever.” Does forever mean until His Kingdom comes? No. More than even that.

Isaiah 66 speaks of the Millennial Kingdom. We learn that when Yahshua sets up the Kingdom rule on this earth that everyone will come to keep Yahweh’s appointed times, verse 23.

What if they refuse, as many do today? Zechariah 14:16-18 tells us that the rebellious who won’t go up to keep the Feast will get no rain. Even the Egyptians, who like Israel and everyone else will be commanded to obey. We recall that Yahshua promised to keep the Passover again with His disciples in the Kingdom, Matthew 26:29.

Do you seek to be in that Kingdom? What about being blessed right now? Then follow His Word. Keep His laws. Attend His Feasts. Learn about Him. Mold your life into the pattern Yahshua taught us.

Pay no attention what the world is doing or thinking. Resolve to obey Yahweh, the One who put you in your mother’s womb.

If you can find Yahweh promising blessings by keeping the observances of the world, then by all means go for them! If not, why else would you want to keep these pointless, useless, ineffectual days?

A fundamental purpose of Yahweh Feasts is to instruct. We see this happening in the kingdom in Ezek. 44:23-24. We learn important spiritual lessons by physical actions. Learning by doing. Hands on experience. That is why Yahweh expects our participation in His Feasts. Going there and observing them with others.

No, there are no longer animal sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean the principle is dead and gone. We sacrifice of ourselves when we attend the Annual Feasts. We sacrifice of our time and resources to attend. We give up the world for as much as a week to be instructed by Yahweh’s Word.

It is a sacrifice pleasing to Yahweh. Keeping only part of a Feast is like giving half a lamb on the altar of sacrifice. The command is to keep His entire Feast, not only half of it.

As we see our culture sliding into the abyss, we know that Yahshua’s return is imminent. What will be your response to Him when He asks you, where were you when I looked for you at Passover, Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles?

I gave these days to my chosen ones, I kept them myself as an example for you.

But you thought they weren’t important. You made time for the world but not for me. So now I ask, what blessing is left for you? I wanted to give you a position in my Kingdom, to teach others. To show them how to obey me. But you would not obey me yourself.

May that scene not be a part of your future.

May you and yours say as Shaul, I must by all means keep this Feast.

afford the feasts; i cant afford the feast of tabernacles; i cant afford to travel to the feasts; feast of tabernacles is too expensive

You Can Afford the Feasts!

We often hear, “But how can I afford to go to the Feast this year?” Yahweh had already anticipated the question and gives the following response.

Yahweh’s annual Feast days are one of the greatest bless­ings He bestows on His people. Unless you have kept them in the place where He puts His Name, you can’t imagine what a joy they truly are.A veritable Kingdom on earth!

A common question posed by those to whom Yahweh has newly revealed the importance of His annual Feast days is, “How can I afford to attend?” A subsequent question is, “When and where are these Festivals held?”

Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry publishes a calendar each year point­ing out the dates of each of the seven annual Feast days. Our calendar is based upon Yahweh’s lunar months. We go by the monthly new moons that Yahweh placed in the sky for this purpose,Isaiah 66:23 and Numbers 28:11. The Feasts are grouped accord­ing to the harvest seasons, beginning with Abib (meaning green ears),which comes in the spring at the time of the barley harvest (Ex. 9:31).

Next begins the harvest of wheat in early summer (Pentecost or Feast of Weeks), followed by the harvest of oil, grapes and garden stuffs in the fall (Tabernacles).

Yahweh’s Feasts are prophetic (Col. 2:16-17). He works everything out according to His timetable:“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1). Yahweh’s purpose was es­tablished at creation when He made the lights in the heavens: “And Elohim 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 [Hebrew = MOED], and for days, and years” (Gen. 1: 14).

The Hebrew word moed means an “appointed time.” His Feasts are special times that Yahweh has set aside and that He will use to ac­complish His will. The seven annual Feasts are His “moedim” or appointed times when He meets with His people.

Until we recognize that His Feast days are appointments that we keep with Yahweh, we miss important truths revealed to His people. All of the Feasts are listed in Leviticus 23, with special emphasis placed on some.

The fact that these Feast days will be kept in the Kingdom (Ezek. 45:21-25) shows that they are of special im­portance now. We cannot ignore them and still be His people.

Sign and Seal Ignored

The two most ignored commands in the Bible are the sign He has given us and the seal by which we are preserved. The sign is keeping His Sabbaths:

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a SIGN between. me and them, that they might know that I [am] Yahweh that sanctify them.” (Ezek. 20: 12)  “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a SIGN between. me and you, that you may know that I [am] Yahweh your Elo­­­him” (Ezek.20:20).

By keeping His Sabbaths Yahweh will sanctify or set His people apart as a sanctified for a holy pur­pose. The Sabbaths are a special time in which we learn to know Him and we draw closer to Him. The world in general irresponsibly ignores these days, believing that they are free from all obligations and responsibili­ties.

The seal is His Name: We are sealed with His Name upon baptism (Rev. 14:1) and already carry His Name for we are known as “His wife” (Rev. 19:7), and have prepared or made our­selves ready. The sealing agent is the Holy Spirit: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of Elohim, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Financing the Feasts

The seven annual Feasts are not optional for the people of Yahweh. They are commanded convocations. They are a part of that sign showing that we are truly His people when we keep them. His Feast days also set us apart, sanctifying us, as they did Israel.

In His command Yahweh was very complete, making provisions for the fi­nancing of our trips to His gatherings without having them become a great burden. After all, His Feasts should be a delight,the highlights of the year.

Just as we are expected to tithe to Yahweh so that His plan of salvation can be proclaimed around the world (Mat. 23:23), He also shows us that we are to set aside funds to keep the Feasts. Notice:“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.  And thou shalt eat before Yahweh your Elohim, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; [or] if the place be too far from thee, which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose to set his name there, when Yahweh your Elohim hath blessed thee:  Then shalt thou turn [it] into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Yahweh your Elohim shall choose:  And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before Yahweh your Elohim, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,  And the Levite that [is] within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee” (Deut. 14:22-27).

Notice, this second tithe is a special tithe to use for the Feasts. It is to be kept and man­aged by the individual to assure that one has funds to attend the Feasts. It is separate from the tithe to proclaim the evangel to the world, which is holy unto Yahweh and to be used for that purpose.

Instead of setting aside cash as the world does in a “vacation fund” or some “Xmas savings plan,” Yahweh long ago gave us this guide as assurance that we could al­ways attend His Festivals.

Savings accounts and pay­roll savings plans are actually patterned after Yahweh’s plan of assuring that His people can attend His Feasts. The majority of Yahweh’s people plan their vacations and time off to coincide with the Feast days.

What better way to spend a vacation than to gather with others of like faith and clearly identify with the “sign” Yahweh gives us that we might learn of Him by keep­ing His Sabbaths. Spiritual enrichment for the entire family is a part of His plan that we get to know and share our joy and experiences with the future kings and priests of His coming King­dom!

Making Feast attendance a part of our lives is a maturing experience as we disci­pline ourselves to obey our Father and gather where He has placed His Name.

See YOU at Tabernacles!

The three “Pilgrim Feasts” are: the seven days of Unleavened Bread, Pen­tecost, and the eight days at Taber­nacles. Preparations such as plane res­ervations, transportation, accommoda­tions, and auto repairs should be taken care of early. See our Feast reservation information elsewhere on this site.

Israel was commanded to eat of the tithe of their produce at the Feast. For those traveling a distance, Yahweh says, “Then shalt thou turn [it] into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose,” which He does through His ministers (Deut. 14:25).

Consider the words of Moses to Is­rael just before they were to cross over into the Promised Land – just as the faithful will some day come into the Kingdom: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty” (Deut. 16:16).

Yahweh promises a blessing upon those who obey Him. Don’t you want to be blessed? Isn’t it time you came out of the world of sin in these last days and prepared for your eternal life in Yahweh? We look forward to seeing YOU with us at the fall Feasts!

by Donald R. Mansager

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Preparing for the Feasts

We often hear, “But how can I afford to go to the Feast this year?” Yahweh had already anticipated the question and gives this response.

Yahweh’s annual Feast days are one of the greatest blessings He bestows on His people. Unless you have kept them in the place where He puts His Name, you can’t imagine what a joy they truly are. A veritable Kingdom on earth!

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). Yahweh’s purpose was established at creation when He made the lights in the heavens: “And Elohim 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 [Hebrew, moed], and for days, and years” (Gen. 1: 14).

The Hebrew word moed means an “appointed time.” His Feasts are special times that Yahweh has set aside and that He will use to accomplish His will. The seven annual Feasts are these appointed times when He meets with His people. Until we recognize that His Feast days are appointments that we keep with Yahweh, we miss important truths revealed to His people.

The fact that these Feast days will be kept in the Kingdom (Ezek. 45:21- 25) shows that they are of special importance now. We cannot ignore them and still be His people.

Sign and Seal Ignored

The two most ignored commands in the Bible are the sign He has given us and the seal by which we are preserved. The sign is keeping His Sabbaths: “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a SIGN between me and them, that they might know that I [am] Yahweh that sanctify them.” (Ezek. 20: 12) “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a SIGN between. me and you, that you may know that I [am] Yahweh your Elohim” (Ezek. 20:20).

By keeping His Sabbaths, Yahweh will sanctify us so that we are set apart as a sanctified people for a holy purpose. The Sabbaths are a special time in which we learn to know Him and we draw closer to Him. The world in general is irresponsible and ignores these days, believing that they are free from all obligations and responsibilities.

The seal is His Name: We are sealed with His Name upon baptism (Rev. 14:1) and already carry His Name for we are known as “His wife” (Rev. 19:7), and have prepared or made ourselves ready. The sealing agent is the Holy Spirit: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of Yahweh, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Financing the Feasts

The seven annual Feasts are not optional for the people of Yahweh, but convocations in which all Bible believers are commanded to gather. They are a part of that sign showing that we are truly His people when we keep His commanded days. His Feast days also set us apart, sanctifying us, as they did Israel

In His command Yahweh was very detailed, making provisions for the financing of our trips to His gatherings without having them become a great burden. After all, His Feasts should be a delight, the highlights of the year.

Just as we are expected to tithe to Yahweh so that His plan of salvation can be proclaimed around the world (Mat. 23:23), He also shows us that we are to set aside funds to keep the Feasts. Notice: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before Yahweh thy Elohim, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear Yahweh thy Elohim always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose to set his name there, when Yahweh thy Elohim hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before Yahweh thy Elohim, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee” (Deut. 14:22-27).

This is a special tithe to use for the Feasts. It is to be kept and managed by the individual to assure that one has funds to attend the Feasts. It is separate from the tithe to proclaim the evangel to the world, which is holy unto Yahweh and to be used for that purpose.

Instead of setting aside cash as the world does in a “vacation fund” or some “Xmas savings plan,” Yahweh long ago gave us this guide as assurance that we could always attend His Festivals. Savings accounts and payroll savings plans are actually patterned after Yahweh’s ancient method of assuring that His people can attend His Feasts. The majority of Yahweh’s people plan their vacations and time off work in accordance with the Feast days.

What better way to spend a vacation than to gather with others of like faith and clearly identify with the “sign” Yahweh gives us that we might learn of Him by keeping His Sabbaths. Spiritual enrichment for the entire family is a part of His plan that we get to know and share our joy and experiences with the future kings and priests of His coming Kingdom!

Making Feast attendance a part of our lives is a maturing experience as we discipline ourselves to obey our Father and gather where He has placed His Name.

See YOU at Tabernacles!

The three “Pilgrim Feasts” are: the seven days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and the eight days at Tabernacles. Preparations such as airplane reservations, transportation, accommodations, and auto repairs should be taken care of early. Israel was commanded to eat of the tithe of their produce at the Feast. For those traveling a distance, Yahweh says,

“… bind up the money in your hand, and go unto the place which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose,” which He does through His ministers (Deut. 14:25).

Consider the words of Moses to Israel just before they were to cross over into the Promised Land, just as the saints will some day come into the Kingdom: “Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty” (Deut. 16:16).

Yahweh promises a blessing for those who obey Him. Who wouldn’t want to be blessed? Isn’t it time you came out of the world of sin and erroneous teachings in these last days and prepared for your eternal life in Yahweh? We look forward to seeing YOU with us at the 2017 fall Feasts!

Pentecost and the Renewed Covenant; pentecost; new covenant; annual feast days; holy convocation

Pentecost and the Renewed Covenant

The giving of the law at Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem both represent an important aspect of each Covenant Yahweh made with those uniquely His. Learn what the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost means for us under the New Covenant.

Yahweh has made a covenant with His people through the Annual Feast Days He or­dained throughout the year. There are seven special times we are to meet in convocation, and Pentecost espe­cially emphasizes a renewal of this covenant relationship.

Also known as the “Feast of Weeks,” Pentecost was the time when the Covenant between Yahweh and Is­rael was ratified at Sinai. In spite of having Yahweh guiding them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, Israel rebelled again and again. As a result, only the new generation crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

Change to Obedience

It was in Acts 2:1-4 that the New Covenant was made with the “called ­out ones” of the New Testament. The sacrificial system and ceremonies were set aside by Yahshua’s death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit was sent to this earth.

With the Holy Spirit’s having been placed within us through bap­tism into Yahshua the Messiah, we no longer reject His laws, but obey them from the heart. Notice the promise to saints: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more,” Hebrews 10: 16-17.

How to Count Pentecost

Pentecost, which means fiftieth in Greek, is counted from the Days of Unleavened Bread that follow the Passover, as we see from Leviticus 23:4. “And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it, “ Leviticus 23: 11.

The count toward Pentecost is from the “morrow after the Sabbath” which falls within the days of Unleavened Bread. We know this count is from the day after the weekly Saturday Sabbath (Sunday) because the Hebrew word for “Sabbath” is Shabbath (Strong’s Concordance No. 7676 “intensive from No. 7673; in­termission, i.e. {spec. THE Sab­bath}).”

Verses 15 and 16 include “Shabbath” three times, meaning the weekly Sabbath. Thus, it is clear that our count begins with the first day of the week, and we are to count until we reach 49 days, which is a Sabbath “when the week is out.” The next day is Sunday, the proper day for Pente­cost.

However, in verse 24 the Sabbath referring to the Feast of Trumpets is Shabbathown, which is not the weekly Sabbath but a High Sabbath. As we move to verse 39 we again find the Hebrew Shabbathown, which refers to the High Sabbaths of the Feast of Tabernacles, which according to Strong’s No. 7677 means a “sabbatism or special holiday.”

Leviticus 23:32 refers to the day of Atonement, which is to many the holiest day of the year. This verse uses the term “Sabbath of Sabbaths” to describe this special day of fasting.

What all this means is that the morrow after the Sabbath cannot be the day after Abib 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread (not the 16th). The 15th is Strong’s No. 7677, which is Shabbatown. Nor could it be the twenty-first day of Abib which is also Shabbatown,No. 7677.

The day to begin our count toward Pentecost according to the Hebrew text has to be the day after the weekly Sabbath, Saturday,Strong’s, No. 7676. Thus the count toward Pentecost begins on the first day of the week making our present Sunday as day one, and then ends on a Sunday, the proper day for Pentecost.

The proper day to begin the count toward Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) is the day the wavesheaf is offered. Harvesting of grain could not commence prior to the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits before Yah­weh.

John 20:17 shows that Yahshua had not yet ascended to the Father, for He told Mary not to cling to Him. Verse 19 tells us it is evening on the first day of the week and in Luke 24:39 He invites them to touch Him.

It is obvious that the Savior as­cended to the Father in the dark part of the first day of the week (Sunday), which is the first day of His accep­tance. Beginning our count here, and counting 50 days, we again end on a Sunday, which is the day for Pente­cost.

He was put to death on a Wednesday (the middle of the week), and arose late Sabbath afternoon. After sunset, the first day of the week having begun, He as­cended to the heavens to be accepted of the Father. Thus, the first day of the week following the weekly Sabbath Yah­shua was accepted by our Heavenly Father as the Firstfruits.

Rabbinical Jews Miss Mark

The Rabbinical Jews erroneously always begin their count from Abib 16 when Yahshua was still in the tomb and therefore could not have been the wavesheaf offering. Because their first and third months in the spring always have 30 days, and the second 29 days, they always observe Sivan 6 as Shavuoth (pentecost). Counting 50 days is unnecessary under that regimen, which negates the Bible’s command to count.

In keeping the Passover and Pen­tecost on the wrong days, they miss the significance of Yahshua’s death and resurrection.

Pentecost is to be observed as one would a weekly Sabbath, by gather­ing with others of like faith, and having the Bible expounded. Two loaves of bread present at the gathering signify the body of Mes­siah composed of Israelites and those gentiles called and chosen to be grafted into the Abrahamic promise, Leviticus 23:15-17.

Old and New Covenants

Ancient Israel listened to the Cov­enant Yahweh proposed, Exodus 19:3-6: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be Mine own possession from among all peoples: for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel.”

Yahweh proposed an agreement or Covenant. If Israel would sin­cerely obey His voice, then they would become a possession for Him, different and distinct from all peoples on earth. The blessing for obedience would result in their becoming a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

The Spokesman Who delivered these words at Sinai was the Dabar, the Word, the same One Who told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from on high—the Logos, the resur­rected Yahshua Messiah!

Then follows in chapter 20 the delivery of the Ten Commandments, which are the basis of all Yahweh’s law. He spoke these to the children of Israel in the presence of all the people, identifying Himself as Yahweh, Who had brought them out of Egypt.

Yahweh’s Ten Commandments have not been rescinded, but are still in effect today. His Commandments reveal His very nature, how He wishes to be worshiped, and the principles upon which our lives are to be built. He wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger. The first five deal with our relationship to Him, and the last five our relationship with our fellow man. The Fifth Com­mandment is an axial commandment, combining obedience to our spiritual Father as well as our fleshly parents.

Blood Seals the Covenant

Yahweh offered the Covenant on the Sabbath, and the next morning, Sunday, Moses arose early (Ex. 24:4- 8) and built an altar. Moses took half the blood of the offerings and sprinkled it upon the altar. He then read the book of the Covenant to the assembled Israelites, and they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken will we do, and be obedient.”

Then Moses took the other half of the blood and sprinkled it upon the people. This occurred on Sunday, the ninth day of the third month of that year when the nation of Israel ac­cepted Yahweh’s Covenant.

Moses had sprinkled the blood upon the book of the Covenant and upon the people. They agreed to keep His laws and be obedient.

Covenant Ratified on Pentecost

On the first Pentecost day Yah­weh entered into a Covenant with the children of Israel at Sinai. He ap­peared to them, spoke to them, gave them His laws, and offered to be their Elohim if they would hear and obey His voice, Exodus 19 and 20. The sprinkling of the sacrificial blood ratified the Covenant that Sunday morning.

In the New Testament, at the Pentecost following Yahshua’s res­urrection, the ekklesia or “called-out ones” entered into the New Cov­enant. This time the Holy Spirit, not animal blood, was poured out and the same laws which were given at Sinai were put into the hearts of the First­fruits of the Assembly. They entered into the New Covenant based upon better promises than offered in the Old Cov­enant.

The first Pentecost was the giving of the law to Israel. But they did not have the heart to obey, as we read in Deuteronomy 5:29: “O that there were such an heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My Com­mandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their chil­dren forever.”

Now His laws are put within the hearts of His people by the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, Moses in Deuteronomy 4:13 referred to the Ten Commandments as being the Covenant, “And He declared unto you His Covenant which He commanded you to per­form, even Ten Commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.”  Other verses referring to the Ten Commandments as the “Cov­enant” include Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9 and 11.

Laws Basic to the New Covenant

It does seem rather strange that churchianity in general teaches that the Ten Commandments are done away at the cross, and yet Moses wrote that they were the building blocks of the Covenant made with Israel. It is the same Covenant Yah­weh has established with His true followers today.

The New Covenant is summa­rized in Hebrews 10:9-18, where we learn that Yahweh had no pleasure in burnt offerings or sacrifices for sin. David said the same thing in Psalm 51:16-17. But Yahshua came and through His obe­dience took away the first Covenant and established the New Covenant.

Those who are set apart by accept­ing the sacrifice of the Savior are perfected in the Savior, verse 14. They have entered into the New Cov­enant as described in Hebrews 10:16-17: “This is the Covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh, I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

This Covenant is the very same one found in Hebrews 8:8-13 and in Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Now the Ten Commandments are put in the hearts and minds of those who are set apart. We obey because the Holy Spirit has been given to us and we no longer rebel at Yahweh’s laws as we did before our conversion. Now we seek Him in full compliance to His will.

Holy Spirit Miracle

The coming of the Holy Spirit to earth at Pentecost is one of the miracles of Yahweh. Before Yahshua’s death, the Holy Spirit was given for a special task and then typically taken away.

Note that King David prayed, “Take not Your Holy Spirit from me,” Psalm 51:11. Now our prayer is that we “quench not the Spirit,”1Thessalonians 5:19. Or that in some way we stifle the Spirit’s urging and pay no attention to Yahweh’s urging us to walk on the higher ground of dedicated obedience.

Ability Now to Keep Law

Since Yahshua’s shedding of blood upon this earth, the Holy Spirit is here. Upon baptism into Yahshua’s name, the Holy Spirit is given to those of a broken and contrite heart, and their sins are washed away. Now they walk in newness of life, follow­ing the promptings of Yahweh’s Spirit.

Pentecost is to remember the giv­ing of the law at Sinai, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to mankind so that we can keep the law and be obedient to the One we worship. The Ten Com­mandments are not done away. These laws are eternal and through obedi­ence to them, Yahweh is molding and making a people who will conform to the image of His pattern Son.

The Feast of Weeks is a holy convocation of His people when brethren gather and rejoice in the new creation we have in Yahshua the Messiah.

Today His laws are in our hearts and minds and we can hear and obey His voice. We are drawn closer to Him Who has given His life for us. We don’t have to speak in tongues to observe and keep Pentecost, for Yah­weh speaks to His people in a still, small voice.

Is He calling you today to repent and be baptized into Yahshua’s Name so that you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38?

by Donald R. Mansager

Common Traditions or Biblical Holy Days; truth or tradition?; holidays or holy days; should we observe pagan holidays

Common Traditions or Biblical Holy Days?

It’s a few weeks before December 25. You are confronted with a common inquiry everywhere you go: “Have you done your Xmas shopping yet?” People automatically assume that everyone they meet is participating in this annual spendfest.

It is also the first day of the week. In communities across our land people know that their local bank, Post Office, barbershop, repair garage, insurance agent, government, and the majority of other establishments will be closed. Everyone knows that Sunday means “nonbusiness” as usual.

Both of these– the Xmas celebration and Sunday rest– are religious celebrations or observances that have influenced the secular world. These observances are firmly embedded in our culture after centuries, even millennia, of tradition. Both are taken for granted and observed automatically by the majority in religious and secular society alike.

If someone were to challenge you to show in Scripture where specific instructions are given to cease from work on Sunday and to observe the Yuletide season, as well as other popular “religious” holidays, could you produce even one Biblical command? After all, with centuries of tradition supporting them, surely there must also be voluminous scriptural support for these observances…right? Therefore, we challenge you to find, if you can, even one of those Bible passage that tell us to honor either of these popular observances. Show just one verse that directs us to keep the first day of the week holy and to honor annually thebirthday of the Savior.

Biblical Feasts for Today and the Kingdom  

Here’s another challenge.

What if you could find in the Bible specifically named holidays that are expressly mandated by the Creator Himself to be observed by mankind forever? What if there were dozens of such commands? And suppose you could find not only these mandates in the Old Testament but also such holidays being observed in the New, even by the Savior Himself and His disciples. Don’t you think, then, that whatever holidays mentioned are important enough for serious investigation?

We’re talking not just one or two verses, but dozens exist in both Old and New testaments.

But let’s not stop there. Suppose you could find in the pages of Scripture where these same observances that are found throughout the Bible will also be kept in the future Kingdom that will come to earth during the reign of Yahshua the Messiah?

Now, which should be our desire – to keep man-made holidays without even a shred of Scriptural support, or specific observances explicitly commanded by our Creator Himself for His people today and for the future Kingdom? Mark 7:8-9 warns about following man-made traditions over the commands of Yahweh.

We find in the Scriptures that Biblical laws, including seven annual observances that are given  in great detail, will be enforced everywhere by the greatest Power in the universe – Almighty Yahweh Himself. The prophet Zechariah said this of the Millennial or Kingdom reign of our Savior Yahshua: “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, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).

The prophet Isaiah makes it clear that immediately after the return of Yahshua, after the Savior subdues the earth and establishes His Kingdom, that people will start keeping the Feasts at Jerusalem. Notice, it all begins right after Yahshua conquers this earth by the blade of His righteous sword:

“For by fire and by his sword will Yahweh plead with all flesh: and the slain of Yahweh shall be many,” Isaiah 66:16. Farther down in the passage we read, “For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory” (v. 18).

And where will they come? We continue: “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto Yahweh out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says Yahweh, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Yahweh.” (v. 20). Further we find,

“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, says Yahweh. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Isa. 66:23-24).

A Time of Shocking Realization Coming  

People everywhere will finally obey! All the scoffers, including those who strenuously resist the keeping of those “Old Testament” observances, are going to be stunned – and humbled – to find themselves preparing to go to Jerusalem to keep the Feasts in the Kingdom of Almighty Yahweh. They will contritely admit that today’s Truth Seekers were right when they kept His appointed observances. Many will be ashamed and sorry for having assailed the commands of Almighty Yahweh. The prophet Ezekiel foretold, “Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations” (Ezek. 36:31).

Many more will wish they had taken the teaching of the Feasts to heart back when keeping the Feasts and other laws was a free choice, with associated blessings, that only a handful took seriously. Had they done so their positions of authority would have been far greater in the Kingdom (Rev. 20:12-13; 22:12, 14; 1Pet. 1:17). How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh if I could just turn back time and do it all over again, I would do it so differently.” Now is the time to do it differently. Now is the time to humbly accept what Yahweh has commanded and get in line with His ways.

And what about those who stubbornly refuse to obey and keep His Feasts even during the Millennial rule of Yahshua? The prophet Zechariah warns:  “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zech. 14:17, 19). Plague! One will either keep the true seventh-day Sabbath and the Feasts of Leviticus 23 or one will suffer the vengeance of Yahweh. Those who stubbornly resist will also feel the sting of the rod of iron administered by those who rule with Yahshua, as we have seen.

A Planet Once Again to Be in Harmony with Scripture

In keeping the Feasts, which revolve around the agricultural harvest seasons, we rejoice in the abundance of Yahweh’s blessings. In the Feasts we find a parallel pointing to the “harvest” of human souls for the Kingdom.

Anyone refusing to come before Yahweh in observance of these days during the Millennial reign will suffer just the opposite – starvation resulting from drought.

The seven annual Feast days put into perspective the whole plan of redemption.  The entire world will be in harmony with Yahweh once more. All of nature will return to its Edenic accord and beauty. People of the earth will once again submit to their Creator in a way not seen since Adam and Eve lived and obeyed in paradise before their rebellion.

It will be His way or no way. None of our excuses will be acceptable either then or now. No questioning. No compromising. No promises of “some other time” or “maybe next year.”

Yahweh will accept nothing short of immediate, complete obedience from everyone. One will either submit or suffer the wrath of the Mighty One of the universe!

The important question is, what are you doing about it now, knowing that the Biblical holy days will soon be enforced around the globe? Do you desire to be a priest in that Kingdom reign, or receive no rain as Yahweh forces all people on earth to learn of His ways?

These Days Not Limited to Jews

Those who underestimate the Bible’s clear command to keep the seven annual observances, as well as the weekly Sabbath, may counter the Bible’s mandate with the rationale, “I’m not a Jew. Those observances are only for Jews.”

First, realize that the Feast days were given to Moses on Mount Sinai to pass on to all Israel. The beginning of the Book of Leviticus, along with the last verse, reveals that Moses was given all the law to pass on ultimately to all people, not just the Ten Commandments to Jews.

A common mistake is in not realizing that Israel was composed of 12 tribes, only one of those tribes was known as the Jews– the tribe of Judah. The 11 other tribes were not Jews, but rather Hebrews who were collectively known as Israel. All 12 tribes stood at the base of Mt. Sinai. Yahweh’s laws were given to them all, not just to the tribe of Judah. These statutes applied to the entire 12-tribed nation of Israel.

Scripture makes it clear that we are to become spiritual Israelites. That means we do what Israel did and live by the same laws Israel did. Paul wrote, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of Yahweh, and the promises” (Rom. 9:4).

Why is this necessary? Because the covenant was made with all of Israel. What most fail to understand is that Yahweh is still working with and through Israel. The covenant and its promises were not given to any other group of people but Israel. Others can have a part in the promises only by special adoption through repentance and immersion into Yahshua’s saving Name.

Yahshua’s disciples understood this fact. Just before His ascension they approached Him and asked, “Master, will you at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

They did not comprehend His timetable, but they did understand that He was working with those known as Israel. Others who seek a part in the salvation promise must become spiritual Israelites (Rom. 9 and 11) and abide by the same covenant agreement Israel made with Yahweh. That agreement included obedience to all of Yahweh’s laws given at Sinai – including the Ten Commandments and Feast days.

Whether to keep the Feasts is a choice set before each of us now. Today it is our decision. Tomorrow it will be Yahweh’s rod of iron that will convince the unwilling or the procrastinator to follow Him. Don’t you prefer to please the One you worship now and not wait for the rod of correction to make the choice for you? Wouldn’t you rather have His blessings today, including a position in the Kingdom based on your willing obedience?

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Salvation Unveiled – Through the Annual Feasts!

Comparing Yahweh’s Feast days to the world’s holidays is, to use a phrase of Mark Twain, like comparing lightning to the lightning bug. The differences are incalculable.

The Biblical days commanded by the Father for His children are filled with profound meaning, prophetic truth, and great spiritual impact. As Yahweh’s people observe each consecutive Feast commanded in Leviticus 23, they learn yet another key facet of His great salvation plan.

Biblical Feasts are an amazing parallel to the spiritual journey we make as we move away from the world’s ways and follow the path of Scriptural truth.

Our journey begins with the first commanded observance of the year, Passover. At the Passover we learn about and accept the blood of Yahshua that was shed to pay the penalty for our sins. Sin, defined simply and clearly as the breaking of Yahweh’s laws (1John 3:4), will keep us from the Kingdom unless the automatic death penalty, which sin generates, is paid. That penalty was paid by the death of Yahshua at the Passover.

In the Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows we examine our beliefs and doctrines (one meaning of leaven) and see whether they align with Scripture. At the same time we remove the error in our understanding and the behavior that offends, like falsity, hypocrisy and that which leads to sin. All the while we take in unleavened bread, signifying sincerity and truth.

The spiritual picture that is emerging thus far from our observances of Yahweh’s days is of a life of sin forgiven through Passover blood. Following that forgiveness we begin living a life of regeneration through proactive and deliberate decisions to eradicate from our lives all that offends Yahweh. We change our lives and seek His will and direction. This is found in the lessons of Unleavened Bread.

But exactly what is it that Yahweh dislikes in the behavior of the carnal man? Ask the average person this question and he may say that Yahweh hates evil or wickedness. That is true, but how do we know what evil and wickedness are? To overcome them we need to understand exactly what it is that we are overcoming. It is through His law that we discover what He hates. Paul said Yahweh’s law gives us the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20. Without it we would be knocking around blindly in the dark.

Our heartfelt desire is to please Him. That is done by keeping His laws. He inspired Paul to write: “Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives?…Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:1, 12).

At the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost Yahweh codified His laws for Israel and for us. Chronologically, it was at the time of this Feast that Israel in their wilderness trek would have come to Mt. Sinai where Moses received the commandments and other laws in written form. We know that the laws were in effect from creation, as even Abraham was obedient to them, Genesis 26:5.

Realizing that it is near impossible for the natural human to obey Him, Yahweh in His wisdom – at this very Feast – provided His Spirit to the early Assembly of True Worshipers gathered to observe the Feast of Weeks  (Acts 2).  Through the strength of His Spirit we are able to obey our Father: “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them,” Ezekiel 36:27.

Yahweh’s Spirit made the New Covenant possible. No longer were Yahweh’s laws to be obeyed in only the physical realm. Now the spiritual intent would be emphasized. Obedience would be driven by an inner compulsion from the heart, which is what Yahweh wanted all along, even for Israel, Deuteronomy 5:29. Yahshua promised that the Spirit would be “in” His followers, not just “with” them. The Spirit is now given at baptism, Acts 2:38.

In the Old Testament Yahweh’s Spirit was given by limited measure (John 3:34) and only to certain people in order to accomplish a particular task. Those in the Old Testament who had the Spirit upon them or were influenced by it included: Joseph (Gen. 41:38); Bazaleel (Ex. 31:1-6); Moses (Num. 11:17); the seventy elders (Num. 11:25-29); Balaam (Num. 24:2); Othniel (Jud. 3:10); Samson (Judg. 14:19; 15:14); Azariah (2Chron. 15:1); David (Ps. 51); and the prophets (2Pet. 1:21).

With the coming of the Feast of Weeks in Acts 2, the Spirit is now available to all who obey Yahweh (Acts 5:32) as an enduring gift. This active force, shared by both Yahweh and His Son Yahshua, is now working in the obedient. Significantly, the resurrection will be by the power of this same Spirit, and those saints who have the Spirit living within will rise from the dead at Yahshua’s return,Romans 8:11.

The Feast of Weeks always falls on a Sunday because it is counted seven weeks and a day (Pentecost means fiftieth) from the weekly Sabbath that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Today’s Jewish calendar has been manipulated since the days of Hillel II in the 4th century, and it does not correctly count Pentecost from the weekly Sabbath as the Word tells us in Levitcus 23:15-16. Therefore, the feast always falls on Sivan 6 in the Jewish calendar, making the command to count the days to Pentecost unnecessary.

The rest of the annual Feasts that come in the seventh month are prophetic of Yahshua’s return (Trumpets) and the setting up of His Kingdom on earth (Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Great Day of the Feast). Observing the Feasts is a journey in which we give up the ways of the world to follow the way laid down for us in Scripture.

May you also find the blessings and understanding that come with keeping the commanded days of the Word rather than the empty, man-made days of the world.