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.

The Amazing Biblical Feasts

Refreshing autumn breezes bring cool, crisp days and the invigorating promise of another wonderful Feast of Tabernacles. Families from around the world are gathering enough belongings for an eight-day stay in the Golden City of Jerusalem, where Yahshua the Messiah now reigns. Many are already en route. Vast crowds are coursing along roadways, singing praises and anticipating the coming days with unspeakable joy.

The atmosphere is much like jubilant Israel leaving Egypt to keep a Feast for Yahweh (Ex. 5:1).

The “old days” of the 21st century, when obedient celebrators numbered only in the few thousands, pale in comparison. Those keeping the Feasts back before the Kingdom came to earth could never have fully appreciated this breathtaking drama — everyone from across the planet obediently going in an unending stream to Jerusalem!

Finally, after millennia of ignorance, persistent resistance, tired old excuses, procrastination and indecision, people everywhere are traveling to the place where Yahweh commands all people to be in this seventh Biblical month. They are coming to keep the great Feast of Tabernacles, the highlight celebration of the year.

Their happiness is indescribable! And why shouldn’t they be joyful? At long last, an entire world is being blessed of Yahweh for submitting to His laws and commands. After millennia of human rebellion, suffering and misery, universal gladness and peace reign under the righteous law of the King of the universe! Man’s hollow holidays are no more. Now all worship will be Yahweh’s way.

If you think this is some fantasy from the imagination of some movie script writer, you had best think again.

Human Misrule Soon Ending

What you have just read is as real as tomorrow – and nearly as close. It is a description of the millennial Kingdom of Yahweh come to earth. Thousands of years of human chaos and injustice will have ended. Finally the earth will be cleansed of the rebellion and sin that began in the Garden of Eden and continued through 6,000 years of misery and pain.

In the Kingdom ruled by Yahshua, men will no longer have the opportunity to ruin their lives and the lives of others through defiance of the Creator and His laws. Yahweh will at last take full control, and everyone will obey Him!

In the first year of Yahshua’s millennial reign, in the seventh month, people from around the world will fulfill what the prophets of old foretold. The scene will be the same everywhere – one dwelling after another will be vacant for eight days while residents of cities everywhere leave home for the annual Feasts.

Miraculously for the travelers, the typical problems and hindrances will disappear as quickly as they crop up. Priestly guides will assist them along their way to the great city to worship the King, Yahweh of Hosts. This kingdom of righteous priests will be composed of True Worshipers who were obedient to Yahweh in our day, before Yahshua returned, and were taken up in the first resurrection when Yahshua came to earth to gather His elect.

Now in the thousand-year reign, they assist Yahshua the Messiah in governing the nations of the earth. They teach how to obey the laws and statutes of Yahweh, just as they themselves had to learn back in a time when few cared about seriously following the Scriptures in their lives. This was a promise foretold in Revelation 2:26-27: “And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Isaiah gives us a glimpse of these resurrected individuals serving as Kingdom priests: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This the way, walk you in it,’ when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left,” 30:21. You can be one of those teachers if you are obedient now.

Feast Prophecies Fulfilled

Biblical laws, including the Feasts, will be enforced everywhere by the greatest Power in the universe – Yahweh Himself.

Zechariah prophesied, “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, once He subdues the earth and establishes His Kingdom, that people will start keeping the Feasts at Jerusalem. Everyone will either comply or die: “For by fire and by his sword will Yahweh plead with all flesh: and the slain of Yahweh shall be many,” Isaiah 66:16.

Further 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 go? Isaiah continues: “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” (verse 20).

This scene will be replayed many times throughout the year as one by one each of the annual observances of Leviticus 23 will be faithfully followed by people around the world. “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.”

Those who rebelled against Yahweh and refused to keep His Feasts will have their own infamous epitaph: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases 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).

All the scoffers, including those who today strenuously resist the keeping of so-called “Jewish” Feasts, are going to be either humbled or eliminated. It is their choice. Millions will be forced to admit that Yahweh’s people were right when they kept His appointed days. Many will be ashamed of themselves for once ridiculing the ways of Yahweh and dismissing His annual Feasts.

Cast Off the Prophetic Blinders

Remarkably, a key fact usually overlooked is that Yahweh’s Feasts prophetically foreshadow His plan of salvation for mankind! Paul in Colossians 2:16 explains the prophetic importance of these times: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah [or, as it should read, “but the body of Messiah”].

Along with some of the other Old Testament commandments, Paul is referring here to Yahweh’s days of worship, like the Sabbath and Feasts. Before we delve into the prophetic message, it is important that we dispel a common misconception. Many interpret Paul as saying here that we are no longer obligated to observe these days. In other words, we are not to be judged on our freedom from these old and archaic commandments.

Is this the message Paul is conveying? Not in the least. He says that we are not to allow those outside the body of Messiah, those not in the assembly, to judge us on the worship of our Father in Heaven. Only the Body of Messiah is to judge, Paul says, because they themselves honor these days. They have the right and permission to correct others in the way of their observance.

In verse 17 we also find Paul confirming that these days are a shadow of things to come. What does he mean? He’s referring to the prophetic nature of Yahweh’s Worship. He understood that these days were more than times of worship; that they were also of prophetic value. As we will discover, each of these times prophetically foreshadow a special event in our Father’s plan of salvation for mankind.

Redemption through Blood

Let us examine each of the seven annual observances that Yahweh calls “My Feasts,” Leviticus 23:2.

The first annual observance that we find in the Word illustrates Yahweh’s redemption. Leviticus 23:5 reads, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s Passover.”

The word “even” comes from the Hebrew ereb and means dusk or sundown. In Biblical times the day began at sunset. We find that the Passover is to be kept at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month.

The name of this first month is “Abib.” In the Hebrew language this word literally means, “young ears of grain” and was the month that began the barley harvest.

On this night the death angel went through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn within those homes that did not apply the blood. Even in the Old Testament it was through the blood that redemption was found. It was on this night that Israel won their freedom from slavery.

What about the New Testament? What symbolism do we find there for the Passover? In 1Corinthians 5:7 the Apostle Paul sheds light on the meaning of this very special time: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us:”

Paul is describing here the Passover and the role that the Messiah played in its fulfillment. Through his death he fulfilled the Passover. Today He represents the Passover lamb found in the Old Testament.

In John 1:29, John the Baptist stated, “Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The main purpose for Yahshua’s coming to earth was to shed his blood for the sins of mankind. He also came to set an example for us to follow, but if not for his sacrifice none of us would have the opportunity we have now.

Only through our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, do we find forgiveness and a complete washing away of our sins. If not for his death we would have no atonement and no salvation and would be alienated from our Father in Heaven. Only through our Savior’s death are we reconciled to our Father. This was again the main focus and reason for the Passover – it was had the shedding of blood for the redemption of His people.

Yahshua’s Resurrection

The Feast that directly follows the Passover is Unleavened Bread: “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein,” Leviticus 23:6-8.

This Feast lasts seven-days and includes holy gatherings on the first and last day. The phrase “holy convocation” comes from the Hebrew qodesh miqra and refers to a sacred or called-out meeting. Based on verse 2, this meeting belongs to the one who established these days in the beginning, and He is Yahweh, our Father in heaven.

The Israelites began traveling out of Egypt on the first day of this Feast. Scripture says that they left Rameses on the 15th day of the first month. While they had won their freedom on the night of the Passover, they physically departed on the first day of this Feast.

We are commanded to abstain from leavening or yeast during this time. The Israelites left Egypt in haste and were unable to leaven their dough. Accordingly, we are to abstain from leavening.

Leavening often represents wickedness, malice, false beliefs, hypocrisy, corrupt politics, and sin. When Israel left Egypt, they left the sin of Egypt and the world behind.

This appointed observance also holds agricultural significance. It was during this Feast that Israel would offer the wave sheaf or firstfruits of the barley harvest to Yahweh. This wave sheaf prophetically points to Yahshua the Messiah. In 1Corinthians 15:20-22Paul explains: “But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.”

Paul states here that the Messiah represents the first fruits of those resurrected. Our Savior was the first among mankind to be resurrected to eternal life. So through his resurrection the Messiah fulfilled the firstfruits sacrifice that was offered during this Feast.

Do you see how the Old and New Testament harmonize? The concept of the Old Testament as a dead book could not be further from the Truth. Ask yourself, what Bible did the Messiah and his Apostles use? To the surprise of many, it wasn’t the New Testament; Yahshua and his Apostles used the Old Testament as their source for truth. The New Testament wasn’t canonized until 325 CE. This means that there was no official New Testament until 300 years after the Messiah. It was not even written until after Yahshua was resurrected.

What else do we learn from Paul? He says again in verse 22, “For in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.” Only through Yahshua the Messiah do we find everlasting life. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation! This is a reference to His Second Advent, when He returns to establish his Father’s Kingdom here on earth. Understand that all of this was foreshadowed by the firstfruits that were offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As with the Passover, this Feast also has prophetic meaning in the New Testament

The Giving of the Law and Spirit

The next Feast to discover is the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost: “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh…And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations,” Leviticus 23:15-16, 21.

To establish this Feast, Israel was to count seven complete Sabbaths. This count began on the morrow of the weekly Sabbath that fell during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, meaning a Sunday start of the count. This is where the Jews derive the name Shavuot, which in the Hebrew language means weeks. We also see that this day is a holy convocation.

This special appointment is also tied to agriculture; it represents the time of the wheat harvest. Because wheat had more value than barley, in some ways this was a greater harvest than the previous barley reaping. We also know that on this day in the Old Testament that they prepared two leavened loaves that were presented or waved before Yahweh as a firstfruits offering.

Many speculate as to what these loaves symbolized. Some maintain that they signify the Old and New testaments; others believe that they typify Jew and gentle. It’s also possible that they correspond to the giving of the Law in the Old Testament and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the New. How do we know that the Law was given on this day in the Old Testament? We don’t have absolute proof, but what we do know is this: (1) according to Rabbinic belief the Law was delivered on this day and (2) the Bible does show that Israel was at Mount Sinai during this time, Exodus 19:1.

Assuming that the Law was given on the Feast of weeks, something else of significance occurred in the New Testament. Acts 2:1-4tells us that the Holy Spirit was poured out on this day. It reads, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The Apostles were obediently observing the day of Pentecost or as we find in the Old Testament, the Feast of Weeks. A key question is, why were they still observing an Old Testament Feast Day, especially after the Messiah’s death? Aren’t we told that the Feasts are no longer necessary, that they are old and archaic and of no value in the New Testament?

On the contrary. These days that Yahweh our Father in heaven commanded in the Old Testament are of as much value today as they were then. The disciples were there to worship Yahweh in one accord on His Feast Day according to His command.

We see here Yahweh poured out His Holy Spirit upon those gathered. Those who were present received the gift of tongues. “Tongues” comes from the Greek glossa and means “a known language.” This word refers to an actual, known language.

We now learn that the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost foreshowed the outpouring of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit. Why would our Father select an Old Testament Feast during which to provide this heavenly gift? The fact that He poured out His Spirit on this day shows unequivocally that these times still have meaning and purpose in the New Testament.

Yahshua’s Glorious Return

The next Feast we find in the word is the Feast of Trumpets: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:24-25.

Notice that this Feast falls on the first day of the seventh month. Why is this important? The Biblical month begins with the crescent moon, which while not a Sabbath or high day, is a time of fellowship and worship. Now the seventh month is also a special time since it holds four of the seven Holy Days. So not only does this Feast coincide with the new moon, but also ushers in one of the most important months of the Biblical year.

How was this day observed in the Old Testament? First, it was a day of blowing of trumpets. Second, it was a holy convocation. And third, it was a day on which Israel was to abstain from work.

In the New Testament this observance foreshadows one of greatest end-time events; the Second Coming of Yahshua the Messiah and the first resurrection. Paul in 1Thessalonians 4:15-18 offers prophetic insight into this event:

“For this we say unto you by the word of Yahweh, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Master shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Master himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Master. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Our Savior will first descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of Elohim. The trumpet is symbolic of this Feast. So most likely Yahshua’s second advent will take place on the Feast of Trumpets.

As Yahshua descends, the dead in Messiah will rise to meet him in the clouds. After that those who are yet alive will be changed to spirit essence and will meet the Messiah in the air and forever be with Him. Imagine this day happening in our lifetime! Imagine being changed from flesh to spirit? Can you fathom being with our Savior forever? This is the promise that this day foreshadows.

Paul explains this transformation in more detail: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,” 1Corinthians 15:51-53.

Paul mentions a trumpet here in connection with Yahshua’s coming and the resurrection of the saints. In fact, he refers to the last trumpet, likely symbolizing this Feast.

At this time the believer will be changed instantaneously. They will go from corruptible flesh to incorruptible spirit essence; from mortal to immortal. As we find in the Greek, the chosen will receive unending existence in a state of deathlessness.

This promise of Yahshua’s coming and of the resurrection is a prophetic foreshadowing of this Feast and one reason that this time is so important to understand and observe.

Atonement and Removal of Sin

The Day of Atonement follows Trumpets. This day is special for many reasons; notwithstanding the fact that Israel found forgiveness from their sins on this day.

Leviticus 16:29-30 states: “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before Yahweh.”

The Day of Atonement, or as it is called in Hebrew, Yom Kippur, is observed on the 10th day of the 7th month. Israel was explicitly commanded to afflict their souls by fasting on this day. A scriptural fast is to abstain from both food and drink to show complete honor and devotion to the One we worship.

On this day Israel also found atonement or cleansing from their sins. “Atonement” comes from the Hebrew kaphar and is a primitive root meaning “to cover.” From the New Testament we find that the sacrificial system in the Old was only able to cover sin — it could not wash away or completely remove sin.

While many believe that this day foreshadows Yahshua’s death and our atonement, it possibly foreshadows something entirely different. The challenge with Yom Kippur symbolizing Yahshua’s death is that it was on the Passover that Yahshua died and shed His blood for mankind. In other words, this prophetic fulfillment occurred with the Passover.

This being the case, reason dictates that this Feast must foreshadow something other than Yahshua’s death.

On this observance in the Old Testament we read that Israel took a scapegoat and laid upon it all the sins of Israel. What’s intriguing about this scapegoat is that it wasn’t sacrificed, like the Messiah in the New Testament. Instead, a fit man was to take the scapegoat into the wilderness, removing it from the camp. This scapegoat might foreshadow Satan the Devil. In the apocalypse of John, or more correctly Yahshua, we find that Satan will be cast into a bottomless pit for the duration of the one-thousand year millennial Kingdom.

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season,” Revelation 20:1-3.

Just as a fit man took the scapegoat into the wilderness, here a mighty angel will cast Satan into a bottomless pit where he will remain for the duration of the 1000-year millennial Kingdom. This prophetically seems to correspond to what we find with the Old Testament scapegoat. This also chronologically occurs after the return of Yahshua the Messiah, likely occurring on the Feast of Trumpets.

In essence, the scapegoat in the Old Testament prophetically foreshadows the removal of Satan from mankind at Yahshua’s Second Coming. Once Satan is bound the millennial Kingdom begins, which is symbolized by the Feast of Tabernacles.

Taste of the Kingdom

We find a description of this appointed time in Leviticus 23:34-35, 41-43: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein…And you shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.”

This Feast is similar to the Feast of Unleavened Bread; it too is seven days in duration. It begins on the 15th day of the 7th month and includes a holy convocation on the first day. During this time we are commanded to stay in booths, a word derived from the Hebrew sukkah meaning a temporary dwelling. If you are able to physically travel, staying at home during this feast is not an option.

This special appointment represents the one-thousand year span in which our Savior will reign over the earth with those from the first resurrection. During this time Yahweh’s commandments will govern this world, meaning all of mankind. The main purpose of the coming kingdom will be to restore righteousness to the earth and to prepare it for the day our Father Yahweh Himself will establish His throne at the golden city, New Jerusalem.

In the Old Testament we find a prophecy about this kingdom. “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. 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,” Micah 4:1-3.

In Scripture “mountain” represents a Kingdom or nation. Here Yahweh’s kingdom will be established or exalted above all other kingdoms of the world. His commandments will also go out to all nations. Unlike today, Yahweh’s Word will be the guiding light and standard of morality. No longer will man dictate what is moral or not moral, what is proper or not, what is politically correct or not. Instead Yahweh’s Word will be that measure. His laws will be the constitution of the world. Since Yahweh’s laws will govern everywhere in the future, should we not be obeying them now? Especially since we know that the Messiah and His Apostles also observed and kept them in the New Testament.

We also learn here that men will no longer engage in war. Instead new uses will be found for weapons of war. After this, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree. Not only will Yahweh’s laws finally be observed on this earth, but we also find that mankind will go back to an agricultural life, similar to the Garden of Eden.

In the kingdom, life will change drastically. No longer will the world be plagued by widespread immorality, like abortion; no longer will we see the atrocities of war; and no longer will man be free to live a life of sin without immediate consequences.

Final Judgment

The remaining Feast the Bible calls the Eighth Day or the Last Great Day, is described in Leviticus 23:36: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”

This Feast immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. Possibly its most significant aspect is marking the end of Yahweh’s days of worship. This Feast likely foreshadows the last and final judgment of mankind. As the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes Yahshua’s Second Coming and the first resurrection, the Last Great Day foreshadows the final judgment of man and the redemption of the faithful.

John on the island of Patmos provides a prophecy of this final judgment: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Elohim; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:11-15.

This time is known as the Great White Throne Judgment and the second death and will be final for the unrepentant. Except for those in the first resurrection, which Scripture declares will be exempt (Rev. 20:3), all of mankind will stand before the great judgment seat?

What will be the standard by which Yahshua will judge mankind? Verse 12 says that all will be judged based on their works. Many believe that because of Yahweh’s grace that we shouldn’t be concerned about works. Many even view works as bad, being a form of legalism. Our views and opinions must conform to Scripture, however. Scripture says that all mankind will be judged based on their works, and how they lived here on earth. The standard will be the Scriptures and how they measured up. Yahweh gave His Scriptures to live by and will judge on how closely we followed them.

Scores of the Chagrined and Brokenhearted

Millions will wish they had taken the teaching of the Feasts seriously back when keeping the Biblical observances and obeying the other laws was a free choice that relatively few took to heart. Had they done so, their blessings would have been far greater at their resurrection. They could have been among the priests ruling in Yahshua’s Kingdom.

Ezekiel’s prophecy about those who rebelliously serve their own lusts and desires stood as a Biblical warning for thousands of years: “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).

And what about those who perhaps in ignorance do not obey the Feast command in the Millennial rule of Yahshua? The prophet Zechariah says: “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” (Zech. 14:17). Famine! Death! One will either keep the Feasts of Leviticus 23 or one will suffer awful plague.

In keeping the Feasts, which revolve around the harvest seasons, we rejoice in the abundance of the earth’s produce. Anyone refusing to do so in the Millennial reign will suffer just the opposite – starvation resulting from drought. Those who stubbornly resist will also feel the sting of the rod of iron administered by those who have been resurrected to priesthood and who rule under Yahshua, as we have seen.

It’s Your Choice Now

The entire planet will be in harmony with Yahweh once more, as it started out in the Garden of Eden. All of nature will return to an Edenic harmony and consequent beauty as earth’s people’s submit to their Creator in a way that hasn’t been seen since Adam and Eve before their rebellion.

It will be His way or no way. No excuses. No questioning. No compromising. No promises of “some other time, I’m too busy right now” when the Feasts roll around. No more “maybe next year when I’m ready.” 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! This tells us volumes about how important He views His commanded observances.

What would you do in that day? Resist…or humbly comply? The important question is, what are you doing NOW, knowing that Yahweh’s Feasts are so imperative that they will soon be enforced around the world? Do you want to be in that Kingdom reign, or suffer from no rain as you are forced to learn Yahweh’s ways at that time?

‘But I’m Not Jewish’

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

First, realize that the Feast days were given to Moses on Mount Sinai to pass on to Israel (see the Book of Leviticus, along with the last verse, which reveals that Moses was given all the law, not just the Ten Commandments on Sinai). Israel was composed of 12 tribes, only one of which was known as the Jews, the tribe of Judah. The 11 other tribes were not Jews, but Hebrews, who were collectively known as Israel. All 12 tribes stood at the base of Mt. Sinai to receive Yahweh’s laws and agreed to His covenant,Exodus 19:1, 5-6. Therefore, the requirement was given to more than the Jews. The entire nation of Israel received the statutes and judgments and the Jews were just a fraction of the 12-tribed Israelite nation.

The Scriptures make 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?” Then he answers his own question, “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).

The original covenant was made with Israel and no one but Israel. What most fail to understand is that Yahweh is still working with and through Israel. Others have a part in the promises only by special adoption, as Paul reminds us.

Yahshua’s disciples clearly 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 want a part in the salvation promise must become spiritual Israelites (Rom. 9 and11) and abide by the same covenant agreement Yahweh made with Israel. That agreement included obedience to all of Yahweh’s laws given at Sinai – including the Ten Commandments and Feast days.

Yahweh’s Worship, Yahweh’s Days

Yahshua never changed the core terms of the covenant agreement with Israel when He came to earth. He said He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, Matthew 5:17. Fulfill means to meet the law’s requirements. What Yahshua did was to open the way for those outside of Israel to come into the same promise by taking hold of the same covenant Yahweh made with Israel – now it’s a RENEWED covenant commonly known as the “New Testament.” The basic terms of that covenant are still the same: obedience to His laws (see Hebrews 8, Romans 7:1, Acts 24:14).

Another reason that the argument, “They’re Jewish Feasts,” falls flat is found in many passages, including Leviticus 23:2: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” This verse in the law tells us exactly whose Feasts they really are: the Feasts of Almighty Yahweh.

Prior to listing each of the seven annual appointments, Yahweh declared this important introduction, “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons” (Lev. 23:4). If these Feasts are just for Jews, then in the Millennial Kingdom only Jews will be required to observe them. But we have seen that in the Kingdom the whole world will be keeping them at their appointed times.

After Moses finished cataloging the Feasts in Leviticus 23, we find this: “And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of Yahweh” (v. 44). Notice that Moses spoke to all of Israel, not just to the Jews, and he declared to them the “Feasts of Yahweh,” not the “Feasts of the Jews.”

Only later in the New Testament did they begin to be referred to as Feasts of the Jews because the Jews were the one Israelite tribe still faithful in keeping them. The rest of the Israelites were derelict, being scattered throughout other nations and taking up heathen holidays, as we find in James 1:1; 1Peter 1:1, and John 7:35.

To keep the Feasts or not to keep them — that is the choice set before each of us today. It is our decision, and the appropriate consequences will follow our choice. Bear in mind that when Yahshua returns, ALL will comply or face plague (Zech.14:16-19). May you make the right choice, pleasing your Father in heaven and gaining His favor for the blessings of an eternity.

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Yahweh's Feasts Are Forever and For All; biblical holy days; biblical feast days; keeping the bible feasts; the feasts in the bible; are the feasts forever?

Yahweh’s Feasts Are Forever and for All

Worship of the true Father Yahweh is a worship of action.

One of the lessons learned by keeping Yahweh’s holy days and Feasts is the desire to choose His ways over own. Taking up His observances and doing them is a clear indication of our heart’s desire to follow Him in obedience. We follow Him by what we do, far more than by what we say.

We can talk the most convincing talk, but unless our words translate into active obedience, it is all just empty rhetoric. The Apostle Paul calls words without action “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.” The actual keeping of Yahweh’s Feasts is the test of our sincerity.

The Passover demands that we take a personal assessment of our lives prior to partaking of the emblems. Through this memorial we accept the blood of Yahshua to cleanse our sin. But taking part in the memorial also means that we root out all that offends in our lives, which is reinforced by the removal of leaven for the Feast of Unleavened that follows.

There may be no real need to participate in the Passover year after year if our sinful behavior stopped after the first time we kept it. Sadly, that is not the way of human nature. Because we still fall short, Yahweh has provided seven yearly avenues for returning to and drawing closer to Him again — His Moedim or days set apart.

Nearly two months before the Old Covenant was ratified and before he scaled Mt. Sinai to receive the codified law from Yahweh, Moses was instructed about Passover and the first Feast, Unleavened Bread.

Yahweh said, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep [it] a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever,” Exodus 12:14.

We learn first of all that it is a “feast to Yahweh.” Later, in Leviticus, Yahweh commanded Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts,” 23:2. He leaves no doubt that these observances belong to Him, not just to Jews or to any particular group of people. It didn’t matter whether you were an Israelite or a stranger, you were required to observe these days set apart by Yahweh Himself, Exodus 12:19.

There are five classes of law in the Scriptures: spiritual; commercial-civil; ceremonial-ritual; judicial-criminal; and natural. The Feasts are part of the spiritual law, just like the Ten Commandments. They reveal the spiritual attributes of Yahweh and help produce a spiritual change in us when we observe them in true sincerity.

The change in the law that many like to cite came about in the ceremonial-ritual law, not in the spiritual law. The Book of Hebrews speaks of the temporary nature of animal sacrifices and other ritual: “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation” (Heb. 9:9-10).

Ritualistic ordinances were added to the law obligation because of Israel’s continued transgression (Gal. 3:19). Yahshua now intercedes for us as High Priest. His blood is the only effective remedy for sin. This is the change in the law that the Scriptures speak of. Nothing in the Bible affects or alters our responsibility to keep the spiritual law and the Feast days.

Numerous New Testament examples show where people were intending to keep the Feasts, were keeping them, and would keep them again the in Kingdom. Those passages include: Luke 2:42; John 5:1; 7:2, 10, 14; 12:20; Matthew 26:2, 17, 29; Acts 18:21; and1Corinthians 5:8.

Why do we see Yahweh’s own Son and His people still observing the Feasts in the New Testament? For one reason, in no fewer than four times in Leviticus 23, Yahweh declares the Feasts “a statute forever.”

Even in the coming Kingdom we find that people everywhere will be obedient: “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,” Isaiah 66:23.

And what if they refuse, as many do today? “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. 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,” Zechariah 14:16-18.

Yahshua Himself promised to keep the Passover in the future Kingdom with His disciples, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18,30. Everyone, including Yahshua, will be keeping the Feasts when the Kingdom comes to earth. So why would we not be keeping them right now?

May each of us be like the Apostle Paul when he said clearly and with total resolve, “I must by all means keep this Feast!”

biblical feasts; Why I Keep the Biblical Feasts; why keep the biblical feasts; arn't the feasts done away with?; why you should keep the feast days; feast days vs holidays

Why I keep the Biblical Feasts

Why I Keep the Biblical FeastsJust Old Testament observances for ancient Israel? Hardly. The annual Feasts of Yahweh are the very command of a righteous Father to His very people in ALL generations. Here’s why.    

A young man once called us with a question: “Why do you teach that we must keep the Old Testament Feasts? Weren’t they done away, along with the rest of the laws like sacrifices and other rituals?”

His question was not new. Many have the mistaken belief that what is found in the Old Testament is old and dead and faded away. This common misunderstanding completely loses sight of the Covenant Yahweh made with Israel–and still makes with His people– today’s spiritual Israel.

The Old Testament’s promises and expectations are a part of the overall plan of Yahweh, as are those of the New. There are not two different and separate religious requirements: one for Jews and the other for us. John tells us, “…Scripture cannot be broken” (10:35).

The Feasts, similarly, are not just found in the Old Testament. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Several false conclusions are continually drawn concerning the Feast Days:

  • The Feasts were only for ancient Israel.
  • The Feasts are a part of an old, dead ritualistic law.
  • The Feasts were nailed to the torture stake along with all the other laws Yahshua abolished.

Let’s look at each of these allegations one at a time.

Whose Feasts Are They?

Nearly two months before the Old Covenant was ratified and before he scaled Mount Sinai to receive the codified law from Yahweh, Moses was instructed about Passover and the first Feast, Unleavened Bread. Yahweh told Him, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep [it] a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Ex. 12:14).

We learn first of all that it is a Feast “to Yahweh,” Later in Leviticus, a book that details each of the seven annual Feast observances, Yahweh commands Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts” (Lev. 23:2).

He leaves us with no doubt as to whom these observances belong. They are Yahweh’s, not Israel’s and not Feasts just for Jews.

Lest we wonder whether all the Feasts are Yahweh’s or just some of them, He details each one for us in Leviticus 23:5-43. But carefully note how He prefaces the feasts He is about to list (verse 4):

“These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons” (Lev. 23:4). All the Feasts belong to Yahweh.

At the end of the chapter, after Yahweh finished detailing each of the seven observances, we read, “And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of Yahweh” (Lev. 23:44).

It didn’t matter whether you were an Israelite or a stranger, you were required to observe these days. Notice what Yahweh says about the first of the Feasts, Unleavened Bread: “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land” (Ex. 12:19).

These special annual times belong to Yahweh and are given to those who seek to know Him and take hold of His promise–no matter which they are. We’ll now look at the next common argument.

Ritual or Spiritual Law?

“Do you mean you keep the ritual law that leads to so much bondage?” one inquirer asked concerning Feast observance. The mistaken assumption many make is in thinking that all law in the Bible is the same. It is not. In fact, we find five different kinds of law in Scriptures:

  • Spiritual law
  • Commercial-civil law
  • Ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial law
  • Judicial-criminal law
  • Natural law

The Feasts fall into the category of spiritual law, just as the Ten Commandments (which also are judicial). They reveal the spiritual attributes of Yahweh and they transform us spiritually to be more like Yahshua when we observe them.

The change in the law that many mistakenly believe refers to the spiritual and moral law came about in the ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial law. Hebrews 9:9-12 speaks of that change:

“Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Messiah being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

These ritualistic ordinances had been added to the law obligation because of Israel’s continued transgressions (Gal. 3:19). It was imperative that Israel learn the important lesson that sin is a serious thing that separates us from Yahweh and requires bloodshedding for atonement.

Now we rely on the Savior as the ultimate sacrifice, and who now intercedes for us as our High Priest. His blood and not the blood of bulls and goats is the only effective antidote to counteract and blot out sin.

This is the change in the law that the Bible speaks of.

We find nothing here or anywhere else in the Scriptures about a change in our responsibility to keep the spiritual law—meaning either the Ten Commandments or the Feast days. That is because neither the Commandments nor these annual observances are part of the ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial law that was changed with the coming of Yahshua and the institution of another priesthood (Melchizedek).

Nailing Down the Change

“But doesn’t Colossians 2:14 say that all of Yahweh’s laws, including the Feasts, were nailed to the stake when Yahshua died?” some may be asking. Let’s read the main verse in question:

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the tree” (Col. 2:14). Here we find that the ordinances that were nailed to the tree were “against us.” Is Yahweh’s law against us? Does not Paul write, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good?” (Rom. 7:12).

If the law is against us, why does 1John 5:3 say, “For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous”?

In fact, any law, is intended for the good of the people. The commandments sure are, and so are the Feasts.

Therefore, in Colossians 2:14 the “ordinances” that Paul mentions are dogma and mean man-made rules that the Jews imposed. They are mentioned a few verses latter: “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men” (Col. 2:21-22).

An example of these man-made tenets in operation is Mark 7:5, where the Pharisees accused Yahshua of breaking their traditional ordinances: “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, why walk not your disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?”

Feasts Now and Forever

Had Yahshua or Paul told us that under the New Covenant we don’t need to observe the seven annual Feasts, then we would not bother. The reality is, no one in the New Testament said such a thing.

In fact, we find a myriad of passages in the New Testament where people intended to keep them, were keeping them, and would keep them in the coming Kingdom. And these included Yahshua Himself. Here are some:

  • “And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” (The Savior’s parents were in the act of keeping Passover and Unleavened Bread in Luke 2:42.)
  • “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Yahshua went up to Jerusalem.” (Yahshua went to Jerusalem probably to keep Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, John 5:1.)
  • “You know that after two days is [the feast of] the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be impaled.” (Yahshua was to become the Passover sacrifice in Matt. 26:2.)
  • “Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Yahshua, saying unto him, where will you that we prepare for you to eat the passover?” (Yahshua always was planing to keep the Passover, Matt. 26:17.)
  • “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Now about the midst of the feast Yahshua went up into the temple, and taught.” (Here’s proof that Yahshua kept this fall Feast, John 7:2, 10, 14.)
  • “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast.” (Non-Jews observed Passover in John 12:20.)
  • “But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that comes in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if Yahweh will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” (Paul in Acts 18:21 was speaking after the Savior’s resurrection about his intentions to observe the Feast.)
  • “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (Paul is telling us to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread with a new emphasis in 1Cor. 5:8.)
  • “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Our Savior’s statement promises that He would observe Passover in the Kingdom with the faithful, Matt. 26:29.)

Considering Yahweh’s many commandments to keep His Feasts, as well as patriarchs doing just that, what hinders us to fulfill righteousness as well? Clearly the only holidays in the Bible are those kept by Israel and by the Apostles and our Savior as well. All else is man-made.

They Just Keep Going and Going…

In His instructions to Moses and Israel detailing the Passover and Feast that follows, Yahweh made it crystal clear that this was not a one-time ordeal. Nor was it just for Israel at that time. Yahweh thundered, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Ex. 12:14).

No fewer than four times in Leviticus 23–after mentioning the various Feasts–Yahweh declares the Feasts “a statute forever.” If these days were important only in the lives of ancient Israelites, then why do we find them prominent in prophecy of the coming Kingdom? Isaiah deals with the Millennial Kingdom. We find there that when His Kingdom comes to earth, everyone will come to keep Yahweh’s appointed times: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahweh” (Isa. 66:23).

And what if they refuse, as many do today? “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. 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. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16-18).

We’ve already read where Yahshua the Messiah promised to keep Passover in the Kingdom with His disciples (Matt. 26:29,Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18, 30). Does it make any sense that Yahweh would command these Feasts forever–and enforce them in the future Millennial Kingdom on pain of plague–and not have them binding today?

The Feast days hold a wealth of lessons and they unlock important truth. They also are keys to prophetic events as they explain the plan and purpose of the Savior’s coming and His role as our King. It is time for all people everywhere to be obedient to what Yahweh established for the good of His people. Get in line with the annual Feasts of Yahweh and your understanding will multiply many times over.

His Feasts were just as much a part of His law as the Ten Commandments. Let us be like the Apostle Paul, who said, “I must by all means keep this feast.”

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Are You Preparing to Observe the Feasts?

Many invest in the stock market in hopes of striking it rich and spending the rest of their lives on Easy Street. Some are motivated to save and invest for a secure future for their children. Still others put savings into retirement accounts for the day they can kick back and enjoy a life of leisure and travel.

webarticleimageaug2But how many people have the foresight and desire to plan for what is vastly more important – their everlasting life?

Almighty Yahweh has laid out a plan of salvation that involves obedience to His Word. That obedience includes the observance of special Feast days and Sabbaths that set one apart as His true follower.

He goes to great lengths to tell us exactly when His Holy Days are to be observed and how. So that we are without any excuse, He even includes the necessary financial preparation to ensure we have the resources necessary to assemble at each of His Feasts.

In Deuteronomy 14:23-26 we read about the Feast tithe or second tithe that is commanded of His people.

“And you shall eat before Yahweh your Elohim, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim always. And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose to set his name there, when Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you: Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose: And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desires: and you shall eat there before Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household.”

The Feast tithe is to be spent on getting to and enjoying the Feasts. All True Worshipers should be setting aside this tithe nowso that when the Feasts like Tabernacles arrive, you will have the resources not only to observe them but also to enjoy these times Yahweh has set apart as special to Him.

Because Yahweh brought into existence a set of Holy Days for His people, it is only understandable that He would provide a means to observe them. If you have not done so, plan to keep ALL of His annual Sabbaths with us.

May we each be preparing for these days even as we prepare for the coming Kingdom by learning of His ways!

Is new years in the bible?

Two Faces of New Year’s

Is New years in the bible?

When Roman Emperor Julius Caesar declared January 1 as the world’s New Year’s day based on a duplicitous deity, the connection could not have been more apropos. Specifically, the god he worshiped was two-faced, a fitting metaphor of the flip-flopping that marked New Year’s day through the centuries.

Caesar’s idol was named Janus, from which we get our month January. The emperor thought his deity would be the suitable portal to the new year, as one of his faces looked forward to a new year, the other backward.

That’s the sanitized version of New Years. The messy and convoluted history of the January 1 New Year’s observance reveals chronological confusion amid political intrigue, race hatred, and fuzzy math—all in an attempt to improve upon the Biblical calendar as inspired by our Creator.

Ancient Cultures Kept New Year’s

The January 1st new year is an on-and-off tradition. Surprisingly, January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years. The earliest record of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C.E., and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in mid-March.

A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it at the winter solstice.

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That is why the name September means seventh in Latin but is actually the ninth month. October means eight but is actually the 10th. November means 9th but is the 11th. December means 10th but is the 12th month of the secular year.

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st in Rome was in 153 B.C.E. In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C.E., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.

February was the end of the year, making the new year a spring event. The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Is new years in the bible?In 46 B.C. E. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar. The old calendar had become out of sync over the years. This new Julian calendar began the new year with January 1. Within the Roman world, January 1 would become the consistently observed start of the new year. Sacrifices were made to Janus, gifts and visits were exchanged, along with masquerading and feasting.

Not everyone found this observance acceptable. The early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. “Participation in the ordinary New Year’s Day observances as well as in the Saturnalia of December was from the first discouraged by the Church. Christians were expected to spend the day in quiet meditation, reading of Scripture and acts of charity” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., Vol. 19, p. 594).

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began melding its religious observances and dates with other pagan celebrations of the day, and New Year’s Day was no exception. New Years is still observed as the Feast of the Savior’s Circumcision by a few modern denominations.

In 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on December 25; March 1; March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would have a divine Son); and Easter. March 25 was the usual date among Christians in early medieval days.
After William the Conqueror became King of England on December 25, 1066, he decreed that the English return to the January 1 new year established by the Roman pagans. This move ensured that the commemoration of the Messiah’s supposed January 1 circumcision would align with William’s coronation, thus tying the English and Christian calendars and his own coronation into one neat bundle. William’s innovation was eventually rejected, and England rejoined the rest of the Christian world and returned to celebrating New Years Day on March 25.

January 1 Again in Vogue

In 1582, Pope Gregory’s calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day and synchronized the seasons with the months, which had gotten far out of harmony. This is still the calendar in use today. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately it was only gradually accepted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire — and their American colonies — still celebrated the new year in late March or early April.

New Year’s Rites

The giving and receiving of gifts at New Year’s has an ancient past. The Persians exchanged eggs at the beginning of the year. Gift exchanging at New Year’s is a custom strong in Europe. “The Druids distributed as New Year’s gifts branches of the sacred mistletoe. In Anglo-Saxon and Norman England New Year’s gifts were common, ”Britannica. Roman pagans found a different method of observance— drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was put in order by the gods.
However, gift-giving was not always in vogue at the new year observance. Sometimes bloodletting was more the case. Julius Caesar celebrated his first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee.

At the 1577 New Year’s inauguration of the second great Roman calendar (Gregorian) Pope Gregory decreed that all Roman Jews, under pain of death, must listen attentively to a compulsory Catholic conversion sermon given in Roman synagogues after Friday night services. On New Year’s Day 1578 Gregory signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to Christianity. On New Year’s 1581 Gregory ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community. Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign. Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and murder.

Yahweh’s Biblical Calendar

The true Biblical calendar is based on the growing season, with the first month called Abib, which is rooted in the green barley grain. This calendar eliminates the need to perpetually adjust month lengths, add leap years and intercalate a 13th month in order to synchronize the lunar and solar cycles.

Here is how Yahweh told us to determine the start of the year: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb…And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.”Exodus 12:2-3, 6. This is the Passover lamb.

Which is this first month when the Passover was observed? “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto Yahweh your Elohim: for in the month of Abib Yahweh your Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night,” Deuteronomy 16:1. Abib means green ears (of barley). When the barley grain comes to a harvestable age, then you have Abib. No need to juggle solar and lunar cycles, as they take care of themselves under the Bible’s calendar.

In Yahweh’s calendar, the first day of the year was observed by watching for the first visible crescent of the Abib moon. This “new moon” starts every month (moonth).

Most secular and some religious calendars base their new year on the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox is that instant when the sun is directly above the earth’s equator while going from the south to the north (for the northern hemisphere). It is the time that most believe starts spring. Those who employ the vernal equinox point to Genesis 1:14, claiming that the sun, moon, and stars set the Feasts. It is true that the sun divides day from night and establishes the seasons, while the new moon sets the beginning of months. Yet, nowhere in the entire Bible does the vernal equinox establish Abib. Nowhere in the Bible is there even any mention of the vernal equinox. To say that Genesis 1:14 refers to the vernal equinox is reading what isn’t there.

Abib is a condition of grain as much as a time of year. The King James Version has led some astray in the way it translates moed inExodus 13:10, Numbers 9:2, 3, 7, and 13. The KJV uses “season” in these verses, causing some to believe that the command is specifically for springtime, and therefore must involve the vernal equinox. In reality, the Hebrew moed simply means “set time” or “appointed time.” Yahweh has set Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread by the criteria of the crops, not by a purely astronomical reckoning known as the vernal equinox.

The vast majority of Jews gradually got away from actually looking for the green ears of barley, going instead by a calculated calendar that involved the vernal equinox. This was done for the sake of convenience. But Yahweh tells us that His growing cycle reveals the proper month for His Feasts.

Is new years in the bible?

When the Roman church deliberately acted to separate Easter from Passover, it ruled in 325 C.E. in the Council of Nicaea that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This setting of an observance was entirely man-made and appropriately applied to a man-made holiday called Easter. The Roman church on its own volition, therefore, bestowed a legitimacy to the vernal equinox as a calendar marker where it had none before — at least not in any kind of Biblical context. Among heathens, it was a different story.

Vernal Equinox Anciently

The vernal equinox had great significance among historic pagans and their calendars. Note the following:

• “Easter, too, celebrates the victory of a god of light (J-sus) over darkness (death), so it makes sense to place it at this season. Ironically, the name ‘Easter’ was taken from the name of a Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre (from whence we also get the name of the female hormone, estrogen). Her chief symbols were the bunny (both for fertility and because her worshipers saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg (symbolic of the cosmic egg of creation), images which Christians have been hard pressed to explain. Her holiday, the Eostara, was held on the Vernal Equinox Full Moon. Needless to say, the old and accepted folk name for the Vernal Equinox is ‘Lady Day.’ Christians sometimes insist that the title is in honor of Mary and her Annunciation, but Pagans will smile knowingly.” – Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox, by Mike Nichols.

• “The vernal equinox has long been a significant event in the lives of agricultural peoples as it symbolizes nature’s regeneration, fertility, growth and bounty. The word equinox comes from Latin and means “equal night” (German Tag und Nachtgleiche). On this day, night and day each last twelve hours. The Vernal Equinox used to be considered the beginning of the Pagan New Year. It was a time of joy called forth by the resurrection of the ‘Light of the World’ (sun god) from the underworld of the winter, from where he arose to join his goddess Eostre.”– by Ruth Reichmann, Max Kade German-American Center, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

• “Babylonians and Assyrians placed greater importance on the Equinoxes than the solstices. The most important festival in Babylonia was the New Year, which occurred at the Spring equinox. This was the akitu, a twelve-day ceremony in which the King, as the son and representative of the divinity, regenerated and synchronized the rhythms of nature, cosmos, and human society.”– Tales of the Vernal Equinox, by Robin DuMolin

• “Modern Pagans also celebrate the universal principle of Resurrection at the Equinox – which is named for Eostre, a Pagan goddess. She is the goddess of Spring to whom the offerings of cake and colored eggs were made at the Vernal Equinox. Rabbits, especially white ones, were sacred to her, and she was believed to take the form of a rabbit. She is also said to be the goddess of the East, that being the direction of rebirth. Since the sun rises in the East, she is linked with the sunrise. Traditional Easter services stem from this association.” Ibid. “Easter is supposed to be derived from Anglo-Saxon Eostre, the name of the Norse goddess whose festival is celebrated by the pagans at the vernal equinox.” – A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, p. 180.

• “Ostara, also known as The Spring or Vernal Equinox, the Festival of Trees, Alban Eilir, Ostara, the Rites of Spring, and the Rites of Eostre, occurs between March 19 and 21 and marks the first day of true Spring. Day and night are equal on this day, hence the name Equinox. It is observed by Pagans throughout the world.” –from The Witches’ Web

• “Pagans revere the G-d and G-ddess through rituals or ceremonies of various kinds. Pagans of the western traditions celebrate eight festivals or Sabbats each year. They comprise the four solar quarters i.e. the two solstices (longest and shortest days) and the two equinoxes (day and night are the same length) plus four Celtic seasonal festivals. All these mark important events in the cycle of life. They are: Ostara (Easter), the spring equinox, 21st March: Return of the sun from the south, springtime proper. Some celebrate a holy union between G-d and G-ddess.” – from What Do Pagans Do?

The secular New Year’s observance is significant beyond a collection of quaint, heathen customs. Scripture records Yahweh’s displeasure whenever anyone fiddled with His holy calendar to devise different observances. The coming Beast of Daniel 7 is an unsettling case in point. This individual, who will pose as the true Messiah, will be empowered by Satan himself. Note especially his actions: “And he shall speak great words against the most high and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,” v. 25.

This anti messiah will enforce his own calendar on the world, making his own celebrations that honor only himself exclusively. The world is already accustomed to alternate days of worship. His actions will prove to be the definitive calendar crime of all time and he will pay eternally.

Watch “The Pagan Origins of New Years” below:

Mithras and Saint Nick Santa claus

Holly Day- Mithra Meets St. Nick

Father rises early, throws a large log on the fire, dresses warmly, grabs his axe and heads into the woods. He’ll soon return with bundles of greenery to place on and around the house.

Humming cheerfully, Mother prepares the ham, lights the red candles at the center of the table, and fills wine glasses for the adults who will soon arrive. Everyone eagerly awaits the gift exchange amid brightly colored candles and figurines.

The decorated living room will shortly be filled with singing as the children, off from school, join the festival games while eating their fill of fruits and nuts. “Merry Mithra” they call out. “May Mithra bless us, every one.”

This is the Roman Saturnalia, a.k.a. Feast of Mithra. It’s December 25 – some 50 years before the Savior is born at Bethlehem. It could just as easily be 2,000 years before that, as these same rites are rooted in the customs of the ancient Babylonians and their worship of their sun god.

The focus of this holiday is a Roman god known as the Sun of Righteousness. This is his birthday celebration of the Saturnalia, the Feast to the Roman deity Saturn.

seven-xmas-ritesBut for the Name, the Rest Is the Same

If you were to place this celebration up against today’s December 25th festivities you would be hard pressed to discern any major differences. Except there would be tons more presents to exchange and homes would be more garish today. Other than that, the masses would be just as comfortable with the rites of Mithra as with St. Nick.

Even those who want to “put Chr-st back into Christmas” will sense a communion with the ancient sun god of the Romans. Mithraism promised immortality to its faithful. The pagan Roman faith included such rites as fasting at certain times, baptism, marriage, the last rites, and liturgy with candles, incense, and holy water.

More striking than this, perhaps, are the personal similarities of Mithra and Messiah: Mithra “was the creator and orderer of the universe … he incarnated on earth … his birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven … after the last battle, victorious over evil, he will lead the chosen ones through a river of fire to a blessed immortality” (Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, p. 99).

All of this begs the question: who is being honored on December 25th? The Savior, or the Roman sun god? Don’t feel alone if you are mystified by it all. Many ancients were also confused. Pope Leo I (440-461) chastised Christians, who on Christmas celebrated the birth of the sun god. And the syncretism never stopped.

Strange Mixture

From the start, the Christmas observance was mired in a pagan and pseudo-Biblical combination that still scourges it today. Why the discordant mixture of the nativity with evergreen trees, St. Nick, Wassail bowls, wreathes, mistletoe, and Alvin the chipmunk? Is this how the Savior should be honored? Who authorized such a thing?

Search the Scriptures and you will not find one instance where Yahweh commanded or even requested such a rite. For that matter, He never even authorized a birthday celebration for His Son. Surprisingly, there was no birthday observance for the Savior until 300 years AFTER His birth. Being that no one knew when He was born, the Christmas observance was timed to coincide with a midwinter pagan festival already in progress for thousands of years. It honored the imperial gods Mithra and Saturn.

By a process of amalgamation, the winter solstice celebration became permanently linked with the birth of the Savior. Here is how one of many references describes it:

“In the 5th century the Western church ordered the feast [of the Savior’s birth] to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of [Messiah’s] birth existed. Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year and to commemorate the return of the sun they held their chief festival of yule, which, like other pagan celebrations, became adapted to Christmas” (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 6, p. 622).

This source candidly admits that Christmas customs have no basis in the Bible. Notice:

“Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre- Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merrymaking customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles. Lights also played an important part in most winter solstice festivals” (ibid).

Does Yahweh honor such worship?

‘But He Understands… Doesn’t He?’

So what if we borrow customs pulled from heathenism? Shouldn’t Yahweh be pleased simply because we observe the birthday of His Son? Does it really make any difference HOW we do it?

Simply put, it certainly does. Every aspect of His worship must be honored according to His precise commands or it does not consititute His worship.

Yahweh says that any worship outside of His commands is expressly prohibited:

“Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them [pagan worshipers], after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their elohim, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their deities? even so will I do likewise.’ You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates, have they done unto their elohim … Whatever thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto nor diminish from it,” Deuteronomy 12:30-32.

Mixing forms of worship was what got ancient Israel into so much hot water with Yahweh. He is pointedly particular about how we worship and glorify Him. Adding rites and rituals is adding unacceptable worship. Anything less or anything added to what is commanded in His Word – and we will reap our own judgment.

Consider the biggest rite of the holiday, adoration of the tree. The brightly lit tree is a solar religion survival, and its greenery a symbol of life and fertility worship.Jeremiah 10 condemns tree worship, a mainstay in the worship of pagan gods.

“Thus says Yahweh, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen … For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, and with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not…’’’ verses 2-4.

Yahweh is not pleased that most have not chosen to separate themselves from the ways and worship of the world. Paul urged the Corinthians, “Wherefore ‘come out from among them and be separate,’ says Yahweh, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says Yahweh Almighty,”2Corinthians  6: 17-18.

mistletoe-factsLet’s Just Be Honest

The Corinthians shared the same misconception as many today: they thought they could worship Yahweh the same way they had always worshiped their other gods. Just retool and rebaptize the rites and rituals to a Biblical context and have the best of both.

Yahweh says if you do that, it won’t be Me but some other you’ll be worshiping. I’m not like the many false gods of heathenism. I demand special worship from those who are mine. Not only is your worship vain, but I will also punish those who will not listen to Me.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).

Be honest with Yahweh. Pretending you are keeping the birthday of the Messiah by gathering around a pagan tree, coveting presents, eating ham, standing under mistletoe perhaps to steal an immoral kiss, and using Santa Claus as a surrogate savior who keeps track of who’s naughty and nice – and rewards accordingly – is tacitly wrong and does not honor or serve the One you may be trying to worship. To our Heavenly Father and His Son, any unauthorized worship is an abomination.

Keep in mind what Yahweh told Israel at the foot of Sinai about the deities of false worship:

“You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh your Elohim am a jealous EI, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep My commandments,” Exodus 20:5-6.

His ways as revealed by His laws are not grievous (lJohn 5:3), but point to His exclusive and saving way of life. Come to know Him. Shun the empty ways of the world that ultimately lead to destruction, and find Him through real and complete obedience to His Word. Nothing less will do. Nothing more can please Him than to do just what His Word tells us to do.


Watch: “Christmas the Untold Story” from Discover the Truth TV below.

Straight to the Heart of Valentines Day

Every February 14 we see an “angelic” infant with a bow and arrow aiming for the heart of his “valentine.”

Cupids are everywhere with bows and arrows, heart shapes, paper lace, birds, and flowers. All these are associated with St. Valentine’s Day. But just where did these symbols and celebration of the 14th of February come from? Most of all, should we be celebrating this seemingly innocent day on which so many remember sweethearts and loves?

A Priest with a Heart

The origin of this day is not clear, as there is more than one explanation. The most accepted legend is that a Roman priest named Valentine had a special feeling for young people.

When the Roman Empire needed soldiers, Emperor Claudius II decreed that no one could marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that marriage made men want to stay at home instead of out fighting wars.

The kindly Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly performed weddings for a number of young couples. He was arrested, imprisoned, and put to death.

Another legend holds that Valentine was aiding persecuted Christians and was imprisoned. A jailer and his family were so impressed by his sincerity that they became Christians themselves. Valentine was fond of the jailer’s blind daughter and by a miracle restored her sight. On the morning of his execution he sent her a farewell message signed, “From your Valentine.”

February 14 a Fertility Festival

Valentine was beheaded supposedly on February 14. Not so coincidentally, this is also the eve of an important and more ancient Roman festival, the Lupercalia. (Lupus is Latin for wolf.) On this evening Roman youths drew names of girls who would be their partners during this ceremony.

To the Romans, Lupercalia was serious business. Mark Antony was master of the Lupercali College of Priests. He chose the Lupercalia festival in 44 B.C.E. as the proper time for offering the crown to Julius Caesar.

On February 15 the Luperci priests gathered at the cave of Lupercal, where according to legend, Romulus and Remus—founders of Rome—were nursed by a mother wolf.

Following a sacrifice, two youths of noble birth were brought forward. After a ceremony, they ran through the Roman streets, lashing about with goatskin thongs. The streets would be crowded with young women because a lash of the sacred thong was believed to increase their fertility.

The goatskin thongs were called februa and the lashing the februatio, both stemming from a Latin word meaning to purify. From it comes the name for the month February.

Long after Rome had become a walled city and the seat of a powerful empire, the Lupercalia lived on. When Roman armies invaded what are now France and Britain in the first century B.C.E., they took with them many pagan customs. Included was the Lupercalia.

Pagan-Christian Merger

By the fourth century Christianity became the dominant religion in Rome and the Lupercalia was declared unlawful. Throughout the empire the church endeavored to stamp out pagan practices brought in by the heathen.

“Unable to abolish some of the pagan festivals that the people loved, they accepted these and gave them Christian names,” we read in The Story of Valentine Symbols, by Edna Barth.

Barth explains, “So it was with the Lupercalia, which survived late into the fifth century. St. Valentine’s name was given to a festival that had celebrated springtime and fertility in human beings and other animals. And, do what the church might, the ancient meaning never quite left it. Memories of the Lupercalia as a celebration of mating were handed down, attaching themselves to the saint’s name.”

It was the eve of the ancient fest of the Lupercalia, when Romans habitually preserved the memory of an ancient rural deity, Faunus.

It is not difficult to imagine that the public beheading of Valentine the Christian was a pagan’s victory—here was a priest who professed the Bible, beheaded at this heathen celebration!

Frank Staff writes in his book, The Valentine and Its Origins, “In later years when the early Christian fathers were busy obliterating pagan superstitions and dates by substituting those of the Christian belief, names of many of the martyred Saints were used to replace the old festivals.

“In this way St. Valentine, having suffered on the eve of the Lupercalia, the 14th of February was now to perpetuate forever the memory of this festival of the return of the Spring when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love and when the birds begin mating.

“Centuries later it was usual on St. Valentine’s Day for young men to draw by lots the names of young women, a custom that lingered in some of the more remote villages of the British Isles right up to Victorian times. Some accounts written during the Victorian era of St. Valentine’s Day maintain that the putting of the names of young women into a box to be drawn for by the men was part of the ceremony of the Lupercalia, and has been repeated so often as to be believed true. But it has been authoritatively stated that this has yet to be proved.”

Not all historians agree with Staff, and see a direct connection between drawing names for Valentine’s Day and the Lupercalia,

Strong evidence also exists that the custom of sending valentines and other rituals on February 14 has erotic origins and it likely was a licentious festival. Lupercalia was a spring festival involving peculiar fertility rites and especially involved young people.

The little cherub called cupid, from the Latin cupido or “desire,” is actually the Greek deity of love known as Eros. Alexandrian poets made him popular in Rome (Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, p. 2542)

Valentine’s Day customs in the United States trace to early settlers from Germany and Britain.

Bottom Line: The Dollar Sign

Valentine’s Day is immortalized by manufacturers of greeting cards and candy, florists and clothiers who see the chance to induce customers through yet one more holiday to part with their money. “If you don’t give a gift at Valentine’s Day you don’t love others” is the subtle message.

The big problem with involvement in worldly holidays and special days of man is their rank pagan origins that have nothing to do with Scriptural worship. Even more, these days have replaced the true, Biblical observances commanded by our Creator. Paganism has always sought to replace True Worship. The one condemnation Yahweh repeatedly leveled against Israel was their desire to participate in the heathenism of those around them and worship other deities in place of Yahweh.

We as believers must never place anything before Yahweh and His way of life. We must give up the ways of a deceived world that has no love of Yahweh.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you,”2Corinthians 6:17.

It is amazing how much our world is steeped in heathen, truth-supplanting tradition. The days of Lupercalia are with us even in subtle ways.

As one writer observed, “Today we still refer to one who fancies himself with the ladies as something of a ‘wolf,’ and when a pretty girl walks down the street young men give a ‘wolf whistle,’ which shows that the spirit of the Lupercalia is still with us.”

Yahweh’s true Spirit is here as well, and available to those who have a real desire to live honestly and purely for Him. A position of rulership in His coming Kingdom awaits those who do.

 By Donald R. Mansager

Holy Days in the Bible

Holidays or Holy Days?

Sounds of holiday “cheer” grow louder as we draw to the close of the secular year. One can hear the Christmas juggernaut rev up in September and then explode into warp drive once it rumbles past a hardly noticed Thanksgiving.

Christmas, the granddaddy of all worldly celebrations, was never kept with such intensity when we were a more Bible-based nation. The observance was even outlawed by Puritan colonists. But now that it is deeply ingrained in the mass conscience by annual mass practice –and relentlessly driven by merchants with massive greed – it will not be dislodged until Yahshua returns and reinstates His righteous and true holy days.

The Yuletide extravaganza is nowhere commanded or even found in the Scriptures. Yet, we see the familiar signs admonishing, “Put Chr-st back into Christmas” when He was never there in the first place.

In stark contrast to Christmas, just recently honored again by Yahweh’s true saints is the Feast of Tabernacles. This joyous, eight-day Biblical blessing has been a standing command in the Scriptures for more than 3,000 years. It is taught and observed in both testaments. Along with other holy days, it was kept by the ancient patriarchs as well as by the Apostles and Yahshua the Messiah Himself. Still, it remains a near total mystery to the world.

Why do you think that is?

One answer is that man has always had difficulty doing what his Creator asks of him. There is a natural, human resistance against anything Yahweh tells us to do. We would rather make our own rules for life and worship, unfettered by Biblical do’s and don’ts. Added to this clash of the carnal are multiple layers of family ritual and cultural tradition, and a society with preconceived notions about what everyone will automatically be observing. No one ever asks, “Do you keep Christmas?” They just assume you do as most everyone else, and so overcoming that common presumption presents an automatic obstacle.

All of this adds up to a formula for forgetting the Father and just going with the traditional flow.

It’s nothing new. A stubborn Israel was constantly being admonished by Yahweh to follow Him and eschew the ways of the world. They mostly failed. Yet, when Jeroboam created his own false observance a month after the Feast of Tabernacles, ordaining his own priesthood to boot, the people flocked to it, 1Kings 12:32. That’s the nature of recalcitrant man.

The key to True Worship is that honoring the Father must be done on Yahweh’s terms and His alone. If that means keeping His holy days and giving up the world’s holidays, then that is what it must be.

Nowhere in the list of “Days to Keep” found in Leviticus 23, Exodus 12, Deuteronomy 16 and elsewhere do we see any of today’s popular holidays. We are presented the same option as ancient Israel – keep Yahweh’s days as commanded or ignore them and follow the inventions and conventions of man.

Some will take this issue up with their minister, expecting fair and honest consideration of the issue. Instead they will immediately hear the tired old bromide, “Those Old Testament days are unnecessary today. We are in a New Testament dispensation.” (Which leads one to ask, since when did the New Testament teach us to keep heathen holidays?)

Today’s clerics completely disregard the fact that Yahshua the Messiah and His apostles in the New Testament observed the very days found in Leviticus 23, and they will keep them again in the Kingdom along with the resurrected saints, Ezekiel 45:17-25,Zechariah 14:16-19. This fact begs another question: If the Biblical days were kept by the early Assembly and will be kept in the Kingdom, why shouldn’t they be observed now? We are told in 1Peter 2:21 that Yahshua left us an example to follow. Shouldn’t we be following it?

It is appalling that sincere inquirers cannot get the Truth from most ministers who are supposed to be guiding them into it. Instead, they are sent spinning off in an oblique direction whenever they inquire about why the church ignores the Bible’s commanded holy days. Ezekiel prophesied of this very thing, “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them,” 22:26.

If one seriously studies the Bible with an open mind, it will soon be obvious that churchianity is ignoring some of the most important and elemental truths of Scripture – Yahweh’s laws. At the same time telling you how unnecessary Yahweh’s Scriptural holy days are, churchianity observes with dedicated veneration the popular holidays that are completely missing from the Scriptures.

So what will it be, holidays or holy days? Is your desire to please people or to please Yahweh? It is your choice. And so are the consequences of what you choose.

pagan origins of halloween

Unmasking Halloween

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As Labor Day ends the world draws a bead on its major year-end holidays. The first of which is the strangest of all, Halloween. Candy and costume makers love it. Discount retailers make a huge “killing” on everything Halloween, their promotions driven by a lust for profits helping to keep the sinister observance near the top of the secular holiday charts.

Until recently it was mostly a childhood affair, but Halloween has grown up. Adults are joining the celebration by the droves as they head off to work dressed in adult-size costumes sporting red or green hair and painted faces, later in the evening they will paint the town red with costume parties. It seems that everyone is getting into the spirit.

But what spirit are they getting into? Is all of this just harmless fun? One look at the displays and costumes and it is clear that Halloween is in a contest with itself to be scarier and more sinister than ever. Murder and mayhem are the core themes, which prompts one to ask whether glorifying evil is wholesome and enriching to anyone, let alone innocent children. Consider the message being sent to children when society gives its sanction to the forces of darkness.

Then there is the rite of trick-or-treating, which introduces the twin ideas of threat and extortion to impressionable young minds.  The other side of “trick” is the “treat,” where children are encouraged to don the masks of the dark side for the questionable “reward” of massive quantities of unhealthy candies! It leads one to wonder – who is really getting tricked?

Real Fears and Superstitions

One must ask what Yahweh the Heavenly Father thinks of all of this. Can a Bible believer celebrate with a clear conscience an observance that revels in the occult and evil?

Halloween is an intensely superstitious observance deeply rooted in ancient Celtic mystery worship. It was originally the Druidic Feast of Samhain until the Roman church came along and morphed it into a holiday called “All Hallows Eve” or Halloween.

The Celts and their priests, the Druids, were nature worshipers who dreaded winter’s darkness. With the end of the harvest season and the approaching of winter, the Celts believed that the veil separating the living from the dead was at its thinnest on October 31, the last day of the Celtic year.

Enter the Many Spirits

These people believed all laws of space and time were suspended on this night, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. On October 31 the disembodied spirits of all those who had died during the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be the spirits’ only hope for the afterlife.

Joining this mix were evil phantoms in the form of fairies revisiting the earth and tormenting the living. The fairies were often considered hostile and dangerous to humans because they were thought to be resentful of human takeover of their lands. Consequently on this night they would sometimes trick people into becoming lost in fairy mounds where they would be trapped forever. There was great apprehension for other dangers as well. Crops were in jeopardy, babies could be stolen, farm animals killed, food and milk spoiled – all because of this open doorway for evil spirits. It was a frightening time for these ancients.

To protect themselves and prevent harm, the Celts would leave treats for the spirits outside their homes. The idea was that a spirit looking for a person to possess would be sidetracked by a bowl of fruit, nuts, and other treats. The spirit would then leave in peace. Spirits were believed to assume grotesque appearances this night. To avoid being recognized by them people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits and not plague them. The trick-or-treat custom reflects this superstition.

Other Defensive Measures

Fire symbolized the power of the sun deity while it was believed that it offered protection against mischievous ghosts. Home fires were allowed to go out and be rekindled with protective sacred fires at the end of this, the pagan year.

Some believed spirits could be warded off by carving a grotesque face into a gourd or root vegetable like a turnip and placing a candle inside. Because ghosts and witches feared fire, the candle within the jack-o-lantern along with the scary face became a weapon against evil influences when placed in front of the home.

It was believed that witches used skulls on Halloween to communicate better with the dead. It was also believed that witches derived from black cats their power to invoke evil spirits. The Celts were particularly fearful of black cats because they thought the animals were originally humans who had been transformed by sinister powers.

Halloween an Occultic Synthesis

Since this night belonged neither to one year nor the other, Celtic peoples thought that chaos reigned, and so the masses would engage in horseplay and practical jokes. Hence we see some of the original “trick” in trick-or-treating.

Other ancient superstitions survive today. Ducking or bobbing for apples was a marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. Apple peeling was a tool to predict how long your life would be. The longer you could make the apple peel come off unbroken, the longer your life was destined to be.

Why apples? In the course of the four hundred years that the Romans ruled Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees and whose symbol was the apple.

Yahweh’s true Holy Days revolve around three harvest times in the year. The Celts also had three harvests: August 1, or Lammas, was the first harvest when the first fruits were offered to the gods in thanks. The fall equinox coming in the third week of September was the “true harvest.”  This was when the bulk of the crops would be brought in. The third, Samhain at the end of October, was the final harvest of the year.

No one blended profane practices with their own beliefs more than the Roman Church, which typically baptized paganism in order to draw heathen converts into the fold. In 1000 C.E. this church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day and November 1 All Saints Day in honor of the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils.  When Christianity spread through Europe the November 1 holiday was merged with All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day. The evening before was referred to as All Hallows’ Evening or the contraction we know as Hallowe’en. Together, the three celebrations – the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’– were called Hallowmass.

A Righteous Creator vs. the Unrighteous

Halloween is a holiday with a dark past that is only thinly masked by the addition of a few later traditions. What does Yahweh think about observing it? Is Halloween okay because “it’s just harmless fun for the children”– as if Yahweh sighs passively and says to Himself, “Oh well, let them have their fun reveling in ancient rites of the occult and deceived. I’ll just look the other way.” That is how many must reason if their consciences ever start to tug at them.

The masses just drift along letting society shape their personal beliefs and practices, not stopping to question anything the world observes but blindly joining in. Most have never tried to learn what Yahweh their Creator thinks about what they do and how they live out their lives, and Halloween is no exception.

Can we mix light with darkness? Is a little compromise with idolatry acceptable to a sovereign Heavenly Father? Will He reward such behavior?

In 1Corinthians 10:20-21 is a message for those who want it both ways, thinking that no harm is done so long as they give lip service to the Bible, too: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Savior and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Savior’s table, and of the table of devils.”

If there is no Heavenly Father then it doesn’t matter one way or the other what we observe. But because there is a Mighty One who demands that we follow Him in complete Truth, then we have a problem with the world’s days rooted in ancient mystery practices that glorify the dark side as well as the Evil One himself.

Imagine Yahweh giving a passive nod as He sees all kinds of symbols of witchcraft being pandered to and glorified at Halloween. Imagine this in light of Exodus 22:18, where He thunders in His law: “You shall not suffer a witch to live.”

Or consider what we find in Deuteronomy 18:10-14: “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh your Elohim does drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with Yahweh your Elohim. For these nations, which you shall possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for you, Yahweh your Elohim has not suffered [allowed] you so to do.”

Participating in the practices of rank heathens as one does in the observance of Halloween is expressly forbidden in the Scriptures. Read Deuteronomy 12:29-32: “When Yahweh your Elohim shall cut off the nations from before you, whither you go to possess them, and you succeed them, and dwell in their land; Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

How can a True Worshiper allow his son or daughter to dress up like a witch or warlock, knowing that Yahweh condemns witchcraft? In 1Thessalonians 5:22 we are told to avoid even the appearance of evil. Halloween celebrates and revels in a vast array of evil appearances! And is it any wonder that all this glorification of evilness is a nighttime activity? In John 3:19-20 Yahshua said that evil loves the darkness.

One of the biggest problems of Old Testament Israel was their inability to keep their worship pure. The Apostle Paul in1Corinthians 10:6 tells us that their experiences are an example for us “that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.” Yahweh does not accept compromise with any other belief system, let alone practices that spring from the darkness of rank heathen religion and superstition.

Trying to put a positive spin on Halloween, the chorus of the world will say, “Oh, come on, Halloween is just harmless fun. How can you deprive the children?”

Keep in mind that what children practice they also learn from. How can a parent seek to promote healthy, wholesome values in a child who is allowed to don masks of vile creatures or deformed humans with the underlying theme of murder, mayhem and evil? Should a caring parent wanting to teach truth to his or her child introduce that child to sinister, pagan falsehoods that Yahweh repeatedly condemns?

 Nothing but the Truth

As we have seen, a Bible believer cannot follow Truth while dabbling in the exact opposite and still be acceptable to the True Father. Jeremiah 10:2 says very clearly, “Learn not the way of the heathen.”

The sincere worshiper can’t live a lie.  Halloween is filled with lies born in the depths of rank ignorance in one of history’s most pagan and superstitious cultures. In fact, virtually all of the world’s major holidays revel in lies, from Santa and Rudolph of Xmas customs to Easter’s egg-laying bunny.

The true man and woman of Yahweh must make conscious, deliberate choices. The true faith is not a passive banality that just goes along with whatever society does.

In 2Corinthians 6:14-18 we are admonished to separate from all forms of evil and darkness. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Messiah with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? for you are the temple of the living Elohim; as Elohim has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says Yahweh Almighty.”

One of the biggest mistakes Israel made upon entering the Promised Land was in not completely removing the false worship they found there. Our fallen natures have an attraction for what is wrong and sinful. It takes conscious, proactive efforts to overcome it. Wickedness pulls at us like a magnet drawing iron. We constantly struggle with iniquity.

Why are most children attracted to horror movies? What is it that draws the human spirit to the dark side? It’s a natural human attraction. And it is this pull, this desire that could lead to sin, that carnal human beings must overcome daily. Jeremiah 17:9 says about the natural man, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I Yahweh search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

Why continue being involved in the abominable, which your Creator hates and condemns? Where’s the reward in keeping dead-end holidays? Begin pleasing Him and start reaping the blessings! Let the world have its fruitless, empty observances. Say with the patriarch Joshua, “As for me and my family, we will serve Yahweh.”

Resolve today to observe with Yahweh’s true saints the inspired holy days commanded in the Word. If you do that you will be most richly blessed when the Messiah Yahshua returns to reward those few truly faithful who followed a different path – one that leads to life everlasting.

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