Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

In order to have a proper understanding of a particular doctrine, it is many times necessary to look at most if not all of the Scriptures that apply to the subject.  Yahweh’s Word does not contradict itself.  Therefore, the answer to the question, “When does the Sabbatical begin and end?” should be clear to us if we allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves.

The story of Joseph in Egypt and his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis 41 alludes to the Sabbatical cycle of seven.  However, the first mention of the Sabbatical commandment is found in Exodus 23:10.  “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove”  (All Scriptures are from the NKJV).

Regarding the observance of the Sabbatical cycle and specifically the Sabbatical year, verse 10 shows that the first commanded action to be taken is to sow the land.  The second commanded action was to gather in the land’s produce.  The only information we are given about the Sabbatical cycle is that it begins with sowing and ends with gathering in the produce.

The climate of the Holy Land is such that there are only two seasons, wet and dry.  The wet season begins in the Fall and ends in the Spring.  The dry season begins in the Spring and lasts until the Fall.  The expression “former and latter rains” refers to the first rain in the Fall which must take place before the barley, wheat and other crops could be planted, and the latter rain refers to the last rain in the Spring.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in Yahweh your Elohim; For He has given you the former rain faithfully,

And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).

Because there are only two seasons, the Holy Land’s agricultural seasons are different from what we are used to in the U.S.  For instance, in the Spring following the wheat harvest there are no crops planted.  This is because it is the dry season; there is not enough moisture to sustain any kind of crop.  For the most part, the only things that are grown are garden vegetables and herbs.  These are watered by hand.

During the dry season a farmer would spend most of his time with his flocks and herds and harvesting any early fruit crops.  He would patiently wait until the Fall of the year for the major harvesting of the olives and grapes.  That process would begin after Feast of Tabernacles and would last until sometime before the rainy season began.  The grapes were either dried to preserve them or they were sent to the winepress and turned into grape juice and wine. The olives were either preserved in salt water or they were sent to the olive press and turned into olive oil.

Prophetically speaking, the gathering of the clusters of grapes (i.e. people at the end of the age) and then casting them into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh, takes place at the end of the age of man after the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

Figuratively, the following passages show that the Sabbatical ends in the Fall, and that that is the time when Yahshua returns and the time when Yahweh’s final judgment takes place. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Sovereign and His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!’”  (Revelation 11:15)

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.  Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’  So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh.  And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:14-20)

These events will not take place in the Spring, but rather in the Fall.  Therefore, the cycles of seven and the Sabbatical year would begin and end in the Fall and not the Spring.

This is contrary to the Sacred year, which begins in the spring.  “Now Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you”  (Exodus 12:1-2).

If the Sabbatical year coincided with the Sacred year, the Israelites would not have sown seed in the Fall.  Why would they sow seed that would bring forth crops that could not be harvested? By beginning the Sabbatical in Abib you would have to add the six months prior because you could not sow crops.  There would be no point in sowing in the Fall, and then because the crops in the fields were obviously not volunteer (that which grows up of itself) you could not harvest any of the crops.

There would be no point in sowing in the Fall if you begin the Sabbatical in the Spring.  Beginning the Sabbatical with Abib would add six months extra to the Sabbatical year.  The Sabbatical must begin with not sowing and then not gathering produce (crops planted).  The only way that this is possible is if the Sabbatical begins in the Fall and not the Spring.

The aspect of first sowing and then gathering is the basis for the Sabbatical cycles.  This is clearly seen in Leviticus 25:2-5.  “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to Yahweh.  Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;  but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.’”

The Sabbatical year, like the weekly Sabbath, is the culmination of cycles of seven.  In the case of the weekly Sabbath, we are dealing with days that begin at sundown.  Preparations to keep the Sabbath begin on Sunday and end on Friday.  Preparations to keep the Sabbatical begin the first year of the cycle, and end in the sixth year.  That cycle begins with sowing, and ends with gathering or reaping the harvest.

 

The Second Coming of Yahshua.

One of the most important reasons for beginning the Sabbatical in the Fall and not in the Spring is because the Sabbatical years (and  Jubilee years) foreshadow Yahshua’s Second Coming. Each of Yahweh’s Feast days has special prophetic significance, and the Feast of Trumpets is no exception; in fact it is the next feast day to have its prophetic fulfillment. Consider Colossians 2:16-17.  “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah.”

Yahshua applied the fulfillment of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years to Himself as the one who will proclaim a release for the captive, liberty to the oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of Yahweh is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’”  (Luke 4:16-21).

We know that Yahweh’s Holy Days individually represent fulfillment of important aspects of the plan of salvation.

For instance, Passover depicts deliverance from sin and a blood covering from the Lamb of Yahweh, Yahshua the Messiah.  The Feast of Weeks represents the Matan Torah and the gift of the Holy Spirit along with obedience to Yahweh’s Covenant.

Yom Teruah represents the sounding of the last trumpet and the second coming of our Savior.  The Day of Atonement points toward the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation 19.  Feast of Tabernacles is a type of Yahweh’s Kingdom on this earth.  And the Last Great Day points toward the time when Yahweh’s throne is established  on the earth.

To say that the Sabbatical year begins in the Spring (Abib) does not support the teaching of Yahshua’s second coming.  The scriptures are very clear on the fact that Yahshua has fulfilled the first half of a Sabbatical cycle.  And it is shown that He was cut off in the middle of that cycle of seven.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week. He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:26-27).

The events depicted here will take place near the end of the final Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles, at the close of the age.  Yahshua will not return in the middle of a Sabbatical because He has already completed half of a Sabbatical cycle.  Instead, He will return at the end when the Last Trumpet sounds.  That being said, the Sabbatical cycle must begin in the fall and not in the Spring.

Consider the following passages which relate to the return of Yahshua.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”  (Matthew 24:29-31).

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of Yahweh and of His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of Yahweh.  And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Yahweh.  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND RULER OF RULERS”  (Revelation 19:11-16).

 

Sabbatical Year and Gezer Calendar

One of the oldest known Hebrew documents is the Gezer Calendar (see image below).  It was written in the time of David or Solomon (1,000 BCE), some 400 years before the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity (586 BCE).  This ancient document describes the agricultural year for the land of Israel, and it begins that annual cycle in the Fall and not the Spring.

Leviticus 25 explains that the Sabbatical year begins by NOT sowing your field or pruning your vineyard.  Consider Leviticus 25:3-12,

“Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.  And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food.  ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.  That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.  For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.’”

How could the Israelites have been influenced by the Babylonian calendar, as some claim, when that calendar didn’t even exist when this document was in use?

The Gezer Calendar proves that the Sabbatical begins in the Fall.

Leviticus 25 makes it very clear that the Sabbatical follows the seven year cycle which begins and ends in the Fall of each year.  It always mentions sowing your field first and then pruning your vineyard.  Sowing in the Land of Israel always takes place in the Fall after the Feast of Tabernacles. The pruning of the vineyard takes place at the end of the Sabbatical just prior to the sowing of grain in the Fall.

 

Hoshana Rabba – The Living Water

On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles the priests would bring up to the temple a golden container of water from the pool of Siloam in a great ceremonial procession. This water will last all seven days of the Feast. On the seventh day this water libation ceremony reached its apex. Temple priests circled the altar seven times and poured out the water on the altar. For seven days the people would cry out for redemption and salvation while shaking palm branches.

This day is traditionally called Hoshana Rabba. According to the Mishnah (Sukkah 4:5), they would gather willow branches and encircle the altar once a day and stand the branches upright at the sides of the altar, sounding the shofar and reciting: “Hoshiah na! Save us, please!”

Rabba in biblical Hebrew means “master” or “great” and hoshana has the meaning of rescue, save, deliver, or savior. The title Rabbi comes from this term רַב Rab. Yahshua prohibits calling a man Rabbi because only Yahshua Messiah is our “master.” “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Messiah.” Matthew 23:8. Interesting note: the Assyrians (who spoke Aramaic) called their chief military leader the רַבְשָׁקֵה Rab-shaqeh. The title “rab” is well attested in Aramaic, which Yahshua spoke.

Regarding Hoshanna Rabba The Jewish Virtual Library notes: “In Second Temple times this was a source of controversy between the Boethusians and the Pharisees who gave the ceremony biblical authority even though it is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. They considered it to be halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai, i.e., as having been instructed verbally to Moses during his stay on Sinai.” See reference

Although not mentioned by name, this event seems to correlate with the prophetic Messianic Psalm 118:22-26: “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; Yahweh has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Yahweh has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Yahweh, save us Yahweh. (הוֹשִׁ֘יעָ֥ה נָּ֑א Hoshia na – save now) grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh. (Prophetic reference to the Messiah who came in Yahweh’s name and is Salvation Yah-shua.) From the house of Yahweh we bless you. Yahweh is our Elohim, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.”

When we analyze the biblical Hebrew an interesting correlation appears. The word “save” in this verse is from the Hebrew root word יָשַׁע yasha, “to deliver,” the same word origin in the name contraction of Joshua or Yahshua (3091), from YHWH and Yasha (See Yasha Strong’s 3091, Biblehub).

So Yahshua is standing at the Temple on the seventh day of Sukkot as the people cry out for salvation for the coming Messiah to deliver them, as they have traditionally done for hundreds of years. In a prophetic and emotional display, with the crowd waving palm branches, the priests circle the altar seven times, and pour out the water on the altar. And then Yahshua cries back in a loud voice so all the crowd could hear Him: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink,” John 7:37.

Continuing in verse 40, “When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Jews believe this day is also a day of judgment similar to Yom Kippur. An interesting note from the Jewish Virtual Library gives this insight: “The celebration of Hoshana Rabba acquired considerable solemnity and religious-mystic significance. In Jerusalem a large gathering took place on the Mount of Olives which was circled seven times … The piyyut (poem) of Hoshana Rabba which opens with the words, ‘the power [or, the truth] of Thy salvation cometh,’ which deals with the splitting open of The Mount of Olives (Zech.14:4) and the resurrection of the dead, probably has its origin in this ceremony.” See reference

Zechariah prophesies: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west…” “The voice of the herald brings good tidings and proclaims: Your mighty salvation comes! My Beloved is coming! —  the voice heralds. He comes with myriads of regiments of angels to stand on the Mount of Olives! — the voice heralds. He approaches to sound the Shofar, beneath Him the mountain shall split, — the voice heralds,” Chabad.org

Could it be that Tabernacles, as a harvest festival, also signifies the general harvest of the Firstfruits spoken of in Revelation and the return of the Messiah? Yahshua was born during Sukkot, he answers the call of salvation during Sukkot, and His people are gathered  from the world at this time. “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder.”

The Talmud mentions that during Hoshana Rabba, poems are recited calling upon Yahweh to not only rescue and redeem but also to send seasonal rains.

Water is an important element during Hoshana Rabba. Zechariah 14:17 warns of no rain for those who will not keep this festival after the return of the Messiah: “If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. Yahweh will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.”

The importance of keeping Sukkot cannot be overstated. It is a pilgrimage festival which means you are not to stay home to keep this Feast but travel where Yahweh places His name. These Messianic prophecies culminate in a general Harvest of Firstfruit believers gathered as a wave sheaf that Yahshua will offer to Yahweh at His return as our High Priest. Just another important reason to keep the Feast!

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 1

The Mysterious and Intriguing Sabbaticals and Jubilees, Land Rest and Personal Freedom Part 1

One teaching of the Scriptures has been ignored and neglected today more than any other. Can you guess what it is? You’re probably thinking: It’s Yahweh’s Feast days. It’s the seventh-day Sabbath. It’s got to be the sacred Name.

Believe it or not, there is still a biblical truth that is more overlooked than those. The biblical teaching that has been more abandoned by churchianity than all of these is the sabbaticals. The Sabbatical and Jubilee years are the most disregarded of all Yahweh’s special, appointed times even by Sabbath keepers.

And yet, both biblical history and prophecy hang profoundly on these principal times that Yahweh gave us.

The law of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years is one of the more mysterious and intriguing in Scripture. It is like discovering a key that opens up a door to an exciting treasure room.

Most who observe the Bible’s weekly Sabbath are aware that Yahweh gave His Sabbath observances as a special sign to His people. Annual Sabbaths and extra-annual Sabbaths are very important to our Heavenly Father. Key events occurred at those times as well, likely even the coming return of Yahshua.

The Hebrew root for Sabbath (shabath)—Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance No. 7673—means “cessation” or rest. Yahweh’s Sabbaths are a periodic rest, which allow us to draw closer to Him, Ezekiel 20:12. “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh that sanctify them.”

Sabbaths Are the Sign
Observing His Sabbaths is the obligation of the True Worshiper, a commitment shared with other observers who are sealed in His sacred Name Yahweh by the Holy Spirit. Each weekly Sabbath reminds us that Yahweh set aside the seventh day that we might recall His great creative power as well as the redemption we have through His Son Yahshua.

Fifty-two times a year we take a day away from our weekly activities to join the Body of Messiah to revive and strengthen our faith. It is also when we grow the most spiritually as we commune with Yahweh.

Not only is the seventh day of the week holy and special to our Heavenly Father, but He also gave special Sabbaths every seven years, Leviticus 23. Important events of history and prophecy are tied up in these specially sanctioned years. Yet, the Israelites abandoned the keeping of the sabbatical years and in the process missed out on critical aspects of Yahweh’s prophetic plan.

Deuteronomy 5:15 is the restating of the Fourth Commandment and it gives us additional insights into the broader concept of “Sabbath.” “And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim brought you out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh your Elohim commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”

Why does He bring in the issue of slavery in conjunction with the Sabbath? Because there is a connection to another Sabbath, the 50th year Jubilee, a year of release of slavery and servitude.

Captivity for Disobedience
After wandering in the wilderness 40 years, Israel finally crossed over the Jordan and somewhat conquered the land Yahweh had promised. They had not been thorough in driving out the enemy, however, leaving pockets of heathen culture that proved to be Israel’s downfall when Yahweh allowed them to be conquered by foreign powers, Deuteronomy 7.

The northern ten tribes, often referred to as Ephraim because they were the dominant tribe, were taken captive to the area of present-day northern Iraq by the Assyrians and subsequently moved north and west over the Caucasus Mountains (hence the name “Caucasian”). This occurred in the seventh century BCE.

The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were allowed to remain in the land and had the advantage of seeing from a distance the wrath of Yahweh on their 10-tribed Ephraim brethren who were taken captive. Judah was also guilty of ignoring Yahweh’s laws despite the warnings of Elohim’s messengers:

“And Yahweh Elohim of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of Elohim, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2Chron. 36:15-16).

Shrugging off the plight of the northern ten tribes, Judah and Benjamin behaved even worse, according to Jeremiah 3:8. About a hundred years later the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with many of the priests, were taken captive to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. Only a few farmers and poor folk were left in the land of Israel. This was all because of their refusal to obey Yahweh by rejecting His laws, particularly the land Sabbaths.

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years” (2Chron. 36:20-21).

‘Holy Land’ Takes a Rest
So long as Israel was captive in Babylon, the Promised Land lay idle and desolate to fulfill the neglected 70 Sabbatical cycles, accumulating 490 years. Yahweh’s laws demanded that the land lie idle for a year every seven years. “For thus says Yahweh, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jer. 29:10).

In addition, every seventh Sabbatical year was followed by the Jubilee year. The word “Jubilee” is derived in the Bible from the Hebrew yob-ale, which means “ram, ram’s horn; jubilee year.” The ram’s horn announced the beginning of the Jubilee year. Whenever a trumpet was used to signal an event, in this case the shofar trumpet, it announced something very significant was about to happen.

Yahshua said He will return with the great sound of a trumpet, Matthew 24:31. Is the trumpet sound announcing the Sabbatical-Jubilee and the return of Yahshua just coincidence?

Notice Leviticus 25:9, “Then shall you cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”

Keeping the Sabbatical years of land rest bestowed the designation “Holy Land” to Judea. Israel learned that the Sabbatical-Jubilee was holy both to the land and to Yahweh.

The question for us is, does Yahweh still expect His laws, statutes, and judgments to be observed in our day and age? Does He change His expectations according to the culture or the age, or does the Bible say that He is Yahweh who changes not? Malachi 3:6 confirms that we worship a changeless Mighty One. Obedience has not been reduced, let alone abandoned.

Sabbaticals Are Part of the Covenant
The earliest Bible reference concerning the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle is found in Exodus 21:2-6, dealing with the release of the slave. Exodus 23:10-12 relates to the land’s rest. Thus, the Sabbatical-Jubilee was part of the Covenant established with Moses in Exodus 24:1-8.

Following the seventh Sabbatical year (or every 49 years) the sounding of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement of the fiftieth year heralded the beginning of the Jubilee.

Atonement itself falls on the tenth day of the month and is a very solemn time, the holiest day of the year. The harvest is in, and early rains soften the earth to allow plowing and seeding for the next crop. But in the Sabbatical year the land is at rest. Both the 49th and 50th years were times of rest for the land.

Most every Israelite would observe at least one Jubilee year in a normal lifespan of 70 years. If a person observed his first Jubilee in his teen years, then he might enjoy another before his normal lifespan ended. It was a special occasion anticipated by the entire, rejoicing nation.

As we will see, the Jubilee has prophetic implications in Yahweh’s dealings with mankind. We are given insight into the grand finale of Yahweh’s redemption of the earth as He establishes the Kingdom under the Messiah.

The Link to Yahshua’s Return
The Sabbatical cycle in certain instances influenced Israel’s daily living. The right of an heiress to marry was restricted so that the law of the Jubilee could be preserved, Numbers 36:4-7. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard so that it would remain an inheritance for his family, 1Kings 21:14.

The Jubilee will be kept in the Millennium as shown by Ezekiel 46:17, where the king is reminded that any property given to a servant reverts to the original owner (the king) at the time of the Jubilee.

Yahshua as our King will take control once again of this earth as its original owner. Yahshua’s return on a Jubilee would be consistent with the purposes of the Jubilee and Millennium.
Other references to the Jubilee are found in Nehemiah 5:1-19; Isaiah 5:7-10; 37:30, and 61:1-2.

The Sabbatical year, we learn from Leviticus 25:4, occurs every seventh year— a Sabbath of rest both of the land and to Yahweh. The fields are not to be sown nor the vines pruned. No crops are to be planted; the vineyards must not be harvested. The produce of the land and vineyard could be eaten, but not stored or preserved. All debts among Israelites were canceled.

After seven of these Sabbatical years (or 49 years), the next year, the fiftieth, is the Jubilee. The following points differentiate the Sabbath year from the Jubilee, which occur back-to-back every 49 and 50 years. The Jubilee year is an intensification of the Sabbatical year.

Sabbatical
• Land and vineyards rest, no planting or harvesting
• All voluntary foods can be eaten, but not stored
• Servants receive freedom and debts are canceled

Jubilee
• Land and vineyards rest
• Land reverts to the original owner (as in Yahshua’s return to reclaim earth)
• All Israelite slaves freed. Debts forgiven

The fiftieth year is eagerly anticipated as a time of joy and merriment. Landowners had to give up the lands they had once cultivated, which reverted to the original owner(s). This kept the lands under original ownership.

Idyllic simplicity returned to soften the distinction of rank.

Debts were forgiven, and those having lost their property through accident or poor management were rejuvenated as opportunities brought by the restoration awaited them.
Slaves were redeemed and freed. The Sabbatical-Jubilee years might be called the great “leveler” of Israelite society. Through them everyone was equal before Yahweh as neither the rich nor the poor cultivated his field.

But What About Today?
Living under industrialization and a far more complicated financial system, the laws of Yahweh became lightly esteemed by modern society. Today’s fiscal demands of industry, manufacturing, commerce, and banking are not appeased by fallowed farmland.

Canceling of a borrower’s debts is unheard of. How can the entrepreneur grow and expand if he is required to return legally purchased property every fiftieth year?

These are but a few questions asked today. The farmer has more freedom to apply Yahweh’s laws to his life than most who work for a regular wage. However, the increasingly heavy burdens laid upon him by lenders, plus the pressures inherent in today’s economies, challenge the farmer’s very survival and are detrimental to his obedience to the laws of Yahweh.

The Jubilee is known as the year of liberty. Leviticus 25:12 explains that it is a holy year to Israel. It was because of the Jubilees that the Promised Land came to be known as the Holy Land. However, there is some question whether Israel faithfully kept both the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

Atonement and the Sabbatical
On the tenth day of the seventh month Israel celebrated the Day of Atonement. The Jubilee was a year-long sabbatical that came after 49 years. The Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 25:9-10. The count toward the next sabbatical also begins on the Jubilee. Just as the weekly seventh day ends at sunset and the first day begins immediately that same sunset, the first Sabbatical ends when the Jubilee’s fiftieth year starts on Atonement, in the seventh month, Deuteronomy 31:10.

The very land was holy to Yahweh and was referred to as the Holy Land. During that year the Book of Deuteronomy was read to the people. The Sabbatical year marked the canceling of all indebtedness. This emphasized the righteousness that was required by Yahweh. On this day the sins of the nation were confessed, which is the first requisite to establish righteousness.

Confession is an opening of the heart, which leads to forgiveness and restoration to Yahweh. Through fasting and keeping the Day of Atonement, Yahweh’s people are reminded of His righteousness and His forgiveness as they accept His grand plan for the forgiveness of sin.

Israel’s sins were brought before them every time they gave a sin offering. But the Day of Atonement was a special day that impressed upon the mind and heart of every Israelite that this day was devoted to a deep introspection of his life.

The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year when the High Priest was permitted to enter the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies, which was the nearest approach to Yahweh possible through the blood offering. The Day of Atonement pictured the forgiveness of Israel’s sins and the nation’s getting right with Yahweh. Known as Yom Kippur, it was the “day of covering” of their sins, pointing to the true Lamb of Yahweh’s coming to take away the sins of the world, and not just cover them.

Slaves and Land Released
Following the seventh Sabbatical year came the year of the Jubilee, which occurred every fiftieth year (or after the succession of seven Sabbatical years). It has been called the outer circle of the great Sabbatical system, which comprises the Sabbatical year, the Sabbatical month and the Sabbath day.

Just as in the Sabbatical year, the Jubilee also was a time of keeping the land uncultivated. The distinctive mark of the Jubilee year was the liberation of all slaves of Hebrew blood. The blowing of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement also released every bondman.

The Jubilee year was different from the Sabbatical in that the land was restored to the original owners. All land that had been assigned to a family was again returned to that family. This required that the tribal and family registers be carefully kept so that the rights of the people should be protected. It is partly from such records that we know that Yahshua descended from the tribe of Judah.

Jewish writers contend that the Jubilee was observed up to the time of the fall of Judah in the year 586 BCE. References are found in Isaiah 5:7-10; 61:1-2; Ezekiel 7:12-13 and 46:16-18.

Yahshua and Year of Our Release
A number of Bible scholars point out that Israel was delivered from both the Babylonian and Egyptian captivity at the time of the Jubilee. The pattern for us as believers in the Messiah is that He is the one who sets us free.

The bondage of Israel was cruel, enforced servitude. Yahshua frees us from the bondage and shackles of sin. “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,” John 8:36. This key purpose of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees dovetails with Yahshua’s purpose of coming to earth, even up to the timing of His return.

How ancient Israel must have thrilled to the sound of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement announcing their actual release from slavery. Of how much greater joy will it be when the trumpet announces Yahshua’s return to this earth. All tears will be dried, and the brokenhearted comforted. The meek and the poor in spirit will be exalted and the thirsty and hungry filled.

The first trumpet is blown on the first day of the seventh month, which is the new moon day. Then follows the blowing of the second trumpet on the Day of Atonement, heralding Yahweh’s release, redemption, and deliverance.

Hebrews 4:1-11 summarizes the Sabbaths Yahweh has given us to remember His great plan of redemption of mankind. We are told that there remains a Sabbath of rest for the people of Yahweh (Heb. 4:9 — “rest” is the Greek sabbatismos, meaning a Sabbath keeping).

There is the weekly Sabbath which is set aside for the people of Yahweh. Also there is the Sabbatical rest for the land around Jerusalem. Finally, the rest and redemption for the elect people of Yahweh who will reign with Yahshua when He returns to set up the Messianic Kingdom:

“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

But not all will attain that rest because of unfaithfulness. The faithful will have rest from their enemies, no drought, sickness, sin or hindrances to happiness.

Counting the Jubilee
A long-standing debate is how to compute the Jubilee year — in segments of 49 or 50 years. The Jubilee year is the year following the seventh Sabbatical year. It is the 50th year, but not the year coming after 50 years. It is the year following 49 years.

From the beginning of one Jubilee year to the beginning of the next Jubilee is 49 years. The 7 times 7 years of Sabbatical cycles may not be broken any more than can the 7 times 7 weeks in computing Pentecost. Furthermore, the 50th year is also year one in the count toward the next Sabbatical year 7 years later.

To prove that the Jubilee immediately follows the Sabbatical year, note the prophecy of Isaiah:

“And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall eat this year such as grows of itself: and the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof” (Isa. 37:30).

“This year” refers to the Sabbatical year. The “second year” refers to the Jubilee year, and the “third year” one can sow grain and reap and plant vineyards. The day after Atonement, which ends the Sabbatical-Jubilee year, farmers can again plow the ground for planting wheat and barley that fall.

Our Savior’s Return
If the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle was important to Israel, then it is all the more important to us looking for the return of the Messiah. A central key is in Yahshua’s quoting of Isaiah 61:1-2:

“The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim is upon me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh” (Luke 4:18).

Yahshua stopped in the middle of verse 2, where Bible scholars contend He was now calling people out of the world to become His followers. The “acceptable year” is understood to refer to the beginning of the Sabbatical year. He came to preach the Good News to the meek and humble, those whose hearts were open and teachable.

With those of kindred mind He would build His Assembly. He would now choose those who would become the nucleus of His body of believers, the “ekklesia,” the assembly. He told Peter this group of “called-out ones,” would never die out, but would always exist on this earth, Matthew 16:18.

Just as the Savior was cut off in the middle of the week and died on a Wednesday, so He left unsaid the rest of Isaiah 61:2 which tells of the vengeance yet to come. Note the latter part of this verse: “And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn.”

He comes with anger and vengeance for the wicked, but comfort and help to those who revere Yahweh’s Name and are submissive to Him. This ties in with Revelation’s prophecy:

“And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your Name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18). See also Luke 20:16; 2Thes. 1:8; 2:8; Heb. 10:27.

The Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle pictures the grand finale of the believer’s earthly sojourn. It represents the fulfillment of the promise made to the redeemed which will be done when He returns in the day of vengeance.

Although we are not sure exactly when His return will be, it will likely be on a Feast day within a Sabbatical or Jubilee year. That is the most appropriate time, the appointed time. Daniel 11 says the end shall be at the appointed time, that is, a moed or Feast. None of the Feasts of the seventh scriptural month have been fulfilled as far as we know.

Can We Pinpoint the Jubilees?
Studies to determine the secular dates of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years rest heavily on the Savior’s beginning ministry, which appears to be 27-28 CE.

The Jews were so determined to keep all of Yahweh’s law after their return from the Babylonian captivity that allegedly they believed that there was no reason to keep the Jubilee years, as they would not have reason to sell themselves into slavery or be redeemed. Therefore, records of these years are sparse.

An interesting discovery is that the Gregorian calendar years on which the Sabbatical cycle falls are evenly divisible by 7. The year 2023 is evenly divisible by seven, meaning that this fall begins the Sabbatical which runs through 2023 of next year.

What About This Year?
No planting or harvesting of crops is to be done after Atonement, 2022, until the fall Atonement of 2023.

Certainly a study of this neglected cycle will bring many obscure Bible truths to our attention and make the Bible become clearer as we draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son who make it all possible.

Key to Puzzling Passages
The Sabbatical years solve a puzzling statement Yahshua made in John 4. While traveling with His disciples to Galilee, He struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman. He said in v. 35: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Clearly this was a Sabbatical year when Yahshua began His ministry, 28 CE. It was also in May-June when grain harvests occur. But the Sabbatical didn’t end for four more months when harvesting could begin again.

This explains the four additional months of waiting for the harvest that Yahshua talked about.

Proof of Sabbaticals
Ben Zion Wacholder of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, a scholar on the Sabbaticals, wrote several books on the subject of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees: The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period (1973), The Timing of Messianic Movements and the Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles (1975), and The Calendar of Sabbath Years during the Second Temple Era: A Response (1983).

Wacholder’s proposed set of Sabbatical years are offset by one year later than Benedict Zuckerman’s set of years, which is the other popular timing. Wacholder had access to legal documents from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt that were not available to Zuckermann.

Only within the last 50 years has it become possible through archaeological discoveries, etc., to determine with an almost certainly what the exact Sabbatical years’ sequence was and is.

Two brilliant historical studies by Prof. Wacholder have solved the riddle of when the Sabbatical years occurred in ancient times, and when they are observed today.

The following historical events reveal the Sabbatical year sequence, with the year 2022-2023 being one of them:

• The recital of Deuteronomy 7:15 by Agrippa I in a post-Sabbatical year, making the Sabbatical year 41/42.
• A note of indebtedness from Wadi Murabba’at in 2nd year of Nero, 55/56 CE, indicating 55/56 as a Sabbatical year.
• Rental contracts of Simon bar Kosiba indicating 132/133 as a Sabbatical year.
• Three fourth- and fifth-century tombstones near Sodom indicating 433/434 and 440/441 CE were Sabbatical years.
(When farmers are keeping Sabbaticals by letting their fields rest, they are free to do building projects. And so…)
• CE 41–CE 42: King Agrippa I started building the expansive third wall around the northern parts of Jerusalem.
• CE 62–CE 63: Agrippa II started to rebuild Caesarea Philippi.
And then there are key historical events that hinge on Sabbath years:
• CE 69–CE 70: Destruction of Jerusalem in the latter part (motsae, “going-out”) of the Sabbatical year 69/70.
• CE 132–CE 133: Bar Kokhba revolt of the Jews against the Romans.

In part 2 we will further show the proper timing of the Sabbaticals both anciently and today.

The Spirit Of Pentecost

The day of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament and Shavuoth in Hebrew, is a day packed with biblical insight and importance.

It’s significant in both the Old and New testaments and is a day that Israel, along with the apostles, observed. It represents two essential gifts from our Heavenly Father: the giving of the Torah and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Examining the Command
As with any truth of Yahweh’s Word, understanding the foundation is important. Leviticus 23 is a key passage providing a summary of the seven annual Feasts, including the Feast of Weeks. It reads, ‘’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,” vv. 15-16.

Normally Yahweh gives the day and month for His appointed times. For example, He commands that we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th day of the first month. He follows this same pattern for all His Feasts except for this one. Instead of providing a specific month and day, He commands that we count seven complete Sabbaths or weeks from the time that the wave sheaf was offered.

The wave sheaf was presented to Yahweh by the priest on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, being the Sunday that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The grain harvest could not begin until this firstfruits sheaf was waved before Yahweh.

After we count seven complete weeks, Scripture commands that we add a 50th day. This 50th day marks the Feast of Weeks and is where we receive the name “Pentecost.”

In verse 16 Yahweh says that on this day Israel was to offer a new grain offering. The type of grain is key. Understanding agriculture in the Old Testament is pivotal to His Feasts.

The first month, Abib, commemorates the barley harvest, Exodus 9:31. The next grain to be harvested is wheat. Therefore, the Feast of Weeks commemorates the wheat harvest. The first two major Feasts in the Word were based on agricultural harvests.

In verse 17 Yahweh commanded Israel to make two loaves of bread on this day. It reads, “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.”

Notice that these two loaves both contained yeast or leavening. What might this leavening symbolize? It’s possible that it represents the establishment and growth of Yahweh’s assembly. We also find that leavening doesn’t always symbolize sin or something negative. Here leavening represents something pure or holy.

Pentecost is also a time of worship and fellowship: “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,” verse 21.

The phrase “holy convocation” comes from the Hebrew qodesh miqra, which means a holy or sacred meeting. Yahweh commands that we come together to worship Him on this Feast. It’s also a day of rest. It says here specifically do no “servile work.” This phrase derives from the Hebrew abodah, meaning “work of any kind.” This is a day not for ordinary work, but for the worship of our Elohim and fellowship with other like-minded believers.

 

Giving of the Law
Let’s now consider the Old and New testament fulfillments of this Feast. Yahweh’s Feasts reveal His plan of salvation for mankind. Our first clue is found in Exodus 19:1: “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.”

The timing here is critical. This passage confirms that Israel was in the wilderness of Sinai in the third month. Based on the 50-day count from the wave sheaf, this is the month Pentecost is in. We also know chronologically that this passage was immediately before Moses went up into Mount Sinai to receive the Law.

While it doesn’t say here that Moses received the law during this Feast, yet based on the evidence this is a high probability. In addition to Exodus 19 confirming they were at Sinai in the third month, the Jews maintain that the Law was given on this day. And it is consistent with the timing of their travels.

Another consideration is that nearly every major event in the Old and New testaments occurred on a Feast day. What event was more significant in the Old Testament than the giving of the Torah? Additionally, Scripture shows a relationship between the giving of the Law and its counterpart in the New Testament—the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost.

 

Outpouring of the Spirit
The second chapter of Acts provides a description of this event: “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,” verses 1-4. The people were gathered for Pentecost.

Contrary to popular church doctrine, New Testament believers continued observing the Feast days even after Yahshua’s death and resurrection. Acts 20:16 shows Paul’s desire to keep Pentecost in Jerusalem. Scripture also tells us that the Feasts will be observed in the millennial Kingdom, Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 45-46; and Zechariah 14:16-19.

Two important events occurred on this day in the New Testament: First, Yahweh poured out His Spirit on those gathered for Pentecost. And second, through Yahweh’s Spirit the people were given the gift of tongues (languages).

This outpouring of the Spirit is the New Testament fulfillment for this Feast. While some believe that Pentecost foreshadows the resurrection of the saints as the firstfruits of mankind, Scripture shows that this occurs at Yahshua’s coming, likely depicted in the Feast of Trumpets.

The Bible also confirms a relationship between the Torah (Old Testament) and Spirit (New Testament). Through the Law we receive the knowledge of Yahweh’s Word and through the Spirit we receive the ability to rightly apply that knowledge. Therefore, the Law and Spirit are complementary. What Yahweh began in the Old Testament He completed in the New Testament.

As noted, on that day those who received the Spirit were given the gift of tongues. Through the ages this gift has been misunderstood. In short, this gift is the ability to speak in another known language through divine inspiration.             The word “tongues” comes from the Greek glossa and means “a language (especially one naturally unacquired),” Strong’s. Based on this definition, glossa is a known language that often was supernaturally given. Those gathered here acquired this gift through the Holy Spirit.

 

Peter’s Pentecost Sermon
In addition to the giving of the Holy Spirit, on this day Peter also gave a dynamic message that rattled the very foundation of the New Testament assembly.

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith Yahweh, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of Yahweh come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved,” Acts 2:16-21.

Peter begins by quoting the prophet Joel who describes how Yahweh would pour out His Spirit upon both men and women and how they would prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams. He said that all these things would occur through Yahweh’s Spirit and would come to pass in the last days.

The term “latter days” describes the time between between Acts, the beginning of the New Testament assembly, and the Second Coming of Yahshua the Messiah.

Remember that a thousand years is like a day to Yahweh. So like Peter, we too are living in the last days.

As we get closer to Yahshua’s return, we will see greater manifestations through the power of Yahweh’s Spirit. One of the most important lessons is in verse 21. Peter verifies that those who call on Yahweh’s Name will be saved. Yahweh’s personal Name is one of the pivotal truths in Scripture.

As the Sabbath serves as a sign of Yahweh’s people, Yahweh’s Name serves as a seal. If we desire a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we must begin by calling on and honoring His Name Yahweh!

Beginning in verse 36 we find the impact of Peter’s high-powered message: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that Elohim hath made that same Yahshua, whom ye have impaled, both Master and Messiah. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls,” vv. 36-41.

After all the signs and wonders, and after Peter’s message, Scripture records that those gathered were pricked in their hearts for being responsible for the death of Yahshua the Messiah. The people asked Peter, “… what shall we do?”

At this point, they were distraught, realizing for the first time the mistake they had made. They understood the magnitude of what had happened. They were guilty of putting to death the Son of Yahweh. Peter told the crowd to repent and be baptized. As a result, about 3,000 people were immersed into Yahshua’s Name.

Yahweh used this day as the fire that would ignite the growth of the early New Testament assembly. If it were not for the outpouring of the Spirit, the gift of tongues, and Peter’s message, this likely would not have happened.

The Feast of Weeks provides many valuable lessons and great insight into Yahweh’s Word. Not only was the law delivered on this day, but also the Holy Spirit. Through the Law Yahweh has given mankind His instructions for righteous living and through His Spirit the wisdom to rightly apply the Word and give acumen to our lives.

We encourage you to join us for this important time commanded by Yahweh.

Feast Of Tabernacles 2022

Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry invites you to the 2022 Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) celebration in Holts Summit, Missouri, from the evening of October 11th – 18th. This Feast offers incredible insight into our Father’s plan of salvation for mankind. It represents not only Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness, but prophetically points to the coming Kingdom, when Yahshua the Messiah will govern this earth with His saints, Revelation 20:6.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Worship and Activities

Above all, the Feast is a time to worship Almighty Yahweh (Lev. 23:1). There is no greater purpose! To follow this command, we will have daily worship services along with several Bible studies throughout the Feast. We will also have a baptismal service for those seeking immersion into Yahshua’s Name. We will have our traditional Night of Special Music and all are invited to participate. To honor our Father in heaven, we ask that all Feastgoers make an effort to attend each day as this is a commanded, eight-day observance. In addition to the inspiring and informative messages and Bible workshops, we have several activities planned, including field trips, campfires and much more!

Lodging (Prices are for the ENTIRE FEAST)

YRM dorm room $150. (YRM does not reserve specific rooms; they will be assigned as we try to fit as many people in the dorms as possible.)

YRM RV sites with full hookups $125 .

YRM tenting spots on the grounds many of which have access to electric  for a donation of $50 for the entire Feast.

Since there is a limited number of dorm rooms and RV spaces, they are only available to those who stay for the entire eight days of the Feast. Whether you stay on or off YRM facilities, we also ask for a minimum donation of $50 per registration, in addition to the above lodging fees. This donation will be used for food and supplies throughout the Feast. Registrations are final only after receiving both the registration form and lodging/registration donations.

(Please note that smoking is not permitted on assembly grounds, including the campground. If you smoke on YRM’s property, you may be asked to leave)

If you are wanting to visit for the Feast but there are no vacancies, one of these options might suit you well! There are several hotels and parks nearby. Below are a few options with the distance to YRM and associated website attached.

Hotels Near YRM:

Capitol Plaza Hotel – 8.8 Miles Website

Courtyard By Marriott – 9.4 Miles Website

Double Tree By Hilton – 9.9 Miles Website

 

RV Camping Spots Near YRM:

Binder City Campground – 15.5 Miles Website

Osage Campground Retreat – 20.4 Miles Website

Mari Osa Delta Campground – 22.1 Miles Website

Meals

While some meals will be provided by YRM, most meals will be the responsibility of individual feast goers. There are two kitchens available, one in YRM’s main building and a second in the gymnasium. Both kitchens contain several stoves with limited refrigerator and freezer space. Those who use YRM’s kitchens must clean up after themselves, including any pots and pans used to prepare their meals and any messes they create in the fellowship (dining) hall. If they do not, they may forfeit their rights to kitchens. There are also several BBQ grills throughout the camp.

Airport and Bus Connections

Due to the distance from the assembly, visitors flying into Kansas City and St. Louis airports will need to provide their own transportation or schedule a pickup and drop-off by Mo-X shuttle service from the Kansas City and St. Louis airports to the pickup location in Kingdom City. You can reserve a ride online at moexpress.com or by calling (877) 669-4826. If advance notice is given to YRM, the Ministry will provide a shuttle from Kingdom City to Holts Summit. For those taking Greyhound or Amtrak, the closest depot/station is in Jefferson City, MO.

Background Checks

For the safety of the assembly, especially our children, the Ministry will be conducting background checks from SMART for all those 18 years and older. The Ministry reserves the right to request official identification upon arrival.

Dress Code

To ensure proper respect during worship times, and modesty throughout the Feast, we request that the following guidelines be honored: during worship times, men and boys should wear dress shirts and pants. Women and young ladies should wear dresses, skirts that cover the knee or dress pants. If you do not have adequate attire for worship, please come in your best, as we are coming before the King of the Universe. At all times, please avoid immodest shorts, sleeveless, tight or low-cut clothing. Also, women and young ladies should cover their heads during worship and men are to leave their heads uncovered (1Cor. 11:6-7).

Ministry Guidelines

Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry asks all who attend to respect our doctrines, not purposely spread discord, and to follow our Code of Conduct. Our teachings and worship are in the Names Yahweh and Yahshua only. The Feast is a time to worship and to enjoy the company of like-minded believers, not to engage in doctrinal disputes. If you have a different belief from our Statement of Beliefs, we ask that you discuss it with only YRM’s ministers.

We pray that you will make plans NOW to join us for these special times. The time of reflection and spiritual growth during the Feast of Tabernacles will be a blessing for all in attendance! May Yahweh bless you in your desire to serve Him! To make your reservation, please complete and submit a reservation form with your donation.

We will be broadcasting all services during the Feast of Tabernacles. 

conjunction vs crescent moon

No Moon vs. New Moon – the Conjunction vs. the Visible Crescent

No Moon vs. New Moon – the Conjunction vs. the Visible Crescent

Does Yahweh set His months and Feasts by the total blackness of the moon? Is that what “lights in the heavens” means?

There is a belief that the biblical month should be set by what is called the conjunction rather than by observation of the lunar crescent. The conjunction is a term that describes the exact alignment of the sun, the moon, and the earth. This alignment creates complete darkness before the moon starts to be visible or waxing. It is called Syzygy in astronomy, from the ancient Greek meaning “yoked together.”

In modern astronomy the term “new moon” entered popular usage to describe this time of total darkness, but this term was never associated with darkness in history. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the new moon as “the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the sun.”

This conjunction or darkness is not synonymous with or related in any way to the new moon in Scripture. In fact, how can it even designate a new “moon” if the moon is completely hidden by darkness? To be accurate you would call it a “no moon.” In the Hebrew this darkness (void of any celestial light) is called: chashak חָשַׁךְ and means darkness or obscurity in relation to celestial lights. Notice how Ecclesiastes 12:2 uses it: “…before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark [chashak], and the clouds return after the rain.”

In stark contrast the Torah confirms the exact opposite of darkness as it relates to setting Yahweh’s Holy Days, which is expected, being that “Elohim is light and in Him there is no darkness,” 1John 1:5.

 

Lights in the Sky

Genesis 1:14 uses “lights” to set the appointed times of Yahweh. “And Elohim said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred days and years.” Some translations, like the KJV, use the word “seasons.” This is imprecise according to the Hebrew. The Hebrew word here is moed מוֹעֵד and means an appointed time, place or meeting. This means Yahweh’s Sabbath and yearly festivals. The light here in Genesis 1 is maor מָאוֹר and Brown Driver Briggs defines it as: “light, light-bearer, luminary, lamp, of sun and moon.”

Genesis 1:14 provides the purpose of these lights:

1) to separate the day from the night

2) to set the appointed times

3) to set the year

Continuing “…and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. Elohim made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day [sun] and the lesser light to govern the night [moon].”

The year is set at the new moon of the Aviv harvest. Notice: “Observe the month [chodesh חֹדֶשׁ new moon] of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of Yahweh your Elohim, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night,” Deuteronomy 16:1. As Genesis 1:14 clearly says this maor מָאוֹר “light” sets the year.

Exodus 12:1 asserts the Aviv new moon is the first of the year, shanah: “Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.’ So if we must use light to set Yahweh’s Festivals and years, how then can the darkness of the conjunction work in any way in Yahweh’s calendar?

In fact, this time of dark conjunction can last up to 3.5 days depending on its ecliptic latitude. Modern science calls this an astronomical dark moon. To calculate this “middle darkness” in relation to your position on planet earth without the aid of a telescope would take the mathematic genius of Albert Einstein. To compute this “dark moon” you would need to know the pole orientation in relation to the moon and earth’s orbit based on your geographical location. This is called in astronomy “The apparent place” or the position in space as seen by an observer. Because of physical and geometrical complexities it may differ from the “true” or “geometric” position. This would present an insurmountable technical challenge for the ancient Israelite like David out herding his sheep.

 

Not Rocket Science

So ask yourself, is this how Yahweh would establish his months? Does it need to be so hard that only the U.S. Naval Observatory can figure it out? Ezekiel 46:6 instructs: “On the day of the new moon he is to offer a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect.” Which day would you choose for the new moon if depending on your geographic location you had a choice of up to three and a half nights of darkness to select from?

Yahweh is an Elohim of light not darkness. Unbelievers, wickedness, and darkness are synonymous. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2Corinthians 6:14.

The Apostle Paul journeyed as far as Macedonia for over two years. How would he have calculated this dark moon for the Festival of Yom Teruah or Trumpets? Yahweh makes it easy when all Paul needed to do was witness the first thin crescent of the new moon.

Notice what Yahweh said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to Yahweh.’” Leviticus 23:24. The moon sets the month and on this Feast day we are commanded to keep it on the first day of the seventh month.

 

Simply See It or Not See It

Did Yahweh intend for us to be astronomers using complex mathematic formulas to be able to know when this exact middle-darkness occurs in relation to our geographical location? Of course not. This is a man-made idea that complicates, perverts and adds to the Word. Yahweh’s visible crescent is beautiful in its simplicity requiring uncomplicated sight confirmation.

The new moon is to be “observed” every month. Deuteronomy 16:1: “Observe the month (new moon) of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of Yahweh your Elohim, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.” The Hebrew word for observe is shamar שָׁמַר a verb which denotes an action and has the synonymous meaning of keeping, watching and preserving.

This word is a proper noun for “watchmen,” according to Brown Driver Briggs Gesenius. The Holladay Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon defines shamar as “watching in the sense of looking.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words includes the definitions “mark, watchman, wait, watch, look narrowly.” The command is to look for, wait for, watch and mark the new moon. It could be translated, “Look carefully for the new moon of Aviv and perform the Pesach in this month…”

Those who hold to dark moon idea try to remove any semblance of “watching,” which is one of the fundamental meanings of this Hebrew word shamar. If we are commanded to “watch for” rather than calculate, then this doctrine falls apart at the seams. Watching for something that isn’t there is senseless.

The argument is that this Hebrew word simply has the meaning of “do.” If this is the case then why is the Hebrew word asah עָשָׂה (do), which is also translated as observe in scripture, not used here in Deuteronomy16?

Shamar has a much more encompassing meaning of observation along with keeping and doing. Exodus 31:16 shows both these words in context in relation to the Sabbath “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep (shamar) the sabbath, to observe (asah, do) the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” The Sabbath is kept by watching and observing the sunset and sunrise (the greater light, Genesis 1:14). The true faith is an active faith based on observation on the lights Yahweh made for us. 

 

Ancient Jewish Philosopher Philo Attests to Crescent After Conjunction 

philo philosopher Many historic sources back up how ancient Israel observed the new moon. A Jewish philosopher named Philo of Alexandria (20BCE-50CE) lived during the time of the Messiah. He was Greek-speaking and documented this interesting observation of how the festivals were kept. Amazingly, he even makes a distinction between the conjunction (dark moon) and the new moon!

(The Special Laws) XI. (41)  “The first matter to be considered is that of the Festivals. Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down. The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day. The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath. The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month. The fourth is that of the passover which is called the passover.

“The fifth is the first fruits of the corn—the sacred sheaf. The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really the seventh day of seventh days. The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets. The ninth is the fast.

“The tenth is the feast of tabernacles, which is the last of all the annual festivals, ending so as to make the perfect number of ten…..XXVI. (140)  Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders. And this is, as it seems, an evident lesson of kindness and humanity to men, to teach them that they should never grudge to impart their own good things to others, but, imitating the heavenly bodies, should drive envy away and banish it from the Soul.”

See reference

 

Ancient New Moon Validations

GamalielThe Mishnah is a collection of Jewish oral traditions written between 20 BCE and 220 CE. It details how the new moon was judged by eye witness observation and how their testimony was scrutinized by the Beth Din בית דין or “house of judgment.” Gamaliel, who was the Apostle Paul’s mentor, and mentioned in scripture notice “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while” Acts 5:34.  The Mishnah gives this detailed explanation regarding Gamaliel:

“There was a large court in Jerusalem called Beth Ya’azeq, where all the witnesses met, and where they were examined by the Beth Din. Great feasts were made there for (the witnesses) in order to induce them to come frequently. At first they did not stir from there all day (on the Sabbath), 1 till R. Gamaliel, the elder, ordained that they might go two thousand ells on every side; and not only these (witnesses) but also a midwife, going to perform her professional duties, and those who go to assist others in case of conflagration, or against an attack of robbers, or in case of flood, or (of rescuing people) from the ruins (of a fallen building) are considered (for the time being) as inhabitants of that place, and may go (thence on the Sabbath) two thousand ells on every side. How were the witnesses examined? The first pair were examined first. The elder was introduced first, and they said to him: Tell us in what form thou sawest the moon; was it before or behind the sun? Was it to the north or the south (of the sun)? What was its elevation on the horizon? Towards which side was its inclination? What was the width of its disk? If he answered before the sun, his evidence was worthless. After this they introduced the younger (witness) and he was examined; if their testimony was found to agree, it was accepted as valid; the remaining pairs (of witnesses) were asked leading questions, not because their testimony was necessary, but only to prevent them departing, disappointed, and to induce them to come again often,”

In the Talmud, the Gemara (350-400CE) then references this part of the Mishnah:

Gemara: “Do not the questions (asked by the Mishna), ‘was it before or behind the sun?’ and ‘was it to the north or to the south?’ mean the same thing? Answered Abayi: (the Mishna asks) whether the concave of the crescent was before or behind the sun, and if (the witness said) it was before the sun, his evidence was worthless, for R. Johanan says: What is the meaning of the passage [Job, xxv. 2]: ‘Dominion and fear are with him; he maketh peace in his high places?’ It means that the sun never faces the concave of the crescent or the concave of a rainbow.

What was its elevation on the horizon? Towards which side was its inclination?  In one Boraitha we have learned: If (the witness) said ‘towards the north,’ his evidence was valid, but if he said, ‘towards the south,’ it was worthless; in another Boraitha we have learned the reverse. It presents no difficulty; in the latter case it speaks of the summer, while in the former it refers to the winter.

“The rabbis taught: If one (witness) said its elevation appeared about as high as two ox-goads and another said about as high as three, their testimony was invalid, but either might be taken in conjunction with a subsequent witness (who offered similar testimony). The rabbis taught (If the witnesses say): ‘We have seen the reflection (of the moon) in the water, or through a metal mirror, or in the clouds,’ their testimony is not to be accepted; or (if they say we have seen) ‘half of it in the water, and half of it in the heavens, or half of it in the clouds,’ their evidence carries no weight. Must they then see the new moon again (before their testimony can be accepted)? Said Abayi: ‘By this is meant that if the witnesses testify that they saw the moon accidentally, and they then returned purposely and looked for it, but they saw it not, their evidence is worthless.’ Why so? Because one might say they saw a patch of white clouds (and they thought it was the moon).”

See reference

 

Gamaliel’s Moon Chart

Even Gamaliel had a chart on his wall showing the various moon stages used in questioning would be new moon observers:

Mishna: “R. Gamaliel had on a tablet, and on a wall of his upper room, illustrations of the various phases of the moon, which he used to show to the common people, saying: ‘Did you see the moon like this figure or like this?’” See https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/tractate-rosh-hashana-chapter-2

From the Midrash we read, “On the first of Nissan, the moon begins to illuminate. As the days continue, her luminosity increases, until the 15th day, when her disk is full… Likewise is Israel. Fifteen generations from Abraham until Solomon; Abraham began illuminating… with Solomon, the moon’s disk was filled.”

See reference

 

The Jewish Encyclopedia explains how the Samaritans tried to confuse the Jews by lighting false signal fires during the sighting and consecration of the new moon.

“Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah I., surnamed ‘the Holy’ (163-193), the Samaritans, in order to confuse the Jews, set up fire-signals at improper times, and thus caused the Jews to fall into error with regard to the day of the new moon. Rabbi Judah accordingly abolished the fire-signals and employed messengers. The inhabitants of countries who could not be reached by messengers before the feast were accordingly in doubt, and used to celebrate two days of the holidays. By this time the fixing of the new moon according to the testimony of witnesses seems to have lost its importance, and astronomical calculations were in the main relied upon.”

 

Calculated to Break with Judaism

One of the important figures in the history of the calendar was Samuel (born about 165, died about 250), surnamed “Yarḥinai” because of his familiarity with the moon. He was an astronomer, and it was said that he knew the courses of the heavens as well as the streets of his city (Ber. 58b). He was director of a school in Nehardea (Babylonia), and while there arranged a calendar of the feasts in order that his fellow-countrymen might be independent of Judea. He also calculated the calendar for sixty years. His calculations greatly influenced the subsequent calendar of Hillel. According to Bartolocci his tables are preserved in the Vatican. A contemporary of his, R. Adda (born 183), also left a work on the calendar.”

By 300 CE the original spotting of the new moon by the Sanhedrin was replaced by calculation.

“Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah III. (300-330) the testimony of the witnesses with regard to the appearance of the new moon was received as a mere formality, the settlement of the day depending entirely on calculation. This innovation seems to have been viewed with disfavor by some members of the Sanhedrin, particularly Rabbi Jose, who wrote to both the Babylonian and the Alexandrian communities, advising them to follow the customs of their fathers and continue to celebrate two days, an advice which was followed, and is still followed, by the majority of Jews living outside of Palestine.

See reference

 

It is evident that during the time of the second Temple period and before, visual observation of the new moon was taken very seriously. Man’s adding to the Word and using calculations for the calendar starting with the dark moon came into vogue later with Hillel II, 300 years after the death of the Messiah.

If you desire to return to the scriptural paths of True Worship (Jer. 6:16), then join us every month as we commemorate the new moon crescent. yrm.org/new-moon-network

 

How the Bible Defines Leavening

In this article we will examine the meaning of leavening. For the last 20 years, this ministry has viewed leavening as an item that simply contained a leavening agent, e.g., yeast or baking soda. However, after a recent in-depth study, we have discovered that the concept of leavening is more complex.

The catalyst that motivated this study was Leviticus 23:13. “And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto Yahweh for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.”

We see here a reference to the firstfruits offerings during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. One item that is prohibited during this Feast is leavening.

Historically we’ve defined leavening as an item that simply contained a leavening agent. From this passage, though, we find a problem with this definition: the mention of wine. As most may know, wine is produced with yeast, a leavening agent. And for this reason it’s also been our position that wine and other alcohol must be removed during Unleavened Bread. But as we see in this passage, wine was used in an offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Some may wonder, is the wine mentioned here really alcohol? Maybe it’s something closer to grape juice. The word wine comes from the Hebrew yayin, which Strong’s defines as, “wine (as fermented); by implication, intoxication.” The Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon also defines this word as, “wine.” Based on Strong’s and BDB, we know that this word refers to fermented wine.

So how do we reconcile what we’ve always believed with what we find here? The answer is we can’t. We can’t reconcile our previous definition of leavening with the fact that wine was the drink offering commanded during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is why we took the time to re-evaluate this belief.

Going back to the Hebrew, we reviewed every instance of where leavening is used in Scripture. This involved every instance of the Hebrew words seor and chamets, the words used for leavening in the Tanakh or the Old Testament. To understand leavening, we MUST understand the meaning of these Hebrew words.

We find our first example in Exodus 12:15: “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”

This passage refers to the Feast of Unleavened Bread during which time we’re to put away the leaven or seor from our homes and abstain from eating leavened bread or chamets. I want to point out that it explicitly mentions eating; nothing is said about drinking. As we’ll see from other instances, chamets is always connected to eating. Interestingly, this time is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, not the Feast of Unleavened Drink.

Meaning of Seor

Let’s focus now on the meaning of seor. According to Strong’s, seor is defined as, “barm or yeast-cake (as swelling by fermentation).” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, barm is defined as “yeast formed on fermenting malt liquors.” The yeast cake mentioned here is a reference to a sourdough starter, which is how Israel would leaven their dough to make leavened bread or chamets.

Continuing to look at the meaning of seor, we discover that the Fausset’s Bible Dictionary defines this word as, “A lump of old dough in high fermentation. Because making it, and leavening bread with it, took time, unleavened bread was used in sudden emergencies (Gen 18:6; 19:3). It was forbidden in all offerings to [Yahweh] by fire (Lev 2:11; 7:12).”

We see here that seor refers to an old piece of dough that is highly fermented, which is what we call a sourdough or a starter dough. It’s a piece of dough that is allowed to ferment to the point of becoming sour or acidic and then used to leaven another piece of dough. This dough contains both grain and a leavening agent. For Israel, the leavening agent would have been wild yeast. Therefore, seor must include grain plus a leavening agent and not a leavening agent alone.

When speaking of yeast and starter dough, a few facts to consider are:

1) wild yeast is all around us and even within us; 2) a starter is formed when the yeast breaks down the starch in the flour into sugar, producing carbon dioxide; and, 3) it’s the carbon dioxide that causes the bread to puff up or to rise. The rising was the focus of seor and chamets.

In fact, the word “leaven” comes from the Latin verb levare, meaning, “to raise.” Again, what allows for this to happen is the starter dough, i.e., the dough that is in high fermentation or that contains a high concentration of yeast. Therefore, when we speak about seor, especially from a biblical standpoint, we are speaking about a sourdough starter, which is how Israel leavened their dough.

The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary refers to seor as a small portion of dough that is highly fermented and turning acidic or sour. This was used to leaven and produce leavened bread or chamets. “The Heb. term se’or occurs only five times in Scripture, in four of which (Ex 12:15, 19; 13:7; Lev 2:1-11) it is translated ‘leaven’ and in the fifth (Deut 16:3) ‘leavened bread.’

The NIV translates ‘yeast’ in each of these references. This probably denotes the small portion of dough left from the preceding baking that had fermented and turned acidic. Its distinctive meaning is fermented or leavened mass.”

Another source, Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, gives the following definition: “A substance used to produce fermentation in dough and make it rise (Ex 12:15, 19-20). In Bible times leaven was usually a piece of fermented dough retained from a previous baking that was placed in the new dough to cause it to rise.”

From here we see that seor refers to a piece of old dough in high fermentation that would then be used to leaven new dough, which is what we would call a sourdough starter.

A similar explanation is found in the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia: “In bread baking.-The form of leaven used in bread-making and the method of using it were simple and definite. The ‘leaven’ consisted always, so far as the evidence goes, of a piece of fermented dough kept over from a former baking. There is no trace of the use of other sorts of leaven, such as the lees of wine or those mentioned by Pliny (NH, wviii.26). The lump of dough thus preserved was either dissolved in water in the kneading-trough before the flour was added, or was ‘hid’ in the flour (the King James Version ‘meal’) and kneaded along with it, as was the case mentioned in the parable (Matt 13:33). The bread thus made was known as ‘leavened,’ as distinguished from ‘unleavened’ bread (Ex 12:15, etc.)”

Again we see that leavening or seor refers to a piece of leavened dough from a previous baking, which would then be used to leaven a new loaf.

According to this source, this could have been done in two different ways. The first process would be to dissolve the starter within the kneading-trough before the flour was added. The other method was simply to take the starter and place or hide it within a new dough. Either of these two methods would leaven a new piece of dough, causing it to rise. This was done using the starter or this highly fermented, acidic piece of dough.

For good measure, let’s consider one more reference, from the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. “‘Seir’ occurs only five times in the Scriptures, in four of which (Ex 12:15, 19; Ex 13:7; Le 2:11) it is rendered ‘leaven,’ and in the fifth (De 16:4) ‘leavened bread.’ It seems to have denoted originally the remnant of dough left on the preceding baking which had fermented and turned acid.”

This source once more confirms the meaning of seor, a portion of leavened dough from a previous baking that has turned acidic or sour.

In summation, we learn that seor is a piece of dough that contains flour and yeast, is highly acidic, and is used as a sourdough starter. Also, by the existence of wine during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we see that a leavening agent alone, e.g., yeast or baking soda, would NOT be considered seor.

 

What is Chamets?

Let’s now review the meaning of chamets. Strong’s states, “ferment, (figuratively) extortion: -leaven, leavened (bread).” The Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon explains it as: “…that which is leavened…forbidden at Passover Exodus…in all sacrifices…exceptions are of peace-offering and the wave loaves.

Biblically, we see that chamets refers to leavened bread. We also know that it’s forbidden during the Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread, along with all sacrifices, except for the peace offering and the wave loaves offered during the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.

Here’s how the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature defines leavening: “‘chamets’ ought not to be rendered ‘leaven,’ but leavened bread… In Ex 13:7, both seor’ and chamets’ occur together, and are evidently distinct: ‘Unleavened bread (matstsah’) shall be eaten during the seven days, and there shall not be seen with thee the fermented bread (chamets’), and there shall not be seen with thee leavened bread (seor’) in all thy borders.”

We see that chamets is not simply leavening but is leavened bread. In other words, it is the leavened product produced from the seor. Again, the primary example of chamets from the Bible is leavened bread. There are no other examples for chamets, but for leavened bread, whether eaten or used in sacrifice. When we think of seor, we should think of a sourdough starter, and when we think of chamets, we should think of a leavened product produced by a sourdough starter or an alternative leavening agent.

 

The Jewish Perspective

Let’s consider now how the Jews understand leavening.

According to oukosher.org, “If one of the five grains – wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt – sits in water for more than 18 minutes it becomes chametz, and one may not eat, derive benefit from or own it on Pesach.”

Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din, kosher.org.uk, states, “Chametz is formed when dough made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt is allowed to ferment (or rise). The time in which fermentation takes place is deemed to be 18 minutes.”

As the last example, chabad.org verifies that “chametz (also spelled ‘hametz’ or ‘chometz’) is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and ‘rise.’”

We see that chamets is any food product that is produced from grain that has come in contact with water and allowed to ferment or rise. So based on the Jewish understanding of leavening, we find that four things are needed for something to be considered chamets:

1) It needs to contain grain, e.g., wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt;

2) It needs water;

3) It needs access to a leavening agent, which is around us in the form of wild yeast; and,

4) It needs time to leaven or to rise.

According to many Jews, the time it takes for a piece of dough to become leavened is 18 minutes. With this in mind, if we took flour, added water, and then allowed that dough to ferment with the natural yeast within the air for 18 minutes. According to many Jews, we would have chamets.

Because chamets requires all these items, a leavening agent alone is not considered chamets or seor. For those who were part of the initial study, this was the bombshell that changed the trajectory of what we would come to understand about leavening. Again, it was always our belief that a leavening agent alone was considered seor or chamets, but when we understand these words from a biblical standpoint, there’s more to it. In this case, we know that yeast or a chemical leavening agent alone is not considered chamets.

Wikipedia concurs: “Chametz is a product that is both made from one of five types of grain and has been combined with water and left to stand raw for longer than eighteen minutes (according to most opinions) and becomes leavened … Leavening agents, such as yeast or baking soda, are not themselves chametz. Rather, it is the fermented grains. Thus yeast may be used in making wine.”

From this source, we again see that chamets is when grain is combined with water and allowed to become leavened. Remember, from a biblical standpoint, seor is a sourdough starter, and chamets is a leavening product made from seor.

 

Examples of Seor and Chamets

Let’s now review where soer and chamets are used within Scripture. From the Torah we find the following passages containing the word seor.

Exodus 12:19 – “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth 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.” All seor must be removed from our homes during the seven days of Unleavened Bread.

Exodus 13:7 – “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.” All seor must be removed from our quarters, Heb. gebul, referring to a person’s boundary or territory.

Leviticus 2:11 – “No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto Yahweh, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of Yahweh made by fire.” No meat or grain offering was to be made with seor or a sourdough starter. THIS IS IMPORTANT – it shows that seor was the initial starter that was used to leaven chamets.

Deuteronomy 16:4 – “And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.” No seor was to be seen within a person’s coast, Heb. gebul, referring to a person’s boundary or territory.

Let’s now look at the examples for chamets, which is found 13 times in the Old Testament, 12 within the Torah and once within the Nevi’im, e.g., prophets.

Exodus 12:19 – “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth 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.” The command is not to eat chamets during the seven days of Unleavened Bread. The penalty for ignoring this command was to be cut off from the congregation. It’s crucial that we do our very best to abstain from eating leavened products or chamets during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Before moving on, I want to emphasize that the command here is eating and not drinking. And the reason for this is simple – chamets is leavened bread, not leavened drink.

Exodus 12:20 – “Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.” As we saw in verse 19 we see here, that we’re to abstain from eating chamets or anything leavened during this Feast. And again, I point out that the command is of eating, nothing is said about drinking. For those wondering, there is a Hebrew word for drinking, it is shathah, but we don’t find that word in relation to seor or chamets.

Exodus 13:3 – “And Moses said unto the people, remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.” As we’ve seen previously, Yahweh commands us here not to eat chamets or leavened bread during this Feast.

Exodus 13:7 – “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.” There are several items to consider here: we’re to eat unleavened bread, i.e., matstsah’, for all seven days of this Feast. So, in contrast of removing and abstaining from leavening, we find that we’re to eat unleavened bread for all seven days of this Feast.

As we know from the New Testament, unleavened bread symbolizes sincerity and truth. Understand that there’s a spiritual lesson to be learned throughout this Feast. This passage also relates that no chamets or seor should be seen within our quarters or boundaries.

Exodus 23:18 – “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.” As we saw from the BDB, we also find here that no leavened bread or chamets was to be included within the offerings. The only exception was the peace, or fellowship offering along with the two loaves offered during the Feast of Weeks.

Exodus 23:25 – “And ye shall serve Yahweh your Elohim, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

Leviticus 2:11 – “No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto Yahweh, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of Yahweh made by fire.” A better name for the meat offerings is a grain offering and as before, leavening, whether chamets or seor, was not allowed within this offering. We also see the mention of honey and because of this, some ask if we should be removing honey during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. While honey can be used to speed up the leavening process, honey of its own is NOT considered seor or chamets. For this reason, there’s no need to remove honey during this Feast.

Leviticus 6:17 – “It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.” Two specific offerings are mentioned here – the sin offering for unintentional sins and the trespass offering, which was for intentional sins. Notice that if a person brought a cake or grain offering, it had to be without leavening or chamets. This offering was a food product that was baked.

Leviticus 7:13 – “Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.” Unlike the sin and trespass offerings, we find that leavening was to be used during the fellowship or peace offering. The peace offering was a show of desire to fellowship with Yahweh and for this reason, it was treated differently.

Leviticus 23:17 – “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.” Again, we see that leavening or chamets was to be used within the wave loaves offered during the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. As was seen here and in the previous example, leavening or chamets is not always negative. We know this because it was commanded to be used in the peace offering and the wave loaves offering to Yahweh.

Deuteronomy 16:3 – “Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.” This passage is referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As we’ve already seen from many other examples, during these seven days we’re to abstain from eating leavened bread or chamets.

Amos 4:5 – “And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith my Sovereign Yahweh.” We find here another reference to the fellowship or peace offering in which leavening or chamets was to be used.

Let’s review what we’ve learned thus far about seor and chamets:

  • In the Old Testament, the word seor is found five times and the word chamets is seen 13 times, referring to the sourdough starter and leavened bread, respectively.
  • During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we’re commanded to remove all seor and chamets from our homes and boundaries.
  • During this Feast, we’re commanded to eat unleavened bread and abstain from eating leavening or leavened bread in the form of seor or chamets, emphasizing the focus is on eating and not drinking.
  • Except for the peace offering and the two wave loaves offered during Shavuot, no seor or chamets was to be used in a sacrifice or offering.

 

Defining Seor and Chamets

What do you suppose ancient Israelites would show us if we asked for examples of seor and chamets? More than likely they would bring us a sourdough starter for seor and a loaf of leavened bread for chamets.

Based on this, we offer the following definitions for seor and chamets:

Seor: A piece of highly fermented or acidic dough or any other grain-derived leavening product that might be used to leaven dough, much like our own sourdough starter.

Chemets: Any grain derived food product that has been leavened by seor, i.e., a leavening agent, whether that be natural or chemical. The primary example would be leavened bread, but it would also include items that may not resemble bread but contain both grain and a leavening agent.

So again, any food product containing grain, wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats, along with a leavening agent, would be considered chamets. This is why we must take stock of the food items we have within our homes before the Feast of Unleavened Bread and remove anything that would be considered seor or chamets.

We have only referenced leavening agents until now, but have not provided a list of such agents. Below is a list of leavening agents we have identified over the years.

  • Yeast
  • Baker’s yeast
  • Active dried yeast
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate)
  • Ammonium carbonate
  • Ammonium bicarbonate
  • Potassium carbonate
  • Potassium bicarbonate
  • Dipotassium carbonate

Remember that these leavening agents alone are NOT considered seor or chamets. For this reason, there’s no need to remove these leavening agents from our homes during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

However, there is one caveat. Based on our research, some yeast packets would be considered seor due to the way they are manufactured. Some companies will produce a yeast cake with grain and then disaggregate that yeast cake into the yeast we find within many yeast packets.

This seems to be especially common with organic yeast packets. Because of this, we encourage you to remove your yeast packets during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

But for the other items in the above list, there’s no need to remove them unless you are convicted of doing so, which is certainly acceptable.

 

What May Remain?

Beyond defining leavening, we must address those items that may remain during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that we previously disallowed. Since leavening agents alone are not considered seor or chamets, there is no need to remove leavening agents that cannot be used as a starter in their current form, e.g., baking soda and baking powder.

In addition to leavening agents, there is also no need to remove alcohol unless there’s evidence that it can be used as a starter. The following alcohols contain no yeast in their final form and therefore would not be considered seor: vodka, gin, tequila, Irish whiskey, bourbon, schnapps, most wine, and many commercial beers.

Even though many alcoholic beverages contain grain and a leavening agent, e.g., yeast, in their original form, the leavening agent is purged or made inert in its final form. For this reason, they are unable to be used as seor or a starter.

In our research we contacted several brewers and verified that most commercial beers either remove or kill any excess yeast; some exceptions, though, include Pale Ale, Porter, and Stout. Therefore, if you choose to keep commercial beers, we suggest that you confirm with the manufacturer that the yeast has been removed or made inert.

In our investigation, we sent the following question to several breweries: “Can you verify if any of your beers contain live or active yeast that could be used as a starter to make bread without the assistance of any additional leavening agents?”

We received the following replies:

“I can tell you that almost all beer, except for draught beer, is pasteurized. This process enables the brewer to kill traces of live yeast or other organisms which helps the beer stay fresh longer,” Anheuser-Busch.

“Almost all of the yeast used in the brewing process is filtered out of the beer prior to packaging,”

Molson Coors Beverage Company.

“The yeast used to make our beers is filtered out before bottling. If you would like yeast for bread or other means, we recommend buying yeast itself,” Samuel Adams.

“Our bottle-conditioned beers will have live yeast sitting at the bottom of the bottle. Bottle-conditioned beers include: Pale Ale, Porter, Stout, Celebration, and Bigfoot. There are about a couple thousand cells at the bottom of a can or bottle and will need to be propagated to be used for making bread. Yeast for bread and our ale yeast are a little different. You may have to use a bit more ale yeast than the recipe calls for or use additional leavening agents,” Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Also, as we see from Scripture, chamets is a food item. Therefore, by definition, alcohol would not be considered chamets and since most beer cannot be used as a starter, it would not be considered seor.

In addition to alcohol, since the Feast of Unleavened Bread focuses on food items we consume, there is no reason to remove non-food items with a leavening agent, e.g., baking soda toothpaste.

What About Grain Substitutes?

The last issue to address is grain substitutes. Examples of this includes quinoa, rice, almonds (and other nuts), coconut, tapioca, or sorghum. Many Jews use grain substitutes with a leavening agent to make cakes and other items during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Even though grain substitutes are technically not grain, we believe that using such products combined with a leavening agent to make bread or pastries violates the command of abstaining from leavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The main point of this Feast is to remove and abstain from leavened bread or that which puffs up.

 

In Summary

Let’s now summarize what we have learned:

  • Wine was used during the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the form of an offering. This shows that a leavening agent on its own is NOT biblically considered leavening.
  •   The two words for leavening or leavened bread within Hebrew are seor and chamets.
  •   From a biblical standpoint, seor refers to a piece of highly fermented or acidic dough or any other grain-derived leavened product that might be used to leaven dough, much like our own sourdough starter.
  •   Chamets would be any grain-derived food product that has been leavened by seor or a leavening agent, whether natural or chemical.
  • Except for yeast packets, a leavening agent alone is NOT considered seor or chamets.
  • Since most alcohol does not contain active yeast and cannot be used as a sourdough starter, i.e., seor, and would not meet the definition of chamets, it can remain during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

I hope that this information has helped you better understand the biblical definition of leavening. We encourage you to prove all things from Yahweh’s Word as we are all obligated to do

Feast of Unleavened Bread 2022 Registration

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FOT 2021 Photo Gallery

Check out this years Feast of Tabernacles photos! It was such a blessing to have you all with us! Yahweh be with you all until we see you again in the spring.

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Passover Day

Redemption Starts at Passover

This article was written in 2014, so the dates stated in this article are from that year!

Many believe that our Creator Yahweh’s plan of redemption was finished when Yahshua was impaled on Passover day. They assume that His death marked the end of the old Jewish system, including the laws of the Old Testament.

His ascension and the Feast of Pentecost of Acts 2 also allegedly marked the start of a new faith called Christianity, which replaced Israel as the chosen of Yahweh. Consistent with this notion is the belief that Christianity has little use for the Old Testament or its commanded observances.

The facts tell a far different story, which show that the church lost its way early on.

The truth is, Yahshua as the Passover Lamb holds the key role in a continuation of Yahweh’s design for His human creation.

Passover: The Plan Begins

The Passover is the first of the annual observances of Yahweh and is the starting point for the rest of Yahweh’s design for salvation.

Granted, the original hopes that Yahweh had of an exclusive, special people who would follow and worship Him, had now changed. Because of Israel’s continual rebellion, Yahweh opened up His calling to all who would repent and turn to Him. Not only is Israel still included in His plan, but they are still central to it. Romans 9:27 says a remnant of Israel shall be saved.

When we look at the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows, we see a progression – and not an end – of a salvation plan that was established at creation itself.

Passover is a memorial of an actual event that occurred long ago in Egypt. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows also foreshadow events to occur later in the New Testament and into our own future. What Yahshua did by becoming the Passover Lamb was realized only in part. He spoke of another fulfillment of Passover yet to come. He said just as He was taking Passover with His disciples that He would keep it anew in His Father’s Kingdom, Matthew 26:29.

We see the importance of this special observance throughout history. From ancient days to the Kingdom, the Passover is key to Yahweh’s blueprint for the salvation of His creation and the establishment of a coming Kingdom on earth.

When in chapter 12 of Exodus as one Egyptian firstborn died after another, Yahweh was sending a clear message to all of mankind. It was to the firstborn that twice the family inheritance was given, which was known as the birthright. With the death of the firstborn, Yahweh demonstrated a salvational fact that those not covered by the blood of the lamb will have no life – meaning no inheritance in His Kingdom.

The other lesson we learn is that we can be covered by that blood only if we follow Yahweh’s instructions explicitly. If anyone in Israel had not done exactly as Yahweh commanded by putting the lamb’s blood on all sides of the doorpost then he would have faced the same consequences as the Egyptians. Yahweh had to see the blood of protection at each home, Exodus 12:23. The entire door frame had to have a blood covering, symbolic of His people’s being completely surrounded by the blood of the Lamb.

A Calling Out

Without the blood of Messiah covering for our sins, we face everlasting death. Rather than having little meaning for us today, the Passover and Feast have much more serious implications. The immediate physical consequences that came anciently for disobedience translate today into serious spiritual ramifications if we are not in total compliance.

Looking back in history, we see that Yahweh began a recalling of His people at the Passover, ultimately to take them out of Egypt and unto Himself through their worship and devotion.

He does the same today in the New Covenant observance of the Passover. It is an annual memorial and lesson for all who would be His elect to come clean and not get involved in the sin of the world. The world can easily enslave us, just as Israel was enslaved in Egypt for repeatedly refusing to obey their Heavenly Father.

Passover was an opportunity to re-dedicate their lives to Him, to turn back to Him again in truth.

The Passover was also Yahweh’s judgment on the false religion of Egypt, and figuratively on the false religions of the world. Lest we think that this is just an ancient judgment on ancient people, think again. In today’s world the Passover is a lesson in True Worship as well.

Certain Plagues Are Coming Back!

The Passover, which gets its name from the passing over of the death angel, was the last of 10 plagues unleashed on Egypt and the finishing stroke that finally freed Israel.
Note that each plague was directed against a certain deity worshiped by the pagan Egyptians (see Ex. 9:14-16 and chapters 7-11):
1) River to blood (against Hapi, spirit of the Nile, who had life-giving waters)
2) Frogs (Hekah, frog-headed deity who symbolized fertility)
3) Lice (against the earth deity Geb)
4) Flies (Beelzebub, lord of the flies)
5) Murrain or disease on the cattle (against Apis, the bull deity, and Hathor, a cow deity)
6) Boils (ashes from the altar of Typhon, to whom human sacrifices were offered)
7) Hail (against Isis and Osiris, the deities of crops, v. 25, and Nut, female deity of the sky)
8) Locusts (Seth, deity of storms and chaos)
9) Darkness (RaAmon, the sun god)
10) Firstborn (because Pharaoh him-self was worshiped as a god, his own son and heir to the throne would die).

In Revelation 6 we learn that some of the same plagues that Egypt suffered will be unleashed on earth in the last days.

With the opening of the third seal we see famine and disease; famine because of the locusts and disease from the murrain. Next is darkness. Then devastating hail will also fall, Revelation 8:7; a third of the seas will become blood, v. 8, followed by a plague of locusts, 9:3.

Just as Israel was protected from the latter plagues but felt the effects of the initial ones, so Yahweh’s people who obey Him now and faithfully keep His appointed days will be protected after the first several plagues are unleashed (Rev. 7:3). They will be sealed in their foreheads and safeguarded through Yahweh’s Name, Revelation 9:4 and 14:1.

Yahweh will even have two witnesses testify of Him (11:7), just as He did in the persons of Moses and Aaron who witnessed against the Kingdom of Egypt.

A Crucial Matter

To keep the Passover is a deadly serious matter. Many think of Yahweh not as a Heavenly Father but as a kindly old grandfather who puts up with spoiled children who disobey Him. Not so.
Yahweh punished even believers in the New Testament with sickness and death for observing Passover carelessly, 1Corinthians 11:27-31.

This year the Passover will be observed on the night of the 13th of April, which is the 14th day of Abib, the first biblical month.

The Jews keep it a day later, on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thus making Passover a High Day.

John 18:28 shows that in Yahshua’s day, after Yahshua had observed the Passover and was arrested around midnight, the Jews still hadn’t kept it.

But from John 13:27-30, among many other passages, we see that the Passover is a memorial. It is not a High Day where no buying or selling or work may be done. Therefore the Passover is called the preparation day, a preparation for the Feast that follows, John 19:14, 31. One could not do any preparation work if it were a High Day, nor would it be called a preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread if it also fell on the first day of the Feast.

Exodus 12:19-20 is a warning against anyone who would not take the Feast of Unleavened Bread seriously enough to avoid eating leavening. “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth 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. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.”

Remove Offensive Leaven

Each time we participate in the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we undergo a renewal with Yahweh. Our obedience to these commanded times resonates with Him and carries untold blessings. No other observances of the world do that. That is why it is necessary to keep these annual set times and forget the empty holidays.

Most important of all, He calls them “My feasts.” They honor Him. And they are central to the redemption of His people.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a time to rededicate our lives to the Father as we recount the sacrifice of His Son, and remove leaven from our lives in the seven-day Feast that follows Passover.
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to Elohim, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?”

Suppose you took a survey and simply asked, “What is leavening?” More women than men would probably know, by virture of their experience in the kitchen. Most who know would probably answer, yeast. But yeast is only one substance that we are to refrain from having or consuming during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Other leavening agents include cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda, and calcium phosphate. Any chemical that causes a puffing up of a cereal grain would be classified as leavening. (See p. 19 for more.)

Of course, it is what leavening symbolizes that is important for the Truth seeker.

Leavening in the Scriptures pictures hypocrisy, false teachings, and wickedness. When leaven is removed, the evils that it represents are symbolically removed as well. Yahweh’s people are called “peculiar” in Titus 2:14 (KJV): “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

This verse speaks directly of Yahshua’s sacrifice at Passover and what it does to renew our dedication to Him. “Peculiar” means a people who are His possession. Additionally, if you are not seen as “peculiar” by the world around you, then you need to reassess your walk with Yahshua.

Yahweh’s people should be an exceptional beacon of righteousness to those around them. And the further this world sinks into darkness, the more your light should stand out as a witness.

Losing A Sense of Sin

Yahweh’s people should be vastly dif-ferent from the world and distinct from churchianity. Churchianity sets its standards and values mostly by public opinion, just as the world does. If the masses don’t like a certain stand the church may take on a moral issue, today’s church will water it down to be less offensive and more inclusive.

But Truth doesn’t change with the times. If you harbor sin in your life, the Word will offend you because it opposes sin in its many manifestations.

Today’s appalling lack of right Biblical counsel from those who are supposed to represent the Word is throwing the floodgates wide open to self-destruction. If more who claim to teach the Bible had the backbone to speak out against sin, the less we would find sin acceptable today. Look back only 50 years to see the difference in the culture when the Word was preached with authority and less compromise.

Come the judgment, Yahshua isn’t going to take a public opinion survey to determine the worthiness of an individual. His standards are right and true forever. And if we don’t meet them, we face His judgment. We answer to the supreme Judge and no one else. He doesn’t come down to our level, we rise up to His.

Society’s moral collapse is an example of Biblical leavening. It permeates every-thing and works slowly to induce change. Spiritually, it is corruption of the heart.

When we were in grade school science we learned of the various changes to substances. The simplest was physical, like water to ice or steam. A physical change leaves the molecular structure intact. Then there are chemical changes that change the very nature of the substance.

Leavening induces a chemical change. It symbolizes changes that alter our spiritual constitution.

To be constantly exposed to the leaven of hypocrisy, false teachings and wickedness of the world will eventually create a dynamic spiritual change in a person not unlike the substance change brought on by leavening.

The lesson of the Feast of Unleavened Bread makes us aware that we live among influences that can alter our behavior and the way we live if we are not careful. To be unaware of leaven is to be unaware of the Satanic influences that can destroy us spiritually.

You can’t continually be bombarded daily by trash and not get any on you. You may even come to accept it as normal. That is what we see today. People are not recognizing sin for what it is.
The evil of the 1960s was in its iconoclasm. At no other time in history have so many bedrock traditions and societal authority come under such attack and held up to ridicule.

The fallout today is an unending stream of perversion and iniquity that is force-fed families through many powerful conduits. Each year the Evil One pushes more limits and tramples more moral barriers until what would never have been tolerated even 10 years ago is now acceptable.

The masses are preconditioned and, like leavening, their thinking and behavior have been permeated with corruption.
No wonder Yahshua asked that when He returns, would He find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8.

Return to the Source of Truth

Many are searching for meaning in all the wrong places.

It is a testimony to Yahweh’s power that at the beginning of our world’s intense moral decay that Yahweh was calling believers to begin a restoration of the truth of His Name and Sabbaths. It is during a time of great decline that Yahweh is raising up a people who would stand for His truth and challenge not just the corruptions of the pop culture but also years of false teachings.

Yahweh tells us here is the way, now walk in it. But most will accept anything so long as it isn’t the Truth. People thirst for the latest dead-end craze. But to go back to the foundation of all teachings for life itself, the Old Testament? Not on your life!

For 2,000 years churchianity has been ignoring the Bible’s true teachings, that were first established with ancient Israel, in favor of empty traditions mixed with ancient mystery worship.

Discover the real thing. Forget hollow traditions of man. Learn the teachings that Yahshua and His disciples taught from the Old Testament and gain insight you never had before. When you do, the Bible will finally start to make sense.

For more info on the Passover and Passover Day check out our 2020 LIVE Passover service.

Here is another great article on the Passover and Passover Day: Passover and Salvation.

For more great articles be sure to check out our articles page.