the Millennium

What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Q.   What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

A.  There are several differences between YRM and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The most notable are the names of Yahweh and Yahshua for the Father and Son along with the Sabbath and Feast days.

The Jehovah Witnesses call upon the name Jehovah. While scholarship may have favored this pronunciation many years ago, today nearly all scholars agree that the name is Yahweh. Even the Jehovah Witnesses acknowledge that Yahweh is favored by Hebrew scholars. They state the following in their Insight on the Scriptures, “‘Jehovah’ is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although ‘Yahweh’ is favored by most Hebrew scholars,” vol. 2, pg. 5.

Below are a few additional references on Jehovah:

A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, pg. 247. “Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites. In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization. The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh.”

The Journey from Texts to Translations, Paul D. Wegner, pg, 172, 173. “The scribes reasoned that if they did not point the name Yahweh then it could never be treated lightly since his name would not really be known. Initially the real pointing was probably passed along by tradition, but in time it was lost. In Exodus 20:7 the name Lord is written in capital letters according to the convention of signifying the name Yahweh, but the name as it appears in the Hebrew text is hwhy (yehowa), in which appear the consonants from the name Yahweh (hwhy [yhwh]) and the vowels from the word Lord (ynda [‘idonay]). Proof for the fabricated nature of this word are the two vowels which appear on the waw, an impossibility in Hebrew. However, until the revival of the Hebrew language in western Europe scholars read the consonants YHWH (Germans would read them as JHVH) with the vowels of ‘adonay, thereby originating the incorrect form Jehovah. This word was then introduced into English by William Tyndale and was continued by the King James Version.”

Understanding the Old Testament, Bernhard Anderson, “Definition: ‘Jehovah,’ ‘The Lord,’” pg. 61. “The personal divine name YHWH…has had an interesting history. In the Old Testament period the Hebrew language was written only with consonants; vowels were not added until the Common Era, when Hebrew was no longer a living language. On the basis of Greek texts, which of course use both vowels and consonants, it is believed that the original pronunciation of the name was Yahweh. Notice the shortened form of the divine name in the exclamation, ‘Halleluyah’ — ‘Praise Yah.’”

Along with the name Jehovah, another difference is they normally worship on Sunday (although they believe any day is acceptable for worship), while we observe the seventh-day Sabbath, as verified through Scripture. While there are no clear examples of Sunday being observed in the New Testament, the Sabbath is mentioned 60 times. In fact, Yahshua the Messiah and the apostles all observed the Sabbath. In two key passages, we see that it was Paul’s practice to worship and teach on the Sabbath.

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:2.

“And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks,” Acts 18:4.

In addition to the New Testament, prophecy shows that the Sabbath will be observed in the coming millennial Kingdom. Consider the following examples:

“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.

“Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened,” Ezekiel 46:1.

We find similar evidence for the biblical Feast days. While many believe these days are no longer obligatory, including the Jehovah Witnesses, the New Testament along with prophecy confirms that the apostles observed these days and that they will be observed in the coming Kingdom. Consider the below examples from the New Testament:

Passover

  • “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41).
  • “…Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” (Luke 22:11).
  • “Now before the feast of the passover, when Yahshua knew that his hour was come…” (John 13:1).
  • “…For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us” (1Corinthians 5:7).

Feast of Unleavened Bread

  • “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread…” (Acts 20:6).
  • “Therefore let us keep the feast…” (1Corinthians 5:8).

Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

  • “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” (Acts 2:1).
  • “…for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16).
  • “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1Corinthians 16:8).

Day of Atonement

  • “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past…” (Acts 27:9).

Feast of Tabernacles

  • “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:2, 37).

While there are other differences beyond the ones noted, these are the most significant. As believers, proper worship is critical to our walk. It’s paramount that we follow the Bible and not man’s tradition. Even though the Jehovah Witnesses have elements of truth, they are missing key aspects of Scripture.

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Would a Friday Passover place the wavesheaf before the Resurrection?

Q.   According to Sadduces’ method of starting the count, does this mean that when the 14th falls on a Friday, you would observe the wavesheaf before the anniversary of the Messiah’s resurrection (end of 17th)? Also, didn’t Yahshua say to the Sadduces in Mark 12:24 and elsewhere that “you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of Yahweh”?

A.   Yes, in this scenario the wavesheaf would fall on Sunday, a day before the anniversary of Yahshua’s resurrection (accounting for the three days and three nights the Messiah was in the tomb). Interestingly, in this example, the Sadducees and Pharisees would have observed the wavesheaf on the same day. This is due to the fact that the Pharisees began the count on the day after the first High Sabbath, Abib 16, and the Sadducees began the count on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, Sunday, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, in this specific example, both methods of counting would produce the same results.

Regarding the Sadducees, it’s true that Yahshua reprimanded them in Mark 12:24 for not correctly understanding the resurrection. That being said, He also reprimanded the Pharisees countless times in the New Testament for their man-made traditions and error. Therefore, Yahshua’s reprimands of these Jewish sects are irrelevant as it pertains to His doctrine. Below are a few examples of His displeasure with the Pharisees:

“Then came to Yahshua scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of Elohim by your tradition?” Matthew 15:1-3.

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater judgment. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of Gehenna than yourselves,” Matthew 23:13-15.

“And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod,” Mark 8:15.

For additional insight, please visit our Q&A page.  

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Whether you refer to it as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, it does not matter, as long as we worship our Lord who paid for our sins. As far as observing feast days or Sabbaths, we are not to allow others to judge us in such matters.

Q.   Whether you refer to it as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, it does not matter, as long as we worship our Lord who paid for our sins. As far as observing feast days or Sabbaths, we are not to allow others to judge us in such matters. Colossians 2:16-17 states, “Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.”

A.   The belief that it doesn’t matter how we worship as long as our intentions are right could not be further from the truth. The Bible is extremely clear that we’re to worship Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, as He directs in His Word. We see many examples confirming what happens when we willfully stray from His commandments.

One of the most notable examples is found with the first king of Israel after the split between Southern and Northern Israel. Instead of worshiping Yahweh on the time He appointed, Jeroboam modified the date from the seventh to eighth month. He also set up golden calves and made priests of the lowest of the people, 1Kings 12:25-33. Because of this act of defiance, Jeroboam was cursed, 2Kings 13:1-10, and Israel never recovered.

There are similar examples of this type of rebellion by Israel. Elijah withstood Ahab and Jezebel and the prophets of Baal for a similar reason.

The Torah also provides many warnings against practicing the worship of other nations. Consider the following:

  • Leviticus 18:3: “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.”
  • Leviticus 20:23: “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
  • Deuteronomy 12:30-31: “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their mighty ones, saying, How did these nations serve their mighty ones? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done unto their mighty ones; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their mighty ones.”

In addition to the Law, we find this warning from Jeremiah 10:2:

  • Jeremiah 10:2: “Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.”

Clearly, Easter Sunday has two strikes against it. Number one, the Easter celebration is undeniably pagan and number two, the Messiah was not resurrected Sunday morning. Based on the biblical narrative, He was resurrected late on Saturday prior to sunset. Also, we are never commanded to remember His resurrection, only His death.

Here are a few sources confirming the paganism of Easter Sunday:

“The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the paschal feast. The word does not properly occur in Scripture, although the King James Version has it in Acts 12:4 where it stands for Passover … There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament,” International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Easter.

“Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length), sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the eighth century, the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ,” Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Easter.

Regarding your reference to Colossians 2:16, Paul there is not disavowing the Sabbath and Feasts, as often taught by mainstream theologians. Paul’s message is quite the opposite. He is warning those in the assembly not to allow the world to judge them on their obedience to Yahweh’s Word.

The biblical record is clear, the Sabbath and Feasts were observed by the Messiah and His disciples. In some cases, years/decades after Yahshua’s resurrection. Below are several examples:

  • Luke 2:41: “Now his [Yahshua’s] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.”
  • Luke 22:11 “…Where is the guestchamber, where I [Yahshua] shall eat the passover with my disciples?”
  • 1Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast….”
  • Acts 20:6: “And we [Paul and company] sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread….”
  • Acts 2:1: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [apostles / disciples] were all with one accord in one place.”
  • Acts 20:16: “…for he [Paul] hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
  • 1Corinthians 16:8: “But I [Paul] will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”
  • Acts 27:9: “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past….”
  • John 7:2, 37: “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand … In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”
the Millennium

I read your article regarding the SDA accepting the Feasts. As a Seventh Day Adventist, I believe the ceremonial laws that pointed to the redeemer were done away with at the cross. To keep these days means you are not accepting the Messiah as the one true sacrifice. Why do you continue to observe these days and deny the Lamb of G-d?

Q.     I read your article regarding the SDA accepting the Feasts. As a  Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), I believe the ceremonial laws that pointed to the redeemer were done away with at the cross. To keep these days means you are not accepting the Messiah as the one true sacrifice. Why do you continue to observe these days and deny the Lamb of G-d?

A.     Besides the fact that the Feasts are prophetic and will be observed in the millennial Kingdom by all nations (Ezekiel 45-46; Zechariah 14:16), the Feasts were also observed in the New Testament by the Messiah and His disciples. Below are several examples:

  • Luke 2:41: “Now his [Yahshua’s] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.”
  • Luke 22:11 “…Where is the guestchamber, where I [Yahshua] shall eat the passover with my disciples?”
  • 1Corinthians 5:7-8:  “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast….”
  • Acts 20:6: “And we [Paul and company] sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread….”
  • Acts 2:1: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [apostles / disciples] were all with one accord in one place.”
  • Acts 20:16:  “…for he [Paul] hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
  • 1Corinthians 16:8: “But I [Paul] will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”
  • Acts 27:9: “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past….”
  • John 7:2, 37:  “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand … In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

Many of these examples occurred years/decades after the Messiah’s death and resurrection. If the Feasts were tied to the sacrificial system and no longer required after Yahshua’s death, why then did the apostles continue to observe these days in the New Testament?

Also, the notion that these days are no longer required because of the sacrificial system would also apply to the Sabbath. As Numbers 28:9-10 verifies, there were also sacrifices on the Sabbath: “And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”

Those who refuse to honor the Feasts due to sacrifices being offered on these days in the Old Testament must also apply this same reasoning to the Sabbath. Clearly, sacrifices were offered on both the weekly Sabbath and annual Feasts.

In addition, Yahweh lists the weekly Sabbath and annual Feasts together in Leviticus 23: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s Passover,” verses 2-5.

This passage confirms a continuity between the weekly Sabbath and Feasts. Try as a person might, you cannot observe the weekly Sabbath and dismiss the annual Feasts. To do this is contrary to Scripture and nonsensical.

How often should communion be observed? Does the communion simply replace the Passover?

communion     How often should communion be observed? Does the communion simply replace the Passover sacrifice and therefore is to be observed annually or is it appropriate to partake of it every Sabbath day? Some cite Acts 20:7 to prove that it should be observed each week, but isn’t this passage simply referring to eating a meal together. Also I have noticed that the Greek word artos found in 1 Corinthians 11:26 refers to a leavened loaf. Based on this, shouldn’t leavened bread be used during communion instead of unleavened matzo?

communion     While the word communion appears in 1 and 2 Corinthians, today’s communion is a misnomer. From a biblical perspective, the term “communion” is simply another name for the Passover. This is also true for the Master’s supper. These are not separate observances, but different names for the same event.

For example, Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary under “Lord’s Supper” states, “The term the Lord’s Supper is used only in 1 Cor 11:20. The practice is also known as Communion (from 1 Cor 10:16), the Lord’s Table (from 1 Cor 10:21), and the Eucharist (from the Greek word for ‘giving thanks’; Luke 22:17,19; 1 Cor 11:24). The expression breaking of bread (Acts 2:42,46; 20:7,11) probably refers to receiving the Lord’s Supper with a common meal known as the LOVE FEAST (2 Peter 2:13; Jude 12). The institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matt 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:1-23; 1 Cor 11:23-25) took place on the night before Jesus died, at a meal commonly known as the Last Supper. Although there is considerable debate over the issue, the Last Supper probably was the Jewish PASSOVER meal, first instituted by God in the days of Moses (Ex 12:1-14; Num 9:1-5).”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia under “Lord’s Supper” agrees that the communion or Eucharist originated from the Passover: “The more immediate background of the Eucharist is the Passover…. The Passover was at once a covenant-recalling and a covenant-renewing sacrifice, and the Eucharist, as corresponding to it, was instituted at the time of its yearly observance, and of the immolation of the true paschal lamb, of whose death it interpreted the value and significance (Ex 12:3-28; compare 13:3-10; Deut 16:1-8; 1 Cor 5:7; John 6:51; 10:10-11,15,17-18; 15:13; 17:19).”

Clearly, communion or the practice of the Eucharist developed through the Passover. It was the church’s practice to deviate from biblical observances and to select days of their own choosing. This was done for two reasons. They desired to appease the growing gentile converts, which also motivated many within the church to move away from teachings that were viewed as “Jewish.”

Regarding the frequency of observance, while some debate, based on Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 11:25 (“as oft as you….”), that communion can be observed frequently (e.g. weekly, monthly, etc.) the fact that communion refers to the Passover limits its observance to annually.

Regarding Acts 20:7, you are correct, this was simply a common meal. This is not speaking about the Passover.

As for the meaning of Greek artos, while this word can refer to leavened bread, it can also refer to food in general, including unleavened bread. The Thayer’s Greek Lexicon provides two primary definitions: (1) food composed of flour mixed with water and baked, and (2) food of any kind.

Along with Thayer’s, we find the following from the Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “’bread’ (perhaps derived from aro, ‘to fit together,’ or from a root ar–, ‘the earth’), signifies (a) ‘a small loaf or cake,’ composed of flour and water, and baked, in shape either oblong or round, and about as thick as the thumb; these were not cut, but broken and were consecrated to the Lord every Sabbath and called the ‘shewbread’ (loaves of presentation), Matt 12:4; when the ‘shewbread’ was reinstituted by Nehemiah Neh 10:32 a poll-tax of 1/3 shekel was laid on the Jews, Matt 17:24; (b) ‘the loaf at the Lord’s Supper,’ e. g., Matt 26:26 (“Jesus took a loaf,” RV, marg.); the breaking of ‘bread’ became the name for this institution, Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:23; (c) “bread of any kind,” Matt 16:11; (d) metaphorically, ‘of Christ as the Bread of God, and of Life,’ John 6:33,35; (e) ‘food in general,’ the necessities for the sustenance of life, Matt 6:11; 2 Cor 9:10, etc.”

There is nothing within these definitions that requires artos to refer only to leavened bread. As confirmed by both Thayer’s and Vines, artos is broad and contains multiple meanings. A good rule of thumb is when we have questions about something, always return to the source. For the Passover this be would Exodus 12, which confirms that only unleavened bread was permitted with the Passover meal.

There are some who hold the view that the Messiah did not eat a Passover meal as the lamb was not killed until the afternoon of the 14th with the meal actually taking place on the evening/night of the 15th. Does Scripture support this?

     There are some who hold the view that the Messiah did not eat a Passover meal as the lamb was not killed until the afternoon of the 14th with the meal actually taking place on the evening/night of the 15th. Does Scripture support this?

 

     We believe that Yahshua ate the Passover meal at the beginning (sunset) on Abib 14 with His disciples. The key to the timing of Passover is found in Exodus 12:6: “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”

According to Scripture, the lamb was to be slaughtered in the “evening.” This word comes from the Hebrew ben ha arbayim, literally meaning “between the two evenings.” According to the Pharisaic tradition, this phrase refers to the time between noon / 3:00 pm and sunset. Conversely, the Samaritans understood this time was between sunset and complete darkness.

The following references all render “evening” as found in Exodus 12:6 as sunset or twilight: The New International Bible, Revised English Bible, New American Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, New King James Bible, James Moffatt Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Lamsa Bible, The Holy Scriptures (JPS), and the Jewish TANAKH.

In addition to the above, the Bible is clear that all aspects of the Passover were to be observed on Abib 14th. Numbers 9:3 states, “In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.”

If ben ha arbayim was from 3:00 pm to sunset, this would place the actual eating of the lamb and the destroyer on the evening of Abib 15.  However, based on Numbers 9:3, “all rites” and “all ceremonies” of the Passover were to occur on Abib 14.

Based on the fact that Yahshua died at 3:00 pm on Abib 14 and is called the “Lamb of Yah” in the first chapter of John, some argue that the Passover must also occur at that time. However, there are two facts to consider. Number one, Yahshua Himself had to keep the Passover. If not, He would have been in violation of the law. And number two, the New Testament verifies that He kept the Passover the evening before, as seen in Matthew 26:18-21:

“And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Yahshua had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”

Not only does Matthew confirm that Yahshua ate the Passover meal, but also when He ate it. He and the disciples ate the Passover on the evening of Abib 14. The word “even” comes from the Greek opsios and according to Thayer’s refers to, “…either from three to six o’clock p.m. or from six o’clock p.m. to the beginning of night.” From the context, it’s clear that opsios is describing the night before Yahshua died.

For addition evidence on this topic, please read our online booklet: The Timing of Passover.

Should we eat a Passover dinner (Seder) along with the Passover emblems?

     Should we eat a Passover dinner (Seder) along with the Passover emblems?

     Based on John 13:2, we believe that Yahshua ate a Passover supper with His disciples, including
lamb and unleavened bread. However, later that evening He introduced the emblems
representing His body and blood. When He did this we believe that He replaced the Old
Testament lamb and unleavened bread with the New Testament bread (representing His body)
and cup (representing His blood). Also, from our perspective, it seems inappropriate to eat lamb
prior to partaking of the emblems which represent the true lamb.

Another reason we abstain from the traditional Passover supper (often called the Seder) is Paul’s
admonition to eat at home in 1 Corinthians 11:20-22: “When ye come together therefore into one
place, this is not to eat the Master’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own
supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink
in? or despise ye the assembly of Yahweh, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to
you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.”

Paul would have never encouraged the Corinthian brethren to eat dinner at home prior to the
emblems if the dinner was still crucial to the Passover. For these reasons, we do not celebrate a
separate Passover dinner with the emblems. Instead, we review the Passover from the Old and
New Testaments and follow in the examples of Yahshua through the foot washing and the
partaking of the emblems.

Some people say that biblically we cannot keep the feasts without being in Israel and without a priest. Is this true?

     Some people say that biblically we cannot keep the feasts without being in Israel and without a priest. Is this true?

 

    The biblical Feast days are not dependent upon physical Israel or Levitical priests. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were observed by Israel prior to the Levitical priesthood, Exodus 12. The Feasts were also observed in the New Testament by more than Israel. This also included the Sabbath. Consider the following examples:

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place,” Acts 2:1.

In this above example, it’s important to realize that many nations were present. Verses 9-11 mentions Parthians, Medes, Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya, Cyrene, strangers of Rome, Jews, proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians.  These were not all Israelites or Jews. Many were gentiles. This confirms that more than Israel observed the Feasts in the New Testament.

Acts 18:4 also shows that Paul preached to both Jews and gentiles on the Sabbath: “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” If the Sabbath and Feasts were only for Israel, why then were Greeks or gentiles present in the synagogue on the Sabbath?

In addition to these examples, there are other New Testament passages confirming Feast observance, e.g. Matthew 26, Mark 14; John 7; Acts 20:6, 20; 1Corinthians 5:7-8.

Another consideration is that Scripture confirms that Sabbath and Feasts will be observed in the millennial Kingdom:

“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.

“In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten…. In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil,” Ezekiel 45:21, 25.

“Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened,” Ezekiel 46:1.

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles,” Zechariah 14:16-19.

Isaiah confirms that all of mankind will observe the weekly Sabbath in the future Kingdom. Also, Zechariah prophesies that all nations will keep the Feast of Tabernacles, along with the other Feasts, in the Kingdom. Those who refuse will receive the plague of no rain. Therefore, the Sabbath and Feasts will be a requirement for all in the Kingdom. Knowing that the Sabbath and Feasts were observed in the Old and New testaments and will be kept in the coming millennial Kingdom, it doesn’t make sense to say they are not valid today.

Today’s refusal to observe these days is not scriptural, but is based on 2,000 years of Church tradition. As most Christian scholars acknowledge, the roots of the Church grew out of Judaism. However, as the Church grew so did the pagan and Hellenistic influence within it. As this happened, the Church departed from its Hebraic foundation to a more Greco-Roman philosophy. This change included a departure from the Feasts and Sabbath. Again, the Sabbath and Feast days are not dependent upon Israel or the Levitical system, but are days established by Yahweh for all those who will accept His covenant.

Why is it that some people cannot accept the Truth of Scripture?

     Why is it that some cannot accept the Truth? Also, please help me understand what laws are required/not required. Also, do you have any articles defending the Sabbath and the use of Yahweh’s Name?

     Why people don’t accept the truth is a great question, but one not easy to answer. There are many reasons for this. Probably the biggest reason is tradition. It’s really hard to accept that what you and your family believe is not true. Another related reason is pride. It takes a person of humility to admit the possibility of being wrong and the ability to unbiasedly reconsider their belief system. Another reason is peer-pressure, as you have already experienced. The closer you get to the truth, the further you get from the world. The feeling of isolation and being alone is more than many can take.

Another reason for this, it’s not meant for all to hear and understand the truth now. This was the reason Yahshua said He spoke in parables: “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted and I should heal them,” Matthew 13:11-15.

Regarding what is required today, while we cannot provide an all-encompassing list of commandments, we believe that the Ten Commandments, all moral laws, and all laws of worship, including the Sabbaths and Feast days, are required today. Regarding laws that would not be required for believers, this would include certain civil laws, judicial laws, and sacrificial laws. For example, the Bible commands that we place a railing around our roof. Since Israel used their roofs as an extension of their living space, this made sense. However, this would not be practical for most modern homes.

If you have not already, I might suggest reviewing the below booklets. These would equip you with many answers to some of today’s arguments with the Sabbath and Name.

https://yrm.org/sabbath-observers-not-neglect-third-commandment
https://yrm.org/challenges-sacred-name-answered
https://yrm.org/sabbath-keeping-answering-arguments

Why is Shavuot also called the Feast of Weeks? Why multiple names?

     I’m confused, why is Shavuot also called the Feast of Weeks? Why multiple names?
     Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, and Pentecost, are all names for the same Feast. All three names describe the count between the wave sheaf, occurring on the Sunday within the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost. This count consists of seven complete weeks or 49 days, plus one additional day, making 50 days in total. In Hebrew, Shavuot mean, “weeks.” In Greek, Pentecost means, “fifty.” Both these names, along with the “Feast of Weeks,” describe this count from different perspectives.
As a side note, it’s not uncommon for Feast days to have multiple names. Below are a few examples:

The Feast of Unleavened is also called “Chag Ha-Matzot.”
The Feast of Trumpets is also called “Yom Teruah.”
The Day of Atonement is also called “Yom Kippur” or “the Fast.”
The Feast of Tabernacles is also called “Feast of Ingathering” and “Chag Ha-Sukkot”