The typical reason many study the seven annual Feasts of the Bible is to wonder at the curiosities of days gone by. For most the intent is not to inquire into keeping the Feasts. Rather, it’s more about what quaint tidbits that can be picked up about “Jewish” worship.
Almost universally ignored is that the Feasts were strictly observed in BOTH testaments. The Feasts were kept by our Savior throughout His lifetime and followed by a faithful observance of all His apostles after His death, including Paul. These days will also be enforced on the pain of plague in the coming Kingdom. These facts alone should convince even the staunch skeptic that there is great importance in these days.
Most think we are in a kind of donut hole today where there is nothing to do or follow, just believe.
If you really want to be blessed by your Creator Yahweh, just do what His Son did. Follow everything He taught and practiced. If you do, you will find that He also kept the seven annual observances with His family as a child and afterward as an adult.
Feasts’ Amazing Milestones
Most all the major events in the life and ministry of Yahshua revolved around Yahweh’s annual observances. That is one of the most profound and well-concealed revelations of the ages.
In fact, Yahshua was very likely born on one of them (Tabernacles), died on another (Passover – while not a Feast, this is one of Yahweh’s annual observances) and was resurrected three days later during yet another Feast (Unleavened Bread). The Holy Spirit was sent on still another Feast (Pentecost) and Yahshua may return at the Feast called Trumpets. These profound truths should shake every Bible believer to the core of his beliefs. With so much significance for us today, how can anyone ignore the Feasts ofLeviticus 23?
These are the only yearly holy days decreed in Scripture. No other annual observances are commanded in your Bible. In fact, Yahweh directs us not to observe other days. “Hear ye the word which Yahweh speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good,” Jeremiah 10:1-5.
According to the “it’s only for Israel” group, nothing in the Old Testament is for us today.
Therefore we must be consistent. If the biblical Feast days are only for the ancient house of Israel, then this command would only apply to them as well. We today should be conscience-free to learn and practice all the ways of the heathen. We can worship Dagon and Moloch and Vishnu, and Buddha. Now we can bring trees into the house, adore them and place gift offerings beneath them.
If the Old Testament is only for Israel, then this warning and all others against false worship also apply only to Israel.
Of course, that is not the case. The Bible is a consistent unit, teaching the same salvation message anciently as it does today.
By the way, the term holiday is a contraction of the Old English haligdæg or “holy day/Sabbath.” Holiday means a holy Sabbath.
Why don’t today’s mainstream “holidays” live up to their name by being observed as holy, Sabbath days? Maybe they should be called something else, like “pointless practices” or “superficial superstitions.” Either would be far more fitting.
Even though the world has concocted its own annual observances, only the yearly Feast days of Scripture are holy, and only the COMMANDED celebrations encompass Sabbaths and impart deep, spiritual blessings on the faithful who observe them.
Is it any wonder that man’s observances typically end in a big letdown?
When you follow the ways of Scripture there are always benefits from obedience. Yahweh guarantees it.
If that weren’t enough, just a brief analysis of these special celebrations will deliver up a bounty of insights on a number of key, biblical teachings.
Feasts Full of Fundamentals
First, Yahweh’s holidays reveal the important work of the priesthood, while pointing to the ongoing work of the Messiah Yahshua, today’s High Priest.
Second, they show us proper worship through the scores of lessons they teach.
Third, opening the way to physical life for the people in the Old Testament, today they point to everlasting life for those in the New through their New Covenant lessons.
The Feast days not only encapsulate the plan of salvation, but by keeping them as part of an obedient life, the seeker of Truth will also find the path to everlasting life.
It is no secret that the Father in heaven demands obedience while punishing disobedience. It is a fact in BOTH testaments. He says in Malachi 3:6, “I change not.” What He demanded of Israel He demands of the True Worshiper now. The statutes of old remain active statutes today.
Yahshua plainly and clearly said He did not come to destroy them in Matthew 5:17. Rather, He said He came to establish them. He came to reveal their GREATER importance. He came to reveal their great spiritual side as well.
Understanding the significance of the Feast days in the whole plan of Scripture, it is nothing short of incredible that the Bible’s only yearly holidays have been glossed over for centuries, or simply brushed off as “just for Jews.”
But if they were just Jewish holidays, why was Israel commanded to keep them? The fact is the Jews or Judah made up only one of the 12 tribes of Israel. A common mistake is to interchange the terms “Jews” and “Israel” as if they were the same thing. All Jews were Israelites, but not all Israelites were Jews. In fact, only a fraction of Israelites were Jews.
The Jews were just a part of the greater family of patriarch Jacob, whose name became Israel when he wrestled with that angel. The angel finally decided that the man wasn’t going to give up so he blessed him. That is why his name means, “Contender with Elohim.”
Almighty Yahweh says about His Feast days in Leviticus 23:1-2: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Why didn’t He call them, “feasts of the Jews”? Because they belong to Him and were not “owned” by the Jews nor were they exclusive with them.
Keep them, He said, because they are sanctified gatherings. Being that they are His should be reason enough for those who desire a close relationship with the Father in heaven to include these days as a central part of their worship.
Anyone serious about their eternal future needs to look into the clear necessity to keep the Bible’s seven annual observances called Yahweh’s Feasts. We cannot blaze our own trail to the Kingdom. Yahweh Himself set down the only road to salvation and we His worshipers need to be faithful in following it, not widen the narrow way and add alternative routes as we see fit.
The word feast is related to festival. The root of festival means to celebrate a religious holy day.
These seven annual observances of the Bible are packed with significance and are crucial for today’s worship in a number of ways.
Each of the Feasts marks a milestone in biblical teaching. Beyond that, they are historical and prophetic markers, as key events occurred on them and will happen again as we near the close of the age.
If you know the meaning of each Feast and the significance of its teachings, then you have the true key to the timetable of the Savior’s return and the close of this age.
Yahweh’s Feasts reveal the special blueprint plan for His people and ultimately, and this is quintessential, they impact salvation itself. Can you name any other observances that reveal so much Truth as Yahweh’s annual moedim?
Yahshua the Messiah is clearly seen in every one of the annual holy days. If all of this is not enough to fire your interest and desire for His Feasts, Yahweh Himself comes right out and commands the truth seeker to observe His Feast days.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:2, 4.
If you want blessings, keep the days Yahweh commands. Nothing on earth is more important than to receive the rewards that come with obedience to your Father in heaven.
Some may still say these observances are for ancient Israel and not for them. If so, then the entire Bible is meant for someone else, seeing these Feasts are in both testaments for Israel and gentile alike. They were observed by the apostles long after Yahshua died. He never abolished them or His Father’s laws.
Others may say they just don’t have the time or means to keep them, but they have no trouble finding the time and means to keep superficial worldly holidays every year, not to mention the man-made observances that lack any blessings like the Feast days.
Agriculture Themes Are Key
To lay some groundwork in the basic understanding of these days, we must start with fundamentals.
Our word month and the word moon derive from the same source word. That’s why “month” sounds like “moon.” At one time the moon was used to establish the start of every month. Now it floats all over our modern wall calendars. But Yahweh’s biblical calendar still begins the months with the moon. Namely, the visible new moon crescent, which marks the first day of the biblical month.
In addition to the moon, the Bible’s calendar is also agriculturally based. The creation of man was in the garden called Eden. The word Eden, actually pronounced “Aden” in Hebrew, means, “delight, luxury, pleasure.” It was literally a paradise until sin entered the picture. Prophecy in Micah 4:3-4 indicates that those in the millennial Kingdom will return to an agricultural lifestyle as the intended environment for man.
“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts hath spoken it.”
The agriculture theme is prominent and central in the Bible. Firstfruits of the harvest translate to firstfruits of the spiritual harvest of souls. This speaks to the first resurrection, where those relatively few who are faithful and obedient now will rise to meet the returning Savior. The Bible’s sacred calendar is based on the growing patterns and harvest cycles with the greening of the barley crop to establish the first month called Abib.
The feast days continue with this motif with harvesting of souls.
With all of the importance in the Bible’s annual observances, it is mindboggling that these scripturally mandated, yearly holidays have been totally ignored by New Testament believers for millennia, and replaced by observances that are far more secular than religious. Which will you choose: secular or religious? Blessings or no blessings; obedience to the Father in heaven or disobedience?
In the grand picture, this world is nothing but a striving after wind and for that which will tarnish and perish.
If there is any one word that best summarizes our physical existence, it’s “temporary.” You can be consumed all your life in a quest for status, and advancement, but at retirement it all comes into focus. You may enjoy it for a brief few years, and then comes the Alzheimers or the stroke or the heart attack. And you give it all up for a life of convalescent living and looking at what comes next…
I’d far rather have Yahweh smiling back at me for a life lived in obedience than staring at a reward of pitch blackness of eternal death when my day comes.
Whatever rewards our life earns us, it will be for an eternity. What we do here in obedience is setting the permanent mold for what we will do or not do in the coming kingdom.
They Are YAHWEH’S Feasts
Someone once asked a minister the following:
“Some Christians are keeping the Holy Days; Feast of Atonement, Unleavened Bread, Trumpets, Tabernacles, and are claiming real blessings from [Yahweh] as a result. Should we be keeping [Yahweh’s]Holy Days as a way of drawing closer to Him and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth?”
The minister wrote back:
“Thank you for your question. There are indeed some who are advocating that Christians return to their Jewish roots and start keeping the feast days. They teach that by doing this you will be blessed by [Yahweh]. However, it is important to base what we believe upon the teachings of Scripture and not on personal testimony or experiences.
“Is it scriptural that Christians are to keep the Jewish festivals of the Old Testament in order to worship Him in spirit and in truth, obtain His blessings, and have the Spirit move in our lives? Let’s let the scriptures answer for themselves.
“Leviticus 23:2 reads, ‘Say to the Israelites, the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, even My set feasts, are these…’
“Leviticus 23:37 tells us, ‘These are the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh], which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering made by fire to [Yahweh], a burnt offering and a cereal offering, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its own day.
“Leviticus 23 records seven feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] in which the Israelites would gather to meet with [Yahweh]. Notice that they were to be for the Israelites to keep. There isn’t any mention of the Gentiles being required to observe these feasts.”
First, he ignores the clear statement that these are Yahweh’s Feasts, not Israel’s or Jewish Feasts.
Yahweh told Israel that His laws are an ordinance forever. So is this what you have: Israel, commanded to keep the Feasts even today, running on a parallel track with gentiles who don’t have that requirement? Is Yahweh the same yesterday, today and forever? According to Malachi 3:6 He is. He does not have a double standard for different people.
Note how the minister continues: “These were the seven feasts that [Yahweh] gave the Israelites, His chosen people, to keep in the Law of Moses. These feasts were not optional. They were part of the Law [Yahweh] gave the nation of Israel. Blessings only came by keeping the entire law (Deut. 15:4-5). If you broke any part of it, you broke it all (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10).”
He is absolutely correct. Consider this, there are lots of ways you can fall off a roof. Your ladder can slip as you reach the top; you can trip and roll off; you can lose your balance and go down headlong. No matter how it happens, you are going down.
Breaking any law of Yahweh is still breaking law and carries the penalty of punishment. Any disobedience still violates Yahweh’s command. It all falls under the category of sin.
Few would ever even think of murdering or stealing, but by not following Yahweh’s commands regarding His Sabbath and Feasts, His law is still violated, regardless.
Paul wrote in Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.” The last part of this verse is rendered by the New Testament in Modern English as: “indeed it is the straightedge of the Law that shows how crooked we are.”
To correct that situation we need to straighten out, and that can only mean to align with Yahweh’s law. First, acknowledge the consequence of your sin, stop sinning, and become law-obedient.
But What of My Relatives?
We ran across a letter someone had written in an effort to excuse herself from Feast keeping. Her reasoning is all too common with those who can’t break themselves free of entrapment by unenlightened relatives.
“It would be lovely for me to be able to keep the proper biblical Feasts, however I live with a family who always celebrate the “church” events such as Easter, Christmas, etc., and it would be very hurtful to them if I suddenly dropped out of family celebrations. So I try to commemorate the biblical feasts, whilst at the same time joining in with the other stuff. It isn’t easy, but it would be very hurtful to not celebrate with my lovely family.”
The pressures that a believer’s relatives can exert are among the most powerful and seductive deterrents to the Truth that most truth seekers will ever face. We see it all the time: the husband who defers to the wishes of an unbelieving wife even though He knows he must follow his Savior when it comes to Sabbath and Feast keeping.
This is just what Yahshua meant when He said He didn’t come to make everything peaceful. To defer to spouse or relatives when it comes to obedience to the Word is to turn one’s back on Yahshua and accept error over Truth. He said in Matthew 10:35-37: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Who are you willing to offend most? Family or Yahshua? Is your salvation worth the risk? Once you understand the truth you are then accountable to walk in it. The unenlightened are not at the same level of understanding, where Yahweh demands we make hard choices. At the same time you teach by what you do.
The broad superhighway that leads to destruction is the way of the Adversary. This is his world. Why stay lodged therein when Yahweh opens the way of truth to you? Is it our goal to make the ignorant comfortable in error, or is it to show them the way of Truth and salvation out of genuine love for them?
Many will only dabble in the truth for fear of what their spouse or family will say if they went wholeheartedly into Truth. The reaction of others should not be our concern.
Yahweh is calling YOU right now. He is the one separating you out. Being afraid of what relatives may say is only frustrating what Yahweh is trying to do with you. Let Him work with the rest of your family in His own time. Your time is now, so don’t let anyone hijack it.
Yahweh hates a lukewarm attitude that tries to please everyone by condoning sin. This walk of Truth is not for the weak of heart or passive of will. Take a bold stand and see how your own resolve will influence others to be obedient to the Word in all things as well.
Watch the “Prophetic Feasts Part 1” below: