When it comes to Yahweh’s Biblical Feasts, most Bible professing individuals make two mistakes. They assume the Feasts are just for Jews and they believe these annual holy times are part of an Old Testament ritualistic law that was abolished with the coming of Yahshua the Messiah for all who believe in Him.
The Feast days are not only the original “holidays” of humankind, which inspired the very concept of keeping annual celebrations, but these days are also a part of an ongoing, living law of Yahweh specifically given to man. They are not just “Jewish” observances but special days for all the world to keep.
Most of the world utterly fails when it comes to these sacred appointments. First, they skip right over them, not even acknowledging these days given in the Scriptures. Second, they substitute secular holidays—which is the biblical definition of idolatry. Most will throw biblical Feast days in the category of old Mosaic laws that were abolished by the Savior.
This presents sticky problems, however, because we find compelling evidence that the patriarchs were involved in the appointed Feast days even back at the time of the first human family long before Moses even entered the picture.
In Genesis 4 we learn:
▪ Abel was a sheep herder; Cain was a farmer.
▪ The phrase in verse 3, “In the process of time” in Hebrew means, “at the end of days.” This indicates a counting period. At the end of a specified number of days an offering was to be made. This also points strongly to an appointed Feast.
The animal skins that Yahweh clothed Adam and Eve with after their sin in chapter 3 meant blood was shed so that their sins would be covered.
But Yahweh was the one who sacrificed the animals to produce the leather. In the Passover Israel had to participate in the sacrifice in order for their sins to be covered. We find the same with Abel, who brought a sheep from his herd to offer in sacrifice.
This was likely the precursor to the Passover lamb. Just as you can’t get blood from a turnip—Cain’s offering was not a blood sacrifice. It was a crop offering and Yahweh was not pleased. If this is a Passover-category event, then a grain offering won’t do. Animal blood must be shed. No wonder Yahweh was not pleased. He is never happy when mankind makes up his own rules for worship. No doubt Cain’s bad attitude played into this as well.
Notice that Cain brought from the regular fruit of the ground, while Abel from the firstlings of his flock. Cain’s was not a firstfruit. It was just part of the normal crop that he harvested from the field.
Yahweh wanted the firstfruits of our increase dedicated to Him, just as He does today, whether it be tithe or offerings or sacrifices of praise—He wants the best we have to offer. For Israel it was always to be the firstfruits of what they produced. Giving to Yahweh off the top shows our devotion to Him as supreme in or lives, before anything else.
Genesis 4:4 reads, “Yahweh had ‘respect.’ That means that fire probably went out from Yahweh and consumed the offering, as we note how He accepted other passages. It shows that He was pleased.
Verse 7 is fascinating. Cain did not please Yahweh. He sinned. The Hebrew does not simply say that that it was just sin that lay at the door, but that a sin offering was still at the door. In other words it wasn’t accepted, it wasn’t consumed. It was not of an animal but a crop, and he didn’t offer in the right spirit. This was also symbolic of an unresolved sin that now wants to control Cain.
Cain’s real problem was not his brother. Cain’s problem was Cain. Yet it was his brother Abel who ended up on the receiving end of Cain’s wrath. And that scenario has been repeated throughout all of history.
Can we find evidence of more Feast-like activity early on, before the covenant with Israel? We certainly can.
In Genesis 17:21 Almighty Yahweh dis-cusses with Abraham plans for a covenant with his soon-to-be son, Isaac. Set time means appointed time, a moed. Psalm 104:19 tells us that Yahweh appointed the moon for moedim, “fixed times or festivals.” The same thing in Genesis 1:14, where the sun and moon are for “seasons,” moedim, appointed times. Yahweh built feast observance into creation itself.
How can these Feast days be done away today when the very sun and moon above our heads attest to them and set their times by their revolution year after year? What can be more permanent when planets and stars set the agenda?
Feasts Before Moses
Important events typically occurred on Yahweh’s Feasts, from the exodus at Passover and Unleavened Bread as well as entering the Promised Land at this same time, to the giving of the law and covenant and the Spirit at Pentecost, to the return of Yahshua perhaps at Trumpets.
In Genesis 18 three angels come to Abraham and he makes a meal of unleavened cakes, v. 6. In verse 14 the term “appointed time” is again the word moed, elsewhere used for Feast.
In Genesis 19:3 Lot baked unleavened bread for the two angels who came to Sodom.
Clearly Yahweh’s Feast commands did not originate at Sinai. Let’s look at a few other cases:
These commands to keep Feasts, appointed times, were intended for all mankind for all ages. But because most everyone else chose to ignore them, Yahweh zeroed in on a select group called Israelites, making a covenant agreement with them to keep these times and in return to be blessed above all people on earth. Judah was only one of the 12 tribes of Israel. So we can dismiss the idea out of hand that these Feasts are only for Jews. They were given to all Israel in a special covenant, both Jews and non-Jews.
Also, most assume the Feasts are part of the law that was abolished by Yahshua’s death, and therefore are no longer in effect. However, it was only the ceremonial/ritual law that was superseded by Yahshua’s death, as we find in Heb. 9:10 and foretold inIsaiah 1:11-20.
We must not thrown the baby out with the bathwater. If the whole law were abolished, then we no longer can know what sin is, because by the law we have the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20, and even further, that sin no longer exists, Romans 4:15—no law, no sin.
In fact, there are five kinds of law in the Scriptures:
1) Spiritual law, including the Ten Commandments
2) Commercial/civil law, governing interpersonal and business relationships
3) Ceremonial/rituallaw—governing priestly activities
4) Natural law, the laws of nature
5) Judicial law—dealing with crime and punishment.
The Feasts fall under the spiritual law—those laws that shape our character and lead to everlasting life. Like the Ten Commandments and other character-shaping laws.
When we keep Yahweh’s Feasts we draw closer to Yahweh and understand His plan for His people better. Which directly impacts us, strengthening our faith and leading to a closer walk.
Yahweh chose the people of Israel because of His covenant with their forefather Abraham. He didn’t chose any other nation. As Shaul explains, others can be grafted in to that same relationship and receive the same promises, Romans 9 and 11.
In 1John 2:5-7 we are instructed to walk as Yahshua walked. How did Yahshua walk? Was He obedient to the law? Did He not set an example for us by His obedient walk? Were not the Feasts part of His walk? Of course. Let’s see a few examples:
As a child He went with His parents to keep Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Luke 2:42.
In Matt. 26:18 and Luke 22:11 we find Yahshua observing Passover and unleavened bread. He instructed His disciples to stay in Jerusalem in Acts 1:4 to wait for the giving of the Spirit which would happen at Pentecost.
In John 7:10 He went up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and in the middle of the Feast we see Him teaching, verse 14.
Again on the Last Great Day of the Feast in John 7:37 Yahshua stands up and teaches from the Old Testament. Here Yahshua is teaching from the Old Testament, which includes Yahweh’s laws. We must walk as He walked.
In Exodus 12:14 Yahweh says to keep the Feast “forever.” Who is He talking to? The only nation He ever made a covenant with—Israel.
If He kept the Feasts, so should we. If He did not observe Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, neither should we.
Follow the commandment you heard from the beginning. Base your faith in the same Scriptures Yahshua and the Apostles did—the Old Testament. They had no other to go by.
They Kept the Feasts
The Feasts represent the plan for man from the beginning, as we saw in Genesis. The plan involves us today as His people, and beyond this life into the Kingdom.
When Yahweh says these are ordinances “forever,” that is just what He means. No fewer than four times in Levitics 23 Yahweh declares the Feasts a statute “forever.” Does forever mean until His Kingdom comes? No. More than even that.
Isaiah 66 speaks of the Millennial Kingdom. We learn that when Yahshua sets up the Kingdom rule on this earth that everyone will come to keep Yahweh’s appointed times, verse 23.
What if they refuse, as many do today? Zechariah 14:16-18 tells us that the rebellious who won’t go up to keep the Feast will get no rain. Even the Egyptians, who like Israel and everyone else will be commanded to obey. We recall that Yahshua promised to keep the Passover again with His disciples in the Kingdom, Matthew 26:29.
Do you seek to be in that Kingdom? What about being blessed right now? Then follow His Word. Keep His laws. Attend His Feasts. Learn about Him. Mold your life into the pattern Yahshua taught us.
Pay no attention what the world is doing or thinking. Resolve to obey Yahweh, the One who put you in your mother’s womb.
If you can find Yahweh promising blessings by keeping the observances of the world, then by all means go for them! If not, why else would you want to keep these pointless, useless, ineffectual days?
A fundamental purpose of Yahweh Feasts is to instruct. We see this happening in the kingdom in Ezek. 44:23-24. We learn important spiritual lessons by physical actions. Learning by doing. Hands on experience. That is why Yahweh expects our participation in His Feasts. Going there and observing them with others.
No, there are no longer animal sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean the principle is dead and gone. We sacrifice of ourselves when we attend the Annual Feasts. We sacrifice of our time and resources to attend. We give up the world for as much as a week to be instructed by Yahweh’s Word.
It is a sacrifice pleasing to Yahweh. Keeping only part of a Feast is like giving half a lamb on the altar of sacrifice. The command is to keep His entire Feast, not only half of it.
As we see our culture sliding into the abyss, we know that Yahshua’s return is imminent. What will be your response to Him when He asks you, where were you when I looked for you at Passover, Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles?
I gave these days to my chosen ones, I kept them myself as an example for you.
But you thought they weren’t important. You made time for the world but not for me. So now I ask, what blessing is left for you? I wanted to give you a position in my Kingdom, to teach others. To show them how to obey me. But you would not obey me yourself.
May that scene not be a part of your future.
May you and yours say as Shaul, I must by all means keep this Feast.