Comparing Yahweh’s Feast days to the world’s holidays is, to use a phrase of Mark Twain, like comparing lightning to the lightning bug. The differences are incalculable.
The Biblical days commanded by the Father for His children are filled with profound meaning, prophetic truth, and great spiritual impact. As Yahweh’s people observe each consecutive Feast commanded in Leviticus 23, they learn yet another key facet of His great salvation plan.
Biblical Feasts are an amazing parallel to the spiritual journey we make as we move away from the world’s ways and follow the path of Scriptural truth.
Our journey begins with the first commanded observance of the year, Passover. At the Passover we learn about and accept the blood of Yahshua that was shed to pay the penalty for our sins. Sin, defined simply and clearly as the breaking of Yahweh’s laws (1John 3:4), will keep us from the Kingdom unless the automatic death penalty, which sin generates, is paid. That penalty was paid by the death of Yahshua at the Passover.
In the Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows we examine our beliefs and doctrines (one meaning of leaven) and see whether they align with Scripture. At the same time we remove the error in our understanding and the behavior that offends, like falsity, hypocrisy and that which leads to sin. All the while we take in unleavened bread, signifying sincerity and truth.
The spiritual picture that is emerging thus far from our observances of Yahweh’s days is of a life of sin forgiven through Passover blood. Following that forgiveness we begin living a life of regeneration through proactive and deliberate decisions to eradicate from our lives all that offends Yahweh. We change our lives and seek His will and direction. This is found in the lessons of Unleavened Bread.
But exactly what is it that Yahweh dislikes in the behavior of the carnal man? Ask the average person this question and he may say that Yahweh hates evil or wickedness. That is true, but how do we know what evil and wickedness are? To overcome them we need to understand exactly what it is that we are overcoming. It is through His law that we discover what He hates. Paul said Yahweh’s law gives us the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20. Without it we would be knocking around blindly in the dark.
Our heartfelt desire is to please Him. That is done by keeping His laws. He inspired Paul to write: “Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives?…Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:1, 12).
At the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost Yahweh codified His laws for Israel and for us. Chronologically, it was at the time of this Feast that Israel in their wilderness trek would have come to Mt. Sinai where Moses received the commandments and other laws in written form. We know that the laws were in effect from creation, as even Abraham was obedient to them, Genesis 26:5.
Realizing that it is near impossible for the natural human to obey Him, Yahweh in His wisdom – at this very Feast – provided His Spirit to the early Assembly of True Worshipers gathered to observe the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2). Through the strength of His Spirit we are able to obey our Father: “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them,” Ezekiel 36:27.
Yahweh’s Spirit made the New Covenant possible. No longer were Yahweh’s laws to be obeyed in only the physical realm. Now the spiritual intent would be emphasized. Obedience would be driven by an inner compulsion from the heart, which is what Yahweh wanted all along, even for Israel, Deuteronomy 5:29. Yahshua promised that the Spirit would be “in” His followers, not just “with” them. The Spirit is now given at baptism, Acts 2:38.
In the Old Testament Yahweh’s Spirit was given by limited measure (John 3:34) and only to certain people in order to accomplish a particular task. Those in the Old Testament who had the Spirit upon them or were influenced by it included: Joseph (Gen. 41:38); Bazaleel (Ex. 31:1-6); Moses (Num. 11:17); the seventy elders (Num. 11:25-29); Balaam (Num. 24:2); Othniel (Jud. 3:10); Samson (Judg. 14:19; 15:14); Azariah (2Chron. 15:1); David (Ps. 51); and the prophets (2Pet. 1:21).
With the coming of the Feast of Weeks in Acts 2, the Spirit is now available to all who obey Yahweh (Acts 5:32) as an enduring gift. This active force, shared by both Yahweh and His Son Yahshua, is now working in the obedient. Significantly, the resurrection will be by the power of this same Spirit, and those saints who have the Spirit living within will rise from the dead at Yahshua’s return,Romans 8:11.
The Feast of Weeks always falls on a Sunday because it is counted seven weeks and a day (Pentecost means fiftieth) from the weekly Sabbath that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Today’s Jewish calendar has been manipulated since the days of Hillel II in the 4th century, and it does not correctly count Pentecost from the weekly Sabbath as the Word tells us in Levitcus 23:15-16. Therefore, the feast always falls on Sivan 6 in the Jewish calendar, making the command to count the days to Pentecost unnecessary.
The rest of the annual Feasts that come in the seventh month are prophetic of Yahshua’s return (Trumpets) and the setting up of His Kingdom on earth (Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Great Day of the Feast). Observing the Feasts is a journey in which we give up the ways of the world to follow the way laid down for us in Scripture.
May you also find the blessings and understanding that come with keeping the commanded days of the Word rather than the empty, man-made days of the world.