If you had to sum up the entire message of the Bible in one word what would it be? Probably words such as love, hope, salvation, eternal life or heaven are coming to your mind. But I challenge you to find a better word than the following: r-e-c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-i-o-n. The dictionary defines reconciliation as “to restore to friendship or harmony, to settle or resolve a quarrel, to make consistent or congruous.” When man chose to rebel against YHVH and to give in to sin at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil at the very beginning he chose the path of separation from his Heavenly Father. Sin causes man to be separated from a totally holy, righteous and sinless Creator. Since that time YHVH has been endeavoring to reconcile man to himself. He has laid out criteria for man to follow for this to occur—for man to once again have a friendly, loving and intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father as did Adam before he sinned.
The set-apart appointed times (moedim) or divine rehearsals/gatherings (miqra kodesh) of YHVH are prophetic shadow-pictures or symbols of the steps man must take to be reconciled to his Heavenly Father. They are the complete plan of salvation or redemption rolled up into seven easy-to-understand steps. Though a child can understand these steps, the truths contained therein can at the same time be expanded and unfolded until one literally has rolled out before oneself the entire message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation—a message that to the human comprehension is staggering, deep and rich beyond understanding. These feast days are literally the skeletal structure upon which the truths of the entire Bible hang. The message of redemption, sanctification, salvation, the atonement, glorification, eschatology, the history of Israel, the entire Gospel message, the covenants, the marriage of the Lamb, the bride of Messiah and Yeshua the Messiah are all prefigured within the glorious spiritual container of YHVH’s set apart feasts contained in seven steps—seven being the biblical number of divine perfection and completion.
Quite assuredly, without a deep, walking-it-out comprehension of the feast days of YHVH, no matter how learned one is in biblical understanding, or how academically astute and mentally acute in biblical erudition one may be, one will not have a deep understanding of those scriptural subjects listed above. How can one understand end-time events such as the second coming, the great tribulation and the rapture unless one understands the feast days from a deep Hebraic perspective? One simply cannot have just a knowledge of Greek, the Gospels, the Apostolic Scriptures along with a surface understanding (i.e., traditional Christian perspective) of the prophecies of the “Old Testament” and expect to understand eschatology (the study of end-time events) unless one immerses themselves in understanding and keeping the feast days of YHVH. One cannot throw out the foundation or the skeletal structure and expect to have a body of understanding that amounts to anything at all. Simple logic and common sense and the very truth and character of YHVH Elohim demands and dictates this so.
At Mount Sinai, YHVH gave to his people Israel what is commonly called the “Ten Commandments.” These words from the mouth of YHVH himself were and are literally the foundation and cornerstone to the rest of the 613 commandments from YHVH given to man through Moses contained in the Torah or Pentateuch. The Jewish rabbis have understood this for thousands of years. For example, the prohibition against adultery includes not only marital infidelity, but all manner of sexual sin, for the cornerstone of sexual holiness is a righteous and undefiled marital union. The same can be said of all the other commands. From these ten statements or foundational principles are prefigured and spring forth all 613. Similarly, within the confines of the fourth commandment, the seventh-day Sabbath, are contained all the high Sabbath set-apart feasts of YHVH as well as the land Sabbaths, sabbatical and jubilee years. This is Hebraic thought. The point is, the feast days are embodied in the very “Ten Commandments” themselves. These Sabbaths were so vital in YHVH’s eyes and so fundamental to his relationship with his people that he said that they would be, in essence, the wedding ring that he and Israel would wear around their respective fingers symbolic of their covenantal (marital) agreement, for we read the following in Exodus 31:13,
Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am YHVH that does sanctify you.
Please note that the word Sabbaths is in the plural. It refers not only to the weekly, seventh-day Sabbath, but to all the Sabbaths of YHVH, including his set-apart feasts. These days are so important that they would actually form the basis for his reconciliatory relationship with his people throughout their generations, which means forever!
Now with these preliminary statements made we encourage you to read on to further explore the rich truths of these days. You will be blessed. The words and truths of YHVH Elohim, your Creator and Heavenly Father in whose image you were created and who loves you beyond your wildest comprehension—his words are words of life and truth.
Why Study and Celebrate the Feasts of YHVH?
- The biblical feasts are a prophetic shadow-picture of things to come (Col 2:16-17; Heb 10:1). When they were given to ancient Israel they pointed forward to future events that would occur to the nation of Israel. The spring feast days, for example, pointed to Messiah’s first coming while the fall feast days point to his second coming leading into the Messianic Age (Millennium) and into eternity beyond.
- All the biblical feasts point to Yeshua. The name Yeshua means “salvation” and these days all point to the various steps of the path of salvation that believers find themselves on.
- Many of the feasts point back to historical events that occurred in Israel’s history from which we can learn lessons and which are representative of our own spiritual journey (1 Cor 10:1–6,11).
- The people of YHVH are commanded to keep what the Scriptures calls the appointed times. They are times when he makes an appointment that he will meet with his people (Lev 23:1–2,4). It is at these festivals or commanded assemblies that YHVH teaches his people about his wonderful plan of salvation or redemption of the world through Yeshua the Messiah.
- The feasts are in the Bible and the whole Bible is the inspired word of Elohim (2 Tim. 3:16). Yeshua commands us to live by every word that comes out of the mouth of Elohim (Matt 4:4).
- The feasts set forth the pattern of heavenly things on earth (Heb 8:1–2,5; 9:8–9,23; Exod 25:8–9,40; 26:30; Num 8:4; Ezek 43:1–6,10–12).
- We as physical beings need physical means and methods to help us understand spiritual mysteries. YHVH gives us the natural to help us to understand the supernatural (spiritual) (1 Cor. 2:9–13).
The Feast Days Were Ordained At Creation
And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. (Gen. 1:14 )
Here we see the linking of the heavenly bodies with the sacred seasons and feast days of YHVH Elohim. The word signs (owth, Strong’s H226) means “a distinguishing mark, banner, a remembrance, a proof, an omen, a warning, a token, an ensign, a miracle.” The heavenly bodies were created as signs or signals of something. The word seasons (moed, Strong’s H4150) means “a congregation, feast, season, appointed time, assembly.” What is being taught here is that the sun, moon and stars are signals which set the appointed times, sacred assemblies or feast days of YHVH for his people. In Leviticus 23:4, we see further proof of this point: “These are the feasts of YHVH, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons” (emphasis added). Please note the possessive pronoun their indicating that the feast days “own” or “possess” the seasons and thus predate the seasons which are determined by the astral bodies. In other words, YHVH created the heavenly bodies and seasons for the feast days which are a shadow-picture of his plan of salvation or redemption for the world. It could be said that the entire physical creation was made in order to have a place where in to implement and showcase YHVH’s glorious plan of salvation.
The Feast Days Are Forever
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to YHVH throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever (Exod 12:14).
[I]t shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings (see also verses 21 and 31; Lev 23:14).
Forever (olam, Strong’s H5769 ) means “everlasting, perpetual, evermore, always, continuous, unending future, for eternity.” Is it possible that Yeshua had the created purpose of the heavenly bodies as well as this earth in mind as well as the eternal nature of the Feast Days contained in the Torah-law of YHVH when he addressed the permanent and inviolate nature of YHVH’s Torah-law, of which the feasts are a part, in Matthew 5:17–19,
Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The Feast Days Were Observed in the Apostolic Period
- Acts 18:21, “But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that comes in Jerusalem …” (one of the Pilgrimage Festivals; namely Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread or Pentecost or Feast of Tabernacles)
- Acts 20:6, Unleavened Bread
- Acts 20:16, Pentecost
- 1 Corinthians 5:7–8, “Therefore let us keep [or celebrate] the feast [referring to Pesach and Hag Ha Matzot], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
- Acts. 27:9, the Day of Atonement
- Acts 21:24, “… you yourself also walk orderly, and keeps the Torah” (which includes observance of YHVH’s annual festivals).
The Feast of YHVH to Be Observed in the Millennium
- Zechariah 14:16,18,19, The Feast of Tabernacles
- Ezekiel 45:17, The Sabbaths (plural, includes the weekly and annual Sabbaths or festivals) and solemnities (moedim) or appointed times (see also verse 9).
- Ezekiel 45:21, Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread
- Ezekiel 45:25, The Feast of Tabernacles
- Ezekiel 46:1, The weekly Sabbath
- Ezekiel 45:17 and 21, solemn or appointed times (moedim) and feasts (Strong’s H2282 ; chag meaning “pilgrimage feast, festival, celebration, holy day, time of dancing, cyclical/yearly seasonal event; i.e., the feast days).”
Leviticus 23:1–44 lists the seven biblical holidays represent YHVH’s seven step plan of salvation for mankind.
These seven biblical holidays are literally like a parade of seven prophetic dress rehearsals or set-apart convocations or appointed times when YHVH meets with his people. These special occasions all point to the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua in the life of the redeemed believer. There are three festivals in the spring of the year that are prophetic shadow-pictures of Messiah’s first coming to the earth, and there are four fall feasts, which are prophetic shadow-pictures of his second coming at the end of this age.
I’ve just finished reading your post on the feasts. I feel like I’ve been sky diving, or rather sky thriving. cause I’m going higher now lower! What I am trying to say, is your research and presentation is so full of Holy Spirit revelation and power that maybe I should just lapse into tongues, cause I don’t think I can convey my excitement for what God has done for us to make the plan of salvation so accessible and pleasant. I never saw it so clearly that Sabbath is indeed the building block for the feasts. I’ve said that before. I do believe that, but I see it deeper and wider now. The awesome truth is that God gives us a chance to rehearse for the feasts by keeping Sabbath, and He lets us practice for eternal life in the New Jerusalem by keeping Sabbath and learning how much fun it is to rest in Him. And celebrating the feasts just keeps training our spirit to obey His plan of salvation, way before we understand it mentally. Thank you, Natan, for being a researcher who is empowered by the Holy Spirit. That takes a “GMO human being,”,the “one new man” who is not ruled by his mind but instead by his spirit under Holy Spirit’s authority.
Thank you. Praise Yah!