Celebrating the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Wavesheaf Offering & the Resurrection of Yeshua

The Feast of Unleavened Bread—An Overview

Chag HaMatzot or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the second annual festival on YHVH’s biblical calendar, and occurs on the fifteenth day of the month of the Abib, which is the day immediately following Passover (or Pesach, Lev 23:5–8). Because both of these feasts (Exod 34:25; Lev 23:2, 6) occur back-to-back, the Jews often refer to Passover and Unleavened Bread simply as Passover Week or some similar term that places the main emphasis on the Passover. But it must be noted that, though related, these two festivals are separate in meaning and purpose. Passover pictures Israel coming out of Egypt. Upon separating from Egypt, YHVH (the LORD) then commanded the Israelites to put all leavened food products out of their houses and to eat unleavened bread (flat bread) for seven days, hence the origins of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Additionally, the first and seventh days of this week-long event are Sabbaths, and YHVH commanded his people to hold a set-apart convocation (or gathering) on these Sabbaths.

What, you may ask, is the purpose of putting leavening out of one’s home and eating unleavened bread products such as matzoh for one week? This seems like a curious request by YHVH of his people. Not surprisingly, the Creator of the universe has a reason for everything. The spiritual implications are enlightening and highly relevant to the disciples of Yeshua. In commanding his people to de-leaven their homes and lives, YHVH is teaching us an object lesson that applies to us as much today as to the Israelites of long ago.

Eating unleavened bread for seven days is a memorial, remembrance or reminder (Exod 13:6–9) of our coming out of our own spiritual Egypt. But how did unleavened bread enter into this picture? The Torah tells us that the Israelites left Egypt early in the morning as they were making their daily bread, and because they left in haste the bread was not able to rise (Exod 12:34). Therefore, they were forced, by circumstances, to leave their leavening — a biblical metaphor for sin — behind in Egypt. Similarly, believers in Yeshua are commanded to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1 Cor 5:6–8), which helps to remind us that we should have left our old sinful ways behind us in the spiritual Egypt of this world when we surrendered our lives to Yeshua. We are pressing onward to the Promised Land of YHVH’s eternal kingdom.

Not only did YHVH command his set-apart people to leave Egypt (a biblical metaphor for this world Continue reading

 

Why Study About and Celebrate YHVH’s Biblical Feasts?

It’s Time to Take Off the Blindfold!

The biblical truths presented below you have NOT heard in your Sunday churches. If you had, you would have been observing or celebrating YHVH Elohim’s biblical feasts in those churches! Yet these truths have been in your Bible all along. The problem is that most people have been blinded to them, and until YHVH opens their eyes and they express willingness to hear and obey YHVH’s truth, they will remain spiritually blind!

An Introduction to the Biblical Feasts

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 the first humans chose to listen to the lies of the serpent and to rebel against YHVH by giving in to sin at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil at the very beginning, our first parents chose the path of separation from their Heavenly Father. Sin causes man to be separated from our totally holy, righteous, sinless and loving Creator.

Since that time YHVH has been endeavoring to reconcile man to himself. He has laid out the criteria for this to occur—for man to once again have a loving and intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father as did Adam and Eve before they sinned.

The seven biblical feasts of YHVH (please note, the Bible calls them YHVH’s feasts, not men’s feasts, Lev 23:2, 4; Exod 31:13) prophetically represent the steps man must take to be reconciled to his Heavenly Father. They are the complete plan of salvation or redemption rolled up into an easy-to-understand ­seven-step plan. 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. The biblical feasts are literally the skeletal structure upon which the truths of the entire Bible Continue reading

 

The Truth About the Vernal Equinox Calendar

What Calendar Did Yeshua Follow?

So which calendar is the true calendar of the Bible? As of this writing, there are three calendars vying for this distinction. They are:

  • The rabbinc Jewish or Hillel 2 calendar, which originated in ca. A.D.  359–360 as the last act of the last Jewish Sanhedrin and was approved and sanctioned by Roman emperor Constantine. (For more information on the history of this calendar, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/new_moons.pdf.)
  • The aviv barley/new moon calendar (for more information on this calendar, read my online teaching at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/cal_demyst.pdf and https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/vis_moon.pdf).
  • The vernal equinox calendar.
  • There are several other fringe calendars (e.g. the Noah calendar, the Enoch calendar, and several Essene calendars) that have caught the attention of some Bible students that are totally unsupported biblically; therefore, we won’t even take the time even to address them.

In previous articles, we have discussed the Hillel 2 calendar above, which most of Rabbinic Judaism currently follows, but was not the calendar that the biblical Jews followed. 

The next calendar, the abib/aviv barley, visible new moon calendar, which is the one that this ministry follows for the reasons given in the article links provided above.

The last calendar is the vernal equinox calendar, which looks to the vernal or spring equinox to determine the beginning of the new biblical year and, hence, the dates for the Continue reading

 

Three Times in a Year—Then and Now

Exodus 23:14–19, Three times you shall keep a feast. The Scriptures teach us that during the three biblical pilgrimage festivals of Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles all Israelites were to leave their places of individual isolation and were to go up to where the presence of Elohim of Israel was. This sacred rendezvous was to occur according to the festival cycle or circle (Heb. chag) around the common sanctuary (where YHVH had chosen to place his name, Deut 16:2, 11, 15). 

In fulfilling this command,each Israelite would become conscious in a real way that he was connected to all the other members of the nation of Israel, with YHVH Elohim, and with the Torah (The Pentateuch—Deuteronomy, p. 310, by S. R. Hirsch). 

In biblical times, the Israelites would gather wherever the tabernacle had been placed. When the temple was built in Jerusalem, this city became the destination point for the Israelite pilgrims during these three biblical feasts. 

For the saints who celebrate the biblical feasts now, there is no temple in Jerusalem to gather around. The saints are now the spiritual temple of the Spirit of Elohim (1 Cor 3:16). Moreover, Yeshua has promised to be in the midst of his people when they gather together Continue reading

 

The Significance of Yom Teruah (part 2)

Yom Teruah Verses

There are only two verses in the Bible that command the keeping of Yom Teruah.

And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH. (Lev 23:23–25)

And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto YHVH; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram, and one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto YHVH. (Num 29:1–6)

The Breath of Life and Yom Teruah

Without the life-giving breath of YHVH we are dead both physically and spiritually. As YHVH breathed the breath of life into Adam who then became a living being (Heb. nephesh), so when Yeshua breathed on his disciples (John 20:22), they came alive spiritually. Similarly, YHVH breathed on the first century redeemed believers through the wind of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Set-apart Spirit) on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2, and the congregation of renewed covenant believers was birthed. Similarly, on the day of Messiah’s second return (Yom Teruah), the shofar (called the last trumpet in Hebraic thought, which comes just prior to the final or the great trumpet/shofar hagadol of Yom Kippur) will sound and the dead in Messiah will be resurrected (1 Cor 15:51–53; 1 Thes 4:16). It is the breath of YHVH that will revive the righteous dead. This is similar to the breath of YHVH blowing over the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37, which some see as a prophetic picture of the resurrection of the saints.

What can we learn from this? When YHVH breathes or blows on man, the power of the supernatural pierces the natural dimension and the supernatural breaks the status quo of the natural and supernaturally empowers one to do that which he could not do in his own power naturally. We need YHVH’s divine breath to blow on us to empower us with his power and his ability to be and act supernatural in a natural world for his glory and the advancement of his kingdom! 

When the shofar sounded in ancient Israel, it signaled that heaven and earth were about to meet, that divine power, the supernatural forces of heaven were about to break into the human realm. It signaled that Elohim was about to do great things! 

Are you ready for this to happen again?

When Was the Shofar Blown in Ancient Israel?

The shofar is an instrument unique to the ancient Hebrews and their descendants. In the Scriptures, we see that the shofar played a highly significant role in Hebraic culture. Below are some examples this instrument’s importance:

The History of the Shofar and the Three Trumpets

The ram’s horn shofar is first alluded to in the Scriptures in Genesis 22 at the binding of Isaac and known in Hebrew as the akeidah. 

The symbolism in this historical event is tremendously significant. The ram represents Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim who died to redeem man from sin. The thicket is a biblical poetic symbol of human sinfulness. Humanity is entangled in the thicket of sin from which it needs to be freed. Yeshua the Messiah is the Lamb (or ram) slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), who, while hanging on the cross, wore a crown of thorns. Is this not a picture of the “ram caught in the thicket” (Gen 22:13) of the man’s sins? After all, the Scriptures say that the sins of man were laid upon Yeshua (Isa 53:6). The crown of thorns is a picture of this. Furthermore, in Matthew 13, in Continue reading

 

Yom Teruah/the Day of Trumpets is almost here! Get ready…

Here are some Hoshana Rabbah resources that will help you to understand the significance of Yom Teruah or the Day of Trumpets which is almost here.

For a written teaching, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_teruah.pdf

For video teachings, go to https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah?feature=mhee and check out the playlist on the Sabbath and Biblical Feasts. There you will find several video teachings on Yom Teruah.

More insights on Yom Teruah to follow, so stay tuned…

May YHVH Elohim bless you mightily as you connect the message of the gospel with its pro-Torah Hebraic roots!

 

The Fall Biblical Feasts Are Coming…Are You Ready to Celebrate Them?

Deuteronomy 16:1ff, Keeping the biblical feasts. How important are YHVH’s feast days (annual set-apart times or moedim) to you? The Israelites and first-century Messianic believers planned their entire year’s schedule around them. That’s how important YHVH’s annual festivals were to them. Do we travel halfway across the country to take a vacation or to go to a conference, and yet do not set apart the time to obey YHVH’s voice by keeping his appointed times? Do we let our jobs, school or other secular activities dictate how and whether we keep the feasts or not? If so, what does this say about the status of our spiritual priorities? What does Elohim think about our excuses about why we can’t keep his feasts has he has commanded us to do? 

The feast days are the skeletal framework of YHVH’s entire plan of redemption (salvation) of Israel. One cannot in good conscience and be true to biblical truth and keep the weekly Sabbath without keeping YHVH’s annual Sabbaths. They stand or fall together. What plans are you making to keep the upcoming fall appointed times of YHVH: Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting/Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Covering/Atonement), Hag HaSukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and Shemini Atzeret (The Eighth Day)?

In the final analysis, jobs, schooling, friends and the praises and acceptance of men will all pass away, but our relationship with Elohim will determine our eternal destiny. Isn’t it time that we got serious about putting him first in our lives?

On this blog site, I have posted numerous teaching articles on both the seventh day Sabbath and on the biblical feasts. These are readily accessible by going to the main page of this blog and typing in search terms in the site’s search engine at the top right hand side of the page.

Also, on this ministry’s YouTube channel, you can find dozens of videos on the Sabbath and biblical feasts at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM.

On this ministry’s website, you can find numerous teaching articles on the Sabbath and biblical feasts at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast.

When are we to celebrate the biblical feasts? You can find out this info from our free downloadable online biblical calendar at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/calendars.html.

If you want to understand the biblical calendar from the Bible itself, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast.