Scripture tells us that the Appointed Times (Feast Days) and the Sabbath are a shadow of things to come. A shadow is of the same image as what it is portraying. It implies these will be observed in the future kingdom.
Nowhere in the New Testament does the Messianic Scriptures or the letters of the apostles, ever tell us that we are to stop keeping these high feasts. We can see in the Scriptures that the opposite is true; the feasts (appointed times) did not stop being kept by the disciples after Yahshua had died. They encouraged the believers to keep them and led by example.
There are numerous verses and places where Yahshua tells us to keep the commands Yahuah has given us. Reading the following verses, in context, will clearly show that the law has not been eliminated!
In Matthew 5:17-19 Yahshua (whom some call Jesus) said the following,"Don't think that I came to destroy the law (feast and commandments) or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy (2647),but to fulfill (4137).“For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, (earth and the sky a form of two witnesses) not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law (Torah), until all things are accomplished.”, “Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
THERE ARE PLENTY OF NT SCRIPTURES TO PROVE THAT THE NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS PRATICED THE FEAST
Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread
The Day of Atonement
So why did the festivals stop? The church has a dodgy reputation for changing days, introducing pagan and unbiblical practices (for evidence of this look at Easter, Christmas, Sunday Sabbath, etc). The early Catholic church wanted to distance themselves from the Messianic Jewish community of believers. As seen from the texts below, this also applies in regards to the Feasts of Yahuah (God).
Constantine expressed the anti-Judaic sentiments of the bishops of the Christian world when he wrote:
“Let us therefore have nothing in common with this odious people, the Jews, for we have received from our Saviour in a different way…Strive and pray continually that the purity of your souls may not be sullied by fellowship with the customs of these most wicked men…All should unite in desiring that which sound reason appears to demand inavoiding all participation in the perjured conduct of the Jews.”
Daniel 7:25 to change appointed time
So why did the festivals stop? It the church. Turn with us to the great book of Daniel. Prior to the following verse, we learn that there is to be four kingdoms here on earth. It is amazing how awesome prophecy is fulfilled. We know from these verses, that the fourth and final beast is different from all the others. This beast is horrendous, in that it does something no other kingdom as ever thought of doing.
Dani ’el 7:25, “and it speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the qodesh (set-apart) ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times (moed = feast) and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.”
This beast, the fourth kingdom speaks against the Most High. Wears out the qodesh ones (set-apart ones, saints) which keep the Commandments of Yahuah and has the faith (belief) of Yahushua (Revelation 12:17; 14:12). This fourth kingdom, which was and is not yet is, (Revelation 17:8) does something so corrupt, it is almost unbelievable! The fourth beast, thinks to change times and laws. The times it thinks to change isYahuah’s Seven Annual Feasts including the weekly Sabbath and His Torah. Yep, you guessed it…with their leaven; they truly believe they have the right to change Yahuah’s Laws! Who gave this beast such a power? Why, that dragon of course!
Revelation 13:2, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (K.J.V.)
This fourth beast of course is Pagan Rome, controlled by the Papacy.
Through this scripture, we have seen that Yahuah instituted certain feasts in Scripture that He called them His own feasts and that He set as ordinances forever. We have seen that nowhere in the New Testament did Yahushua or the apostles ever change the days, but rather that they kept the days just as those around them did. We should keep Yahuah’s Seven Annual Feasts along with the weekly Sabbath,because they reveal the purpose of mankind’s salvation and the future millennium. The feasts of Lev. 23 all are a rehearsal for Yahuah’smagnificent plan for us. A look at the New Testament has also shown the Law (Torah) of Yahuah has not changed and is still the benchmark for Followers of Yahushua. Following this, we discovered that the change in the feasts and the non-observance of them was due to the early church and its interpretation of the scriptures and its Jewish bias. We have seen that prophecy tells us that the feasts will again be practiced when the world is under the rule of Messiah. Interestingly, we have seen that the feasts ultimately tell us of Messiah during His first and second coming to this earth, and hence are relevant for us as believers today. So should the feasts be kept today? We believe if the Scriptures are to be taken as a whole and not one or two verses, misunderstood and then highlighted and taken out of context, then the answer has to be YES. The Scriptures confirm for us that the feasts are His feasts and given eternally. May you receive the blessings, which are bestowed upon those who keep Yahuah’s weekly Sabbath and His Seven Annual Feasts!
Because many do not understand that YAHUAH gave His holy days to all in the faith, many in mainstream Christianity today do not keep the mo’edim festivals. Sadly the same also do not understand that the substance of these holy days are all about teaching us about the Messiah.
Colossians 2:16-17 (ESV) Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Leviticus 23:33-43 And Yahuah spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to YAHUAH (God). On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to YAHUAH. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to YAHUAH. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.
In Leviticus 23:2 Yahuah (God) tells us, “These are My appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, as a Holy Convocation which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” They are Yahuah’s specially appointed times available to all His followers.
In Hebrew, the word “convocation” means “miqra”, spoken as “Mik-raw” which means “rehearsal”. What does the word rehearsal mean? Rehearsal is defined as “the act of practicing in preparation for public performance event”. When we practice the Feasts, we are preparing for the return of our Savior and King Yahusha (Christ). The Feasts have prophetic significance.
Each year GAI marks our calendar and plan ahead to participate with Yahuah on His Holy Days!
On the Hebrew/Biblical calendar a day begins and ends at dusk (See Genesis 1).
There are three feast days according to the Torah. All feast days are mo’edim, but not all mo’edim are feast days.
The Three Annual Feasts, Exodus 23:14-19
- Feast of Unleavened Bread or Passover. Hebrew Pesach (includes Day of First Fruits)
- Feast of Harvest or Pentecost or Weeks. Hebrew Shavuot.
- Feast of Ingathering or Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Hebrew Sukkot. (Includes Eight Day)
The Three Major Annual Festivals
Exodus 23:14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival for me. 15 You are to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month Abib, because in it you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty handed. 16 You are to observe the Festival of Harvest, celebrating the first fruits of your work in planting the field, and the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather the fruit of your work from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males shall appear in the presence of YAHUAH.”
Accordingly, each of these Feasts begins and ends at sundown. Based on the Scriptures, Great Awakening follow and celebrate the following Feasts dates.
- Feast of Unleavened Breads:
- Feast of First Fruits:
- Feast of Weeks/Harvest/Pentecost:
- Day/Feast of Trumpets:
- Day of Atonement:
- Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering/Booths/Shelters/Harvest:
- The Eighth Day: Shemini Atzeret
The first three feasts Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits occur in rapid succession in the spring of the year over a period of eight days. They came to be referred to collectively as “Passover.”
The fourth feast, Harvest, occurs fifty days later at the beginning of the summer. By New Testament times this feast had come to be known by its Greek name, Pentecost, a word meaning fifty.
The last three feasts Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles extend over a period of twenty-one days in the fall of the year. They came to be known collectively as “Tabernacles.”
THE PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FEASTS: POINTS TO THE MESSIAH YAHUSHA:
- Passover — Points to the Messiah as our passover lamb whose blood would be shed for our sins. Yahusha was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.
- Unleavened Bread — Points to the Messiah’s sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Yahusha’s body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.
- First Fruits — Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Yahusha was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
- Harvest or Pentecost — (Called Shavuot today.) The Anniversary when Moses recieved the Law. The Assembly was actually established on this day when the Messiah poured out the Holy Spirit and 3,000 souls responded to Peter’s first proclamation of the Gospel.
- Trumpets — (Called Yom Kippur today.) Points to the Rapture when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a Bridegroom coming for His bride. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:52)
- Atonement — (Called Yom Kippur today.) Points to the day of the Second Coming of Yahusha when He will return to earth. That will be the day of atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).
- Tabernacles — (Called Sukkot today.) Points to Yahusha’s promise that He will once again tabernacle with His people when He returns to reign over all the world from Jerusalem (Micah 4:1-7).