top of page

The Most High's Festivals are Forever| Holy Day or Holiday?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

The Most High God's Appointed Times

The seven feasts of the Lord are his "Appointed Times" during which he will meet with men for holy purposes. Four of the 7 feasts occur in the spring of the year. They are "Passover", "Unleavened Bread", "First Fruits", and “Shavuot” (also known as “Pentecost”). These 4 Spring Feasts are summed up in only 19 verses of Scripture (Leviticus 23:4–22). In Messianic Judaism, these feasts represent the Messiah's first coming, which has happened.

The 3 final feasts, in the fall of the year, are in the Hebrew month of Tishri (September/October). They represent the events associated with the Messiah's second coming, which has yet to occur. These 3 final feasts form the basis for what the Bible calls "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13)



The Most High does things by season.


 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; ...

 

Worship of the true Father is a worship of action.


One of the lessons learned by keeping the Most High’s holy days and Feasts is the desire to choose His ways over your own. Taking up His observances and doing them is a clear indication of our heart’s desire to follow Him in obedience. We follow Him by what we do, far more than by what we say.

We can talk the most convincing talk, but unless our words translate into active obedience, it is all just empty rhetoric. The Apostle Paul calls words without action “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.” The actual keeping of Yahweh’s Feasts is the test of our sincerity.

The Passover demands that we take a personal assessment of our lives prior to partaking in the emblems. Through this memorial, we accept the blood of Yahshua to cleanse our sins. But taking part in the memorial also means that we root out all that offends in our lives, which is reinforced by the removal of leaven for the Feast of Unleavened that follows.



There may be no real need to participate in the Passover year after year if our sinful behavior stopped after the first time we kept it. Sadly, that is not the way of human nature. Because we still fall short, Yahweh has provided seven yearly avenues for returning to and drawing closer to Him again — His Moedim or days set apart. Nearly two months before the Old Covenant was ratified and before he scaled Mt. Sinai to receive the codified law from Yahweh, Moses was instructed about Passover and the first Feast, Unleavened Bread.

Yahweh said, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep [it] a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever,” Exodus 12:14.


The Feast of The Most High

We learn first of all that it is a “feast to Yahweh.” Later, in Leviticus, Yahweh commanded Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts,” 23:2. He leaves no doubt that these observances belong to Him, not just to Jews or to any particular group of people. It didn’t matter whether you were an Israelite or a stranger, you were required to observe these days set apart by Yahweh Himself, Exodus 12:19. There are five classes of law in the Scriptures: spiritual; commercial-civil; ceremonial-ritual; judicial-criminal; and natural. The Feasts are part of the spiritual law, just like the Ten Commandments. They reveal the spiritual attributes of Yahweh and help produce a spiritual change in us when we observe them in true sincerity.


The Change in The Law

The change in the law that many like to cite came about in the ceremonial-ritual law, not in the spiritual law. The Book of Hebrews speaks of the temporary nature of animal sacrifices and other ritual: “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation” (Heb. 9:9-10).

Ritualistic ordinances were added to the law obligation because of Israel’s continued transgression (Gal. 3:19). Yahshua now intercedes for us as High Priest. His blood is the only effective remedy for sin. This is the change in the law that the Scriptures speak of. Nothing in the Bible affects or alters our responsibility to keep the spiritual law and the Feast days.

Numerous New Testament examples show where people were intending to keep the Feasts, were keeping them, and would keep them again the in Kingdom. Those passages include: Luke 2:42; John 5:1; 7:2, 10, 14; 12:20; Matthew 26:2, 17, 29; Acts 18:21; and1Corinthians 5:8.

Why do we see Yahweh’s own Son and His people still observing the Feasts in the New Testament?


For one reason, no fewer than four times in Leviticus 23, Yahweh declares the Feasts “a statute forever.”

Even in the coming Kingdom, we find that people everywhere will be obedient: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.

And what if they refuse, as many do today? “And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain,” Zechariah 14:16-18. Yahshua Himself promised to keep the Passover in the future Kingdom with His disciples, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18,30. Everyone, including Yahshua, will be keeping the Feasts when the Kingdom comes to earth.


So why would we not be keeping them right now?

May each of us be like the Apostle Paul when he said clearly and with total resolve, “I must, by all means, keep this Feast!”



The Spring Feasts

 


Pesach (The Passover)

This is the foundational feast. The 6 feasts that follow are built upon it. It is covered in Leviticus 23:5. It also starts the second feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In all the words that are used to describe what took place in Egypt none fits better than one word – “Redemption”. Israel was redeemed so that they could worship and serve the true and living God. But this redemption is not without cost. Blood had to be shed. All of the lambs sacrificed in Egypt pointed to the one true Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).


Unleavened Bread

This feast was to last for 7 days. On the first and seventh day, there was to be a time of meeting (convocation) between God and man. In the preparation for this meeting, all leaven products were to be removed from the household. This feast is recorded in Leviticus chapter 23:6–8. It is not just spring housecleaning; it is to remind us of our need for spiritual cleansing and repentance. Combining this feast with Passover makes this an eight-day celebration. The one word that fits this feast is “Sanctification”. The Messiah was set apart. His body would not decay in the grave.


First Fruits


This 3rd feast starts on the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. "First Fruits," according to Jewish understanding, occurs on the 16th day of the Hebrew month, “Nissan”. It is the first crop planted in winter, the barley harvest. The first fruits of the harvest are cut and, in a prescribed ceremony, presented to the Lord (Leviticus 23:9 – 14). Another name for this feast is called "Yom HaBikkurim". It also starts the "Sfirat Haomer" – the counting of the sheaf. The one word connected to this feast is "Resurrection". The Lord's acceptance of the first fruits is a “pledge” or “down payment” on his part for the full harvest or resurrection (Ephesians 1:14).


Shavuot (Pentecost or Feast of Weeks)

This feast is also known as "Pentecost" (Acts 2:1) – meaning “fiftieth”. This feast was the first fruits of the wheat harvest. The one word that connects this feast is the word "Orientation". This feast is recorded in Leviticus chapter 23:15–21.

With this first fruits of the wheat harvest, Israel was to bring to 2 loaves of bread. This is the only feast where leavened bread was used. The two loaves represented Jew and Gentile – one in Messiah. It was the coming of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) that reinstated the renewed covenant. The separation between Jews and Gentiles has been broken down.


The Fall Feasts

Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets)

This feast also is known as “Zikhron Teruah” (Memorial of Blowing) and “Yom T’ruah” (the day of blowing) and Rosh Hashanah - literally meaning “Head of the Year”. This feast is recorded in Leviticus 23:23–25. The one word that will connect to this feast is "Ingathering". Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah points to the future day when the Messiah returns to rescue the righteous and judge the wicked.


The fall feasts call us to regather to pure faith in The Most High God. Rosh Hashanah has come to represent the day of repentance. It is the day when the people of Israel took stock in their spiritual condition, and made the necessary changes to ensure that the upcoming new year would be pleasing to God.

The most notable custom is with the “shofar,” the trumpet that is mentioned in Scripture. On this day the shofar is sounded in the synagogue with four different notes: tekiah (blast), shevarim (broken notes), Teruah (alarm), and Tekiah Gedolah (the great blast). Because the shofar was used in the ancient world to hail a King, so on Rosh Hashanah, all Israel is said to appear before the King of Kings in anticipation of personal judgment, the shofar is our "wake-up call" calling as to our appointed time. This feast will be fulfilled when the Messiah comes back in Matthew 24:31


Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

This feast is known as "The Day of Atonement". Yom Kippur is the Atonement (covering) for the previous year’s sins. That atonement or sacrifice was the blood sacrifice of an innocent animal as recorded in Leviticus 17:11. You will find this feast recorded in Leviticus 23:26 –32. It is considered the most holy day in the Jewish biblical calendar. It is considered the logical extension of what was started on Rosh Hashanah. What was started on that day, repentance and self-evaluation, was completed on Yom Kippur with atonement and regeneration? Yom Kippur/the day of atonement points to the future day when Israel repents of her sins and turns to the Messiah for salvation.


Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

This feast is also known as the “Feast of Tabernacles.” This is the most and most enjoyable and festive of all Israel's feasts. It is mentioned in Scripture more than any of the other feasts. This feast is recorded in Leviticus 23:33–44. It has a twofold purpose. It was to bring in the latter harvest (the Jewish "Thanksgiving"), and the command to dwell in booths. It is also known as "Zman Simkhatenu" (“the time of our rejoicing”). The one word that can summarize this feast is (habitation). The traditional Jewish observance of Sukkot centers on the building of a sukkah ("booth), or (“hut”), and the blessing of the Lulav (palm branch) with the Etrog (a fruit from Israel). It is believed that the birth of Yeshua took place on Sukkot and evidence pointed out by theologians.

Tabernacles/Sukkot point to the future day when the Messiah sets up his messianic kingdom and Tabernacles or dwells among men, John in his vision of Revelation gives us the reality of Sukkot as recorded in Revelation 21:1 –3.


Additional


Chagim Purim

This festival, found in the book of Esther, commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from extermination by the evil Haman. We celebrate the deeds of Esther who fasted and petitioned the king to spare her people, and of Mordechai who stood up to Haman and gave Esther the courage to face the king. The Story of Purim


Chanukkah

Chanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, marks the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Greek occupation.

16 views1 comment

1 Comment


Dr. Mar'Jae
Dr. Mar'Jae
Jan 10, 2023

I choose to celebrate the Holy days through obedience to the Most High.


Like
bottom of page