Should we keep the Scriptural Feasts
We all have a free choice of what we want to believe. But the truth is still the truth, even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.
Leviticus 23:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of Yahuah, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:….
There are lots of ways that the devils presence is invisibly normalised into our consciousness, that we readily accept. The devil's cleverest trick is to convince us that he does not exist, he is hidden in social media, films, TV soaps, even within denominations doctrine and teaching. How many denominations readily celebrate the devils festival days of h-a-l-l-o-w-e-e-n, e-a-s-t-e-r and c-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s knowing that these are pagan festivals?
At the same time, how many denominations choose to not celebrate the Fathers Festivals of the Spring and Autumn Feasts, teaching that the Fathers Festivals are inconsequential and do not need to be kept, but the devils festivals are all OK and are kept.
This just does not make sense does it and is why the Natsarim are called out from Babylon in Revelation 18:4
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 “Because her sins have piled up to reach the heaven, and Elohim has remembered her unrighteousness’s.
Most denominations believe in keeping parts of the Ten Commandments, some keep all of the Ten Commandments including the weekly Sabbath, but few people unfortunately keep the other commands that are given in the Old Testament. These commands include keeping the Feasts of Yahuah
The Feasts and associated High Sabbath days are set out in the Old Testament. These are the Father’s feasts, not Israel's. Consequently, if we believe in the Father and the Messiah, they are also our Feasts. The Feasts apply not to just particular race, church or denomination, it applies to everyone that has made a commitment to following the commands of the Father.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.........21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Keeping the commandments of the Messiah is a sign of our love, obedience and belonging to Him. It's also a test, and as we continue to obey even in the face of difficulty, it builds our strength and our faith.
There a deeper purpose to this statement, the apostle John frequently mentions the correlation between love and obedience as they relate to our relationship with God and others. As believers and followers of the Messiah, we are to obey Him—just as children obey their earthy father—this paves the way for us to love the Father, love others, and to experience the love of God toward us. Jesus says
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands which to the faithful are not grievous 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.
Keeping the commands includes honouring the Feasts. The Spring Feasts are fulfilled as the first part of our salvation plan and that is why we should remember and rejoice on those days. The Autumn Feasts are symbolic of the gathering of believers at the end of time, which is something we should all have to look forward to. What better reason is there to remember our salvation plan and rejoice on those days as the Father asked us to do.
Although Israel was told to honour them, the Old Testament just does not say that it is only physical Israel that needs to keep them. This command then applies to all people, including those who seek the Father and those who consider themselves as spiritual Israel. To state or teach the opposite is removing the statements made by the Father in the Old Testament.
The fact that the Father does things for ever is set out in Ecclesiastes, there is no adding to it, or taking away from it.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. There is no adding to it, and there is no taking from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.
And the Feasts applying for all time is also clearly shown in Zechariah when at the end of time, all nations must proclaim the Feast of Sukkoth. If the Feasts were only intended for Israel, or were no longer required, then all nations would not have to keep them? But they do have to keep them.
Zechariah 14:16 And it shall be that all who are left from all the nations which came up against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign, Yahuah of hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot
The Father set appointed times that are set apart gatherings, gave them meaning, and He is their ultimate Object. The Feasts are all about worship of the Father, they set both His expectations of us, and set out the salvation plan offered to mankind and our part in it. Our observance and understanding of these days is critical to our walk and learning.
Along with the weekly Sabbath, the seven annual High Sabbaths—the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag Hamatzot), Pentecost (Shavuot, also called the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest), the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, also called the Fast), the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth), and the eighth day (often called the Last Great Day).
We are also told not to appear before the Father empty handed on three of the High Sabbath days
Deuteronomy 16:16 “Three times a year all your males appear before Yahuah your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread and at the Festival of Shavuot and at the Festival of Sukkot. And none should appear before Yahuah empty-handed,
On these days we should be prepared to make sacrifice to the Father for the atonement of sin and offerings for the thanks for the abundance of the year.
On these days, the Father is calling his people together, not just for fellowship (although that is very important), but also for instruction and to honour and worship Him. These appointed times produce unity in purpose, doctrine, and relationships within believers. These days are also described as being set-apart. The same term that is used when the Father gave instructions for sacrifices and offerings to atone for sin and guilt.
There are some interesting parallels in the Feast dates of Yahuah. For instance:
The first month of the year is Nisan, and the calendar could begin before the Vernal Equinox, but would be close (vernal equinox is when day and night are the same length)
The exodus from captivity started with the Passover, but it also ended with the Passover as the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into Israel, the promised land on the 10 day of the first month (Joshua 4:19), and first ate the produce of the land on Passover day (Joshua 5:10). That is, the Hebrews exodus from captivity is framed at both ends with Passovers. Our salvation also started with Passover with the sacrifice of the Messiah, but has not yet ended.
On the 10th day of the first month of the year, the Passover lamb is selected. And the 10th day of the seventh month (half a year later) is the Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread starts on the 15th day of the first month and continues for a week. The Feast of Tabernacles starts on the 15th day of the seventh month and continues for a week. Both of these weeks start and end with a High Sabbath (Set Apart day).
If you believe in the lunar-solar calendar, both Passover and Tabernacles fall on the full moon.
Some additional interesting facts, days set out in the Scriptures can be divided into three groups.
Days requiring no work be done unless that work is necessary, ie relates to safety or health;
The weekly Sabbath - Leviticus 23:3
10th Tishri, The Day of Atonement - Leviticus 23:28,30,31
Days requiring no customary (occupational/servile) work be done unless that work is necessary, ie relates to safety or health;
15th Nisan, 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread - Leviticus 23:7
21st Nisan, 7th day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread - Leviticus 23:8
6th Sivan, Feast of Weeks/Pentecost - Leviticus 23:21
1 Tishri, Day of Trumpets - Lev 23:25
15 Tishri, 1st day of Feast of Tabernacles - Leviticus 23:35
22nd Tishri, Last Great Day - Leviticus 23:36
Days on which any work could be done;
14th day of Nissan, Passover - Leviticus 23:5
The first day of the new week following 15 Nisan, Feast of first fruits - Leviticus 23:10 to 14
16th to 20th Nisan, 2nd day to 6th day of Feast of Unleavened Bread - Leviticus 23:5, 6
16th to 21st Tishri, 2nd day to 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles - Leviticus 23:35,36
The Messiah, his disciples, and all of the early church kept the Feasts. This example shows us that we also must keep the Feasts. We are called to be set apart from the sin in the world around us all of the time, not just on those days.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.
These days are set apart days and we should do no customary work on it" (see Leviticus 23:7-8, 21, 24-25, 35-36). This means that we are not to attend to our normal work and includes not only our paying jobs, but also the ordinary work that we would do around the house, on our cars, in our yards, etc. However work that supports life and wellbeing should still be done as there are over arching requirements to support well being. The Messiah mentioned this in the Gospels when refuting the pharisees
Matthew 12:11 And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, shall not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 “How much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is right to do good on the Sabbath.”
Feasting and rejoicing together is part of the Feast days. The Father wants us to give thanks and be happy on His appointed times.
SO – when we do not set ourselves apart on these days, cleanse ourselves and honour and worship the Father, we are not following what the Father has asked of us. Many churches and denominations teach the believers do not need to follow the Feasts, but in ignoring the Feasts we are ignoring an instruction given to all mankind in the Old Testament by the Father Himself.