The Feast Days of the Bible

Table of Contents

The Feast Days

In the book of Leviticus, chapter 23, we find the LORD commanding Moses, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them concerning the feasts of the LORD, which shall be holy convocations, even these are My feasts." Continuing in Lev. 23, the LORD lists these "holy convocations", beginning with the seventh-day Sabbath. Then He refers to Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. In 1 Chronicles 23:31 we find the New Moons being included with the Sabbaths (seventh-day) and "set feasts". The LORD says in Exodus 23:14- 17, "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread...And the feast of harvest (Pentecost), the firstfruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering (Tabernacles), which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before [YAH]." Notice the importance that YAH places on the feast of tabernacles, "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up [to keep the feast of tabernacles] of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain...This shall be the punishment...of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:17-19). "No rain" in the Christian dispensation would mean no out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month." (Joel 2:23). "In the Scriptures the terms 'early rain,' which falls at seed- sowing time, and 'latter rain,' which just precedes the harvest, illustrate the two great spiritual seasons of refreshing during the Christian era." (The Loud Cry, Calvin C. Harkey, p.93). "The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain, and prepares it for the sickle. The LORD employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit...We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Christ has said, 'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.' Matt. 18:20. The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God's appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain..." (The Faith I Live By, p. 334).

"Like the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles was commemorative. In memory of their pilgrim life in the wilderness, the people were now to leave their houses, and dwell in booths, or arbors, formed from green branches 'of goodly trees'...At these yearly assemblies the hearts of old and young would be encouraged in the service of God, while the association of the people from the different quarters of the land would strengthen the ties that bound them to God and to one another. Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessing of God to them. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God had wrought for their fathers, and His miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt, so should we gratefully call to mind the various ways He has devised for bringing us out from the world, and from the darkness of error, into the precious light of His grace and truth. With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance upon the annual feasts. This example of devotion to God should emphasize the importance of religious worship, and the necessity of subordinating our selfish, worldly interests to those that are spiritual and eternal. We sustain a loss when we neglect the privilege of associating together to strengthen and encourage one another in the service of God. The truths of His word lose their vividness and importance in our minds. Our hearts cease to be enlightened and aroused by the sanctifying influence, and we decline in spirituality. In our intercourse as Christians we lose much by lack of sympathy with one another. He who shuts himself up to himself, is not filling the position that God designed he should. We are all children of one Father, dependent upon one another for happiness. The claims of God and of humanity are upon us. It is the proper cultivation of the social elements of our nature that brings us into sympathy with our brethren, and affords us happiness in our efforts to bless others. The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative, but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but as the feast of harvest [year's end], it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the LORD of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner." (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.540,41).

Why do most Christians not observe the feasts of YAH today? There is no text in the Bible which indicates that the appointed times were done away. There is, however, a verse which tells of Satan's plan to supplant them. "And he [the Papal pontiff] shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall [persecute] the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws..." (Daniel 7:25). It is interesting to note here the original meaning of the word "times". Strong's Analytical Concordance lists "times" as #2166, and in the "Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary" the following is read:"zeman (Chald.)...from 2165; the same as 2165: season, time". For #2165 we read,"zeman [Heb.]...from 2163; an appointed occasion: season, time." The definition of #2163 says,"zaman [Heb.]...a prim. root; to fix (a time): appoint. The same Aramaic word, "zeman", is used in Esther 9:27,31 with reference to the annually appointed time of the days of Purim decreed by Queen Esther. Another Hebrew word [moed ], meaning "a fixed time or season" (same meaning as the Aramaic zeman), is used by Moses in Leviticus 23:2,4,37,44, denoting "the feasts of the LORD". So The Amplified Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, agrees with us in its translation of Daniel 7:25, "And he shall speak words against the Most High (God), and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times (of sacred feasts and holy days) and the law...". History is clear that the Papacy changed the seventh-day Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Passover was changed to Easter, and a host of other Pagan festivals were brought into the Church, replacing YAH's appointed feasts-- Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, May Day, St. Patrick's Day, to name a few. Since the New Moon has been disregarded by the Church, the Roman Calendar has taken pre-eminence. YAH's calendar based on the moon has been replaced by the solar cycle of Pagan Rome. "The only purpose of all these feasts [of YAH] was to teach Israel of God's love and care for them so they would serve Him with all their heart." (The Loud Cry, p.372). It makes sense that Satan would desire to do away with YAH's appointed feasts in order that the Church would not learn "of God's love and care for them" and so they would not "serve Him with all their heart."

While salvation is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8,9), there is responsibility on your part to preserve that "gift" by "obedience unto righteousness" (Romans 6:16). And that obedience is accomplished by Christ, Himself, as He lives His righteous life in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). We do not observe YAH's appointed feasts in order to be saved or to gain attention or favor from the Heavenly Father. No! We keep His appointed times to reap the special blessings designed by the Creator when He ordained them. Applying the principle of Galatians 6:7,8, if we sow Pagan holidays, we reap Pagan practices and mind set. If we sow YAH's appointed feasts, we reap the understanding of the Father's love and find pleasure in serving Him with all our heart. The Father's plan of salvation for sinful man by the sacrifice of "His only begotten Son" is explained to us through the feasts of the LORD. Just as our children learn by object lessons, God's children do as well. When our families come together for sacred meetings at the appointed times, we are sure to receive the blessings God intended for the children of Israel. Space does not permit an exhaustive coverage of this subject here. However, the following points may be considered for individual study:

1) Even though Christ replaced the Passover Meal with the LORD's Supper, and the "national festival" of the Jews was forever ended by the sacrifice of Christ, the Passover Lamb, YAH did not change the appointed times. The significance to the Church is centered in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

2) After the cross the disciples were observing the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). It was not nailed to the cross. (Acts 2:1). God blessed the Church with the "early rain" at the appointed time.

3) Paul kept the feasts after the Day of Pentecost referred to in point #2 above. (See: Acts 18:21; 20:16; 1 Cor.16:8; Acts 20:1-6; 27:9; 1 Cor.5:7,8.). Paul says in Acts 28:17, "...I have committed nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers...".

"Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath." Colossians 2:16. (The Amplified Bible).

"So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear [YAH] for our good always...And it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before [YAH], just as He commanded us." Deut.6:24,25. (NASB). <


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