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Yah’s Feasts

Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year”, and is sometimes called the start of the Jewish “Civil Year”. This is actually a corruption, picked up during Babylonian captivity. In Exodus, Yahweh told His people that the year starts in the Spring. Trumpets is the start of the 7th month on Yah’s calendar, not the first.

In Leviticus 23, Yah outlines all of His “feasts”; including the 7th day Sabbath, and the annual celebrations or holy days. The Hebrew word translated “feasts” is “moedim”, and means “rehearsals” as well as “celebrations”. So Yahweh’s feasts are a rehearsal for, or a picture of, His plan for our salvation.

1 Yah said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of Yah, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

They aren’t “Jewish” feasts, or the “Feasts of Israel”, they are HIS.

3 “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to Yah.

Six days of work followed by a day of rest. Remember that a thousand years is but a day in His sight (Psalm 90, 2 Peter 3), so the picture is 6,000 years of human toil, followed by a millennial sabbath reign. We’re getting close!

4 “These are Yahweh’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 Yahweh’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.

It was on the day of Passover that our Messiah became the ultimate sacrifice. At the very same time that the High Priest was cutting the throats of lambs in the temple courtyard, Roman soldiers were nailing the Lamb of God to a wooden stake outside the gates of Jerusalem.

6 On the fifteenth day of that month Yahweh’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present an offering made to Yahweh by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.

Leaven (yeast) is symbolic of sin. Eating unleavened bread, and getting leaven out of our homes, is a picture of eliminating sin from our lives. Remember – “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”; offending in one point makes us guilty of all. Yahshua, commonly called Jesus, fulfilled this Feast as well – He who was without sin, was in the grave on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

9 Yahweh said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before Yahweh so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to Yahweh a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made to Yahweh by fire, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

The next feast is FirstFruits, and it was on the day of this feast that Yahshua was resurrected. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” Along with the waving of the first sheaf from the barley harvest, the offering made is symbolic. The yearling lamb without blemish represents our Messiah, and a drink offering of wine reminds us of His blood, shed for us. The fine flour represents believers, and we’re mingled with oil – filled with the Holy Spirit.

Note also that Yahweh is very precise. Had he meant “until the Messiah comes”, “until the Holy Ghost is given at Pentecost”, or “until the temple at Jerusalem is destroyed”, He would have said so. Instead, He said for the generations to come, wherever you live. He wants us to understand the symbolism of the feasts, and what He is doing for us. The early church, including Paul, continued to celebrate these Feasts long after the resurrection.

15 “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to Yahweh. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to Yahweh. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to Yahweh, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to Yahweh. 19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before Yahweh as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to Yahweh for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, on what we call “Pentecost”, was the fulfillment of the Feast of Weeks. The name Pentecost is based on the Greek word for 50, and reflects the counting of days from the waving of the sheaf at FirstFruits. As with the first three feasts, it also was fulfilled on the day of the feast. This offering is the only one made with leaven – symbolic of salvation now being available to Gentiles, who previously had not had God’s laws.

23 Yahweh said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present an offering made to Yahweh by fire.”

Trumpets played a big part in the lives of ancient Israelites. They had no telephones or radios, so it was difficult to communicate over long distances. Trumpets were used to send messages across the city, and from village to village. Some trumpets were made of metal, like brass or silver. Some were made from rams’ horns. By playing different patterns of notes, trumpet blowers could send different messages – celebration, alarm, or preparation for battle.

The Feast of Trumpets is a picture of what the modern church calls “the Rapture”, when God gathers believers to deliver us out of the tribulation to come in the last days. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Yahshua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yahshua will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

For us, Trumpets is a call to assemble, to prepare to be taken out. For those left behind, it will be a warning sign. While it’s not certain that this will happen on the day of the feast, the pattern established by fulfillment of the first four suggests that it might. Will it be this year? I doubt it, but the day is coming. Are you ready?

26 Yahweh said to Moses, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to Yahweh by fire. 28 Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before Yahweh your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30 I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”

The Day of Atonement is a rehearsal for Judgment Day, when Yahweh steps in to defend Jerusalem from the armies assembled against her. Zechariah 12:7-10 “Yahweh will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day Yahweh will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of Yahweh going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” And Revelation 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.”

Note also that this comes ten days after Trumpets; and the time is occasionally referred to as the “ten days of awe”. Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Remember from studying Daniel that a “day” in prophecy can mean a year. This suggests that the rapture might occur ten years before the fulfillment of Atonement.

33 Yahweh said to Moses, 34 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month Yahweh’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present offerings made to Yahweh by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to Yahweh by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. 37 These are Yahweh’s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to Yahweh by fire—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for Yahweh’s Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to Yahweh.) 39 So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to Yahweh for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. 40 On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before Yahweh your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to Yahweh for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.’ ” 44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of Yahweh.

After Atonement comes Tabernacles, also known as Booths, the rehearsal for God dwelling with us in the New Jerusalem – the Millennial Sabbath.

Zechariah 14:16-19 “And it shall come to pass, that every one 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. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

So in one small chapter of Leviticus, with seven simple feasts, Yahweh has outlined His plan for our salvation. Rejoice! Shout Hallelu-Yah!

All scripture name-corrected NIV

September 2010

One Response to “Yah’s Feasts”

  1. gayle says:

    hey, I was with you until you indicated that the sound of the trumpet will be a warning for those left behind. What about all the verses like in 2 Pet 3 that speak of the destruction of the wicked at His return and the verse in Rev 20 that speaks to the rest of the dead not livng again until the 1,000 years are finished? And where is the biblical support for the use of the phrase Millenial Sabbath? Finally, I count at least nine feasts in Lev 23, including the weekly Sabbath, the Passover Service (not a holy convocation), 2 days of the FOUB, Pentecost, Trunpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great day. Arguably, the omer offering could be included but it too is not a holy convocation. Why only seven? Finally, who do you say the scapegoat, Azazel represents?

    thanks.

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