Feast Days

The Meaning and Observance of the Hebrew Feast Days

 

By Pastor Eli James

 

Many Christian Israelites have asked me to do a sermon about the meanings of the particular Feast Days and how we are supposed to celebrate the Feasts.  The bulk of my work on the Hebrew Calendar has been done with respect to the exact timing of the Feasts.  The meaning of these Feasts and how we are supposed to observe them is the subject of this essay.  In addition, I will point out the prophetic significance of the Feast Days.  

 

Passover

 

On the fourteenth day of the first month (Abib) in the afternoon, the meal is prepared. In the evening, it will be eaten: A lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. (Exodus 12:8)

Although the Israelites in Egypt did not realize it at the time, the meal foreshadows the First Advent: the lamb being the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), the bitter herbs representing the bitter experience of Yahshua’s crucifixion and the unleavened bread being the antidote for sin.  (Leaven = false doctrine.)

Old Testament Readings: Exodus 12:21-51; Numbers 28:16-25.

New Testament Readings:

Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1Peter 1:18-19)

Since Yahshua was the fulfillment of the Passover sacrifice (Last Sacrifice), we are no longer required to kill a lamb as the ancient Israelites were commanded to do.  Rather, we commemorate the Last Supper, as Jesus commanded us to do.  We still use unleavened bread, as leaven symbolizes the false doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees (Jews), whose doctrines we are to reject absolutely.

 

Feast of Unleavened Bread

 

For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses. (Exodus 12:15)

The Weekly Sabbath after the Passover is the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  We are commanded to eat only unleavened bread for this entire week.  Meaning:  We are to eat all of our meals in conscious rejection of the leaven of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1), reminding ourselves that we are to cherish the unadulterated Word of Yahweh, as confirmed by His son, Yahshua.  (“If you love Me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” – John 14:15.)

 

Wave Sheaf, or Feast of First Fruits

 

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. 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. (Leviticus 23:10-11)

From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to Yahweh. (Leviticus 23:15-16)

When the High Priest waved the sheaf of new grain before the people, it prefigured the raising of Christ from the dead before the “wheat people,” Israel.   We are to celebrate this day in the remembrance that He was the first to conquer death and that we are to anticipate our own victory over death, when it is our time at the last harvest.  This is really the holiest day of the Spring Feasts, as it symbolizes Christ’s triumph over death.  

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1.Cor 15:20)

 

Pentecost

 

Even to the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to Yahweh.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two tenths of an ephah [bushel] of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to Yahweh. (Leviticus 23:16-17)

The Hebrew here is "khaw-DAWSH min-KHAW," which means, "a grain offering of a new kind."  This new kind of offering is the people of Israel.  “I beseech you, therefore, brethren… that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1.)  Even though the sins of Israel were forgiven up to the day of the crucifixion, Israel had by no means been cleansed of future sins.  The struggle between good and evil did not end at the Cross.  The promised unconditional forgiveness at Passover is not the same as Atonement, which we will see later.  

The two leavened loaves symbolize the Christian Israelites at the two advents.  The loaves are leavened because most Israelites are still in apostasy on both occasions.  We must admit our guilt and repent of it, if we wish to be saved and be counted among the Overcomers, to whom the Kingdom will be delivered.  The Overcomers are those imbued with the Spirit of Truth.

 

Pentecost and the Commemoration of the Giving of the Law

 

When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. (Exodus 32:19-28.)

Note that 3000 Israelites died as punishment for their idol worship that day!

 

From the New Testament:

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:40-41)

Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

3000 Israelites received the Holy Spirit, making up for the three thousand who had rebelled at Mt. Sinai!

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:2-4)

The Israelites at Pentecost were the first harvest.  There is yet a bigger harvest to come!

The Summer Harvest is the 3,000 at Pentecost.  The Fall Harvest will be the rest of the crop at the Second Coming.  But the forgiveness at the Atonement Day will NOT be unconditional.  It will require full recognition of our sins and sincere repentance.  

We are to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost in anticipation that we will, at the Second Coming, receive the Holy Spirit, just as the 3,000 Israelites did at the first Pentecost after the Resurrection.  In this way, Pentecost serves as a bridge between the first four Spring Feasts and the three Autumn Feasts, which will bring in the greater harvest at the Judgment Day.

 

The Fall Feasts

 

Feast of Trumpets

 

On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. (Numbers 29:1)

For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:24)  

The trumpets will announce the second coming of Jesus:

For Yahshua Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Prince in the air. And so we will be with the Prince forever. (1.Thess 4:16-17)

Behold, I will show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” - 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

All of the Overcomers will be changed.  Those who have, throughout history, died in and for the Faith will be raised incorruptible.  Those of us who are still alive at the Last Trump will not taste of death.  We will be changed while in the flesh.  The raised dead will join us in the Kingdom.

 

Day of Atonement

 

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. (Leviticus 23:27)

The Day of Atonement involves two different sacrifices.  One goat is sacrificed for the people of Israel.  The other goat is cast out into the wilderness.  Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to Yahweh and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before Yahweh to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. (Leviticus 16:9-10)

There are two interpretations of the ritual of the scapegoat.  1. The scapegoat is Azazel, the fallen angel that corrupted Adamkind.  The sins of Israel are placed upon this goat’s head and it is sent out into the wilderness to die.  (Lev. 16:21-22.)  This interpretation symbolizes the death of the children of the wicked one, the Edomites and Canaanites (Jews), who will be cast into outer darkness at the Judgment Day.  (Obadiah 9, 10)  2. The second interpretation is that it represents Jesus Christ, who took away our sins at the Cross.  The “place not inhabited” would thus be heaven, which is a place not inhabited by men but also the place where He waits until His return.  Either way, the sins of Israel are entirely removed.  Both interpretations make sense in terms of the events anticipated at the Judgment Day.

For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you that you may be clean from all your sins before Yahweh.  It shall be a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls by a statute forever.  (Lev. 16:30-31)

This is the only day on which we are commanded to fast.   The fasting represents our letting go of our own sins and of all connection with this evil world.  Although our stomachs may grumble for want of food (representing our attachment to this world), we are to fast in cognizance of our spiritual Being and ultimate redemption.  Unlike the unconditional forgiveness granted at Passover, the cleansing on the Day of Atonement requires our conscious participation, with the people praying and fasting for themselves and for all Israel, to release us from the bondage of this world.  

Being the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement mimics the tenth day of the first month, on which the people selected their sacrificial lambs for Passover.  (Ex. 12:3)  On the Day of Atonement, we select ourselves and sacrifice our old “self” for the ritual cleansing.  This is the soul-searching of repentance in preparation for the Judgment Day, which is symbolized by the…

 

Feast of Tabernacles

 

Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month Yahweh's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. (Leviticus 23:34)

Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. (Deut 16:13)  See also Numbers 29.

Numbers 29 presents the greatest detail with respect to this Feast, with each day requiring different sacrifices.  Given the complexity of all these sacrifices, the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles required great, even meticulous preparation.  With respect to prophecy, the Feast of Tabernacles represents the seven days of tribulation, which occur just before the Second Coming, the eighth day.  (Num. 29:35.)  Those of us who see this Day coming are well advised to make meticulous preparations for the collapse of civilization as we know it.  

Ideally, the Feast of Tabernacles is to be celebrated outdoors in tents.  The tents represent our place of refuge away from the judgment of this world, when we will have to flee from the cities, where Mystery Babylon will burn.  The book of Ezekiel tells us that ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government) will be consumed by his own armies, after the invasion of True Israel will devolve into confusion and chaos among his assembled troops.  During this time, it is best that we “flee to the mountains” and stay out of harm’s way.

The Feast of Tabernacles is also referred to as the feast of ingathering, meaning the harvest of Israelites who will qualify for the Kingdom.  For this reason, it is a feast of great rejoicing, despite the inconvenience of having to live outdoors.  Of course, for an agrarian people, this was not much of an inconvenience.  

   The Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Comentaary tells us this:

The Israelites were commanded during the whole period of the festival to dwell in booths, which were erected on the flat roofs of houses, in the streets or fields; and the trees made use of are by some stated to be the citron, the palm, the myrtle, and the willow, while others maintain the people were allowed to take any trees they could obtain that were distinguished for verdure and fragrance. While the solid branches were reserved for the construction of the booths, the lighter branches were carried by men, who marched in triumphal procession, singing psalms and crying "Hosanna!" which signifies, "Save, we beseech thee!" (Ps 118:15, 25, 26). It was a season of great rejoicing. But the ceremony of drawing water from the pool, which was done on the last day, seems to have been the introduction of a later period (John 7:37). That last day was the eighth, and, on account of the scene at Siloam, was called "the great day of the feast." The feast of ingathering, when the vintage was over, was celebrated also on that day [Ex 23:16; 34:22], and, as the conclusion of one of the great festivals, it was kept as a sabbath.

The Last Great Day is symbolic of the triumphant return of our Saviour, when Yahshua returns with His angels to avenge His and our enemies.  Glory HalleluYah!!!

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.(Leviticus 23,39)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him". (John 7:37-38)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:1-2) See also Ezekiel 47:1-12.

Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17)

 

Prophetic Fulfillment of the First Four Feasts

 

In the Spring of 33 AD, these first four Feast Days were all literally fulfilled by Jesus Christ and the Disciples.  Jesus was crucified on Passover Day, redeeming Israel fulfilling the Levitical sacrificial type.  His purity was maintained even unto death (Unleavened Bread), and it established the New Covenant (Wave Sheaf Offering).  Finally, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on those Disciples who had assembled in Jerusalem, symbolizing the firstfruits of wheat, with the final harvest of grapes coming in the Fall.  The delay in time between the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts is the difference in time between the First Advent and the Second Advent!!!

 

Yahweh's Feast Days and the Female Gestation Cycle, Part 1

One of the most astounding coincidences of the Hebrew Calendar is the apparent fact that the Feast Day Appointments of Yahweh's Calendar correlate with the major developmental stages of the human fetus in the mother's womb.

{Internet source, Seven Thunders Ministry}

Just as Yahweh set up specific days for His feasts, there are also specific cycles of growth for a baby in its mother's womb. It is fascinating to discover the parallels between His feasts days and the development of life in a mother's womb. This study will attempt to demonstrate the amazing similarities, for in God all things have perfect timing!

 

Feast Day    Gestation Stage

Passover    Fertilization (formation of the zygote)

Unleavened Bread   Implantation of the Zygote in the Uterus Wall

First Fruits (Wave Sheaf) Zygote Becomes an Embryo

Pentecost    Embryo Becomes a Fetus

Trumpets    Third Trimester Starts

Atonement    Baby Begins to Make Its Own Blood

Tabernacles    Viability

If this correlational table is indeed valid - which it appears to be - then the Biblical Appointments have a hidden significance never before suspected!

In the northern hemisphere, Yahweh's Solar Calendar always starts with the Spring Equinox, when the daytime is equal to the nighttime and when life is renewed.

 

Comparing the Feast Day Calendar with the Human Gestation Period:

Day 1      Spring Equinox    Ovulation

 

Day 14    Passover    Maximum Fertility

 

(If fertilized, the egg becomes a zygote within 24 hours, containing the combined DNA of both parents. During the next seven days, the zygote must implant itself into the wall of the uterus, where it will be nourished for development and growth. Passover is always the day before a Sabbath, so the next day (24 hours) is always the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread.)

Day 15    Feast of Unleavened Bread  Formation of the zygote

 

(In this context, "unleavened" means pure, uncorrupted, as Jesus Christ was sinless.  Barring complications, the zygote will attach itself to the uterine wall and grow. )

 

Day 16    First Fruits of barley    Zygote connects with uterus

 

(Also known as Wave Sheaf Day) represents the point where the Zygote's outer membrane opens up and physically connects with the mother's uterus, beginning the process of developing the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord provides the necessary exchange of bodily fluids, for the zygote to develop into an embryo.)

Day 65    Pentecost    Embryo becomes a fetus

 

(Forty-nine days after the Wave Sheaf offering, Pentecost (Firstfruits of wheat) becomes the point where the embryo becomes recognizably human, with appendages, head, eyes, shoulders, etc., all taking shape. This represents the transition from embryo to fetus.

 

Prophetic Fulfillment of the Last Three Feasts

Since the Spring Feasts were all fulfilled in the same year, I expect that the Fall Feasts will also be fulfilled in the same year, very soon!!!  Whatever year this is, it will begin with the Feast of Trumpets, which will probably be announced by the mysterious Seven Thunders of Rev. 10:3-4.  This will probably be a series of great earthquakes, announcing the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts, specifically the Feast of Trumpets.  Then the Day of Atonement, on which True Christendom, having made herself acceptable, humbles herself by REPENTANCE, PRAYER AND FASTING, will dedicate herself to Jesus Christ has His Bride.  Finally: The Second Coming!!  During the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus Christ will return (tabernacle with us!) with His army of angels to vanquish the forces of evil and to claim His Bride.  (Rev. 21)  On the Last Great Day, the Wedding Feast will occur and the New Jerusalem will descend upon the earth.

Numerous Bible verses tell us of these monumental events.

Revelation 10:7. But in the days of the voice of the SEVENTH ANGEL, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.

Revelation 11:15.  And the SEVENTH ANGEL sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Sovereign, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.

Matthew 24:29.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

Luke 21:26.  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Hebrews 12:26.  Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Isaiah 13:13.  Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of Yahweh of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.

 

Yahweh’s Feast Days and the Female Gestation Cycle, Part 2

 

Day 183   Feast of Trumpets  Biological functions completed

 

(The Feast of Trumpets (third trimester) represents the point where the fetus has all of its parts fully formed and functioning. The little human being needs now to fully develop and integrate those parts. Notably, its ears are capable of hearing (the trumpets) at this point.)

 

Day 190   Day of Atonement   Blood Development

 

(The sixth stage (Day of Atonement) is when the fetus starts producing its own blood, in preparation for the day when it will no longer have the mother's blood available for nutrition.  Our blood is to remain free of contamination by fasting from earthly entanglements.)

 

Day 197   Feast of Tabernacles   Viability, ex utero

 

(The final stage before birth is the Viability Stage. The Feast of Tabernacles is also called the Feast of Booths, meaning living outside in tents. It represents the baby's ability to live outside of the womb.)

 

Day 204   Last Great Day   Premature Birth is viable

 

Now, given this truly remarkable parallelism, I would like to carry it one step further. The human gestation period is approximately 9 months, or 270 days. (9 x 30 = 270. With the Solar Calendar of Enoch and Jubilees, we would add the three 91st Days of the three seasons. 270 + 3 = 273 days.) If we begin this process on the First Sabbath after the Spring Equinox, say March 21 (ovulation), then the birth date of the baby would be December 21, the Winter Solstice!!!!

The March, 2008 issue of America's Promise Newsletter also contains an article on this subject, by Mike Vincent. Here is what Pastor Vincent has to say about the Feast of Tabernacles:

The Feast of Tabernacles follows on the 15th day of the seventh month. This is the day

that the Israelites celebrated God's breathing the breath of life into Adam. Medical Fact: by the 15th day of the 7th month the child is capable of breathing air, he or she is a fully developed Tabernacle and can be born. However, to achieve maximum strength the child should continue to grow inside a mother's womb for another 70-80 days. It can thereafter be born and dedicated to God. The feast 80 days later is called the Feast of Dedication.  (Dec. 21, although it has been changed to Dec. 25.)

After 270 days, the child is getting ready to be born.  The pains of childbirth are upon us.  The old reality will melt away with a fervent heat, after which the new heavens and the new earth will emerge; and the Kingdom will emerge from the smoke and ashes of this corrupt world order.

Conclusion

From all of the rich symbolism of the Hebrew Feast Days, we can see that the appointed feast days represent types and fulfillments.  Although we are told that no one knows the exact day or hour when He will return (Matt. 24:36-50), we are advised to observe the signs of the times, so that we will not be caught unprepared when that day comes.  May this sermon inspire you to prepare yourself for that day.  The signs of economic collapse, decline of morals, famine, pestilence, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes and solar flares are upon us.  When the Seven Thunders of the Feast of Trumpets sound, there will no longer be any doubt about His return.

Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time [Moed]; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie [Kazab = lie, fail]. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

But concerning the times and the seasons [Kairos - fixed definite time], brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10)

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell [Skenoo = dwell in a tent, tabernacle] with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'  (Revelation 21:3-5)

May the blessings of the prophetic revelations of His Holy Word give you strength, courage and refuge in the days ahead.  Amen.