The very first reference in the Scriptures to the sacred Seasons and Feasts of the Almighty was made on the fourth day of creation: that is, before mankind had even entered the picture.
|Genesis 1:14||"And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night: and let them be for SIGNS, and for APPOINTED TIMES, and for DAYS, and YEARS. "|
The capitalized words in this verse are extremely meaningful; because they link the creation of the sun, moon and stars with the sacred seasons and feast days of the Creator. The people of Elohim were to congregate to worship their Creator.This verse (Genesis 1:14), right there in the very first chapter of the Bible, is the earliest reference concerning the awe-inspiring signs mankind would witness in the heavens on the Almighty's Appointed Days, sacred seasons and Jubilee years. It proves beyond any doubt that YaHuWaH 's feasts were an integral part of His emergency plan; which would come into action should Adam and Eve choose to sin. The Plan of Salvation and the Feast days which concern the timing of that plan, were not a divine after-thought hurriedly put together by the Almighty when Adam sinned: but a pre-planned, standby schedule in which each major act in the drama of salvation was to occur at a divinely appointed time. It was a rescue program held in readiness in the event of mankind sinning.
YaHuWaH 's solemn festivals, in other words, are part of the Plan of Salvation; for they not only prefigure the seven major events in His plan, but they specifically identify the appointed times WHEN those mighty events are scheduled to take place.
|Genesis 1:14||"And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed times, and for days, and years."|
In other words: Let there be SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars to signal the Feasts days, sacred seasons (Passover and Tabernacles) and the Sabbatical/Jubilee years of the Creator!
Many sincere believers suppose that the Appointed (Feast) Days mentioned in the Bible were a temporary feature instituted by the Eternal only till the time of the Saviour's death and resurrection: that they were 'done away with,' 'nailed to the cross' and are therefore of little importance to Christians under the new covenant. Nothing is further from the truth. To prove this we will examine YaHuWaH 's commandments concerning His Feasts to see if they were in fact temporary or eternal.
The commandments concerning the Appointed Days of YaHuWaH are found in the following passages: Exodus 12:14-24, Exodus 13:5-16, Leviticus 23 - the whole chapter but note carefully verses 14, 21, 31 and 41. Space does not allow us to quote all these verses, but let us look at one or two in order to appreciate the kind of language YaHuWaH used when giving His Feast Day commandments. The verse I have have selected is in the book of Exodus, but the other verses mentioned above are just as meaningful because they use similar or identical terms.
|Exodus 12:14||"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to YaHuWaH throughout your generations, ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance FOREVER."|
So do not let anyone confuse you by saying that the Feast Days of the Almighty Elohim of Israel have been done away with: because they haven't. All who make such wild and totally irresponsible claims - and you will hear them - are insulting the intelligience and ability of the Most High to formulate His own laws; and it is unthinkable that He who knows the end from the beginning would have used such enduring language, terms such as 'for ever and ever,' 'perpetual' and 'from generation to generation,' if all along His plan was to do away with the Feasts at Calvary. The very idea borders on blasphemy and is only being given this coverage because of the untold damage that false doctrine is causing in the ranks of the Christian church.
The Plain Truth is this: That as the supreme Judge and Advocate in the law court of Heaven, YaHuWaH knew perfectly well what He was saying when He commanded that His solemn festivals were to be celebrated for ever, from age to age, for ALL TIME!.
Further confirmation of this fact will be given later where you will see that in the coming millennial age, and in the age after that (on the new Earth) the redeemed host of mankind will celebrate the Feast Days of the Almighty with great gladness and respect.
Even a quick survey of this subject will surprise the reader; for whereas the Daily Sacrifice was 2 lambs, the Feast day sacrifice was a bull, a ram, 7 lambs and a male goat. Indeed during the Passover week some 49 lambs were slain, in addition to several bulls, rams and male goats. And even this number fades by comparison when one considers that during the Week of Tabernacles 98 lambs, 70 bulls, 14 rams and 7 male goats were slaughtered. All these sacrifices were made in addition to the Daily Sacrifice of 2 lambs. See Numbers 28 & 29 where these sacrifices are detailed.
This multiple slaughter of innocent victims was, bear in mind, carried out by the Almighty's command. "What was the purpose of all this killing on the Feast Days?" you may well ask. "Wasn't the sacrifice of one lamb at the Passover enough to illustrate the innocence of the Saviour?" or "What was the point in slaying some 200 animals at the Feast of Tabernacles when Messiah - to whom all the sacrifices pointed - was slain at the Passover some six months earlier?"
The answer, briefly, is this: that whereas the sacrificial lamb symbolised the innocence of YAHUSHUA the Lamb of YaHuWaH ; the multiplied slaughter of victims - the sheer number of animals - prefigured in mathematical terms the manifold results the single sacrifice of the Saviour would bring about at certain appointed times in the great Plan of Salvation. For it is a fact that numbers describe the magnitude, the capacity, the value and the overall results of an achievement far more accurately and meaningfully than all the adjectives in the dictionary. Thus the significance of YaHuWaH 's Feast Days are also numerically described by the massive number of sacrifices made upon them as days of supreme importance when the Almighty's greatest achievements will be made manifest to the whole universe.
After the death of King Solomon the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms. The tribes of Judah (Yahudah) and Benjamin (and some Levites) stayed loyal to Solomon's son Rehoboam and formed the Kingdom of Yahudah. The other tribes broke away under a man called Jeroboam the son of Nebat. They retained the title the Kingdom of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was in Yahudah and its crowning glory was the Temple which Solomon had built. Three times a year all Israelite males were commanded by YaHuWaH to go up to Jerusalem: at the Passover, at Pentecost and at the Feast of Tabernacles. (Exodus 23:17, Deut. 16:16). Israel's new king Jeroboam feared that his rebellion against Rehoboam would collapse if his people went up year by year to Yahudah for the sacred Feast of YaHuWaH . He was extremely worried. At all costs he must prevent the men of Israel from going to Jerusalem for the Feasts of YaHuWaH . And this is the record of what he said.
|1 Kings 12:27||"If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of YaHuWaH at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again to their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Yahudah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Yahudah.
28. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold, thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt.
29. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan.
30. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31. And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not the sons of Levi.
32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Yahudah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he has made.
33. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eight month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a Feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, the burnt incense."
Why was Jeroboam's sin so grievous? Because by it, with one master-stoke, he allowed Satan to sever the nation's main spiritual link with YaHuWaH 's appointed Shabbats and form of worship. The sacred Feasts were times for spiritual instruction and revival, when the men and families of Israel gathered in Jerusalem to learn of the Almighty and His requirements. (Exodus 34:23) Jeroboam's bogus feasts and substitute form of worship at Bethel broke that spiritual link and like a rudderless ship the nation of Israel began to drift away from the Creator.
The results were appalling, for very soon millions of Israelites completely lost their spiritual bearings and adopted the basest forms of paganism. Many were the calls to repentance, but the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat (the sin of using substitute forms of worship on unsanctified festivals) was not given up. As a result the Almighty carried out His predicted threats given through His servants the prophets and handed the people of Israel over to their enemies. After a serious of devastating defeats they were deported from the Promised Land and sold like cattle in the markets of the Middle East.
|2 Kings 17:20||"And YaHuWaH rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
21. For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following YaHuWaH , and made them sin a great sin.
22. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them.
23. Until YaHuWaH removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
The action of Jeroboam, apparently trivial as it may seem, was obviously a most grievous sin. It was spiritual adultery at its worst; the act of mixing and diluting truth with error. In essence it consisted of merging the laws of the Almighty with human tradition and trying to worship Him on bogus festivals and shabbats which were nothing but unauthorized imitations of YaHuWaH 's appointed Feasts.
Hundreds of years earlier the prophet Moshe had foretold Israel's scattering and deportation if they forsook the commandments of YaHuWaH and here it was happening exactly as foretold.
|Deuteronomy 28:64||"And YaHuWaH shall scatter thee among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone."|
Strange as it may seem, that selfsame sin of adulterating truth with error, of introducing bogus religious festivals into true worship has been repeated on a world scale by the Christian Church. Yes it is true, the mighty congregations of Christendom have done - and are still doing - what ancient Israel did under king Jeroboam. Over the centuries truth has been diluted with error and the introduction and acceptance of unsanctified shabbats and feast days is now so widespread that comparatively few believers are even aware of the deception.
This may sound like a shocking statement, but it is absolutely true; and if the reader is not afraid of truth he/she must read on, for proof of this fact will follow in abundance.
At this very moment the whole of Christendom is steadily - yea almost imperceptibly - splitting into two distinct camps: