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God's Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days 

 - Introduction: Good for Christ, good for Paul, good for everyone
by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The message of the Bible - its gospel, is this: 

 

God (His name is Yah, short-form for YHWH) is our Abba/Heavenly Father, and He is reconciling His fallen creation to Him through His son Jesus (the real name of Jesus is Hebrew: Yahusha‘ or Yahushua‘ / Yeshua‘; please see the article: ‘The Name of God and Messiah’), whereby everything will be restored to what God has always intended: a holy and eternal relationship with the one whom God expressly made in His image – man, and also His entire creation.  This is accomplished by the work of the Lord Jesus: His atoning sacrifice in our place, His mediating work as our High Priest, and His reign as the conquering King.  

 

But do we know that this gospel is outlined in the annual Biblical feast days of God which are given in the Old Testament (the Tanakh)?  Do we know that each feast day represents a milestone in God's plan of salvation with parts already fulfilled and some still yet to be fulfilled, by the Lord Jesus?  Do we know, therefore, that these holy days have profound significance in the New Testament (the B'rit Hadashah)? 

 

Unfortunately, Christians today are taught in error that the Tanakh and everything in it is obsolete and of no use.  Therefore, most Christians do not know the full story of God’s plan of salvation or the Bible truth of what it really means to be one in Christ, where there is no differentiation between Jew or Gentile, man or woman, and master or servant (Galatians 3:26-29).  These feast days are God’s feast days and they are not “Jewish” feast days.  God did not give them just for Jewish people. Just like Jesus – Yeshua, is the Messiah of all people and not just the Jewish people, so the Bible truth is that God’s feast days are both Jewish and Gentile feast days.

 

Christians today do not know that the entire Bible - both Old and New Testaments, the Tanakh and the B'rit Hadashah, is meant for all of God's people, and do not know what the true relationship is between Jews and Gentiles where together we are now one.  Being one means we not only have the same Messiah and the same Bible, but also the same holy days, because it is the same Lord of all – the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), who is the central focus of the holy days and will fulfill them in prophecy as time and the salvation plan of God unfolds toward the restoration of all things.

 

Indeed, the restoration of our loving and eternal relationship with God is also foretold in these feast days.  Our God is the heavenly father of everyone, of the Jewish people as well as the Gentile.

 

Many Christians today consider themselves to be "the bride of Christ".  But they do not know it is as the groom claiming His bride that the Lord Jesus fulfills the annual Biblical feast days of God, and it is according to the ancient Jewish wedding customs.  Please see related article: 'The Bride of Christ'. 


The traditions of men and doctrines of demons have largely "replaced" the Biblical holy days with man-made holidays that are not only missing in the Bible, but are completely opposed to the will and Word of God and are pagan in nature (such as Christmas and Easter).  These man-made holidays are based on the worship of pagan gods, festivals and customs: for Christmas, the birthday of the sun god and Mithra, festival of Saturnalia, tree, mistletoe, yule log, Santa Claus, etc.; and for Easter, the fertility goddess Ishtar, the god Tammuz and sun worship, Spring, rabbits, colored eggs, etc.  There are also other man-made holidays and observations which defy the Bible and God's will.  All of these creations of men essentially replace God's commanded observances.  Through syncretism these practices were merged with early Christianity.  However, God considers it an abomination to follow pagan ways; He commands us, His people to not follow pagan ways and likens them as the way to death, but GOd's words and commandments as the way of life:  

 

Deuteronomy 12:

29  "When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, andyou displace them and dwell in their land,

30   take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.'

31   You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

32  "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.    (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 30:

15  "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,

16  in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, 
      His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land

      which you go to possess.

17  But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,

18  I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross

      over the Jordan to go in and possess.

19  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, 

      blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;    (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 31:

16  And the LORD said to Moses: "Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.

17  Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?'

18  And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.   (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 32:

16  They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger.

17  They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.

18  Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, And have forgotten the God who fathered you.

19  " And when the LORD saw it, He spurned them, Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.

20  And He said: 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation,

       Children in whom is no faith.

21  They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.   (NKJV)


 

But it is far past time that all earnest believers stop following pagan holidays which are un-Biblical and God detests, and instead seek God's truth, observing the Biblical feast days of God that He has commanded us to observe.  These Biblical feast days are not "Jewish" feast days, but they belong to God and are appointed times for us – meaning we have an appointment with God to keep His scheduled meetings with us:


Leviticus 23:

  'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.'     (NKJV)




The Biblical feast days glorify God in Christ, giving us beautiful truth and brightest hope.  These holy days also give us proof that God is God and the Lord Jesus is the Messiah He has promised us --- truly the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) whose work on behalf of our salvation is revealed from beginning to end in the feast days of God, to be fulfilled according to God's will and plan.

 

There are 7 annual holy days/festivals of God which contain 7 annual Sabbaths (holy convocations where we direct our attention to God only) called "high days" or "high Sabbaths".  They are listed in several places in the Bible, but it is only in Leviticus 23 where they are all listed together:

 

 

1.     A)   Passover / Pesach

 Leviticus 23:4-5; more information in Exodus 12:1-39

 

         B)   Feast of Unleavened Bread / Chag HaMatzot

 Leviticus 23:6-8; this is a 7-day feast where the first and last days are annual Sabbaths 1 & 2;      

 more information is included in Exodus 12:1-39 above.  

 The Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread are related and as one.

 Of God's feast days, three are pilgrimages:  the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread is the first.

 

2.     Beginning of the Harvest (of barley) or Day of Firstfruits / Reishit Katzir or Yom HaBikkurim

       Leviticus 23:9-14   Also referred to as the Wavesheaf Offering (Waving of the Omer).

 

3.     Pentecost (Feast of Weeks/Harvest/Firstfruits (of wheat)) / Shavuot

 Leviticus 23:15-21; this holy day is annual Sabbath #3. This feast is the second pilgrimage feast.

 

4.     Feast of Trumpets (Blowing/Shouting) / Yom Teruah

 Leviticus 23:23-25; this holy day is annual Sabbath #4.

 

5.     Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur

 Leviticus 23:26-32; more information in Leviticus 16.

 This holy day is annual Sabbath #5 and there is a fast on this day.

 

6.     Feast of Tabernacles (Booths/Ingathering) / Sukkot

 Leviticus 23:33-36, 39-43; this is a 7-day feast and the 1st day is annual Sabbath #6.

 This feast is the third and last pilgrimage feast. 

 

6.       7.   The 8th Day of Assembly / Shemini Atzeret

                 Leviticus 23:36, 39; this day is closely related to #6 above (the Feast of Tabernacles).  It immediately

                 follows the 7-day feast and is described together with it. This holy day is annual Sabbath #7.

 

 

 

The annual Biblical feast days of God in Leviticus 23 are prophetic and have dual meaning.  There is a fulfillment in the Tanakh and also a fulfillment in the New Testament.  The holy days in the Tanakh are symbolic of what will come later; what is fulfilled later will have a magnified and spiritual fulfillment, meaning and application.

 

These 7 Biblical feast days are given within the context of the harvest seasons of Israel.  From the beginning of the year in the month of the Abib (Exodus 12:2; 13:4) with a determination of the stage of barley to have it ready for the coming wavesheaf offering and its corresponding new moon with Passover being the 14th day into Abib; to the wavesheaf offering of the firstfruit of the barley harvest which falls on the first day after the Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread;  to the firstfruits of the wheat harvest on Pentecost; and finally to the ingathering of all (and the larger) fall harvests ending with the last holy day Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day of Assembly.  

 

At this time, only the Spring feast days: Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread, Beginning of the Harvest/Day of Firstfruits (Wavesheaf Offering), and Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) have occurred prophetically (note: Pentecost is only partially fulfilled; it is the bridge to the Fall feast days, more later in its own section) in the New Covenant with the Lord Jesus' arrival. The New Covenant fulfillment of the Fall feast days: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles/8th Day) are yet to come and will signify and include the Lord Jesus' return.

 

As with the weekly Sabbath, we must adhere to the Word of God and not the traditions of men.  We must remember that these are the holy days of GOD, meant for all peoples – Jews and Gentiles, and they are not the holy days just for Jewish people.

 

The Bible tells us to emulate God and Christ, and the apostle Paul said to imitate him as he imitates Christ (Matthew 5:48; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 5:1; 1 John 2:1-6).  Contrary to what many believe, Paul did not teach against the commandments of God and did not dismiss the Tanakh as only for Jewish people; he taught that the entire Bible – both the Tanakh and B’rit Hadashah, are for everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish people alike (Acts 24:10-16).

 

It should also be noted that in Leviticus 23 where God lists all of His holy days, the weekly Sabbath is given first, before these annual holy/feast days.  The intention is that only these particular days are sanctified by God and all the holy days – both weekly and yearly, stand or fall together. 

 

 

So what did Jesus – Yeshua, and the apostle Paul do in regards to these annual feast days?

 

 

 

Christ observed the annual feast days

 

Passover/Unleavened Bread

 

Matthew 26:1-2, 17-19/Mark 14:12-16/Luke 22:7-16

Luke 2:41

John 2:23; 6:4-14; 13:1 on

 

 

Tabernacles

 

John 7:2-10

 

 

The 8th Day of Assembly

 

John 7:37-39 

 

 

 

The apostles, including Paul, also observed as a model for us

 

Passover / Feast of Unleavened Bread

 

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 - Paul tells us that we must observe the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

Acts 20:6

 

 

Pentecost

 

Acts 2:1 - Pentecost was observed by the disciples of the Lord.  In fact, the Lord specifically told them to wait for this day to receive God's holy spirit (Luke 24:49 Acts 1:4-8).

Acts 20:16 - Paul planned to go to Jerusalem for Pentecost.

1 Corinthians 16:8

 

 

Day of Atonement

 

Acts 27:9 - There is a reference to "the fast", which can only be the Day of Atonement.

 

 

Pilgrimage feasts (Passover / Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Tabernacles) observed,

but specific name is not given

 

Acts 18:21

Acts 24:10-11

 

 

The apostle Paul specifically said he never committed an offense against the Law and has “done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers” 

This means he kept the Law which includes God’s feast days.  If he did not, he would be lying.  By saying he never offended "the Law of the Jews", "our people" and "the customs of our fathers", he is declaring that this Law, these people and their customs --- are his Law, his people and his customs:

Acts 25:

7    After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove,

8    while Paul said in his own defense, "I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar."    (NASB)

 

Acts 28:

17   And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: "Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,   (NKJV)

 

 

====>   He was wrongfully accused of breaking the Law of God then, just like most Christians today believe he teaches against the Law now. 


 


 

Please see next article in the God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days

series: Passover (Pesach) and The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzot)

  

Link to God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days articles outline