The True Feasts of the Messiah
When you think of the concept "Feasts of the Messiah" the first thing most contemporary Christians would think of is Christmas and/or Easter. This is correct relative to modern Christianity but when we start to investigate the feast appointed by YHWH (God) in Leviticus 23, we start to see a much richer tapestry of types and symbolism, which sketches a vibrant picture of what Messiah has fulfilled up until now and will fulfill in the very near future.
One could ask "but these feast only had bearing on the Israelites of the time, what influence does this have on modern Christian believers?" As we study the feast we will see that Yahushua (Jesus) already fulfilled four of the seven feasts mentioned, on the exact day of the feasts. The feasts' prophetic nature is further acknowledged by Paul:
Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV): 16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Here Paul says let no man judge you regarding how these feast (i.e. new moon) must be kept, for they are shadow pictures of Messiah. These feasts are the feasts of the LORD (YHWH)/Messiah and not of the Jews or of Israel or any other group (Christianity) for that matter:
Leviticus 23:4 (KJV): These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Here the word used for feast is ‘mo'ed' which means ‘an appointment, a fixed time'. These feasts were to be held at certain times, in certain ways. Further the word ‘convocation' comes from the Hebrew word ‘miqra' which means rehearsal. So these feasts were to be rehearsed at appointed times to teach Israel and all who joined in these feast, about the final prophetic fulfillment of the feasts by YHWH himself, on His pre-appointed time. This will become more evident as we work through the feasts.
The feasts are agricultural in context and based on a biblical lunar or moon calendar (not solar based as most modern calendars). The biblical month starts with the new moon when the first sliver of the new moon appears.
The feasts are logically grouped in two sets, namely the Spring Feasts and the Autumn Feast, based on the Northern Hemisphere.
The Spring Feasts are;
- the Passover or Pesach,
- the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
- the Feast of First Fruits,
- the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.
This set of feasts has already been fulfilled by YHWH.
The next set of feast, the Autumn Feast, are;
- the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah,
- the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur,
- the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.
This last set of three feasts still needs to be fulfilled. As we work through these last feasts, you will see a tapestry of biblical events, soon to come, unfold out of the scriptures.
This set of the last three feasts are the most important, since we are in the season in which these feasts are to be fulfilled. We therefore plead, that if you do not want to read the whole document, you at least read the section on the Autumn Feasts.
Four hundred years after Jacob and his sons settled in the land of Egypt (a type of the world), the Sons of Jacob, the Israelites, grew to become a large nation, but were working as slaves under the Egyptians. God heard the cries of Israel and remembered the promises he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and called forth a deliverer out of the desert. Moses was called to free YHWH's children from the bondage of Egypt and bring them to their own land.
Before the last plague befell Egypt, God instructed Moses to instruct Israel to select a lamb without blemish on the tenth day of the first month (Nissan). They were to keep the lamb separated, in their house for 4 days, until the fourteenth day of Nissan. At 3 p.m. of fourteenth day the lamb was to be killed and the blood of the lamb was to be sprinkled on the lintel and side post of their house's door, using hyssop. They were to roast the meat of the lamb with fire and to eat it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The whole lamb was to be eaten and leftovers to be consumed by fire. The people was instructed to eat the lamb with hast and to be dressed and ready to leave Egypt at the midnight hour. (Exo 12:1-11)
At midnight YHWH passed over Egypt and killed all the firstborn of every house that did not have the blood on the lintel and side posts. Israel was released and started the journey to the Promised Land under the protection of YHWH (Exo 12:12-15). The word Pesach means "to hover over or pass over" from which the English word "Passover" was derived.
1. The lamb was to be killed between the evening (Exo 12:6)
The biblical day starts at sundown, thus goes from evening to evening or roughly 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Gen 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). The day is divided into 12 nightly hours and 12 day hours. The day hours is further divided into morning (before noon) and (Evening) after noon. So the phrase between the evening the time between noon and evening which is exactly 3 p.m. .
Yahushua died as the Pesach lamb on the Feast of Pesach at 3 p.m. - the ninth hour counting from 6 a.m. The next day was the high Sabbath day of the Feast of unleavened bread. (Lev 23:5-7; Joh 13:1,19:31,Mat 27:45-50)
2. The lamb was male of the first year
Throughout the scriptures we see the firstborn of both man and animal are being set aside and given to YHWH. (Exo 12:29-30; 13:2,11-13)
The lamb of the first year is a type of the firstborn, since its blood saved the firstborn in Egypt.
Yahushua was the firstborn of Mary physically, but also the firstborn of YHWH spiritually (Mat 1:21-25; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15,18; Rev 3:14)
3. The lamb was hidden and inspected for four days
Yahushua entered Jerusalem and went to the temple, the house of YHWH. He was on public display for four days from 10 Nissan to 14 Nissan; to be questioned and to find a blemish, but none could be found. (Mat 21:1,9-12,17,18,23; 24:1,3; 26:1-5).
The four days that the Lamb was hidden was also prophetic of the people's expectation of the Messiah 4,000 years from the creation of Adam, as part of the 7,000 year redemption plan of YHWH. The Messiah was therefore hidden in His Father's house for four days, thus 4,000 years for a day is like a thousand years. (Psa 90:4)
4. The lamb was to be without blemish
Yahushua was the Lamb of YHWH (Joh 1:18-20) without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:18-30). During the crucifixion week, Yahushua was examined by many fulfilling this scripture, including the chief priest and elders (Mat 21:23); Pilate (Mat 27:1-2,11-14,17-26); Herod (Luk 23:6-12); Annas the High Priest (Luk 3:2; Joh 18:13,24); Caiaphas the High Priest (Joh 11:49-53; 18:13-14,19-24,28); Judas (Mat 27:3-10); the centurion (Mat 27:54); the repentant thief (Luke 23:39-43).
5. No bone of the lamb was to be broken (Exo 12:43-46)
No bone of Yahushua was broken on the stake (Joh 19:33).
6. The lamb must be killed outside the gates of the city (Deu 16:5)
Yahushua was crucified outside the city walls of Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha (Joh 19:16-19; Heb 13:10-13).
1. Pesachwas the beginning of months (Exo 12:2)
The receiving of the atoning blood of Yahushua is the first step in our relationship with YHWH/Yahushua. By accepting the atoning price, we are set free from the second death, the spiritual death and death will pass over us (Jer 31:31-33, Joh 3:57, Rom 6:1-4; 2 Cor 5:17).
2. The lamb was male of the first year
As stated that throughout the scriptures we see the firstborn of both man and animal being set aside and given to YHWH. (Exo 12:29-30; 13:2,11-13)
YHWH differentiates between the firstborn after the flesh and the firstborn of the Spirit. The firstborn after the flesh is set aside to bring forth the firstborn in the Spirit. (Gen 4:1-8; 16:1,11-12,15; 17:17-19; 25:19-26; Rom 9:8-13)
Our first birth is in the flesh, but we set the flesh aside (sinful life) and become children of YHWH, which is our spiritual birth (Joh 1:12; 3:1-7; Rom 9:8-13; 1 Cor 15:22,45-47)
As stated Yahushua is the firstborn of YHWH spiritually (Mat 1:21-25; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15,18; Rev 3:14)
Sin came into the world because of one man's sin, the first male, Adam. (Rom 5:12; 1 Tim 2:12-14). By the atonement price of another man, Yahushua, the price of sin was paid (Rom 5:17-19). By accepting His blood, which was the atoning price, paid by Yahushua and staying under His covering we are granted to become sons (and daughters) and firstborn of YHWH (Joh 1:12-13; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15,18; Heb 12:22-24).
3. The whole assembly must kill the lamb
A whole congregation of people was involved in the death of Yahushua: the Sanhedrin, the priests, the Romans and the people of Israel. This makes it difficult to blame a specific person or group for the death of Yahushua, as we all tend to do.
The scriptures takes it a bit further and states no person that ever lived was blameless, for all have sinned (Rom 3:10,23). Yahushua freely gave up His own life so that all who accepts His offer may become free of sin (Joh 10:17-18).
The truth is that I was responsible for His death, as my sin was just as responsible for His death, as the sin of the rest of the world. I do not have the right to blame anybody or any group for the death of Yahushua. Since He freely and solely paid the price for all sin, He exclusively has the right to set free or judge a person.
The feast was ordained by YHWH before Israel left Egypt. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after Pesach, the 15th of Nissan, and is kept for seven days (Exo 12:14-17). For seven days unleavened bread must be eaten, no leaven must be consumed or even be found in the house. The first and last days of this Feast are holy convocations (‘miqra' - rehearsal) and no work may be done (Exo 12:16).
Since the Feast of Unleavened Bread flows out of the Pesach, it is almost synonymous with Pesach, as Israel is commanded to eat unleavened bread during the Pesach meal (Exo 12:7-8).
In preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, all homes are scrutinised and cleansed to remove any leaven that might be found in them. From there the term "spring cleaning", as the Feast is in the springtime.
The unleavened bread that is made for this Feast is called Matzah. The Matzah is prepared in a very particular way: it is slightly scorched and punched with strips of holes along which it may be broken. The way in which the Matzah is prepared is believed to be prophetic of the Messiah.
Throughout the bible leaven is a symbol of sin. Yahushua was born in the town of Bethlehem which is derived from the Hebrew words beit and lechem. Beit means "house" and lechem means "bread". Yahushua, born it the "house of bread", is the bread of life, sinless - without leaven, that was broken for us, which we remember in His communion (Joh 6:35; Mat 26:26).
Since unleavened bread does not rise, it is quite hard and brittle. One can therefore not cut the bread, but it is rather broken. As scriptures points out, just as the Matzah is broken, scorched and pierced so was Yahushua's body broken, scourged and pierced to pay the atoning price (Isa 53:5; Psa 22:16; 1 Cor 11:24; Joh 19:1,34). This atoning price finally freed mankind from sin - the leaven in our lives (1 Cor 15:22, Rom 5:11-12,18-19).
Our journey to the Promised Land starts be leaving Egypt; the Pesach Lamb is slain and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts. Death will now pass over and not come into our house. When we accept the blood and atoning price paid by Yahushua the second death, the spiritual death, will pass over us.
We now have to remove all leaven from our homes and start eating unleavened bread. Yahushua, which was sinless, is our unleavened bread, symbolic of His body, which we eat in remembrance of Him (1 Cor 11:24,25). We are now leaving the world (Egypt) and start living a new life without sin (1 Cor 5:6-8; 1 Pet 1:16; Joh 17:11; 1 Joh 2:15-17). This new life is a holy, set apart life, for unleavened bread was always associated with separation and holiness (Lev 8:1,2,26-27; Exo 29:2-23; Num 6:1-21; Lev 2:1,4,14-16; 614-18; 7:11-12)
Exodus 12:19 (KJV): Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
Although Israel was saved from death by the blood of the lamb they still had to abstain from eating leaven. If a person did eat leaven during this period his soul would be cut of from the congregation of Israel. After we accept the blood of Messiah, but continue living a life of sin, the blood is of no effect (Mat 7:16-24; Luk 3:9; 1 Joh 2:15).
The feast was kept for seven days. The number seven always denotes completion or fullness in the scriptures. This signifies that the person keeping the feast must do it fully unto YHWH. This calls for complete removal of leaven - sin and a complete separation of the lusts of the world.
After Israel was freed from Egypt they were immersed in the Red Sea. This symbolic cleansing set them apart from Egypt. The Red Sea closed behind them and they could not return. We also are called to not return to the sinful ways of the past and of the world (2 Pet 2:19-22). We are called to wash away our sins (Act 22:16,38; Mar 16:16; Tit 3:5; Rom 6:3-4).
Leviticus 23:10-12 (KJV): 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
When Israel comes into the Promised Land they were to observe the following Feast: When the standing barley harvest was ready to be reaped, the owner of the field would take a sheaf of barley to the priest. This sheaf was called "the sheaf of first fruits". The priest will then take the sheaf and wave it before YHWH in the House of YHWH. Other offerings was prescribed with the sheaf offering (Lev 23:13-22).
The timing of this offering was very particular. The sheaf was to be waved the day after the Sabbath (Lev 23:11). This Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath and not the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The first day of the Sabbath is commonly referred to as a Shabbathon and not a Sabbath. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a celebration for seven days. Thus there was always a weekly Sabbath (Saturday) that fell within these seven feast days. The Sheaf offering and Feast of First Fruits was held on the day after this weekly Sabbath, namely the first day or Sunday.
Yahushua was physically resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits, as a the First Fruit of the resurrected (John 12:24; 20:1,5,14,18 ; 1 Cor 15:16-20; Mat 27:52-53)
As already stated above that the first born is a major theme in the scriptures and that they were holy and separated to YHWH (Exo 23:16,19; 34:26 Lev 2:12,14; 23:20; Num 18:12-15,26; Deu 18:1-5; 26:2-4,10; 2 Chr 31:5; Neh 10:35-39; Pro 3:9; Jer 2:3; Eze 44:40; 48:14; Mal 3:8-14; Heb 6:20; 7:1-8).
Yahushua was the firstborn in many respects:
- Firstborn of Mary (Mat 1:23-25)
- First-begotten of YHWH (Heb 1:6)
- First-begotten of all creatures (Col 1:15)
- First-begotten of the dead (Rev 1:5)
- Firstborn of many brethren (Rom 8:29)
- First fruits of the resurrected (1 Cor 15:20,23)
- Begin of the creation of YHWH (Rev 3:14)
- The preeminent One (Col 1:18)
Yahushua the High Priest forever (Heb 5:10; 7:1-3; Psa 110:4) also had to wave the first offering, namely Himself, in the house of YHWH. In John 20:15 Mary sees a man outside the open grave and thinks it is the gardener because of his filthy clothes. It was in actual fact Yahushua in the filthy burned clothes of the High Priest after he descended into Hell (Eph 4:8). In John 20:17 after He calls her name she recognize Him, but He tells her not to touch Him for He has not ascended unto the Father. Please read Zechariah 3 to get a picture of what happened in heaven when Yahushua waved Himself as First Fruit in heaven before YHWH.
The sheaf or seed typifies a person or persons in the scriptures (Gen 37:5-11). When Yahushua returns to rule over all the Earth as King he will bring with Him His sheaves (the believers in Him). The believers are the fruits that were produced from the seed He had sown, His own death and resurrection (Psa 126; Jer 31:9-14; Joe 3:11-13; Zec 14:3-5; Mat 13:37-39; Mar 4:26-29; Jude 14; Rev 1:7).
So believers that follow Him and His plan will become First Fruit of the seed He has sown (Jam 1:17-18; 1 The 4:13-18).
The Feast of weeks was to be held seven Sabbaths and a day, after the Feast of First Fruits (Exo 34:22; Lev 23:15-21; Deu 16:9-10). This amounts to fifty days. Shavuot means fifty in Hebrew and Pentecost also fifty in Greek. Fifty days after Israel crossed the Red Sea, Moses went up mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments (Exo 19:1-8,20-25; 20:1-21)
These Ten Commandments and Laws of Moses was an instruction or guide to Israel on how to better walk in the paths of YHWH. It was given to strengthen their relationship with YHWH and the relationships between themselves. These instructions were holy, righteous and good (Rom 7:12; 13:10).
As shown above Yahushua was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. For forty days Yahushua showed Himself to His disciples before descending into Heaven to prepare a place for His bride (Act 1:3; Joh 14:2-4). Before He ascended He commanded the Disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they are baptized by the Holy Spirit. Ten day later the Disciples assembled on Shavuot (Pentecost) and the Holy Spirit was poured out on them from heaven (Luk 24:49; Act 2).
The Holy Spirit is the law written on the hearts of all believers (Jer 31:33; Luk 24:49; Joel 2:28-29; Psa 40:8; Eze 11:19-20,36,26-27; 2 Cor 3:3; Heb 8:10). We are now guided and instructed by the law, the Holy Spirit, in respect to our relationship with YHWH and with our fellow brothers and sisters.
The four Spring Feasts covered so far have all been fulfilled. The next three Autumn Feasts are interwoven in biblical prophecy, regarding the end times. These events are very close at hand and will have major implications on world events and your spiritual life. Since the previous four feasts have been physically fulfilled in the day of the feast, we eagerly await the next three feasts being physically fulfilled on the day.
The Autumn Feasts are all in the season of Teshuvah. Teshuvah means "to return or repent". Teshuvah begins 40 days before ‘The Day of Atonement'. Thirty days into Teshuvah is ‘The Feast of Trumpets'. This Feast of Trumpets begins a final ten-day period ending on Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement. These 10 days are known as the ‘Days of Awe'. Five days after Yom Kippur begins the Feast of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.
Leviticus 23:24-25 (KJV): 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
The Feast of Trumpets was to be kept on the first day of the seventh month (Tishrei). On this day Israel is to blow on the Shofar and offer an offering by fire to YHWH. In this context the Trumpet is a ram's horn or shofar on which they blew.
The Feast of Trumpets has different names, as different themes are addressed during the Feast.
Rosh Hashanah means "the head of the year". It is commonly believed that the world was created on this day. This day therefore marks the Jewish New Year of the civil calendar.
Yom Teruah - Yom means "day" and Teruah means "awakening blast or shout".
Throughout the Feast of Trumpets people will blow on their shofars. Just before the sun sets on the last day of the Feast, the Last Trumpet is blown at the Temple to mark the ending of the feast.
Yom HaDin - The Day of Judgment
The day on which the Gates of Heaven open
It is commonly believed that the Gates of Heaven open on the Feast of Trumpets.
Scriptures that iterate the gates being opened and associated with the Feast of Trumpets are Rev 4:1, Eze 46:1-2, Isa 26:2, Psa 118:19-20;
Yom Hakeseh - The Hidden day
The Feast of Trumpets falls on the first day of the month of Tishrei. The Feast of Trumpets is the only feast that occurs on the beginning of a month. Since this day determines the beginning of the civil calendar, extra emphasis is added on the advent of the day. Each biblical month is determined by the new moon, when the sliver of the moon appears, the new month has begun. Since the New Year and Feast of Trumpets is determined by the new moon, it was difficult to pre-determine the exact date of Rosh Hashanah and it is generally kept over two days to ensure that it was kept on the right day.
In Jerusalem, two priests or witnesses were sent out to observe for the new moon's appearance. These priests would choose a high place to observe the skies. As soon as the priests observed the sliver of the new moon they would call to the priestly court "Come up here". The court would then determine if the new moon have arrived and with it the New Year. Fires are lit on high places to inform surrounding towns that the New Year has started. These towns in turn will light fires to inform there surrounding areas. Over time the whole Israel will know that the New Year has started.
1. The calling of the Bride
In Jewish tradition after the bridegroom decided to take a wife, he will firstly betroth her by giving her a contract and gifts. This betrothal is as binding as marriage. No sexual intercourse takes place.
The groom will now leave the bride for a period of between one and two years. She must now set herself apart, abstain from going into marketplaces and other places where possible bachelors might see her. She is to prepare her wedding dress and cleanse herself. During this period the groom prepares a room for them on his father's house. The father of the groom inspects the room regularly, making suggestions on how to beautify it for the bride.
Once the groom's father is pleased with the room, he releases his son to fetch his bride. This usually happens late at night. The groom now departs, blowing on the shofar and shouting "Behold the bridegroom comes". He will then take his bride, if she is found ready. The marriage couple spends the next seven days in the room that he prepared for them. During this time the marriage is physically consummated.
We know that Yahushua our groom is currently in Heaven preparing a room for His bride (Joh 14:2-3). He can only return when the Father release Him to fetch His Bride (Mat 24:36). The day on which the groom will fetch his bride was unknown and hidden. She had to be ready at all times for he could come at any moment. Similar we are called to be ready at all time (Mat 24:44; 25:1-13; Mar 13:32-37).
The coming of Yahushua will be with shouting and with the blowing of shofars (Mat 25:6; Mat 24:30-31; 1 The 4:16; Rev 4:1; 1 Cor 15:52).
Matthew 24:30-31 (KJV):30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV):16 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 Christ shall rise first: 17 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.
1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (KJV):52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Yahushua will come in the clouds, and with the sound of shofars and shouting will he collect His Bride, His first fruits, both alive and dead. The Bride will be called to the wedding chamber, which He prepared in Heaven, where the rest of the marriage ceremony will commence.
2. The coming of the King
The book of Psalms contains a lot of messianic prophecy. In Psalm 98:6 it is written "With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King."
We know that Yahushua is King of King and Lord of Lords and that the kingship of the World belongs to Him (Rev 19:16). The scriptures give detailed information of when His crowning ceremony takes place. In Revelation 4:1 we see the gates of heaven open - generally associated with the Feast of Trumpets - and a trumpet talking with John saying "Come up here", a type of the calling of the Bride. Revelations chapter 5 describes the crowning ceremony. The same scene is seen in Daniel 7:9-10;13-14 where Daniel sees the Son of Man coming from the clouds, after receiving his Bride, to take up His everlasting dominion.
As Part of the Jewish wedding ceremony the bride and groom is seen as King and Queen. We also see that Yahushua wait until he has called His Bride to Him before being crowned. With His bride with Him, He is crowned as King of Kings and we, His Bride, also receive Crowns as Queen to reign with Him (1 Pet 5:4; 2 Tim 4:8; Heb 2:6-8; Rev 5:10). The Crowning ceremony of the Bride is also called the Bema or Judgment seat of Yahushua.
The seven day wedding ceremony now takes place in Heaven. During this time the last seven years given in Daniel 9:26a-27 will commence on earth. This time is commonly referred to as Jacob's Trouble during which great plagues, famine and darkness will befall the earth as described in Revelations 6-19 (Zec 13:8-9; Isa 13:6-8; Mat 24:29; Mar 13:24). These seven days are typified in the seven days in-between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement (excluding the feast days). These days are referred to as the Days of Awe or Tribulation.
Final dominion and reign over the world is only given to the Bride when Yahushua comes to fetch them, and ultimately comes down to earth to overthrow the worldly kingdoms and take up His thrown as King of Kings. We are now called to carry the good message of Yahushua, our savior, and His salvation plan to the world. We will be hated, persecuted and even killed for caring this message (Mat 10:16-40). This world and Satan however do not have the power over our souls and with the armour of YHWH we will withstand the onslaught until Yahushua finally frees us from the Devil and his powers (1 Joh 3:2-8)
3. Yom HaDin - The Day of Judgment
The Jewish month of Tishrei is associated with judgment or weighing.
It was generally believed that on the Day of Trumpets that YHWH will weigh each man into one of three categories: The wholly righteous, the wholly wicked and the intermediates.
The wholly righteous do not have to go through the tribulation. The wrath of YHWH will be spilled on the wholly wicked, those who will not repent and accept Him, during this tribulation period, during the Days of Awe. The intermediate has until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonment) for his fate to be sealed, when the gates of Heaven close.
The scriptures also sketch a similar picture, that we must be eager in righteousness to escape these things, the wrath and tribulation. (Luk 21:36; 13:24-27; Heb 6:18; 2 The 1:4-10; Rev 3:7-10)
History of the Day of Atonement
Leviticus 16:30-31 (KJV):30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
On this day the High Priest was to perform a special ceremony to purge the defilement from both the temple and from the people. The High Priest must firstly offer a bull to purge the temple from any defilement caused by himself and his household (Lev 16:6). Then two goats are chosen. The goats was to be brought to the door of the tabernacle where lots where drawn on the two goats (Lev 16:8).
The one lot was "to YHWH" and the other lot was "to Azazel". The Azazel was a type of Satan. The two lots were drawn and placed on the heads of the goats. It was considered a good omen if the lot "to YHWH" was drawn on the goat on the right-hand of the High Priest. The goat on which the lot "to YHWH" fell was to be a sin offering to YHWH. The other goat, on which the lot "to Azazel" was drawn, was also called the scapegoat. The High Priest would lay his hands on the scapegoat and the sins of the people were placed on the scapegoat (Lev 16:20-22).
A crimson sash was tied around the horns of the scapegoat and the goat was now sent into the wilderness. A portion of the crimson sash was tied to the door of the Temple before the scapegoat was sent out. As soon as the scapegoat met his death on one of the steep cliffs in the wilderness (area towards the Dead Sea) the crimson sash would turn white, if the sins of Israel were forgiven.
Similarly during the sacrifice of the sin offering, namely the goat to YHWH, the clothes of the High Priest became very bloody. The priests were commanded to wash there clothes if they became bloody (Lev 6:27) however on the Day of Atonement the High Priest must leave his clothes after making atonement in the Tabernacle (Lev 16:23). In Isaiah 1:18 YHWH says that though their sins were as scarlet and red like crimson they will become white as snow and white as wool. The High Priest's clothes also turned from red to white if their sins were forgiven.
Face to Face
A major theme of the Day of Atonement is that the High Priest meets YHWH face to face. The High Priest was to go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark. Exodus 33:20 state that no man can see YHWH face to face and live, however the High Priest was allowed to come into the presence of YHWH, where YHWH would appear in the cloud above the mercy seat (Lev 16:2).
Neilah - Closing of the gates
As previously described the gates of Heaven is believed to open on Rosh Hashanah to let the righteous in. The gates will remain open until the Neilah service on the Day of Atonement. During this final service on the Day of Atonement the Great Shofar is blown to mark the ending or closing and locking of the gates.
As Teshuvah ends on the Day of Atonement the Neilah also signifies the closing of possible time for repentance. Therefore it was generally believed that on this day, the names in the Book of Life was sealed and the book closed.
It was therefore considered polite to bless one another with the words "May your name be sealed in the Book of Life".
Yahushua the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, are now our eternal High Priest. Having paid the atoning price Himself and now being our mediator before YHWH (Heb 3:1; 7:10, 25-28; 9:10-16, 24; 10:10; Rom 8:34; Mat 10:33).
For forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. the lot "to YHWH" was drawn on the left hand of the Priest, considered a bad omen. Further the red sash turned around the horns of the Azazel and temple door did not turn white (Beit HaMikdash). Israel's sins were not forgiven as a new mediator was appointed and was not forgiven for this time. These forty years marks the time after the death and resurrection of Yahushua. For forty year Israel was given time to repent, after which the destruction of the Temple came. This is significant as we are also given forty day of repentance during Teshuvah. Forty years is a prophetic lifetime and we are therefore given one lifetime to repent.
1. Sins placed on Azazel and sent out
As the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies to make atonement for Israel, he is hidden from the people. Similarly Yahushua is now making confession on our behalf in heaven and is hidden from us.
After the High Priest returns from the Holy of Holies, he places the sins of the congregation on the Azazel and the Azazel is then sent out. The Azazel is a type of Satan on which our sins are placed. He is to be blamed for our sins and sent to an inaccessible area (Lev 16:20-22). Similarly Yahushua our High Priest and mediator, at the throne of YHWH in heaven, will return and place the sins on Satan and send him out. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years and cast into the bottomless pit (an inaccessible area) (Rev 20:1-3). Ultimately after the 1,000 years Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (an inaccessible area to the believer) (Rev 20:10).
The White Throne judgment now takes place after which heaven and earth will be renewed and no sin will be found anymore (Rev 20:11;21).
2. Revealing of the Bride and Groom. Marriage supper
After the bride and groom spent seven days in the bridal chamber, they now come out to join in the festivities, their marriage supper (Joel 2:15-16,17). Yahushua and His Bride will be in their wedding chamber, heaven, for seven years. The seven Years of tribulation on earth also comes to an end and the Day of Atonement breaks forth. With the Day of Atonement we look to the physical appearance of Yahushua and His Bride where the world will see Him face to face. The Tribulation will be at its peak during this time and Israel will cry out for salvation, as the armies of the world will try and destroy her (Joel 2:17; Rev 19; Zech 12; 14:14). After the armies of the world are slain, the Kingdom of Yahushua is established and the 1,000 year reign now starts (Rev 20:1-5).
This returning of the Messiah, Yahushua to earth is also referred to as the Second Coming of Christ. This Second Coming is different to the fetching or rapture described on Rosh Hashanah. The coming during Rosh Hashanah is a fetching of the Bride, the saints, in the clouds to take her to the wedding chamber in heaven. This second coming is associated with the return of Yahushua to the world where He will be physically seen, walk and rule the earth.
3. Final Closing of the Gates. End of Teshuvah
As stated: at the Neilah service the time of repentance comes to an end, the gates of heaven closes and the books of life are sealed and closed. As Yahushua returns, the gates of heaven will be closed and the book of life sealed, as none can accept or believe on Him anymore, for He physically returned and no faith is needed to believe in Him anymore.
It is therefore better to start the path of Teshuvah, "return to YHWH and repentance" earlier and to be counted righteous and worthy before Rosh Hashanah - before the Rapture of the Bride. For the period after Rosh Hashanah, the seven Days of Awe, also called the tribulation, will be a time of great anguish and great troubles. During this time believers will have to find atonement in a very short time, in the midst of great difficulties and persecution, before the final return of Yahushua - Yom Kippur (Rev 7:14-15; Rev 2:10).
As the books are sealed final judgments can now take place:
- The Judgment of the Nations takes place on those still alive after the seven-year tribulation (Mat 25:32-46).
- At the end of the 1,000 years the White Throne judgment takes place on all those who have died and who have not been judged or set free up until now (Rev 20:11-15).
Israel was commanded to keep the Feast of Tabernacles from the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei, for seven days (Lev 23:34-35). During this seven days Israel was to remember how YHWH brought them out of Egypt and provided for them in the wilderness. Israel was also commanded to stay in booths (Lev 23:41-44).
The feast time was a time of great joy and rejoicing in stark contrast with the previous somber days of repentance and judgments.
Deuteronomy 16:13-14 (KJV): 13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
Here we see that Israel and all who joins her were commanded to rejoice. Due to the joyous nature of the Feast, the feast was just commonly referred to as "He Hag" meaning "The Feast" as all knew it referred to the Feast of Tabernacles. In Jewish tradition the holiday was also called "the season of our rejoicing".
The word tabernacle or booth comes from the Hebrew word sukkah which means temporary dwelling. This sukkah was the dwellings in which Israel stayed during the forty years in the wilderness. The plural of sukkah is sukkot from which the Jewish name of the feast is derived.
1. YHWH dwelling with us
As Israel was to remember the time they where led through the wilderness, they also remember the time that YHWH dwell with them in His Tabernacle. YHWH's divine presence and guidance was in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exo 13:21). His divine provision was manna and quails that came from heaven to feed them (Exo 16:10-15).
We also see that Solomon also dedicated the temple to YHWH during the Feast of Tabernacles (1 Kin 8:41-43). As the temple were the new dwelling place of YHWH among the people and a major theme of the feast.
2. The Feast of the Nations
As stated in Deuteronomy 16:14, the stranger shall join Israel in the celebrations of the Feast of Tabernacles. The word used is the Hebrew word gêr which means gentile. Therefore gentiles from around the world will join in the celebrations. This is already evident as thousands of visitors join in the Feast of Tabernacles every year from around the world. The Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated by all the nations in the Messianic Age (Zec 14:6-18; Deu 16:13-14).
3. Feast of the Four Species - Prayer for Rain
Leviticus 23:40 (KJV): And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
These four species are called the Lulav. The lulav are waved daily, in the four wind directions, before YHWH while reciting prayers. The prayers ask for the blessing of the land and fruit of Israel. These four species all required a lot of water and it is logical that the prayers also include the asking for rain.
4. Ushpizin - The special visitor
It is also customary to invite a special visitor as guest to the festivities in your sukkah or booth. Symbolic honorary visitors are also invited namely: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Josef, Moses, Aaron and David. One invited each day of the feast.
As mentioned a major theme during the Feast of Tabernacles is "YHWH dwelling with us". It is therefore also significant that scriptures seem to indicate that Yahushua was born during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, and that He dwelled with Israel, for a short while.
Based on the time of service in the temple of Zachariah we calculate that John was born near the Feast of Passover. Zachariah during the temple service was told by the angel Gabriel, that he will receive a son which he must name him John. He will be of the spirit and power of Elijah (Luk 1:5-19). The return of Elijah is a major theme during the Passover and is expected up until today during the Feast of Passover.
In the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy, the angel of YHWH appeared to Mary telling her that she will befall pregnant by the Ruach Haqodesh (the Holy Spirit). Adding nine months we get to the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Yahushua was the special visitor, the Ushpizin,among His people but they knew Him not (Joh 1:10-11)
After the return of Yahushua and the binding of Satan for 1,000 years the world will enter the Millennial Reign of Messiah (Zec14:4-11; Isa 65:18-25). It is therefore chronological that the Feast of Tabernacle shortly follows the Day of Atonement.
The Feast of Tabernacles is seventh feast to be held for seven days in the seventh month. Seven speak of completion and wholeness in the scriptures. All offerings made during the feast are also divisible by seven. The millennial reign will come in the seventh millennium, 6 thousand years after Adam. This millennium is therefore the seventh day, the day of rest. Satan is bound and the restoration work of bringing man back into the plan of YHWH is now complete. We now enter a time of joy and rest.
Isaiah 65:18-19 (KJV):18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
Revelation 21:3-4 (KJV):3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Yahushua will now dwell among His people forever and sin will not be able to separate us from YHWH anymore. We will also have the opportunity to speak and have fellowship with the patriarchs of old namely: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Josef, Moses, Aaron and David.
It is interesting to note that during the millennial reign, great emphasis is placed on the Feast of Tabernacles. The nations that do not come up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast and to worship Yahushua, will not receive rain for the coming year (Zec 14:16)
Let us start by looking at what the scriptures says about man made feast held in honour of YHWH.
Amos 5:21 (KJV): I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
These are very strong words. You might think "But this is easy: these are feasts held in honour of other gods". Let us read on:
Amos 5:22 (KJV): Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Here it clearly states that these feasts are held in honour of YHWH. The people are even bringing offerings. "There must be something wrong here, maybe they are doing it in the wrong spirit" you say. "Maybe if they were more joyous, singing, maybe this will fix the situation"
Amos 5:23 (KJV): Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Here we clearly see that YHWH hates feast in honour of Him that He did not ordain. This is irrespective of the mood, attitude or heart of the person and no amount of singing or offering will sway the verdict.
The Feast that YHWH ordained are easy to spot: the ones that YHWH says are His, those we keep. The Feast in the scriptures where YHWH says: "these are my feasts" are the ones named in Leviticus 23.
This document is just a brief outline of the feasts and some of their meanings. We encourage you to study further into the depths of the feasts, as they contain much more symbolisms, which could not be covered in depth.
The Feasts of YHWH sketch a picture of what YHWH, Yahushua has done for mankind. It also gives us a path that we can follow to escape eminent judgments befalling the earth and to join in the everlasting kingdom of Yahushua, where we will only know joy for all eternity.
The path is the path of Teshuvah, repentance and return to the way of YHWH given by His scriptures.
May this path bless you and may we see each other at the coming of our eternal Groom.