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A Scriptural Challenge to all Christians

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Keeping the Feasts

Introduction
There are many well-meaning and honest people who have made the discovery that the names and doctrines of the modern mainstream "Christianity" in fact are not those names and doctrines found in scripture. Those names and doctrines have been now in use in what is erroneously called the "Christian Church" for millennia and have come to be, through the force of tradition, ingrained solidly in what should be groups of people following only scriptural dictates in obedience to the Creator of the universe, Yahuwah.

When these well-meaning and honest people make the discovery that they have been following pagan doctrines, using pagan names, and even observing pagan rituals, they often begin a journey of discovery seeking the truth. If they make some correct decisions on their initial journey they will soon be immersed in the name of Yahushua for the remission of their sins and then, as babes in the Anointed, be ready to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Master and Savior Yahushua. Unhappily sometimes this journey takes them into places where they should not stay, even though at the first glance it may seem that what they see there is scriptural and correct.

One of these places where they should not linger is the law of Mosheh (Law of Moses). As part of the scripture of Yahuwah it is essential that they read and understand it, but it is not a place where they need to stay too long. The Law of Mosheh is the tutor (Galates [Galatians] 3:24) to bring us to the Anointed, and once there, we no longer need to be concerned about the precepts of that law. The only law we should be observing is then the Law of Grace (also called the perfect law of liberty, the royal law, and a few more names), which is more the restored law of creation than a true new covenant, even though that name is applied in scripture.

This Law of Mosheh is rightly and correctly called the "The Old Covenant" (incorrectly rendered as Old Testament in most English versions of scripture) since it was the law under which the physical nation of Yisra’el was established and built. However, most modern "churches" think and teach that the "Old Testament" is the books of scripture from B'ereshiyth (Genesis) to Mal’akiy (Malachi). Gaining the ability to rightly divide the word of truth will allow you to see the proper separations of all covenants (of which there are not just a few), the ‘Ibriy language scripture from Greek language scripture, various other epistles, prophecies, and such. In my opinion gaining this ability will lead you to a fuller understanding of the many tenets of scripture than any other single thing that you may do.

Does this mean that this old law should be disregarded? Absolutely not! It should be studied and understood. It is the correct understanding of this and other covenants that will enable you to see the pictures and analogs of the old law in the new law and how the old law acted as a tutor to bring us to the faith in Yahushua. Many parts of the old law in fact are carried in a new form into the new law, which can be called the Law of Grace, the Royal Law, the Perfect Law of liberty, etc.

Prayerfully this article will show some of how the old versus the new really works so that the people who are on that journey of discovery can avoid some of the pitfalls placed in their way by satan, the old deceiver himself, and there are many. One of the primary pitfalls being the idea from the "Sacred Name" movement that modern must obey large parts of the Law of Mosheh, such as the clean diet and all of the listed festivals.

The Appointed Festivals (Wayiqra [Leviticus] 23)

Special Instructions for the Festivals - Let us examine each of the festivals in turn to see what may or may not apply to the way they are "kept" today.

Passover

Unleavened Bread

Wave Sheaf Offering (First Fruits)

Pentecost (Weeks)

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Tabernacles

In General
There is also a general statute concerning these festivals and what is to be offered at ALL of them. If you fail to follow this passage you have failed to properly keep the "feast."

Where must these festivals be kept?
When Yahuwah established the festivals, He had something very telling to say about how AND where to observe them. He said that He was going to choose a place to observe them and He expected all Yisra’eliy males to appear before Him AT THAT PLACE, and this was to be without fail EVERY year. No exceptions, no observing His directed festivals in other places, but only where He put His name. (See Deuteronomy 16:15-16.)

Where is the Chosen Place of Yahuwah?
The place that He chose was Yeruwshalom. Period! Not Abilene, Texas. Not Hometown, USA, not London England, not the place where you live (unless that place just happens to be Yeruwshalom). Not any other place on this earth. Just Yeruwshalom. That is the place He chose and that is the place where He said each male of the Yisra’eliy MUST appear before Him three times in a year. While they are there they are to observe the particular festival for that time and those festivals ALWAYS include burnt offerings.

One of the many and major problems of keeping the festivals today is that the temple in Yeruwshalom no longer exists. It was totally destroyed, for the last time, in 70 CE by the Romans. After the original temple was built by Shelomoh and Yahuwah claimed it as His own (1 Kings 9:1-3), it was THE place where He put His name. This temple is THE ONLY PLACE that He ever chose to put his name. Also after the construction of the temple it was the ONLY altar where sacrifices of burnt offerings to Yahuwah were allowed to be made and they HAD to be made only by the temple officials of the lineage of Aharown (Aaron). Take note that when Sha’uwl [Saul], the first human king of Yisra’el, presumed that he could personally make a sacrifice to Yahuwah that Yahuwah rebuked him and removed him from the kingship for his presumption. See Shemuw’el 13:9-14)

After the Yisra’eliym entered the Promised Land and well prior to the construction of the temple, the tabernacle of meeting was set up in Shiyloh and THAT was the ONLY place where sacrifices were accepted until the temple was built. Offering them in any other place is an abomination to Him. Keep in mind that even though sacrifices were allowed in Shiyloh, He did NOT put His name there.

No other site in this world except the temple in Yeruwshalom qualifies as a place where He has put His name, so if sacrifices of burnt offerings are being made to Him today, they are being made contrary to scriptural commands and are therefore not legal in His eyes. He does NOT accept them.

Yahuwah did make allowances for those people who lived too far from His chosen place to kill and eat, but those allowances did not include allowance for the three festivals that He made presence in Yeruwshalom mandatory. (See Dabariym 12:13-27.) Take careful note of the warning in the first verse of that passage too. It still stands today.

Did Yahuwah do away with the festivals?
There are many evidences in scripture that show Yahuwah’s intent to annul all of the ritual festivals of the law of Mosheh, new moon celebrations, shabbaths (except for the eternal seventh day shabbath), etc. It takes no special knowledge of scripture or any special spiritual understanding to see that either. For instance, in places like Howshea 2:11 and Amows 5:21 He plainly says that He will cause ALL of these things to cease in Yisra’el and gives the reasons why. Read them! There can be no misunderstanding!

Remember the directive that says, "if it is true, it will be repeated." In other words, scripture confirms scripture. If something you see in scripture is really true, then it will be repeated in other passages also. More likely than not, it will be said in different words and different ways, but the meaning will be obvious and the same. In this particular case, the repetitions are often in the SAME words, so that can NOT be refuted by anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty.

The only sacrifices that are required today, under the Law of Grace, are those seen in the Greek text of the scripture. They include rejoicing in His name, praise, and other things of this nature (sacrifice of the lips). Since the physical sacrifice of Yahushua, the only temple that exists on this earth is the temple of our body.

Clean and Unclean - The Mosaic Dietary Laws
This diet was outlined in toto in Wayiqra 11. Many people who follow the so-called "Messianic Movement" around the world today believe that this diet is required by Yahuwah for all of His family. They even cite the clean-unclean statement of Genesis 7 as evidence that this is the diet that has always been what Yahuwah requires. Yet when Noach was loading the ark to preserve animal life during the flood, there had been no distinction made between animals as to what was clean or unclean such as that found in Leviticus under the Law of Mosheh.

It has been my experience in reading scripture that Yahuwah leaves nothing in doubt about what He requires of His people. If He makes a requirement He states plainly in one place or another. He did not do that prior to the exodus for what the diet consisted of, so that is when that requirement came into being.

Still, one of the more common statements made by "Keepers of Torah" and other "Messianic" groups today is that, "The clean and unclean diet did not start with the Law of Moses" but actually started at the creation, therefore it must be kept just as is the shabbath which had the same origin. What they are referring to is Yahuwah's command for Noach to take two of each unclean animal and seven of each clean animal aboard the ark and their claim is that means that the diet was in force then, otherwise He had no reason to call them clean and unclean.. This command is considered to be solid proof that the dietary laws of clean/unclean were in effect prior to the law of Mosheh, just like the shabbath, and therefore must be obeyed now.

Yahuwah did make that statement to Noach (Genesis 7:2) but there are several very important things overlooked by the adherents of this dogma in making it a rule for today.

Note that in the very next verse, B'ereshiyth 7:3, Yahuwah tells Noach, "Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth." In the preceding the CLEAN animals were boarded by sevens and in verse three ALL birds are boarded by sevens. Significant? He makes absolutely no distinction between any fowl being clean or unclean here, yet in the law of Mosheh's dietary restriction as given in Leviticus chapter eleven, certain birds, mostly flesh and fish eaters, rank very high among the things that are unclean.

If the clean/unclean restriction was applied to animals at the time of the Deluge, wouldn't you think it would have been applied to the fowl also?

Just in case you hear the argument that none of these birds were put in the ark, I direct your attention to Genesis 8:7 which will show that to be not true. And the word used in that verse is "oreb," which means raven.

Another major problem with this clean/unclean food dietary restriction being in place prior to the law of Mosheh is B'ereshiyth (Genesis) 1:29-30. The law of Mosheh did not become law until after the Yisra'eliy had been in the desert for a while during the exodus from Mitsrayim (Egypt). You can see in Shemot (Exodus) 24:8 that when Mosheh sprinkled the book and the people with the blood of the bulls and goats, the law bearing his name and containing the dietary restrictions was put into force. Yet long before that event, during the creation, the Elohiym made known to mankind the diet of all creatures.

According to this passage, and I certainly believe it, all creatures on the earth, including man, immediately following the creation were herbivorous. Since this is the case, how could any animal at that time be considered unclean for food purposes? Flesh was not even allowed as part of the diet!

Flesh was not included in the diet of mankind until AFTER the deluge. Also prior to that animals did not have the inherent fear of man that they exhibit today either, because man was not a predator who was looking at them as food and counting the number of steaks they could get out of their flanks. After that time, you know the story. Adult animals have the fear of man in them and will normally avoid any meetings or interactions with us, except to kill us, and maybe even eat us, if they get a chance and are meat eaters.

Right Division concerning diets - All mentions of dietary laws after the book of the Exodus and before the Acts of the Apostles are part and parcel of the law of Mosheh and were only in force while that law (torah) was valid.

The next area these adherents of the dietary laws go to for support is in the Greek scripture, which they erroneously call the New Testament. The new covenant (testament) actually came into force with the shedding of blood, just as did the old (law of Mosheh) covenant. Only this time it was the blood of the only begotten Son of Yahuwah that dedicated and consecrated the new testament. That event occurred at His death on the tree.

A passage of Greek scripture used as support for the specious argument of clean-unclean dietary laws is 2 Korinthios (Corinthians) 6:17. It is very plain that it says "Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you." This is not just good advice, it is a requirement that Yahuwah has put on fellowship with Him. Honest scholarship will show that the unclean thing meant here is any idol, system of worship of false elohiym, or eating food knowingly offered to an idol. This passage is not talking about the diet of unclean and clean food at all. This is evident when verses 14-16 are included in the passage in order to establish the correct context of the passage.

When Keph (Peter) had the vision in Acts 10:14, he of course made the statement that nothing unclean had ever passed his lips. He WAS speaking of the foods listed as unclean in the law of Mosheh. He was a Yahudiy and had obeyed all parts of that law all of his life. He shows here that he was not yet up to speed on all the freedom that had been granted by grace. This same ignorance about the change of the law among early Yahuwdiyth (Jewish) followers was demonstrated in other places too, such as in Galates (Galatians) 2:11-14. Keph did find out though, as he states very plainly in Acts 10:28.

Note also that when Keph had refused foods that he considered unclean because of the law of Mosheh, he was also saying that he considered men who were not Yahuwdiyth as unclean also. Now men were never mentioned as being an unclean food, yet Keph calls Gentiles unclean in that same sense. Yahuwah's statement makes no distinction between food and mankind when He said that He makes things clean and unclean, but Keph applied it to men when talking to Kornelios (Cornelius). Yahuwah had very plainly told Keph that he was to listen to what He had to say instead of assigning any characteristic to anything, food, or people, by himself. We of today clearly need to learn and apply that same lesson.

Keph was with Yahushua throughout His ministry, and I am also sure that Yahushua never ate anything that was considered unclean in the law of Mosheh either. There is very good reason for this. The law of Mosheh was in full force until Yahushua died. He was bound to obey it too as the Lawgiver (unlike lawgivers of today’s secular society who among are the first to violate laws that they themselves have enacted), and so He did, just as did all of His disciples. Yet Yahushua made some very plain statements concerning what enters the body and what the expected results are. (EX. - Markos 7:18-19)

Some of these people say that all of the animals on the unclean list of Leviticus 11 are scavengers and it therefore makes good sense to avoid eating them. This is not true. Most of the animals are scavengers, but not ALL. This is also true of the birds. Some of them do scavenge, but not all.

For instance, take a look at what a camel eats. Are they scavengers? Nope! Conies and hares are vegetarians too, living on grasses and seeds. Do owls and swans scavenge? No way. No scavengers these. Yet on the list they are.

While I agree with the people who support the so-called Torah Diet insofar as eating an animal that is a scavenger would seem to be detrimental to your health, this rule seems to not apply to some of their favorite dishes. These same people have no problem eating chicken any way it can be prepared. Yet this bird IS a scavenger and one of the filthiest animals in the world, yet it is not on anyone’s list as "unclean food."

Some Greek scriptural passages that refute the clean/unclean dietary requirements.

The word every in this verse is from the Greek pas and is an all inclusive word. It leaves out nothing.

So if you have honestly read, studied, and understood all of this, you will now see that the clean-unclean diet is part and parcel of the Law of Mosheh. If you are in fact bound by that law of carnal ordinances, then by all means eat kosher. But that also means that you must keep ALL the rest of that law too. (See Galates [Galatians] 5:1-6)

About Forever

The Purpose of the Law of Mosheh
The two tenets of the law of Mosheh that are the biggest stumbling blocks to the well-meaning and honest people who have today stumbled at this law in their search for the truth are the laws of diet and the rites of the ceremonial festivals. Many are told, and unhappily believe, that they must avoid the foods that are listed as unclean in the law of Mosheh and keep all of those festivals listed in scripture. As seen previously this is just not true under the law of Grace.

According to scripture, the purpose of the Law of Mosheh was to separate the Yisra’eliy people from the pagan world (which included everybody else in the world). By obeying and following all of the restrictions, festivals, sacrifices, etc., listed in this law they were to show the world that they were the people of Yahuwah. All of these laws, ceremonial and otherwise, were then told to them to be "owlam," which means everlasting, forever, time without end, throughout their generations, etc.

Everlasting, or forever, is a mighty long time and it seems to mean that whatever it is applied to will remain in force forevermore and that it will not be canceled or done away with, etc. This is another stumbling block that leads many people into following some of the tenets of the Law of Mosheh instead of using it wisely and in the manner which scripture prescribes. This idea of "owlam" is treated in detail below.

Abrogation
A principle not recognized as such by many people who read scripture is the principle of abrogation. Its dictionary definition is, "to abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority." For scriptural purposes abrogation simply means that one part of scripture effectively renders a preceding part null and void.

We can see this principle at work in several places, and notably the change of the law at the Anointed’s death. At that point, as you should now know, the Old Covenant went out of force and the New came into force. This particular abrogation was detailed in the words of YirmeYahuw the prophet many years prior to Yahushua’s sacrifice being made too (YirmeYahuw 31:31-35). Several other points of abrogation are readily identified once you realize what is happening. For instance, Yahuwah said clearly and plainly in the Ten Words that He would visit the iniquity of the sons on the fathers until the third and fourth generation. Then He relented and said that each man would die for his own sins and not those of his fathers (YirmeYahuw 31:29-30, plus a few others).

Some people will say at this point, "WHOA! He is unchanging, so whatever He said in the beginning still holds true today." Well, that is just not true. He repented (changed His mind) several times in scripture, and in the Ibriy scripture repent is rendered from a word that literally means, "to be sorry for," unlike the word rendered as such in the Greek scripture which has a completely different meaning. Take note that the Great Flood was one major instance of Him changing His mind about something He had done or said. One instance is more than sufficient to show that He could and did change His mind, but there are many more in scripture to support this fact.

One of the major things that keepers of the "feasts" of scripture like to point out is that every festival mentioned is always said to be "FOREVER." Yes, this is so. Scripture does say that and the words are from Yahuwah. So how then can I say, as I have done, that the festivals are a relic of the past, of the Law of Mosheh, and MUST not be kept today? Of course that is excepting the coming keeping of the Festival of Tabernacles after the return of Yahushua (ZekarYahuw 14:19).

By recognizing this principle of abrogation of which I spoke above.

Yahuwah made many covenants with many people about many different things. Every time He said, IF you will do this, I will do that, in effect He was establishing a CONDITIONAL covenant (contract). You will note that many of the times He said this He also made the covenant FOREVER. Some of these contracts were relatively important and some of seemingly minor import. Nevertheless they were ALL covenants and each had the same force as the "contract" that He made with Yisra’el through His servant Mosheh. Each party was obligated, including Yahuwah, to keep all the parts of the contract. Yet most of those contracts came to an end because one party did NOT keep up his end of the bargain. That party was NEVER Yahuwah. He always kept all parts of every covenant He ever made. Take note also that each of these contracts, including the "Law of Mosheh," had written into it the reasons for which it could be nullified. So if either party failed to keep all the terms, it became null and void regardless of the FOREVER clause that it contained.

There is plenty of scriptural evidence of this voiding of previously established contracts between man and Yahuwah too, if you will just think about it. One of the things that I have discovered about studying scripture is that you MUST be able to "rightly divide the word of truth" if you are going to understand that word. Most people, especially those Doctors of Divinity who are supposed to be upholding, teaching, and preaching the word of our Eloah, either do not understand that principle or completely ignore it so that they can instead uphold, teach, and preach the doctrine of their particular denomination. As you begin to be able to rightly divided the word you will also begin to note things of this nature too.

OWLAM
The Ibriy word, owlam (mlc) is the main word of concern when speaking of the concept of forever in scripture. It appears several hundreds of times in scripture and, in the KJV, it is variously rendered as, perpetual, everlasting, for ever, forevermore, eternal, and even the word old in the phrase, "days of old." It literally means, and is so defined in Strong’s and other scriptural related lexicons, as meaning of long duration, antiquity, futurity, time out of mind (future and past), eternity, etc. So regardless of which particular rendering you assign, it means a very long time.

There are too many incidences of the word in scripture to make a list that would be meaningful and less than boring to the reader, so I will ask that you use your Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to look up the words highlighted above. Then read the passages listed for that word and check the definition in the dictionary. I am sure that you will be greatly surprised at just how many times Yahuwah made a FOREVER statement, and then how many times that statement was later abrogated because of disobedience elsewhere.

One of the most visible abrogations of a "perpetual" covenant is the one concerning the "circumcision of the flesh" as spoken of in Genesis 17:13. All people who are under the belief that they are Christian realize that one was done away with at the death of our Savior. Now the "circumcision" is the "circumcision of the heart," as spoken of by the apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) in Rhomaios (Romans) 2:25-29.

Below are two of the best demonstrations of abrogation. They are so plain that I could not resist showing them to you.

Forever Abrogated!

Conclusion

Yahushua Fulfills the Festivals
There are many "pictures" and prophecies scattered throughout the Ibriy scripture concerning the coming Savior, Yahushua. Some of those "pictures" and prophecies are contained in the ordinances of the festivals ordained by Yahuwah for the Yisra’eliym in the Law of Mosheh. Keep in mind that these "pictures" are referred to as the "shadow of things to come" and that Yahushua has shone the Light into these shadowy and dark places. No more shadows now, just the light of the gospel making everything bright, clear, and easy to understand!

Yet there are some who still want to return to the Law of Mosheh even though Yahushua put that law aside with His final and completely atoning sacrifice of Himself. Some of the law that these people want to return to is the keeping of the "feasts," maintaining the clean/unclean diet, etc. This activity is directly negated in scripture, for those who have eyes to see, and in fact deny or trivialize the atoning sacrifice of Yahushua.

The people who advocate "keeping the feasts" like to cite Kolossia (Colossians) 2:16 as verifying that we are expected to keep these "feasts." That is quite a stretch of what it actually says, and especially once you read verse 17 along with it. That second verse puts the passage in the context of being fulfilled prophecy, which it truly is. When read from that perspective you will see that the passage says exactly the opposite what the "feast keepers" would like for it to say. Read Kolossia 2:16-17 for yourself and see what you think.

Just as any prophecy, once fulfilled, is past history, so are those things that are the "shadow of things to come." Yet we must be able to recognize that the shadow has passed and the Light has revealed what we are supposed to know or do. Also remember that the old law was the "tutor to bring us to the Anointed." (See Galates 3:19-29.) Once we have attained to the level of knowledge desired or required, the tutor is no longer needed.

There is some theory that all seven festivals were fulfilled in Yahushua. That may be so, but the later, or autumnal festivals cannot be shown to be fulfilled as readily as can the spring festivals. The first four, as you will see below, are very plain as to the reason they were instituted, once Yahushua is recognized as the Anointed. Keep in mind that there are a lot of details in the various festivals that I have not included in this article that are strong indications of fulfilled prophecy too. Most of them are shown to be "pictures" of events surrounding the ministry of Yahushua.

Passover
Scripture states, and we know, that Yahushua is the "Lamb of Yahuwah" (Yahuchanan 1:29; Revelation 13:8). From this we can recognize that in order for Him to be that Lamb, He would have to be slain in accordance with the rules concerning the Passover Lamb. (No broken bones, etc.) This is exactly what happened on the day of His Passover sacrifice so long ago. Yahushua fulfilled all the requirements for the unblemished lamb to be slain on that day. Now He can only be slain ONCE, therefore we are no longer obliged to observe that day except to recognize and remember His sacrifice through communion. To do anything else is to deny the sacrifice that He made. He Himself told us, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Master's death till He comes." (1 Korinthios 11:26)

Festival of Unleavened Bread
Then He was buried "between the sundowns," which effectively was the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread which begins immediately after Passover. He IS our Bread, the veritable Bread of Life (Yahuchanan 6:15). I would guarantee that He is unleavened too!

Festival of Firstfruits
Then three days later He was resurrected at sundown, or at the start of the Festival of Firstfruits. He is also the Firstfruits of the dead to live in Yahuwah (1 Korinthios 15:20).

Festival of Weeks
Fifty days later (the first "first day" after seven shabbaths following the wave sheaf offering, or fifty days, hence Pentecost), at the Festival of Weeks, He sent the Comforter, the Sacred Spirit, to dwell with men until He Himself returns (Acts 2:1-4).

So these first four festivals were definitely intertwined with Yahuwah’s plan for mankind, and now we can see how they were part of the proof that Yahuwah is in fact the Son of Yahuwah and the Savior of the world.

The last three festivals have the possibility of fulfilled prophecy, but more likely they are "pictures" of events that have happened or are going to happen, rather than actual prophecy in the usual sense.

How Might Yahushua Fulfill These Fall Festivals?

Festival of Trumpets
The Rabbis taught that when 6000 years (or six "days") of human history are completed, at the start of the seventh day, the Day of the Yahuwah will come. On the Festival of Trumpets, the "shofar" will sound and all the righteous, both dead and alive will be resurrected. The righteous will go to the "gates" for the coronation of the King, the Anointed, and then be united with the Anointed as His bride.

Days of Awe - Marriage Supper of the Lamb
The days between the Festival of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are called "the Days of Awe," "yomiym norayim" in Ibriy (Hebrew). The Days of Awe are devoted to self-examination and repentance from one's sin and preparation for judgment on the Day of Atonement. In Yahuwdiyth (Jewish) eschatology, "the Days of Awe" were representative of a "day of trouble" (YirmeYahuw 30:6) that was to come upon the earth before the return of Yahushua. This "day of trouble" is also referred to as the "birth pangs of the Anointed." Today that time of trouble is commonly called "the tribulation." During that time of trouble on earth, Yahushua will protect His bride.

Rabbis have taught that after being resurrected on the Festival of Trumpets, the righteous would enter the wedding canopy, to spend seven years while the "day of trouble" (the seven years of judgment) occurs on earth. By examining an ancient Yisra’eliy wedding, we can more clearly see the picture of the union of the assembly (the bride) with the Anointed.

When a man in ancient Yisra’el married he went to the bride's house with a "bride price" and made a contract (covenant) with the girl's father. If the father accepted the man and his bride price, the man would pour a glass of wine. If the girl drank it, it would indicate that she accepted the man's proposal and they were betrothed. The man would go away and prepare a wedding chamber for his bride. When the groom’s father deemed that the wedding chamber was ready, usually one to two years later, the groom would return to the bride's house and "steal" her away "like a thief in the night" at an hour when no one would suspect. He would take her to the wedding chamber for seven days. During this time, the groom's father would hold a party to announce the marriage. At the end of the seventh day, the married couple would emerge from the chamber and partake of the marriage supper.

The ancient Yisra’eliy wedding is a picture of Yahushua, the Bridegroom, and His bride, the assembly. The contract (covenant) was sealed at the last supper when Yahushua shared the covenant cup with His disciples.

Yahushua, in speaking to His followers after the last supper said the same words that any Yisra’eliy man would tell his betrothed.

And, of course, Yahushua paid the "bride price" with His life. The marriage of the assembly to Yahushua is described in several scriptural texts.

Day of Atonement
Yisra’eliy eschatology teaches that the Day of Atonement is the day in which the people of Yisra’el are to be judged by Yahuwah and the sins of the nation of Yisra’el are atoned. The Day of Atonement is also referred to as "the Day of Redemption" and "the Day of Judgment." The people of Yisra’el were instructed in Wayiqra 23:32 to confess their sins to Yahuwah for twenty-four hours prior to the Day of Atonement. On this day, Yahuwah would either grant or deny atonement for the coming year.

As instructed in Wayiqra 16:29-24, the high temple official was to enter the Most Sacred Place to make atonement for the people of Yisra’el. As part of the atonement, two goats were selected. One goat was slain as a sacrificial atonement and the other was called the scapegoat. The scapegoat symbolically bore the sins of the nation of Yisra’el away from the people. It was led into the wilderness and was pushed from a cliff to ensure that it did not inadvertently carry the sins back into the city.

Since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the Day of Atonement cannot be properly observed by the rabbis, just as festivals cannot be properly observed without that same Temple. Without a proper place of sacrifice, there cannot be a sacrifice. Without a sacrifice there cannot be atonement. The first century rabbis made some substitutions that are supposed to provide for atonement, therefore the modern observance is very different than the ancient observance. As followers of the Anointed we know that Yahushua has provided our final atonement.

Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkowth)
Just as Yahuwah "tabernacled" with the Yisra’eliy during their 40 years in the desert, Yahushua "tabernacled" with man in His first coming and will come again to "tabernacle" with man in His Kingdom.

In Yahuchanan 1:14 we find the description of Yahushua’s appearance as our Savior:

The Greek word translated as "dwelt" (skenoo) in this verse is derived from tabernacle, and could also be translated as "to have one's tabernacle."

There is a distinct possibility that Yahushua was born on the Festival of Tabernacles. Since the fourth century, December 25 has been recognized as the day of His birth, but it is well known that this date was set due to the "Christianizing" of pagan holidays by the Roman Catholic Church. December 25th was a pagan holiday called Saturnalia, which celebrated the winter solstice.

Many different factors point to Yahushua’s birth being in the fall rather than the winter. Scholars have calculated that Yahuchanan the Immerser was likely born on Passover based on the schedule that the officials served in the Temple, since Yahuchanan’s father, ZekarYahuw, was performing Temple duties when Gabriy’el appeared to him and told him about Yahuchanan's forthcoming birth. ZekarYahuw’s wife 'Eliysheba became pregnant shortly after that visit. We know that she was six months pregnant when Gabriy’el appeared to Miryam to tell her of Yahushua’s impending appearance as her son. If Yahuchanan the Immerser was born on Passover, then Yahushua was born six months later during the Festival of Tabernacles.

Another factor which suggests that Yahushua was born during the Festival of Tabernacles is that we know that there was "no room in the inn" when Miryam and Yowseph traveled to Bayith Lechem. The Festival of Tabernacles was one of the three festivals at which the men of Yisra’el were required to appear before Yahuwah. Since everyone would travel to Yeruwshalom to appear before Yahuwah, the surrounding area would likely be very crowded, thus "no room in the inn." We also know that shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields when Yahushua was born. The flocks around Bayith Lechem were normally brought into a "sheepfold" or corral during the winter (approximately the eleventh month until the second month of the next year, secular calendar), so there would have "no room" in the stable.

The Festival of Tabernacles is a time to rejoice! Many believe that on this day, the Anointed Yahushua will establish His kingdom on earth for one thousand years.

So there it is. The festivals of Yisra’el served more than the one purpose presented in the Law of Mosheh. Now all of those purposes have either been fulfilled or are about to be fulfilled so the festivals have no business being a part of the practical doctrine of the follower of the Anointed.

If you are a "feast keeper," turn from that disobedience to the true faith and practices that Yahuwah has set out for us. Worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Prayerfully by the time you have read all of this, checked out the scripture references, etc., you will have a much better idea of how you should in general be obeying the word of Yahuwah.


Related Article:
Feast Days

C.F. Castleberry
buck@considerthis.net
http://www.considerthis.net