ARE THE FEASTS STILL SACRED? Should believers continue to celebrate them?

Holy Holy Holy

Holy, holy, holy, is YHVH of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.      Isaiah 6:3

The feasts are still sacred for two main reasons:

  • Most importantly, the meaning and efficacy of the feasts is based solely on the shed Blood of The Lamb and the Kingship of Messiah, as will be shown in the articles to follow.  They are the commemoration and celebration of His Work, giving Him the honor that is His due.  The Feasts will be celebrated at least throughout the Millennial Reign when He sits on the Throne.  Do we really want to treat YHVH’s feasts with disdain and neglect?
  •  The feasts are prophetic pictures of Messiah’s unfolding ministry, which makes them extremely pertinent to the practice of our faith, since all that they picture has not yet been accomplished (Matt 5:18).  They shed light on events of the past and prepare us for events yet to come.

After all, what is the ultimate basis for the Temple and its services and feasts?    It is all based on and celebrates the Creative and Redemptive Work of Messiah!  This is why believers are called “temples” – we are living pictures of the Eternal Heavenly Temple.

Y’shua is referred to as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).   We all understand that the earthly Tabernacle and Temples were mere representations of the real thing in the Heavenly Realm.  Therefore, we must infer from scripture that, if Y’shua was slain from the foundation of the world, He must have been slain (outside of Time) at the heavenly altar, and His blood was sprinkled upon THAT altar, since the sacrifice of atonement requires that the sacrificial blood must be sprinkled upon the altar.  (Lev 1:5, Lev 3:7-8, etc.)  It is for this reason that all the subsequent sacrifices (including YHVH’s slaying of an animal to cover Adam and Eve) are mere representations of the original and efficacious Sacrifice of Y’shua.

Passover Lamb 2It is that precious Blood of the Lamb that has – from before Time and from the foundation of the world – been the True Blood by which men are cleansed and redeemed.  The Tabernacle and Temple sacrifices were mere representations and reminders of the True Blood of the True Lamb.

It is THAT Blood that YHVH called His people to rely upon.

Job knew about it:

For I know that my redeemer [the One Who paid the price for my sin] liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth… (Job 19:25)

Abraham knew about it:

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” (Gal 3:8 NIV)

The Israelites in the Wilderness knew about it:

They [those who experienced the Exodus] … drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Messiah. (1Cor 10:4 NIV)

There is much evidence that it was Y’shua Himself who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden; who appeared to Abraham and Jacob; who presented the Commandments to Moses; and that it was Y’shua Himself who was present in the Israelite camp during the Exodus.  (For an excellent introduction to this concept, please see Pete Rambo’s article,  Was Jesus on Mt. Sinai?  Does It Matter?)

And He [YHVH/Y’shua] declared unto you His Covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.  ( Deu 4:13[NOTE: The Ten Commandments are the SUMMARY or Principles of the 613 Torah instructions.  As we obey the 613 mitzvot, we simultaneously obey the 10 Principles.]

CovenantAnd he [Moses] took the book of the Covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, “All that YHVH hath said will we do, and be obedient.”   And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which YHVH hath made with you concerning all these words.”  (Exo 24:7-8)

For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me [Y’shua]: for he wrote of Me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?  (John 5:46-47)

YHVH’s Eternal and Unchanging Plan is Still in Operation

The Creator’s provision for salvation has always been:

 Love YHVHDeut 6:5, Matt 22:37

Obey His commands —  Deut 6:25, John 14:15

Repent of sin and offer (or acknowledge) the appropriate sacrifice for atonement  —  Ezek 18:30 & Lev 5:10, 1John1:9 & Heb 9:12

Receive Grace  —  Ezek 18:20-23, Eph 2:8

Return to faithful obedience  —  Ezek 33:11, Heb 10:19-24

(See my article, Does Paul Really Teach That Torah has Passed Away?)

The ONLY things different today from when the ancient Israelites were given their instructions is that (1) Messiah has come at least once, died on the cross and rose again, (2) the Holy Spirit is now available to every believer, and (3) the Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple have come and gone. 

Do these three facts affect the validity of the feasts? 

Scripture says that they do not.

  • Messiah appears to have made multiple appearances to individuals throughout Time, and those appearances made no difference in YHVH’s expectations that His people would ‘be holy as He is holy.’
    • In each appearance, Y’shua’s purpose has been to confirm and encourage the loyal obedience of the persons to whom He appeared.  His various appearances never ‘did away with’ Torah, but instead encouraged the faithful to be even more obedient.
    • His death, we are told specifically, was to show that ourcolossians-214 personal list of debts to sin has been “Paid in Full.”  ——————–>
    • His resurrection proved that He was Who He claimed to be, and that we have victory over death through Him.
    • The gift of the Holy Spirit is specifically intended to assist us to walk obediently in YHVH’s statutes and ordinances:

…in order that the righteous requirement of the law [Heb: Torah] might be fully met [Greek plēroō: carried into effect; performed] in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD’S LAW [Greek: nomos, referring to Torah], nor can it do so. … But if Messiah is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness [submission to Torah]. …For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body [sin is the transgression of Torah per 1John 3:4], you will live Rom 8:4- 6, 10, 13 (NIV, emphasis added)

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to WALK IN MY STATUTES, and ye shall KEEP MY JUDGMENTS [Heb mishpatim: ordinances; decisions in law], and DO them.  (Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJV, emphasis added)

  • None of Y’shua’s work on the cross abrogated YHVH’s instructions for living a set-apart (holy, Torah-observant) life — instead, His personal and perfect Torah walk was His example to us and proved to us how important it is that we should live in a set-apart, Torah-based manner, to honor what YHVH has done in our behalf!  Y’shua taught us:

Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfill [Greek: plēroō – to perform, to execute, to DO]  [1].   For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall IN NO WISE pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments [2], and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  (Matt 5:17-19 KJV, emphasis added)

For we know that the Torah is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  (Rom 7:14… the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Torah of God, neither indeed can be.  (Rom 8:7For I delight in the Torah of God after the inward [spiritual] man…  (Rom 7:22)

  • If Torah has NOT been ‘done away with’, then its instructions regarding the Feasts have not been ‘done away with,’ and believers are both privileged and obligated to meet with YHVH at His mo’edim (appointed times).

OBJECTION: We CANNOT and SHOULD NOT celebrate the feasts, because the Temple no longer exists

There is some genuine validity to this objection.  It would be foolish to say otherwise.  The fact is that we cannot complete all the requirements of Torah without the physical temple.  However, I believe that it is not a COMPLETELY valid objection, for several reasons.

  • When the mo’edim were first set in place (at Creation), there is no indication that there was any special place or Temple to which they were restricted.
  • Although the physical Temple no longer exists, believers are now the LIVING TEMPLES in which Y’shua is honored.  (2 Cor 6:16)
    • Although we cannot presently offer the animal sacrifices that will be re-instituted when He sits on His Throne, we CAN offer ourselves as LIVING SACRIFICES (Rom 12:1) and we can ACKNOWLEDGE the TRUE sacrifice that was made in our behalf at the foundation of the world.  (Rev 5:9, etc.)
    • Torah instructs us that we are to make our offerings only in the “place which YHVH your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there [Jerusalem],” (Deut 12:11) so there is a genuine and valid concern that the feasts should be celebrated only in Jerusalem.  I truly believe that if a believer has the opportunity to celebrate in Jerusalem, he/she should do so.  However, if we cannot, it is exactly BECAUSE we cannot offer the animal sacrifices and exactly BECAUSE there is no temple that we are not in error by commemorating the Feasts wherever we are.   Our celebration is a COMMEMORATION – a REMEMBRANCE – of the ordained service, not a re-enactment of it.  (It is for this reason that the Jews do not even use lamb meat in their celebration of Passover, lest they come too close to re-enacting a holy sacrifice.)
    • Y’shua is our High Priest after the of the Order of Melchizedek (the original priesthood), and the very use of that title tells us that there is a Temple and a Temple Service over which He presides.
      • If we choose in our human ‘wisdom’ to arbitrarily eliminate the feasts from our ‘temple’ service, we inadvertently eliminate the sacrifice that Y’shua made in our behalf, invalidating and repudiating what He accomplished from the foundation of the world
    • It is thrilling to realize that, according to scripture, Y’shua’s disciples are now priests (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) offering living sacrifices (Rom 12:1) while serving in living bodily temples (2 Cor 6:16, Rev 3:12), all because of the shed Blood of MessiahThe PRINCIPLES upon which the feasts are based remain unchanged! 

Are you ready to step into your role as a priest of the Kingdom???

Royal priesthood

Click here to go back to THE FEASTS and select the Feast that you would like to read about.


FOOTNOTES

[1]  An important thing to know is that the use of these terms ‘destroy‘ and ‘fulfill‘ when referring to Torah was a well-known and accepted piece of religious terminology which had been coined by the great teacher Hillel a couple of generations before Y’shua.  To ‘destroy’ Torah was to give it an incorrect interpretation or to disobey its instructions.  To ‘fulfill’ Torah was to give the correct interpretation and to be obedient to its instructions.  An excellent discussion of the meaning of the word ‘fulfill’ in this passage is Tim Hegg’s article, What Does πληρϖσαι (“to fulfill”) Mean in Matthew 5:17?  (ETS Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN • November 15-17, 2000.  Tim Hegg • http://www.torahresource.comthegg@bigplanet.com •©All rights reserved)

[2]  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments… The Greek word translated here as ‘commandments‘ is the word ἐντολή (entolē).  This word is used by Y’shua more than once to refer to the 613 mitzvot (Torah instructions), rather than to the more familiar Ten Commandments that Christians tend to assume He is referring to.  For example, see Matt 15:4For God commanded [entello], saying, Honor thy father and mother [one of the Ten Commandments]:  AND, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.  [Torah mitzvah, found in Ex 21:17 and Lev 20:9 but not mentioned in The Ten Commandments.]  Another example of Y’shua using this word to speak of the mitzvot is found in Mark, Chapter 10, where the Pharisees approach Y’shua to ask Him (vs. 2), “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.”  Y’shua responded, “What did Moses COMMAND [entello] you?”  When they replied that Moses had given them a mitzvah to “write a bill of divorcement and put her away” (Deut 24:1-3), Y’shua rebuked them, responding, “For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this PRECEPT (entolē).”  There are just a couple of the many examples of the mitzvot being called entolē by both Y’shua and the apostles.  


© Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Lamb’s Servant Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue Wyatt  and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “ARE THE FEASTS STILL SACRED? Should believers continue to celebrate them?”

  1. Thanks for this, Sue. Your exposition of Rev.13:8 and the last part re living temples (in the Passover context) help me a lot — I usually need someone to explain things to me!

    Fortunately, I still have yet to find a Christian (from any denomination) who is resistant to the idea of celebrating the Passover. So far, every one I have encountered are very willing (and a lot of them have been expressing or observing this already themselves!)! I think Christ’s death being celebrated/observed during Easter is just out of mere habit. But, presented with passages from Scriptures (along with some contextual explanations), along with a graceful spirit (and throw in a bit of some excitement too), Christians DO want to celebrate the Passover. But, yes — in order to find out more about these (and ultimately to practice it), apart from godly people like you explaining it to them 🙂 — a Christian has to do his/her homework of studying God’s word. And when one does, it goes beyond being mentally convinced (as when they were presented with the biblical facts and arguments) — to such a yearning in one’s spirit to especially meet with the Lord on this appointed feast of His. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is SO exciting to see how the Holy Spirit is moving believers to return to the Feasts! It is happening all over the world!! More and more reports come in every day that that YEARNING you speak of is bringing them back. This is in direct fulfillment of the many prophecies all through the OT. Praise Yah!!! My prayer is that once believers have experienced the joy of the ordained feasts, they will no longer desire to participate in the pagan-rooted celebrations. As priests of the Most High, we have a duty to teach the difference between the Holy and the profane. (And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. Ezek44:23) I am so encouraged to hear how your friends and acquaintances are responding – thanks so much for sharing!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s