The Feasts of Yahuwah in Yahushua
The clarification and restoration of the Feasts of Yahuwah as well as of His Commandments, are a very important part of the ministry of all who are of Jewish descent as disciples of the Messiah.
Many of those who carry the title of Messianic Jew are working to preserve and restore the original Jewish, more precisely the original biblical holidays. Some of us organize events, occasions, gatherings to traditionally celebrate these holidays.
These kind of events may also be of great significance and fruitful for some time, but
the perpetuation of superficial celebrations deprived of their spiritual content will sooner or later be more harmful than constructive.
As a disciple of the Messiah, what to do with these feasts ordained by Yahuwah, for Paul also questions and warns us on this subject:
But now that you know Yahuwah—or rather are known by Yahuwah—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. Galatians 4:9-11
By these words of Paul, no one should feel free to go on celebrating all the pagan-rooted disgraceful pseudo-christian feasts imposed by time and the Greco-Roman imperial spirit on original and pure Christianity. It should be obvious to everyone that it is still better to keep the original, even if it is in a Pharisaic and religious way, than keep binding to the false ones in any way.
Of course, no one wants to return to their original roots in a Pharisaic and religious way, as Paul describes it. We will further explain what motivated Paul’s declaration, how he opposes the observance of the feasts, Sabbath days and years, and Jubilee years, while he himself worked to restore Yahuwah’s full and fulfilled Word.
How to celebrate the Feasts of Yahuwah then?
I have often heard believers express frustration because after their conversion and being born again, they were looking forward to the arrival of the biblical holidays and celebrated them with enthusiasm. However, over time, this enthusiasm gradually faded, giving way to some confusion in their minds. For many, this phenomenon creates a deep feeling of guilt, because they have the impression that there is something wrong on a spiritual level, sometimes going so far as to condemn themselves.
I myself have gone through this state. Especially after I settled my Jewish identity and returned to celebrating exclusively biblical holidays.
At first, I felt the same enthusiasm as I did during my childhood when celebrating Christmas and Easter, although I was still unaware of their falsehood.
Like most children, these festivals seemed like real miracles to me.
Following my conversion, I also awaited the arrival of these special days with great enthusiasm, looking after the dates and traveling to the synagogues of Budapest to celebrate the Feasts of Yahuwah with the local Jewish community. However, after a few years, I no longer felt like celebrating or going to synagogue, and I usually discovered the next day that I had once more missed another holiday.
Remorse quickly gave way to a feeling of comfort. Although I did not understand exactly what was happening, I felt that this feeling was not linked to disobedience, sin or any spiritual distortion for having become so indifferent to the holidays decreed in the Torah by the Eternal. Indeed, I was unconsciously beginning to experience what Paul was talking about to the Galatians.
I think that this initial feeling and this enthusiasm was completely appropriate, and it even helped strengthen my spirit and identity. However, it was necessary that this would not last for long, because I also evolved in this field.
Does fulfillment invalidate the Holidays?
I began to get a real answer to the question when a member of a church celebrating the Sabbath explained that they were celebrating no feast except of Shabbats and baptisms. In his church, it is believed that
when the Messiah was crucified, when the tapestry in the temple was split in two, all the biblical feasts were fulfilled,
so there is no need to keep them any longer. My eyes immediately flashed, though I felt that there were some mistakes and contradictions in what he was saying, yet I felt that the real answer to that question of the meaning of the holidays in the age of Grace should be something very close to this one. However, I indicated him the contradiction of their belief since all the holidays in the Bible are considered Shabbat by the Law. The day of the great atonement for exemple, Yom Kippur, in the Old Testament is mentioned as the Sabbath of the Sabbath. I don’t really understand why so much emphasis is often placed on weekly Saturdays, while other holidays are considered outdated? But this is not our topic for the moment.
The two dimensions of the Holidays
I asked Yahuwah that instead of wasting my time unnecessarily trying to solve the question with my own human tools, He Himself would open my eyes to what His feasts should mean to us believers, for the Word considers all Feasts to be eternal but again Paul seems to say something completely different. Why is it that before, during and after my conversion in my early years as a believer, it was so important for me to celebrate and today I don’t realy fell any enthusiasm anymore.
I soon received the answer, when
the image of the Holy Tabernacle in the wilderness appeared to me.
I recalled that members of the people only appeared at the outer court of the Temple during the High Feasts and the weekly Shabbat. They came here to meet and present offerings to Elohim. The members of the people came from outside, from the desert and appeared on the outer court at the entrance of the Sanctuary. This court was the place where they met the Levites who brought their offerings inside in order pass them on to the High Priest.
Considering that the Tabernacle is a foreshadowing of the Body of the Messiah and that we, the servants of the Messiah, are all like Levites of this Spiritual Sanctuary, Yahushua being the High Priest according to the order of Melkishedek, I understood that the meaning and the way the Holidays are perceived differs significantly between those who are outside from those serving and living inside. For outsiders, seekers, superficial believers, religious people, and those who still follow traditions, the appointed days, i.e. the Feasts, represent the rare times of the year when they can encounter and approach Yahuwah. These moments are crucial, because laws and traditions encourage them to go to the outer court on these particular occasions. The holiness of these days immerses them in a different and deeper state of mind, which brings them closer internally to their Creator. They are not an integral part of the Sanctuary, but they come and stand at the door, drawing near in spirit to their Savior. At such times, their ears and hearts are more open to Yahuwah’s word of calling and comfort. The fact of going to the places of worship to celebrate is already a spiritual preparation of rapprochement towards the Savior/the ultimate High Priest according to the order of Melchishedek. In the meantime, for those of us already serving within the Sanctuary
by our rebirth, we experience the essence and spiritual content of all the fulfilled holidays in every moment of our life.
We no longer need to look at the calendar and expect any spiritual boost or change in our own lives from the holidays and their observance.
These days, like the the Commandments, are fulfilled in us by the Messiah.
For outsiders, these days are the only ones when, drawing closer to the Body of the Messiah, they have the opportunity to take a look into the Sanctuary of which we, the Levites, are already permanent inhabitants. How could these few days still matter to us from our own point of view given that we have achieved the goal that these holidays were supposed to represent as a foreshadowing of things to come?
This is how we can understand Paul’s words when he rebukes born again believers because they put too much emphasis and expectation on keeping the feasts in the traditional way and did not understand their new spiritual significance and role from the inner side of the Sanctuary. They still approached the matter as outsiders and not as legitimate co-owners. In a word, the Galatians returned to religiously way of celebrating holidays, like traditional non-messianic Jews do. In a word, they returned to the demon of religiositiy.
The Feasts fulfilled in us by the Messiah
First, we have heard Yahuwah’s inviting voice at our own Yom HaTrua (Rosh HaShana). Then, after our withdrawal from Egypt and the sacrifice of the Lamb of Pessach, the Atonement, the ultimate Yom Kippur in our life, took place. Then we receive the Holy Spirit, the Comforter as the fulfillment of the feast of Shavuot, when the law is not engraved on stone tables anymore, but on the flesh of our hearts, the moment we can say: I no longer live but the Messiah lives in me.
There is only one holiday left, which is still in progress of fulfillment, the one of the harvest: Sukkoth (the feast of the tabernacle). This feast symbolizes our meeting at the Tabernacle’s court as Levites with those who are not yet members of the Body of the Messiah. Sukkoth is under fulfillment as we, the Levites are constantly offering new souls to Yahuwah as the fruits of our ministries.
I will talk about Purim, Rosh HaShana, and Hannuka in other teachings, since being non-biblical holidays or a misunderstood and modified version of it.
It is also necessary to mention a fundamental aspect of the significance of the feasts of Yahuwah and which will be the subject of another teaching, which is that
the key events in Salvation history have so far all been fulfilled in the visible world on a Jewish holiday.
Yahushua’s birth, death, resurrection, ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit all were fulfilled on a Jewish Holiday. The next holiday to be fulfilled is Yom HaTrua (Rosh Hashanah by its Talmudic name, which is considered today as the Jewish New Year’s Day). This feast extends over two days, and it is linked to the prophecy of John as described in Revelation and 2 Thessalonians when the trumpet or shofar will sound and the Church (the Bride) will be raptured.
The Holy Tabernacle as a permanent and eternal Holiday
We who serve within His Body are constantly in the presence of Yahuwah and the High Priest serving above us is Yahushua. We also are temples ourselves, because Elohim is living in us by the Holy Spirit. Why would we need to pay attention to moments and calendars? Why do we feel the need to experience some extra blessing in our lives through celebrations? Is not the Spirit of the Savior dwelling in us? Have not all the promises contained in the Feasts been fulfilled in us? Anywhere, at any time, we can testify of our own conversion, our Yom HaTrua and our acceptance of the blood of the Messiah, Pessach after which our final settlement and atonement Yom Kippur led us to receive the ultimate guidance of His Spirit when Shavuot, Pentecost had been also finally fulfilled in our hearts.
We really don’t need to stick to the Feasts of Yahuwah according to their date!
Those who are inside and serve in the Sanctuary, the holidays are truly fulfilled and it is dangerous to think that dates and other literal ordinances can do us any further good.
The same is true here as with the Law. The Commandments help us remaining on the narrow path but they are not the goals anymore just signs, simple reminders.
Yet these holidays are eternal, even by date and calendar!
Another contradiction and again from Paul; but yes, only the dates are no longer important for the same people. They are valid and important on the time dimension because there are moments when outsiders bow to the entrance of the Sanctuary in greater number and more spiritually prepared. On these events, they can meet with us and Yahuwah. For us, holidays by date are an opportunity to serve, to testify, and to receive new brethren in a more intense way than on the other days of the year. Because for them who are living under alien spirit, these days mean more than the common days of the year. These days remind them that they can escape from the yoke of the lord of this world by turning back to the Father. Therefore, let us not offend them by not being available at the door when they are coming. But let us not think that these days have more significance for us than others,
for we are and must be in a state of eternal Holiday and eternal Sabbath.
Let us then observe the times and feasts, so that we can serve others and give them spiritual food. Let us make our testimony of what the essence of the actual Holiday is towards those who are not yet members of the Sanctuary, who are not yet Levites. But apart from the joy that the sight of the ministry and the birth of new lives can bring, let’s not expect anything else for ourselves since we already received everything, the most we ever could: His Grace and the Eternal Life.
Elohim gave the Holidays, as well as the Sabbaths to the world as eternal signs to remind everyone that He is the Creator, Savior, and Lord of the world.
We must respect and use these signs for the sake of others. On these days, the unredeemed one has the opportunity to get an insight in the Heavenly Sanctuary receiving an invitation to enter as well. It is a great opportunity for the Levitical priests who serve inside to make the invitation even more appealing so that they should accept it.
Let us celebrate with a child’s heart for the sake of children
As a family father, after a few years of latent celebration, I realized the importance of commemorating these occasions in order to fix them in the memory of my children. I realized it would be a very big mistake to deprive them of these, just because their parents had grown up in spirit.
The most powerful means of evangelism is to celebrate these days.
It teaches a kind of humility and respect to our children, lays the foundation for their faith and, in the case of Jews, establishes their identity. Here, we learn that in our rushed world, we need moments to stop and focus exclusively on Elohim and seek Him. As I also remember the feasts of my childhood, although most of them were false, they still played a very important role in seeking and recognizing the true feasts of Yahuwah and Yahuwah Himself.
These celebrations will be signs in the future life of my children, hopefully on their paths as disciples, on which they can rely and that will strengthen them and show them the right way.
However, they will sooner or later have to move beyond the surface of these signs.
It will not be enough for them to appear at the entrance 3 times a year on major holidays or weekly Shabbats, but as members of the Sanctuary, the essence of the feasts and Sabbaths must be engraved in their hearts to become permanent in them.
So let’s keep the holidays for the sake of the children, for those who are children by age, and also for those, although physically grown up, but who are still children in spirit or even not born again yet.
Jewish holidays – Signs/stages of the history of Salvation
- Passover: The Crucifixion and Death of Yahushua. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb
- Hag HaMatzot / Feast of Unleavened Bread: Burial of Yahushua
- Bikkurim / Feast of Firstfruits: Resurrection of Yahushua
- Shavuot / Pentecost – Feast of Weeks: Arrival of Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
These are accomplished.
- Yom HaTrua / Day of Sounding of Shofars – (Rosh HaShana): The Rapture of the Bride
- Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement: Israel repents and recognizes Yahushua of Nazareth as the Messiah
- Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles: Return of Yahushua HaMashiah – Gathering of the Remnant – the beginning of the Millennium.
Their fulfillment is coming soon
Change of schedule
The Jewish calendar would likely have been advanced by 3 months during the modern Roman exile. Hillel HaNassi, during the 4th century, apparently readjusted the counting of the months by moving it back three months. He would have done this, among other things, probably to adapt the dates of celebration of the festivals to the new climatic conditions of the European regions of our exile. The weather and climate variations experienced during the exile somewhat disrupted the original Jewish times, as the festivals are all linked to the cycles of agriculture. Indeed, harvest periods differ significantly depending on whether you are in Central Europe or the Middle East.
It should be noted that in the Middle East, the final stages of harvest last until the end of November, or even the beginning of December. Before the exile, how could the Jews have celebrated Sukkoth in late September-early October, when there was still plenty of harvest left until the end of November? In the rabbinical zeal of today’s Israeli Jewish community, this little contradiction is of course passed over in silence, and everyone turns a blind eye, because no one dares to contradict the centuries-old tradition according to which the series of autumn holidays falls at the beginning of autumn and not at the end. This is why the original calendar was not taken over, even though a large part of the population lives again in the Middle East, where the agricultural cycle ends again in mid-December.
Other sources also claim that this spirit which has always specialized in modifying dates, times and holidays, Catholicism and its representative, the pope of the time, would also have forced Hillel to remove 210 years from the original Jewish calendar original under penalty of being assassinated, he and his community.
If this information turned out to be true, and the signs of the times indeed seem to confirm it, then we would not be in the year 5784, as the official Jewish calendar states, but we would indeed have just entered into the 5994th year of world history. So we could see that the time is much closer than many are willing to admit.
Also read: Shavuot – Pentecost