According to tradition, the Biblical Holy days are known as Jewish Feasts. But what do the Scriptures say?
After diligent Scripture search, we find that whereas tradition calls them Jewish Feasts, Yahuweh calls the Biblical Holy Days ‘MY’ Feasts. We thus conclude — these are not Jewish Feasts, but Yahuweh’s Feasts!
In this short writing, we will see what these Feasts are, and for whom they are intended. We might be astonished at what we find! So let’s look at the Scriptures.
The Feasts of Yahuweh
The Feasts of Yahuweh are seen in many places, in precept and in practice, in both Old and New Testament writings. There are many passages, but for the sake of simplicity we will look at three verses, which are clear and concise:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts<04150> of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy(“set-apart”) convocations, even these are my feasts<04150>. (Leviticus 23:2)
These are the feasts<04150> of the LORD, even holy(“set-apart”) convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (Leviticus 23:4)
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Matthew 2:6)
Here we see three things:
- Yahuweh says these Feasts are ‘My’ Feasts, the Feasts of Yahuweh;
- Yahuweh’s Feasts are to be proclaimed to the ‘Sons of Israel’ as set-apart gatherings unto Yahuweh.
- The name Israel is Yahuweh’s nickname for ‘My People,’ thus telling us Yahuweh’s Feasts are for His People.
But who are His People? We recall that the term Jewish refers to the tribe of Judah, who is only one of twelve sons of Israel. Israel is Judah’s father. So to be Scriptural, we would call only the Sons of Judah as being Jewish; the Sons of Israel, however, are both the Jewish sons of Judah, as well as the sons of Judah’s brothers.
Why is this important?
These simple facts are New Covenant issues. The truths of Judah and Israel as seen in the Bible are the basis for all who would participate in the New Covenant, also called the Everlasting Covenant, and for all who would receive the Covenant inheritance through Messiah Yahushua.
These facts are also the basis for the apostle Paul’s teachings of the Jewish becoming one with the Gentiles. Both Jewish and Gentile Believers are made one, as they become ‘grafted-in’ to the olive-Tree of the commonwealth of Israel, through Faith in Messiah, as Paul explained in Romans 11:17 and Ephesians 2:11-13. The New and Everlasting Covenant is the eternal Blood-Covenant agreement between Yahuweh and all of Israel, including the grafted-in Gentiles (Jer 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:8; 13:20).
Let us look briefly at Yahuweh’s Feasts, to see what they are, and why Yahuweh’s enemies of old began to call them Jewish Holidays.
What Are Yahuweh’s Feasts?
In Scripture, Yahuweh’s Feasts are called ‘moedim’ in the plural, or ‘mo-ed’ in singular, Strong’s number <04150>, meaning “appointed times” or “set times.” These Feast days are special days Yahuweh has set aside, in order to make specific appointments to meet with His people, that they might come to know Him, and that He might come to know them (see Exodus 31:13; Eze 20:12,20).
But why are Yahuweh’s Feasts popularly called ‘Jewish’ Holy days? Let’s look backward in time for the answer.
A Look Backward in Time
It all started many centuries ago. A certain spiritual Leader, because of his own personal preferences, along with his antagonism toward the Yahuweh’s people, took it upon himself to oppose the Disciples of Yahushua, all of whom kept the Feast Days.
From the days of Yahushua’s ministry, back to the days of Moses, the Israelites had been practicing the centuries-old Feasts of Yahuweh, which are prescribed for Yahuweh’s people. Even from the beginning of His ministry, Yahushua began to teach the Disciples, and to show them by example, the prophetic or ‘now’ meaning of the moedim, the Feasts of Yahuweh. He showed them the true meaning of the moedim, and even illustrated to them how the fulfillment of these Festivals were to occur through Himself, and through His people.
It can be seen throughout the Gospels, from the beginning to the end of His ministry, the regular practice of Yahushua and His disciples (‘talmidim’ or “taught ones”) was to keep the Feasts, even as Yahuweh had commanded through Moses.
Yahushua taught them not only the ‘spiritualised’ meaning of keeping the Feasts, but also illustrated by example, the necessity for Believers to continue to keep the Feasts in a simple and practical way.
Thus we later see the apostle Paul teaching and practicing Yahuweh’s Feasts. By his word and his example, Paul continued to urge others to practice, and to keep the Feasts of Yahuweh.
The Light Grows Dim
The widespread practice of keeping all Yahuweh’s Festivals continued for perhaps several hundred years. As the pagan influence increased, however, the light within the congregations of believers began to grow dim.
Eventually the main spiritual Leader of that day began to oppose the practice of keeping Yahuweh’s Feasts, perhaps because of the influence of the evil one. Around the latter half of the second century an edict was made, and from that time forward, the practice of keeping the ‘Jewish’ Feasts, as they were now called, was outlawed. Believers were cast out for keeping Yahuweh’s Feast days. A search of the term quartodeciman in any encyclopedia or Wikipedia will reveal much information, for those who are seeking.
From the day of that edict onward, the light of Truth began to be snuffed out. The middle ages would later become known as the dark ages, because those who practiced the Light of Yahuweh’s Truth were persecuted, chased, and put to death, until very little light of the “DO-ing” of Truth remained out in the open.
The Light Restored
History reveals that during the time of the Reformation, the light began to increase. Truths began to be restored, and Yahuweh’s people began to come out of their captivity. Since that time, Yahuweh has been preparing His people, and is now urging them to make themselves ready for the return of His Son.
This brings us back to the practicing of Yahuweh’s Feasts. As a timeline, the present day is a mirror-image of the early days of the Disciples. In the early days His people kept all the Festivals, and likewise today they are rediscovering these Truths, and are keeping them, by His Grace.
Today Yahuweh is removing the many stumbling-blocks from the Way. What are these stumbling-blocks? They are simply the Doctrines of Men–the teachings that cause men to stumble in the Way–thus preventing ‘My People’ from being “DO-ers” of His Word!
The edict to cease practicing the Feasts is a centuries-old Doctrine of Men–another instance of the Biblical word dogma, Strong’s number <1378> and <1379>. This word describes the Doctrines of Men–the main stumbling-block of dogma that has been taken out of the Way, and abolished, and nailed to the cross (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4, 17:7; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14,20).
With the above in mind, what are we going to do today? Notice what the apostle Paul asks:
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world(“worldly principles”), why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances<1379> (“Decrees of Men”), 21 [Touch not; taste not; handle not (commands found in the Talmud); 22 Which all are to perish with the using;] after(“according to”) the commandments and doctrines of men? (Colossians 2:20-22)
In the above passage, Paul is asking us, in paraphrase, “Why are you still subject to the dogma–the Decrees, the Commandments and Doctrines of Men–rather than to the Commandments of Yahuweh?“
Pastors, are you going to allow one man’s edict, made centuries ago, to dictate what you must believe, and must practice today? Where are you leading your Flock?
According to Yahushua’s words in Rev 21:7, what we do, or fail to do, can determine whether or not we will enter in to our full inheritance!
Let us no longer refer to Yahuweh’s Feasts as the Jewish Holidays, and Jewish Feasts; for in doing so, we are robbing the Gentile Believers, by implying that Yahuweh’s Feasts are not for all the Sons of Israel — both Jewish and Gentile Believers in Messiah!
Instead, let all the Sons of the Promise — the Sons of the Covenant — begin to search the Scriptures for themselves, and be “DO-ers” of all of the Scriptures, and then begin to speak only as the Scripture speaks. Only then can we walk together in our journey, as we return to our Father, on the stepping-stones of Yahuweh’s Feasts!
Therefore let us keep the Feast!