Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Where do we even begin? When I first learned about the Biblical Feasts, I felt overwhelmed with all of the information. And a few years down the line, I am still learning and I will continue to learn more about it until I die or Yeshua comes back to fetch us - whichever comes first.
So I want to start off this post by reminding you that it's okay if you feel overwhelmed. Abba will meet you right where you are at and He will break it all open to you piece by piece when the time is right! All He ask of you & me is that we are teachable!
I want to bring the menorah briefly into this blog, because it will help to create the bigger picture of the feasts. I will do a separate in depth blog post on the menorah some time because there is wayyy too much to share to do it in this post.
In my blog post about Shabbat I wrote: Abba created the feasts (which includes Shabbat) before He created man. In Gen 1:14 we read that the sun, moon & stars will serve as signs for appointed / set times, seasons & years. The word used in the original Hebrew is the word "mohadim" (מועדים) which means: seasons, set times or appointed times, rhythm.
Shabbat has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the creation. It has to do with God's rhythm. It has to do with LIGHT!
As mentioned... Shabbat and the rest of the feasts has to do with light! Hence the menorah! Aka the lampstand!
The menorah was created by Moses after God instructed and showed him what it should look like. The design of the menorah was full of detail and resembled the blossoms of an almond tree. God gave Moses the instruction to create it and place it inside the Holy place in the Tabernacle and instructed that it's light should continue to shine forever.
Go read: Ex 37:17-24 | Lev 24:1-4
God instructed Moses to consecrate the altar, items for the tabernacle and all the priests as Holy to the Lord for seven days (Ex 29:35). Abba inscribed His pattern right from the start! From the 7 days of creation, to the 7 days of consecration of the priests, to the 7 feasts, etc. Since the beginning of time, Abba established a pattern of consecration.
When something is being consecrated it means that it is prepared, sanctified, made pure, dedicating something. The temple items and the priests had to be consecrated so that Abba could dwell amongst them.
We all know that the tabernacle that once was in the wilderness no longer exists. But that doesn't mean that the principles no longer applies. Today we are the tabernacle in which He dwells. We now are the temple that needs to be consecrated. Because of our fleshly/sinful nature - we need constant sanctification.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
I Corinthians 6:19
We are called to a royal priesthood. Just like Aaron and the other priests were called for duty. So are we today!
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
I Peter 2:9
“So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests. I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.”
We are the tabernacle today. And we too have been brought out of Egypt. Although it's not a physical Egypt, but a spiritual Egypt. We are set free from our bondage and sin (Egypt).
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
In order to understand the Biblical concepts, we have to look at it from a Biblical point of view. The earth takes 365 1/4 days (Gregorian days) to circle the sun.
The moon takes 29 or 30 days (Biblical days / period of darkness & light) to circle the earth.
When then does a new month start according to the Bible? With new moon. In other words, every 29 or 30 days - depending on the moon. The Biblical/Hebrew months all have 29 or 30 days and they are dependent on the moon.
If it's new moon on the night of the 29th (after sunset of the 29th day), then the new month starts. If it's not new moon yet, then it's the 30th of the month.
"It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.”
Every month, the Israelites sent two people out in the field (away from the lights of the cities) to see if it's new moon. They went out and came back to report what they saw. Depending on the moon, they would determine whether the new month would start that night or the next day (with sunset).
“Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Just like the moon determines how long a month is (29/30 days). In the same manner the feasts determines how long a year is (12/13 months). The feasts of the Bible are about HARVEST!
In Gen 1:26 we read that God decided to create mankind in His image. And in verse 28 we read: “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”"
God's purpose for us on earth is about being fruitful and enjoying a harvest. In all areas of our lives: in our thoughts, our jobs, our kids, etc. Fruitfulness = Blessing.
God bless us when we are obedient to His Instructions. He bless us with a harvest when we live within His commands and statutes.
The first 5 books of the Bible is referred to as the Torah. Which is incorrectly/poorly translated as "law" by many. But in fact, the true Hebrew meaning of the word "torah" is instruction/teaching. It's our "how to" guide to be fruitful, or in other words - to receive blessing.
The torah cannot save us. It's not a salvation matter. Yeshua's work on the cross is what saves us. But our observance of the torah will definitely make a difference in the blessings we receive. Thus it's important to realise that keeping the feasts / simply learning about the concepts are not about trying to work out your salvation or being under the law. But in fact, it's about learning about Abba's ways and following His instructions because we love Him and we want to obey His commandments. In the same breath I want to say that we should NOT celebrate the feasts just for the sake of celebrating them. Then it's dead religion.
In order for us to understand the Bible, we need to understand the Hebrew context in which it was written. Otherwise we will miss the point.
When religious people hear that others are starting to observe the Biblical feasts, they are quick to say that we are taking the fun out of things. But the moment you dive into the Biblical feasts, you'll come to know that there is WAY more to celebrate within the feasts than there will ever be with all the worldly celebrations & special days combined!
The Hebrew calendar has 4 mini "new years." Not years as we know them (365 day cycle). But 4 cycles of harvest. From harvest to harvest. Because as mentioned earlier, the feasts are all about harvest! God wants to bless us! He wants us to receive a harvest in every aspect of our lives! He really does! But it will take something from us. And that is to consecrate ourselves to His standards.
Col 2:16-17 says "Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ."
The above is another piece of Scripture that churches who don't observe the feasts, love to quote out of context.
Paul wrote to the church of Colossae. In Col 1:2 he addresses to whom he was writing: "To the saints and faithful believers in Christ [who are] at Colossae: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father."
In other words, they were believers and followers of Christ, meaning that they observed the feasts. Thus when Paul told them that they should not bother when others judge them about their feasts - it didn't mean that we can ignore the Biblical festivals and keep whatever man made traditions we like. NO! What Paul said was that we should continue to be obedient to the Word of God and His instructions - regardless if the world judges us for our choices.
Unless we are walking according to God's appointed times, we will never experience the fullness of His covenant and the blessings which He has in store for us. He placed the appointed times / rhythm into being right from the Creation. If we don't observe it, we are out of rhythm.
When we oppose God's feasts (yes they belong to God, not to the Jews), we don't know the fullness of His Kingdom. The feasts are a fulfillment of His completed work (which we celebrate) and a foreshadow of things to come (which we anticipate).
Keeping the feasts is not about "abiding under the law" or becoming a Jew. It's a First Love principle. Yeshua is our First Love and because we love Him, we CHOOSE to follow His instructions - which includes the feasts.
John 14:15 "If you love Me you will keep My commandments."
We will all one day stand on our own before God's throne and He will judge us against His Word. Therefore the choice lies with each one of us to decide whether we want to obey His Word and receive His blessing. The choice you make will be judged one day.
In the same way that we should not care if others judge us for celebrating the feasts, in the same way - we also shouldn't judge those who don't celebrate it. So I'm not here to convince you nor judge you. I am here to share information, yet the choice is completely yours. May I remind you that keeping or not keeping the feasts is NOT a salvation matter. But a blessing matter.
The first day of the first month was close to the time when the Israelites moved out of Egypt. That was the start of the year according to God since forever. It's all about harvest time! You can read more about Pesach & the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the blog post I did earlier this year.
After that comes, Shavuot / the Feast of Weeks. This feast ends off the seed/grain harvest. After that, the ground / field is being prepared for the next seed harvest's planting time.
After that comes Sukkot, which broadly includes Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur & Sukkot.
The key to all of the festivals / feasts is Shabbat. Hence if you haven't read the blog about Shabbat yet - please do so before reading any further.
It's a Biblical assignment / order / instruction to keep all the feasts as a Shabbat.
As mentioned in the Shabbat blog - we choose to keep the appointed times (mohadim) of the Lord, as best we can. And we continue to learn about them. Yeshua kept these feasts and we are instructed to follow in His footsteps.
Go read: Matt 16:24-27 | Mark 8:34-37 | Luke 14:23-25
Scripture is pretty serious about what happens if you teach against the Torah (instructions). In Matt 5:19 we read "So whoever breaks one of the least [important] of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
John 14:15 says "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
It's actually pretty straight forward and simple. We choose to wander away from the truth and complicate it for ourselves.
The Feasts of the Lord teaches us so much! Abba gave us instructions on how He wants us to worship Him. And it's up to us to choose if we will obey!
The appointed times (mohadim) are appointed / instructed by God. And NOT by the Jews. This isn't a Jewish tradition. It's an instruction of the Lord Most High.
Please go read the entire Leviticus Chapter 23.
Abba has a purpose and a design. If we obey Him & stay within the parameters of His instructions, we WILL experience blessing. We will experience life and life in abundance. If we choose to be ignorant, we'll miss out on the amazing blessings which He has in store for us.
The first 4 feasts were fulfilled by Yeshua. The last 3 feasts are yet to be fulfilled. In other words, the first 4 feasts we celebrate in remembrance and thankfulness for what Yeshua has already done for us. And the last three feasts we celebrate in anticipation & excitement of what's still to come!
The last three feasts (also known as the fall feasts - remember when we have spring, Israel is having fall / autumn) picture the last days. And we are surely living in the last days. Since we're living in the end times - surely the mohadim of the Lord is now more important than ever to understand! Yeshua Himself promised His disciples that He will keep Pesach (Pass Over) with them in the Kingdom one day. Based on that alone - I'd say the feasts are pretty important to God.
The feast are just as much part of His law (torah / instructions) as the ten commandments.
Just like Paul said in Acts 18:21 - “but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.”
So we should also celebrate the feasts because we love the Lord and we want to obey His instructions.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (John 15:19).
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet, because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (1 John 15:19).
Let's recap Abba's Appointed Times:
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks / Pentecost)
Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets)
Yom Kippur (Feast of Atonement)
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
This finally brings us to the Fall Feasts!
As mentioned earlier, the fall feasts consist of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur & Sukkot. These three festivals are NOT YET fulfilled (unlike the spring feasts).
Before we go any further, please go read Exodus Chapter 19 & 20 as well as Leviticus 23.
On the First Day of the Seventh Month (01/07) it is Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets.
Go read: Lev23:23-25 | Num 29:1 | Matt 24:32 | 1 Thess 4:16
Yom Teruah is a one day feast.
On Yom Teruah, we celebrate the return / second coming of Yeshua with big anticipation.
On the Tenth Day of the Seventh Month (10/07) it is Yom Kippur / The Feast or Day of Atonement. In Afrikaans it's know as "oordeelsdag" or "die dag van verootmoediging."
Go read Lev 23:26-32 | Num 29:7
Yom Kippur is a one day feast.
Lev 23:32 says "it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."
On the Fifteenth Day of the Seventh Month (15/07) Sukkot / the Feast of Tabernacles starts.
Go read Lev 23:33-36 | Num 29:12 & 35
Sukkot is a eight day feast.
The first day of Sukkot (15/07) is observed as a Shabbat as well as the eighth day (22/07) is also observed as a Shabbat.
Lev 23:41 says "And you shall keep it a feast to the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month."
Regardless on what Gregorian day of the week the 1st, 7th and 15th of the Seventh Month falls - it's kept as a Shabbat.
Remember that the Biblical seventh month is not July. As the Bible wasn't written according to a Gregorian Calendar. The fall feasts usually falls in September / October every year - depending on how many months the Hebrew year has.
Also go read Deuteronomy Chapter 16
The seventh month is also known as the month Tishrei. Please note that Tishrei is not mentioned in the Bible and was named by man. We will however make use of the name to avoid confusion with the month of July, when speaking about the seventh month.
The month before Tishrei (7th month) - was the month of Elul (6th month).
The month of Elul is a month of romance! It's a month of repentance, warning the Bride (us) to get ready as the Bridegroom (Yeshua) is on His way!
During the month of Elul, the shofar (rams horn / trumpet / teruah) is blown every night in anticipation of the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah - Yeshua's return). Except on the last night (29/30 Elul). Remember that sometimes Elul will have 29 days and other years it will have 30 days - depending on the moon.
Thus on the night of 29 Elul, they don't blow the shofar, because it might be new moon. And if it's new moon, it means it's a new month - the month of Tishrei. If it's NOT new moon on the night of the 29th - they know it will be new moon the next night.
We now know that the first day of Tishrei is Yom Teruah. Thus they will no longer need to blow the shofar in anticipation of Yom Teruah , as it has come.
This year (2022) Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets is expected to fall on 25 September 2022 (at sunset) (depending on the moon). Yom Kippur / Feast of Atonement will then fall on 4 October 2022 (at sunset). And Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles will fall on 9 October 2022 (at sunset) and end on 16 October 2022.
(Please note that dates may vary from Hebrew/Messianic website to website - depending on how the months are calculated by the website. These are not set in stone. I'm merely listing the dates here to help you get a better understanding / clear picture)
Kippur in short means "covering." In Ex 32:30 we read “Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.””
The original Hebrew word used for "atonement" was the word כפר (kapar). It means to cover; to expiate (make amends) or condone, to placate or cancel:—appease, make (an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile(-liation).
Yom Kippur is thus about reconciliation, humbling (laying yourself down) and sanctification.
Go read Lev 23:26-33 | Lev 16 | Hebrews Chapter 4-7 | Rev 19:7 | Rev 20:11-15 | Matt 25:31-46
The reconciliation is about cleansing ourselves by applying the Blood of Yeshua to our lives. The humbling is about laying down your life. Surrendering your life, your will & emotions to Yeshua, because you belong to Him anyway. And the sanctification is about righteousness, coming in right standing with God through repentance.
Yom Kippur is a time every year to re-assess our lives and ask ourselves - is my name written in the Book of Life?
Sukkot / the Feast of Tabernacles is a 7 day long absolute joyful feast - rejoicing in the Lord. A period in which we celebrate the instructions which we have received from YHVH (God).
As mentioned earlier, the 1st, 7th and 15th of Tishrei are all observed as a Shabbat.
But how do you prepare for a Shabbat if you don't know when it's going to take place? Remember that the Israelites didn't know whether the sixth month (Elul) will have 29 or 30 days until the watchmen went out in the field that night (29 Elul) to see if it's new moon.
Back in Biblical times - and still to this day - the Israelites prepare for a two day long Shabbat. Because they don't know if Elul would have 29 or 30 days.
If the watchmen went out and saw that it wasn't new moon on the night of 29 Elul - they held a 2 day long Shabbat - 30 Elul and 1 Tishrei (Yom Teruah). If the watchmen went out and saw that it was new moon on the night of 29 Elul - they held a 1 day long Shabbat - 1 Tishrei.
THIS is where the concept of the "long day" / "nobody knows the day or the hour" in the Bible comes from! Because the Israelites physically didn't know whether the month of Elul will have 29/30 days.
Nobody knows the day or the hour simply means that nobody knows when 01/07 will start until it actually started! The story of the 5 wise virgins & 5 unwise virgins is written about Yom Teruah. The return of our Bridegroom (Yeshua) for Whom we should prepare ourselves and be ready.
To this very day, the Israelites sleep during the afternoon of 29 Elul so that they can stay awake on 29 Elul until midnight and study the Bible - to see if it's 1 Tishrei. Because they AWAIT THE BRIDEGROOM! And they don't want to miss His return! If that isn't the best love story - I don't know what is!
The First Trumpet is with Shavuot (Pentecost). The Last Trumpet is with Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets). And the Great Trumpet is with Yom Kippur (Feast of Atonement).
The Last Trumpet, with Yom Teruah is when the Bridegroom (Yeshua) is coming to fetch His Bride (us). He will come at midnight on Yom Teruah like Scripture tells us He would! What year it is going to be - that we won't know. But we should be ready everyday!
Prophetically we are living in the "month of Elul." The things that are happening across the world is busy sounding the trumpet - it's time for the Bride to prepare herself! Because her Bridegroom is on His way!
The reason why God said nobody knows the day nor the hour is because He wants us to live with an expectancy. We have to be ready for Yeshua's return at all times!
If He told us when Yeshua was coming, the world would probably have continued as per usual up until the day right before Yeshua's return and then quickly repent before He comes. Imagine that chaos. But that's not how God works. He has given us His instructions. His ways don't change. We are not only living in the last days... We are living in the last hours of the last days.
The fall feasts is a yearly reminder & warning for us to say midnight of 01/07 is coming!
📯📯📯 The Bridegroom is on His way! Are you ready? 📯📯📯
Non-extensive list of helpful links:
Chabad - What Is Sukkot: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4784/jewish/What-Is-Sukkot.htm
Kol Kallah - Hebrew Feasts & My Relationship with God: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/the-hebrew-festivals-and-my-relationship-with-god/
Land of Honey - Why I Started Celebrating the Biblical Feasts: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/why-i-started-celebrating-biblical.html
Lizette - Biblical Wheel of Spiritual Growth: https://www.instagram.com/p/CegjTnRsdAG/
Marinda du Preez - Biblical Feasts (Book): https://atavah.com/collections/books/products/marinda-du-preez-the-biblical-feasts
Menorah Tabernakel - Kyk daar is die Lam van Elohim: https://youtu.be/BjYPve4Y8I8
Menorah Tabernakel - Feeste van YHVH: https://www.menorahtabernakel.com/feestevanyhwh.html
Milk & Honey Ministry - Afsprake met Abba Deel 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quod3SBM8fw
Pursuing Emet - Biblical Feasts For Beginners: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch1h5OMuuGE/
Pursuing Emet - The Biblical Feasts Are All About Yeshua the Messiah: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch4bQsZOBHz/
Striving for a Set Apart Life - Yom Teruah Day of Shouting: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTfjEEJBmNz/
If this information left you feeling uncertain or upset - my door is wide open to discuss it and help you along this journey in any way I possibly can! I trust that Father will work in each person's heart who read this post and that He will reveal to you whatever it is that you need revelation about!