Updated: Nov 9
Woho it's almost time for the biblical fall feasts! Yes, it requires a woho because the fall feasts are worthy to be celebrated in anticipation!
This year marks our fourth year of actually CELEBRATING the biblical feasts! The first time I started reading about the feast were back in 2016, but I was still way too stuck in religion to grasp the depth thereof!
Oh, but how gentle is the God we serve when we come to Him with teachable hearts!!!
Over the years, I read up more and more about it and it became a heart conviction. Yet, before then, if someone were to ask me about the details - I would struggle to give them all the necessary information.
Why am I sharing this? Because I know that there are several of you who recently joined my page and/or are new on the journey learning about the biblical feasts. I know that there are a bunch of you who can resonate with my earlier statement of knowing about the feast but not knowing enough to share with others. So, I am here to tell you that it's okay if you are still learning and don't quite grasp it yet! Abba will meet you exactly where you are at and reveal to you what it is that He wants to show you in this season. The only requirement is a teachable heart!
A few weeks ago, I had coffee with a friend, and we reminisced about the time we met a few years ago. At that time, both of us only just started learning more about the feasts and we sent one another countless messages trying to figure it out. Today we look back and we laugh at our questions and journey. But not in a negative or judgemental way! We laugh with thankful hearts - being able to see how Abba has taken each one of us out of religion, on our separate journeys and giving answers to each one of those questions as we continued to seek His face! He will (and want to) do the same for you!
[John 4:24] "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
[John 8:31-32] "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Celebrating Abba's appointed times / festivals are something for all believers! Whether you have done it for years or are simply starting to learn about it now! It's given to all believers in Yeshua and it's a joy and an honour to be able to celebrate and partake in it! I truly believe that Abba reveals so much of Who He is and His heart for us through these feasts! It has strengthened my faith walk so much and I trust that it will strengthen yours as well!
This blog is a lengthy one, but I decided to do it all in one post - so that you will have it all together in one place.
I strongly encourage you to work your way through it bit by bit over the course of the fall feasts period, as you allow the Holy Spirit to come and break open His Truth to you in this season.
In Leviticus 23 we read about the 7 biblical feasts which Abba instructed the Israelites to keep. These feasts belong to Abba right from Creation! Many people think that the biblical feasts are Jewish feasts and that they no longer apply to us. Sadly, that is not the case. And because of our lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6-7) - we miss out on vital spiritual principles. These spiritual principles are some of the very things which will enable us to experience the blessing and restoration which Abba has in store for us!
Although the feasts are thoroughly described in Leviticus 23, we actually read about it for the very first time already in Genesis 1 - on the fourth day of Creation. On the fourth day, God created the sun, moon, and stars - the appointed times!
[Genesis 1:14-19] "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and in later years it was translated to English, Afrikaans, etc. The original Hebrew word that was used for "appointed times, signs, seasons, days and years" - was the word "moedim," pronounced as moe-ha-diem (Afrikaans) / mow-ha-dim (English).
[You can read the interlinear Scripture (English and Hebrew next to one another) here.]
The Strong's Concordance definition of the Hebrew word "moed" (singular for moedim) is: מוֹעֵד pronounced môwʻêd, mo-ade'; or מֹעֵד môʻêd; or (feminine) מוֹעָדָה môwʻâdâh; (2 Chronicles 8:13); properly, an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):—appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn(-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).
Straight from Genesis all the way through to Revelations, Abba's plan for redemption is evident!
His desire for us is to be fruitful in all areas of our lives. However, in order for us to be fruitful, we have to live according to His principles. And His principles include His rhythm of harvest!
I find it quite significant that this moedim / rhythm of harvest of Abba has already been created and set in place on the fourth day of Creation. Yet, mankind was only created on day 6 of Creation. Mankind wasn't created and then the biblical festivals/ appointed times were an afterthought. They were already in place even before mankind was created! That in itself is something to think about.
To further clarify the misconception that the biblical feasts belong to the Jews; we must understand who the Jews are. Bear with me as we dive into a little biblical history which is vitally important to understand!
As born-again followers of Yeshua, we believe the entire Bible is true - from Genesis to Revelations. And not only is it true, but it's also still relevant for to us today!
As believers in Yeshua, we know that we are partakers in the covenant which God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Abba changed Jacob's name to Israel (Genesis 32:28).
Abraham was married to Sarah, who struggled to fall pregnant. It came to such a point that Sarah told Abraham to go and sleep with her maidservant Hagar - just so that Abraham could have an offspring. Later on, we know that Sarah did fall pregnant and gave birth to Isaac.
Isaac got married to Rebekkah. They had Esau and Jacob (whom God renamed Israel).
Jacob (Israel) wanted to marry Rachel, Laban's daughter. Laban was Rebekkah's brother. Jacob worked for 7 years for Laban so that he could marry Rachel. However, when those 7 years were over, Laban gave Jacob Leah - Rachel's older sister. Jacob ended up working 7 more years for Laban so that he could also marry Rachel, his beloved.
When we read about Israel in the Bible, it's not referring to the physical land that's situated in the middle east, where the Israel we know, geographically is. It's referring to the descendants of Israel (Jacob)!
Just like Sarah (Jacob's grandmother) struggled to conceive, so did Rachel. Leah bore children to Jacob. And since Rachel was barren, she told Jacob to sleep with her maidservant. When Leah found out, she told Jacob to sleep with her maidservant as well. Finally, Rachel did fall pregnant, and she gave birth to Joseph (yes, the Joseph and his technicolour dream coat Joseph). Joseph was Jacob's favourite son, as it was his first-born child with his beloved wife, Rachel. Jacob (Israel) had 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph & Benjamin.
We all know that Joseph's brothers sold him to the Egyptians. Joseph ended up working for the pharaoh in Egypt and lived in the palace. He was the one who prepped the land for the famine that came. The entire known world of that time was in famine, all but Egypt - because Joseph ensured that they stored up enough food in the good years to survive through the famine.
Joseph's brothers had to travel to Egypt when the famine came so that they could buy food. When they came to Egypt, Joseph recognised them - but they did not recognise him. Joseph told them that when they come back to collect food - they had to bring Benjamin along. Benjamin was Joseph's brother, the younger son of Rachel. Rachel died when she gave birth to Benjamin.
When Jacob (Israel) sent his sons to Egypt to buy food, he did not send Benjamin with them as he was too scared that something might happen to him. He already lost Joseph, his "beloved first-born" (he thought Joseph was dead) and he lost Rachel, his beloved wife. He was not willing to risk losing Benjamin as well. Joseph knew about Benjamin and therefore he told his brothers to go back and bring Benjamin along and then he will give them food to take home with them. We then read in Scripture that Jacob didn't want to send Benjamin with them back to Egypt. In Genesis 43 we read that Judah took it upon himself to bring Benjamin back to his dad safely. Ever since that very day which Judah has made that promise to his dad, it's incredible to see that all throughout history, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin always stuck together!
Jacob then agreed that Benjamin could go with them to Egypt. When they got to Egypt again, Jospeh eventually revealed himself to his brothers. And we further read in Scripture that Jacob also travelled to Egypt later on and that the entire family stayed in Egypt.
Since Joseph had so much favour with the pharaoh, the pharaoh gave Joseph's family land to live on and make an existence and so they stayed in Egypt.
With regards to this, many believers also tend to argue that God didn't keep His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - that He will make them a great nation - as they were then living in Egypt. We know that Egypt has the spiritual connotation of sin and bondage / slavery. To the carnal mind it would not make sense that they would move into Egypt when God has given them this gigantic promise. But luckily Jacob didn't have a carnal mind! He understood that even though God gave him this big promise - it didn't mean that they would not have to spend some time in the desert or in Egypt. He understood that it was only part of the journey. Jacob knew before moving to Egypt, that God would not keep them there forever.
At that time Joseph was married to an Egyptian woman and they had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob knew that Joseph would stay in Egypt one day when God would lead Israel (Jacob's descendants) out of Egypt - as Joseph has built a life for himself there. Therefore, Jacob told Joseph that since Joseph will stay behind, he (Jacob) will take Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons. From that point onwards and throughout the rest of Scripture we see that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh formed part of the Israelites and moved out of Egypt later on with the rest of the tribes, even though Joseph stayed in Egypt.
Fast forward a few years then to the point where Abba gave Moses the instruction to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was a descendant from the tribe of Levi, one of Jacob's sons. Despite many years passing, the promise still stood firmly.
We all know the story of the ten plagues which came over Egypt because pharaoh did not want to let the Israelites go. Eventually he said that they could leave Egypt and the Israelites (descendants of Jacob) had to leave Egypt in a short period of time. This is also where the concept of the unleavened bread that's related to Pesach (Passover) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is linked to the Old Testament.
[You can read more about these feasts in one of my former blogs here.]
As the Israelites moved through the desert, from Egypt to the Promised Land, for forty years. Whenever they moved and camped, they did so in the exact same order / formation. Which also teaches us something about Abba's Divine Order.
As mentioned earlier, Jacob had 12 sons - including Joseph. He then took Ephraim and Manasseh as his sons since Joseph stayed in Egypt. Let's do a little maths to make sure we are all on the same page:
12 sons - Joseph + Ephraim + Manasseh = 13 sons.
We know that the tribe of Levi / the Levites were called to the service of the priesthood in the Bible, thus there were the 12 tribes + the Levites.
In Numbers 25-29 we read how Abba instructed Moses to divide the Promised Land between the tribes. The place we know today as Israel in the Middle East, became Israel because that's where the Israelites ended up.
From Scripture (1 Kings 11-12) we read that the tribes of Israel split into two Kingdoms.
The Northern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Ephraim and the other 9 tribes stuck with them.
The Southern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Judah. And Benjamin stuck with them. The tribe of Levi also remained with Judah. Remember that the Levites were not counted as part of the 12 tribes, as they were the priesthood and did not inherit land when Moses divided it.
I found it so profound to see that Judah and Benjamin stuck together ALL those years - since the very day that Judah has made the promise to his dad, Jacob, that he would take it upon himself to keep Benjamin safe.
At this point you might wonder if this blog post is still related to the biblical feasts... But rest assured, the long detour has a point!
The biblical festivals existed from the start of Creation! The Israelites did not! On day 4 of Creation, the moedim (appointed times) was created. On day 6 of Creation, Adam and Eve was created. From them eventually came Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - who was Israel. Israel then split into two kingdoms, ruled by Ephraim (northern kingdom) and Judah (southern kingdom).
From Scripture we know that Yeshua (Jesus) comes from the tribe of Judah. In Matthew 1 you can track the genealogy all the way from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Judah to David down to Yeshua.
After David (from tribe of Judah) was king, his son Solomon reigned. Solomon's son Rehoboam was next in line for the throne. However, Jeroboam (from tribe of Ephraim) rebelled against Solomon and wanted to become king instead. After a massive dispute about who will be king next, the descendants of Israel (Jacob) then split into the two kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom was ruled by Jerobeam (from the tribe of Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom was ruled by Rehobeam (from the tribe of Judah). The tribe of Benjamin and some of the Levites stuck with Rehobeam. And the other 10 tribes stuck with Jerobeam (Ephraim). The Northern tribes / kingdom kept the name of Israel and was (is) known as the House of Israel. Whereas the Southern Kingdom became known as the House of Judah.
The Northern Kingdom / kingdom ruled by Ephraim was called the Gentiles. These 10 tribes started learning the customs and traditions of other cultures and other religions. They slowly started to move further and further away from the instructions which Abba gave them in the desert. To a point where some of them were involved in full on idolatry and others held onto some of their beliefs but it got mixed up with other doctrine.
The Southern Kingdom consisted out of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and some of the Levites. Opposed to the Northern Kingdom who got into idolatry, the descendants of the Southern Kingdom still to this very day (2023 yes), live according to Abba's principles and instructions. Today we know these people as the Jews. The Jews are physically the descendants of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin! And yes, they are still keeping the biblical festivals today - because they still live according to Abba's instructions.
Thus, coming back to the reason for going down the Bible history rabbit hole... If people claim that the biblical festivals are Jewish festivals, it means that they don't know their Bibles.
I know some brows lifted after reading that sentence. But I'm glad you didn't leave the blog yet. I really meant what I said in that statement - because I once was in that position. I grew up in a Christian home, very religious - believing that the biblical feasts did not apply to me because I'm not a Jew. The reason why I believed that was because I read my Bible but did not study it.
Thus, I am by no means judging anyone! I am however inviting you in - to really start pursuing Abba's Word - because the Word is His Truth! Within it we can find so so much beautiful nuggets of information and valuable principles that we will completely miss as long as we remain stuck in religion.
There are numerous places in Scripture where we read how the Gentiles / House of Ephraim / Northern Kingdom / House of Israel were scattered among the nations because of their disobedience. Luckily, we also read in numerous places how Abba promised to gather them in and bring them back to Him.
We (stuck in religion) are part of the Gentiles. We are also disobedient as long as we live complacent, stuck in our own belief systems that are contrary to Abba's instructions. When we turn back to Him and away from our religious man-made traditions, He will bring us back to Him like Scripture prophesied.
Now I know that this will be the part where many of you might say that "we are no longer under the law." Once again, I say this because I know how I used to argue about all of this. It's not coming from a place of judgment but from a place of true understanding. I know that this blog is long, but I really encourage you to keep on reading until the very end! I trust that Abba will come stir in your heart what He wants to reveal to you specifically through all of this as you take time to work through it. We'll get to the topic of law vs grace in a bit - so just stick with me as we build a complete picture.
We have to come to the realisation that the Jews did not exist when the biblical feasts were created. Thus, it's literally impossible for the feasts to belong to the Jews! The reason why many believe that the feasts belong to the Jews, is because the Jews are the ones in today's day and age who are still keeping these festivals. It does not mean that it belongs to them! It simply means that they are still walking in obedience. And maybe, just maybe... we are not, because we are walking in dead religion.
The biblical feasts belong to God and not to the Jews. That means that the biblical feasts are important for God's people. The people with whom God have made a covenant. If we believe in God and say that we are followers of Yeshua, then we are His covenant people as well - regardless if you are a Jew or a Gentile. I am a Gentile, and most of you reading this are probably too. Remember that both the Jews and the Gentiles were the descendants of Israel (Jacob) - with whom Abba made the covenant through Abraham, Isaac and then Jacob as well.
If we call ourselves believers in Yeshua the Messiah, the biblical feasts still apply to us today!
The exciting part however comes in that we no longer have to keep the festivals in a religious and traditional way like the Jews still do to this day!
There are two types of Jews: Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews. Orthodox Jews are the ones dressed in the white and black outfits, often wearing hats or a kippah (little flat round hat). The Orthodox Jews believe that Yeshua hasn't come to earth yet. They still await His first coming. The Messianic Jews don't dress so traditional anymore. They believe that Yeshua already came to earth for the first time and that He died on the cross and rose again and that He's alive and sitting at the right hand of Abba Father.
In other words, Orthodox Jews believe in the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and maybe some of the other Old Testament books. The Messianic Jews believe the entire Bible. "Messianic" defines that they believe in Yeshua the Messiah. "Jew" is literally the culture/nation of origin, like I am an South African.
The Orthodox Jews celebrate the biblical feasts in a traditional way, as a shadow of things to come. The Messianic Jews celebrate some of the biblical feasts as already fulfilled as proven in Scripture and as a shadow of things to come as prophesied in the Bible.
When Yeshua came to earth, He literally said in so many words that He did NOT come to destroy the law. He came to fulfil it.
[Matthew 5:17] "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
By fulfilling the law, He did not do away with it. Many people with an "all grace no law" perception think that this is the case. But we can just continue to read in the same chapter.
[Matthew 5:18-20] "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, 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."
I'm pretty sure that we can all agree that not everything in Scripture has been fulfilled yet - otherwise we would have been in heaven with Abba already. Which means that the law still applies and is still just as much valid as it was back in the time of the Israelites (descendants of Jacob).
When the concept of being "under the law" comes to mind, we have to take a look at the order of events we read about in the Bible.
Earlier we took a look at Joseph who was sold as an Egyptian slave. You can read his story in the book of Exodus. Joseph's brothers came to Egypt due to the worldwide famine. They stayed there and when the Israelites (descendants of Jacob aka Israel) became too many, the pharaoh forced them into slave labour. We then read about Moses leading them out of Egypt and the Israelites being set free from slavery. Whilst they spent the 40 years in the desert, Abba gave them His instructions - the Torah (Hebrew word for instructions / law).
In other words:
Joseph went to Egypt.
The Israelites were in slavery.
They were saved / set free from slavery.
They received the instructions / law.
It's important to grasp the order of the events. If you have to spend time on this by reading through Exodus, etc - for it to really sink in, I strongly encourage you to do so!
Abba SAVED the Israelites before He gave them the law. Salvation and Law are two separate things! One does not replace the other. Nor can the order be reversed! Obeying the law cannot save you. Just like it couldn't save the Israelites!
Abba saved the Israelites first and secondly; they started living according to His instructions. The same applies to us. Yeshua's complete work on the cross saved us first! And secondly, we choose to start living according to His principles - BECAUSE we are saved, not to get saved.
This concept is so often misunderstood, and we end up missing out on so much Truth and blessing.
Yeshua came to be our example of the law in the flesh. He did NOT come to be our excuse to live lawless lives. If Yeshua came and changed the law, He would have been a false messiah - and that He is NOT! He IS the True Living Messiah Who died on the cross and rose again on the third day!
We can now finally get into the biblical feasts! Yay!
Now that we have passed the history lesson, it's time for a geography one!
In order for us to understand 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.
The Gregorian calendar (the one we use: Jan, Feb, March, etc) was only instituted in 1582. Before that, different cultures used different methods to keep track of time.
We need to realise that days in the Bible are considered from sunset to sunset. And not a 24 hour period as we are used to it on our watches / circadian clock. A day in the Bible = a period of darkness + a period of light.
In Genesis when we read about the Creation; we repeatedly see the concept:
It was dark and it was light... it was the first day. It was dark and it was light... it was the second day, etc.
We will never be able to understand or make sense of the Bible from a non-biblical perspective. Therefore, we always have to interpret Scripture with Scripture. If you want to understand a topic in Scripture, you have to look for the first time that topic appeared in Scripture to understand the meaning it carries throughout the rest of Scripture.
The Gregorian calendar is based on the sun. Whereas the biblical / Hebrew calendar (if you'd like to call it that) is based on the moon.
According to the Bible, a new month starts when there is a new moon. In other words, ever 29/30 days - depending on the moon.
[Psalm 89:37] "It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky."
At the end of 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).
If it's new moon on the day after the 29th day has ended at sunset... it is then the 1st day of the next month from that sunset to the next sunset. If it's not new moon yet, it's the 30th day of the same month, and the new month would only start the day thereafter.
In the same manner that the moon determines how long a month is (either 29/30days); in the same way the biblical feasts determine how long the year is.
The feasts of the Bible are all about HARVEST!
In Genesis 1:26 we read that God decided to create mankind in His image. And in verse 28 we read:
[Genesis 1:28] “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.”
Abba's desire for us on earth is to be fruitful and to enjoy and live in His harvest. That applies to 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 blesses us with a harvest when we live within His commands and statutes.
As mentioned earlier, the first 5 books of the Bible are 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.
We have also established that this is not a salvation matter. We cannot be saved by the law, nor do the observance of the biblical feasts place us under the law "again."
The fact that Yeshua died on the cross for our sins and rose again, is the ONLY Way we can be saved! But our observance of the Torah's spiritual principles will most certainly make a massive difference in the blessings which we receive.
It's super important to realise that keeping the feasts / simply learning more about the concepts and spiritual principles behind them - are NOT about trying to work out your salvation or being under the law. In fact, it is about learning about Abba's ways and following His instructions. It's a choice made out of free will, based on the understanding of what Yeshua has done on the cross for us. It comes from a place of thankfulness, knowing that without Yeshua we would not have stood a chance! It's about a lifestyle of listening and obeying Abba's instructions because we love Him!
[John 14:15] “If you love Me, keep My commandments."
I've mentioned it earlier as well, but I want to remind you again. When we choose to celebrate the feasts, we shouldn't do it just for the sake of celebrating it. It should be a heart conviction - otherwise it's simply 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. However, the moment you dive into the biblical feasts, you'll quickly 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 / Gregorian calender). But 4 cycles of harvest. From harvest to harvest. Because as mentioned earlier, the feasts are all about harvest! Abba wants to bless us, and He desires for us to live within His continual rhythm. 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.
[Colossians 2:16-17] "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."
This Scripture is probably THE most misused piece of Scripture that churches / believers who don't observes the feasts, love to quote out of context.
When we take things out of context, we end up with skewed understanding and from that we build our lives. We therefore have to really get back into our Bibles and STUDY what it says, not browse through it and run with whatever we assume it's saying after reading a verse or two.
Paul wrote to the church of Colossae. In Colossians 1:2 he addresses to whom he was writing:
[Colossians 1:2] "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 already observed the feasts. 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 place right from the Creation. If we don't observe it, we are out of rhythm. We might live good lives and experience a relationship with Abba. But we'll never be able to walk in the fullness of His plans for us.
Please take note that I am NOT saying the observance of the feasts are the determining factor. Getting back to the Word and living according to Abba's instructions is however the determining factor!
When we oppose/ignore Abba's feasts / appointed times - we will never know the fullness of His Kingdom. The feasts are a fulfilment 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. When we stand in true relationship with the King of Kings, Yeshua is our First Love. Because we love Him so much, we freely CHOOSE to follow His instructions - which includes the feasts.
Abba has made mankind with a free will to choose, knowing full well that there's a chance that we might not choose Him back. That's the biggest love story of all times! Sending His ONLY Son to die for people who might never love Him back! Yet He knowingly still did it for you and me!
We will all one day stand on our own before God's throne and He will judge us against His Word based on the choices we have made individually. I won't be able to piggyback on your faith, nor will you be able to tag in along on mine. The choice lies with each one of us to decide whether we want to obey His Word and receive His blessing. What we do have to realise is that the choice we make will be judged one day.
In the same way that we should not care if others judge us for celebrating the feasts (Colossians 2:16-17), in the same way - we also shouldn't judge those who don't celebrate it. Therefore, 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. It's a matter of showing Abba how much you love Him.
There are seven biblical festivals and all of them are about harvest. The first 4 feasts are the seed / grain harvests and the last three are the fruit harvest.
The seven feasts are split into the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts.
The spring feasts consist of:
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
The Feast of First Fruits
Shavuot (Pentecost / The Feast of Weeks)
These feasts end of the seed/grain harvest. After that, the ground / field is prepared for the next harvest's planting time.
The fall feasts consist of:
Yom Teruah (The Feast / Day of Trumpets)
Yom Kippur (The Feast / Day of Atonement)
Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles / Booths)
Remember that when it's fall in Israel (where the Israelites / descendants of Jacob settled), it's spring in South Africa. And vice versa.
The key to all the festivals / feasts is Shabbat. The seventh day of rest. Understanding the biblical importance of keeping the sabbath is crucial to understanding the biblical feasts. It's literally the basis of it all.
[You can read my blog about Shabbat here. Due to the length of the blog I decided to not add all the info on the sabbath in here as well. However, I strongly highly recommend that you go read it before reading any further.]
We read in Exodus where Abba instructed the Israelites regarding His calendar / the calendar which He wanted them to follow. This was shortly before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.
[Exodus 12:2] "Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you."
In the Old Testament we read about the shadows of the feasts. And in the New Testament we read how some (four) of the feasts have been fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming. And the prophecy of the remaining three feasts which will be fulfilled by His second coming.
Since we are now in the time of the final three feasts, this blog will only cover them. I have done other blogs about the four spring feasts during the course of the year. And next year, when it's time for the spring feasts again, I will work the information into this blog as well - so that eventually you will have it all together in one single post.
Without diving into the spring festivals, I just quickly want to link where they fit in. As we continue to read in Exodus 12:
[Exodus 12:3] "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household."
The tenth day of the first month, is the day that's also linked to the feast of Pesach. It's literally ALL in Scripture! Each one of the feasts and all their details!
Yeshua kept Shabbat and the biblical festivals. And we are instructed to follow in His footsteps.
Please go read Matthew 16:24-27, Mark 8:34-37 & Luke 14:23-25.
The feasts are not based on the law! They were already part of Creation and it's part of Abba's rhythm of continual harvest. Shabbat is the key to understanding these feasts. We know that Shabbat is an instruction / commandment given by God to those who love Him. Shabbat is not a list of legalistic things we must adhere to - it's all about resting in Him through spending time in His Word and in His presence!
[Exodus 31:13] "“Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you."
[Ezekiel 20:12] "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them."
The Bible is pretty clear in both the Old and New Testament on the consequences which will follow when you teach / live against the Torah (instructions).
[Matthew 5:19] "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."
We have quoted John 14:15 earlier, where Yeshua Himself told the believers that if they loved Him, they had to keep His commandments. We show Him that we love Him through obeying His instructions! It's actually pretty straight forward and a simple task. However, 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 (moedim) are appointed / instructed by God. And NOT by the Jews. This isn't a Jewish tradition. It's an instruction of the King of Kings!
Please go read the entire Leviticus Chapter 23.
Abba has a specific purpose, design, and order. If we obey Him & stay within the parameters of His instructions, we WILL experience His blessing. It is literally how the rhythm of blessing / harvest works that He has set in place right from the Creation. Obedience brings forth blessing and will enable us to experience life and life in abundance - the way Abba desires for us to! 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 picture the last days. And we are surely living in the last days. Since we're living in the end times - surely the moedim (appointed times) 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 feasts are just as much part of His law (torah / instructions) as the ten commandments. And I am pretty sure all of us can agree that the ten commandments are still applicable to each one of us today. Yes, even the fourth commandment!
We should also celebrate the feasts because we love the Lord and because we love Him, we want to obey His instructions.
[1 John 2:15] “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.”
Before we dive into the Fall Feasts, let's quickly recap the 7 feasts:
They are all based on the principle of Shabbat.
Pesach (Pass Over) - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming: He was the Lamb without blemish, Who was Sacrificed.
Feast of Unleavened Bread - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming: The One without leaven (sin) took our sins upon Him so that we could be set free.
Feast of First Fruits - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming: He rose from the grave after three days as the First Fruit Offering.
Shavuot (Pentecost / Feast of Weeks) - fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming: When He went back to heaven and poured out His Holy Spirit.
Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) - to be fulfilled with Yeshua's second coming.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) - to be fulfilled with Yeshua's second coming.
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles / Booths) - to be fulfilled with Yeshua's second coming.
Please go read Exodus 19-20. And Leviticus 23 if you haven't done so yet.
Join me as we dive into each one of the fall feasts, which are yet to be fulfilled by Yeshua's return / Second Coming!
Yom Teruah is celebrated on the 1st day of the 7th month (01/07).
Yom Kippur is celebrated on the 10th day of the 7th month (10/07).
Sukkot is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month (15/07).
Regardless on what Gregorian day of the week the 1st, 10th and 15th of the Seventh Month falls - it's kept as a Shabbat, as per Abba's instructions.
Remember that the 7th month is NOT the month of July, as we know it on the Gregorian calendar. The Bible was not written according to the Gregorian calendar (which only got instituted in 1582). The biblical 7th month usually falls in September / October every year - depending on the Hebrew months of the Hebrew year. Remember that we said some months have 29 days and others have 30 days - depending on the moon.
The 7th month is known as the month of Tishrei. Please note that "Tishrei" is not mentioned in the Bible and was named by man. Like the Romans called July the 7th month on the Gregorian calendar - the Jews called the 7th month on the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei. Going forward, we will make use of the word Tishrei to help avoid confusion with the month of July when we are speaking about the seventh month.
Please go read Leviticus 23 & Deuteronomy 16.
The month before Tishrei (7th month), is the month of Elul (6th month). The month of Elul is also known as the month of romance / month of love / month of repentance. It's also commonly refered to as the season in which the King (Yeshua) is in the field. He is walking in the field to see if the harvest (His Bride) is ready for His return.
During the month of Elul, the shofar / trumpet / teruah / ram's horn is blown every single night - in anticipation of the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets points to Yeshua's return. The shofar is blown as a warning / reminder that Yeshua is SOON coming back! It reminds us (His Bride) that we have to repent and get ready for our Bridegroom (Yeshua).
The shofar is blown every single night except for the 29/30th of Elul. Remember that some years the month of Elul will have 29 days and other years it will have 30 days - depending on the moon.
On the night of 29 Elul, they don't blow the shofar, because it might be new moon and therefore new month. If it's new moon, it means it's the month of Tishrei or 01/07 and thus Yom Teruah! Which also means that they no longer have to blow the shofar to say that Yom Teruah is coming as it will then already be Yom Teruah.
This year Yom Teruah will start at sunset on 15 September 2023
and end at sunset on 17 September 2023.
Yay! It's almost Yom Teruah! Which is the 5th of the 7 biblical feasts. If it's new moon tonight - it's Yom Teruah! If not, it will be tomorrow night!
As we have discussed earlier, we know that the first 4 feasts have been fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming. Thus, when we celebrate them we do so from a place of thankfulness of what He has already done for us. The last 3 feasts are yet to be fulfilled with Yeshua's second coming. When we celebrate them, we do so in anticipation of what He will still come and do for us!
Yom Teruah is the Hebrew name for the "Feast/ Day of Trumpets." The Hebrew word "yom" means "day" and "teruah" means "trumpets / blast / shout."
Yom Teruah is also known as the Day of the Lord / the Day of Shouting / The Shofar or Blast / the Day of joyful noise and The Last Trumpet.
Shofars are horns which are used as music instruments, and it's usually made out of ram's horns. The shofar is also seen as a weapon of warfare. It was also blown customary at the coronation of kings.
Scripture with regards to Yom Teruah:
Leviticus 23:23-25 | Numbers 29:1 | Genesis 21-22 | 1 Samuel 1:1-2:10 | Jeremiah 31 | Psalm 98:6 | Isaiah 11 | Matthew 24:32 | Matthew 25 | 1 Corinthians 15:51-51 | 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 | 1 Thessalonians 5 | Joel 2 | John 15:1-16:4 | Revelations 8-11, 20 & 22
Yom Teruah is also commonly known under the Jews as Rosh HaShanah. However, the biblical term / name that Yeshua gave to this feast, is Yom Teruah. Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish agricultural new year. Thus, when the harvest cycle will restart again with the planting of the seed / grains. However, from Scripture we know that although it might be the agricultural new year, it is not the new year according to Abba's calendar. As in Scripture we see that Abba refers to this period as "the first day of the seventh month." Abba gives instruction in His Word for believers to celebrate Yom Teruah, but no instruction is given to celebrate Rosh HaShanah. We (our family) celebrate the 7 biblical feasts which Abba instructed but not the Jewish feasts.
The Jewish feasts are exactly what the name says it is! Its festivals observed by the Jewish culture, like Americans celebrate the 4th of July. And like the church celebrates Christmas. It's man-made traditions. And Scripture is clear on how Abba feels about man-made tradition!
[Mark 7:13] "making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Yom Teruah is celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (01/07). On this special day, we celebrate the soon coming return / second coming of Yeshua with big anticipation and excitement! This feast only last one day, hence it's also known as the Day (yom) of Trumpets. However, since we do not know exactly ahead of time when it will be new moon, two days are set apart for Yom Teruah. This year it is from sunset on 15 September 2023 until sunset on 17 September 2023.
Earlier we mentioned that on the 29th of every month, watchmen will go out into the field to see if it's a new moon. If it is indeed new moon, it's a new month and thus the 1st day of the new month. If not - it's the 30th day of the current month. The same happened at the end of the month of Elul to determine if the month of Tishrei (seventh month) has started.
Remember that all the feasts are instructed to be kept as a Shabbat. But how do you prepare for a Shabbat when you don't know when it will take place?
All the other biblical feasts fall roughly in the middle of the month. And therefore, none of them comes as a "surprise" since they would know where they are in the month ahead of time.
However, with Yom Teruah being on the 1st day of the month, they don't know exactly when the month will start. They will have to wait to see when it's new moon. Thus, you only know that it's Yom Teruah when Yom Teruah has already started - when you see the new moon in the sky!
Since the Israelites did not know (neither do we know for certain today) when the new moon would come - on the 29th of Elul they would prepare for a two-day long shabbat - as they did not know whether Elul will have 29/30 days. Therefore, on the 29th of Elul, the Israelites prepped their food as if Shabbat was about to begin that night at sunset.
If the watchmen went out and saw that it was new moon on the night of 29 Elul, they announced that the 1st of Tishrei has started. In other words, it is Yom Teruah. Then they would only have a one-day Shabbat - the Day / Feast of Trumpets.
If the watchmen went out and saw that it was NOT new moon on the night of 29 Elul, they announced that it was the 30th of Elul. Therefore the 1st of Tishrei would be the day thereafter. If this was the case, they would have a two-day long Shabbat - on 30 Elul as well as on 1 Tishrei / Yom Teruah.
THIS is where the concept of the "long day" (Joshua 10) and the concept of "nobody knows the day nor the hour" (Matthew 24:36) comes from! Because you literally do not know when the 1st of Tishrei will start until it has started!
The parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25) is also about the season of Yom Teruah, symbolising that we have to be ready (theme of month of Elul) for when our Bridegroom comes (not knowing when exactly He will come - 29th/30th of Tishrei - until He actually comes).
It's also the season to which Paul was referring to when he told the believers that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
[1 Thessalonians 5:2] "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night."
If you knew when a thief would come to break in, you would have made preparations and would have been ready to prevent any loss or surprises. We don't know when a thief might come, therefore we prepare our houses to be safe in case a thief might come unexpectantly. In the same way, even though we don't know exactly when Yeshua will return, we have to prepare our houses (lives) for His second coming - so that we will be ready and not caught off guard.
As believers in Yeshua, we are not left in the dark. In His Word He has clearly given us the signs of the times and things to look out for.
[1 Thessalonians 5:4] "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief."
[Luke 21:34-36] "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Like we are reminded in the parable of the 10 virgins, we are all responsible for our own lives. The 5 wise virgins took extra oil as they did not know when the bridegroom would come. The other 5 did not take extra oil and theirs ran out. They were unable to use the extra oil of the 5 wise virgins. It's a big lesson that we have to take note of which Yeshua shared with His disciples. We cannot piggyback on someone else's oil - their anointing, faith journey and beliefs. We have to gather our own oil and stand in our own relationship with Yeshua! We are all responsible for our own lives and to ensure that we have enough oil and that we are ready for when Yeshua returns!
In other words, when we celebrate Yom Teruah, we don't do it in a legalistic way of adhering to a list of requirements. NO! We CELEBRATE it in anticipation of the return of Yeshua, our Messiah! Every year which we get to celebrate Yom Teruah it's like a dress rehearsal for the real thing - for the Day when Yeshua would return on the clouds and set His feet on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem!
It's a yearly reminder to assess our lives and ask ourselves "Are you ready? The King is coming!"
Yeshua is our Bridegroom, and we CAN be His Bride. When He went back to the Father (Shavuot) after He rose from the dead (Feast of First Fruits) - He went to prepare a place for us. He went to prepare the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. If we want to be His Bride, we have to prepare ourselves like a bride prepares herself for her wedding day!
In order for us to grasp the true value and beauty of the biblical feasts, we have to take a look at the biblical idea of a wedding and a marriage. Abba created mankind in His image and desires continuous covenant with us. Covenant is found in a husband and wife / bridegroom and bride relationship. When I first learned about this biblical concept, it blew my mind! And to this day I feel slightly overwhelmed with the beautiful richness of Abba's heart and plans for us!
Join me for another little biblical history endeavour! When a man desired to get married to a woman, he would go to his dad and tell him there was this girl he liked and that he would like to marry her. If the man's father thought that it would be a good fit, he would start making arrangements with the father of the woman. While the dads would figure out the logistics, the man would spend time to write a "ketubah." A ketubah is the Hebrew word for a marriage contract (replaced by a prenup in modern days). In this Ketubah, the man would take great care and consideration in writing every little detail before handing it over to the women whom he hopes will become his wife. This ketubah is handed to the woman at a special dinner that's hosted by her father for her family and the man's family.
It's by no means an arranged marriage. The woman has a full say in this. If she wanted to get married to the man, she had to accept the ketubah. If she did not accept it, they would not get married.
On the ketubah the man would write down and share his heart’s desires. He would share how much he loves and adores the woman he would like to marry. He would share his hopes and dreams, what he would like to achieve in his life. What he would like his wife to be, become or achieve. He would share how he would want his kids to be raised, if he wanted kids, how many kids he would like. He would share how he envisioned their life together as a married couple. He would share how he would take care of her as his wife and how he would love and cherish her for the rest of his life. This is not some sort of romantic love story we can watch on the television. This is real life, and real love! THIS is commitment!
The ketubah is not something that the man has to write to impress the woman's parents or to get their approval for her hand in marriage. It's a raw and honest love (and life) letter to the woman of the man's dreams. He is sharing with her his entire heart and his dreams and visions.
After reading the ketubah, the woman will know exactly what is expected of her. She would know how to support her husband and she would know exactly what his dreams are for the two of them and later on with regards to a family. Let me remind you again. The woman has a choice to accept this ketubah or not! She is not forced into marrying that man. After the ketubah is handed over to the woman, she can spend as much time as she needs to go through the ketubah – before she makes any form of commitment.
The biblical custom was that at this special dinner, there would be a glass of wine on the table where the woman would sit. And when she would take a sip of the wine, it meant that she had accepted the man's ketubah.
What is special to me, is that after the woman accepts the ketubah – the man and woman becomes bride and bridegroom. Not with a ceremony, not with a wedding. But with the simple acceptance of the ketubah by the women. How amazing is that? The man can write the most beautiful ketubah one can ever imagine, but it remains up to the woman to accept it.
After the woman accepted the ketubah, they are pronounced bride and bridegroom – and instead of going on honeymoon, like we know it in today’s day and time. This phase was similar to the engagement phase we are accustomed to today. The bride and groom both went back to the house of their fathers and did not see each other for 6 months to a year after becoming bride and groom. With our modern-day worldly view, our immediate response to this might be that that must have sucked! I mean the whole point of getting married would be so that you do not have to live separately, right?
During that year apart, the groom would build a home for him and his bride by his father's house. The man would also financially support her during this time even though she is still living with her parents. Remember that they did not have cell phones and social media back then. Therefore, the groom's best man would run back and forth between the man's house and the woman to provide updates on how things are progressing. The bride on the other hand studies the ketubah that entire period! Remember that it's not a legalistic document of who gets what when someone decides it's time to walk out. The ketubah is a love letter the groom wrote to his bride, dreaming and describing about living life together - forever! The bride uses the entire year to study the ketubah over and over again. She learns how to cook his favourite meals; she learns to act the way that would suit the description as described in the ketubah. She continuously studies the ketubah until she becomes the bride of his desire. Remember that marriage is a covenant. The ketubah was the husband's promise to his bride. And accepting his ketubah was her promise to him. Both committed to this promise. In other words, during this time apart, the bride studies the ketubah until she becomes the mirror image of her covenant promise!
Just imagine how different the average marriage would be in today's day and age if we applied the ketubah principle! Right from the very start the air is cleared. Both parties know exactly what the other party expects or desires to receive from the other. The wife would never have to question or wonder what the husband’s wishes are and vice versa.
Once the house was done, the man would go to his dad and tell him that he is ready to go and fetch his bride. His dad would then check to see if everything is in order and when he is satisfied - he'll send his son to go and fetch his bride. During the year apart, the bride would continually burn a lamp in her windowsill - symbolic that she's preparing herself and getting ready for the return of her husband - even though she does not know when that will be. She might know that it's coming closer based on the updates of the best man. But she won't know for certain the exact date or hour that he will return to come and fetch her. As long as her lamp was burning, it meant that she was ready. If her husband came to fetch her and he saw that her lamp was no longer burning - it would have meant that she has lost interest and that she no longer had a desire to be his wife. He'd then return to his father's house without her.
So, this brings us back to the biblical feasts!
Yeshua is our Bridegroom and His Word is our Ketubah. Yeshua desires to stand in covenant with us, His Bride. His Father, Abba, took care of the logistics of it all (like the father does when his son tells him that he wants to marry a certain girl). Yeshua came to earth to bring the "ketubah" - the offer / option for us to stand in covenant with Him. His Blood on the cross made atonement for our sins. Just like the woman took a sip of the wine if she accepted the ketubah, in the same way - we have to accept what Yeshua has done for us through applying His Blood (linked to the wine) to our lives. (This links to the feast of Pesach / Pass Over).
Once we have accepted Him as our Saviour, we have to purge the leaven (sin) from our lives. (Linking to the Feast of Unleavened Bread).
And we know that all of this is made possible because He rose from the grave as the first fruit offering and is ALIVE! (This links to the feast of First Fruits). We have to give our first fruits also to Him!
Just like the man went back to his father's house to prepare a house for him and his wife, in the same way Yeshua went back to Abba after He rose from the grave. And like the best man went back and forth between the groom and his bride to keep one another in the loop - Yeshua poured out His Holy Spirit on us to be our "Best Man" whilst we await His return. (Linking to Shavuot / Pentecost).
Like the father had to make the decision whether the house is ready, and the son can go and fetch his wife, in the same way God will decide when He will send / release Yeshua to come and fetch His Bride - hence we read in Scripture that Yeshua said only the Father knows the day and the hour. Like the bride prepared herself and ensured that her lamp has enough oil to continue to burn until her husband came to fetch her, in the same way we can be Yeshua's Bride. And we have to have enough oil in our lamps and be ready waiting for His return. (This links to Yom Teruah).
Absolutely mind-blowing right?
When God said that one day He’ll come back for a spotless Bride. It means that He IS coming back for a spotless Bride. Not one with a few dirt spots on her wedding dress or one with “small sins” or good people. God doesn’t change! He never has and He never will. He’s coming back for a spotless Bride, regardless if we agree or not. Our opinions do not matter. What’s written in Scripture is what matters.
The fact of the matter is, we grow up in churches believing that if we love God, we’ll go to heaven. We as Christians (referring to people who grew up in church systems) – love to quote that we are no longer under the law and that God’s grace has freed us from our sins. I am not saying that God did not free us from our sin. Of course, He did! If He didn’t do it, there would have been no hope for any of us to ever see heaven! However, in today’s day and age – we have made God’s grace cheap. And earlier in this blog we have established that salvation and Abba's instructions are not the same thing. Once we are saved, we start to walk according to Abba's instructions because we love Him!
There is absolutely nothing Jewish / legalistic about keeping Yom Teruah (nor any of the other biblical feasts)! It's a display of our love for Yeshua, our Bridegroom - Who is on His way back to come and fetch us SOON!
As mentioned earlier, the first 4 feasts have been fulfilled by Yeshua's first coming and the last 3 will be fulfilled by His second coming.
All of the feasts have a shadow in the Bible, which foretells what would happen and how Yeshua would come to fulfil these feasts. From Scripture we see both the shadow and the fulfilment of the first four feasts. However, with regards to the last three feasts, we see the shadow thereof... However, we don't read about the fulfilment taking place - but the prophecy that it WILL be fulfilled!
We find the shadow of Yom Teruah in the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abba asked Abraham to offer Isaac (Genesis 22). Isaac was Abraham's only son. Yet, Abraham desired to be obedient to Abba's instructions more than anything - even more than he loved his son, Isaac. We all know the story of when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, he heard a ram that was caught in the thick of a bush. Abba tested Abraham's heart and Abraham passed the test. Abba provided him with a ram to sacrifice and save Isaac's live. Remember that Abba made the covenant with Abraham and Isaac - therefore it wasn't only Isaac's life which was saved that day. But the generations that would come forth from Isaac as well.
This links to Abba Who sent His only Son, Yeshua - to die on the cross for our sins - so that we and our generations could be freed from sin and live!
The ram that was caught up in the bush is also connected to the ram's horn (shofar) - declaring victory in Yeshua's Name!
Since we know that the biblical feasts are not a salvation matter or a legalistic "task" - we know that we don't have to partake in any traditions and customs when celebrating Yom Teruah.
We are simply instructed to celebrate it as a Shabbat - and that means that we have to rest in Him and spend time at His feet. It's a time to assess our lives and ask ourselves if we are ready for His return!
To this very day, the Israelites sleep during the afternoon of 29 Elul, so that they can stay awake that night until midnight to study the Bible and to see if it's the 1st of Tishrei. They stay away so that in case it is the 1st of Tishrei and Yeshua returns, that they would be awake, ready, and not miss it! How beautiful!
The ten days after Yom Teruah (01/07), leading up to Yom Kippur (10/07) is known as the 10 days of Awe. With Yom Teruah we are reminded of the very important question: Are you ready? Because Yeshua is coming!
During these 10 days of awe, it's a yearly opportunity for us to search our hearts and our lives to ensure that we are indeed ready for the return of our Beloved Bridegroom. It's a period of gathering more oil to ensure that our lamps will be able to continue to burn.
The Last Trumpet, with Yom Teruah, is when our Bridegroom, Yeshua, will return to fetch His Bride. He will come at midnight on Yom Teruah like Scripture tells us He will! What year it's going to be - that we don't know. But we should be ready. Prophetically we are living in the "month of Elul." When we look around us in the world today - it's clear that the whole world is sounding the trumpet. Signalling that it's time for the Bride to prepare herself because her Bridegroom is on the way!
The reason why Yeshua said nobody knows the day nor the hour is because He wants us to live with an expectation! We have to be ready for His return at ALL times!
If we knew exactly when Yeshua would return, the world would probably have continued as per usual up until the very last day before Yeshua came and then quickly repented before He comes. Imagine that chaos! But God is a God of order. He has given us His instructions and He never change! Midnight of 01/07 is coming!
The Bridegroom is coming! Are you ready?
Chag Sameach Yom Teruah! It means "have a blessed Feast of Trumpets!"
This year Yom Kippur will start at sunset on 24 September 2023 and
end at sunset on 25 September 2023.
The fall feasts are honestly my favourite time of the year! As a born-again believer, there is SO much excitement and hope linked to these feasts!
People who don't celebrate or understand the feasts are so often of the opinion that we are taking the fun out of things. No more Christmas, no more Easter, no more of the traditional things we label as "fun" in our Christian mindsets. Once again, may I remind you that I'm not saying this in a judgemental manner. I'm saying it in an "I totally get where you are coming from" manner - because it once (for many years) was my reality too!
Goodness me! Then I discovered the biblical feasts and the excitement and fun that's linked to them. Once you grasp the utter excitement that's linked to Abba's feast days - the celebrations you once thought were fun looks so dull and boring! I'll NEVER turn back. Maybe some of you are feeling the weight of the fun, laughter, and celebrations which you'll have to give up when you cross over from the worldly feasts to Abba's feasts - but I can guarantee you, that it's so so worth it! The world's feast days at its very best - is not a match for Abba's feast days!
As you read in the Yom Teruah section, the days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur is referred to as the 10 days of awe. The 10 days of awe is also known as the 10 days of reconciliation. Which is the season which we are currently in as we await Yom Kippur. In this period, we are reminded to search our hearts. We know that Yeshua is returning. Yom Teruah is our yearly big reminder to get ready because He is coming. Knowing that, we have to act differently. We have to ensure that our lives are in order and that we are living according to Abba's instructions. It's a period of seeking His face and gathering sufficient oil to keep our lamps burning - reflecting our continuous desire to betroth Yeshua our Bridegroom!
Scripture with regards to Yom Kippur:
Leviticus 23:26-32 | Leviticus 16 | Exodus 32:20 | Numbers 29:7 | Psalm 63:2 | Joel 2 | Matthew 5 | Matthew 25:31-46 | Romans 8:34 | Colossians 2:16-17 | 1 Thessalonians 5:23 | Hebrews 1-13 | 1 John 2 | Revelations 19-20
[Leviticus 23:31] "It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."
Yom Kippur is celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month (10/07). This day is also known as Judgement Day or in Afrikaans "Oordeelsdag" / "Die dag van Verootmoediging."
We know that Yeshua will return on Yom Teruah to fetch His Bride. After His return, the day of judgement (Yom Kippur) will come.
Yom Kippur is considered to be the holiest of all holy days. The feast lasts only one day. Remember that a day in the Bible is considered to be from sunset to sunset.
[Genesis 1:5] "And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. [Genesis 1:8] "And the evening and the morning were the second day." [Genesis 1:13] "And the evening and the morning were the third day." [Genesis 1:19] "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day." [Genesis 1:23] "And the evening and the morning were the fifth day." [Genesis 1:31] "And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
From the Yom Teruah section, we know that the Hebrew word "yom" means "day." The Hebrew word "kippur" in short means "covering."
[Exodus 32:20] "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 word which was used in Exodus 32:20 in the original Hebrew text, 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).
In other words, the Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur - is about reconciliation. It's about humbly laying yourself down and to be sanctified.
With Yom Kippur, we see three different concepts: reconciliation / atonement, humility / affliction & cleansing / holy making.
Firstly, there is reconciliation: between people and between people and God.
Secondly, the concept of humiilty comes up. We have to humble ourselves before Him. We have to realise and acknowledge our need for His atonement. It's the idea of afflicting your soul - to a point where you are no longer comfortable.
Thirdly, we see the concept of cleansing / holy making.
After the Israelites made the golden calf, Moses said in Exodus 32:30 that he will go up to God to make atonement for the Israelites. Moses was a type and a shadow of Yeshua. Foretelling what Yeshua would come and to for us - to cover our sins! Moses interceded on behalf of the nation (Israelites) after they made the golden calf at Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt. Therefore, the concept of kaparah / kippur / atonement, is about one person that's standing in for many others. One person that's making amends / covering for the wrongdoings of others.
Back in the days of the Tabernacle in the desert, the high priest would only once a year enter into the Holy of Holies (also known as the Most Holy Place) to make atonement for the sins of the entire nation. Inside the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant (which contained the 10 commandment tablets) and the Mercy Seat - upon which the Presence of God rested. The day on which the high priest entered into the Most Holy Place was on the day of Yom Kippur.
The high priest would enter in and sprinkle blood of a sacrificed animal on the Mercy Seat. The sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat was symbolic of a covering. If the high priest had any unrepented sin, he would immediately die when he entered the Holy of Holies.
The priests served every day in the Outer Court and Inner Court of the tabernacle and later on the temple. But they only entered once a year into the Holy of Holies. Before the high priest would enter, he had to go through a intense sanctification process to ensure that he stands blameless before God, with no unatoned sin against him.
There was a massive responsibility on the shoulders of the high priest. But the rest of the community only had to show up.
Without the atonement which the high priest brought - the entire nation would have been found guilty and sinful. From the Bible we know that the consequence of sin is death. Therefore, had the high priest not go in and make atonement - the entire nation would be doomed.
This concept of the high priest that went in to make atonement for the nation and the nation not having to do anything is the first concept of reconciliation.
The tabernacle and the work of the high priest was a shadow and a type of things to come. The purpose of the tabernacle was to create a dwelling place for Abba amongst His people.
Today we know that we are the tabernacle / temple - each one of us, every born-again believer. Abba still to this very day desires to dwell with(in) us! Yeshua is our High Priest, the One Who enters the Holy of Holies to make atonement for us with Abba Father!
The high priest in the time of the tabernacle and temple, had to bring sacrifices for his sins before he could enter the Holy of Holies. How fortunate are we to have the One Who is sin-free enter in on our behalf to make atonement for our sins.
Through His complete work on the cross and His intersession for us at the Father is what gives us the opportunity to enter eternity with Him!
We said that Yom Teruah is our reminder that Yeshua is returning and that we have to make sure that we are ready.
Yom Kippur we now know is judgement day - therefore this is our reminder to ensure that our lives are in order, that our names are written in the Book of Life!
The 10 days of awe/reconciliation between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur is the very last opportunity we have to ensure that our names are written in the Book of Life. When Yeshua will one day come to fulfil Yom Kippur, there will be no more chances to get your name into the Book of Life.
So how do we make sure that our names are written in the Book of Life?
Remember that the meaning of "kippur" is to make atonement or reconciliation (1). Then there are two more concepts linked to the meaning of kippur - which is humility / affliction of the soul and cleansing / holy making. Therefore, this reconciliation that we need is the mere start of a process of being sanctified and justified. It's about cleansing ourselves through applying the Blood of the Lamb (Yeshua) to our lives - like the high priest applied it to the Mercy Seat.
The 10 commandments were found in the Ark of the Covenant. The Mercy Seat was a golden covering on top of the Ark of the Covenant. Abba desires to stand in covenant with us (remember the ketubah principle) and we do so through being obedient to His instructions/commandments. Thus, the process of reconciliation is a process of changing our lives to be in line with Abba's words and applying the Blood of Yeshua to atone for our sins. We need to humble ourselves, lay ourselves down and surrender our fleshly desires. We belong to Him anyway. The sooner we realise that and surrender to His will and His ways, the faster we will get to experience life from within His rhythm! What a beautiful place that is to be! The biblical custom on Yom Kippur was for the people to fast and wear white clothing. Fasting is about laying down the fleshly desires physically as a prophetic act of the spiritual. Please take note that fasting on Yom Kippur is not an instruction given by Abba, but a custom done by the Israelites. Therefore, we don't have to fast to observe and celebrate Yom Kippur.
In other words, this is the second concept linked to the meaning of kippur - humility / affliction of the soul.
The sanctification process we have to go through (after we have accepted Yeshua as our Saviour) is about righteousness - to come in right standing with Abba, through repentance. It's a call to die to ourselves, to let go of our fleshly desires and walk in the spirit. It's about getting to a place of life where we are able to present ourselves in front of the King of Kings as being pure. Being pure is not being perfect; it's being made righteous as we continuously pursue Him and lay ourselves down and allow Him to purge our fleshly nature from us. This links to the third concept of the meaning of kippur - cleansing / holy making / sanctification.
As mentioned earlier, but just as a refresher: The first four feasts of the seven biblical feasts, has already been fulfilled and we celebrate them in thankfulness. The last three are yet to be fulfilled and therefore we celebrate them in anticipation! We have hope and a future and it's ALL thanks to Yeshua!
In the Bible we read about three different trumpets. The First Trumpet - which is blown on Shavuot - symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Last Trumpet is with Yom Teruah - which will be blown when Yeshua returns. And the Great Trumpet will be blown on Yom Kippur - on judgement day.
With Yom Kippur, we have a yearly reminder / opportunity to re-assess our lives and ask the brutal honest question: is my name written in the Book of Life?
Sanctification / holy making is a process which we'll be busy with until the day we die or Yeshua returns. When we allow Yeshua to sanctify us, He'll take us through His pruning fire.
The pruning process / sanctification is seldomly a pleasant or easy experience. As it's literally about taking everything out of our lives and our soul dimension that's not in line with Abba's will for our lives.
Being saved is one thing. However, that's not where it ends. It's only where it begins. That's only the Pesach, Unleavened Bread & First Fruit feasts. But there are four more feasts with spiritual rich principles after that!
Many people believe that being saved is all that matters. I always say, why only be satisfied with just making it into heaven, when Abba has a life of abundance in store for you as well. I don't simply want the bare minimum - I want EVERYTHING that He has planned for me!
To live in that abundance, which is available to us, we have to be willing to live according to Abba's instructions. Part of that is the sanctification process! To those who allow Abba to prune them whilst we are here on earth, Judgement Day / Yom Kippur is a day to look forward to. Allowing Abba to "judge" and sanctify us now, will enable us to stand righteously before His Throne one day.
Pastor Frik Weideman from Menorah Tabernacle explained it so well in one of his teachings where he said in Afrikaans: As ons Hom toe laat om ons nou deur die heiligmakingsproses te vat gaan ons eendag slegs BEoordeel word. Maar as ons Hom nie nou toelaat nie, dan gaan ons GEoordeel word eendag. In English both of these words would probably be translated as "judged" hence the Afrikaans insert. The best English translation I could come up with is that if we are willing to go through sanctification we will be "assessed" on Yom Kippur. If we are not, we will be "judged."
All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Our sins have separated us from God. When we are born again and have accepted Yeshua as our Messiah, we are washed clean by His Blood. In other words, we are given the chance / opportunity to be saved - which we would not have been able to obtain in our own attempts. However, even though our past sins have been washed white as snow when we apply His Blood to our lives - our mindsets and way of living has not changed overnight. Therefore, the Bible repeatedly speaks about the importance of renewing our minds and turning away from our old ways. Those ways and mindsets don't just disappear once we are saved. If that was the case, no one who is saved should struggle with depression nor any form of mental or physical sickness. From real life we know that it's not the case. Our fleshly nature still remains intact when we are saved. It's only after we are saved that the process of sanctification can begin.
Just like the Israelites were saved from Egypt first and then received Abba's instructions - the same applies to us. We have to be saved first and only then we start to transform our lives by renewing our minds, by studying His Word, by bringing the necessary changes to our lives that's required to order our lives according to His will and principles. THAT's what sanctification is all about!
Rember that the Hebrew word "kippur" means to cover. Therefore, we know that Yeshua is our "Kippur" - our Covering. He is the One Who enables us to be made righteous and be in right standing before Abba Father.
[Romans 5:1] "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
His Blood on the cross made atonement / covered our sins (Reconciliation). Yeshua is our Covering - reconciling us with God.
Because of this covering we have received from Yeshua, we should afflict our souls (Humility) and purge from our lives that's not in line with Abba's instructions (Cleansing).
In Revelations 19 we read about the spotless Bride which Yeshua will come back for. The Israeli custom was for them to wear white clothes on Yom Kippur. Symbolic / prophetic of being clean / spotless. The Jews still to this day wear white on Yom Kippur. This is also where the idea of a bride wearing a white dress comes from. A white dress symbolises purity and something that was atoned, made righteous. It's a physical display of the bride saying: "I am pure for my husband." On a spiritual level, this is also what we should do. As Yeshua's Bride, we should go through the process of reconciliation, humility and cleansing / sanctification - so that we will also be able to say: "I am pure for my Husband, Yeshua."
If we are not able to stand pure before Him, our names might not be written in the Book of Life. Once Yom Kippur is fulfilled, there will be no more chance to get your name into that Book. Yom Kippur points to a separation between the saved and the unsaved; the righteous and the unrighteous. We read about this concept of the separation of the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25. The separation between eternal life and eternal fire.
One day we all will have to stand before the Throne of God and He will ask us - was it really that hard for you to choose Me & My Appointed Times??
Heaven is preparing for a war & a wedding feast! We can be Yeshua's Bride - but it will require preparation from our side!
Therefore, Yom Kippur is our yearly reminder to assess ourselves and our lives and ask the hard and honest questions:
Am I reconciled through the Blood of the Lamb?
Am I afflicting my soul and am I bowing down in true humility at His feet?
Do I allow Him to purge from my life everything that's not rooted in Him?
Is my name in the Book of Life?
As born-again believers, we don't have to dread this day. We can celebrate it and say, thank you Abba that my name is written in the Book of Life!
There's absolutely nothing Jewish about keeping Yom Kippur or any of the other Biblical Feasts. It's a display of my love for Yeshua, my Bridegroom - Who is on His way back to come and fetch us! Who will, when He comes back with Yom Kippur - judge us all according to His Word! Yeshua NEVER said follow a church or a pastor. He said "follow Me!"
𝗚𝗺𝗮𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗮 𝗧𝗼𝘃𝗮!
It means "May you be sealed in the Book of Life!
This year Sukkot will start at sunset on 29 September 2023 and
end at sunset on 6 October 2023.
Sukkot is the last of the seven biblical feasts and most definitely the one which I am most excited about! The number 7 carries the spiritual connotation of completion! It's symbolic of life here on earth that's completed. It links with the 7 days of Creation. Abba created the entire world in 6 days and on the 7th day He completed it through resting. Thus, the seventh and final of the biblical feasts also have this concept of rest connected to it! It's about tabernacling with Yeshua as His Bride! How can we NOT be excited for that!?!
Scripture with regards to Sukkot:
Leviticus 23:33-44 | Exodus 23:15-16 | Exodus 34:22-23 | Numbers 29:12 & 35 | Deuteronomy 16:13-17 | Pslam 19 | Psalm 27:5 | Ecclesiastes | Ezra 3:4 | Nehemiah 8:14-18 | Zecheriah 14:16-20 | Luke 2 | Luke 24:49 | John 7 | 1 John 2:6 | Revelations 21:3-5
In English, the feast of Sukkot is known as the Feast of Tabernacles. However, the actual translated meaning would be the Feast of Booths. Some people also refer to it as the Feast of Tents / Gathering. A booth is a temporary dwelling place, also known as a "sukkah." In other words, when we are celebrating sukkot, we're celebrating temporary dwelling places.
[Leviticus 23:41] "You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month."
We read about Sukkot for the very first time in Exodus 23:16 - even before the Israelites entered the Promised Land! In Exodus 34:22, Abba commanded them again to keep the feasts. Then in Leviticus 23 we read about the details regarding Abba's feasts. We also see in Leviticus 23:41 that Abba instructed them to continue keeping it forever! The original Hebrew word that was translated as "forever" was the word "olam." The definition of "olam" is: long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world; ancient time, long time (of past); (of future): for ever, always; continuous existence, perpetual; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity.
At this point of the blog, I am pretty sure that we can all agree that these feasts belongs to God and not to the Jews and that the spiritual connotation of the feasts are still important to us as modern day believers in Yeshua the Messiah!
Not like we need more confirmation, but we also see in Zecheriah 14:16 that it's prophesied that sukkot wil be celebrated in the days when Yeshua rules on earth in the millenial kingdom. If that's the case, I'd say we'd better start preparing for it now!
Sukkot is celebrated from the fifteenth day of the seventh month (15/07). This week long feast is a celebration. It lasts for 7 days plus an added 8th day called "Shmini Atzeret". Shmini Atzeret literally means "the eighth day." Both the first day of Sukkot and the eighth day is celebrated as a Shabbat.
Sukkot / the Feast of Tabernacles is a 7 day long absolute joyful feast! In 2022 we've had the privilege of spending sukkot in Israel and this year we will be there again. I wish that I could enable you to just experience a fraction of the tangible JOY you get to experience amongst the people who unashamedly observes and grasps the importance of Abba's feast days! We as modern day Christians can learn a thing or two from the Jews on how to celebrate Yeshua's second coming!
It's a time of complete rejoicing in the Lord! Seven days of nonstop rejoicing and celebration! A period to celebrate not only that He will come again, but also that He has given us His instructions - which enable us to know how He desires for us to live and worship Him!
The fall feasts (fall time in Israel) all take place in the 7th month (Tishrei). As mentioned earlier, the 1st (Yom Teruah), 10th (Yom Kippur) and 15th (Sukkot) of Tishrei are all observed as a Shabbat - regardless on what day of the week it falls.
Sukkot starts 5 days after Yom Kippur and as mentioned above, it lasts 7 days with an added 8th day. The fall feasts in a nutshell: Yom Teruah was an awakening blast (trumpet) to remind people to get ready, because Yeshua is on His way back! The days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur is about repentance, turning back to Abba's instructions. Yom Kippur is about ensuring that your name is written in the Book of Life! And Sukkot is a celebration! A time to rejoice! Celebrating that Yeshua is our Bridegroom and we get to spend eternity with Him!
When we celebrate Sukkot, we do it like with Yom Teruah & Yom Kippur - in anticipation and not in a legalistic manner.
Looking at the biblical feasts through the understanding of the ketubah principle; we know that sukkot is about the Wedding Supper of the Lamb! After Yeshua came back for His Bride (Yom Teruah) and judged the world (Yom Kippur), His Bride will get to celebrate with her Bridegroom, Yeshua!
Just like with the other feasts; we see a shadow which foretells the feast and then the fulfillment thereof. Sukkot is no different.
After the Israelites were set free from Egypt, they stayed in the desert for fourty years. In Exodus 25-40 we read about the tabernacle which Abba instructed them to erect. Abba said that the Israelites should build the tabernacle so that He could come and dwell amongst them, His chosen people. This temporary dwelling / structure had to be deconstructed every time they moved from one place in the desert to another, and then be reconstructed where they set up camp. When the tabernacle was not set up (when they were travelling), Abba still dwelled with them through a fire colom at night and a cloud by day. He was always present. Once they entered the Promised Land, they built the temple to replace the tabernacle.
Since Yeshua died on the cross for our sins, we know that we no longer need a tabernacle/temple and that we, as born-again believers, are the temple/tabernacle in which Yeshua wants to dwell. Just like the Israelites had to make preperations and do their part to create a dwelling place for Abba amongst them, so should we make preperations if we want Yeshua to dwell in us. Abba gave the Israelites VERY clear instructions of every little detail regarding the tabernacle. He had an order and standard which was set in place before He would come dwell there. Which teaches us a valuable lesson, that still to this very day - God has a divine order set in place of how He wants to be worshipped. This concept hasn't changed, because He hasn't changed! Which means that He still has a standard today! The Israelites couldn't just build the tabernacle anyway they wanted. They had to do it as per Abba's instructions. In the same way, we cannot live any way we want to and then expect Yeshua to come and dwell with us. His order didn't change and it never will.
Another thing we have to remind ourselves is the concept that the tabernacle was a temporary dwelling place. In the same way, our lives here on earth are temporary and something much bigger awaits.
To me it's a reminder of two things:
This world and the rat race we expereince - is only temporary, thank goodness for that.
Read number one again! It's temporary, which means that there is something else that will follow - and we have to be prepared for that!
Sukkot takes place from day 15 to day 22 of the seventh month (Tishrei) each year. As mentioned earlier, there is an 8th day that's linked to the feast. The concept of the eighth day is about the world to come, in other words, about eternity! When everything on earth is completed (spiritual connotation of the number 7) and all the feasts have been fulfilled, we'll enter into eternity with Him!
According to the biblical customs, on Sukkot we see the presence of 4 different species - which each carry their own significant meaning.
Lulav: Palm tree branches. Which symbolises our spine. As born-again believers which should walk in moral excellence according to Abba's instructions.
Aravot: Willows of the brook. Which symbolises our mouth. As born-again believers we should be speaking life and blessing and not death and curses. Yom Teruah & Yom Kippur reminded us to leave the ways of the sinful flesh behind so that we can serve Him the way He desires. It's a time of assessing our lives and identifying any areas that needs repentance and sanctification. Sukkot is about taking it one step further and putting it in practice - now that we are saved, we should live like we are saved!
Hadasim / Myrtle: Boughs of leafy trees. Which symbolises our eyes. We need to look at what we look at. They say that the eyes are the window of the soul and that we become what we gaze upon. Therefore we should seriously consider what we expose our eyes to. What are we watching / reading, etc?
Etrog: Fruit of beautiful trees. Which symbolises our heart. We need to honestly ask ourselves what our motives are for serving God. Do we do it to get something in return from Him or do we do it out of love. Fruit that's not rooted in repentance cannot be sustained. Unless we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out, we will never be able to carry the fruit of the Spirit.
These 4 species are not important for the superficial connotation of an upright spine or clean mouths, eyes and hearts. But about spiritually walking upright and clean before Abba as we walk and live according to His instructions.
[Matthew 11:28-30] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In Matthew 11, Yeshua reminds us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light! Walking according to Abba's ways is not something that weighs us down, but rather it lifts us up and takes us to a place where we can and want to rejoice and live a lifestyle of worship!
When we live in His rhtyhm, we get to experience the rest and the harvest which we have in and through Him. That in itself will cause anyone to constantly rejoice! He desire for us to live in His blessing, provision and abundance! But that abundance can only be found when we live in His rhythm!
In Deuteronomy 16 we read that Abba instructed the Israelites to gather for the feasts in the place where He chooses. Today we know (beacuse we have Yeshua) that we no longer have to travel to certain places to celebrate the feasts. Since we are the tabernacle ourselves, wherever we are - we are able to celebrate the feasts. Since the feasts are about a harvest, we have to realise that it's not only about receiving a harvest ourselves when we walk according to Abba's ways - but also about bringing a harvest to Him. We should live in such a way that others would also start to walk according to His ways! When Abba instructed us to keep the biblical feasts, He instructed that we should not appear before the Lord empty handed. Today we know that it's not about something physical that we have to bring before Abba - but about bringing souls to Him. Therefore when we get to Sukkot each year, we have to ask ourselves - what harvest did I bring before the Lord this year?
During the time of Sukkot they lived in temporary dwellings. Today the Jews still do it. They literally move out of their homes and into the temporary hut / sukkah outside their houses - as a constant reminder that this life here on earth is temporary and that the time is soon coming that we will be dwelling with Yeshua.
Just like a bride prepares for her wedding day, in the way we should also be preparing ourselves for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We have to prepare ourselves and order our lives according to Abba's instructions - so that we will be able to stand as a spotless Bride - clothed in clean white linen, without wrinkle or blemish - before Yeshua!
Sukkot is our yearly reminder to live our lives as the Bride of Yeshua and to celebrate in anticipation the time that WILL come when we will have a wedding feast with Yeshua our Messiah! Firstly we can rejoice that we will spend the Millennial Kingdom with Yeshua (Sukkot) and then we will get to spend eternity (Shmini Atzeret / the 8th day) with Him as well! How can we not rejoice?
I can never thank Abba enough for lifting the veil of religion from my eyes and enabling me to learn about His rhythm and His feasts. I trust that this has been a blessing to you just as much as it has been to me!
[Phillipians 4:4-7] "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
At the end of the day, we have to realise that these 7 feasts are not Jewish feast - they belong to God and not to man. Abba instructed His people (which includes us once we are born-again) to keep His festivals. One day in the Kingdom we will continue to celebrate it! If we'll be celebrating it in eternity, how can we then possibly say that it no longer applies to us? I encourage you to press in with Abba and ask Him to reveal to you how He would like YOU to observe His feast days. He's faithful and He will answer you!
We are not called to be followers of people. We are called to be followers of Yeshua.
One day each one of us will have to stand in front of Him and give account for how we lived - whether we have lived according to His Word or not!
I cannot recommend it enough for you to go and do your own Bible study & research! Ask Abba to come and reveal His heart to you and allow Him to convict you through His Truth, in His Love!
Here are a few trusted links to get you started:
Abba's Appointed Times & The Fall Feasts (the blog I wrote last year): https://www.fitbesttraining.co.za/post/abba-s-appointed-times-the-fall-feasts
Biblical Festivals - Tiaan Nel / A Biblical Answer with Tiaan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKkrbjBRwDU
Feeste van YHVH - Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.menorahtabernakel.com/feestevanyhwh.html
God se vasgestelde tye en die einde - Frik Weideman / Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ruvc87otDB8&list=PL3QALXAHDH-TD3QMn_JmYIVpe290AaCyj&index=14
Here's When the Biblical Holidays Happen in 2023 - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2022/11/biblical-holiday-dates-2023.html
Jewish Holidays - Hebrew 4 Christians: https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/holidays.html#loaded
Law & Salvation - Here 2 Serve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmgOTa0-Nf0
Questions and Answers About the Biblical Holidays of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2021/09/questions-and-answers-about-biblical.html
Six Things you can do now to get ready for the fall feasts - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/09/six-things-you-can-do-to-get-ready-for.html
The Hebrew Festivals and My Relationship with God - Gerrit Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/the-hebrew-festivals-and-my-relationship-with-god/
The Messiah Revealed in the Feastivals - Gerrit Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/the-messiah-revealed-in-the-festivals/
Understanding Abba's Appointed Times - Gerrit Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/appointed-times/
What's the fuss about the Sabbath? Do we really have to keep it? https://www.fitbesttraining.co.za/post/what-s-the-fuss-about-the-sabbath-does-it-really-matter-on-what-day-we-celebrate-it
Who are the feasts for - Off Grid Hygge Homestead : https://www.instagram.com/tv/CIWeQHXJnnp/?id=2456283695588735465_527465354
Why I am still keeping the Sabbath - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2022/08/why-im-still-keeping-sabbath.html
Why the Biblical Holidays are for All Believers, Not Just Jews - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2022/03/why-biblical-holidays-are-for-all-believers.html
Specifically about Yom Teruah:
Bible Verses on the Feast of Trumpets - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2022/09/bible-verses-feast-trumpets.html
Celebrate: Yom Teruah - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/celebrate-yom-teruah.html
How to be a Teruah everyday - Tiaan Nel / A Biblical Answer with Tiaan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY4NIRUaTXE
Significance of the Shofar During Yom Teruah - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/significance-of-shofar-during-yom-teruah.html
The Beginner's Guide to Feast of Trumpets - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2022/09/beginners-guide-feast-trumpets.html
Voorbereiding tot Yom Teruah - Frik Weideman / Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn66IR763hQ&list=PL3QALXAHDH-TD3QMn_JmYIVpe290AaCyj&index=10
Yom Teruah - Frik Weideman / Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cWxWrejNB8&list=PL3QALXAHDH-TD3QMn_JmYIVpe290AaCyj&index=8
Yom Teruah (Fees van Trompette) - Tiaan Nel / Biblical Answers with Tiaan Nel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT1ce6UbqHY
Yom Teruah - Tiaan Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/yom-teruah-2021/
Specifically about Yom Kippur:
All about the Feast of Trumpets - Jim Staley / Passion for Truth Ministries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RapHNtalMQ
Do We Still Need Yom Kippur - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/do-we-need-still-yom-kippur.html
Honoring Yom Kippur as a Believer in Messiah - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/honoring-yom-kippur-as-believer-in.html
Looking Forward to Yom Kippur - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/looking-forward-to-yom-kippur.html
Prayer and Fasting on Yom Kippur - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2016/10/prayer-and-fasting-on-yom-kippur.html
What You Need to Know About Yom Kippur - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-yom-kippur.html
Yom Kippur - Frik Weideman / Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfGgx_FSNEI&list=PL3QALXAHDH-TD3QMn_JmYIVpe290AaCyj&index=7
Yom Kippur Scripture Reading List - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/09/yom-kippur-scripture-reading-list.html
Yom Kippur - Tiaan Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/yom-kippur-2021/
Yom Kippur (Dag van Verootmoediging) - Tiaan Nel / Biblical Answers with Tiaan Nel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7qLhH1Qp2g&t=703s
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) - Tiaan Nel / Biblical Answers with Tiaan Nel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsWPYTb3g6s
Specifically about Sukkot:
8 Things Scripture Says about the Feast of Tabernacles - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/8-things-scripture-says-about-feast-of.html
An Invitation to the Fall Feasts - Land of Honey: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/an-invitation-to-fall-feasts.html
Autumn Anticipation, Fresh Perspective on the Biblical Holidays - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/09/autumn-anticipation-fresh-perspective.html
Jesus and Sukkot - Jews for Jesus: https://jewsforjesus.org/learn/jesus-and-sukkot-feast-of-booths
Loofhuttefees / Sukkot - Frik Weideman / Menorah Tabernakel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrEs6ifWBCE&list=PL3QALXAHDH-TD3QMn_JmYIVpe290AaCyj&index=1
Meeting with my Bridegroom under the sukkah - Gerrit Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/meeting-with-my-bridegroom-under-the-sukkah/
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) - Tiaan Nel / Biblical Answers with Tiaan Nel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6CblFGfwEQ&t=209s
Sukkot Scripture Reading - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/sukkot-scripture-reading.html
Sukkot, What it's all about - Gerrit Nel / Kol Kallah: https://kolkallah.com/portfolio-item/sukkot-whats-it-all-about/
The Biblical Holiday of Tabernacles for Beginners - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2021/10/biblical-holiday-tabernacles-beginners-guide.html
The Feast of Tabernacles, What it Means & Why You Should Celebrate It - Land of Honey Blog : https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/the-feast-of-tabernacles-what-it-means.html
Things the Messiah Said during Sukkot - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/sukkot-scripture-reading.html
What I'm Doing during Sukkot - Land of Honey Blog: https://landofhoneyblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/what-im-doing-during-sukkot.html
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 in this season.