Learning about YHVH‘s Appointed times was the turning point in my life, in which I saw a pattern that God had laid out. Seeing that Christ died on “Passover“, being buried at the beginning of the “Week of Unleavened Bread“, Resurrecting on “Firstfruits” and the Disciples receiving the Holy Spirit on “Pentecost” (which is another of God’s Feast days from Lev 23) started a curiosity in me, which has fueled my passion of study and research. The Icing on the cake was that there were more feast days which were yet to be realised, but of which we had all heard in some sermon or bible study. The Feast of “Trumpets” signified His 2nd Coming, The “Day of Atonement” signified judgement and “Tabernacles” signified His 1000 year reign. “I was blown away”. Putting all of this together with Scripture to back it up, I hope the below Graphical Study Board will help you see God’s Plan and His Word in new Light. Click on below image for enlarged view.
It is a little known fact that Luke’s record of our Messiah’s ministry starts with an allusion to the Atonement Sacrifice. Luke alone gives an account of the timing of this event, and also shows how the people themselves unwittingly declared how Yeshua would take the sin of the nation upon Himself.
Knowing about the Day of Atonement is paramount to understand the story behind the story that Luke gives witness to. Considered the most important of the Appointed Days in God’s Calendar, The Day of Atonement is the only day of the year with a command for Fasting. In fact, since the Day of Atonement is intricately connected to Judgement, most Jews engage in a partial fast for a full 40 days before the Day of Atonement. The 40 Days start with the 6th month of God’s Calendar (known as Elul) and end with the Day of Atonement, which is the 10th day of the 7th Month, equalling to a full 40 days of Repentance. It is a time for Repentance and preparation of one’s life to stand before God. While it is not clear whether this tradition of Fasting existed back in 1st Century times, is it not wonderous that Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) fasted 40 days in the same season of Elul and The Day of Atonement?
How do we know that His Ministry started in the time of the Day of Atonement? There are several hints given to us by Luke. Let us review his account in Chapters 3 & 4.
1.John preaches repentance –
Not only does John preach Repentance, a key aspect of meditation as it dawns toward The Day of Atonement, he also speaks of the coming Judgement as seen below.
Luk 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
Luk 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luk 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Luk 3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
2.Yeshua’s 40 day Fast –
Yeshua is baptized by John(Luk 3:22,23) and proceeds directly into the Wilderness of Judea(Luk 4:1) and remains there fasting for forty days(Luk 4:2). After being tempted of the Devil, He teaches in Galilee, and then comes to Nazareth – His hometown and steps into the Synagogue.
3.The Reading in the Synagogue –
Traditionally on the Sabbath, people meet in the Synagogue and read a Portion of the Torah (5 Books of Moses) & the Prophets which is done in a planned manner. Isaiah is read in close proximity to The Day of Atonement, and it just so happened that Yeshua was delivered the scroll of Isaiah on this particular Sabbath Day.
Luk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
4. Isaiah 61, Judgement & the Jubilee
Yeshua reads the following passage, stopping abruptly without reading everything proceeding “The Day of Vengeance”. “Proclamation of Liberty” is intricately connected to the “Year of Jubilee” which is announced on The Day of Atonement. The Day of Vengeance or His Second Coming, was yet to come. So it makes sense that He stopped before this part, but reading the full verse, we see that He consoles everyone who repents and is in Ashes, mourning & heaviness – which are central themes of The Day of Atonement.
Isa 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Lev 25:9,10 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
5. The Sacrificial Goat which took all the Sin of the Nation upon itself –
On The Day of Atonement, the High Priest enacted a sacrifice to atone the sins of the nation. This twin sacrifice had two goats, one of which was taken before the High Priest, who then proclaimed all of the Sins of the nation on its head, and was then led away to the wilderness.
Lev 16:8-10 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
Lev 16:21,22 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
It is traditionally known that this goat was pushed off a cliff by the person who led it away signifying the complete erasure of the sins of the people.
The Rabbis, interpreting “Azazel” as “Azaz” (rugged), and “el” (strong), refer it to the rugged and rough mountain cliff from which the goat was cast down (Yoma 67b; Sifra, Aḥare, ii. 2; Targ. Yer. Lev. xiv. 10, and most medieval commentators) Jewish Encyclopedia
The Sages taught: The word Azazel indicates that the cliff the goat is pushed from should be rough and hard. I might have thought that it may be located in a settled area. Therefore, the verse states: “In the wilderness.” And from where does one derive that the goat is pushed from a cliff? The verse states “gezeira,” indicating an area that is sharp, like a cliff. Yoma 67b – Talmud
Now read what happens after Yeshua reads the Scripture in Isaiah and has a dispute with the people in the Synagogue. The crowd unwittingly proclaims that Yeshua will be the sacrifice which takes away the sin of the nation, by trying to take Him to a hill and thrusting Him down from it.
Luk 4:28,29 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
6. The High Priest & the Atonement Sacrifice –
As the author of Hebrews make mention, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies only once a year – on the Day of Atonement(Exo 30:10), and he would also take the blood of the second goat which was applied inside. Hebrews clearly connects the Blood of the Atonement Sacrifice to Yeshua’s blood. He would be the High Priest of the Nation and the Sacrifice for the Sins of the Nation.
Heb 9:6,7 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Heb 9:11,12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
It is very likely that Luke knew of the Atonement Sacrifice and the connection of Messiah to the redemption of the Nation as seen in the Scriptures. When Luke heard this account from witnesses before he wrote his gospel(Luk 1:2), he would have immediately connected the dots of the Goat which was led to the cliff with Yeshua who was almost thrust down in the same way, in the days of Repentance – The Day of Atonement. I am in no way saying that Christ was almost thrust down the cliff exactly on the Day of Atonement, but it was definitely close in proximity to this all important day, and the event itself definitely alluded to Him being the Atonement Sacrifice for all of us. As we repent for our own sins through fasting, let us remember the sacrifice that was made for our iniquities, transgressions and sins – our Saviour and Lord – Yeshua Ha Maschiach (Jesus the Messiah).
For the past few years, as I learned about God’s Feast Days/ Appointed Times, it has always been a struggle to keep track of His Holy Days. As the world works on the Gregorian Calendar it is impractical to discard it altogether. But on the other hand, keeping track of God’s Calendar timings is important to me now, more than ever. With all the technology in the world, keeping it noted down in your phone or computer becomes the norm – although there’s nothing like a printed version you can stick on a wall or fridge. After looking around for quite some time, I decided on creating such a calendar myself this year, so that whoever needs it, is able to simply download and print it out; or keep it in their computer for reference. Download for free using link at bottom of page. Click the image below for an enlarged preview.
Now I will be the first to admit that the highlighted days are only approximations, and can change drastically depending on the New Moon Sightings and the Aviv Search. I am well aware that there are differing opinions on how the Biblical Calendar is interpreted – and this is meant to be a helpful guide and something that brings us together rather than cause division. I hope that it will also be helpful to all of you with your Sabbath studies as well.
(6.77MB PDF FILE)
♦ 12 Month Gregorian Calendar
♦ Calendar Week with Sabbath as 7th day
♦ Weekly Torah Portions with additional reading of Prophets and Gospels
♦ New Moon Days/Months marked (maybe off by 1 day – please correct if so)
♦ Week of Unleavened Bread*
♦ Pentecost with 50 day count*
♦ Week of Tabernacles with 8th Day*
♦ Special/High Sabbaths
♦ Condensed studies on the Biblical Calendar and other topics
Please note that Purim, Chanukkah and other traditional holy days are not marked
* These could be off by a day or a whole month according to moon sightings and the aviv search
♦ Simply download and print it on your home printer or at a 3rd party vendor such as Snapfish, Kodak Gallery, Walgreen, Walmart, Target, CVS, etc.
♦ Pages are designed to be printed on A3 white paper, but can be fitted onto A4 Paper using print properties, if needed.
♦ Let me know if you need any further help
Be a blessing to everyone around you, this coming year!
Out of the days commanded as remembrances and prophetic rehearsals by God Almighty, “The Day of Atonement” is considered to be one of the most important. This is the day which is celebrated as a remembrance of the impending judgement, when all of us, from the least to the greatest in this world, will have to appear before the Throne of the King. It is a day in which we draw near with a repentant heart. Let us study this day further and understand the significance of this feast written down in Lev 23.
This study has been broken into 4 sections for your viewing ease. If you already know about any particular section, please feel free to skip through to the section that you are interested in.
1. Introduction to the Feasts/Appointed Times of God
God’s appointed times (also known as feasts) which are written in Lev 23 consist of 7 separate events which are “remembrances of God’s grace in time past” as well as “prophetic shadows of things to come”. Even though these feasts have been branded “Jewish feasts”, it is very clear that these were called “My feasts” and “LORD‘s feasts” by our Heavenly Father (Lev 23:2,4,37).
Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua(the real name of Jesus), His Disciples and even the highly misunderstood Apostle Paul, did not teach or abolish God’s Law. Just as God’s Commandments will stand till Heaven and Earth exists, The “Feasts” or “Appointed Times” of God (which are part of God’s Law), is, and will be in effect in the time to come. Out of the 7 events asked to be remembered, God has fulfilled 3 of these prophetic events in the time of the first coming of Messiah.
I highly recommend that you read the separate studies on Passover, First Fruits, Pentecost & Trumpets (if you have not studied this subject before) from which, Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost have been already fulfilled in its time and season at the time of the 1st appearance of Messiah Yeshua.
Let us review these Appointed times, their significance and their fulfillment –
1. The Sabbath – Every 7th Day (Lev 23:3) – Remembrance of God as Supreme Creator and the one who will provide us with rest in His Millennial Kingdom
2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – 14th of the 1st Month is Passover / 15th to 21st is the week of U.B. ; The 15th and the 21st are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:5-7) – The deliverance from Egypt through the Blood of a Lamb & the Deliverance from Sin/Death through the Blood of Yeshua who is named Lamb of God (Yeshua died on the day of Passover)
3. First Fruits – The day after the 7th day Sabbath, which is right after Passover (Lev 23:10,11) – The lifting up of the First fruit of all Crops to God & the ressurection of the First fruit of all who will rise again – Yeshua – who was the First to have risen from death (Yeshua rose on the day of First Fruits)
4. Feast of Weeks also known as Pentecost – The 50th day counted from First Fruits (Lev 23:15,16) – The day of Thanksgiving for God’s provision for the Harvest and remembrance of giving of the Commandments at Mt.Sinai, as well as The day of remembrance of the giving of the Holy Spirit & the start of the Heavenly harvest of souls collected unto God. – (The Holy Spirit fell on the Disciples on the day of Pentecost)
From the 3rd Month (when Pentecost is celebrated) until the 7th Month (when the last 3 feasts are celebrated) there is a period of silence, much like the time we are living in – awaiting His 2nd coming ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
5. Feast of Trumpets – 1st day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:24,25) – The day Yeshua will return as the Bridegroom & King to reclaim the Earth and establish His Kingdom for a thousand years
6. Feast of Atonement – 10th day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:27-30)
7. Feast of Tabernacles – 15th to 22nd day of the 7th Month ; 15th & 22 are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:34-36)
2. The “Appointed time” / “Feast” of Atonement
Lev 23:27-32 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
(Also read Lev 16:29-31 and Num 29:7)
As we see in the above verse, we are to celebrate the day of Atonement on the 10 the day of the 7th Month. Our Heavenly Father also gives us strict directions on how we should celebrate this day. Let’s take a closer look at these details.
A) It is a Sabbath and a Holy Convocation/Assembly
This Feast day is supposed to be a Sabbath where no Monetary work should be done, while it is also called a Holy convocation, meaning assembly, where God’s people should gather together.
B) Afflicting our Souls
What does “you shall afflict you souls” mean? Afflicting the soul of oneself is an expression that means “to fast”. We can see this expression in many places in the Scriptures.
Psa 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I afflicted* my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. (*KJV translates “H6031 – ענה – aw-naw’ – Afflict” as “humbled”)
Isa 58:3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
The “Soul” is connected to “Appetite”/”food”
Pro 23:2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite(H5315 – נפשׁ – nephesh – Soul)
Ecc 6:7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite(H5315 – נפשׁ – nephesh – Soul) is not filled.
In both the above instances, the Hebrew word “Nephesh” which means “soul” is translated in the English versions as “Appetite”. This connection can be seen further in the following verses (Psa107:5,9, Pro 27:7, Isa 29:8, 32:6, 58:10). The word Soul does not mean only “Appetite”. But the “Appetite” of the human is a main part of his Soul.
Prayer and Repentance are connected to Fasting
Coming before God Almighty, with repentant hearts has always been connected with fasting, as it is an affliction to ones Soul. (Neh 1:4, 9:1 Dan 9:3, Judg 20:26, Joel 2:12, 1Sam 7:6, 2Ch 20:3, Jon 3:5-8, Jam 4:8,9)
What is an acceptable fast to God Almighty?
One accompanied by charity – Isaiah chapter 58 – This chapter highlights an acceptable fast day in the eyes of our Creator. He says that the fast has to be coupled with righteous action, and that fasting and prayer done while neglecting the poor and hungry will not be accepted.
One accompanied by true repentance – Joel 2:12-14 – It is also seen in the Scriptures, that a fast with true repentance will surely be heard by God.
3. The Atonement Sacrifice
Amongst all the sacrifices and offerings mentioned in the Scriptures, special mention has also been given to the Atonement Sacrifice. Leviticus chapter 16 details these instructions. In it, God mentions that Aaron (and his sons after him) who was named as the priest, would come before Him into the Holy of Holies, with an offering for himself and his family. After this, he should bring 2 goats and cast lots on them to decide on which one was to be sacrificed as a offering and which one was to be led into the wilderness. This goat was called the scapegoat (Azazel), and aaron was to place his hands on this goat confessing all the iniquities of the people Israel and then this goat was led into the wilderness. Not only did God say that this is a statute forever, He also said that “the fast” and “the Sabbath rest” was applicable to all aliens living among the children of Israel.
If we are enforcing the remembrance of this day, why don’t we do the sacrifices and the rituals that are written along with it? There are a few reasons.
1) Only the Aaronic priesthood can do any sacrifices on the earthly temple (Num 16 & 18).
2) Sacrifices can only be done in the tabernacle/temple in Jerusalem (Deut 12:10-13).
3) Yeshua (real name of Jesus) has become a sin offering for us (Heb 9:12,26)
4. The Significance of “The Day of Atonement” to us, as believers in Christ
This Prophetic Feast signifies the day when Our Father in Heaven will atone/make amends/make payment for the sin of His people through the Blood of Messiah. He will act as the Sacrifice that was done on the Day of Atonement for all Israel(Rom 5:11). And the “Scapegoat” which was led into the wilderness with all of the Sins of the people spoken over it, would be “satan” who will be finally bound for a season and then thrown into the lake of fire forever (Rev 20:1-3,7-10).
We should celebrate this day with repentance and fasting, remembering the sacrifice that has already been done and the future day when this payment will be made forever.
The Day of Atonement which is also mentioned as “the fast” in Acts 27:9 by Luke, was not done away by Yeshua or His disciples just as He said “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”. In His first coming, Christ fulfilled the Passover, Firstfruits and Pentecost. In His second coming, He will fulfill the Day of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. In obedience to God’s Commandment, it is only right that we repent of all our sins and fast, showing our Father that we come to Him in all honesty and humbleness. There is nothing that we do, which can cover up our sins. It is only His grace that saves us. Let us remember his Love & Mercy as we proceed to remember His Prophetic Appointment given to us long ago, which we eagerly wait to see fulfilled.
The giving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost is nothing new to Christians. Most of us have read the Pentecost event over and over again, and it remains one of the main events in Christian history. While Pentecost is celebrated throughout all Christian congregations, the unknown fact is that Pentecost is first mentioned not in the New Testament of our Bibles, but in the Old. Today, we will delve into the Pentecost event and learn the hidden meaning behind this event and how it is part of “The Feasts/Appointed Times” instituted by God Almighty in Lev 23.
Let us find out the meaning of the word Pentecost from the Original Greek Manuscripts
Strong’s Greek Concordance – G4005 – πεντηκοστή – pentēkostē – pen-tay-kos-tay’ – fiftieth
Pentecost literally meant fiftieth. But what was this event, and where did it originate from? Pentecost is mentioned 3 times in the New Testament. Namely in Acts 2:1, 20:16 & 1Cor 16:8
We know that According to Acts 20:16, Paul was keen on being in Jerusalem for the “Day of Pentecost” (Fiftieth Day, as Pentecost means Fiftieth). To learn more about “Pentecost” or “The Fiftieth Day”, we need to go to Lev 23 to learn about God’s Feast days, as Pentecost is only one of God’s 7 Feast Days.
Understanding the Feasts (Appointed Times) of God
In Lev 23:2 God spoke to Moses saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations*, even these are my feasts**.
Let us look at the definition of the word translated as “Feast” in the Original Hebrew Manuscripts. Strong’s Hebrew Concordance – H4150 – מועד – mô‛êd – mo-ade’ – appointment
A better word for “Feast” would be “Appointment” as per the original meaning.
God proclaimed that these are “Holy assemblies*” & “His Appointments**“, in Lev 23:2
The “Feasts” or “Appointments” of God are mentioned 1st, not in Leviticus, but in Genesis.
Gen 1:14 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:
The word “Seasons” in Gen 1:14 and “Feasts” in Lev 23:2 is the same word in the Original Hebrew Manuscripts, “H4150 – Moed – Appointment”. When Gen 1:14 talks about seasons, we would automatically think of “Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter”. But God is actually talking about His Appointments.
It would be vastly different if we read this verse as:
Gen 1:14 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 “appointments“, and for days, and years.
Brief Summary of the Appointments of God written in Lev 23
1. The Sabbath – Every 7th Day (Lev 23:3)
2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – 14th of the 1st Month is Passover / 15th to 21st is the week of U.B. ; The 15th and the 21st are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:5-7)
3. First Fruits – The day after the 7th day Sabbath, which is right after Passover (Lev 23:10,11)
4. Feast of Weeks also known as Pentecost – The 50th day counted from First Fruits (Lev 23:15,16)
5. Trumpets – 1st day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:24,25)
6. Atonement – 10th day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:27-30)
7. Tabernacles – 15th to 22nd day of the 7th Month ; 15th & 22 are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:34-36)
Note: God’s month starts with the new moon(1Kin 8:2 contains H3391 – yerach – month & H2320 – kho’-desh – new moon which are both translated as month in the English translation).
The new year dawns when the new moon coincides with the Harvest becoming Green. (Exo 23:15 contains H24 – aw-beeb’ – young ear of grain, green ears of corn which means “Abib” meant when the harvest was turning green).
This might look primitive to us who are living in the age of technology, but God made this system, so that even a simple farmer could go out and figure this out for himself even if all methods of technology got destroyed tomorrow.
Feast/Appointment of Weeks which is also called Pentecost in Greek Lev 23:15,16
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
The above verse talks about the 4th Feast in the list of Appointments given by God Almighty, to His people. It is generally known as the Feast of Weeks in the Scriptures(Exo 34:22, Deut 16:10,16, 2Chr 8:13). This was known as the Feast of Weeks because the people had to count 7 weeks from the Feast of First Fruits. (7days x 7 +1 = 50days)
“Pentecost” or “Feast of Weeks” as it is known in the Old Testament, was one of the 3 Appointments that God Specifically said all men should appear before Him.(People were supposed to come from their cities, wherever they lived, to God’s Temple in Jerusalem- Deut 16:16). These 3 appointments were,
1. Week of Unleavened Bread, which included Passover 2. Weeks 3.Tabernacles
Going back to the New Testament, Acts 1:3-5 records that Yeshua (Jesus’ true name) was seen by the disciples for 40 days after His resurrection, and that He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem till they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We know that according to the Bible, Yeshua rose on the Feast/Appointment of First Fruits. (Read this article for more information on this topic). If He ascended to the Father after 40 Days, this means that Pentecost would have been 10 days away. Acts 2:1 records that the Disciples were all together for the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. The reason behind Jews from every nation to be in Jerusalem, at Pentecost according to Acts 2:5, was that they had come for this Feast of God according to God’s Commandment (discussed above) which said every male has to appear before God on these feasts(Deut 16:16).
Furthermore, “Pentecost” or “Appointment of Weeks” fulfilled some major prophecies given in Scripture. God had said that He will put a new Spirit in people, that they may walk in His Commandments (Ezek 11:19,20, 36:26,27). In Acts 2:17-21, Peter also refers to what the Prophet Joel said in Joel 2:28-32 about God’s Spirit being poured out to people. Is it just coincidence that God gave His Spirit on the Feat of Weeks? Let us look at the significance of these says which are mentioned in Scripture.
The Significance of God’s Feasts/Appointments
1. The Sabbath – Weekly appointment to remember God is the Creator of all things who created the universe in 6 days and sanctified the seventh (Exo 20:11) & it is a sign between Him and His people forever (Exo 31:13,17)
2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – Appointment to remember how God saved His People from Egypt & Bondage through the blood of a lamb and how they did not eat leaven which signified Sin (Exo 12:5-7, 11-20)
3. First Fruits – The Appointment in which people brought their Firstfruit to the priest to be offered upto God. It is believed that Israel crossed over the Red Sea on this day (Num 33:5-8)
4. Weeks, also known as Pentecost – The Appointment in which God wanted people to bring the best of their Harvest. It is believed that God spoke out His Commandments on this day (Exo 19:1)
5. Trumpets – The appointment established as a wake up call to the impending day of Judgement when one is to atone for his/her Sins (Lev 23:24,25)
6. Atonement – The appointment in which the High priest would enter the Holiest of Holies to offer a sacrifice for the people’s sins, so that God’s judgement would not overcome them (Lev 23:27-30)
7. Tabernacles – The appointment to remember that God was with His people throughout the wilderness journey. (Lev 23:34-36,42,43)
Renewed Significance of God’s Feasts/Appointments in Yeshua
1. The Sabbath – Weekly appointment to remember God is the Creator of all things and that we have entered into His Covenant, keeping the Sabbath as a sign between Him and us, that we are His people. This is the only appointed day that is repeated all throughout the year, bringing us to remembrance of He who has saved us, also looking forward to the impending rest given by Yeshua which is Life after Death (Heb 4)
2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – Appointment to remember how God saved His People from Egypt & Bondage through the blood of a lamb and how they did not eat leaven which signified Sin. Also that God saved us from bondage to Sin & death through the blood of Messiah Yeshua who was our Passover Lamb(1Pet 1:19) and that we are to live a sinless life putting out our old sinful ways which signified leaven(1Cor 5:8) [Yeshua died on a Passover, and was in the tomb by the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread]
3. First Fruits – The Appointment in which Yeshua was offered up as the Firstfruit of all who died (1Cor 15:20) and that we also should follow in His footsteps to become a chosen people, a Firstfruit unto God (James 1:18) [Yeshua rose on the Day of Firstfruits]
4. Weeks, also known as Pentecost – The Appointment in which God started to Harvest his own fields, which are His People(Mat 9:37) The Holy Spirit was given to bring to remembrance what Yeshua taught, which were not His words, but His Father’s (John 14:23-26) [Holy Spirit given to all who follow God through Yeshua, perfectly on God’s appointed day]
Another thing to point out, is that the first 3 Appointed days happen from the 1st Month to the 3rd Month(Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost/Weeks). Then there is a period of silence. The next 3 Appointed days happen in the 7th Month(Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles). The first 3 coincide with the 1st wave of Rain in Israel and the First Harvest. The last 3 coincide with the 2nd wave of rain in Israel and the Second Harvest. This in turn is also prophetic as, when Yeshua came for the first time, He initiated God’s Kingdom on earth and His followers became the first Harvest. When He comes back the second time, He will Establish God’s Kingdom on earth and collect the rest of His Harvest according to His words(Mat 13:30). Just like there is silence from the 3rd to 7th Month, today we are in a period just like this, living after the first 3 appointments and awaiting the second 3.
5. Trumpets – The appointment established as a wake up call to the impending day of Judgement. Yeshua will return on a Day of Trumpets in the future. Is this an assumption? Why is then the trumpet mentioned when it talks about Christ’s return? Mat 24:31, 1Cor 15:52, 1Thes 4:16 (Some are under the impression that we cannot know when Christ will return. This is not entirely true. We do know when He will come, even though we do not know what year it will be. 1Thess 5:4 – We will do an in depth study of this in the future)
6. Atonement – The appointment in which the people are judged. This will probably be the day when God Judges the Earth. The day which is called the Great white throne judgement (Rev 20:11)
7. Tabernacles – The appointment to remember that God was with His people throughout the wilderness journey will probably be the same day that God will “Tabernacle” with man when a new heaven & a new earth is created by Him (Rev 21:3)
In short, all of these “Feasts” or “Appointments” are REMEMBRANCES of what God has done in the past and REHEARSALS of God’s future plans that are yet to happen.
In conclusion, I would just like to reiterate that Pentecost is not a New Testament celebration. It was not instituted after Yeshua’s Death. It was instituted by God in Lev 23. It is one of the Appointments He calls “My Feasts” Lev 23:2. If God stuck to a particular calendar and gave this calendar marked with His Appointments to us, shouldn’t we be present for these appointments?
Yeshua died on the Passover eve exactly according to God’s Appointed Times. Yeshua rose on Firstfruits exactly according to God’s Appointed Times. The Holy Spirit descended on His people on Pentecost/Weeks exactly according to God’s Appointed Times. There are 3 more of His Appointed Times which have not yet come to pass. (Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles) Shouldn’t we be paying a bit more attention to His Word & His Times? Or are we discarding these as pure coincidence? Pentecost is celebrated by many around the world, without them even knowing the significance of it. And some celebrate Pentecost but discard the other Appointed Days as “Old Laws”. “Old Covenant things”. “Done away in Christ”. I hope you have adequately seen the significance of these Appointments. My request to you is, that you read the Word for yourself, and check everything that is mentioned in this post.
I have given answers to some of the FAQs down below. I would be happy to answer any other questions that you may have, to the best of my ability.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Feasts written in Lev 23
Q: Aren’t these Jewish Feasts?
A: God calls them “His Feasts” in Lev 23:2. Furthermore, these appointments were given to all 12 tribes of Israel. Jews descend from Judah, which is only one tribe of Israel. The reason they are known as “Jewish Feasts” is because the Jews are the ones who obey and keep these appointed days. But like His Commandments, these feasts were also given to His People, Israel.
Q: Why do we, as gentiles, need to commemorate these feasts if they were given to Israel?
A: (First of all read the definitions of Jew & Gentile here) A simple reason is that God said they were “His Appointed times”. The word “Seasons” in Gen 1:14 and “Feasts” in Lev 23:2 is the same word (Strong’s Dictionary – H4150 – Moed – Appointed time). Which means God talked about these appointed times at creation itself, when He created the Sun, Moon and Stars.
Furthermore, The 10 Commandments were only given to Israel. Don’t we need to Keep His Commandments even though it was given to Israel? How can we then pick and choose what to obey and what not to?
Q: Did Yeshua teach us to commemorate these feasts?
A: Yeshua kept the Feasts, thereby showing us how we should follow Him, even though there is no record of Him saying that we have to keep them (Luke 2:39-52, John 2:23, John 7:37-39). The bottom line is, that Yeshua taught people to obey God & His Word(John 14:24) and The Feasts/Appointments of God are part of His Word.
Q: Did Paul & the 1st Century church keep these feasts and teach about it?
A: The 1st Century church including Paul, would have kept all of the feasts in obedience to God. Some of them are recorded as well. (Acts 2:1-4, 18:21, 20:6, 20:16 / 1 Cor 16:5-9 ,5:7-8). Paul asked people to keep the Feasts(1Cor 5:8). Paul even asked people, not to let anyone judge them for keeping the Feasts(Col 2:16) – this verse is commonly misinterpreted as Paul saying not to let anyone judge them for not keeping the feasts(Read Q6 on this link for more info).
Q: Aren’t the Feasts only up till Yeshua?
A: Then why did Paul and the Apostles keep them? The best evidence for this question lies in prophecies that are yet to come to pass about Yeshua’s 2nd coming. We will need to keep these feasts even when Christ returns in the future (Zechariah 14:16-19 / Isaiah 66:22,23). So are we to believe that the Feasts were in effect upto the 1st Century Church. Now it is invalid. And it will be in effect again when Yeshua returns?
Q: How am I supposed to keep the Feasts?
A: Read the Scriptures and obey whatever God says. These are not rituals in any way. You do not need to light special candles and say special prayers. Just obey what God has said in His Word to the best of your ability, even if you are alone in doing it.