GOD’S HOLY DAYS
Congregation of God
And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of Jehovah, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of sabbath observance, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of Jehovah in all your dwellings.
‘These are the feasts of Jehovah, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.
“Do not think that I came to pull down the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to pull them down but to fulfill. Truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, there is no way one letter or one dot will pass from the law until all is implemented.
“Thus whoever removes one of these commandments in the least, and teaches people so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jeshua.
God gave us His own Holy Days, which He commands us to keep as everlasting statutes. God’s Holy Days show us His creative power and outline His plan of salvation. They also give us a glimpse of His control of past, present and future events.
Table of Contents
Christianity has undergone massive changes since the days of the Apostles. The Apostles observed God’s weekly seventh-day Sabbath and His Annual Holy Days.
Today, most Christians say that their most important festivals are Easter and Christmas. Sunday services have replaced the seventh-day Sabbath. Various denominations have added many other holy days that are supposed to honour various saints and the apostles.
The introduction of these unbiblical ‘holy days’ was opposed by God-honouring Christians. Many believers lost their jobs, homes and civil rights for refusing to replace God’s Holy Days with manmade holy days. Some Christians even lost their lives over these issues.
These Biblical Christians strenuously rejected these pseudo-Christian holy days because of their pagan origins. Let us see what it is about these added holy days that they were willing to die over:
Christmas Day was taken from the pagan ‘Day of the Invincible Sun’, marking the shortest of the winter days. This was the day that the sun was thought to begin regaining its strength. 1 Sun worshippers believed this recovery was partially because of their prayers and homage. Christmas was eventually adapted (though renamed and in a slightly modified form) by Roman Catholicism to bring the pagan sun worshippers under its control.
It does not celebrate Christ’s birth, as He was born in the autumn (of 4 BC). The fact that the shepherds were still living out in the fields at the time of Christ’s birth proves this (Luke 2:8). As good Bible dictionaries explain, the autumn rains in Israel begin in October and the shepherds move back into houses for protection from the cold winter nights. No shepherds would be sleeping outside in December, when the temperature is frequently below zero oC.
Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing in scripture which suggests that God wants us to celebrate Christ’s birth as an annual event, even if we did know His birth date.
The pagan nature of this festival is revealed in the many customs associated with it such as Christmas trees, mistletoe, Yule logs, Santa Claus, etc. The simple fact that many non-Christians happily observe Christmas should warn us that something is seriously wrong.
Easter is regarded by many people as the most important festival of Christianity. Over the last seventeen hundred years the traditions involved with Easter have become so ingrained as to be almost unquestionable.
Yet Easter raises some very awkward questions. Why are obviously pagan superstitions like Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter buns and Paschal Candles allowed to be part of such a solemn event, when God expressly forbids His people from following the ways of the pagans? (See below) Why is the main event of the Christian calendar named after Eastre, the pagan Anglo-Saxon’s goddess of spring? Even the name Eastre is just a corruption of “Ishtar”, who was the Babylonian Queen of Heaven. This ‘goddess’ is usually referred to in the Hebrew scriptures as “Ashtaroth”. The Easter Sunday sunrise services actually originate with sun worship, and predate Christ’s Crucifixion (Ezekiel 8:5 to 18). Scripture tells us that Jesus had already risen from the dead before dawn (John 20:1).
Jesus could not keep the sign of the three days and three nights if He died on “Good” Friday and rose Sunday morning. Our article God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah explains how Jesus did fulfill this sign, being crucified on the Wednesday afternoon and rising from the dead late on the afternoon of the weekly Sabbath.
Faithful disciples of Christ rejected the Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition. They continued to keep the Passover (including the Lord’s Supper) exactly as Christ had taught them to do. This dispute is called the Quartodeciman Controversy in Church History books.
The ‘orthodox’ churches even modified the calender system that they use at the Council of Nicaea in 325CE, thus ensuring that their Easter rarely occurs on the same day as the Biblical ‘Jewish’ Passover.
In sharp contrast to the compromises with paganism made by the orthodox churches, God tells us to shun paganism:
Take heed to yourself lest you are snared and follow them after they are destroyed from before you; and lest you inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I, even I, will do so too.’
You shall not do this to Jehovah your God; for everything Jehovah hates and which He detests they have done unto their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
All the things I command you, be careful to observe; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
Deuteronomy 12:30 to 32
God gave us His own Holy Days, which He commands us to keep as an everlasting ordinance. God’s Holy Days remind us of His creative power and outline His plan of salvation. They help us understand His control of past, present and future events when combined with Bible chronology and prophecy. Knowing these things assures us that God’s promises are reliable. They also reveal the identity of the “Beast” of the Book of Revelation and expose its mark. (This is the topic of our article The Beasts of Daniel and Revelation.)
God has forbidden the worship of all man-made images, even images that are supposed to represent Him, Jeshua, His angels or His saints (Isaiah 40:12-26, Deuteronomy 4:15-19, Colossians 2:18, Acts 10:25-26).
Instead of idols, He has set up a system of worship that is established in time. It is a medium that God is uniquely the master of, and His Holy Days constantly remind us of this fact.
He not only gave us His Holy Days, but also a simple calendar system that allows anyone to determine the correct dates for His set Feasts, using only the direct observation of the visible New Moons and the ripening of the spring barley crop at Jerusalem. (Again, see God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah for details.)
Never forget that Jeshua (Jeshua means Jehovah Saves, and is His actual Hebrew/Aramaic name. Jesus is a Greek-English mistranslation of Jeshua.) kept the weekly Sabbath and these Annual Sabbaths as shown in Luke 4:16 and John 7:1-39. We are to walk as Jeshua walked (Matthew 16:24 and 1 Peter 2:21). If we refuse to keep God’s Holy Days we are not walking as Jeshua walks. The Apostle Paul also kept these Holy Days after Messiah’s death (Acts 18:18-21- See KJV, Acts 20:6 & 16, I Corinthians 16:8). Zechariah 14:16-19 tells us these Days are to be kept in the Millennium of Peace.
Colossians 2:16 & 17 warn us: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you in eating and drinking or in details of a feast or of a new moon or of the Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body of Christ.” That is, only obedient servants of Christ can tell you how to keep God’s Holy Days. Do not be defrauded of your inheritance by rejecting God’s commandments and following corrupt doctrines (vs 18).
Appendix 1 shows from God’s own Word that His Holy Days were established before the earth was created, were kept by Moses, Jeshua and the Apostles, are to be kept today and will still be observed during the coming Millennium of Peace.
God’s Holy Days are listed in Leviticus Chapter 23. Following is a brief discussion of these Holy Days, which emphasises their meaning to Christians. Many more details can be found in our Holy Day Service Transcripts on our website.
God says the Sabbath is to be a day of rest from our work. This frees us from our worldly commitments so we can devote the day to fellowship with God and with our brethren who love Jeshua. Jeshua also revealed the Sabbath as a special day to help others (Matthew 12:10-13). God says that the Sabbath is so important that He commands us to gather together to worship Him (Exodus 20:8-11, Leviticus 23:3, Hebrews 10:25).
The Sabbath reminds us that God is our Creator and thus our Master. It draws our attention to His unique claim of a recent and rapid creation. Every seven day cycle is a reminder of Creation Week (Genesis 1:1-2:3). Contrary to popular opinion, there is a wealth of evidence that supports belief in Special Creation, which is summarised in our Books of Moses - Fact or Fiction? series.
The weekly Sabbath, as Genesis states, was blessed and sanctified by God at the end of Creation Week. He later reminded the Hebrews of its importance with the Manna (Exodus 16) and at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20), both occurring thousands of years later. There is no doubt that the day of the Sabbath has been counted correctly from that time until today. There is also no doubt that the Seventh Day is Saturday. It is the only day of the week that God has specifically set apart as sacred. Neither Jeshua nor His apostles changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. These simple facts are acknowledged by all honest theologians, and are discussed in detail in our free article The Sabbath in Scripture.
The Sabbath begins at dusk on Friday and finishes at dusk on Saturday in countries west of Israel and east of the International Date Line. Due to man’s incorrect placement of the Date Line, the Sabbath begins at dusk on Saturday and finishes at dusk on Sunday in countries east of Israel and west of the International Date Line. This means that the Sabbaths begin in Israel and follow dusk westward around the world from there. Please read The International Date Line and God’s Sabbaths for more information on this. The article is available on our website. The date line problem means that the Annual Holy Days are also observed a day later for countries east of Israel and west of the International Date Line when using a conventional calendar.
The principle of six days of labour followed by a day of rest also has another application alluded to by Peter:
But do not let this thing be hidden from you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. 2 Peter 3:8
After six thousand years of mankind’s futile labour there will be one thousand years of Peace and prosperity when Messiah returns. The six thousand years of pain are nearly finished. (Revelation chapter 20)
The Passover is the first of God’s Annual Sabbaths. These Holy Days bring out more details of God’s plan of salvation.
The Passover reminds us that we are saved from eternal death by the sacrifice of Jeshua the Messiah, God’s own son, in our place for our sins. 1 John 3:4 tells us that sin is lawlessness, that is - sin is the breaking of God’s Laws.
The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are first mentioned in Exodus, chapters 11 to 15. Comparing this account with the Gospel accounts of Christ’s death show how the Exodus from Egypt was really only a shadow of what the Anointed did for all of us.
The Exodus compared to the Impalement of Jeshua
Jeshua the Messiah
First born to die
Jeshua is God’s First born
Exodus 11:4 & 5
Hebrews 1:5 & 6
Lamb to die in place of Israelites
Jeshua is God’s lamb who dies in place of mankind
Exodus 12:1 to 14
John 1:29, Revelation 13:8
Israelites freed from bondage to Egypt
Mankind freed from bondage to sin
Exodus 12:29 to 31
Romans 6:17 to 23
Sacrificed on Passover
Sacrificed on Passover (Preparation Day)
Exodus 12:6, 21-28
The Passover also includes the Day of Preparation, as shown in John 19:14 & 31). It is the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, even though the specific Feast of Unleavened Bread does not begin until the following evening. The first day of the Feast of unleavened bread is a Great Sabbath (Luke 22:7, John 19:31).
In the year of His Crucifixion, Jeshua changed how Christians were to observe the Passover Preparation Day. Jeshua kept the Last Supper at the beginning of the Day of Preparation, which began on the Tuesday evening that year (31 CE). During that meal He washed the disciples’ feet and gave them the bread and the wine, symbolising His body and blood, which were about to be offered for them (and us) as a sacrifice for their (and our) sins (Matthew 26:26-28). He commended us to do this in memory of Him. Ever since then, the Last Supper has been kept at the beginning of the Passover by faithful Christians.
Jeshua then uniquely fulfilled the requirements of the Passover by dying during a divinely created darkness at 3PM the following afternoon, which was still the Day of Preparation. The tearing of the veil in the Temple signified that Jeshua, by dying for our sins, had destroyed the barrier of sin separating us from His Father (Luke 23:32-54). For details on how Jeshua kept the Sign of Jonah (Mat 12:38-40), spending exactly three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and rose from the dead near the end of the seventh-day Sabbath, please read God’s Calendar the Sign of Jonah, on our website.
The events of the Exodus, revealed in chapters 12 to 15:21, also shed light on the Christian meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Just as the Israelites fled from the Egyptians, who were symbols of sin, we should flee from sin. Indeed, their flight was so urgent that there was no time to let their bread dough rise. Two special days were involved in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The first day was the day that the Israelites left Goshen. The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorates the day that the miracle of the Red Sea crossing made their liberation from Egypt complete. Just as the Egyptian pharaoh was imprisoned in the depths of the sea, Satan will one day be imprisoned in the depths of the pit (Revelation 20:1 to 3).
This teaches us that though we are set free from bondage to sin as soon as we turn to Messiah for our righteousness, it will actually take some time and effort before we are safe from the dangers of sin.
Sometimes leaven is used in the Bible as a symbol for sin. Thus unleavened bread points to us walking a sinless life (1 Corinthians 5:7 & 8). Jeshua reinforces this new life when He says “If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.” (John 15:10). We should also recall the urgency that the Israelites felt in leaving Egypt, and flee from our former sins with similar haste.
The Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is called the First-fruit or Wave Sheaf Offering. On that day a sheaf of barley, the first of the harvest for the year is brought before the congregation and held up to God as an offering (Lev 23:9 to 16).
This first-fruit represents Jeshua, who was raised from the dead and then ascended to His Father on that day (1 Cor 15:20, John 20:11-18). Later that day He returned (Mat 28:8-10) and instructed the disciples during the next forty days (Acts 1:3). After that He ascended to Heaven where He will remain until it is time to set up the Kingdom of God on Earth (1 Corinthians 15:20 to 23).
The Wave Offering initiates the fifty day count to Pentecost, which begins the harvest of Jeshua’s followers (the Firstfruits).
This Great Sabbath celebrates the power and glory of God’s Holy Spirit. It also reminds us of our need to have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, enabling us to know and please God.
Pentecost is Greek for Fifty, referring to the number of days from the First-fruit to Pentecost. This Great Day is known as the Feast of Weeks and the Ingathering to the Israelites.
The Feast of Weeks coincides with the beginning of the wheat harvest in Israel. For this Feast God instructs the Israelites to make two loaves of bread. The loaves signify that this is a much larger harvest than the single sheaf of the First-fruit. Many Biblical Holy Day keeping Christians believe that Pentecost symbolises the Harvest of the First Resurrection. It has been suggested that one loaf represents the Israelites and the other the redeemed Gentiles. Others think that one loaf represents those who have died before Christ’s Return and the second loaf represents those who are alive and transformed - without dying- at Christ’s Return. We will discuss the events surrounding the First Resurrection in more detail below.
Israelite tradition says that it was on the Feast of Weeks that Jehovah God spoke the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, thus linking this Great Day with obedience to God’s Law.
On Pentecost in 31 AD, Jeshua sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples, thus launching a new era for his followers that will continue until he returns.
Peter, speaking to the crowd that gathered on that day (and to us) said:
Repent, and every one of you be immersed in the name of Jeshua the Anointed for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God calls.
Acts chapter 2:38-39 ( Also read Romans chapter 8)
Repentance means to recognize and deeply regret your sins and to desire to turn away from your sinful way of life.
Only those who have chosen to accept the sacrifice of Jeshua for their sins and who have tried to keep God’s Laws will be in the First Resurrection:
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jeshua.
Pentecost marks the day that Jeshua will return. His first task will be to give his followers everlasting life in wonderful new bodies.
As Scripture says:
Then the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven that said, “The kingdom of the world has become our God’s and His Messiah’s, and He shall reign for ages of ages!”
And the twenty-four elders who sit before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: “We praise You, O Lord Jah, Almighty God, who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and You have reigned. And the nations were wrathful, and Your wrath has come, and the time to judge the dead, and You shall give the reward to Your slaves, the prophets and to the saints, and to those who fear Your Name, to the small with the great, and You shall destroy those who have corrupted the earth.” Revelation 11:15 to 18
For this we say to you by the word of our Lord, that we who have life which remains until the coming of our Lord will not overtake those who are asleep.
For our Lord, with a command and with the voice of the head angel and with the blast of the trumpet of God, will descend from heaven. And those who died and are in the Messiah will rise first.
And then we who remain and who have life, we will be carried away with them, as one in the clouds, to meet with our Lord in the air. And in this way we will always be with our Lord.
Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 to 18
1 Corinthians 15 sheds more light on the nature of this resurrection.
The earth at this time will be a crippled and dying planet, devastated by years of drought, plagues and massive wars. See Matthew chapter 24 for these details.
Jeshua will then take His followers to the Sea of Glass, before God our Father, for the Marriage of the Lamb and the Wedding Supper (Matthew 24:31, Rev 4:6, Rev 15:2 to 4).
While Jeshua and His Bride are celebrating on the Sea of Glass, the rest of God’s wrath will be poured out on the unrepentant inhabitants of the earth. Even while suffering under God’s condemnation, the leaders of earth will assemble their armies at Armageddon, trying to prevent Jeshua from taking rulership from them (Rev 15:5 to 16:14 ).
The Day of Trumpets points to Messiah’s return, with His Bride, to take control of the Earth.
This Day is the first day of the seventh month. As we noted for the Sabbath, this seventh time period signifies the Thousand Years of Peace (often called the Millennium).
All the annual Holy Days mentioned until now have either been in the first month or have been determined in relation to the first month. God linked them to the first month to show that those events were the beginning of His plan of salvation. They were all related to each individual’s personal relationship with God.
All of the remaining annual Holy Days are set in the seventh month. The number seven is often used by God to symbolise completeness. Please note that there are seven annual Great Sabbath Days. They are the first and last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, the first day of the Feast of Booths 2 and the Last Great Day.
The rest of the annual Holy Days refer to the completion of God’s salvation on a comprehensive worldwide basis. Understanding these Holy Days is a major key to the correct interpretation of the book of Revelation.
Jewish traditions call the days between the Day of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement the “Days of Awe”. They regard them as solemn days of reflection and repentance in preparation for the Day of Atonement.
Jeshua will take His Elect to the Mount of Olives with Him where He will declare that all the kingdoms (governments) of this world are to be replaced by God’s government (See Zechariah Chapter 14).
The kingdoms of the earth will refuse to hand over power to Christ and their enormous army will attack him. Revelation chapter 17 explains this. They will be destroyed and Satan, who was leading them, will be captured.
Revelation 17 also gives us a clue as to the identity of the Scarlet Woman who tried to lead the nations against Messiah:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven vessels came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, follow me. I will show you the judgement of the harlot who sits on many waters, for the kings of the earth have fornicated with her. And all those who dwell on the earth have been drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
And he took me into the wilderness in the Spirit. And I saw a woman sitting on a blood-red beast full of names of blasphemy, which had seven heads, but ten horns on it.
And the woman was wearing purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, and had her gold cup in her hand and it was full of abominations and the filth of her fornication. 3 And between her eyes was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the Filth of the Earth. 4
And I saw the woman drunk from the blood of the saints and from the blood of Jeshua’s witnesses. And I was astonished with great amazement when I saw her. 5
Revelation 17:1 to 6
If the whore was a pagan organisation, John would not have been amazed, as that was the state of things during his life (circa 100 AD). He marvelled because the great whore of Revelation 17 was a then-future false “Christian” church which pretended to represent Christ on earth even while it taught people to kill Jeshua’ true followers, disobey God’s commandments and defile His Holy Days. Revelation 12:13 to 17 presents the faithful church as a virtuous woman, who contrasts sharply with the unfaithful whore presented above. Daniel 7:25 says this of the same power, though using a different symbol to represent it:
“He shall speak great words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change the appointed times (God’s Holy Days) and law.”
The reference to Babylon leads us to Daniel’s account of how Belshazzar, King of Babylon profaned the holy things from God’s Temple by using them to worship false gods and idols (Daniel chapter 5). In the same way the false church profanes God’s words by twisting them so it can use them for its own purposes.
The whore of Revelation 17 is called the Mother of Whores because of all the other false religions and churches that she has “given birth” to. The Mother of Whores is, beyond any doubt, the Babylonian Mystery Religion which now masquerades as Roman Catholicism. The Beast she will ride on is an all-powerful world government, based on the “Holy Roman Empire”. Each of the heads of this beast represent one of the powerful eras in this empire’s existence. The final resurrection of this beast is already under way in Europe. Few people are aware that the European Community was set up under the guidance of the Roman Catholic Church and that the papacy sees it as an instrument of potentially immense power.
This day points to the destruction of Satan’s followers and Satan’s imprisonment for the thousand years.
The Day of Atonement, which comes ten days after the Day of Trumpets on God’s Calendar, corresponds to the aftermath of the battle which will occur in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, just outside Jerusalem. The armies of earth’s nations will gather in Armageddon and surge down into this valley in a vain attempt to overthrow Christ, who will wait for them there (Joel 3:1-2 & 12-17; Revelation 19).
It is profitable to compare Revelation 20:1 to 3 with the Hebrew symbolism for the Day of Atonement given in Leviticus 16:7 to 34. The two goats in Leviticus represent Jeshua the Anointed and Satan. Jeshua Messiah is the ‘goat’ presented to Jehovah, the One True God. The Hebrew word translated as ‘scapegoat’ in the New King James version is ‘Azazel’, which means ‘the one who departed’. That Satan departed from God is abundantly clear.
The ritual foreshadowed that Jeshua would be slain as a sin offering, (vs. 9) taking upon himself our guilt for our sins. The Day of Atonement also shows how Satan’s guilt in leading us into sin will be placed back on his head before he is banished for the thousand years (vs. 20 to 22).
The Day of Atonement is thus a Day of Judgement. Those who are alive, but still opposing God will be destroyed. Those who have finally acknowledged their guilt (after Christ’s return) and turned to Him for cleansing before this battle may be spared.
Matthew 25:31 to 46 describes the judgement of surviving mankind at the time of Christ’s return in terms of sheep and goats. The ‘sheep’ are those who have helped God’s people during the times of persecution before Jeshua’ return. They shall be allowed to live in God’s Kingdom. The ‘goats’ turned their backs on God’s people. They are utterly destroyed in the eternal fire prepared for Satan (Malachi 4:1).
Finally, the Day of Atonement is a day of Liberty. It is on this day that the trumpets are blown to begin the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-17). The Jubilee is when God will “proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” This aspect of the Day is truly a time of great celebration!
This feast is a celebration of the Thousand-year reign of Jeshua the Messiah. All of God’s People who were either raised from the dead or transformed when Jeshua the Anointed returned will rejoice with Jeshua in their new spirit bodies. At last the earth will be free from Satan’s evil influence. The era of incompetent, corrupt governments will be finished. Jeshua will set up His world government. He will give His servants positions in His government (and church) which reflects the faithfulness and trustworthiness they displayed in their earthly lives. Jeshua alludes to this situation in the following parable:
“Therefore He said: “A certain man, son of a great noble, went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself and to return.
“So he called ten of his servants, and he gave ten minas to them, and said to them, ‘Trade until I return.’
“But the citizens of his city hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this one to reign over us.’
“And when he received the kingdom and returned, he said that they should call these servants to whom he had given the money to him, that he could know what every last one of them had gained.
“And the first came, and said, ‘My Lord, your mina has gained ten minas.’
“He said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you have been found faithful with little, you will be given authority over ten talents.’
“And the second came, and said, ‘My Lord, your mina has made five minas.’
“And he also said to that one, ‘You will also be an authority over five talents.’
“And another came, and said, ‘My Lord, Behold your mina, which has been with me since I placed it in a purse. For I feared you, as you are a harsh man, collecting what you did not lay down, and reaping what you did not sow.’
“He said to him, ‘From your own mouth I will judge you, wicked servant! You knew that I was a harsh man, collecting what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. Why didn’t you give my money to the exchangers, that when I come and demand it, I could collect it with its interest?’
“And to those standing before him, he said, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas with him.’
They said to him, ‘Our Lord, he has ten minas with him.’
He said to them, ‘I say to you, that to everyone who has, it will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
‘Now bring my enemies, those who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’”
Luke 19:12 to 27
And I saw seats, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them and the souls of those who were cut off 6 for the testimony of Jeshua and for the word of God, and because they had not worshipped the beast nor its image, nor received the mark between their eyes nor on their hands. 7 They lived and reigned with Messiah for one thousand years.
And this is the first resurrection. 8 Blessed and holy are they who have their part in the first resurrection, and the second death has no authority over them, for they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for one thousand years. 9 Revelation 20:4 to 6
The Feast of Booths is also a celebration of the vast number of people who, faced with unquestionable proof of Christ’s existence and authority when he returns, decide to turn to him (Ezek 36:16 to 37:28, Isaiah 66:14-24, Zechariah 12:1 to 14:21). This aspect is brought out by this being a celebration held after the Israelites had completed their main summer harvest. (Leviticus 23:39)
The word ‘booths’ also brings deeper understanding of the Thousand Years. A booth is a temporary and portable dwelling that is more substantial than a tent, but less elaborate than a tabernacle. In Leviticus 23:42 & 43 God tells the Israelites to live in a booth during this feast. It reminds them that they lived in booths in the desert on their way to inherit the Promised Land after their Exodus from slavery in Egypt. It teaches us that those who are in the first resurrection at Christ’s return will live with Him in temporary dwellings until the New Jerusalem is brought down after the Thousand Years (Rev 20:4 to 6 & 21:1 to 4). Booths also teaches us that those who turn to Christ after His return will live in their temporary mortal bodies until the end of the Thousand Years.
The Thousand Years will be a time of joy for all who are blessed with the opportunity to live in it. Sickness will be virtually unknown and even mortal lifespans will be extended to many hundreds of years. Jeshua will lead us in a program of renewal that will see most of the earth turned into a paradise that today only seems to be an unachievable dream. (Some parts of the earth will be left as uninhabitable wastelands to remind us what the earth would be like without Jehovah’s help (Jer 49:13 to 18, Eze 47:11)). He promises us that it will be a time when there is plenty for everyone. No longer will we have wars and famines, nor oppression and anger (Isaiah 2:2-4, Ezekiel 47:1-12). Everyone will have a part in His plan, and everyone will benefit from their labour. Agricultural country will be full of small, productive family farms. Cities will be beautifully designed, clean and welcoming. Education will be valued and all will have access to it (Isaiah 30:18-24 & 32:16-18 & 65:17-25). God will ensure that all development will benefit all His Creation, and we will be trained in all the skills and knowledge required to implement His plans.
This Day is first mentioned in Leviticus 23:39 where it is called the eighth day of the Feast of Booths. In Biblical numerics, eight symbolises a new beginning, such as the ‘eighth’ day being the first day of the new week. It was also on the eighth day that the Israelites were to circumcise their baby boys as a symbol of their willingness to place God ahead of their worldly desires (Genesis 17:10-13, Deuteronomy 10:16).
The Last Great Day speaks of the last resurrection after the Thousand Years, followed by Satan’s release and final futile rebellion. After these events God’s people will delight in eternal peace in God’s Kingdom.
After one thousand years of God’s government on earth, many of those who had not committed their lives to God before they died will be brought back to life and pardoned by Christ who has already paid for their sins. They will be shown the beauty and joy of Christ’s Kingdom, and told that this paradise is the result of obedience to God. Then Satan will be released and they will have to choose, with full knowledge of the alternatives, whether they want to follow God or Satan. Those who choose Satan’s system of selfishness and lust will have to be destroyed. See Revelation Chapter 20:5 to 15 for details.
After this the New Jerusalem which God has made will come down out of heaven and He will dwell in it with us (Rev 21:1 - 22:20). This is part of His Promise:
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Rev 21:4
Jeshua says this about false worship: “‘These people honour Me with their lips, but their heart is very far from Me. And their reverence of Me is worthless, while they teach as teachings the commandments of the descendants of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9).
Which will you keep? God’s Holy Days or the false holy days which are the mark of the false church and her daughters?
God says “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)
and Should We Keep Them?
Many people believe that God’s Annual Holy Days were not created until the time of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. They suggest that the Holy Days were only intended to be temporary, beginning with the Covenant given to Israel at Mount Sinai and ending when Christ gave us the New Covenant. This view contrasts sharply with Scripture.
The first detailed account of the Passover and Unleavened Bread is recorded for us in Exodus chapters 12 and 13. However, these Holy Days were important to the Israelites for at least 430 years before the Exodus. This is proven by Exodus 12:40-41:
Now the dwelling of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt and in the land of Canaan 10 was four hundred and thirty years.
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, on that very same day, it came to pass that all the host of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt.
Verse 21 specifically states that it was on “the very same day”, that day being the First Day of Unleavened Bread, that Israel first entered the lands of Canaan and Egypt. Biblical Chronology verifies that it was exactly 430 years earlier that Abram left Haran for Canaan as God had commanded him to do. Abram’s obedience on the First Day of Unleavened Bread as specified above confirms that even then this feast was known to God. Exactly twenty four years later, also on the First Day of Unleavened Bread, God visited Abram again and confirmed His covenant with him. God specifically states that the date of this meeting is one of His Appointed Times in Genesis 17:21.
In the evening of that day, the angels had a feast with Lot, in which Lot served them unleavened bread (Genesis 19:3). By then it was the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This confirms that Lot, like Abram, was also keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, even down to such details as eating unleavened bread. Exactly one year after God’s visit with Abraham, Isaac was born to Sarai as God had promised them - on the first Day of Unleavened Bread. (God also refers to Isaac’s birth date as an Appointed Time (moade) in Genesis 18:14.) The 400 years of affliction spoken of by Stephen in Acts 7:1 to 7 began five years later when Ishmael afflicted Isaac (Galatians 4:9, Genesis 21:9).
If anyone has any doubts about the truth of the above claims, please recall that in Genesis 26:5 God tells us that “Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my Instructions.” As our God is the same “yesterday, today and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8), we can also be sure that His Instructions do not change. As the Holy Days were part of the system of Instructions that God revealed through Moses, we know they were also revealed to Abraham.
Psalm 81:3-5 reveals that Joseph also knew and kept God’s Instructions and Holy Days hundreds of years before the Exodus:
In the new moon blow the shophar, at the fullness of time on our feast day. For this is a statute for Israel, a judgement of the God of Jacob.
He established this in Joseph for a testimony, when He went throughout the land of Egypt, where I heard a language that I did not understand.
But God’s Holy Days were established long before Abraham’s time. As we mentioned earlier, the Annual Holy Days summarise God’s Plan of Salvation. As God’s Plan of Salvation was formulated before He and His Son even began to create the heavens and the earth, one could reasonably expect that His Holy Days would also have been devised then. The following Scriptures support this idea:
And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting good news to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people; Revelation 14:6
To me, who is the least of all the saints, this grace is given; that I am to preach the Good News of the unsearchable riches of the Anointed among the gentiles, and that I may enlighten everyone by the stewardship of the mystery which was hidden from the world in God, the Creator of All. 11 That the full wisdom of God would be made known to the diverse principalities and rulers who are in Heaven by the congregation, which He had planned from eternity and He accomplished in our Lord Jeshua the Anointed, Ephesians 3:8-11
This mystery of the everlasting Good News is indeed linked thoroughly to God’s Holy Days and His Booth as it was given to Moses. This is proven by God calling the tent covering the Ark of the Covenant the “tent of the Appointed Times” (Exodus 27:21, etc). Though this Hebrew phrase is usually translated as the “tabernacle (booth) of the congregation” in the King James Version, it is not correct to use “congregation” as the Hebrew word moade always means “Appointed Times”. The symbolism of this arrangement is that God’s Holy Days (Appointed Times) are the covering which lead us, through Jeshua the Anointed, to God’s Throne.
Not only are the Appointed Times linked to God’s sanctuary on earth, but it can easily be shown that the Booth Moses built was indeed only a model of the one that existed in Heaven from before the creation of the Earth. Exodus 25:8-9 & 40 and especially Hebrews 8:1 to 5 (quoted below) prove this:
Now the main point of all this is that our High Priest sits on the right of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. He is the Servant of the House of Holiness and of the Tabernacle of Truth which God set up, and not any son of man.
For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it was necessary that this One also have something to offer for Himself. And if He were on earth, He would not even be a priest, for there have been priests who offered the gifts according to the Instructions; they who serve the copy and the shadow of these heavenly things, as was told to Moses when he made the tabernacle: “See and make everything according to the pattern that appeared to you on the mountain.” 12
This topic is continued on to Hebrews 9:22 to 26 where we are informed that:
Because in the Instructions all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 13 For it was necessary that these symbols of the heavenly are purified by these things, but the heavenly articles with better sacrifices than these.
For Messiah has not entered the Holy House made with hands, which is a symbol of the true one, but He entered into heaven itself, to appear before the face of God for our sake; not that He should offer Himself many times, like the high priest does when entering the Holy House every year with blood that is not his. Otherwise He should have suffered many times since the creation of the world; but now, at the end of the age, He has offered Himself once, sacrificing Himself to destroy sin. 14
The prophet Isaiah was also led to speak of God’s heavenly Palace of the Appointed Times as a mountain. This time God reveals its existence near the dawn of Creation when Satan first rebelled against God:
Your pride is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and scarlet worms cover you.’
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Daystar, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will also dwell on the northern side of the mount of the Appointed Times; I will ascend above the high places of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the insides of the Pit.” Isaiah 14:11 to 15
So we can see that God’s Appointed Times are an integral part of His Instructions and His way of doing things. His Holy Days go back at least as far as the Creation of His Heavenly Throne, which rests on the “Mount of the Appointed Times”. We have already seen that the Bible confirms that Jeshua and the Apostles kept God’s Appointed Times. Is there any further Biblical evidence that they should still be kept now and will be kept in the future?
For behold, Jehovah will come with fire and with His chariots, like a consuming wind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword Jehovah will judge all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many.
“Those who sanctify and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after One in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says Jehovah. “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
“I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the lands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the nations.
“Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to Jehovah out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says Jehovah, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah.
“And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says Jehovah. “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I shall make stand before Me,” says Jehovah, “So shall your seed and your name stand.
And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says Jehovah.
“And they shall go out and see the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be put out, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Isaiah 66:15 to 24
The prophet Zechariah tells us that God’s Holy Days will be kept in the Millennium of Peace. Those who will not keep them will be punished:
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, on them there will be no rain.
If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which Jehovah strikes the nations who do not come up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
In that day “Holiness to Jehovah” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to Jehovah of Hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah of Hosts. Zechariah 14:16 to 21
Please read the context of all these passages so you can be certain that we are not trying to mislead you. God makes it clear that His people will be observing His Holy Days during the Millennium just as they have always done.
Now you know that God’s Holy Days are the key to His Plan of Salvation. Will you join with God’s Children in keeping Lord Jehovah’s Sabbaths, or will you reject His Appointed Times in favour of the “christianised” pagan days of Satan, the temporary ruler of this world?
Central Highlands Congregation of God
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Scripture quotations are taken from the Central Highlands Congregation of God version, available on our website.
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