Friday, March 25, 2011

Feasts

The Feasts of YHWH address all aspects of community, education, fellowship with YHWH and one another; they play an extremely essential role in preparing YHWH’s people for the return of Mashiyach. Within these set times of YHWH the perfection of Mashiyach is exercised through giving, sharing and experiencing the Kingdom of Elohim. Each of the Feasts holds spiritual and prophetic connections to the Divine that connect our spirits in ways far beyond the intellect. Elements of the Feasts in the natural world all point to the spiritual world. The Feasts of YHWH are signs between the Almighty YHWH and His people. YHWH created the Sun, Moon and Stars for Moedim (appointed times or feasts); they serve as YHWH’s timepieces set in the heavens to allow mankind to be in tune with the Kingdom of Elohim and learn of His will for our lives.

YHWH said to Mosheh, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘You are to observe my Shabbats (feast); for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am YHWH, who sets you apart for me. Therefore you are to keep my Shabbat, because it is set apart for you. Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people” (Exodus 31:12-14). YHWH set forth His Feasts for mankind to distinguish between ordinary time where mundane work is done, and Set Apart time that belongs unto YHWH. Each of YHWH’s Feasts have unique Shabbats which are Set Apart for rest and separation unto YHWH which enable the spiritual man to grow from faith to faith.

Succoth verses Christmas

Every original and authentic Feast of YHWH also has an opposing counterfeit “feast” that Christianity adopted from paganism. For example Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles) is the Feast on which Y’shua was born and circumcised; this Feast has many distinguishing components for all peoples of every nation on Earth. Succoth was prophesied to be observed by YHWH’s people from the time it was revealed, all the way through into the seventh millennium (See Zechariah 14:16). The counterfeit feast to Succoth is Christmas, which has its origins in “mystery” Babylon and pagan sun worship. Christmas was celebrated long before post-apostolic pagan church founders synchronized Mithras into Gentile Christianity and, although most Christians realize the impossibility of Y’shua’s being born on December 25th, it is strongly defended by false theology – and, of course, is one of the most popular counterfeit pseudo Christian feasts on Earth.

Rebellious and lawless feasting is devastating the moral fabric of society; and ranking at the top among these festivals of the fallen world are Christmas and New Years day. Parties are rife with drunkenness, gluttony and debauchery, unfortunately considered by the majority of society as “normal behavior.” The fruits of these anti-Mashiyach festivals are often loneliness, depression, anxiety and financial stress. In contrast, YHWH’s Set Times are abundant with righteousness and goodness along with a wholeness that elevates each soul that brings equality and deep spiritual connection with YHWH and His Mashiyach. It is sad that so many Christians have never sought to test YHWH’s Word to discover what it means to be a Kedoshim (Set Apart People) unto YHWH!

The household of Faith will never recognize Christmas in any fashion because it is anti-Mashiyach and was installed into Christianity by a pagan culture. The pagan feasts like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and worship on Sunday, originated with haSatan for the purpose of leading souls away from the Kingdome of Elohim. These same “feasts” and the pagan deities being commemorated were strongly opposed by YHWH through His prophets. Only a fool would think that what was once a wicked thing has become sanctified and good because of religious traditions.

The root of paganism and rebellion is to claim that man with his various “religions” has the ability to sanctify what YHWH calls evil. For instance, when the golden calf was made in the wilderness the Israelites dared to call it by the name of YHWH, and they built an altar to the golden calf in the Name of YHWH. These rebellious acts resulted in 3,000 deaths by the sword; and afterward, YHWH also sent a plague against them. One has to wonder, if YHWH hated paganism and rebellion in Moses’ time, why would He tolerate it today?

Christmas originated with the “rebirth” of the sex god, Tammuz; and therefore, it is no coincidence that a massive phallic symbol is promptly displayed at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, donated by Caligula, one of the most sexually reprobate and wicked emperors of Rome. The Feasts of YHWH, on the other hand, do not carry over any customs of the pagans; they are completely Set Apart unto YHWH according to His Righteousness.

Renewed Covenant Feasts

There are many insights in the original Aramaic Renewed Covenant verses that provide insights into the Feasts. For example Y’shua says: “About the day and about the hour no man knows, not even the Messengers of heaven, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). From a literal superficial reading to this says that no man can know the day or the hour of Mashiyach’s return, but from higher levels of PaRDeS Y’shua is, in fact, revealing a very popular day. “No man can know the day or the hour” is an idiomatic Jewish expression for observing a watch that leads up to a specific Feast day. Rav Shaul confirms this prophetic insight: “Suddenly, as in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar, when it shall sound; and the dead will arise, without corruption; and we shall be changed” (1 Cor 15: 52). The last shofar also addresses this same Feast and confirms what the ancients have known for thousands of years; however, the revelation of which year Mashiyach will return is also hidden below the surface of the text and revealed according to YHWH’s servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7).

The Feasts of YHWH are exceedingly broad and would take one or more publications to thoroughly address. The objective is simply to acknowledge that Y’shua, the Schlichim (apostles) and Talmidim (Disciples) observed the Feasts of YHWH according to their ancient appointed times, not counterfeits invented by Christo-Pagan post apostolic theologians. Not only are Y’shua and his followers zealous to observe YHWH’s Set Apart Feasts but, of course, they do so at the Temple in Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jewish population. The Feasts of YHWH, in short, are extremely powerful tools for helping to grow and sustain the spiritual man. Mashiyach Y’shua taught: “He who desires to do His will, can comprehend my teaching, if it is from Elohim, or if from my own will I speak” (Yochanan 7:17).

The key element of doing “His will” is to enter into life and experience His voice in our spirits. As we celebrate the Feasts we press into a Set Apart relationship with YHWH. His Appointed Times help guide the soul to greater consciousness of Mashiyach and his Government; they are awesome reminders of our Father’s love towards us and also reveal the vital importance of our love for one another. The Feasts present deliverance, redemption, acceptance into the beloved, separation from evil, victory over the fallen world and many more things. Rav Shaul taught that the Feasts of YHWH are to be guarded by the body of Mashiyach: “Let no (pagan) therefore judge you about food and drink, or about distinctions of festivals and new moons and Shabbats which were shadows of the things then future; but the body of Mashiyach” (Colossians 2:16-17). The fallen religious world judges those who set YHWH’s Feasts apart, while observing their own, man-made religious festivals. Believers must remember to keep Christianity or any “worldly” people from dictating how YHWH’s Feasts are to be observed.

“The people of Israel are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the people of Israel forever; for in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested” (Exodus 31:16-17). The Shabbat is a sign and seal between YHWH the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and each Believer. Those who call themselves Christians but reject the Shabbat of YHWH have adopted the traditions and feasts of post-apostolic Gentile theologians who changed times and laws according to anti-Mashiyach (see Daniel 7:25). Those who have the seal or “Mark of YHWH” (Genesis 4:15, Ezekiel 9:4, Ezekiel 9:6, John 6:27, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, 2 Timothy 2:19) are they who not only have the testimony of Mashiyach but have Torah written upon their hearts (Revelation 12:17 and 14:12). Rav Shaul himself stated: “…I must certainly keep the approaching feast at Urishlim. But, if it is Elohim’s will, I will come again to you” (Acts 18:21). And of course we read in a couple of chapters later that Rav Shaul is being called up to Jerusalem for the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) which is one of the pilgrim Feasts (see Acts 20:16).

Torah instructs: “Three times in a year shall all your males appear before YHWH your Elohim in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YHWH empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHWH your Elohim which He has given you” (Deut 16:16-17). These three Feasts are also known as pilgrim Feasts, which all the males of Israel were commanded to attend.

Whether the temple is standing in Jerusalem or not, the prophetic calendar continues to count the years, months and days to the return of Mashiyach. Within the Moedim (Appointed Times) everyone enters into YHWH’s prophetic calendar not only on an individual level but also as an entire community of people as a Kingdom unto Mashiyach. The world events happening today, as in every other generation, are within the timetable YHWH established before the foundation of the Earth began. The Feasts of YHWH serve to help His people view time through His eyes and to understand current events, and even their own individual personal experiences, according to the scope of His Word.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Feasts of YHWH have not come to an end anymore than time itself. When the sun, moon and stars are no more then the Feasts of YHWH will also be completed. These vitally important Feasts of YHWH help equip the Body of Mashiyach for the acharit hayamim (later days) but, unfortunately, they are being neglected by the vast majority of Christians who prefer man-made “feasts” that were synchronized with pagan feasts and adopted by modern commerce. It has become popular for many Christians to claim that they don’t celebrate Christmas day, but rather what “Jesus did for them.” Yet most continue to erect decorated Christmas trees and exchange gifts to make a “tribute” to Jesus – which is nothing more than stubborn rebellion that employs semantics to justify willful disobedience. None of the reborn pagan rituals and relativism against Y’shua will stand against the return of Mashiyach Ben Dawid.

These are they who, in their feastings, riot while polluting themselves, feeding themselves without fear; clouds without rain, moved about by the winds; trees who’s fruit has failed, and they are without fruit, twice dead, and uplifted from their root; raging waves of the sea which, by their foam, manifest their confusion; shooting stars for which is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. And of them also prophesied Enoch who was the seventh from Adam when he said: Behold, Master YHWH comes with myriads of His Set Apart Believers; to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the wicked because of all the deeds they have wickedly committed; and because of all the hard speeches which they, sinners without Elohim, have uttered. These are they who murmur and complain of everything while they walk according to their lusts; and their mouth speaks shocking things; and they flatter people for the sake of gain” (Yehuda 12-16).

Both Christians and Jewish religions have fashioned “feastings” according to religious tradition, and many speak evil against Torah-based Feasts and those who celebrate them.

The eternal Feasts of YHWH are prophesied to carry on into the seventh millennium and the world to come for all who are in Mashiyach. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says YHWH.” (Isaiah 66:23). This is a specific reference to YHWH’s calendar based on the Moadim (appointed times). All counterfeit festivals will be coming to an end when Mashiyach returns, and those who turn their backs on YHWH’s Feasts will be cut off (Zechariah 14:18-19).

All who follow Mashiyach, whether Jews or Gentiles, are sojourners like Awraham and Dawid, and part of the commonwealth of Israel. “And when a sojourner shall dwell with you, and will keep the Passover to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One Torah shall be to him that is a native Israelite, and unto the sojourner that dwells among you” (Sh’mot/Exodus 12:48-49). YHWH’s Set Times are rehearsals within these “days of Mashiyach,” yet many who are returning to YHWH’s Feasts are finding themselves in a “wilderness experience” after being ostracized from churches and from their friends and family for choosing the Ancient Paths of Mashiyach. Clearly there is a small remnant of “Israelites” who would rather suffer with the infamy of Mashiyach than be flattered with the futility of religious fame.



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