“Just a moment,” someone will say “are not these Feasts all part of the old covenant? And as such, they have been fulfilled by Jesus and nailed to the cross at Calvary. They are, therefore, obsolete and it is no longer necessary for believers to observe them. Besides, are they not Jewish?”
Doubtless some of you may have heard these and similar statements. But are you sure they have the backing of Scripture? Have you examined the evidence to see if that is what the Bible says? Have you looked into the New Testament record to see what the early church did after the Saviour’s resurrection? Have you read the prophecies concerning the new covenant and the Feasts of Yahweh, prophecies identifying who the new covenant is made with and what’s new about it? Prophecies which tell of the coming millennium (the 1000 year) Reign of Peace) when all the nations of the earth will obediently keep the Feasts? Have you considered that weighty Scripture which tells of the Sabbaths of Yahweh being observed for all eternity on the New Earth?
Or are you believing what you want to believe, because you are secretly afraid of the truth, incorrectly supposing that it will somehow ruin your life if you accept it? Always bear in mind that facts do not cease to exist because people refuse to accept them. Facts are stubborn things, and the only effective way to deal with them is to examine them and then act upon them.
In view of this, I would advise that before you make any lasting judgement one way or the other, before you settle your mind in a fixed position which you may well find impossible to abandon, examine what the Scriptures have to say about the new covenant and the Sabbaths of the Most High under it.
- 1. New Covenant Basics
Consider these four eye-opening facts about the new covenant mentioned in the Scriptures:
FIRST: The new covenant is not made with ANY Gentile church, however dedicated, large and special it may consider itself to be. Instead, it is made between the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His people ISRAEL & Judah! That is the first stunning fact the Christian church must come to terms with.
SECOND: The new covenant became necessary because ‘God found fault with them;’ that is, with those early Israelites, because deep within their hearts they didn’t really want to obey the Almighty, but rebelled against Him time and time again.
THIRD: In the new covenant the law of the Almighty still abides; however this time it is not written on stone tablets, but on the hearts and minds of His people Israel! Note that it is the same law under consideration here; albeit it is written in a different place. Before it was written on stone tablets. In the new covenant it is written on the true believer’s mind.
FOURTH: Once the new covenant is ratified and becomes fully operational, there will no longer be a need for teachers to teach spiritual lessons about the LORD; because every Israelite who accepts the new covenant will know Him. At that time we will no more need instruction about things spiritual than we currently need instruction as to how to breath air or digest our food. This last fact proves that these vital aspects of the new covenant have still to be ratified. Now let us consider the texts which prove the above statements.
Jer.31:31” Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL, and with the house of Judah:
32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Heb.8:7 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8: For finding fault with THEM, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL and with the house of Judah:
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
These four facts mean that if any believer wishes to be party to the new covenant, he/she must agree to be grafted into the Olive of Israel and then have Yahweh’s law written on his/her mind. Those who stumble at this prospect have absolutely no place or function in the new covenant
The Saviour’s Advice
Matthew 24:20 “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.“
We now ask, for the sake of all the respect and honest analysis that this subject deserves, what was the point of the Master giving this kind of advice to His predominantly Jewish followers, who all kept the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) if the Sabbath commandment was going to be abolished at the cross? Why advise them to keep a commandment, and even pray to God that He would arrange circumstances to facilitate its keeping, if the Sabbath command would supposedly be obsolete at the time of Jerusalem’s fall?
The answers are perfectly obvious. The Master knew that the Sabbath commandment would still be valid long after his resurrection and he wanted his followers to keep it. He knew very well that at the approaching fall of Jerusalem they would be in danger of breaking the Sabbath command; so he advised them to pray to the Father to make it possible for them to be obedient. And this unequivocal fact – that He advised His followers to pray about Sabbath observance some 40 years after the crucifixion – proves that the Sabbath commandment was not abolished at the cross. Historical records tell us that the early church fled from Jerusalem in the middle of the week when the Roman armies mysteriously withdrew their forces from the besieged city. This indicates that those early believers followed the Master’s advice and prayed to the Father about Sabbath observance and the Almighty in His great mercy answered their prayers and made it possible for them to keep the Sabbath amidst all the confusion that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem. Do remember that these events took place in the new covenant era – some 40 years after the Messiah’s death on the cross.
- 2. Paul’s Example
According to the Scriptures, the Apostle Paul and his companions were keeping the seventh day Sabbath and the Feast days of the Almighty many years after the Saviour’s resurrection. Here is proof:
Acts 17:2 “And Paul, as his manner was, went in into them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.”
Acts 18:20 “When they desired him (Paul) to tarry a longer time with them, he consented not; 21. But bade them farewell saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem…”
Acts 20:16 “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend time in Asia, for he hasted if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
Acts 13:14 “But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. …
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43: Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44: And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
Acts 18:4 “And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”
1 Cor.5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
8: Therefore LET US KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.“
The above verses prove that Paul observed Yahweh’s Sabbath law and went to great lengths to dispel any doubts the early church may have had that he was abandoning God’s law given through the patriarch Moses. Spend a little time reading Acts 21:17-24 and there you will see to what extraordinary lengths Paul went so “that all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing: but that thou thyself also walkest orderly , and KEEPEST THE LAW! “
In Hebrews 4:9 we read that
There remaineth therefore a REST to the people of God.
According to Strong’s dictionary the Greek word translated rest is sabbatismos, #4520.
1) keeping sabbath.
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians.
In other words, here we have proof in the New Testament that not only did the weekly rest day (the Sabbath) remain; but that the true worshippers of God and true Christians were still looking forward to the Sabbath’s fulfilment in the age to come.
Once again we must remember that these events and observations were recorded some 30 years after the Messiah’s death on the cross. They tell of the early church – including converted Gentiles – keeping the Almighty’s Sabbath days; and also of how Paul went out of his way to prove that he still kept the law of God!
- The Feast Days in the Millennium
When the Messiah returns to earth and begins his millennial reign over all nations, the Feasts of Yahweh will be observed by every soul on earth. Consider this astonishing passage. Zechariah 14:1 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken…
3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south….and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one….
12: And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth…
16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
17: And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
19: This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.“
Can anything be clearer than that? Does this amazing prophecy – which has obviously still to find fulfilment – give the impression that the Feast of Tabernacles has been done away with? Oh no dear friend, the presence of this prophecy alone demolishes forever the delusion that Yahweh’s Feasts are obsolete or that they are only to be observed by the nation of Israel. Anyone with spiritual eys will plainly see that this prophecy teaches that in the millennium Yahweh’s Feasts will be observed by all the nations of the world!
If you have an open mind, if you are not afraid of the truth, if you have ‘eyes to see, and ears to hear’, then you will see and hear and understand this unmistakable fact that Yahweh’s Feasts have not been done away with at all; and what is more, they will be observed by all nations of the earth during the Millennium.
That is what the Scriptures teach.
- Yahweh’s Sabbath on the New Earth
After the millennium (the 1000 year Reign of Peace) Yahweh will re- create the universe. Revelation 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. “
Will Yahweh’s Sabbath be observed on the New Earth? Yes they will and here is the proof.
Isaiah 66:22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23: 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, saith the LORD. “
Here we have another plain prediction about the future age when the redeemed of all mankind will come Sabbath by Sabbath to worship the Almighty God of Israel.
What of those “new moons”, are they significant? Certainly they are. Abib’s new moon is New Year’s Day in the sacred calendar. (Exodus 12:1-2 & 18, Exodus 13:4) and Ethanim’s (Tishri’s) new moon determines the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24). Indeed in the sacred calendar every month begins on the day of the new moon. Indeed, the Almighty’s church, the woman in Revelation 12, is seen standing on the moon; which means she takes her stand on the Sacred Calendar of the Most High and the Sabbath days and years in it.
Isaiah’s prophecy highlights several important points about the Sabbaths of the Eternal. Here are two of them:
That even the Gentiles who observe them will be allowed access to the Temple of the Most High and will share in the heritage of Jacob. (Isaiah 56:1-7 and chapter 58:13-14)
And that Yahweh’s Sabbath days will be observed on the new earth by the redeemed host of every nation. (Isaiah 66:22-23)
Now we can plainly see why the Almighty used those everlasting tones when He commanded that His Feasts were to endure from “generation unto generation,” from “age unto age,” – “for all time.” He meant just that – for all eternity! No other sensible conclusion is possible.