“M0’EDIM” - Appointed Times & Feasts of the Lord!
Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,
“Hebraic Roots” is the difference between Hebrew and Greek thought of the New Testament. Christians are so accustomed to linear thought that many treasures from the Bible and Creation falls on blind eyes. One thing is certain, the Word and Creation both declare Mo’edim appointed times cycles to us again and again. “The Feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My Feasts" - Leviticus 23:2. Here God Almighty says in Scripture that these are His Feasts. Why are they important to the Lord and why should they be important to every Christian? Let’s examine together! The Seven Feasts of the LORD centre around Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and point us to God's plan for ALL mankind and His role in every step toward our FINAL “Salvation!” On PASSOVER (Unleavened Bread) point us to His “Death and Resurrection and on the day of PENTECOST (weeks) “the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.” This gap represents the Church Age PRESENTLY which after 2,000 years we are now coming to the end of the “times of the Gentiles!” This long gap is before the FUTURE last three clusters of the (autumn) - “FALL Feasts of the LORD.” These last three Feasts point us to the Rapture of the Church, the Second Coming of our Lord and the Millennium Reign!
The first 4 Feasts have been already FULFILLED …but the last 3 are the Fall Feasts and yet UNFULFILLED!
The next fulfilment on God’s MO’EDIM - “Appointed Time-Table” is the FALL Feasts of the Lord – Tabernacles which are yet UNFULFILLED; the (1) “Rapture of believers,” (2) the “Great Tribulation” and (3) final completion 1,000-year Millennium reign (Zechariah 14:16-21) with our Lord. For most of traditional Christianity, these Biblical Feasts are thought to have been kept only by the Jews and are considered meaningless for Christians. Their meaning in this regard has sadly escaped most Bible readers for the last 2,000 years.
It is interesting to note that one of the meanings of the Hebrew word for “FEAST” is “Chag” …but when it comes to the 7 specific “THE Feasts of the Lord” then it refers to the root of the word “Mo’ed” meaning; “appointed time” or “to keep an appointment!” “These are the (mo’edim) appointed times of YHWH which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to YHWH – burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day.”- Leviticus 23:37. “Mo’ed,” instead, reflects the times that God specifically “appointed” to honour and to remember moments in history when God rescued His people. God made appointments with His Covenant people to meet with Him on exact days when they should come and how these special days were to be observed! When we (Jew or Gentile) keep or appointment with God we really “FEAST” with Him!
When these “7-Feasts” are observed without the LORD then they become “Feasts of the Jews” and NOT Feasts of the LORD (John 6:4). Messianic Jews (those that believe in Yeshua – Jesus have always celebrated the Feasts and are considered “fulfilled” since they not only know the Word but the TRUTH and no longer blinded. Before the First Temple that was built God’s people had the “holy” Tabernacle. It was known, in Hebrew, as the “Ohel Mo’ed” (tent of meeting). It was the one place on earth where God and His people could physically connect. Once the Temple was built by King Solomon in a permanent location (Jerusalem) the people could celebrate the feasts (Mo’edim) of YHWH continually in Jerusalem. Just like the Tabernacle (tent of meeting), the Temple festivals was where God would meet with His people at the “appointed times” that He announced in Leviticus 23.
Those times included the three MAJOR pilgrim Feasts to which God has promised us blessing in giving; “…and the three annual appointed feasts - the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles.”- 2 Chronicles 8.
There are 7 “Moedim” or “TIMES appointed” by YHWH – God; “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘These are MY appointed Feasts, the Feasts of the LORD that you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.’” - Leviticus 23: 2. The 1st of the 7 Feasts comes as a cluster of 3 and are the SPRING Feasts (mo’edim) of the LORD” (Leviticus 23:4-5). Passover is a 1-day Feast followed by 7 Days of Unleavened bread. This year Pesach (Passover/Unleavened Bread/ First Fruits) begin on 27th March – 03rd April, 2021 – Ha’Matzot. Time of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) and First Fruits (Leviticus 23:9-11).
Pesach /Passover” was God's “appointed time plan” Mo’edim are all FULFILLED and begins with Christ's redeeming sacrifice... Passover is the first of God's annual Feast days mentioned in Scripture and commemorates the greatest event in the people of Israel's history and their miraculous redemption from Egypt. But here’s a thought - was this Feast only to celebrate the Israelites being spared when God brought judgment on the Egyptians? NO! What do we learn from later Scripture about this “appointed time” or event? When John the Baptist saw Yeshua (Jesus) coming to the Jordan River to be baptized, he exclaimed, "Behold - The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). Here “the lamb” is a symbol of the Passover because a lamb was slain at the beginning of the Passover and eaten that night. The Israelites knew that “the blood of the lamb” had protected them from the death of their firstborn on that first Passover night they kept in Egypt (Exodus 12:12-13).
On the night before His death, our Lord knew that He was fulfilling the “symbolism” of the Passover lamb in voluntarily giving His life for the sins of the entire world …so that others might be spared from death. Yeshua (Jesus) then instituted the symbols that represented NOT the sacrifice of “a lamb,” …but His far greater sacrifice. Passover symbols would now represent Christ's complete SACRIFICE; the Unleavened Bread representing His SINLESS body that was beaten for us …and the wine signifying the blood He would shed to cleanse us from our sins. From then on, this Feast of Pesach / Passover took on a much greater new meaning to the Church. Instead of being abolished, this Feast of the Lord now revealed its true, ultimate meaning and “appointed time!” The Disciples now realized the Passover lamb was only the physical forerunner of that perfect sacrifice which was Yeshua HaMashiach - Jesus Christ. Now they would keep this Feast with far greater significance and comprehension.
Only about two decades after Christ's death, the Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian Congregation (composed of believing Jews and Gentiles) about the Passover; "Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" - 1 Corinthians 5:7. Paul understood this Ancient Feast of the Passover had now revealed its true meaning with Christ's sacrifice. It was part of God's plan for all of mankind that Yeshua (Jesus) would come and give His life in sacrifice for the sins of the world …and all the Passover lambs slain for almost 15 Centuries before represented that greatest of all sacrifices. So, far from being obsolete, the Passover was revealed to have a vastly important meaning for Christians, with Christ being at its centre.
The Apostle Paul clearly understood that the Biblical Feasts of the Lord - represented or modelled what was to come in God's master plan of salvation through Yeshua (Jesus) our First Fruit. In a passage frequently misunderstood by many, Paul shows that these 7-Feasts of the Lord were “a shadow of things to come” …NOT just a memorial of things that have already happened (Colossians 2:16-18). When we see a shadow approaching it indicates something coming - NOT something already passed. So, Paul mentions how important these Feasts of God are as “foreshadowing” - coming events in His plan for mankind. These events or “appointed times” have NOT all been completely accomplished so far ...and their significance for the vast majority of mankind lies still in the future! (The last three Fall Feasts of the Lord Sukkot/Tabernacles are yet UNFULFILLED)
What about the Days of Unleavened Bread? Are they obsolete, or do they also teach a magnificent lesson about Yeshua - Jesus Christ as Saviour of mankind? Prior to Christ's coming, the “Days of Unleavened Bread” were understood to be a “MEMORIAL” of what occurred with the Israelites after the Passover night when all the Egyptian first-born died. The next morning the Israelites loaded up their belongings and travelled to a nearby gathering place, ready for departure. That evening, they left Egypt by night but before that evening, one last thing occurred; “And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves" - Exodus 12:39.
We find this Feast clearly in Leviticus 23:6; "And on the fifteenth day of the same month (Passover) is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread." What does this feast have to do with hrist and what does it teach us? Once again, the Apostle Paul explains the “spiritual symbolism” of unleavened bread. Rebuking the members of the Church of Corinth for their acceptance of sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Paul states, it is the “sacrifice of Christ” that removes our sins, and so we become “unleavened” in a spiritual sense. Further, God commanded that “unleavened bread” is to be eaten throughout this 7-day Feast of Passover.
Eating “unleavened bread” represents our taking of Communion and making the Lord a part of our lives… In John 6 the Lord tells us He is; “the true bread from heaven," "the bread of God" and "the bread of life." He is the divine bread that God supplies to satisfy the spiritual hunger and fill the spiritual vacuum in every person (John 6:35, 51). So, again, we can see that Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is the focus of this Passover Feast too. The “shadow” (1 Corinthians 10:11; Colossians 2:17) of this Feast points to what the Lord would do for all of us in cleansing us of sin and helping us to live sin-free lives …which we do by partaking of Him daily and allowing Him to live again within us (Galatians 2:20). Paul told the Corinthian believers that they should continue to keep this Feast that followed the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:8).
Once again, we see, then, that the “spiritual meaning” of the Days of Unleavened Bread was revealed. Its deeper significance wasn't ultimately found in what had occurred in the Old Testament …but in Yeshua (Jesus Christ) the sinless Saviour who purged our sins and allows us to be spiritually "unleavened" before God. We should also note that Jesus was buried for the first three days of this Feast and then raised to life again in the midst of it... This points to our need to have our old self figuratively buried with Him and then rising with Him into newness of life, as baptism pictures (Romans 6:1-14). Only in this way can we truly come out of sin and into Christ's way of righteousness. On day-2 of Pesach/Passover (Nisan 15) is “First Fruits” and also begins day-1 of the countdown of 50 days to Shavuot / Pentecost / Feast of Weeks! Can you see already God’s plan after the CROSS came the countdown to the Holy Spirit and the Church? Just as Passover and Unleavened bread have huge Prophetic significance and look to Christ our Passover sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7) and as Firstfruits points us to His Resurrection, the Day of Pentecost – Shavuot fell exactly 50 days after His Resurrection points us to the “Birthday of the Church – when the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKhodesh) came to unite the Jewish believers of the day into ONE LOAF or body.
SHAVUOT / Pentecost is the “Time of Weeks” is the 4th Feast of the LORD (Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-18) on Sivan 6-7 which falls on 16th – 17th May 2021… It comes at beginning of SUMMER. Pentecost means 50 and falls exactly 50 days after First Fruits on Passover. The Feasts of the LORD are always connected to “Harvest times.” Because the beautiful story of Ruth is laid in the time of the BARLEY Harvest. The Book of Ruth is read in Synagogues on the second day. Traditionally this Feast commemorates the “giving of the 10 Commandments” – it is the “Zeman mattan torathena” the “time of giving the LAW!” God’s love stretches from Heaven to earth; it is deeper than the deepest sea. Any scroll telling of the love of God, if it could contain the whole, would stretch from planet to planet and from pole to pole!
Exactly 50-days after Yeshua (Jesus) was Resurrected, the first Christians were celebrating Pentecost, one of the MAJOR Biblical Feasts of the LORD. And, as recorded in Acts 2, what a day that was! On it they received the Holy Spirit in a powerful and dramatic way. Suddenly the “Feast of Weeks had taken on a new meaning and the shadow of this feast had now become a reality! Shavuot – Pentecost would become the day on which Christ would find the Church that He had promised earlier He would build (Matthew 16:18). The Lord revealed the significance of this Feast by sending the Holy Spirit to His brethren in the faith (Luke 24:49). So, we see that Christ is at the centre of the Feast of Pentecost as well …yet the ultimate fulfilment will only be realized after He returns to establish God’s Earthly Kingdom, when ALL will have access to God's Spirit. This Feast should still be kept as a shadow of what is yet to come until its purpose is completely accomplished and the “times of the Gentiles” fulfilled!
The early believers in the 1st-Century Church would often talk of the Lord’s Coming and encourage one another by looking forward to the day when Christ would return. If that was so for 2,000 Centuries ago how much closer are, we? And, how much more should we be anticipating His Coming in the days in which we live? Now more than ever now - it is crucial that we remember to lift our heads and say, Maranatha Yeshua! “Come Lord Jesus!” This leads us to our generation since “The Fig Tree” (Israel) has blossomed and NO other generation has seen Israel REBORN and re-establishment of the Jews back to their land – this happened on the 14th May,1948! (Psalm 90:10; Luke 13:6-9; Matthew 21:19-20) NO other generation saw Jerusalem return to Israel on the 7th June,1967. No other generation saw Jerusalem as the official Capital – this happened on the 14th May, 2018 by US President Trump with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem coinciding with Israel’s 70th Anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. NO other generation before this generation could even imagine these things …we are that privileged generation! On 14th May, 2028 will be 80th Year of Israel as a Nation! A generation completed and God’s MO’EDIM – “appointed times” can clearly be seen and WILL come to pass according to His timing. We must however be ready and “keep our lamps burning” as we see the day approaching!
Structurally, the first four Feasts are linked together …and the last three Feasts are also linked …and there is a separation of time between these two groups of Feasts. The group of the first four Feasts relate to the work of Yeshua (Jesus) in His First Coming, of His earthly ministry. Between the first set of four Feasts and the second set of three Feasts, there is a significant time gap, almost four months, which, significantly, was a “time of harvest” in Israel; even as our current age is a “time of harvest” for the church, …until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25) The second group of the last three Feasts relate to events connected with the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua.
The next of God's sacred Feasts (of seven) is a cluster of three MAJOR Feasts which are the “FALL Feasts of the Lord” and they come in the fall or autumn and are yet to be UNFULFILLED! They are known collectively as “Tabernacles.” They are the only Feasts that will begin with a “new moon” or “crescent moon!” Yom HaTeruah - Rosh HaShanah (“Feast of Trumpets”) begins only when the Rabbi sees the very crest of the “new moon” and will then blow the TRUMPET and the Feast of Tabernacles will begin the New Biblical Year …leading to Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”) and then the FINAL of the seven Feasts – “Sukkot” the “Feast of Tabernacles” and ending with the 8th Day or Last Day – Rejoicing in the Torah. Therefore, we can see that there are other situations that begin these FINAL Feasts ...and the unknown time of the “new moon” - connects us Biblically to the Scripture that; “No man knows the day nor hour” of our Lord’s return in Matthew 24:36. While we certainly do not know exactly how the LAST Three Feasts will be fulfilled, it is perhaps reasonable to surmise that they will be fulfilled in the same manner on the actual feast day?
Rosh HaShanah (Yom HaTeruah) – “The Feast of Trumpets” and will begin on the 06th-7th September, 2021 with the New Traditional Hebrew Year 5782 on Tishrei 1. The Biblical New year for Israel is the first day of the first month, called Nissan in the Bible and on the Jewish calendar and this happened on 14th March, 2021 – Rosh Chodesh. (Called Nissan in Esther 3:7 and Abib in Exodus 13:4; 34:18). The Rabbis of the time of the Early Century believed that the Lord God created the world in the month of Tishrei. The blowing of Trumpets was a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of his son Isaac (Genesis 22). Therefore, the Jewish people today blow a ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah. It is “a holy convocation commemorated with trumpet blasts.” (Leviticus 23:24). God said that when “trumpets” were blown; “…you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies” - Numbers 10:9.
What does “The Feast of Trumpets” (Leviticus 23:23-25) teach us about Christ's role in things to come? The blowing of trumpets also points to “Return of the Messiah; so, like all these Feasts of the Lord, this one points to Him, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. The present re-gathering and the establishment of the State of Israel are strong evidences that His Second Coming is close at hand. At the Lord’s Coming in the air for His redeemed ones “…the trumpet of God will sound.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). The signs are clear but we are listening for the trumpet call and shout!” The Day of Trumpets - is a very solemn time proceeding the holiest day of all, the “Day of Atonement” (Yom Kippur) - God’s atonement (forgiveness) is sought and His judgement is feared. Yeshua (Jesus) Himself refers to the symbolism of the “trumpet” in describing the circumstances of His return to earth upon His Second coming (Matthew 24:30-31). In the writings of the New Testament, we often find trumpets tied to Christ's coming in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and the Lord Himself will resurrect His followers in John 6:44.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) 15th-16th September, 2021 (Leviticus 23:26-28). Perhaps the most unusual of the Biblical Feasts is the Day of Atonement. It included an elaborate ritual where the high priest was to present two male goats, the first of which was sacrificed for the nation's sins (Leviticus 16:15). Then, after the sins of the nation were symbolically placed on the other goat, it was expelled into the desert (Leviticus 16:21-22). What does the Day of Atonement reveal about Christ's roles? Is He also at the centre of this Feast? Yes! We read in Hebrews 13:11-12 about the Day of Atonement, and Christ being symbolic of the male goat and other animals slain on that day as sin offerings. So, Christ plays multiple roles in the symbolism of the Day of Atonement. He is sacrificed as the first goat for the sins of the people, the atonement of which is yet to be applied to all mankind after His return. He is the interceding High Priest. And He will also be involved, as King of Kings, in banishing Satan to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Feast of Sukkot – Tabernacles – “appointed time” of Booths 20th-28th September, 2021 (Leviticus 23:33-35, 39-44). The Feast of Tabernacles. It was originally kept by the Israelites to remind them of God's miraculous interventions during their 40-year period in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:42-43). But what does the Feast of Tabernacles have to do with Jesus Christ? Describing Christ's earthly ministry, the Apostle John states that; "…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" - John 1:14. The Greek term translated; ”dwelt” here literally means that He “Tabernacled” among us. Just as Christ as the Creator God of the Old Testament “Tabernacled” with the Israelites in the wilderness, He now did so with His people in His physical life many centuries later. At Christ's Second Coming, He will again "Tabernacle" with those who are saved. (John 1:1-3, John 1:10; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16) He will dwell with His people for 1,000-years, and this 1,000-year rule of Christ over the earth is the ultimate fulfilment of this Feast (Revelation 20:6).
The Eighth Day/ The LAST judgment… The Feast of Tabernacles is 7 days but then, on the 8th day, there follows a separate Feast day – (Rejoicing in the Torah) the LAST of the Biblical Feasts (Leviticus 23:36). What does this day have to do with Yeshua - Jesus Christ? During Christ's 1,000-year reign, all of mankind will be offered God's Spirit. And beyond that, the Bible reveals there WILL come a future time when Christ will offer it to those who rise up at the “Resurrection” of the dead from all past ages Revelation 20. We read what happens after the Millennium (a picture of the Feast of Tabernacles) is completed (Revelation 20:11-12). This period is also called the “White Throne Judgment,” and it is Christ who has been appointed to judge all of mankind (John 5:26-27; Romans 14:10). Therefore the 7 Annual Feasts of the Lord are “a shadow of things to come” and Christ is at the centre of ALL of them. Yet He has NOT brought them to ultimate fulfilment; that will only occur in the coming Kingdom of God.
So, you can see, Christ is our “Passover” who redeems us. Christ the “Firstfruit” who conquered death and the “Unleavened Bread” that purifies us and leads us out of sin. He sent the Holy Spirit at “Pentecost,” through which He lives in us. He is the coming King heralded by the blast of the “Trumpets” and the “One” who will cast out Satan and intercede for mankind as High Priest at the Day of Atonement.” He will “Tabernacle” with us on earth as King of Kings. And finally, He is will judge mankind and offer an opportunity to have their names - “written in the Book of Life.” The Feasts are to remind us of the central role Christ has in carrying out the plan of God the Father. These “appointed times” - Feasts of the Lord are HOLY because they are also times when God meets and connects with us, on our level.
God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people – Israel. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them! This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the Church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet, sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner - as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today and a despised nation continually turning away from God BUT nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was; “despised and rejected by men,” …and there is that despised element; “…things that are despised God has chosen,” 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now, more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people - the Lord’s Brethren! We are witnessing the nations and people turning their backs on Israel. Thank you for your prayers and generous financial support especially during these very difficult times. With “lockdown” and difficult “recovery” still lying ahead we ARE reminded that the Wuhan Corona Virus has caused many dire needs and continue to increase here in Israel upon the already most vulnerable! Once again – Thank you!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st April, 2021
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