The title of this study should more accurately be what non religious things can we personally learn from the feasts days of God. Or something along those lines. It is about asking and answering what type of person keeps them, what do they teach us about such people or what changes do they go through. If that description does not accurately cover the content, you can re-title or describe it as more appropriate to your view.
God has seven annual holy days, commonly called Feast days and are listed in Lev 23. More accurately, they are called appointed times. Specific times God has set aside for His people to have holy convocations either as memorials of things He has done for them as a group or in recognition and acceptance He is their God as oppose to the other claims gods.
The idea of this presentation came to me as I ran out unleaven bread one day before the 7 day period ended. I buy what is called the Jewish Matza biscuit type square unleaven bread that comes in box packs of about 14. I eat about 3 for breakfast as bread replacement. A box would be too many. Nevertheless I stopped off in the shop. The four foot high floor stack of them, I saw a few days earlier, at the far end of the shop had surprisingly gone. I searched and could not find the stack. That was a lot of biscuit to sell in a few days. Finally the staff directed me to some on a shelf. Well at least a lot of other people are apparently keeping the feast. Almost like Elisha in 1Ki 19:18 “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him”. Later that evening Joy texed to asked when is the last day of the feast. So what kind of a person are God’s feast day keepers or what behavioural characteristics does the feast teach us? Firstly, it is having the fear of God and from that gaining wisdom. Wisdom to perceive it is not about the money, inconvenience, surplus or waste being left over; but a desire to be obedient to God.
The first two feasts are PASSOVER and Unleaven Bread as stated in Ex 12. Passover is kept on the 14th day of God’s first month, followed by seven days of Unleaven Bread from the 15th day. His month is not recognisable by any common calendar of man. So first His people need to have more than a common interest in God to be able to know when His months and year start. That takes curiosity and learning. They have to have the strength of character to be different from the world whose time mechanisms of business and social life can oppose those of God. That knowledge has to go beyond head knowledge of simply knowing of its existence and time. It is like when the bible speaks of a man knowing a woman or the use of “now I know” in [Gen 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Exo 18:11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them]. The knowing goes beyond head knowledge. A whole sermon could be taught on the times that phrase is used in our bible. It involves an action and experience. It can be said, to really know someone or something is experience them or it.
So to really know about the Passover period, which incorporates the seven days of unleaven bread, is to experience it. That means taking the time to diligently clear out your house inclusive of food preparing equipment, of any leaven. Doing this at a time when you may not really want to or in the detail that preparation requires. It is like expecting a most honourable visitor and preparing for them. A lady who works in McDonalds told me she had to work on her normal day off as the store was having an inspection. Many businesses do this for audits, valued client staying over say in a hotel room, etc. Time and effort is gone beyond what is ordinary. No time or expense is spared to impress. So if you can imagine the diligence that goes into such preparation and the character of the persons required to do such preparation you are also thinking of one who keeps Passover. For a special visitor to a high class hotel, if the mirrors are not polished to the highest standard that employee can lose their job. If some dirt is found to have been swept into a hiding corner, missed, or the person exhibits a character of laziness or not methodical, they also can lose their job.
Leaving that aside, additional personal characteristic are the keepers have to plan and be planners. The feast entails taking two days off work for holy convocations. The first and last of a seven day period so the two days are not following. That is two days out of those annual holidays given by an employer. They may have to be pre-booked long in advance to secure the time off. If you have very few annual holidays, young children who get school holidays etc, that is also a sacrifice. This time not of your habit or taste; but of your time. Time out of those days when you could have planned for, say a beach holiday or loss of wages if taken as unpaid leave. Neither can you utilise the day to do any housework as gardening, tidying up, receive a delivery or any such things for which people commonly take days off work. Time is valuable, so such a sacrifice and prioritising is another trait from which children can benefit. The days are 24 hour days, so incorporate nights. They and us may have to miss certain social events i.e. a concert or party. They and we learn we do not have to be at a certain place with certain friends. They do not have to be part of every group all the time. They learn to be an individual and stand alone if needed. Taking time out to study rather than socialise. In these days of increase mental health, relying on others and social media devices it is because people are not comfortable with their own company.
Another aspect and teaching of Passover is sacrifice and self denial. Going without your leaven bread, cakes and food for which you have a liking. That takes self control. A perspective that you can do without that item. A person with self control and self denial can overcome much in life and avoid many of the problems that many other people without such characteristics experience. Arguments can be avoided as people have an attitude of “it’s not worth it, I can do without retaliating, having the last word, shouting, walking away etc”. Temptations of the devil are better resisted with such a character. You have trained yourself to deny yourself of pleasure, temptation, keep within boundaries of what to have and what not to so that lure of sin has less effect on you.
Most times when I log off my computer I can’t resist a quick gave of solitaire; but on any Sabbath, I can resist the urge as I see it as a non Sabbath practice. When we can separate ourselves and habits to do things of God, we overcome the biggest temptation of the devil, lusts. We have learnt not to be drawn by or miss the pleasure of things. Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Again a whole sermon can be done on lust; but I will merely quote some verses that mention it, to show with a character of self denial we can overcome them.
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Looking on a beautiful woman is not sin, it is the lusting after her that is. Self denial and focusing on what God says is permissible keeps one from sin with opposite and same sex. Sin is what God says is not permissible. Walk in the spirit and mindset of God and lust, covetousness can be overcome. There is alot more that can be said about the benefits of learning self denial and sacrifice; but time does not permit. If our children were brought up keeping this feast day, they should consequentially acquire a character of the same. Such a character would help them combat the lures of the materialistic world. Wanting things in which there is no real profit; but of ego, showing off and wanting to be accepted. Their pride would be in themselves and what God thinks of them not what other non Godly persons think of them. Simple control of lust can prevent wasted lives in prisons, broken marriages and financial problems having to divide what you acquired or legal costs, credit debts of buy now pay later, driving or wearing what really cannot afford, living from one pay packet to another. 12 mins
The third feast is that of First Fruits. We originally gave to God what came first of our produce. That is contrary to the world which teaches me first others later. Or God gets of my abundance not the first as I do not know if I would get any more etc. Giving is a rare attribute. Giving first or of what we do not have is even rarer. Many prosperity preachers exploit congregations with such giving demands. They use songs as give and it will come back to you based on Luke 6:38. Plant a seed to receive etc. and from your such giving, to those who do not keep God’s feast days, they get richer. The characters of those in the bible who gave are different to those of today who do it as a means of receiving.
1Ki 17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 1Ki 17:11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 1Ki 17:12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 1Ki 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
Mar 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
Mar 12:43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: Mar 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
I and maybe you have too, seen videos of homeless persons, giving the little they have to others more wealthy than them. At times there seem to be more generosity from those who have next to nothing than those who are rich. Maybe they can emphasise more. When we love and trust God, He is all we need as David said in his song of 2Samuel 22. God says if we have the faith of relying on Him for our sustenance He will produce when we have not sowed Lev 25:20 And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Lev 25:21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. Lev 25:22 And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store. Exo 34:23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. Exo 34:24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
Such a trust produces a character of not wasting, making what one has last. Planning and storing as Joseph in solving Egypt’s famine and saving the world. Being frugal is not seen as a bad thing. Infact we are advised to be like Pro 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Pro 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Pro 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 22 mins
The fourth feast is Shavout also called the feast of weeks; or commonly called Pentecost by Christians. This also takes a diligent study and knowledge of YHWH God as the devil has used it to get some seekers to worship him on the day of the sun rather than on God’s proper day. Meaning, the KJV and possibly some other translations give the impression it should be kept of Sundays annually. This is done by the translators and Christians thinking “Sabbath” only applies to the weekly one and also using the word “Sabbath” to replace the word “weeks” in Lev 23:15. Jewish sources and translations would show, like all the other feasts, the day falls on changing weekly day, as one’s birthday, not always on a Sunday which is the result of incorrect translation.
The fifth feast is that of Trumpets. The sound of the trumpet is one of calling or announcing to the people it is time to gather. They have to be ready to stop what they are doing and leave to gather together for the holy covocation. This is a good thing when it comes to time or task management. We ought to be aware that at some point in time we will have to leave what we are doing and go. That means we have to plan and allocate a certain amount; hopefully the right amount of time to a task. Businesses use this in customer service and all areas of their operation. From working out how much time a job or delivery should take and thus how much to pay a person, to financial planning of the business. Yet when unexpected events occur, we have to have either planned for such occurrences or adapt. Either to compete with competitors, meet deadlines or budgets. One has to be mature and practical. Thinking with their heads not their desires and within constraints. That takes a mature mind and person. It also carries into the length of conversations and communication methods. Conversations, questions, answers, information may have to be to the point. Time is money as they say. For young people that could be passing or failing an exam through spending too much time on questions, not getting a job due to miscalculating travelling time etc.
God is one of order and precise time keeping, not the let the spirit lead attitude of many today who blame their poor time control on the Holy Spirit. God instructed and wanted the tabernacle erected on a certain day and in advance gave specific people talents to enable that time to be kept. Exo 40:2 On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. Exo 40:17 And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. Exo 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
Jos 6:10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout....
Jos 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Jon 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
Joh 7:8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.
Mat 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
I would advise not to let anyone convince you that when events of God do not run to time, that it is God’s will or the work of the Holy Spirit.
The sixth feast is that of Yom Kippur or called Day of Atonement. Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. Lev 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. Lev 23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
This is seen as the most important of the feasts as it deals with atonement for sins. Without which they would be no cleansing. Note the stalk warning in verses 29-30. We are to be Christlike. Forgive our brethren, not our enemies or everyone, as He forgives us. Our enemies are for example those whose aim is to kill God’s people.
Verses that guides us as to what characteristics to seek are Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Mat_5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Mat_5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Luk 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
When trying to show some seekers, via the scriptures that God’s feast days are to be kept today or any other correction, they claim they are being judged and wrongly use Mat 7:1 and Luke 6:37 against being corrected. Correction is not judging. In any case the verse does not say we are not to judge; but that we would be judged by the same standard we judge others. Ofcourse, that is not to say that if we allow a free for all, i.e. letting sin go unpunished, that God will not punish us for our sins. We are to Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Luk 12:57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?
The seventh feast is Sukkot or called Tabernacles.
This is one celebrating God tabernacle being with us as He personally dwells with us. Every biblical holiday given to the Jewish people has three aspects. Israel was to observe the holiday in the present in order to remember something God had done in the past, while looking forward to some future prophetic purpose hidden within each festival. This is true for their weekly observance of Shabbat, as well as for the annual pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, the Jewish people were to gather together in Jerusalem not only to remember God's provision in the Wilderness but also to look forward to that promised Messianic age when all nations will flow to this city to worship the Lord. God never excluded the stranger who wanted to also join in the worship of Him.
Deu 31:11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Deu 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: Deu 31:13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
When Solomon later dedicated the Temple at Sukkot, he asked the Lord to hear the prayers of any foreigners that would come there to pray (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). It may surprise some, but Jesus kept the Feast of Tabernacles as well. On the last "great day of the feast", he stood in the Temple and cried out: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38).
The most visible symbol of Sukkot is the small booth the Israelites are commanded to dwell in for the eight days of the Feast (Leviticus 23:33-43). Jewish families build these makeshift huts on their patios and balconies, and decorate them with colourful fruit, ribbons and pictures. Some families eat their meals in thesukkah and even sleep there at night. These flimsy booths are a reminder to Israel that they once dwelled in temporary shelters during the forty years in the Wilderness, totally dependent on the Lord. God is faithful and He continues to provide all we need to walk upright before Him still today.
Those who keep this feast should be kept grounded in terms of materialism. They are annually reminded they can live and others did live without bring mansions. Living to please God not impress or compete with others for the biggest more expensive house or neighbourhood. No en-suite, large kitchen or spare guest room. Humility and humble abode are appreciated. If ever, God forbade, they lost everything as those in stock market crashes, they would not jump out of windows; but have an attitude as Job “God gives and God takes away”. Or one of “there are others somewhere worst off than me”.
They are also reminded of the prophetic future nature of the feast, when evil is nomore in the earth nor competing with others. They live for a future vision not of this sad competitive world. They are visionary people. Living, aiming for a purpose, the end result not the short term present. They know it is not all plain sailing. There will be deterants, things will not always go to plan. It may be two steps forward, one back; but they do not get permanently discouraged. Not only can they see the positive in result of their actions; but the consequences of failing to take an action. If Adam and Eve, Moses or king David saw they consequences of their sin, they may not have done it. The vision is their motivation. To pass the exams and qualify, to endure some pain or hardship. They may not even be the final recipient of the vision; but a generation in the process as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isa 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. Isa 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Isa 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. Isa 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. Isa 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Isa 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
They have a mindset of contentment. Knowing that a paper or plastic cup holds the same amount of water as a gold one. A bed only needs to be as big as to get o good night’s sleep, it does not have to be housed in a large grand room. I opened this presentation stating it is intended to focus on the character of those who keep God’s feasts. It is possible to tell the character of a person by the company they keep or who makes them feel comfortable and accepted. Birds of a feather flock together as the saying goes. Many times material riches are gained not by moral means, so mixing in such societies is no recommendation of a Godly character. Be careful not to envy those rich in materialistic things. Pro_4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. Pro 9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Pro 9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. Pro_20:17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
I hope the above comparisons to the feasts have given you an idea of the type of character we are to strive to achieve. Be grateful for the little things in life and show gratitude for them to God and by whom they come. Say thank you, help others, be positive not negative. The devil can help many get rich so it is not about material things nor mixing with the worldly rich. Thieves, the selfish and such can have those things; but not things of God. Do not blame the devil for all your problems, it could be down to your mismanagement of your affairs or God protecting you from a fall.
Psa_119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
Pro_13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Pro_28:7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
If we rightly discern the character Yahweh God wishes us to adopt and adopt and cloth ourselves with it, we can withstand the even the devil.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
When you put on the feast days of God, you are putting on all the things the bible tells us to put on. So there is more to keeping the feast days than merely taking some different days off work. You are putting on the armour and character of God and His son.
We are to remember they are called feasts for a reason; that is what they are. Except for the Day of Atonement, joyous celebrations of and to YHWH God not sad meetings as the deceiver has branded them. A simple or modest lifestyle honesty obtained with hard work is pleasing to God and to one’s heart. We read of many rich persons who have material things in this world; but no real joy nor may have everlasting life. God has shown you how to have life in both worlds. I hope you find His way.
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