Introduction and Overview of the Fall Feasts


Keeping the fall feasts are all a part of the blessings my family and I have enjoyed as a result of our belief that the Torah/Law of Yahweh is for today. Considering that the fall feasts are a wonderful time for brethren to gather together and magnify Yahweh Elohim for all the blessings He has given, it is hard for me to understand how anyone could view the law/Torah as a burden

The feasts are based on the timing of Yahweh's calendar in scripture. There are different understandings as to what moon phase designates the first day of a month, but we watch for the first new crescent of the moon after the moon has been dark. It is visible just to the left of the sun within an hour after sunset.

Feast of Trumpets

On the 1st day of the 7th month, Yahweh commanded us to keep the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is mentioned in the following verses:

Leviticus 23:24 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

And again:

Numbers 29:1 - And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.

As you can see, this day is to observed as a Sabbath day. It is a time of shouting, blowing trumpets and rejoicing. The Hebrew name for this day is "Yom Teruah" which literally means "Day of Alarm or Day of Sounding".

8643 teruw`ah {ter-oo-aw'} Meaning: 1) alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, shout or blast of war or alarm or joy

Now let's examine Numbers 10, which gives us some details on the trumpets used:

Numbers 10:1 - And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, 2 - Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. 3 - And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4 - And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. 5 - When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

The word "Teruah" is used in the above verse "blow/sound the Teruah". Blow the alarm.

Numbers 10:6 - When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 - But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. 8 - And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 9 - And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before YAHWEH your Elohim, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. 10 - Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your Elohim: I am YAHWEH your Elohim.

Many believe that this feast is symbolic of Yahushua's return, or our own advancement toward the promised land (Yahweh's kingdom) at Yahushua's return. It is true that scripture says Yahushua will return at the 'last trump':

1Corinthians 15:51 - Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Day of Atonement

Another holy day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It is not a day of feasting. Rather, it is a day of fasting:

Leviticus 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 YAHWEH. 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 YAHWEH your Elohim.

Some believe that since there are special offerings given at these feasts, it must mean that they are not for today. However, just because sacrifices are given at certain times throughout the year, it does not abolish the observance of Yahweh's seven Annual Sabbaths (First and Last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day). There are also special sacrifices given on the regular Sabbath, yet we keep the regular weekly Sabbath as commanded.

Continuing in Leviticus 23:

Leviticus 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. 30 - And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 - Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 - It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Considering the warnings given, we would do well to obey the commandment here to fast. Some believe this is symbolic of when Yahushua will completely destroy the last enemy (death) at the end of the 1000 year reign when Satan will finally be thrown into the lake of fire. Then all sin will be atoned for and those who have chosen righteousness will forever be with Yahweh.

This day is casually mentioned in the book of Acts:

Acts 27:9 - Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 - And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

Luke, the writer of Acts was using the "fast" as a reference point of time. Apparently, sailing was more dangerous in late autumn. On this day, we do fast. We neither eat bread nor drink water. It is a somber time of considering our ways and recognizing the atonement found in Yahushua the Messiah who is now seated at the right hand of Yahweh:

Psalms 110:1 - YAHWEH said unto my Master, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 - YAHWEH shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 - Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 - YAHWEH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 5 - YAHWEH at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 - He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

Yahweh anointed the Messiah Yahushua as both king and priest. He is High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (meaning "King of Righteousness"). Melchizedek was the king that Abraham paid tithes to. Melchizedek was also the King of Salem, which most say is modern day Jerusalem.

Notice in verse 1 we see that Yahushua is seated at the right hand of Yahweh. According to the Torah, the High Priest was only permitted to enter the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement:

Leviticus 16:29 - And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30 - For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before YAHWEH. 31 - It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32 - And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33 - And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34 - And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as YAHWEH commanded Moses.

This is written of in Hebrews 9:6:

Hebrews 9:6 - Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 - But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; 8 - the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 - It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience-- 10 - concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. 11 - But the Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 - Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 - For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sets apart for the purifying of the flesh, 14 - how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?

...and later in this chapter:

Hebrews 9:24 - For the Messiah has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of YAHWEH for us; 25 - not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another-- 26 - He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 - so the Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

The Feast of Tabernacles

Now let's look at the feast of tabernacles, which was just after the fall harvest:

Deuteronomy 16:13 - Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14 - And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15 - Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto YAHWEH thy Elohim in the place which YAHWEH shall choose: because YAHWEH thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.

Why is it called the feast of tabernacles?

Leviticus 23:24 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25 - Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH. 26 - And YAHWEH spake unto Moses, saying, 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 YAHWEH.

We can see that Yahweh lists these days in succession in Leviticus 23. This is a good place to start when learning about the feasts. Continuing:

Leviticus 23:34 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto YAHWEH. 35 - On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 - Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 - These are the feasts of YAHWEH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 - Beside the sabbaths of YAHWEH, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto YAHWEH. 39 - Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto YAHWEH seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 - And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YAHWEH your Elohim seven days. 41 - And ye shall keep it a feast unto YAHWEH seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 - Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 - That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am YAHWEH your Elohim. 44 - And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of YAHWEH.

This feast is also known as "Sukkot". Sukkot means "booths, tabernacles". All of Israel is commanded to dwell in booths during the 7 days of the feast. This is the first and eighth day mentioned in the above verses. The last day is also known as the "Last great day". The first and eighth days are Sabbaths and holy convocations. This is a very popular feast among brethren. At this feast, it is good to build a "Sukkah" or temporary dwelling place made with surrounding trees and branches. We usually dwell in tents or other temporary dwellings. It is especially delightful for the children. This feast will be most enjoyed if you have the chance to gather and dwell among brethren for the entire length of this feast. It is a time to remember how temporary this life really is and to consider that one day we will tabernacle with Yahweh forever:

Revelation 21:3 - And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of YAHWEH is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. YAHWEH Himself will be with them and be their Elohim. 4 - "And YAHWEH will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 - Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 - And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 - "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his Elohim and he shall be My son.

Spiritual Symbolism

The feasts are powerful symbols and standing memorials of Yahweh's plan of salvation for all men.

Starting at Passover, I would like to take the opportunity to share some thoughts that I have had concerning the meanings of these feasts. The following words are not inspired, but the correlation between these feasts and Yahweh's plan of salvation is very difficult to ignore.

Early in the book of Exodus, we learn that children of Israel were in bondage to slavery. Egypt represents the sin laden world and all its glory. We were in bondage, in slavery to satan while in our sins. Satan is the ruler and god of this world. Pharaoh is symbolically satan because Pharaoh ruled Egypt (symbolic of the world). Just as Pharaoh tried to destroy Israel, Satan also tries to destroy the predestined children of Israel lest we be large in number.

The children of Israel were oppressed and in the bondage of slavery to the Egyptians. The taskmasters, symbolic of demons (the servants of satan), afflicted those in bondage. The land flowing with milk and honey is symbolic of the "promised land", the eternal kingdom of Yahweh. Yahweh heard the cry of the children of Israel who wanted to be delivered from their bondage. We also knew the bondage that sin had brought upon us. We too, cried out to Yahweh. As we shall see, Yahweh delivered us in the same manner as He delivered Israel from their bondage.

Pharaoh did not want to let them go out of Egypt. So Yahweh sent plagues upon the Egyptians who worshiped idols. Yahweh showed His superiority over dumb idols by sending 10 plagues. Yahweh has revealed to us His superiority over the gods of this world whether they be lusts, pride, drugs, money or whatever sins might come between us and Yahweh. Just as He revealed to the children of Israel that He was all powerful and worthy of their faith, so He revealed Himself to us!

On the tenth day of the month of Abib, the lamb was to be set aside and examined for defects from Abib 10 to Abib 14. Yahushua the Messiah entered Jerusalem and went into the temple on Abib 10. He was on display until Abib 14. Just as the lambs of the children of Israel were required to be without spot or blemish, Yahushua, our lamb was totally without sin. The Lamb of Yahweh was examined many times by the chief priests and elders, as well as Pilate. When we examine Yahushua, we can see that He was without spot and without blemish. Even Pilate declared "I see no fault in him" (Luke 23:4, John 18:38, 19:4-6).

Consider also that to Yahweh a day is as 1000 years (Psalm 90:4). The Messiah was also hidden from the sight of man for 4 days (4000 years) until He became the Lamb of Yahweh.

So the whole assembly was to kill the lamb and place the blood on the lintel and doorposts of their homes. They would then eat the lamb. We must partake in the body and blood of the Lamb. It is not a literal flesh and blood (this would be an abomination), but flesh and blood symbolic of 2 things. Bread is also known to represent His word in scripture. The word of Yahweh convicts us of our sin and shows us our sin. Therefore we need redemption. This is why we take from the cup. It is the blood of Yahushua that covers and cleanses us from all sin.

Soon after the Passover, the children of Israel were baptized via the Red Sea and the Cloud and delivered from that old life of sin and bondage. We also were baptized into the name of Yahushua the Messiah and delivered from that old life of sin and bondage. After the Passover, we have the feast of unleavened bread. Throughout scripture, leaven represents sin. This represents the cleansing that Yahushua had done for us. Our house was cleansed from all iniquity.

Next, we have the feast of weeks, or Pentecost. This feast was the time that Yahweh is said to have spoken the commandments from Mount Sinai. It was also the time of the outpouring of Yahweh's Spirit in Acts 2. Indeed, Yahweh's word is Spirit!

Next, we have the feast of trumpets which may signify the Day of Yahweh when Yahushua will set up His 1000 year reign over all the earth. As previously mentioned, the trumpets were also used to advance the children of Israel to the promised land. We will enter the promised land at the "last trump".

The Day of Atonement, as we said can represent the atoning of all the world from sin and the penalty of sin, death. Finally, we will tabernacle with Yahweh forever and the last enemy will be defeated. Until then, we (like Israel) are in the wilderness and are being taught the law of Yahweh as we encounter tests, trials and tribulations. We will need to overcome and do so without murmuring or complaining if we expect to make it to the promised land.

Let's remember also that it was not Moses that ultimately brought Israel to the promised land, but his successor Joshua. What does this signify? Joshua is the same name in Hebrew as the name of the Messiah, Yahushua. I believe that it teaches us that although Moses can show us the way to enter the promised land, it takes a man named Yahushua to take us there. Even so, come Master Yahushua!

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