In previous columns, we’ve seen that God has a number of annual holy Sabbath days that He proclaimed, Yahshua (Jesus) kept, the early Christian church kept after the resurrection, and we will keep in heaven. We’ve also seen how God’s holy Sabbaths are the seal of God that contrasts with the mark of the beast in the end of time. There is still much more that God reveals in his calendar, which is likely why satan has devoted so much energy into hiding God’s holy days from the church. It is my goal to defeat his plan and share the truth that has been hidden for many years.
The annual Sabbaths are in two groups – one group in the spring, and one group in the fall. When Yahshua came for his first coming, he fulfilled the spring Sabbaths exactly, and Bible students have every reason to believe that when he returns at the second coming, he will fulfill the fall Sabbaths exactly. But just like many who missed his first coming and are still awaiting the Messiah, we must be careful that we do not miss the signs that will reveal his second coming, and instead fall prey to the false christs that he warns will indeed deceive many.
The spring holy days are Passover (showing us our need for a Saviour to be freed from the slavery of sin), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (a one week period that shows us the importance of removing every speck of sin from our lives), and the wave sheaf first fruit offering (a promise that Yahshua will return for us one day). Fifty days after the wave sheaf offering was the Feast of Weeks, known as Shavuot in Hebrew and Pentecost in Greek. This day shows us our need for the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The fall holy days are the Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), which reminds us to watch and be ready for his second coming, followed ten days later by the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the time of judgment. The ten days between these two holy days are called the Days of Awe, a time for looking inward to your spiritual growth and walk with God. Five days after Yom Kippur, the feast of Tabernacles (a week long period) begins, which looks forward to the marriage supper between the Lamb and his bride, the church.
The spring holy days were fulfilled in the life of Yahshua. It is no coincidence that Yahshua, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, was crucified on the Passover, the very day that had been rehearsed through history memorializing the salvation from slavery in Egypt and our slavery to sin.
The day that follows the seventh-day Sabbath during the week of Unleavened Bread is called the wave sheaf offering. When Mary found Yahshua outside the tomb, remember that she mistook him to be the gardener. (John 20:15) This might have been because he was gathering grain so he could make the wave sheaf offering. Remember that he told Mary to not touch him, because he had not yet risen to his father in heaven. (John 20:17). Later when he was with the disciples, he allowed doubting Thomas to touch the nail marks, so apparently he had risen to heaven and made the wave sheaf offering, since he did not repeat the admonition that he was not to be touched because he hadn’t yet risen.
The wave sheaf offering (first fruits) shows us the coming promise of a future harvest. When Yahshua was risen, many dead came forth from their graves (Matthew 27:52). They were the first fruits pointing to the promise of the time when the rest of the dead in Christ will come forth from their graves, and along with those still alive, be taken to heaven with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread shows us how pervasive sin is, and that we must work diligently to remove it from our lives. Leaven is considered a symbol for sin. Yahshua also called false religious doctrine leaven in Matthew 16:12. Even though the blood of Yahshua was shed to save us, we are still to obey and strive to live a sin free life as overcomers, and free of following false religious ideas.
Although the spring feasts were fulfilled in the life of Yahshua, we should not ignore them, as they serve as a valuable reminder to us that we need a Saviour, that he has promised us a future in heaven with him, and that we must work to remove sin from our lives if we wish to share that future with him.
Continuing with God’s holy day plan, the next holy day, the Feast of Weeks, reminds us of our need for the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yahshua fulfilled this holy day after his ascension to the heavenly throne for his anointing as our King and Priest, and the Holy Spirit came down to his followers on earth. You can see a prior column that was devoted to this topic in detail posted here. Scripture talks about a “latter rain”, a final outpouring of the Holy Spirit shortly before the second coming. This day reminds us to continually seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and prepare to receive the full outpouring.
We are now well into the month prior to the fall feasts. Over the next several weeks, we will cover each of the fall feasts in detail, to show their place in God’s plan, and how they point to events at his second coming, the final judgment, and eternity in heaven. (See links to these articles below.) My prayer is that you will plan to observe these holy days and take note of their rich meaning, which will better prepare you to recognize the signs of the time in which we are living.