Many who keep the seventh-day Sabbath have a problem with observing the annual Feasts of Leviticus 23. The world’s largest Sabbath-observing church has no trouble recognizing the necessity for keeping the weekly Sabbath, but it chooses to ignore the other Biblical Sabbaths – Yahweh’s annual holy days. This is not only illogical but also unscriptural.
When Yahweh reintroduced His observances to mankind in Leviticus 23, He began by saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts,” verse 2. In this chapter He details all seven annual Feast days, calling them “His,” not “Jewish.” But notice what comes first, at the start of this discourse: “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.” Then in verse 4 He continues the mandate by detailing the annual Feasts.
In this 23rd chapter the weekly Sabbath day as well as the annual Sabbaths are given to us in a single package. All are integrated under the phrase “feasts of Yahweh.” They are all listed as Yahweh’s unified command in this chapter and others and are all to be kept by the True Worshiper. To wrench the weekly Sabbath loose from the other Sabbaths and say that it is the only observance necessary today is to violate plain, Scriptural command. Revelation 22:19 warns not to take away the words from the Book and that is essentially what has been done by those who teach obedience only to the weekly Sabbath and not the annual Sabbaths.
Some may reason that because animal sacrifices are not required on the Holy Days, having been abolished, that the Holy Days themselves have been eliminated. But sacrifices were required on the weekly Sabbath as well. By that same logic the weekly Sabbath is no longer binding, either (see Num. 28:9-11). We know that this thinking is in error for another reason. We see the weekly Sabbath and the annual Feasts being observed in the New Testament by both Yahshua and the Apostles, even after His death (see Mark 6:2; Luke 23:56; Acts 13:14; 16:13; 24:11; 1Cor. 5:7-9).
To confirm the importance of the Sabbaths for today, the Scriptures teach that both the weekly and annual Sabbaths will be enforced in the coming millennial Kingdom – see Isaiah 66:23-24; Hosea 12:9; Zechariah 14:16-18; Ezekiel 44:23-24; 45:21, 25; and 46:3, 9.
The four annual Sabbaths of the seventh month have not yet been fulfilled prophetically. These are known in order of appearance as: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day. Each gives us insights into what to expect in the time immediately ahead of us. The Apostle wrote in Colossians 2:16-17: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.” This passage tells us that these days foreshadow what is coming. A shadow often arrives before the object casting it does, and that is the significance of this metaphor. Only the Body of Messiah has the right to judge a person’s observance of Yahweh’s Feasts because the Body should be observing them correctly.
To what prophetic event does each Feast specifically refer?
The return of Yahshua to earth is announced by a trumpet blast, 1Thessalonians 4:16. The Feast of Trumpets is a day of blowing trumpets, which were traditionally used to call people together, Numbers 10. We read that Yahshua will gather His elect from the four winds of the earth at His return, Matthew 24:31. The Day of Atonement corresponds to the establishment of Yahshua as our High Priest come to earth from the heavenly Holy of Holies where He has been the past 2,000 years. This day reminds us of the great price Yahshua paid for our sins by His death.
Tabernacles points to the millennial rule of Yahshua on earth following His return. It is a Feast of seven days spent learning what that Kingdom will be like. At this annual Sabbath we come out of the world and taste a new world where Yahweh’s righteous standards will be in full force and all people being compliant. The temporary shelters we live in at Tabernacles teach us that we are only temporarily in this present world, which is not our true home.
The Last Great Day is a separate Feast where Yahshua finishes His work and turns all authority and power on earth over to His Father. It is a picture of post-millennial earth and a time when Yahweh will bring His own throne to the planet in the New Jerusalem, 1Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 21.
The Feasts and weekly Sabbath stand or fall together. To take one without the other is to leave out half the Truth of Yahweh’s Word.