Appointed Times of Yahweh
Problem: Many believe the appointed times of the Creator no longer apply to us, or are only for the Jews. Others believe if the appointed times are not observed precisely as described in Scripture then we are sinning.
Solution: It’s important to study the Scripture to find out what precisely is required for each appointed time and to whom they were commanded. We have included a list of all Scripture verses in the Torah relating to the keeping of the moedim (appointed times) of Yahweh. We are told repeatedly the law is the same for the native and for the foreigner living among them, all who wish to follow Yahweh (Exodus 12:49, Numbers 9:14, 15:15-16, and Isaiah 56:6-7 to name a few). If one claims to be a child of Elohim, then they should recognize this means the Torah of Yahweh applies to them, the same as to the native born. For those not native born, we have been grafted into Israel, His chosen people; not the other way around.
It’s important to note that many of the moedim require specific requirements (such as sacrifices or actions to be completed by the Levitical Priesthood) we are unable to observe today. Because of this, we cannot truly keep the feast days as biblically instructed, we can only do what we are able to in memorial, or remembrance, of the Scriptures. In fact, it would be sin for us to attempt to keep these moedim as described in Scripture. How could it be a sin? Here is one example; if we were to make the required sacrifice (such as on Yom Kippur) then we would be breaking the Torah because we do not have the Levitical Priesthood (including High Priest) here on earth, nor the altar and Tabernacle (or temple) at which to perform the sacrifice as required in the Torah.
Because we would not be doing it exactly as commanded, we would be sinning, breaking the Torah. Does this mean we should not still strive to observe the appointed times to the best of our abilities and simply ignore them? Of course not, but we need to be aware that when we do observe these times, it is done so out of a desire to be obedient but it is actually simply a memorial, or practice, for when we can once again fully observe them. Also note, there are really very few requirements given for many of the appointed times outside of when to observe them, resting when it is a day of rest, sacrifices to be performed by the Levitical priesthood, staying in a temporary dwelling, or sounding a shofar. This is not an all-inclusive list, but does cover a majority of the requirements given. In fact, we are really given very little on the “how-to” observe the feasts outside of the requirements given.
Because there is little given in way of instruction, there are myriads of different man-made traditions surrounding these times. We not endorse nor teach against such traditions as long as they do not contradict Scripture nor detract from the Torah such as the observance of Hanukkah. While Yeshua often railed against the Pharisees and their traditions, it was not because having traditions was bad. The problem with the Pharisees traditions were that they were being taught as either being from the Creator or even were practiced in preference to those of the Creator’s Torah thus making the Word of God null and void. Traditions are not bad in and of themselves unless they are contradicting or in opposition to the Word of God; they should never be considered Torah, they are simply man-made behaviors or actions.
We receive many questions about “how to celebrate” these feast days; the short answer is there is actually very little instruction given as to the specifics of “how” which leads us to currently understand much of it is left open to us until we are given further instruction and revelation by the Creator. This may not be the answer many want to hear, but it is our current understanding, subject to change as greater revelation and understanding is given to us.
Verses: Genesis 2:2-4; Exodus 20:8-11, 31:6, 13, 15-17, 34:21; Deuteronomy 4:5-6, 5:14; Leviticus 23:1-4; Ezekiel 20:12, 20;
Verses: Exodus 12:1-14, 21-33, 43-51; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:1-14, 28:26-35; Deuteronomy 16:1-8
Feast of Unleavened Bread
Verses: Exodus 12:15-20, 13:1-6; Leviticus 23:6-8
Verses: Leviticus 23:9-14
Feast of Weeks (Shavuot or Pentecost)
Verses: Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26-31
Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)
Verses: Numbers 29:1-6; Leviticus 23:23-25
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Verses: Numbers 29:7-11; Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:26-32
Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
Verses: Numbers 29:12-39; Deuteronomy 31:10-13; Leviticus 23:33-44
Last Great Day (often considered last day of Sukkot)
Verses: Leviticus 23:36,39
Celebrations that are not part of Yahweh’s Moedim
It should be noted that the Feast of Dedication and Purim are not commanded by Yahweh, we do see they were observed in Scripture and may or may not align with some future event on the Creator’s timeline of events. Again, Hanukkah and Purim are not given as appointed times from the Creator and are therefore not required to be observed, even in memorial. There are no commands on how to observe these times, much that is done at these times is simply tradition. We encourage all to study on their own the origins of these times and determine for themselves whether, or how, they wish to engage in these festivals. Beware false teachings and fables told by man about our Creator’s moedim.
Hanukkah (Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication)
Verses: John 10:22
Verses: Esther 9:19-21
From 119 Ministries: Torah Quick Reference Guide