Christian Ministry

Bible teaching
Feasts of the Lord
Passover cup
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February 1999

Festivals are regular religious celebrations remembering God's great acts of salvation in the history of His people. Traditionally called "feasts" in the English Bibles, these can conveniently be categorized according to the frequency of celebration. Many of these feasts or festivals were timed according to cycles of seven. The cycle of the week with its climax on the seventh day, provided the cyclical basis for much of Israel's worship; as the seventh day was observed, so was the seventh month (which contained four of the national festivals), and the seventh year, and the fiftieth year (the year of Jubilee), which followed seven cycles of seven years.

These seven holidays which God instituted for His chosen nation of Israel are discussed throughout the Bible (in both the Old and New Testaments); however, only in one place (Leviticus Chapter twenty-three) are all seven holidays listed in chronological order. These holidays are called "the feasts of the Lord" which simply means that they belong to God and are His holidays. Only on God's terms can men participate in them and enter into their benefits (Leviticus 23:4).

The term feasts in Hebrew literally means "appointed times." God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. These feasts (often called "holy convocations) are intended to be a time of meeting between God and man for "holy purposes." Since these seven feasts of the Lord are "appointed times" for "holy purposes," they carry with them great sacredness and solemnity.

Four of the seven holidays occur during the springtime. The first four feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Weeks) have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays ( Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall within a brief fifteen-day period in the Hebrew month of Kislev; Kislev corresponds to the months of September/October on the Gregorian calendar. These fall feasts have not yet transpired; however, without absolute certainty these events most assuredly will unfold. As the four spring feasts (holidays) were fulfilled literally and right on schedule in connection with Christ's first coming, these three fall feasts (holidays) will likewise be fulfilled literally and right on schedule in connection to the Lord's second coming. These final three feasts form the basis for what the Bible calls in Titus 2:13: "the blessed hope."

A number of important points must be emphasized concerning these seven feasts of the Lord.

Seven Important Points About These Feasts
They were given to the Hebrew (Jewish) nation of Israel by God as a covenant.
They were based on the Jewish lunar (moon) calendar which consists of approximately 354 days in a year.
They relate to Israel's spring and fall agricultural seasons; after all, Israel was and still is largely an agricultural nation.
They typify the timing, sequence, and significance of the major events of the Lord's redemptive career. They begin at Calvary where Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for the sins of mankind (symbolic of Passover) and end when the Lord establishes His messianic Kingdom at His second coming (symbolic of Tabernacles). God in His infinite wisdom made these appointed feasts conform to specific events in the life of His Son Jesus Christ (Yeshua).
Since these feasts are clearly fulfilled in Messiah, every creature is presented the unique opportunity to "meet" with God and receive His gracious blessings.
There is a binding relationship between the true Church and Israel even though both are distinct entities with diverse promises. Thanks to the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants which God made with Israel, the blessings stemming from these feasts are no longer exclusive to the Jewish people alone but are extended to the Gentiles as well, for God's unconditional covenant with Abraham promised that "In thy (Abraham's) seed shall all nations be blessed" (Genesis 22:18).
There are a total number of seven feasts of the Lord. Seven is the biblical number for completion. It is recorded in Genesis chapter one that God rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens and the earth, not due to fatigue but rather to emphasize completion and satisfaction. What God created was "good" and "satisfying"; therefore nothing else was needed.

To summarize, these seven feasts of the Lord are God's appointed times during which He will meet with men for holy purposes. When completed, these seven special holidays will triumphantly bring and end to this age and usher in a glorious "Golden Age."

Now click on the table below to learn more about each of these seven feasts (holidays).

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Feasts of the Lord
Index Passover Unleavened Bread
Firstfruits Weeks Trumpets
Yom Kippur Tabernacles Conclusion

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This teaching was written by David Holt Boshart, Jr.
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