There is much confusion in the church on what holidays the Lord wants us to celebrate today. Some people don't think God wants us to honor the weekly sabbath or any Old Testament holidays because of scripture like Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:8-10. That scripture talks about holidays but also seems to say they should not be observed.
However, we cannot jump to conclusions about what a few verses may seem to say. We need to rightly divide or correctly handle God's words (2 Timothy 2:15) and view things in their complete and correct context to understand what God is really saying. Remember, too, that translation of God's original words can make correct interpretation difficult.
First, we know that honoring the weekly sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. These are commands or laws (Psalm 119:152,160) that God wants all of mankind to obey. They were never cancelled when Yeshua (Jesus) came, because He did not abolish the law (Matthew 5:17), and we can still see the effects of the Ten Commandments and God's other laws on people all over the world today.
Second, there are references to God's People observing holidays after Christ's return as we will see. So if God is telling us to continue honoring His holidays and sabbaths, then why does the church think God does not want them to be observed?
Part of the problem is in misinterpretation of scripture and jumping to the wrong conclusions about it. Let's look at Galatians 4:8-10. There, Apostle Paul is talking about holidays and idol worship, saying, "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing specials days and months and seasons and years!"
Paul is obviously shaming the Galatians for observing holidays. In Galatians 4, he is talking about pagan holidays and traditions they were supposed to turn away from, since he talks about the Galatians previously not knowing God (which is not true of the Jews), their being slaves to idols (things that are not gods), and that they were going back to old, miserable principles (Galatians 4:8-9), which were their pagan worship and traditions they were enslaving themselves into again (Galatians 4:9).
Paul could also have been talking about rigidly keeping God's holidays and sabbaths in the Law of Moses for the Jews, since he also talked about the futility of trying to live by those rules in Galatians 2 and 3. Either mentality is not good, because they will enslave the person into legalistic following of commands, and for the Law of Moses, anyone trying to live as a Jew by those standards will be cursed and must follow all the rules as God originally gave, not as man changed or erroneously interprets (Galatians 3:10, 5:3; Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Nehemiah 10:28-29).
Paul also talks about being slaves to the Law of Moses in Galatians 4:21-31, and notes how we are no longer subject to that heavy yoke. Instead, we are to live by the freedom in Christ to not have to obey the Law of Moses like the Jews (Galatians 5:1-3), but that does not mean God took away His holidays and sabbaths or that He does not want us to keep anything from the Old Testament or Law of Moses. Both the Old Testament and Law of Moses have laws or commands that are intended for all people and not just Jews. Laws about sexual immorality are some examples (see Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth for details).
Paul is reminding us that we are not to be legalistic or absolutely strict about observing holidays and sabbaths when we live in Christ, because if anyone claims to belong to God through the Law of Moses, then he is obligated to obey the whole law as all Jews are required to do, even today (Galatians 5:3). The Law of Moses still being in effect gives further proof that Yeshua did not abolish law. He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17) and to teach about how God's commands changed under Him.
Paul's reminder about not being legalistic in observing holidays and the Law of Moses is what Colossians 2:16-17 talks about. Paul says, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that are to come."
Paul is noting that we are not to let anyone judge our behavior in regard to God's holidays and regulations about eating and drinking. He is not saying God's sabbaths and holidays given in the Old Testament are no longer to be honored. The church often jumps to conclusions about what God means in verses like this to mean He does not want us to keep the sabbath or other holidays. But to correctly handle His word, we are to keep the context correct and only see that we are not to be judged by how we observe holidays and sabbaths or whether we observe them or not.
They are a "shadow of things to come," like the tabernacle of Moses was a shadow of heaven's sanctuary (Hebrews 8:1-5). They will be replaced later by better and different things. Who knows how we are to live and honor God's holidays and sabbaths in the next life?
For now, we need to keep the whole of God's word in view. It shows in scripture that feasts, like Tabernacles, are still to be observed even after Christ's second coming (Zechariah 14:16-19). Zechariah 14:16-19 also notes that families and nations that do not celebrate Tabernacles after the Lord's return will be cursed with drought. Obviously, this means Old Testament holidays are still important.
We should also remember we are one family under Christ, adopted into the heritage of the Jews, no long Jew or Greek/Gentile (Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:6; Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Romans 10:12-13; also Romans 12:4-5), so we should know and observe Old Testament holidays and sabbaths.
And if you are a Jew who stumbled on this article, and still uncertain about who Christ truly was and is. You need to know that God has worked many of the Jewish holidays to point to Christ, so may you look at the following in a series about the High Holy Days and how they point to Mashiach Yeshua (Christ Jesus): Sukkot/Tabernacles Part 1
and Part 2
. I also summarize Christ's link to the High Holy Days in the Yom Teruah
Here, I list holidays we should observe as a People of God and guidelines for them. Just keep in mind the guidelines are suggestions. We should not fall back into the legalism required of the Jews, worry over getting things absolutely right, or fall to excessive religious traditions that God did not instate.
Simply try to honor God's holidays as our hearts move us. We are not given a spirit of slavery that leads to fear when we are saved in Mashiach Yeshua (Romans 8:15; Luke 1:68-75; Galatians 5:1)
, so use these guidelines as just that, and don't worry about getting things wrong or that you must observe them. Just try to keep the right focuses for the theme of each and do not over emphasize man-made traditions with them, including those created by Jews, since they were affected by pagan and cultural forces throughout their history just as the church has.
- Weekly Sabbath or Shabbat/Sabbat (Hebrew)
Every Friday at Sunset through Saturday
The weekly sabbath rest is commanded throughout the Old Testament (Exodus
20:8-11, 31:13-17, 34:21, 35:1-2; Leviticus 19:3, 19:30, 23:3,26:2;
Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Jeremiah 17:22; Ezekiel 20:20, 44:24; also Exodus 16:22-30), but the sabbath is also a part of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Psalm 119:152, 119:160), which are laws for all of mankind. The first disciples of Christ even observed the weekly sabbath, because after His death and burial, they rested for it - "It was a preparation day [day before a sabbath], and a sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the sabbath they rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). The commandment here must be the 4th of the Ten Commandments about observing the weekly sabbath, and not the command in the Law of Moses to have a sabbath for the first day of Passover, which was when Christ had the Last Supper with His disciples (see Holy Week for more). These details show that the weekly sabbath should be observed by everyone, even Christians under Christ's light yoke.
The sabbath is the seventh day, which begins at sundown on Friday (the end of the sixth day) and ends on Saturday at sundown. Some people suggest that since the modern days of the week were not mentioned in the Bible, we can pick whatever day we wish as our sabbath. However, God did not guide me to do this. Our modern calendar was established by the church1 and its days of the week line up with the Jewish calendar days of the week, so I believe God wanted this alignment.
We should consider the weekly sabbath day as Saturday, which begins at sundown on Friday evening. In areas where there is no true sundown for long lengths of time, such as in the arctic, a reasonable time for the day's end should be chosen, like 7pm.
The sabbath is meant to be a day of rest and holy assembly, so worshiping and gathering for the Lord is suggested (Leviticus 23:3; Luke 6:6). Jews traditionally went to the temple on the sabbath to worship and learn, and Yeshua noted in the New Testament that Jewish priests "worked" on the sabbath so they could perform their duties in the temple (Matthew 12:5).
Try not to do your usual work on sabbaths, like your normal wage earning jobs or major household chores. We should schedule things to work around the sabbath - prepare things on Friday before sundown, like the Jews did and do, so you don't need to do the work on Saturday. However, we should not be overly concerned about working or doing other strenuous activities on the sabbath either. Shopping or buying things on the sabbath is fine. However, if you have a business that requires a physical presence, it should be closed during the sabbath, so you and your employees get rest (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14).
Still, the sabbath is just a shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:17), so don't worry over trying to observe it perfectly. In deciding if you should do something on the sabbath, remember, it is lawful to do good on the sabbath (Matthew 12:12; Luke 6:9-10) and Yeshua is Lord of the sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5), so we need to follow what His Spirit tells us to do in the moment and not worry if it seems to violate the sabbath.
God does not want us to become legalistic about observing the sabbath or holidays. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27). God wants us to rest regularly, even every evening when we ought not to work (John 9:4). Regular rest is for our spiritual and bodily health as well as for our families' well-being, so that we may spend time together. Remember God, too, rested from His work.
- New Moons - New Moons are still relevant (Numbers 10:10,28:11-14; 1 Chronicles 23:3-31; 2 Chronicles 8:12-13). The months on Jewish calendars continue to begin on new moons and most of God's holidays depend on this lunar calendar. However, we do not need to be strict about celebrating New Moons or other holidays (Colossians 2:16-17). Meeting and worship, a trumpet blowing, and feasts are appropriate for New Moons (Numbers 10:10,28:11-14; Psalm 81:3-4; Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 45:17,46:3). However, I simply give recognition with prayer and to bless the month.
Note, new moons for the Hebrew calendar start at the first crescent sighting which is two to three days after the moon disappears. Secular new moons are defined by the day when the moon has 0% illuminance.
2023 Purim Calendar
- Monday Sunrise, March 6 (Adar 13) - Purim Eve; fast; sing songs of lament; Sunrise is noted to begin fasting
- Tuesday, March 7 (Wednesday, March 8 optional) (Adar 14-15) - Two Days of Purim are Biblical but like other Jewish holidays, the second optional day came from the need to give Jews in ancient times enough time to get word of the time for the holiday (see Notes at bottom for more), so today, the second day of Purim is optional
This holiday is named from the Akkadian word for "lot" (Pur) and is the plural form of the word22. It refers to how God had the lots cast upon the Jews and their enemies, and celebrates how God saved the Jews from an irreversible royal decree in 474 BC to annihilate them during their exile in Babylon. The decree called for the killing of all the Jews on a certain date (Esther 3:9-15), but God reversed their sorrow months later and turned it into rejoicing by having another irreversible royal decree written that allowed the Jews to kill anyone who would harm them (Esther 8:3-17).
Traditionally, feasting was commanded for Purim (Esther 9:21-22,27,31), accompanied by fasting, songs of lament, and gifts of food to each other and other gifts to the poor (Esther 9:19,22,31). It would be appropriate to fast the day before the feasting. This is usually done from sunrise on Purim Eve until sunrise on the first day of Purim.
Singing songs of lament should be done during the fasting (Esther 9:31), but when I researched what modern Jews sing for Purim, I could not find one lament. I did find a lot of joyous songs and "new" traditions that are similar to what has happened with Christian holidays, like Christmas and Pascha/Easter, which give far too much focus on joying, fun, masquerading, and gift-giving while the true meanings for the holidays are hidden or even lost.
I suggest remembering that today's threats against God's people continue as false teachings and lives in sin, so praying and fasting to save the People from this darkness is appropriate. And I suggest singing true laments during fasting, like these songs: A Purim Song Of Lament For God's Bride, How Can I Keep From Singing, and Israel's Lament.
The story behind Purim is also a very inspirational one with a Jewish heroine (Queen Esther), and an underdog, Mordecai, who became honored, so the reading of the Book of Esther is also a good tradition for Purim.
Psalm 81:3-4 may refer to blowing of shofars or trumpets on the feast of Purim, which should occur on a full moon. Purim,
Passover, and Tabernacles are the holidays listed here that should begin
near a full moon, since they are scheduled for the 14th or 15th day of a Jewish
month, which all begin on new moons and the full moon occurs halfway into the month.
- Palm Sunday and Good Friday -
2023 Holy Week Calendar
- Sunday, April 2 - Palm Sunday
- Friday, April 7 - Good Friday
- Sunday, April 9 - Pascha/Easter
I treat Palm Sunday and Good Friday as lesser holidays that aren’t as important to observe, like other minor church holidays, such as St. Patrick’s or other saint days. I remember what is celebrated on these days, but don’t conduct special feasts or celebrations unless I feel called to do so. Good Friday is also redundant for me, because I remember Christ’s sacrifice during Passover celebrations.
The original Good Friday and Lord’s Supper were closely linked to Passover, so you should have that holiday in mind when you observe holidays in Christ’s Holy Week (see the Passover section for more). Christ’s sacrifice as the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) is important to understand as an extension of the Passover sacrifice that God ordained.
The Lord’s Supper was held on the first day of Passover (Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7-8) and the day before Christ’s sacrifice (Good Friday; Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31). The church may take for granted that the timing of events during Christ’s Holy Week are correct, but some people have suggested the church has things wrong because the New Testament says Christ will be dead for three days and three nights before He is resurrected – “For just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40; also Matthew 26:61, 27:40, 27:63; Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:34, 14:58, 15:29; John 2:19-20).
If we look at a calendar, there is no way Christ can be dead for three days and three nights if He died on a Friday afternoon. There are only two nights from Friday to Sunday. However, after looking at this issue more closely, I have to conclude that God rounded off three partial days and two nights to equal three days and three nights, so the church has the timing of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Pascha/Easter correct.
God does not always state things to absolute precision in scripture, especially with numbers, because He can round up things, like census tallies, to the closest hundred or thousand, and numbers like 37 days can be rounded up to an even 40, etc. It was also common practice for Jews to count any part of a day or night as a whole one, and Christ’s disciples understood He was resurrected on the third day, just as He had prophesied (John 2:19-22; Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:34, 14:58, 15:29), even though He was only dead for three partial days.
There is too much scripture to back up the timing of events during Holy Week, so I created a timeline with scripture references to make things clear (below). You can see easier in the timeline that there are three day parts (white on the timeline) and two nights (gray) when Christ is dead.
As far as observing holidays of Christ’s Holy Week, I have no special suggestions other than what I already said, and to refer to the Passover section for Good Friday and The Lord’s Supper, and see the Pascha/Easter section for that holiday.
- Passover/Feast Of Unleavened Bread or Pesach/Pesah/Pesakh (Hebrew)
2023 Passover/Pesach Calendar
- Wednesday, April 5 (Aviv/Nisan 14) - Passover Eve; unleavened bread is eaten after sundown; Passover Sabbath rest begins at sundown; Passover Eve goes with the last plague of Egypt when the first-born died; first seder meal - Today's Jews have more structured seder meals which come from tradition that is not in scripture (see more about seders below), so you do not have to observe these more ritualized seders; it is only we should eat unleavened bread everyday during Passover week that is important
- Thursday, April 6 (Aviv/Nisan 15) - First day of Passover; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a sabbath rest; have a feast; goes with the Lord's Last Supper and Christ was captured afterwards, so I also have communion during this day's feast; goes with the Jews leaving the city of Rameses in Egypt; second seder
- Friday, April 7 (Aviv/Nisan 16) - Second day of Passover; goes with Christ's crucifixion (Good Friday); third seder
- Saturday, April 8 (Aviv/Nisan 17) - Third day of Passover; fourth seder
- Sunday, April 9 (Aviv/Nisan 18) - Fourth day of Passover; goes with Christ's resurrection (Pascha/Easter); fifth seder
- Monday, April 10 (Aviv/Nisan 19) - Fifth day of Passover; sixth seder
- Tuesday, April 11 (Aviv/Nisan 20) - Sixth day of Passover; second Passover Sabbath rest begins at sundown; seventh seder
- Wednesday, April 12 (Aviv/Nisan 21) - Seventh day of Passover; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a sabbath rest; have a feast; at sundown, eating unleavened bread for Passover is complete; eighth seder
This is a seven day commemoration that includes two days of assembly, which are sabbaths and include larger feasts, additional days of smaller "seder" meals (see below), and a day or two for the feast at the end (Exodus 13:6). All the Passover meals are supposed to be eaten with unleavened bread (bread with no yeast) (Exodus 12:15, 12:18-20, 13:6, 23:15, 34:18; Leviticus 23:6; Numbers 28:17; Deuteronomy 16:3-8; Ezekiel 45:21), and it is tradition to abstain from eating anything with bread yeast in it (Exodus 12:15, 12:19-20; Deuteronomy 16:4), but this is not an absolute necessity today. I try to abstain from eating bread and food with bread yeast during Passover week to keep in the spirit of the holiday.
Traditionally, bread yeast is removed from homes on the first day of Passover, which begins on the Eve of Passover at sunset (Exodus 12:15). However this is also no longer needed. It is actually impossible, because bread yeast is natural in the environment. This is why you don't need to add any yeast to make a starter dough, so when the Lord told His people to remove bread yeast for Passover, He must have meant any bread yeast already prepared, like found in starter dough or the dry yeast we buy today.
Unleavened bread should be eaten starting after sundown on Passover Eve (the
14th of Aviv/Abib/Nissan). The first Passover day is the following day
(the 15th of Aviv/Abib/Nissan) when there is a larger feast (Leviticus 23:6; Exodus 12:15-20,13:6, 23:15, 34:18; Numbers 28:17; Deuteronomy 16:3,8; Ezekiel 45:21). The first day of Passover actually starts at sunset on Passover Eve according to the Hebrew calendar, so the Sabbath rest for the first day should begin at sundown on Passover Eve. See the Passover calendar schedule under the headline for this year's holiday schedule.
The two assembly days are considered sabbath days of rest when we should gather for the Lord (one on the first day of Passover when a feast is eaten, and one on the seventh day when another feast is had) (Exodus 12:16, 13:6, 23:15, 34:18; Leviticus 23:7-8; Numbers 28:18,25; Deuteronomy 16:1-8). In Yeshua's time, the first day of Passover was a big feast and festival day and when the Lord had His Last Supper with the disciples (Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7-8; also Matthew 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2; Deuteronomy 16:2), so I hold holy communion to begin the feast on the first day of Passover.
Jewish tradition from the Babylonian exile has an extra feast on an eighth day of Passover to allow the diaspora far from Jerusalem to celebrate, but this is not commanded in scripture and no longer necessary in our modern age of time keeping, so it is not needed (See "Additional Notes" at bottom for more about extra days in Jewish holidays).
Also, the yeast used to make wine and other alcohol is different from bread yeast, so alcohol was not traditionally banned on Passover7. Though we don't have to be strict about avoiding bread yeast, eating unleavened bread, for the days of Passover remind us of the affliction the Jews went through to leave Egypt during the original Passover. It is called the "bread of affliction" for that reason, because the Jews had to leave in haste (Deuteronomy 16:3).
Passover is also related to Pascha or Easter (see below) because the Lord timed the crucifixion to coincide with Passover to align with the holiday's symbolism of protection from judgment (the last plague of Egypt) and freedom from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:17, 23:15, 34:18; Deuteronomy 16:1), as well as the alignment with Mashiach Yeshua as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). His sacrifice was not just to break the world free of the slavery and eternal death of sin, but also to break Jews free from the slavery of the Law of Moses into the freedom of Christ.
Pascha/Easter is Greek for Passover, so it is appropriate to remember Christ's resurrection on the Sunday following the first Passover meal. The resurrection took place at dawn on the fourth day of Passover, which was the first Sunday after the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper was the feast on the first day of Passover when the lambs were sacrificed (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7; Deuteronomy 16:2), so it is appropriate to celebrate the Lord's Supper and make communion through the breaking of bread and drinking of juice or wine to remember the Lord as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) when you celebrate the first day feast. Remember, too, communion is a holy affair, so propriety and reverence are important when you take communion, as well as, treat the gathering of the meal itself with respect (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).
Passover is one of three holidays the Lord specifically noted with
importance in the Old Testament as needing to be observed. The three
feasts were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:23-24; Deuteronomy 16:16-17; 2 Chronicles 8:13).
Psalm 81:3-4 may refer to blowing of shofars or trumpets on the first
days of Passover, which should occur on a full moon. Purim, Passover,
and Tabernacles are the holidays listed here that should begin on or near a
full moon, since they are scheduled for the 14th or 15th day of a Jewish month,
which all begin on new moons and the full moon occurs halfway into the
- Seder meals - "Seder" is the modern Hebrew term for the meals or feasts of Passover or other holy holidays. Today's Jewish seders are often highly ritualized and strict about what
is served. These ritualized seders are not Biblical, but came only a few hundred years ago in the late 15th Century, so I do not hold any modern teachings about Passover or seders with authority, nor do I treat Jewish books, like the Talmud, Mishnah, and Halacha as scripture. These teachings and writings came after the Babylonian exile of the Jews and contain much tainted teaching.
True scripture only notes that roasted lamb, unleavened bread,
and bitter herbs (romaine lettuce, horseradish, or endives/escarole/chicory18,19) were to be eaten (Exodus 12:3-10, 13:6-10; Numbers 9:11). Today, I do not make any special food requirements for Passover, other than to have unleavened flat bread at all the evening meals or feasts.
I usually make my own flatbread for Passover (click for recipe).
Matzo, a dry cracker bread, is popular for Jews to use as the unleavened bread for Passover and other Jewish feasts, but any flatbread made without yeast can be used. We also do not need to make sure our food, matzo, or bread is kosher, as modern Jews' notion of kosher has become overly strict and religious. Christians and Messianic Jews have no dietary restrictions, other than keeping from eating fresh blood (Acts 15:29), and we need only bless our food and meals in the name of the Lord to cleanse and sanctify them, "for everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer" (1 Timothy 4:4-5).
Wine and other foods are also traditionally served at Passover meals, but lamb is usually not served anymore, because it is scarce17. However, that was a very important part of the first Passover meal in Egypt (Exodus 12:3-10).
The experience of preparing to leave Egypt and traveling are usually a focus of Passover meals and appropriate scripture and songs are sung and read. For further emphasis of this, you can eat meals with belts and shoes on as the Lord instructed, "Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded [belted], your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste - it is the Lord Yahovah's Passover" (Exodus 12:11).
A reading of Exodus usually accompanies Passover celebrations. You can watch a detailed examination of the Exodus that began at the first Passover over 3000 years ago here...
- Pascha (Easter)
Sunday, 2023 April 9
Pascha is Greek for Passover, which comes from the Hebrew word for Passover (Pesach/Pesah/Pesakh). Pascha was the original Greek word used about 30 times by Christ and the disciples for Passover in the New Testament. Most non-Westernized denominations adopted the word, Pascha, to denote the holiday celebrating Christ's resurrection, while most English and Western churches took the name Easter.
This holiday is a remembrance of God's gift of grace and Yeshua's triumphant resurrection on that first Pascha or Passover Sunday. We should call this holiday Pascha and not Easter, because the word "Easter" is not appropriate to use in the celebration of Christ's resurrection. The name Easter comes from Anglo-Saxon (English/Germanic) and Middle Eastern spring festivals that worship pagan gods, like Eastra/Eastre, Ishtar, or Ostara, who are pagan spring, fertility, and sex deities, often also associated with the "Mother Goddess" or "Mother Nature." Their festivals have an ugly history of worship practices3,4,5 which we should disassociate with God's holidays.
God wants His People to be educated on these matters and stop mixing up pagan and man-made beliefs and traditions with what is truly from Him, so we need to get away from the use of the word "Easter," egg hunts, and other commercialized Easter symbols in much the same way we should not overemphasize Christmas spirit and traditions that minimize or eliminate Christ.
Since the Roman empire's adoption of Christianity, the church has often tried to move focus from pagan festivals and ways of celebrating that occurred at the same time as Christian holidays by combining them. However, that largely has corrupted God's holidays with pagan influences.
Pascha is not supposed to be a celebration of spring, though Christ's resurrection is a symbolic and spiritual renewal like spring. Modern Easter celebrations have bad focuses, like egg hunts, and focusing on spring, rabbits, candy, and fun more than Christ. The symbolism of eggs and egg hunts is also interesting. Eggs and rabbits became associated with Easter because they were symbols of fertility connected with the pagan goddesses above. People may commonly think of eggs as symbols of female fertility, but in God's spiritual guidance, He has used bird eggs to represent useless/fruitless pursuits, so when He let believers adopt the tradition of hunting for Easter eggs, He is also saying how they are pursuing fruitless traditions and activities.
Since Pascha is closely linked to Passover and refers to Yeshua being our Passover sacrifice, it is appropriate to remember this on the Sunday following the first Passover feast as well, or to celebrate Christ's resurrection with Passover celebrations. It's up to you to decide how to observe these holidays together. I usually observe Pascha or "Resurrection Sunday" with Passover celebrations. See the Holy Week holidays and Passover for more about Christ as our Passover Lamb.
- Shavuot/Pentecost or Feast of Weeks/First Fruits
2023 Pentecost/Shavuot Calendar
- Thursday Sunset, May 25 (Ethanim/Sivan 5) ;- Shavuot Eve; begin Sabbath rest at sunset
- Friday, May 26 (Ethanim/Sivan 6) - Shavuot/Pentecost; have a Sabbath rest; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a feast
- Sunday, May 28 - Pentecost (day observed by the church); Because Pesach/Passover does not begin on Good Friday this year, the Hebrew and Christian calendars for Shavuot/Pentecost do not line up; the Hebrew calendar is preferred, so I will observe Pentecost on the Friday, May 26 this year
Shavuot is Hebrew for Weeks. This holiday actually consists of two parts in the Law of Moses. The first was to gather some of the first growth of the crops and offer it to the Lord (Leviticus 23:9-14). This was to start after the Jews entered the Promised Land, and God said the offering was to happen on the day after the sabbath, which was one of the sabbaths for Passover, noted in Leviticus 23:5-8.
There was confusion about exactly which sabbath this offering was to happen[3.1.23], but in the New Testament, it was on the Sunday of Christ's resurrection, which was the Sunday after the first sabbath of Passover, since the Last Supper was a Passover Feast, and the Pentecost of Acts 2 happened a little after the 40 days Christ was with His disciples after His resurrection.
Shavuot/Pentecost or the actual Feast of Weeks is the second part of the holiday and is when it is celebrated (Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:9-12). Pentecost means the 50th day from the Greek word[2.900.5.1] used for the holiday in the New Testament (Acts 2:1, 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). It is to be celebrated on the seventh sabbath or fifty days after the offering that was during Passover (Deuteronomy 16:9-10; Leviticus 23:15-16). This was when the Holy Spirit came in power to the disciples in Acts 2 and manifested the Spirit in completeness for the New Covenant (see 111 in The Meaning of Numbers for more about that).
For the holiday, we are supposed to have a sabbath rest and gather for the Lord (Numbers 28:26; Leviticus 23:21). We are also supposed to remember how God's People were slaves in Egypt and celebrate with all our household and the community, including strangers or nonbelievers, like with Tabernacles and other festivals (Deuteronomy 16:11-12).
The symbolism of Shavuot goes with the symbolism of Christ being our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed on that Passover. When He was resurrected on Sunday, it went with the offering of first fruits to go with Christ's resurrection as the "first fruit" or very first resurrection into new angelic bodies for all of us in the church[3.1.23].
After that, when the Holy Spirit came in power on Shavuot/Pentecost in Acts 2, it went with the first fruits or beginning of the harvest, which the festival celebrates. This represents the very beginning (first fruits) of the working and power of the New Covenant to give the Holy Spirit in completeness - both within ourselves as we are reborn with God's Spirit when we are saved (see The True Gospel and Imposters for details on how we are saved and reborn), and in continual filling and power as we continue in Christian lives.
There are many modern Jewish traditions associated with Shavuot, such as
eating dairy or cheesy foods, but many of these traditions are not Biblical and came many centuries after the Old Testament was written.
One tradition, though, the giving of the Torah (Law of Moses) at
Mount Sinai can be associated with the timing of Shavuot, because the Israelites camped at Sinai in the third month after leaving Egypt (over 60 days after the time of Passover; Exodus 19:1-3), and it was days afterwards that God called Moses up the mountain and gave him the Law. Shavuot occurs about 50 days after the holiday of Passover (15 days after the Jews left Egypt or about 65 days after Egypt), so the timing of Shavuot and the Old Covenant can match.
This would be an appropriate alignment if we see that the Law of Moses for the Jews were the first-fruits or very beginning of God's Law for His People. Those first-fruits would be changed and completed by the Laws of Christ with the New Covenant.
Shavuot/Pentecost is one of three holidays the Lord specifically noted with importance in the Old Testament as needing to be observed. The three feasts were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:23-24; Deuteronomy 16:16-17; 2 Chronicles 8:13).
- Yom Teruah (Hebrew) (also called Rosh Hashana) or Feast Of Trumpets/Shouting/Sounding
2023 Yom Teruah/Trumpets Calendar
- Friday sunset, September 15 (end of Elul) - Yom Teruah Eve; begin Sabbath rest at sunset
- Saturday, September 16 (Ethanim/Tishrei 1) - Yom Teruah Day; have a Sabbath rest; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a feast
This holiday is widely known as Rosh Hashana, meaning "Head of the Year" and celebrated as a Jewish New Year on the first day of the seventh Jewish month of Tishrei, but a New Year is not the Biblical definition of the holiday in Leviticus 23:23-25 and Numbers 29:1 where it is defined by the Hebrew word, "teruah", meaning to make a loud noise or shout, like to signal joy or a war cry, typically with a trumpet or shofar ram's horn. The term "Rosh Hashana" is only mentioned in the Bible once in Ezekiel 40:1, where it has nothing to do with a holiday.
Some believe the Rosh Hashana holiday came from pagan influences when the Jews were exiled in Babylon and incorporated foreign culture into Judaism, especially when Babylonian and Persian holidays often occurred at the same time as Jewish ones. However, there were no ancient Babylonian or Persian New Year holidays at the same time as Yom Teruah or the High Holy Days. Their new years were celebrated around the spring equinox in March.
The Rosh Hashana Jewish New Year more likely came from a Jewish tradition that marks Yom Teruah as the time God created Adam and Eve, and therefore signifies a new beginning. Other Jewish traditions say Yom Teruah marks when God created the world.
The true Jewish New Year is the first day of the first Jewish month of Aviv/Nisan (Exodus 12:2). Passover commemorates that anniversary of leaving Egypt (Deuteronomy 16:6), 14 days after the New Year begins. A celebration is not commanded on the actual Jewish New Year's Day or Eve, though.
For Yom Teruah, a holy gathering should be made (Leviticus 23:24-25; Numbers 29:1) along with a sabbath rest and sounding of trumpets and/or shouting. I like to blow the shofar sometime during the day (usually before worship) and before sitting down for the holiday feast. I make various trumpet blasts, ending in a long "tekiah gadolah," or "great sounding of the shofar," which is a single, long blast. Then the tekiah gadolh is followed by shouts of "Hurrah Israel! Hurrah New Jerusalem! The Lord reigns forever!" for God's People - Jew and Christian alike - and for Christ as our King, which we will soon see why it is appropriate for Yom Teruah.
Some people believe Yeshua was born on Yom Teruah and conceived around Christmas. This timing has been confirmed by two methods. One by Ernest L. Martin uses an astronomical alignment given by the vision of the woman or Bride giving birth in Revelation 12, and The other method uses the time period when Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, performed his temple duties, and the fact that Christ was conceived during John the Baptist's sixth month in the womb (Luke 1:26).
Since Zechariah was in the priestly division of Abijah/Abia (Luke 1:5), he could have finished his week of temple duty in late May and conceived John the Baptist soon after he returned home (Luke 1:23-24). This assumes he was the only one from the Abijah division serving at the temple and his division was the eighth in rotation (out of 24 from 1 Chronicles 24:1-19) beginning from the first week of the Jewish year (Aviv/Abib/Nissan 1 or the middle of March). If all that is true, then Yeshua's conception can be worked out to be around the middle of December and born in middle or late September when Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles happens.
In my years of ministry, I've seen the Lord line up events and the physical world in great detail to convey messages (see God's Names, The Meaning of Numbers, and 9/11 Prophecy for an example). I was even brought to begin and name my ministry late in 2008 through an astrological alignment that also involves the woman of Revelation 12 (see Predestined for details). And because the Bible does not state why we are observing Yom Teruah, I've long felt it was because God held it in reserve for Christ. You will see why when you continue here and read about the next holidays.
The Bible only states Yom Teruah is a reminder or memorial (Leviticus 23:24). We also know that the blowing of trumpets celebrated the anointment of kings (1 Kings 1:39; 2 Kings 9:13, 11:12-14; 2 Chronicles 23:11-13) and that Rosh Hashana or a New Year took over the meaning of Yom Teruah. If all these things are joined, then it tells me that the trumpets and shouting are meant to commemorate Christ being born and anointed as King, bringing in, not a new year, but a New Age for the Jews and all of mankind.
It makes sense Christ would be anointed King at His birth and that Yom Teruah would memorialize it. In 2023, I made a more detailed evaluation of the two alignments pointing to the birth of Christ to Yom Teruah. See the 2023 Yom Teruah sermon for the details.
I also note the sequence of holidays from Yom Teruah to Tabernacles and Shemini Atzeret line up with Yeshua's life and purpose as follows:
- Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana goes with Christ's birth and anointment as King to bring a new age.
- Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement goes with Christ's ministry in bringing the New Covenant, which atones for our sins.
- Days 1 to 7 of Tabernacles/Sukkot goes with how God continues to care and provide for His People despite the majority of the Jews rejecting God's plan and Christ, like they did in Numbers 13:3-14:38 when they rebelled against God's plan to take the Promised Land, and consequently were forced to wander the desert and live in tents or tabernacles for 40 years.
- Day 8 of Tabernacles/Sukkot goes with Christ's resurrection and God's renewal after hardship. See Tabernacles and Shemini Atzerat for more about that.
These many real world and scriptural alignments tell me the church has many things wrong about Christ's birth, Christmas, and other holidays.
Judaism should also take note of these alignments, because God also timed the death and resurrection of Christ to coincide with other very important Jewish holidays, Pesach/Passover and Shavuot/First Fruits and Weeks/Pentecost, and in fact, ALL the major Jewish holidays have a link to Christ. I summarize that in the 2023 Yom Teruah service.
See the last service for Yom Teruah to learn even more about this holiday...
- Yom Kippur or Day Of Atonement
2023 Yom Kippur Calendar
- Sunday Sunset, September 24 (Ethanim/Tishrei 9) - Yom Kippur Eve; begin Sabbath rest at sunset
- Monday, September 25 (Ethanim/Tishrei 10) - Yom Kippur Day; have a Sabbath rest; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a feast
From Leviticus 16:29-34, 23:26-32 and Numbers 29:7-11. It is a day to remember the sacrifice Yeshua made for us on the cross. It is a sabbath rest beginning at sundown on Yom Kippur Eve that should include reflection on our sins and asking God's forgiveness for them (noting specific sins when asking forgiveness is best).
Some people fast for Yom Kippur because some translations refer to "afflicting or denying" oneself in Numbers 29:7 from the Hebrew "anah". However, this word does not mean to fast from food, but is a general "to afflict, oppress, humble, or to be occupied with", which was used to mean "to deny or keep" oneself from working on a sabbath (Leviticus 16:31). The Hebrew word for fasting from food, "tsum", is used elsewhere in the fasting context but not in conjunction with the Day Of Atonement or any other atonement rituals, so we do not need to fast on Yom Kippur - instead it is more important to have a sabbath rest.
Paul mentioned "the fast" in Acts 27:9, which likely referred to Yom Kippur, so it appears the Jews fasted for this holiday in the first century. Still, we do not need to fast, since holidays and their rules are a shadow of things to come and we do not need to strictly adhere to these kinds of rules under the New Covenant. However, a holy gathering for Yom Kippur is commanded so we should gather for the Lord (Numbers 29:7).
On a Jubilee Sabbath/Sabbatical Year, which happens every 49 years, a trumpet is supposed to be sounded on the Day Of Atonement "to consecrate the 50th year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants" (Leviticus 25:9).
The Jubilee Year is called the 50th because it was the first one after a cycle of 49 years.
The official cycle of Jubilee Years was lost over time, but I believe
1967 was a Jubilee Year because of what Jonathan Cahn noted in his book,
The Mystery of the Shemitah, about the Jews reclaiming Israel in 1967.
He wrote, "The Israeli soldiers entered the Lion's Gate on June 7,
1967" and "The Jubilee is a year of restoration. So in 1967 Jerusalem
was restored to the Jewish people and the Jewish people to Jerusalem,"12
noting Leviticus 25:10 about the Jubilee Year, "It shall be a jubilee
for you, and each of you shall return to his own property..." Jonathan notes the next Jubilee Year would be September 2015 to September 201613, since Jubilee Years go by the Jewish calendar.
See the last Yom Kippur service to learn even more about this holiday...
- Sukkot/Succot/Sukkos/Sukkah or Feast Of Tabernacles/Booths/Ingathering
and Shemini Atzeret, the Last Great Day/Eighth Day
2023 Sukkot/Tabernacles Calendar
This is an eight day remembrance with seven days of feasting stated in Leviticus 23:33-43, Numbers 29:12-38, Deuteronomy 16:13-15, Exodus 23:16, 34:22, Nehemiah 8:13-18 and Zechariah 14:16. The first and last days are sabbath rests (Leviticus 23:35,36) and feasts are made on the first seven days.
- Friday sunset, September 29 (Ethanim/Tishrei 14) - Sukkot Eve; begin Sabbath rest at sunset
- Saturday, September 30 (Ethanim/Tishrei 15) - First Day of Sukkot; have a Sabbath rest; gather local foliage to make a bouquet or sukkah; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a feast
- Sunday-Friday, October 1-6 (Ethanim/Tishrei 16-21) - Second to Seventh Days of Sukkot; have a feast each day; begin Sabbath rest at sunset on Sunday, October 16
- Saturday, October 7 (Ethanim/Tishrei 22) - Eighth Day of Sukkot/Shemni Atzeret; have a Sabbath rest; hold a sacred assembly (worship); have a feast
On the first day of Tabernacles we are supposed to take choice fruit from trees, palm fronds, and leafy branches from trees, like poplars or willows, to celebrate with the Lord during the seven days of the festival (Leviticus 23:40; Nehemiah 8:15). I suggest getting or making one or more centerpieces or bouquets of fruit and foliage for your dinner table(s) for the seven feasts.
"Native-born" Israelites, especially, are also supposed to live in "tabernacles/booths" or temporary shelters during the first seven days, so that we can remember how God had His People live in tents when He brought them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:42-43). Though we do not have to literally live in tents during this holiday anymore, we should certainly make efforts to remember the nomadic lives of the Jews during their many years wandering the desert.
Modern Jews often build a sukkah for Tabernacles. It is a simple temporary shelter with a roof, like a gazebo or pop-up canopy, where the meals are eaten and sometimes for people to sleep under during Tabernacles.
On a Shemitah Year, the reading of the Law of Moses was done for all the people assembled at the feast (Deuteronomy 31:10-13), though a specific time during Tabernacles is not noted in scripture. This reading was done so all, including children and even foreigners to God, could learn about God's ways and know the fear of the Lord. This reading should not be confused with the holiday of Simchat Torah, which is not in scripture, but happens every year on the same day or nearly the same day as Shemini Atzeret or Eighth Day of Sukkot. Simchat Torah, means "Rejoicing in Torah or the Law" is not recorded in Jewish tradition until the 1st century A.D. and later[20,21].
Psalm 81:3-4 may refer to blowing of shofars or trumpets on the first
feast of Tabernacles, which should occur on a full moon. Purim,
Passover, and Tabernacles are the holidays listed here that should begin near a full moon, since they are scheduled for the 14th or 15th day of a Jewish
month, which all begin on new moons and the full moon is about halfway into a new month.
The last day of Tabernacles is called the Last Great Day or Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew). It is not a separate holiday from Tabernacles but is the capping off of Tabernacles. It is a day to remember the renewal and resurrection hope we have in God since the Hebrew "shemini" means eighth and the number eight means renewal and resurrection6. The first seven days of Tabernacles is a remembrance of the nomadic hardships the Jews lived through in the desert for decades because of their disobedience to God (Numbers 14:22-37), but the last day of Tabernacles symbolizes God's renewal after hardship, so we should celebrate and look forward to God's promised renewal and resurrection with expectation and hope, like the Jews experienced when they finally crossed into the Promised Land.
Today this is analogous to our looking forward to renewal and resurrection with Christ. He was also renewed and resurrected on the eighth day (Sunday is the eighth and first day of the week). His renewal promises many things we can look forward to with hope - Yeshua's final return, our bodily resurrection with that return, and the unity of His People in His kingdom's New Jerusalem (today's Promised Land we look forward to) and eventually the New Heaven and Earth when creation will be a perfected reality and when all sorrow and death will be taken away (Revelation 21:4). So even if we've been disobedient to the Lord, we can still be grateful for His mercy and look forward with Christ when we are sealed by His promise of eternal salvation through the New Covenant. Let that be remembered on Shemini Atzeret as well.
Along with sabbath rests, holy gatherings were commanded for the first and last days of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:12,35; Leviticus 23:36), which would be on the day of the first feast and the day after the last feast or on the Last Great Day/Shemini Atzeret (the eighth day).
Tabernacles also seems to be of greater significance than other holidays since it is mentioned as a required yearly worship for all families and nations that are left of those who warred against Jerusalem at the Lord's return (Zechariah 14:16-19). Zechariah 14:16-17 notes nations and families must "go up to Jerusalem" to do this, so it will be a mandated annual pilgrimage.
Tabernacles is one of three holidays the Lord specifically noted with
importance in the Old Testament as needing to be observed. The three
feasts were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:23-24; Deuteronomy 16:16-17; 2 Chronicles 8:13).
See the last Sukkot Day 1 service to learn even more about this holiday...
Don't forget to attend the service for the last day of Sukkot...
- Hanukkah/Chanukkah/Feast Of Dedication/Festival Of Lights
2023 Hanukkah Calendar
- Thursday sunset, December 7 (Kislev 24) - Hanukkah Eve
- Friday-Friday, December 8-15 (Kislev 25-Tevet 3) - Eight Days of Hanukkah
This eight-day holiday was not commanded in the Bible, but it is mentioned in the New Testament and listed here for reference, because all of God's People, whether Jew or Christian need to know what it is about. We are one in Christ and so share a common history and heritage (Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:6; Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Romans 10:12-13; also Romans 12:4-5).
It is not clear if God commands this holiday to be observed, but it does have significance with the New Covenant in its symbolism of renewal and re-dedication. The only mention of Hanukkah in the Bible is in John 10:22, which only shows that the Jews celebrated the holiday when Yeshua was in Jerusalem.
Hanukkah is not a Jewish Christmas. It celebrates a miracle of re-dedicating God's temple in Jerusalem after the Jews forcefully took it back from Greek-Syrian occupation in the 2nd Century BC. Hanukkah is Hebrew for "dedication" or "to dedicate". It refers to the dedication ceremony where the menorah or lampstand (Exodus 25:31-40; Numbers 8:1-4) was to be lit for eight days (2 Chronicles 7:8-9, 29:17; Note: the number eight means renewal and resurrection6). However, the Jews found they only had one day of oil for the lamps. They lit them anyways and found the lamps kept burning for the whole eight days.
This miracle is like the feeding of thousands by Yeshua with only a few fish and loaves of bread (Matthew 14:13-21,15:32-38; Mark 6:33-44,8:1-9; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14), however, when Yeshua was in Jerusalem during Hanukkah, the New Testament does not say He celebrated it. It does say He told the Jews at that time that He was indeed equal with God and they tried to kill him for it (John 10:25-38).
God may not require us to celebrate Hanukkah, but we should remember what it means historically, and how it relates to Christ's temple "re-dedication". Yeshua destroyed the temple in Jerusalem and rebuilt/replaced it with His bodily resurrection (John 2:19-22), which also includes our rebirth through faith and confession in Him, so that we are also literally temples of God where His Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19; Acts 2:38).
That miracle of dedicating imperishable temples in every saved believer needs to be emphasized during Hanukkah, so that our Jewish brethren may be brought into God's light and grace through Christ.
2023 Christmas Calendar
- Sunday, December 24 - Christmas Eve
- Monday, December 25 - Christmas Day
This holiday commonly celebrates the birth of Christ. However, there is no Biblical support for this. The choosing of December 25th as Yeshua's birthdate is also mixed with pagan celebrations of the winter solstice9. I believe this date is actually around when Christ was conceived in the womb and Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana (usually celebrated in September) is actually when Yeshua was born (see Trumpets/Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana above).
This mix-up explains why we see no scripture evidence supporting Yeshua's birth in winter. The New Testament says Mary and Joseph were traveling at that time for a census, which is unlikely to be ordered during the colder months of winter (Luke 2:1-7), since the census at the time required people to travel and register at their place of tribal origin (Luke 2:1-5)14.
Some people think that because shepherds were in the fields with their flocks when Yeshua was born (Luke 2:8) meant it was too cold for Christ to be born in December. However, December is part of the rainy season in Israel and the temperatures were moderate (well above freezing with lows in the high 40's F), so flocks were out in the fields at night during December to take advantage of the extra growth in the pastures15.
Others use that information to validate December 25th as Christ's birth, but there are two methods of dating Christ's birth that corroborate to point at Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana, so I believe the church's selection of December 25th for Christ's birth is in error. See Yom Teruah for more.
Another important thing to note is God has pointed out how man-made traditions and worldly focuses have corrupted Christmas and moved its focus away from Christ and onto worldly and commercialized versions of love and giving. Our focus for Christmas should be on the gift and grace of Christ coming to earth and not on giving gifts, decorating trees and property, gathering for family, or even "Christmas/holiday spirit" that leaves out God and Christ. We should keep our focus on Yeshua's coming and God's grace when we celebrate Christmas.
- Other holidays, like Lent, Saint Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, and other Saints' Days and religious holidays - I do not list other holidays because I've not seen explicit guidance from God to observe them. However, I must note that God has guided us on how people often mix up His holidays and things with their own traditions and ideas, which are often based on pagan beliefs or are completely man-made. God wants us to get away from these mixed up beliefs and practices. They have tainted God's holidays, like Christmas and Pascha/Easter with ungodly influences. This has happened with many holidays, such as St. Brigid's Day, where the deeds of real saints have been mixed up with pagan deities and festivals,
and Valentine's Day was overtaken by the world's ideas of love and romance, which have removed God's love and work through saints martyred on February 14th.
I do not treat these days as God ordained holidays or have feasts associated with them, like the church used to do, but if they celebrate a real godly triumph, like Palm Sunday and St. Patrick's Day, I will remember the event and try to keep my focus on what God wants us to keep in the forefront, such as St. Patrick's Day should be remembered as God's gift of Christ through the martyred saint to save Ireland and not a day to promote Irish nationalism or culture.
And for Valentine's Day, the Lord guided me more specifically on remembering God's love in it, but also not to completely exclude romantic love. See this Valentine's Countdown thread for some surprising revelations God gave with Valentine's Day.
People have also mixed their own traditions and cultural influences into God's holidays wherever they have settled through the centuries, so remember that even God's ordained holidays are only a shadow of things to come and we should not fret about observing them perfectly or in any certain way unless God tells us to. Simply try to honor the spirit of each holiday and remember why God wants us to celebrate them.
Jewish calendars today often show two days of celebration when only one was commanded. This comes from the ancient tradition of allowing the diaspora or the Jews in farther provinces of Babylon, time to be informed of the official days of a new month16
. The Hebrew months begin on New Moons, which were defined by physical observation of the sky by the Jewish central leadership - the Sanhedrin at the time. But because the Jews were exiled to many parts of Babylonia it could take days for the outer provinces to get word of the official calendar, so they decided to double-up certain holidays so that the outer provinces would not miss the holiday. I do not observe most of the doubled-up holidays, since there is no longer any problem with notifying people of calendars in our modern age of time-keeping.
There are also many Jewish references and teachings about the holidays, but you should note that the Lord labeled the Jewish teachers and synagogues, even in the time of Yeshua and the first apostles, as corrupted by Satan (John 8:42-44; Revelation 2:9, 3:9)
, so I do not treat any Jewish books or teachings, like the Talmud, Kiddushin, Mishnah, Halacha, Haggadah, and Gemara, as scripture. Modern Jewish teachings are corrupted in the same ways as modern Christian teachings that were influenced by pagan and man-made traditions. God has given guidance that modern Jewish traditions and focuses are not of Him, so any teachings should be examined and double-checked with authenticated scripture. For a discussion of authentic scripture, see Errors of Truth - Can I trust church doctine?
1 Huynh, Ty Alexander. "Passover and Covenant Protection". 1/19/2011. Light Behind The Veil. 3rd Compass - Christ Hephzibah Church.
2 Huynh, Ty Alexander. "A Purim Song Of Lament For God's Bride". 3rd Compass - Christ Hephzibah Church.
3 "It is Pascha, not Easter!".
4 "Pagan Origins Of Easter".
5 "The Origin Of Easter".
6 Huynh, Ty Alexander. "The Meaning Of Numbers". 3rd Compass - Christ Hephzibah Church.<http://3rdcompass.org/core/g?NBRS>
7 "Why is it permitted to drink wine on Passover?".
8 "How Yom Teruah Became Rosh Hashana".
10 Martin, Ernest L. The Star That Astonished The World. Association For Scriptural Knowledge. 1991. Print.
12 Cahn, Jonathan. "The Mystery of the Shemitah and the Restoration of Jerusalem". The Mystery of the Shemitah. pg. 269-270. Lake Mary, Florida. Frontline. 2014. Print.
13 Cahn, Jonathan. "The Mystery of the Shemitah and the Restoration of Jerusalem". The Mystery of the Shemitah. pg. 272. Lake Mary, Florida. Frontline. 2014. Print.
14 "Notes for Luke 2:3". Page 2080. The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2006. Print
22 "Notes to Esther 3:7". NIV Study Bible (NIV 1973, 1978, 1984). Page 718. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan. 2002. Print.