Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feasts of YHVH: Introduction

[Note: I am still working on Job, but I find sometimes God changes what I'm working on. Still want to finish Job but for the moment a local Methodist church has been asking me to do some presentations on the feasts of YHVH (the LORD) sometimes erroneously called the feasts of the Jews. So since I'm studying those, perhaps it would be of a benefit to some of you while you wait for more on Job.]

Introduction: Mo'ed

The Feasts of YHVH are a number of days and groups of days that YHVH delineated through Moses. You could say the definitive list is in Leviticus 23.
Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Here YHVH says “the feasts which ye shall proclaim to be holy…these are my feasts.” The idea is quara (to call) is like to point out, but it’s like to accost and identify or to encounter. It’s like the day is coming along and we are taught to grab it by the shirt and say “This is a holy encounter!” I say that because the word convocation is “miqra” from the same word in noun form. What he’s saying is to latch on to these encounters. Why? Because these are YHVH’s feasts. In fact notice the construction “the feast which ye shall proclaim…are my feasts.”

That should be enough, I mean if I had a pen and said this is YHVH’s pen, how much would you give to hold it or even be near it? The days to proclaim as holy encounter’s are YHVH’s days. The word feasts here is Mo’ed (singular) Mo’edim (plural). I can’t remember all of these words in one sitting, and I’m not expecting anyone else too, but I think it’s good to get a sense of the word. So forget the word, just remember the idea.

Mo’ed means an appointment but not like one you make with your doctor. It comes from to fix upon, it’s like a summons to trial. God isn’t saying put this on your calendar right next to Boxer Day (in Canada). It’s this is the day! Seize it! Why? What is this talk of encounter?

I used to think this was a command to meet with people. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to not forsake the assembling together of saints, but that isn’t what this is talking about. The first feast God talks about here is the Sabbath, but what did people do on the Sabbath?

Exo 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

It seems at the most basic, if there was a command it was not “to go”, but to stay. Now, here the context has to do with gathering manna; so he forbids going to gather, but the only thing we are told to do on that day is to proclaim ‘holy convocation’ and to rest. The commands associated with Sabbath all have to do with abiding, or being within your gates. There is no command to go.

Granted again it does say a convocation, but if God wanted a large corporate meeting with the people, wouldn’t he have said where? And if he had, wouldn’t he have said how many? Suppose one is traveling, how many people do you need to be with on the Sabbath to obey? How long, what are the elements of it? It seems God is less concerned with the manner of the convocation, except that it does not interfere with rest.

Luk 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

This passage is actually the most detailed we have on what a first century Sabbath service may have looked like and actually most of it as described is still followed today, the reading of the Haftorah (the prophets etc), etc. But notice that it says Yeshua’s “custom” was to go to the Synagogue. If this was meant to be a command as it often said "according to the commandment", Yeshua would have known and obeyed. But apparently, Yeshua while keeping Shabbat understood the convocation to mean something different.

Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

Yeshua and his disciples are apparently on their way to the synagogue and Yeshua allows them to rub ears of wheat for food and sees this as being in keeping with Shabbat.

Mat 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

Mat 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
It is lawful to do well he says, so then apparently if your ox falls into a pit and you miss synagogue to help it out of the pit or to heal, then God holds that to be doing well and lawful. So then we see that this ‘convocation’ does not interfere with rest, healing, or need.
Who then is this meeting with primarily? Who is the encounter with? While it is important to meet with the saints, the feasts are not for meeting with man, but with God. In fact, in the KJV, you will often find the phrase “tabernacle of the congregation…” as a place for offering to and seeking YHVH but the word rendered congregation 147 times is actually Mo’ed again. It is not the tent of congregating, it is the tent of appointment or meeting.
While God often summoned the congregation in the wilderness, and kings sometimes summoned the people to the temple, the purpose was never to meet with people but with God, meeting with people happens when you're already meeting with God. YHVH thought these Mo’edim were pretty important, so important that he cleared our schedules for them long before Moses day.

Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

From the fourth day of this Earth, YHVH had these days in mind. The lights in the Heaven; sun, moon, stars are to divide day from night, and to be for signs (‘oth’ meaning a signal or beacon probably descending from the word ‘ooth’ meaning appearing or ‘to come’). And for seasons: Mo’edim. So on day four, before there is a man to see them God scatters glowing shards across the universe for the express purpose of being signals and appointments, or as we now call them ‘feasts.’
That is something we forget about God. Nothing occurs to God. Man didn’t sin and God sat bolt upright on his throne going “oh, boy, he’s in a real pickle! How am I going to fix this!?!” He knew his plan of redemption before there was a man to fall. Likewise, he didn’t “come up” with the feasts in the time of Moses, these were already “fixed” before creation was ‘finished.’
When we realize this, and as we’ll see later, this is evidence of the eternality of God’s plan. What occurs in every instant happens with the knowledge and determination of God to bring about his plan of redemption and abundance. God does not have ‘afterthoughts.’


Jack Proffitt said...

As is typical I enjoy your posting. I have several questions, but one in particular that is plaguing my conscience. I have posted it at the end and hope to hear from you shortly. I apologize for the lengthy style in posing the question but I did feel it necessary to build my case so to speak. Excellent point about day and night (sun, moon, stars, etc.) serving as a sign to point us to these particular days. I have only scratched the surface and intend to follow up with more input and questions in the ensuing days.

Are the words spoken to Moses holy and to be trusted? A simple but profound question that has huge implications on the way one views the feasts.

Who is addressed? Directly Moses, but application pertains specifically to Israel. As a result a believer in Christ must ask, “Do the words spoken here apply to me?” If yes we can continue on our merry way and increase in the knowledge heretofore related. If we say nay we have no real need to investigate. Yet, and it is important one understand and underline the importance, if we say nay here we must question where one may say yes. The dangers associated with this style of interpretation can not be overstated.

For the sake of argument however let us suggest that the words spoken here do indeed speak only to Israel. What would be the point in reading? There are certain to be many interesting reasons given. Ultimately, and I am open to challenge regarding, the only legitimate offering one might bring forth is, “We must listen when told.” The irony is difficult to overlook. We can not therefore turn a deaf ear without denying the lesson that should have been learned.

There may be a few who might contend, “Can not two messages be meant?” In other words can the words here be spoken with the intent of Israel to obey and the church excused from their observance? Again we are forced to question the logic. What is the point of listening if we are to ignore the command?

A man I once knew was challenged by the proposition. He was not to be outdone and suggested, “Is there not a different outcome for the rejection of Christ’s message?” I thought the point was well made! He thought my agreement too easy. I waited but my point, and his it appeared, was missed entirely.

The message and the command in both cases is the same, “Believe.” One can not believe without observing and agreeing with the central idea or concept of the message. Therefore, if we are to say that we believe the message of Moses, we in truth are agreeing that we must observe the intent of the message.

It is here we must caution the most ardent and strictest follower of the word. What is the concern? It is discovered in the words, intent and observe. Did God intend for Israel to obey exactly as described? There is little room for argument concerning. In what fashion were they to observe? Here the concern is revealed. They were to literally slay the sacrifices as commanded. In which case, if carefully considered, they were to serve in both the flesh and spirit. How do we overcome the obstacle?

Jesse Clark said...

As I hear you, Jack, the question you are asking is...what is the point in listening if no change in course is intended. It's like the annoyance a person might feel with a longwinded neighbor who takes thirty minutes to tell you something that could have been communicated in ten seconds.

When applied to God the question becomes, if the message can be contained in mental excercise of "you are a sinner, God is holy, you must be judged unless you trust in Messiah as having died in your place." Then the obvious question is "wasn't God wasting his time for most of the last 6,000 years? And isn't for us believers the only relavent parts of scripture perhaps the book of Romans?"

Either God is a poor communicator or there is something irreplacable in all that came "before" the gospel and all that came "after." And if irreplacable, if critical than is it even possible to achieve God's will, without walking that road?

So as for serving in the spirit and the flesh, it seems the analogy would be, can you love your wife without expressing it? The answer must be no.

So how can we overcome the obstacle of having to serve in both? It would seem like with your wife, you can only love her with expression and then perhaps only in expressing that you can learn to love her?

So I would say to learn to overcome, we must do.

Anders Branderud said...

You wrote: “Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. “

[To differentiate,] The historical Mashiakh [“Messiah”] was a Ribi named Yehoshua. He taught his followers to keep the directives of the unchanging and eternal Torah - the Instruction Manual of the Creator. His teachings were later redacted to “the gospels”, which contradicts the Torah in many instances; and thus shouldn’t be quoted or relied on. His original [reconstructed] teachings are now available on (only authentic Netzarim-website).

Relating to the Creator exactly in the same way as Ribi Yehoshua did – i.e. observing the Creators directives in the Torah – leads oneself into an intimate relationship with the Creator, which is very meaningful!

Anders Branderud

Jesse Clark said...

Anders, I have much in agreement with you. I would not want to be misunderstood as Yeshua did say that those that teach against the least of Torah commands will be least in the kingdom. I am not saying anything against Torah or the keeping of it.

I've actually been to that site twice's a little hard to navigate, but it seems like a resource I would agree with much.

Though I would contend that God's arm is not short. I think if you take the scripture as a whole then nothing in Yeshua's ministry can be taken correctly as being contrary to the law and prophets, as you said his credentials rest upon them.

I would not discount the gospels at all only translation and interpretations that may be false. But I would point out that God has more than once talked about hiding things and that the seeking will find.

By that I mean, how do we know this 'reconstruction' is right? Is it because we like what it says? Or because another tradition of men has stamped approval on it?

In any case don't you still have to judge it with prayer and against the Torah and all scriptures before? And then how is it better than simply picking up any bible and taking any passage and taking it with consistancy in all that came before?

Though with all that said, I do think the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew answers some questions that I have wondered about...but I think that's because I'm seeking...

Thanks for the comment, look forward to anymore of yours.

Anders Branderud said...

Thanks for your reply and visiting the site! Sorry for taking so long to reply!

You wrote: “I would not discount the gospels at all only translation and interpretations that may be false. But I would point out that God has more than once talked about hiding things and that the seeking will find.“

Let me do a comparison.

As stipulated in Devarim ["Deuteronomy"] 6:4-9,11:13-21 one is required to keep all of the directives of TorĂ¢h′ to one’s utmost—viz., “with all one’s heart, psyche and might [lit. "very"]“—”for the purpose of extending your days and the days of your children… like the days of the heavens above the earth” (i.e., eternal life). According to the Tan’’kh -Yekhezeqeil ["Ezekiel"] chapter 18 – the Creator confer His atonement in His loving kindness to those and only those turning away from their Torah-transgressions and (re)turning to non-selectively Torah-observance including mishpat.

This is not what the “NT” teaches. More documentation in this post of my blog: Link

You wrote: “By that I mean, how do we know this 'reconstruction' is right? Is it because we like what it says? Or because another tradition of men has stamped approval on it?”

Ribi Yehoshua (Aramaic: Yeshua) – the Messiah – from Nazareth was called a Ribi even by his opponents. That title implies that Ribi Yehoshua had semikhah – rabbinic ordination. Only Pharisees had this rabbinic ordination. This implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee [Documentation].

This has great implications of what he can have taught and not taught. The Messiah is prophesied to be Torah-observant and Torah-teaching. Thus, if any of the teachings of the “gospel of Matthew” contradicts the Torah, it must be a redaction. [Documentation]. Thus, redactions can be filtered away from the text.

Scientific methodology based on well documented premises.
Read more in this post: Link

Everything must of course be judged towards Torah; and that was the methodology of the reconstruction. And you are also responsible of comparing any teaching that claims to be from the Creator, to see if it is in accordance with the Torah including etymological Hebrew.

“Thanks for the comment, look forward to anymore of yours.”

“but I think that's because I'm seeking...”
Great that you are seeking; and if you truly are you will also read the pertinent information in the links that I have provided.

All the best,
Anders Branderud