The Feasts of Israel
Book of Leviticus Chapters 23 and 25
The Church must understand that every time the Church gathers together it is a special occasion.
Remember we are to gather in the name of Jesus Christ!
Mat_18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
If we do not gather in the name of Jesus Christ, then the Lord Jesus will not be there.
The festivals in a sense were similar. If they were not done according to the Word of God, then God would not show up in peace.
These festivals to be celebrated by Israel, were appointed by God.
These festivals were to never be secular or worldly, they were for worship with a joyful celebration of Jehovah God.
We should understand that the primary focus of Jehovah God is salvation!
God wants us all to be saved.
Joh_3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Act_2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do not listen to the liberals there is no other way to be saved and join the Lord in Heaven!
Act_4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
After our salvation then and only then can we worship our Savior and celebrate our salvation!
God created all humanity to live eternally with God, but most have chosen to ignore these things.
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We should understand that these “feasts” of Israel had two main points:
1) These feast and festivals focused upon the salvation and the redemption of man and the worship of the One True God.
2) These feast and festivals painted prophetic pictures of the salvation, the salvation that God was bringing to humanity through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
These events also show a believer how he is to walk day by day throughout his lifetime!
*Lev 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
That word convocation means assembly.
These feasts were to be Holy Assemblies.
Without holiness there is no need to gather!
These feast and festivals also served to unite this new nation of Israel and cement them together as one people, one nation under the direction of our Holy God Jehovah.
This is still a great lesson that the Church needs to learn today.
The Word of God should unite the Church under one cause and that cause iis Jesus Christ.
*Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.
The Passover was to be a celebration of God’s great deliverance from Egyptian slavery.
The Egyptians had become brutal and savage and full of immorality and because of these things, they fell under the “judgment of God” and this “judgment” would be severe.
It is in this “judgment” upon the Egyptians that we see the “Angel of Death” who operates under the authority of God.
It was this “judgment” that brought Pharaoh to his knees, and he released the children of Israel, and they became a nation.
The nation of Israel first began to see the power of “faith” by trusting in the sacrificial lamb.
That sacrificial lamb that God provided was that “substitute” with the blood applied to the door of their homes in the shape of a “Bloody Cross”.
They had to take a lamb without blemish and put it to death and smear its blood upon the doorpost of their homes.
When they did this thing, it showed God that family trusted His Word and His “Substitute” to take their place.
The “Judgment” of God would “Passover” those believers, but not those who rejected the truth of God.
The Passover is a celebration of the greatest event in the history of Israel!
The Passover is a symbol, a type, of the Lord Jesus Christ who was sacrificed as our Substitute for our own sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect fulfillment of the sacrificial Lamb!
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
The Passover Feast was celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the ecclesiastical year which was the seventh month of the civil year and it lasted seven days.
These seven days would include the festival of Unleavened Bread which in type represented the complete removal of sin.
Leaven is a type of sin in the Bible.
We could say that these Feasts instructed these children of Israel all about “faith”, trusting in the Word of God.
We should be able to see that our faith will bring us to the giving of thanks for all the things that God provides for us.
There was the Feast of the First Fruits.
*Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
We should understand that it is not the soil, nor the rain, nor the sun, nor the dews, nor the skill of the farmer that we need to thank for our food.
We must see God as our Provider because He is our Provider!
This is the lesson from the Feast of the First Fruits.
Surely, we must thank God for our farmers but more important we need to thank God for providing the fruit from all crops.
It is the harvest of crops that provide food that gives life and for this reason this is a “type” of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When the Lord Jesus Christ rose from that grave, He brought eternal life to all believers!
A sheaf is a small bundle of stalks gathered from here and there in a crop.
This would be done the day after the Sabbath which places it on a Sunday.
This bundle would be waved before the Lord. After the wave offering the priest would approach God for atonement through a special Burnt Offering.
A grain offering is twice as much as the normal amount.
The aroma of these offerings ascended up symbolizing God’s acceptance of the offering.
The one thing was they were not to eat of any of the harvest until the First Fruit offering was given to God!
This was a permanent law through all generations to come no matter where the Israelites called home.
1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1Co 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
As believers we owe to the Lord the first of our harvest!
Today this would mean the first of our income for most of us.
We would call this our tithe for the tithe belongs to the Lord!
It is God who has given to us all that we have, no matter what it is!
If our jobs are due to the Lord, then our health is due to the Lord!
We are to give our first fruit to support the Church and the ministries of the Church and the Gospel must continue making its way around the world.
God will reward us for doing this thing as commanded.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Then we have the Feast of Pentecost.
*Lev 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
Lev 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
The festival of Pentecost, also call the Feast of weeks because it was celebrated seven weeks after the second day of the Passover.
It was also called the Festival of Harvest.
The intent of this festival was to offer thanksgiving to God for the harvest, but also to dedicate your life anew to the Lord. A rededication.
On the Day of Pentecost, just after the Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven there was a great harvest of souls when the Holy Spirit came just as the Lord Jesus had said.
Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
On this day of Pentecost we see a direct answer to the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This day of Pentecost took place exactly 50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Festival of the First Fruits celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
The Day of Pentecost also celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since their escape from Egypt the nation of Israel had celebrated these two prophetic days never realizing the true meaning of those celebrations.
The Passover symbolized God’s salvation plan.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread symbolized the need to separate from this evil world. Recognizing our sin.
The Festival of First Fruits symbolized the hope of each believer in our walk toward the Promised Land and the day of the Rapture of the Church.
The Festival of Harvest (Pentecost) symbolized the momentous day the Holy Spirit came to live in each believer and taking the salvation message of our Savior to the world.
God’s plan of salvation is seen throughout all the Scriptures!
It does not stop here.
*Lev 25:11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.
Lev 25:12 For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.
Lev 25:13 In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.
We must understand that when we know God, we know that He is sovereign over all His creation and all His creation belongs to Him to do with as He pleases.
Whether we realize it or not God does as He pleases at all times and His great plan is working every day to reach the conclusion, He has chosen Himself!
If we pay attention, we can see the plan of God unfolding right before our eyes.
When God allows us to own any part of His creation then we must be obedient to His rules as in all our life.
Lev 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
Lev 25:24 And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.
It was important for the children of Israel to realize this!
Canaan land was to be divided among the twelve tribes of Israel and each tribe would then divide that portion among all the families of each tribe.
God gave all of this land to Israel as a gift, and it was to remain in their care throughout all generations till the end of time.
Even when God removed them from that land, it still belonged to them!
Canaan Land was a sacred, holy gift given to the nation of Israel!
For this reason, each family was to never sale the piece of land that was assigned to them.
The land they owned was to be passed down to the next generation.
What do we know? We know that the love of money is the root of all evil.
1Ti_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
There is always the tendency for the rich to increase their riches at the expense of the poor, and this will not change until the end of the Church Age.
Mat 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
We immediately see that it is not God who makes people poor!
Those who are rich will not help the poor even though they are the cause!
God is always concerned with the poor of this earth because they are often mistreated and abused.
There are always some of these who are poor because they are lazy and irresponsible.
In the Word of God you will not find that God says to help these in any way other than sharing the Gospel with them.
It is those who are poor because of the actions of others that we are to help!
God wants complete freedom and complete liberty for everyone where the only laws are the Laws of God!
As far as the land given to the nation of Israel, any person who obtained land belonging to someone else was to return that land to the owner to whom it was originally given him at the Jubilee.
We should see that in typology because as believers we are just visitors here on earth and our home is in Heaven and our Heavenly home can never be taken away from us even though many of us have not been called home yet.
1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Among the Jews, every fiftieth year, being the year following the revolution of seven weeks of years, at which time all the slaves were liberated, and all lands which had been alienated during the whole period, reverted to their former owners.
In creation week God rested on the seventh day.
The seventh day was to set apart as a special day. A day unto the Lord. A day for rest and worship.
Seven weeks after the first day of Unleavened Bread came Pentecost.
After seven years the land was to be given a year of rest. The Sabbatical Year.
The land was to be lie unplowed, untilled, undisturbed.
It is from this passage in the Bible that farmers learned how to rotate crops to preserve the soil and allow the land to lay fallow for a year.
The Sabbatical year taught people to trust the Word of God and to depend upon Him.
For 490 years these Jews failed to keep the Sabbatical year.
The nation of Israel did not keep it for 490 years, and God removed them from the land for seventy years so the land could lay fallow.
2Ch 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
When God gives us extra time of rest it is for us to get closer to Him!
This was the purpose of those 70 years in captivity!
If we waste this time God will bring “Judgment” upon us.
So comes the Jubilee. The Jubilee is to set aside for a celebration of liberty, freedom, and redemption.
All slaves were to be set free.
The land was to be returned to the owners.
All debts and financial obligations were to be written off.
Even all labor obligations were to disappear.
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Jer 34:8 This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;
Jer 34:9 That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.
Jer 34:13 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,
Jer 34:14 At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.
Jer 34:15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
Jer 34:16 But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
Jer 34:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
We see that God is profoundly serious about these things!
What do these things mean for us today?
We know that the Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled the prophetic meaning of all these festivals.
The principles behind these festivals are things we must apply to our lives today!
We are to always remember our salvation through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are to remember to give our tithes!
God gives us all these things and He only ask for ten percent in return.
This should include ten percent of our time!
We are to love one another as we love our Savior and not oppress anyone especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Church is also God’s Chosen people, and He expects us to be good stewards of the things He has given to us, actually loaned to us.
The world is watching to see if we are genuine Christians.
The world is watching to see if we have that saving faith.
So let us show the world the Lord Jesus Christ.