THE FEAST of TABERNACLES #5
BY: DANIEL YORDY
THE ORIGINAL FEASTS
Before we can draw the elements of the three feasts into our present knowledge of Christ as our only life, we must know what God says about them. The problem we face in doing that is that there are three versions of the feasts. The first version is what God actually said through Moses. The second version is the practice of the feasts in New Testament times, but the third version, and the most influential, is the understanding and practice of modern Judaism.
My problem has been that I have heard teaching that draws from all three without distinguishing between them. Thus my understanding of the specifics of the feasts has always been confused. To counteract that, I realize that I developed my own take on the feast specifics that I now discover is not quite in line with what God said through Moses. For the purposes of this study, I am interested ONLY in what God says through Moses. But first, I must distinguish the other two conflicting versions of the feasts.
The first conflicting version is how the feasts were kept in Jesus’ day. Because the Jews of Jesus’ day were inside God’s dealings with Israel as a nation, because they were actually blood descendants of Israel, and because God continued to honor the observance of Moses-like things, a study of this version can teach us of Christ. For instance, in my explanation of John 7:37, the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, I bring in the picture of the actual activities of priests and people into which Jesus spoke, “If any man thirst.” None of those activities are found in Moses; all are traditions of men developed over centuries. However, they are still valid as the context into which God sent His Son. I draw my knowledge of this version from Alfred Edersheim, a nineteenth century Jewish man who committed his life to Christ, from his book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
The second conflicting version, however, is far more prevalent and a serious problem in our day. Modern-day Judaism has little concern for Moses and no concern for the God of Moses. Almost all who call themselves Jews today have no blood of Israel in them; Abraham does not know them. Most “Jews” today are “Scythians,” that is, Khazars. Most of those are atheists. Yet those who practice religion among them call their religion “Judaism.” Judaism is primarily the study of the Talmud, an anti-Christ book written primarily by the Pharisees of Babylon, actual descendants of Israel, during the first 1000 years of Christian history. Most of those who use that book, however, are Khazars. None regard the God of Moses.
This Talmudic “Judaism” is overwhelming Christianity in our day – by deliberate intent. Because of the dynamics and power of propaganda and mind-control in our world, discussing this deliberate intent cannot be profitable. More than that, the victory of Christ through us against the Beast comes from a totally different realm than flesh against flesh. However, I abhor all intrusion of present-day Judaism into Christianity. It is anti-Christ. Paul fought against the more real Judaism of his day through his whole ministry and failed. – The Old Testament has meaning to us ONLY as it comes to us through Christ. – Yet today’s Judaism is something entirely different from what Paul knew, even though he had been a Pharisee. It is also more deadly.
Now, this does not mean that most of those who think of themselves as “Jews,” even though they are not, are not, primarily, good and sincere people. In their sincerity, they do many things that come from the Talmud that sort-of look like Moses. Thus, any present-day Jewish presentation of the feast of tabernacles, for instance, though sincere, cannot be useful to us in any way. Yet so much of what is known of the feasts comes from this Talmudic tradition, a tradition centered on the diabolical hatred of the Lord Jesus.
Let me give one example of modern Jewish “interpretation” of the feasts. Our calendars now place the feast of tabernacles in the month of September. Yet only a few decades ago, it was placed into early October. Moses said that Tabernacles begins on the 15th day of the 7th month, that is, if Passover is April 15, then Tabernacles is October 15-22. Although it makes no difference to God or to salvation what alteration modern Judaism has made, this one example shows us that almost all facts we might know of the feasts from modern Judaism have likely been altered, even significantly.
This study is concerned with what God said through Moses only. Thus we will discover a number of ideas we may have held concerning the feasts stripped away. The truth is, it was more than 1000 years after Moses before any of those differing ideas were added, more than 500 years after God filled Solomon’s temple with His presence, and more than 200 years after God abandoned that same temple. ALL additions and alterations were invented by the faction of the Pharisees.
God spoke the feast of Passover even as He spoke the real event of Passover to Moses.
Egypt is devastated and ruined. Egyptian records state that the entire land was devastated – the last days of the Old Kingdom. That devastation begins on March 6, 1463 (April 1 being the first day of the New Year). The warning of the death of the firstborn comes on April 7. The next day, the 8th, God speaks His directions for the Feast of Passover to Moses. On the 9th, Moses gives the leaders of Israel the instructions for the night of death. For the next five days, from the 10th to the 15th, a Friday, the children of Israel prepare according to Moses’ instructions. Friday night, at the stroke of midnight, “the Lord smote all the firstborn of the land of Egypt.”
This account is found in Exodus 12, though Moses repeats the same instructions in Exodus 13.
The journey of Israel begins on Saturday, April 16, the morning after the death of the firstborn. Edward Reese places the crossing of the Red Sea early the next morning, Sunday the 17th. While it is tempting to use that as a reference to the resurrection of Christ, it is simply not logical to assume that 2 million people walked with all their herds from Goshen to the Gulf of Aqaba in one day. Nevertheless, the crossing of the Red Sea is very much inside the Feast of Passover; placing it as the last day of that Feast, that is, on the morning of the 21st, could be more realistic.
Before continuing, let’s place this circumstance into global events. The several weeks of March and April, 1463-62 BC were the worst weeks experienced by mankind on this earth between Noah dis-embarking from the Ark and today. The entire globe was affected. Pillars of fire carving out river valleys or raising mountain chains were seen and described everywhere on the planet. Whole nations were destroyed; entire people’s were uprooted. Indigenous people’s the world over speak of a time when their forefathers survived years of darkness and fire only by a bread that appeared on the ground with the dew each morning.
Pharaoh’s decision to lose his army in the Red Sea was the signing of Egypt‘s death sentence. Egypt had been the wealthiest country around; thus, when warring tribes of people fled the destruction of their homelands in Arabia, Egypt was the natural place to go. When these peoples, coming in scattered large groups, entered Egypt, they found no defense. The Egyptians, and thus history, called these conquerors of Egypt the Hyksos.
But the fleeing children of Israel met with just one of those marauding groups and fought against them in Exodus 17. In Hebrew, they were called the Amalekites. Though not sufficient, at least the fleeing slaves did provide some relief to the Egyptians they left behind.
All of these things are recorded in Egyptian history, in the Tel Amarna tablets that recount the ending of the Old Kingdom. They tell of a time of darkness and fire, of the fleeing of a large tribe of newly-freed slaves, and of the invasions of the Hyksos, subjugating the remaining Egyptians to slavery. These accounts agree with and confirm the book of Exodus, but the connection is not made in modern history books because the demise of the Old Kingdom supposedly happened 600 years before Moses. However, we rest in the simple fact that when today’s skeptic’s claim there is no archaeological record of the Exodus, we know they are lying.
The deliverance of God’s people from Egypt was a big deal.
God gave His directions for the feast of Passover seven days before the night of Passover. However, His directions for the feast of Pentecost were given to Moses on the Day of Pentecost, June 5, 1462, within the first few hours after speaking the Ten Commandments out loud to all the people of Israel. God mentioned the feast of Tabernacles as well, but gave only a brief overview of all three feasts. Plus, He did not call the feasts “Passover,” “Pentecost” or “Tabernacles,” but rather the feasts of unleavened bread, firstfruits, and ingathering. This account is found in Exodus 23:14-19.
During Moses’ first 40 days on the mountain, God gave him the design of the Tabernacle. Note that the Hebrew word translated tabernacle is mishkan or dwelling place; whereas the Hebrew word for the feast is sukkah or booth of sticks. They are not the same word. We may come back to that later.
The next mention of the feasts comes in Leviticus 16 and then again in Leviticus 23. These instructions God gave Moses after the completion of the tabernacle; that is, a year after Sinai, during the days of the first celebrated Passover in the newly anointed tabernacle as the pillar of fire came upon the Mercy Seat above the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. Leviticus 23 is the primary Scripture governing the feasts.
The feasts are briefly mentioned in Numbers 10:10 and 15:3; then God gives a further rendition of the feast layout in Numbers 28 and 29, after the wilderness is behind the children of Israel and the Promised Land in front of them, just before Moses speaks his parting words to them, the book of Deuteronomy.
Then, Deuteronomy is not God speaking directly to Moses, but rather Moses remembering the whole history of God’s speaking to him inside his account of what the people had experienced at the mountain of fire. In Deuteronomy 15-16, Moses again recounts the instructions for the feasts. To these he adds part of the plan for the year of Jubilee, also in Leviticus 15, to be kept every 50th year counting from the crossing of the Jordan River.
The directions for the feasts are not mentioned again until Solomon’s dedication of the temple after the fulfillment of the Day of Tabernacles in the journey of Israel. Thus, our study of Moses’ renditions of the feasts is confined primarily to Exodus 12, 13, & 23, Leviticus 16 and 23, Numbers 28 & 29, and Deuteronomy 16.
In this letter, I propose that a specific outline of the feasts drawn from these chapters could be useful to us. We will use Leviticus 23 as the base of that outline. I am doing this here because, although the Tabernacle of Moses, the primary Old Testament metaphor upon which the gospel of Jesus Christ is built, is primarily clear and straightforward, easy to grasp and apply, the feasts are not. Their directions are scattered and sometimes confused. Added to that, as I have said, are all the various traditions that have nothing to do with what God spoke through Moses.
It is by studies such as this that I have drawn all the elements of the Bible into myself over many years. However, always in the past, I copied all verses out onto paper by hand or typed them onto a word processor. Only in the last few years have I used any Bible software. Writing a verse out is an effective way to hear what God is saying and to plant it deep inside. Certainly, many do studies such as this for intellectual reasons, but they are not my concern. I have always sought to know the living God, speaking personally to me, thus I have always found Him.
Although I want to bring in every angle presented in these chapters, I will reduce some repetition.
The Feasts of the Lord
• These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. (Lev. 23)
• These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day — besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord. (Lev. 23)
• So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord. (Lev. 23)
• Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. (Ex 23)
• Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. (Deut 16)
• On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. (Lev. 23)
• On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. (Ex. 12)
• For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (Ex. 12)
• ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. (Ex. 12)
• This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. (Ex. 13)
• Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to put His name. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. (Deut. 16)
• You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you; but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. (Deut. 16)
II. Feast of Unleavened Bread
• And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’” (Lev. 23)
• Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you. So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’” (Ex. 12)
• Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt.’ It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. (Ex. 13)
• And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. And you shall present an offering made by fire as a burnt offering to the Lord: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year. Be sure they are without blemish. Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah you shall offer for a bull, and two-tenths for a ram; you shall offer one-tenth of an ephah for each of the seven lambs; also one goat as a sin offering, to make atonement for you. You shall offer these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a regular burnt offering. In this manner you shall offer the food of the offering made by fire daily for seven days, as a sweet aroma to the Lord; it shall be offered besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. (Num. 28)
• Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning. (Deut. 16)
• Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it. (Deut. 16)
III. The Feast of Firstfruits
• ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (Lev. 23)
IV. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
• And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (Lev. 23)
• When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’” (Lev. 23)
• Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. You shall present a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, with their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the one ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; also one kid of the goats, to make atonement for you. Be sure they are without blemish. You shall present them with their drink offerings, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain offering. (Num. 28)
• You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. (Deut. 16)
V. The Feast of Trumpets
• In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’” (Lev. 23)
• And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets. You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish. Their grain offering shall be fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, to make atonement for you; besides the burnt offering with its grain offering for the New Moon, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, as a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. (Num. 29)
VI. The Day of Atonement
• Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath.” (Lev. 23)
• Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. [I leave out the bulk of Leviticus 16 and will bring that into the letter(s) on the Day of Atonement.] . . . In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. (Leviticus 16)
• On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work. You shall present a burnt offering to the Lord as a sweet aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year. Be sure they are without blemish. Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the one ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the sin offering for atonement, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings. (Num. 29)
VII. The Feast of Tabernacles
• The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. (Lev. 23)
• Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a Sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Lev. 23)
• On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work, and you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days. You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year. They shall be without blemish. Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths for each of the two rams, and one-tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. (Num. 29) [Through the remaining seven days of Tabernacles, eight days total, there is a similar presentation of offering – all in Numbers 29.]
• You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. (Deut. 16)
Doing this kind of a layout is very exciting stuff to me. Although I have never done the feasts like this, I have done many other elements of Scripture in a similar way. It is by this means that we see the patterns and connections God has woven into His word. All of those patterns speak of Christ alive now in us.
For instance, I was just puzzling over the feast of Firstfruits, what day it actually is. But the passage says that it begins after the entrance into the Promised Land. Then, looking at that entrance, we discover that Joshua led Israel across the Jordan River on the tenth day of the first month and that Jericho came down on the seventeenth. Then we see in Passover that the tenth day of the first month is when the Passover Lamb is selected. There is no question in my mind that we will discover wondrous understanding of Christ our only life through that specific connection along with all others.
Now, as we consider each of the feasts, one at a time, we have before us all the elements of each feast as God spoke through Moses. For each feast, I hope to transform the Bible words into a specific, point-by-point rendition of each day.
By this means we will find the verses and truths of the New Testament arranging themselves into a pattern that will simply take our breath away, or, shall I say, fill us with all the breath of God.
All of these words by themselves are dry and dull. Jewish people, true or fake, have labored over them for millennia, with far sharper minds than you or I possess. They have found only emptiness.
The Spirit of God without any words can bless and inspire, but He cannot lead us anywhere we want to go.
Jesus said, “Learn of Me.”
When we draw these words off the page as Christ, the all-speaking of God, through the Holy Spirit, the all-breathing of God, into Christ our only life filling us full, we learn of Him in a very particular way.
We put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
And we do so forever.
It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Moses did not mean the law; he meant put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Note on Dates & Hebrew
I must add a short note concerning “dates” and the Hebrew language. As I explained in “Applying the Feasts,” I find the dates that I use in Reese’s Chronological Bible. I also said that none of them, prior to 586 BC, can be accurate. The Hebrew month Abib roughly corresponds to our month April. Even though we cannot know any exact correlation between Abib and April, we can think of “April” in this context, not as our April, but as the Hebrew Abib, and so on. The truth is it makes no difference.
I use these specific dates BECAUSE I insist on bringing the truth of the gospel into our current understanding, Christ made personal in us now. The dates provide for us the context and structure of story.
I share with Paul an abhorrence for Judaizing, or even Hebrewizing the Christian gospel. And I share that abhorrence for the exact same reasons. To tribalize the gospel, to Old Testamentize it, is to turn a wineskin that God Himself SAID He has discarded, into the wine of God in our imagination. It is the worship of former wineskins, the belief that, because God moved in a certain way back then, He must move that way with us now.
The Old Testament is a deadly book, and it will kill you dead if you do not keep it bound in its place. We do not deify the Old Testament, any more than we “deify” God.
God called Himself YHWH; He did not call Himself Yahweh. YHWH means that God is our very breath, God in and God out, God personal in us. “Yahweh” turns that reality of God into an image far above and far away, an idol.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
Man is the breath of God, God in and God out, in a body of flesh. God manifest in the flesh.
The reason we say “God” and “Lord” and not the ancient Hebrew names is that God dare not be turned into a tribal deity. God has one personal picture of Himself in the earth; His name is Jesus. His name is not Yeshua. No one ever called Jesus Yeshua. His mother voiced, “Hoshea,” and His disciples penned “Ieosus.” “J” is “I” in the German languages, but the English tongue shifted the soft “j” sound into the articulated “J” of Jesus.
Those who exalt the Hebrew beyond simply a human language that changed rapidly over the centuries from Moses to Christ are exalting the belief that a particular language spoken way back when is somehow “God’s” language. I am convinced it is a violation of “thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
God’s language is the dialect you speak right now. God has no other language; God has 15 billion languages.
God in and God out – YHWH – your very breath.
Paul swung his sword fiercely against every attempt to Judaize the gospel, even when those attempts came through Peter and the other disciples. Because of Paul, each one of us can say, “You want to know what God looks like? Look at me. God is my breath in and my breath out; God is made personal in me.”
The moment we give God a form outside of ourselves, a form to exalt above all other forms, we place ourselves entirely on the outside of this One who carries us, outside of Him only in our knowing, yes, but knowing Him is eternal life.
Because Sam Fife made wide use of the symbols and metaphors of the Old Testament in his teachings, many in that fellowship spent much time in the Old Testament, teaching from it. As a result, the Old Testament grew in its rule over the gospel, as it always does, until I sat in services and heard Solomon’s cursing placed as the rule over everything Paul said. Paul and Paul’s gospel were dismissed almost entirely by that rule.
The Old Testament is a deadly book, and it will kill you dead if you do not keep it bound in its place. Rather, we use it for one purpose only, to find ever greater joy in the revelation of Jesus Christ in, as, and through each one of us, personal, here, and now.
THE FEAST of TABERNACLES, Pt. 5, The Original Feasts [Daniel Yordy] 2014 ~ BOOK 1