Leviticus 23 provides a list of all the Feasts of Yahweh required throughout the year. However, I want to focus on the Feasts held in the fall. (Or spring, south of the equator)
The first fall feast is Yom Teruah or a Feast of Shouting. It is interesting to note that many scholars indicate that the Torah does not give a reason for this feast. This day occurs on the day of the new moon that is observed from Jerusalem. This is the beginning of the seventh Hebrew month and it is from this day all the other feast days are calculated. This is an annual Sabbath Day.
The next fall feast is Yom Kippurim or Day of Coverings. This day is also known as atonement but a better translation of the Hebrew is covering. It is on this day that the Levitical High Priest enters the holy of holies and sprinkles animal blood. Leviticus 16:33 explains the purpose of this annual ceremony in this way: “And he shall make an atonement [H3722 kapar, meaning covering] for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement [covering] for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.” This day is to be observed 10 days from Yom Teruah and is an annual Sabbath.
The next fall Feast listed in Leviticus 23 is the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. In the Hebrew it is called Hag Sukkot. It is counted as the 15th day from Yom Teruah. It is on this day that the Israelites would dwell in booths for seven days. (Leviticus 23: 42) This was to be a commemoration of their being brought out of the land of Egypt. (Verse 43) The first day of this Feast is an annual Sabbath and the following six days are not Sabbaths.
The last feast day of the fall feasts is called the eighth day of the Feast or the Last Great Day. In Hebrew is Yom Gadol. It is also an annual Sabbath. (Leviticus 23:39) Like Yom Teruah, the purpose of this day is not stated in the Torah.
The book of Leviticus is part of the Torah. It provides guidance to those under the Levitical law and old covenant. However, the old covenant ended when Messiah, Israel’s husband, died on the tree. With Pentecost, the new covenant was instituted. The priesthood was changed with the new covenant as well as the law. (Hebrews 7:12)
What were some of these changes?
1. Circumcision of the flesh became circumcision without hands. (Colossians 2:11)
2. The spiritual priesthood of Melchizedek supplanted the physical priesthood of Aaron. (Hebrews 7:11-12)
3. Tithing was for the Levites. (Numbers 18:23-24) Today there is no temple and no Levitical priesthood so tithing is not required.
4. Baptism is a requirement. (Acts 2:38) This is followed by the laying on of the hands to receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8: 17-18)
5. Passover is observed without the sacrifice or eating of a lamb. Footwashing was instituted by Messiah as well as the eating of leavened bread and drinking the fruit of the vine. (Luke 22:15-20)
6. A change in the keeping of the annual Sabbaths was revealed by Paul in Hebrews 6:1-2:
A. Passover: “let us go into perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works.”
B. Unleavened Bread, the first annual High Day: “Faith toward Elohim”
C. Unleavened Bread, the second annual High Day: “of the doctrine of baptisms”
D. Pentecost: the third annual High Day: “of laying on of the hands”
E. Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting) the fourth annual High Day: “ Of resurrection of the dead”
F. Yom Gadol, the Last Great Day or eighth Day of the Feast: The fifth annual High Day: “of eternal judgment”
Paul has provided us with a revised list of annual High Days. This list of the Feasts of Yahweh is different from the list provided in Leviticus 23. Paul’s list represents the requirements of the new covenant. Leviticus 23 provides a listing under the old covenant. I no longer observe Yom Kippurim and Hag Sukkot under the new covenant. These two annual Sabbaths are meant only for physical Israel while under the old covenant. In the better resurrection of the 144,000 saints, we do not participate or officiate as priests. The physical Israelites and the world who live during the thousand year reign of Messiah will be under the Levitical law which will be officiated by priests of the lineage of Zadok. (Ezekiel 44: 15)
The covering provided with the blood of bulls and goats is only for physical Israel. The covering provided by Messiah’s precious blood has reconciled the world. This covering allows all mankind access to the new heavens and new earth. In Romans 5:10 we are told that: “We were reconciled to Yahweh by the death of his son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
What does this phrase in scripture mean, ”saved by his life.”? This refers to what it takes to get a human into the Kingdom, or New Jerusalem. In the new heavens and new earth there will be beings outside the walls of the Kingdom and beings inside the walls of the Kingdom. To be in the kingdom, you must be a first fruit from the better resurrection or be saved during the Last Great Day. You must be baptized with the name of “life” to receive the Father’s spirit and thus begin the formation of the Spirit of Messiah. You must have Messiah’s fully formed spirit at the better resurrection to be“born again”.
Hebrews 6 reveals the absence of the requirement to observe Yom Kippurim. Romans 5:11 tells us why this change was necessary: “and not only so, but we also joy in Yahweh through our Sovereign, YahwehShua Messiah, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [covering or reconciliation] The world, including those who are to be in the better resurrection, are NOW covered by his precious blood. We, in this age, are not required to observe Yom Kippurim. Participation in this annual Sabbath places you under the old covenant. We, who are of the new covenant and now are the sons of Yahweh (1 John 3:2) should no longer keep the old covenant. We need to fully embrace the new covenant. We need to follow Paul’s revised list and not Leviticus 23.
In addition, to fully embrace the new covenant we must not observe the Feast of Booths. We should not keep the old covenant annual sabbaths, YOM KIPPURIM AND HAG SUKKOT. We do not fast, observe the days as annual sabbaths or dwell in temporary dwellings. They are eliminated from our calendars.
However, then comes the YOM GADOL. This is being observed as required by the doctrine or teaching of Messiah in Hebrews 6. We will be resurrected prior to this event and will be judging angels according to scripture. (1 Corinthians 6: 3)
It is of interest that Messiah was recorded as observing, “that great day of the feast.” (John 7:37) The recognition of this day required the proper observance of Yom Teruah and the new moon. In the Greek scriptures, Messiah is not quoted referring to Yom Kippurim or the annual High Day of the feast of tabernacles. Is this why he spoke out on Yom Gadol and not the other two?
Now, what about Leviticus 23:30 which says: “and whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, [Yom Kippurim] the same soul will I destroy from among his people.” This is a very serious statement that should not be overlooked. We must be certain of our understanding, which is not to observe Yom Kippurim under the new covenant.
In Leviticus 16:34 it says: “and this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement [H3722, covering] for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.” Let us examine the word, everlasting. This word in fact does not mean everlasting or forever. This word is Strong’s 5769, OLAM, and it means age- abiding or age-lasting. This means it has a definite endpoint.
The end of that “everlasting” age was when Messiah died on the tree. We, of this new covenant age, are not under the requirement of the “everlasting statute” of Leviticus 16:34. You must study and determine for yourself the true meaning of OLAM [H5769] and not rely on the error of the translators.
As part of your study, refer to scriptures such as Genesis 49:26 which calls the hills everlasting. Look at Habakkuk 3:6, which says the mountains are everlasting. In Exodus 40:15, the Levitical priesthood is called an everlasting priesthood. How can this be when the priesthood of Melchizedec replaced this priesthood? In these examples the word everlasting means age-abiding, not forever. It is also of significance that when the Greek Septuagint was translated from the Hebrew word, OLAM, it was translated with the Greek word AION, which means age- abiding.
Also keep in mind the concept of ages. We are now in the age that began with the death of Messiah and will end at Messiah’s return. The next age will be the 1000-year reign of Messiah. The Levitical Law requirements will be in force again. The Last Great Day or Judgment Day is the next age. The final age will be the new heaven and earth. Each age brings changes. The only usage of forever that is correct is when it is used in reference to Yahweh.
This understanding that I am presenting has evolved over the last year. To observe Yom Kippurim and Hag Sukkot while professing the name, YahwehShua, is to have one foot in the old covenant and one foot in the new. Yahweh warns us about this in Revelation 3: 15: “ I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”
Remember, what John tells us in 2 John 9: “he that abideth in the doctrine of Messiah, he have both the Father and the Son.” The firstfruits in Revelation 14:1 had the name of the Father and the Son. If we desire to be in the better resurrection we must fully embrace the new covenant. Study to be approved. (2 Tim. 2:15) Pray to Yahweh for truth. You must embrace the new covenant and all that it requires. To embrace both the old and new will not be acceptable.
Remember what John tells us in first John 3:24: “and he that keepeth His Commandments dwelleth in Him.“ Now is the time to fully discern the true requirements of the new covenant. We, of the Light of YahwehShua, fully embrace and teach the truths of the new covenant. If you are being called, this is the way to life!