The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Part 5
How Do the Feasts of the Lord Relate to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God
So far we have defined the Kingdom of God as a real Kingdom, which Yahovah has set up in the hearts of His children who love Him, the sons of God. His Kingdom will be established as a physical kingdom on earth with a government operated by His sons under the rulership of His first begotten Son, Yahoshua. Yahovah is the King of this Kingdom; the Torah is the body of laws which will be used for ruling the Kingdom with justice under Yahoshua, according to the order of Melchizadeck; The mountain of God, Jerusalem will be the throne of the Messiah as he sits on the throne of King David and the territory and the subjects will be the promised land which he covenanted to the children of Israel, and the kingdoms of this world.
Currently, all of creation is eagerly waiting for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19). Why, because they are the servants who will work under Yahoshua, in the government of the Kingdom. Where are these sons of God today? Many are awaiting the first resurrection, some are not yet born, and some have not yet answered the call, while the rest of us are currently in training: learning and practicing the renewing of our minds, so we may conform to the image of Yahoshua.
What is the Gospel? The gospel is a series of messages Yahoshua preached over a period of 70 weeks to the Jews, and the lost sheep of Israel in the presence of Gentiles and wicked men. The apostles continued to preach the same message after Yahoshua baptized them with the Holy Spirit baptism at Shavuot a few days after his ascension to heaven.
This gospel of the Kingdom of God is currently being preached to the whole world to give everyone an opportunity to respond to it and save their life. By repenting, believing it and obeying the steps required to leave the Kingdom of darkness and enter into the kingdom of light they can be saved from the pending destruction.
In Eze 18:21-24 This is what Yahovah says: “21 “However, if the wicked person repents of all the sins he committed, keeps my laws and does what is lawful and right; then he will certainly live, he will not die. 22 None of the transgressions he has committed will be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done, he will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure at all in having the wicked person die?” asks Yahovah ELOHIM. “Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live? 24 “On the other hand, when the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness by acting in accordance with all the disgusting practices that the wicked person does, will he live? None of the righteous deeds he has done will be remembered; for the trespasses and sins he has committed, he will die. (CJB)
In Eze 33:11-16 this is what Yahovah says, “11 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ swears Yahovah ELOHIM, ‘I take no pleasure in having the wicked person die, but in having the wicked person turn from his way and live. So repent! Turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, house of Isra’el?’ 12 “Next, you, human being, say to your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous person will not save him, once he starts committing crimes; and likewise, the wickedness of the wicked person will not cause him to fall, once he turns from his wickedness. No, the righteous person cannot live by virtue of [his former righteousness], once he starts sinning. 13 So if, after I tell the righteous person that he will surely live, he begins trusting in his own [former] righteousness and starts committing crimes; then none of his [former] righteous actions will be remembered; on the contrary, he will die for the evil deeds he has committed. 14 Likewise, if, after I tell the wicked person, “You must die,” he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right- 15 if the wicked person restores pledged property and returns what he stole, so that he lives by the laws that give life and does not commit evil deeds; then he will live, he will not die. 16 None of the sins he committed will be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he will surely live.’ (Eze 33:11-16 CJB)
This Gospel of the Kingdom series is designed and intends to share the complete gospel of the kingdom because it cannot be placed in a nutshell without omitting important parts. And one of those important parts is Yahovah’s calendar, which we are studying today.
Therefore, if you have not been following this teaching from the start, then you are welcome to freely download the previous podcast episodes from any of the social media to which you subscribe or visit this website www.itsnotasyouperceive.com and click on the radio button to listen and get caught up. But you are welcome to continue in this episode with us and follow along in our studies. Also, please leave your comments and questions below or send me an email and I will respond to you.
The believer, who is diligently and fervently searching for the narrow way, will find it. However, it is like searching for a needle in a haystack. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Yahoshua is the Master Teacher. His teachings were organized around seven annual celebrations of the Hebrew culture. This organization was efficient and effective because it calls attention to the Law (Torah), the Prophets, the Psalms and the covenants in one curriculum.
In Deut 18:15-19 Moses told the children of Israel, “15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (KJV)
So Yahoshua was that Prophet and he taught the gospel based on what Yahovah commanded in Torah through Moses.
There are eight celebrations of the Feasts of Yahovah, described in detail in Leviticus 23. The first four Feasts occur in the Spring and the last four Feasts occur in the Fall. So the organization of Yahoshua’s teachings made it easy for the Jews to follow and understand because the Feasts are native to their Hebrew culture.
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John detail how the Messiah fulfilled the Spring Feasts of Yahovah as the Suffering Servant, seen in his role as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. By studying the Spring Feasts, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God comes alive in 3D image.
After Yahoshua returned to his Father, he gave the book of the Revelation to his servant John while John was exiled on the isle of Patmos. Most people find this book to be difficult to understand and some declare it to be a metaphor which cannot be understood. However, this book is the script of how the Messiah will fulfill the Fall Feasts of Yahovah when he returns as the Almighty Judge, to rule the earth with justice, abiding by the Laws of Yahovah. As a result, the book of Revelation is Yahoshua’s continuation of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Like the first four gospels, this gospel of the Book of Revelation is the fifth gospel book and is written to the sons of God.
In John 6:44 Yahoshua said, “44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. (KJV)
In John 6:37-40 He also said, “37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (KJV)
Today we use a calendar and a clock to organize our appointments and plan our schedule. The calendar we use is the Gregorian calendar is based on the cycle of the sun; and the time clock we use is based on a 24 hr day, which begins immediately after midnight and ends just before midnight at 11:59pm. Our week starts with the first day of the week, Sunday and ends on the seventh day of the week, Saturday. The first day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar begins on the first day of January and ends on the thirty-first day of December. All these calculations are based on the cycle of the sun. As a result, these calculations are projected and published decades at a time. For more information about the Gregorian calendar, click the following link: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/julian-gregorian-switch.html
In contrast, Yahovah our creator, bases His calendar on the cycle of the moon. His weekly calendar, starts with the first day of the week and ends on the seventh day of the week, just like the Gregorian calendar, except that each day starts at sunset and ends the next day just before sunset. So when we contrast man’s time keeping and scheduling, to Yahovah’s time keeping and scheduling, can you see how we could easily miss the appointments He has set on His calendar for us to meet with Him throughout the year? That is why it is so important to have a calendar that is synchronized with the creator’s calendar. And to do this, we must keep up with the cycles of the moon.
Did You Miss Your Divine Appointment?
Consider this: When we set an appointment with the dentist, the contractor, or the employer we take the time to input the date and time and place for the meeting on our calendar. We have calendars on the wall, on our phone, on our computer, in our Daily Planner, because of the consequence of what a missed appointment could cost us. Therefore, we do our best to keep our appointments because we deem them important for our health, safety, independence and financial well being. When we establish our priorities we tend to reschedule and move less important obligations and commitments towards the bottom of our priority list and move more important items towards the top of our priority list. The importance of each priority is usually weighed based on value and flexibility. In this way we are able to honor our responsibilities and maintain a balanced life.
On the fourth day of creation Yahovah created the sun, moon and stars. Their purpose is outlined in Genesis 1:14-19, “14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
Here, we see that Yahovah’s calendar is written in the sky. When we look at man’s calendar, we see the things that are important to us and so we plan ahead and set appointments dates months in advance for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, holidays, vacation etc. But, when we look at Yahovah’s calendar, we see the events that are important to Him like sunset, sunrise, Sabbath Day, phases of the moon, appointed times, beginning of the month, beginning of the year, number of days in each month, and we also see data on the stars. This is the data that the prophet Daniel and the Chaldean astronomers were skilled at reading. Based on that data they knew that the Messiah was born because they saw his star in the sky.
So whereas man’s calendar has some basic information and our clocks have three hands: hour, minute and seconds, it differs greatly from the creator’s calendar, which is too vast and intricate to be captured in one computer file. Now, because I am focusing this blog on “why we celebrate the passover”, I will now call your attention to the second part of verse 14, “and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and for years.
Appointed Times or Seasons (Hebrew- Mo’ed)
The word “seasons” found in verse 14, is the Hebrew word, mo’ed, which means, an appointment. Specifically, this word means festival or feast; and by application it means an assembly for a definite purpose.
In Leviticus 23, Yahovah lists all His feasts to Moses and instructed him to speak to the children of Israel concerning the feasts of Yahovah. He told Moses, “proclaim them to be holy convocations”.
Weekly Feast – Shabbat or Sabbath Day (24 hours starting sundown Friday to sundown Saturday)
Shabbat literally means “to cease.” In 321 A.D. Constantine (the Great) who was the first Emperor of Rome, changed the day Shabbat is celebrated from the 7th day of the week to the Sunday the first day of the week, when he created the Christian religion as an amalgamation of paganism sprinkled with a little truth mixed together.
Annual Feasts of Yahovah
Please note that these feasts are also incorrectly referred to as the feast of the Jews; but they are the Feasts of Yahovah. The first four annual Spring Feasts were fulfilled by Yahoshua when he came the first time. Nonetheless, Yahovah has commanded us to keep them throughout all our generations. He said in Leviticus 23:14, “It shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations in your dwellings”. Again, in Leviticus 23:21, Yahovah commands that these feasts shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. Here is a list of His Feasts.
Feast #1 – Passover (14th of Aviv)
Feast #2 – Unleavened Bread (15th of Aviv)
Feast #3 – First Fruits
Feast #4- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
The Fall Feasts are revealed in the book of Revelation and will be fulfilled when Yahoshua returns. However, we continue to rehears them.
Feast #5 – Trumpets
Feast #6 – Atonement
Feast #7 – Tabernacles
Feast #8 – Last Day
Torah commands us in Exodus 12:21 that in preparation for the Feast of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, we must remove all leaven from our homes. And we are commanded in Leviticus 23:6 to not eat any foods with leaven in it for these feasts. Instead, we must eat unleavened bread every day.
This physical rehearsal exercise is a command from Yahovah for us to keep for all our generations. This celebration reinforces our spiritual commitment and teaches us lessons about the Kingdom of God and the holy characteristics of the Kingdom. The exercise keeps us focused on constantly examining our mind, heart, thoughts, and words, to judge ourselves to produce fruits of the spirit and overcome fruits of the flesh. The element of leaven would not be considered outside of this exercise. At this appointed time, the teaching about Leaven and the different forms of leaven opens our physical and spiritual eyes to what it means to guard our hearts and minds and how to wrestle with the enemy and win. I encourage you to do a more in depth study on this topic for yourself”. Thus, we learn to sanctify ourselves unto Yahovah.
Yahoshua and the Apostles kept the feasts
When we study Paul’s missionary journeys we see that he timed the logistics of his travels around the feasts of Yahovah, always making sure that he leaves each missionary location allowing him enough time to get to Jerusalem to attend the Feasts.
The following New Testament Bible passages, Matthew 26:17, Acts 20:6 and 1Corinthians 5:6-8 all show that Yahoshua, and His disciples all kept the feasts of Yahovah; and the apostle Paul encourages us to keep the Feast in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, “6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us. 8 therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”