Disclaimer: The post is still under review for English grammar.

There are several reasons why this topic is making a powerful comeback. The primary reason is that in the past 20 years Christian Churches around the globe, represented by almost every major Christian denomination, have become much more aware of the Jewish identity of their Savior and King. This, of course, is a wonderful thing.

The question is usually framed in a very simple way: “Must Christians observe the Jewish feasts?” I would submit to you that there are several problems with how the question is formed.

First, the assumption is that “Christians” are members of a non-Jewish movement, independent in every way from the people of Israel. Knowing what we now know about the Jewish background of the New Testament, we can say with full confidence that this is clearly not the case.

Second, the question refers to the Feasts of the Lord as “the Jewish feasts,” as if these feasts did not belong to God himself as their biblically native terminology clearly implies. Only when we adopt the biblical (rather than theological) categories, can we begin to see that we are asking the wrong question. Wrong questions in turn are known to lead good and godly people to wrong answers.

Third, the inclusion of “must” is problematic as well. It unintentionally advances the question in the context of the Protestant-Catholic, 16th-century divide regarding personal salvation (faith vs. works).

I would restate the question in a way that, while surely more cumbersome in Christian English (the language of our communication), is more fitting to the biblical context:

“Should the follower of the Jewish Christ, who comes from the nations and not from Israel, also mark as holy ‘the Feasts of Lord’”?

I think the answer to this question is clearly – yes. The question is not “if”, but “how” must Gentile followers of the Jewish Christ observe the Feasts of the Lord in covenantal continuity and partnership with Israel, yet with full realization of the powerful implications brought forth by Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension.

It is indeed very interesting to note that Christian Churches, especially in their Catholic and Eastern Orthodox expressions, have never claimed that believers should cease to observe the feasts of the Lord.

In fact, both Christian communities (along with most protestant ones) have regularly marked many key biblical feasts with special worship celebrations. Unfortunately, they have often observed the feasts purposely on different dates and often inventing traditions far removed (and sometimes antithetical) to the original biblical injunctions.

Gentile Christians today are called to reunite with the people of Israel through, among other things, Christ-centered observance of the Feasts of the Lord and in so doing to experience their belonging to the Commonwealth of Israel.

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217 COMMENTS

        • Amen. Speedily and in our days, may that spiritual awakening reach every corner of the earth, to the Glory of HaShem.

      • Thanks for that. Christians are supposed to observe the seven Feasts of the Lord. All the seven Feasts have their full meaning in the New Testament. Christians should use the Jewish Calendar, not the Gregorian Calendar. Feasts of the Lord is a topic in a prayer school in Uganda.

  1. “Christ” implies deity/God, so the Christ/God is Jew’ish now is He? Your claim as to the feasts violates Gal 1:7-9, 2:15-21, 3, 4:8-31, 5:1-26, 6:11-18.

    • Although I do believe in divinity of Christ, you are mistaken to say that Christ IMPLIES God. It does not in and of itself. Whether my claims violate Galatians or not is a bold claim, which I invite you to prove. Take 1-2 texts and make your point. I will then provide my response. Blessings and peace from the lover of Galatians.

      • These things are a mystery. It is probably true that Christ of himself does not imply God. Or putting it another way one cannot rule out the Father as Jesus taught us to pray to the Father. The mystery remains however that the Father, Jesus and the HS is God.

        • I think it prudent to observe that Jesus and His Father differentiate their relationship from a believer and his/her Heavenly Father. Jesus repeatedly says “your Father” and “My father”. Let us be very clear. At Jesus’ baptism the Voice from Heaven says “This is My beloved Son”. Jesus would say “In My Fathers house…” and yet when giving the the disciples the “Lords prayer” He would say “”Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven…” There is a clear and repeated pattern here. Jesus/God clearly defines the difference between their relationship Father/Son and the believers relationship Our father/we children.

      • …and thus what is the factual etymology of ‘deity’?

        deity (n.) – c 1300, deite, “divine nature, godhood [1Tim3:16/Col 2:9], attributes of a god;” late 14c., “a god, God, the Supreme Being or self-existing spirit,” from Old French deité, from Late Latin deitatem (nominative deitas) “divine nature,” (continued)

      • .. “divine nature,” coined by Augustine from Latin deus “god,” from PIE *deiwos “god,” from root *dyeu- “to shine,” in derivatives “sky, heaven, god.” From 1580s as “a being to whom a divine or godlike nature is attributed.”
        [etymonline.com]

        So the “Christ”/”Messieh” implies deity/Godhood/God/Supreme Being/Self-Existing Spirit” = I AM

        • I don’t mind disagreeing with Augustine, Lazzaro. I would define “divine” things as those things that find their source in God (like divine providence, divine instructions, divine warning, divine nature, divine Son of God, etc.). They do not imply God, intrinsically. If Jesus implies God, then you need to explain how Jesus prayed to Himself and how God (the bodiless omnipotent life-source, “self existing spirit”) can die, and then – while dead – resurrect Himself. Maybe we have different meanings of “imply”?

          • Although fully God, and fully man, the eternal plan was that as fully man he limited Himself as human…and was subjected to all things than mankind is subjected to including pain and temptation. Jesus prayed to the Father, not to Himself. Mysteries of the Trinity continue until we know all.

          • Well said, Dr Eli. Also, different meanings for “trinity,” “triune,” “deity,” “echad,” to name but a few. We need to first rid ourselves of that word “god,” lest we never “get there” but continue spinning around in such things as the “Although fully God and fully man” trap..

          • Jesus “praying to Himself” can be explained by the doctrine of the hyspostatic union – the two natures of Christ in One Person. His Person is God but He has a human nature and a divine nature. When He prayed to the Father, He was praying in Hus human nature

          • Thank you Francis, I hear you. It seems to me that everything Yeshua did during His ministry would fall under His “human nature.” Maybe you can provide examples of things He did under His “divine nature”?

        • Lazzaro, “divine nature,” coined by Augustine Sorry but St Peter used the term a few days earlier; 2 Peter 1:4
          Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,

      • Thank you very much Dr. Eli for your teaching on God’s festivals. I would say almost every Christian believes that these festivals belongs to Jews because they were taught like that by their Pastors. People don’t read Bible otherwise it would make it clear that these festivals belongs to God

        • One thing that disturbed me when I was going through the trail chain of the comments. that Jesus is not God otherwise why would he pray to God. I am not sure if I got it correct from the above comment. I believe Jesus is God and part of Trinity.

      • paul a jew himself and part of the farasees says not to put a burden on the gentile christians with the jewish laws and all. only substain from meat with blood and a few other things. we should celebrate Christ instead and do communion as He told us to do.

        • Hi Adrianus, Yes, Paul delivered the decision of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) everywhere he taught. The decision as Ja’akov/James finalized it was to “not burden Gentiles that are turning to God.”

          • It seems to me that keeping the Sabbath is also mentioned in Acts 15, when it states that the teachings of Moses are every Shabbat. This to me is another clue the the LORD’S appointed times “FEASTS” are to be kept by all that belong Him.

        • Adrianus, if you study the whole bible’s use of “uncircumcision”/”circumcision” then the confusion of Acts 15 starts to fall away. Nowhere is the Torah referred to as a “yoke on the neck” which the people were “unable to bear”, not even by Yeshua. Rather “perfect” &”not too hard for you”

        • It is also inconceivable that converts would be exempt from torah. Murder, false witness, stealing, etc. would not be OK just because they were not born as Israelites.

          If “circumcision” in Acts 15 and Gal. 5 means exactly the physical act then Paul, by his own words, stole Timothy’s salvation.

      • By using the term ‘divinity,’ do you mean you believe in the deity of Christ. I have read others writing about ‘divine beings’ as not being deified ones.
        would you please clarify this for me? Thank you, Doug.

    • “Christ” does not imply God. It is the Greek form (Christos) of the word for anointed. In Hebrew this is Meschiach. In Aramaic it is Meshika. It mean an anointed one. In the LXX the Hebrew word
      מָשִׁיחַ (Meshiach) is translated as χριστῷ (Christos) in reference to Cyrus.

  2. The ability for modern Christians to reflect back on the Jewish traditions is to be applauded. The knowledge of Christ in the culture he was born in, makes for a most enriching and knowledgeable faith. This does not preclude they have to follow Jewish traditions such as the Passover. The Holy Spirit is not static and works within cultures, transforming the culture as salt in society. God is not wanting to cocoon or coral cultures to imitate Jewish culture. He wants people of faith expressing their lives as believers within the vast variety of worlds cultures. Behold I make all things new.

    • It sounds reasonable (although I think you would agree that since Holy Spirit is divine it comes across somewhat presumptuous to claim to know what He does or does not want to do). But in the end the logic leads to the current reality which is almost a complete alienation of Christian practice from all things Jewish. One day I will write about the modern Passover Seder celebrations in Churches (and it is not what most people think I would say about it). 🙂

      • Dear Dr Eli, considering what Christ said in John 16:13-15, why would a Christian not know what the Holy Spirit does… etc.?

        • The job of the Holy Spirit is guiding us to truth, it does not say that we will know everything that Spirit feels, thinks and will do and when :-). That is the whole point of John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going”.

          • I fly gliders. Modern meteorology does give us an understanding of where the wind comes from and where it blows. We would not know how to rise up like the eagles otherwise. In the context of the people of the time with no real appreciation of the science of winds a valid comment. 🙂

        • The Holy Spirit is an equal member of the Trinity and as such knows all that is of God. He was sent by the Father to let us know what God deed us to know and as our comforter., and guide.

          • The trinity concept is implied as 3 persons. Statements such as 1John 1:3.John1:1. 1Cor.8:6.John10:30 and Rev.7:10 to name a few are plain truths where no inferences are applied referring to the duality of the Godhead. See the Hebrew and Greek definitions of the Holy Spirit

      • Presumption wasn’t intended. Apologies. But just like observing and understanding the winds, we can observe the Pneuma at work in many cultures as the gospel reached the nations of the earth. Here in New Zealand, the missionaries brought the Gospel first and foremost. (Religion came later). The upshot of the observable work of the Spirit was seeing slaves of the Maori take the gospel to their people. Very little European input apart from lighting the spark.

    • Passover is not a Jewish tradition. It is a God-prescribed remembrance of the Exodus from bondage in Egypt.

      • Jesus added a new dimension by the bread, wine AND FOOT WASHING which He said do in remembrance of HIs death No such command about the resurrection which Was not on Sunday but as the weekly sabbath was ending. Called the Passover many times not last supper.

        • If you read both Genesis and Exodus, the day does not begin at midnight or at sunrise, as we presume. It begins at sunset. Jesus rose on Sunday, just as the Bible says.

          • No Sunday resurrection, PROOF. Day started and ended at sunset Died on Passover. in the grave before the annual Sabbath next day purchased and prepared spices. Rose at the end of Next day weekly sabbath Women came to tomb while it was yet dark and tomb empty No easter sunrise

    • Since God does not change, and He told Israel to observe (watch, guard) the feast “forever”, it would seem that Passover should still be observed.

      • Nevertheless it was given to the Jews, although as a gentile I see through it the significance of Jesus sacrifice as in a lot of these types. The breaking of bread as a remembrance is given to the gentiles or believers in Christ.

        • Actually, Tony, the New Testament records Yeshua establishing the “bread and remembrance” with his Jewish Disciples. All believers are then invited to participate, Jew and Gentile alike.

          • Hi so I am a gentile believer and firmly believe that we are grafted in. And on guidance of the Holy Spirit we most certainly are to keep the three feasts without the blood sacrificing as Yeshua covered that once and for all. Zechariah 14 v16-21

          • Hi Carol, that is wonderful that you feel led to participate in the Biblical feats. But there actually will be sacrifices in the millennium (Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:21; Jeremiah 33:15-18; Ezekiel 43:18-46:24). Sacrifices served as an object lesson of Messiah, and that will be their future purpose too.

          • This year both the Easter and Passover Seder celebrations fell on the same day. The liberation of the Israelites from Egypt slavery is a picture of our liberation from the slavery of sin through the death of our Lord Jesus. I love the Amidah and say it where I can

  3. The comment “Gentile Christians today are called to reunite with the people of Israel through, among other things, Christ-centered observance of the Feasts of the Lord and in so doing to experience their belonging to the Commonwealth of Israel” is… interesting. Who is calling them and who says they are to belong to the Commonwealth of Israel? My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

    • Shalom, Thomas. I have this text in mind from Eph.2: “11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. “

          • If you don’t mind, Lazzaro, what you make of Eph.2:12-13, once “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel” but now “brought near by the blood of Christ”?

      • Eph.2:14-22 For He Himself is our peace who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

      • Kia ora (Good health) Eli. I thoroughly enjoy the discussions. Eye-opening, eye-brow lifting at times, but good stuff. If we were to join in the commonwealth (common shared benefits) of Israel, and the salvation we gain because of Israel, it would imply we are to be circumcised too! I feel you have taken this verse out of the context of what was being talked about.

    • It is Adonai who tells us who is chosen and who is not. This is not favoritism. It is God’s prerogative to make choices.

      • David ben Gedalia. He, Jeshua, God incarnate came to seek and to save the lost. But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to be children of God–to those believing in His name. There is a human decision involved. Prior to Christ Adonai forged a covenant through which the Light would come to the Gentiles. He is the light, and sent out the disciples to preach the Word, the Light of the world to all peoples so ALL may be saved.

    • That includes times and seasons as well as people. If you can say that all men are chosen, then your point is of use.

    • Otherwise it is without merit, and you are dictating to God what you want Him to do. That is presumptuous.

      • Jesus says in Matthew 22:14, “Many are called but few are chosen.”I understand this to mean that GOD indeed has made it possible for ALL to be saved but in order to be chosen , we must respond to the call and return His love. The GOD that is relational provides for mutuality. Just as Abraham was asleep during the making of covenant, thus making GOD the only initiator, Abraham responded by having faith. Technically, GOD chooses ALL but without response it is not completed.

  4. I think a Jew is obligated to observe the Biblical festivals as they can, while a gentile is invited to do so.

    • Donald, hi. Naturally one’s interpretation of this message will hinge on one’s hermetical approach. But it is a text to wrestle with nevertheless.

      Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (Zach.14:16)

      • Yes, Tabernacles will be celebrated by all in the future. One can practice today. In 1 Cor Paul invites all to celebrate the feast, Passover.

      • The Feast of Booths (the Feast of the Tabernacles) is the only one specifically mentioned. Moses gave the Israelites the feasts along with the Law. Some of this is specifically Jewish and some is universal. I could say much more if I was allowed to.

        • And what about Isa.66:23 concerning Sabbath? And 1Cor.5:8 concerning Passover? And if the Gentiles who attach themselves (think grafted in) to Israel are equivalent to the Biblical Ger (foreigner/sojourner) then the Bible has even more to say to all of us believers.

  5. Having knowledge of and acknowledging the feast of the Lord will certainly increase our understanding of YeHoVaH’s work and ministry toward those who believe. The sacrifices have been completely satisfied in Yeshua haMashiach. The where and how and exactly when to commemorate and celebrate his great work for our salvation may vary as of now; but I am with you in spirit (and Spirit) If not physically in your time zone etc.

      • “We having the same spirit of faith, according, as it is written, I believed, and therefore I have spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” 2 Cor. 4:13 actually had another verse in mind, but it will take time to find it. the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ. We are certainly well delineated,or defined. I’ll stop here. I could just start picking spirit verses at random. Peter writing about the prophets of old inquiring of the Spirit of haMashiach within them sort of thing.

    • To say that “The sacrifices have been completely satisfied in Yeshua haMashiach” is to take the sacrificial system out of context.

    • The “blood of bulls and goats” was never meant to take away sin and guilt, but to act as a temporary covering …

    • …so that we (all who wish to worship, but have our lives tainted by sin) could still come into the presence of Adonai.

    • Regardless of how one thinks about it, the sacrificial system will be functioning during the millennium.

  6. I think that the Greek translations influenced all denominations by inserting or leaving out of Hebrew understanding.

  7. AMEN! YES! I am grafted in according to Romans 11; gladly a part of Israel, & a believer in Yahshua! Thank you for saying that!

  8. Celebrating the feasts is a blessing but not a “must”. Col. 2:16-17. Paul says no one should be judged on this.

    • Benedict, in one way they are the same all though the preferred mode in Scripture is to speak of Israelites (children of Jacob/Israel and their decedents). Jews/Judeans is also a biblical term but it came to use much later and is almost not used in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Read my book the Jewish Gospel of John (the term and its original meaning comes into play there strongly.

    • Under the heading of “A brief History of the Terms for Jew” in the 1980 Jew’ish Almanac is the following;

      *’Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary ‘Jew’ an Israelite or a Hebrew.”* (1980 Jewish Almanac, p. 3).

  9. I am in awe of the few Messianic Jews l have met, because you have your Christianity built on its proper foundation. Would it be correct to say that without the Jewish background we have a form of Christianity, but with very shallow roots. For a short while l attended a church led by a Jewish Christian and each time he called Jesus Master (with whom he was so obviously in love), l felt a wave of conviction and even envy because his experience and knowledge came from so much more understanding.

    Through you teaching l hope to learn a little of what that man already knew. Thank you for your knowledge and enthusiasm.

    • Dear sister Marion, it is a true honor to accompany you on your journey of faith. Thank you for your kind words. It is not that people of Jewish background have it all set, they too (just like you) must study to grasp the original meaning of the Scriptures. Being Jewish often helps but it is no guarantee at all.

    • The Vatican teaches “Christianity”, Jesus taught “The Way”. “Christianity” existed at least circa 200 years before God incarnated as Jesus. Those who practised “Christianity” were in the cult of Serapis, an Egypto-Greco theosis cult calling themselves “Christianos” (‘little gods’) which is blasphemous and not what disciples of Jesus are.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, Lazzaro, but is you’re strongest evidence for this claim the supposed letter from Hadrian (dating to 134 AD, well after Christianity) that says the syncretist Serapists called themselves Christians? If so, then how do you account for the anachronisms in the letter that cause even the most liberal scholars to recognize it as a forgery? If anything the Serapists borrowed from Christianity.

      • ‘God’ was not ‘incarnated as Jesus’!
        “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”
        The Word. The Word. The Word..

        • Indeed. It is the Word (Memra) of God that became flesh. Thus Jesus was the incarnation of the active force of God which is the definition of Memra/Word.

  10. Excellent article. I have been misled long enough by the “Gentile Church and that is very sad. I so need more of this teaching life.

  11. Romans 14:5 & Galatians 4:10 seem interconnected to me, I’d be interested to hear thoughts on their context. I do, however, consider the feasts important.

    • Shaun, hi. Why are we assuming here that we know exactly what Paul means in his letters when 1) we have missing letters, 2) we are missing correspondence that he received, 3) we are eavesdropping on another people’s conversation 2000 years later 🙂 and 4) we read not his letters but English translations of that which he dictated to his scribe. All of this to say is that Gal. 4:10 may not be referring Jewish divisions at all and there are other interpretive options as well.

      • Okay, let’s not presume anything in Paul’s letters; but let’s discuss implications. It is clear from prior chapters that he is talking about Torah observance and “slave vs free woman” (grace vs law)…What else could days/months/seasons/years be referring to? Considering Romans14:5, the implications seem obvious no?

        • Days/months/seasons/years refer to “weak and poor elements” in slavery to false gods (vv.8-9), so they could refer to Pagan elements. Romans 14:5 is referring to an internal Jewish argument as to which days were better to fast on.

          • Can you tell us why they would have argued about fasting days? I have heard this before but no background has been given. In Scripture there is the fast of the Day of Atonement and there is fasting done for intensifying prayer, as in Daniel, or as when Jesus says this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting. Why would any day of the week be better or worse for fasting?

          • Tobit 12.8 (2nd cen. BCE) establishes the value of fasting, and Didache 8 says, “But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week. Rather, fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday).” So why these two days instead of those? Because those hypocrites fast on those days and we’re not hypocrites like them! 🙂

      • And to be clear, I think there is amazing value in knowing/understanding the biblical feasts…I think the modern western church have done themselves a GREAT disservice by cutting themselves off from the Jewishness of Jesus and His revolution. To properly understand the kingdom/gospel, the rehearsal feasts are so important.

      • Have you got a link to prior discussions on the “other interpretative options” Dr Eli? I’d love to read them if it’s been a prior conversation. My asking these questions isn’t to justify not celebrating the feasts in their biblical format, it is just to form better/more Jewish thinking.

        • Hi Shaun, Paul says that the Galatians had been enslaved to false gods (v.8), but then after knowing God turned back to slavery to weak and poor elements (v.9). Thus the days, months, seasons, and years probably are not Jewish at all, but Pagan. The reason this passage is difficult is because of vv.4-5, “under the Law”. Once we realize that this means “under the penalty of the Law”, then the passage reads much differently.

  12. The Jewish feasts look back to Exodus so why would Christians keep them? Surely they will keep days that look forwards to Christs new exodus!

    • You are contradicting yourself :-). Both are Exoduses so to speak. Connection is clear. It is not IF, it is HOW.

  13. I believe that if the Bible says we are grafted in, that it means that we belong to the same tree, meaning there are only one tree and one root system. If we are grafted in ‘the olive tree’, we should all bear the same fruit, since if I am correct, the wild branches grafted into the olive tree, bear exactly the same fruit as the genuine branches.
    Also, the first Christian churches celebrated the feasts!!! I don’t understand why there are always arguments about keeping the feasts or not. I rather prefer to keep that which God commanded, than to stick to man-made traditions!!! All the feasts speak about Christ. Celebrate Him.

    • I absolutely agree with the majority of your statements here Venessa. But if I’m not mistaken, you’re implying that to “produce the same fruit” we must celebrate the same holidays/keep the same traditions? Is there any possible way, “producing fruit” could mean something else? I’m all for celebrating Jesus though

      • Just as “fruit” is useful, beneficial and enjoyable, so our lives should produce useful, beneficial and enjoyable results to God. Fruit, then, is showing love to others and obedience to Biblical commandments. The question then becomes: Is observing a feast a form of obedience to God?

      • Hi Dr Eli, hi Shaun, this has changed to the differences is in the use of words, when Vanessa has brought more points in the argument. The Word as is written in the Torah speak/relates/ of a great relationship with God by His people which is what we all want

        • Tanakh is the pillar and strength of the New Testament, while the New Testament is the continuation of the Old Testament. Your articles show plainly that when we leave the Old Testament behind, we loosing a crucial component to understanding what we say we believe. Peace.

    • One can graft a different kind of apple on to the same tree. I have known christians who think they are Jews and it doesn’t work. As it is most Jews have been broken off of their own tree but that is changing.

    • Grafting in branches does Not necessarily produce the same fruit ie apples to apples does but not apples to oranges cannot. So Gentles who have been called can be grafted with Israel including Holydays But those calling themselves Christian who do not follow where Jesus leads cannot

  14. That question settled in Acts 15:8-22.Non Jews not to keep Jewish traditions. Christians even Jews should hold Breaking of Bread services not Passover anymore.

    • This is not accurate. The four prohibitions in Acts broadly match four categories of prohibitions in Leviticus that were applicable for sojourners. So the decision was an affirmation that Gentile Christians are to be treated as sojourners with Israel.

      • This is a brilliant point to make though Dr Eli! I’d love to read more into implications for provisions made for “sojourners”. Cus I currently understand it to entail making them as members of the same household/treat as if Jewish. Historical Arc shows revolutionary human rights progression for that time!

      • No offence, but you are trying to tie the redeemed believer back to what Jesus freed them from, it is by grace through faith in Jesus’ finished work at the cross that the redeemed believer lives as the New Covenant bears out repeatedly in various explanations.

        • No offense taken, Lazzaro. 🙂 Are you saying that Jesus freed us from Torah observance? Yes, salvation is by grace, but Jesus never exempted anyone from living lawfully; He saved us from “under the Law” which is the “curse [or penalty] of the Law” (Gal.3:13). If you get out of a ticket, do you then speed again? Yeshua gave strong words for someone who teaches others to break even the least commandment (Matt.5:19). See, Grace and Law are not opposed; the opposite of grace is disgrace, and the opposite of law is lawlessness.

          • [Thumbs up]

            I think there is much confusion amongst Christians caused by a mistaken understanding of the relationship of between Law, Grace and Legalism.

            Grace is often interpreted as a license to disregard the Torah’s mitzvot.

            Further confusion originates from the idea that Torah Observance is for Jews alone.

      • Amos Read all 41 Gospels Jesus kept the Passover with bread, wine and read especially john13 :14-15 foot washing Even as a youth Luke 2:41 Many feast days are mentioned in Paul’s travels 1 Cor. 5:6-8 For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us no last Supper

      • The one problem I have with this is that sojourner were not allowed to celebrate Passover unless they were circumcised, is that not correct? Exodus 12:45,48 and yet, as a Believer in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus as a covering for my sins, allowing me into a family relationship with my Heavenly Father, I also have had an exodus to celebrate.

  15. With Pentecost near, I was wondering if there is evidence that King David died on Pentecost, as I see in the Jewish Encyclopedia that it is tradition that he did. Can you comment?

  16. I have Jewish ancestry but South Africa parents, yet I have always felt a strong bond with Israel and enjoy learning about your culture.God bless

  17. Did the early church or churches in Rome, Corinth, etc. celebrate the feast? Which feast are you referring Sir, all? Do we need to observe circumcision as well because it was commanded like celebrating feasts.

    • Hi Rogie. Sure, 1Cor.5:8 seems to hint at the congregation at Corinth keeping Passover. But yes, the article is about all of “the Feasts” in general. As for circumcision, passages like 1Cor.7:19 highlight that actions of obedience speak louder than the ritual of circumcision. No one is justified by circumcision, and disobedience negates circumcision, and obedience emulates a circumcised status (Rom.2:26).

  18. The. Jews killed Jesus for not doing as the Law prescribes . The Christians celebrate the Passover in a different way as the Jews by braking of bread as Jesus’s flesh and wine for His blood. Though we part of the Jews we gentiles have a different outlook

    • I disagree Johannes. The Judean leaders killed Jesus because He threatened their supposed righteousness, status and job security; not for a lack of keeping the “Law’s prescriptions”. After all, they had to get false witnesses to try to condemn Him because He was righteous.

      • Joh 5:18  “Therefore the Judahites sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” 

        They sought His death for breaking Law prescription!, so your disagreement is claiming John is a liar!

        • I am calling the Judeans liars, actually. The hypocritical Judean leadership, whom Yeshua regularly criticized for their unrighteousness, who utilized false witnesses to condemn Yeshua in a mid-night kangaroo court, claimed that Yeshua broke the Sabbath, yes. But didn’t Yeshua deftly defended Himself from the Bible, and didn’t Judas and Pilate called Him innocent and righteous? So was the sinless Lamb of God a sinner that broke God’s law, or did He break a man-made tradition and wicked men were just grabbing at straws to somehow justify their condemnation of Him?

        • He was accused of breaking the Shabbat. But he didn’t accept it. He said it was lawful to do good on the Shabbat. (Mark 3:1-6)

          • If two commandments in the Bible ever conflict, we are to do the positive “do” commandment and not the negative “not” commandment. So even if Yeshua did “break” the Shabbat, He did so in order to fulfill the positive commandment to love and do good, which is still fulfilling Torah.

          • Isn’t this related to a system of precedence that were already well developed by the time of Christ to resolve contradictions between mitzvot? For example, preservation of life always took precedence over any other commandment. Or the infrequent taking precedence over the frequent when a Shabbat clashes with Yom Kippur.

          • There will always be a possibility of some commandments (mitzvot) contradicting. But like you said, there is a system to prioritize commandments whenever they do clash.

  19. Thank you. Occasionally, I commemorate the Feasts of Leviticus to remind myself that they point to Jesus. It’s not about must, but as it was intended to be, a school teacher leading to the Messiah.

  20. Shalom Dr. Eli,
    You have beautifully said what my heart has been instructed by the Ruach and has longed, for years, to hear authoritatively affirmed.
    תדה רבה,
    Marshall Seaborn

    P.S., How about some articles discussing how desiring believers can synchronize to the calendar of HaShem’s moedim and celebrated in the light of Messiah Yeshua.

      • Shalom Dr. Eli, Thank you and waiting prayerfully. In the meantime, do you know of a good resource for this?

        • It really depends on where you are on your spiritual journey, Marshall. Many people will find certain resources to be “too this” or “too that”, So I recommend doing the research yourself. There are lots of resources online, and Yeshua is all throughout the feasts, so it should be a fairly easy and rewarding study. God bless you.

          • Shalom Dr. Eli,
            Thank you for engaging me. I’m 60 years old at this point and I was called by the Lord when I was 13 years old during the early 70’s through an encounter that led me to a Charismatic church. About four or five years ago the Lord opened my eyes through another series of encounters that cause me to understand His desire for me to walk in accordance with His Torah. Since then everything changed. Like the Bereans, I searched the scriptures to see if these things were true and I found them to be true. I embrace the weekly Sabbath, the Scriptural instruction about food and His Feasts. I’m still trying to understand how to incorporate the Feast Days as a believer whose in Messiah Yeshua. I began to learn to read the Hebrew Tanakh (still learning, of course) and even Modern Hebrew (through the Rosen School of Hebrew and others) and started studying with the Israel Bible Center, obviously. As to where I am on the journey, well I’m learning to walk with Him in a new way and I’m seeking to understand the ancient paths.
            Blessing to you for all you do.

          • It’s incredible how many people have stories so similar to yours, and it is wildly encouraging! This can be nothing short of the dawn of the final redemption! Now if you’re interesting in them, the feast days were always meant to be celebrated in community, so that is a good place to start; a community that celebrates them (after reading what Tanakh and the Apostolic writings have to say about them, of course).

  21. Thank you Dr Eli for your gracious and patient replies! I’m thoroughly enjoying the conversational discourse. Grace and peace to you 🙂

  22. It seems like most on here do not recognize YHVH’s commandments and moral statutes vs rabbinical tradition. Those are the “laws” that Yeshua freed us from. They bound heavy burdens on men that they were not willing to bear themselves. The “oral Torah” is a lie! No adding or subtracting!

    • Hi Linda. Question: Did Yeshua “add an oral instruction” Himself when He broadened the scope of adultery to include looking in lust? Therefore, I would contend that Yeshua came not to cancel all oral teachings (oral torah) but to correct those oral instructions that defy God’s commandments. What do you think?

  23. These are not “Jewish” feasts, but feasts of YHVH Lev 23:2 And though some see them as a burden, they are truly a time of fellowship with our Creator. How great is that? We do not offer blood sacrifices, but rather present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy acceptable

  24. For myself, I feel this is part of “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”. The Father knows how important fellowship is..with Him and our fellow men. NOW…Shalom, Eli! Thank you for these teachings, I am learning so much and humbly thank you for explaining things so clearly. Be blessed.

    • That is great to hear, Linda. Thank you for engaging in the discussion and sharing your thoughts! God bless you, and Happy Shavuot!

  25. The Feast were and are rehearsals for the real event which Jesus fulfilled. Jesus has already fulfilled the first 3, we are in Feast of Weeks and we are waiting on Rosh Hashanah. I think we should always honor the feast as memorials and to teach our children.

  26. Echo Shaun Mulick’s comment, appreciating your gracious and patient responses, enjoying the discourse, and may G-d’s blessing of grace and peace be upon you, to which I add my gratefulness for your original article. Shalom and chesed in our Machiach!

  27. God called all of Israel, a Chosen people to be a Light to the World, a Royal Priesthood, a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6). God then created a new Mystery, whose members would be grafted into Israel to form one new Man. Let gentiles then observe all that is Israel.

  28. Not as Jew or Gentiles but sons of God in Christ Yeshua, our High Priest, Chief Cornerstone. Obeying the Law in and through the Holy Spirit; in Christ, and walking in Grace and Faith in the Resurrected Messiah. The Feasts and Sabbaths were replaced by Pagan rituals and practices.

  29. Firstly, this issue is more complicated than it seems, for several reasons.

    1) It’s true that there are a couple of Old Testament passages indicating that at least certain festivals (Tabernacles among them) would be observed by the entire world after the Lord comes. So there’s that.
    2) It’s also true that the festivals themselves are symbolic representations of the entire plan of God — including Jesus’ first AND His second coming. (The fall festivals represent His second coming, and His wedding supper, among other things.) These are things that would be very helpful for Gentiles to understand.
    3) It’s also true that, in the first century, Gentile Christians would usually fellowship *together with the Jews*, in synagogues where the Sabbath and Holy Day festivals were observed. So the Gentiles were observing them more or less by default.
    4) However…in Acts 15 and in Acts 21, there was a major discussion within the leadership of the early Church over whether Gentile converts should keep the entire Law of Moses. The ultimate consensus was that no, they did not need to observe all of it, even though Jewish believers continued to keep it. There were a few basic things that Gentile converts needed to observe (Acts 15:20) — and this very short list was relevant to the situation in the first century, when fornication, public nudity, and flagrant debauchery were accepted in Roman society. When sacrificing strangled animals to a pagan god, or eating blood in worship of a pagan god, was just part of everyday culture. (Here’s a thought. What parts of everyday *modern* culture would even Gentile Christians be expected to abstain from?)
    5) Then there’s Galatians, which seems to indicate — to the vast majority of Christians — that the Law of Moses is no longer necessary to observe. But is there a missing nuance, here?

    Look at Galatians 2:7: “On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.” And in verse 3, we read that Titus — a Greek Christian — wasn’t forced to be circumcised (an outward sign of being obligated to keep the whole Mosaic Law) — despite his conversion. So it seems to be clear that, in line with Acts 15 and Acts 21, there was a DICHOTOMY OF PRACTICE between Gentile and Jewish believers. Jewish believers continued to observe the Law, while Gentile believers were not obligated to do so.

    Furthermore, Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) demonstrates that we shouldn’t make the Mosaic Law into an obstacle to humanitarian mercy and compassion. There’s a “right” way to observe the Law, and a wrong way. The ultimate goal of the Mosaic Law is love for God and for one another, so anything that detracts from that isn’t what God would want.

    Given all of the above, I would suggest that we not FORCE modern Christian believers to keep the Sabbath and the festivals. Rather, we should share insights that we glean from them with other believers, for their benefit.

    • Damon Casale , you really lost me here: “parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) demonstrates that we shouldn’t make the Mosaic Law into an obstacle to humanitarian mercy and compassion”

      In what way do you see “Mosaic Law” as an obstacle to mercy and compassion?

    • Damon, you wrote: “The ultimate consensus was that no, they did not need to observe all of it, even though Jewish believers continued to keep it. There were a few basic things that Gentile converts needed to observe (Acts 15:20)”

      So, murdering, lying, thieving Gentile converts were the result, right?

      • Later in that passage (v.21) the Apostles speak of Believers learning the Mosaic Law. It is therefore arguable that they were only listing a set of minimum requirements so that new converts without a Jewish heritage, would not be thrown out before they could be taught Torah.

  30. Thank you Dr for this post. Yes, yes ,yes believers in Yeshua from the nations must celbrate the feslivals of the Lord. All of them point to the redemptive plan Of God through Yeshua. He explain the Passover and the Pentecost to the disciples. They have been fulfilled in Yeshua.

  31. We must celebrate them at the periods prescribed. I don’t think that the rituals are that necessary. While the Jews continue seeing them as in their original meaning, we the believers from every background should see them thru Yeshua and the redemptive plan of God. Shalom

  32. By doing that we shall enjoy the full benefits intended by the Father, But I believe. But Gd is faithful.

  33. Hello Dr Eli.
    I have been a bible believing Christian for many years and have always wondered why we do not celebrate the feasts of our Lord. I have just very recently come back from a week in Israel and have returned home with a longing to celebrate these feasts even if it means celebrating on my own. It was explained to me whilst there that as believers on our Lord, we are grafted into the root, which I knew but did not fully understand, and that the promises for Israel are ours as well. I thank our Lord for bringing me this understanding. It is a subject that as I have implied, is not really touched upon so I wish to gain a fuller understanding of it. Could you direct me to where I could obtain more information, understanding and when the feasts should be celebrated.

  34. Dr. Eli, I really appreciate your third point and the narrative that follows. While an Orthodox Jew must follow hallacha and keep the feasts a certain way, Gentiles have a great deal of flexibility and the feasts have new meaning.

    • Dr. DeFrancisco , I understand that i am probably opening a big can of worms, but … You wrote “an Orthodox Jew must follow halacha and keep the feasts a certain way”. Why? I see halacha as usually interesting, sometimes inconsistent, often helpful, but never requisite, according to the Bible.

  35. The Greek “Christos” means “anointed” not “God” = “theos”. It refers to the event after Baptism in the Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in form of “dove”.

  36. Excellant post ! I agree with you completely and not just because you say so but because I believe this is what the bible teaches us !

  37. In the Book of Yochanan /John 1:1-17 .In verse 14 ;The Word became a human being and lived with us ( The Jews ) and we saw His Sh’khinah ,the Sh’khinah if the Avi’s /Father’s only Ben /Son ,full of grace /chesed and truth .In Dani’el 6 : 27-28 .”

  38. What is the purpose of the feast? I am convinced every feast beautifully points to Jesus and the work he would do. So while i dont think it is neccessary to celebrate the feast, doing so without focussing on Jesus is missing the point

  39. The assumption that Christianity was a non-Jewish movement is so true! Acts 11: Now it was in Antioch the DISCIPLES were first called Christians. There were Jewish believers and Gentile believers. Gentiles, it says, were now also granted repentance leading to life. No new religion is mentioned, just ingrafting. Thanks

  40. The writer to the hebrews says explicitly and forcefully in chapter 8, verse 13, that “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” The old covenant is done.

  41. Thanks, Dr. Eli, for your insights and for kicking off interesting discussions.

    I am working through the abundance of information (torah, Kings, Chronicles, Ezekiel, Philo, Josephus) to better understand “in your gates”, “native born”, and “the place[s] where YHVH set his name.”

    For now, I keep chagim in Yerushalayim .

  42. Please explain what you mean by “In fact, both Christian communities (along with most protestant ones)…” Protestants ARE Christians!

  43. I think the biggest misconception is that people assume that the bible condones Christianity. No where does it tell anyone to be a christian. Gentiles must be grafted into Israel, therefore they should keep their laws and feasts, just like the original “Christians” did in Acts. Ex 12:48-49

  44. The feasts were shadows of Jesus Gal 3:16. Furthermore, Christians take instruction from Jesus and the Apostles (Acts 15:24, Matt 28:20). Gentiles were never commanded to observe jewish feasts. Jews may observe them as part of their cultural heritage but that’s as far as it goes

    • Correct, but the apostles at the Jerusalem council took it as granted that those from the nations who were initially turning to God would learn the words of Moses every Sabbath in the local synagogue (Acts 15:21), i.e., learn Torah (including feasts) little by little. See the feasts are not only a type that points to Messiah. They are also events which build community cohesion and strength. Who doesn’t need that?

  45. If Yah desires that these feasts be obsolete in our era of grafting, then how is this text a promise_ Isaiah 66:22,23. I believe that the feasts are as good as in the olden days just that we were introduced to a different mantra.

  46. If these feasts were meant to be kept by gentile Christians either, why did John 60 years after Jesus’ death refer to them as „Feasts of the Jews”?

    • In John’s day, Israelites did not call themselves Jews as is today’s convention. But people from Judah were called Judeans. It was a descriptor of homeland, not ethnicity. So if John was writing to an audience outside of Judea (maybe to Samaritans who have differing customs of their own), then “of the Jews” would mean “according to the customs of the Judeans.”

  47. Dr Eli, thank you for the above layout. I started to differentiate between Christians and Christ followers, due to the changes I’ve seen of today’s Christians. It is as if people turning Christianity into fitting people, instead of following as ordered through the Bible.

  48. Continuing: The Bible also show that Jesus find it no harm to be equal to God, yet no where that I recall did he state He is God. He state he is the Son of God, and will sit at the right hand of God. This to view by.

  49. So Dr. Eli I have read through blog and am no more clear in my thinking than before.So are Gentile believers who don’t observe the feasts then not believers and Sons of God. I don’t disagree that the feasts don’t have a great benefit but without are we not believers

    • Well, Fred, what are you a believer in? In Yeshua the Messiah of our Father God in Heaven, the author of the Holy Scriptures? Then, Good! One who is a believer in the God of the Bible will dig into the Bible and long to do what God says in it. Faith is demonstrated by loving obedience to God, isn’t it?

  50. I believe John 1:1 makes it quite clear Jesus Christ is not only deity, He is God(as in the second person of the triune Godhead. According to the first 15 verses of John, it is clear that the Word is Jesus Christ.

  51. I agree 100%. The 1st century church did celebrate the “Jewish” feasts, including the Sabbath. Unfortunately, a few centuries later church hatred 4 the Jews made them turn their backs on everything Jewish. I hope and pray that the church will soon wake up and re-embrace God’s everlasting statutes.

  52. Thanks Dr. Eli.
    That was a masterful way of dealing with this question. The result was “spot on”.

    Remain blessed Sir.

  53. We have been celebrating G-d’s festivals for years! The original followers of Yeshua were members of a Jewish sect called “The Way”/ “haderech”. It’s right there in Acts. Gentiles are grafted in!

  54. Thanks Eli Of course I am a believer of Jesus our Messiah of our Holy Father God in Heaven. The God of Abraham Issac and Jacob and my God. That Is why I believe He authored the Holy scriptures from Genesis through Revelations.

  55. I believe I am saved by Grace and Grace alone. Not as Paul who was talking to the Galatians when he says you started out well what has happened to you. Following the Feasts helps us Know Him better but not a need for Salvation. Thats how I understand it

  56. Feasts of the Lord is a mystery. I read for long Leviticus 23 but I could not understand it, not until I got a friend and I understood. Christians should observe. The first four have been fulfilled, Trumpets, First Fruits and Tarbernacles awaits fulfillment. Please Christians, observe them!

  57. Christians will not be expelled from their countrys for not keeping the Jewish feasts, as the northern kingdom presently is. This question wrongly implies the law and the covenant can be observed separately. Unlike gentiles, believing Jews have freedom from death(Gen.2:17) AND the curses from breaking Torah. BIG difference. Shalom.

  58. A person is not free to pick two or three of the “613” laws to observe, without keeping all. And if they choose that, the penalty for breaking the law will also apply. What excuse do Jews give for no longer stoning those who collect sticks on Shabbat? No Temple?

  59. Dr Eli ,Christianity is showing signs of decline and needs stronger principles. I am a christian and not happy, your contribution is very timely.
    We as christians need to redefine what we believe in.

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