The Holy Days: Adonai’s Master Plan
What are the most important days on the Yeshuaian calendar? Many would say Christmas and Easter. But the first followers of Yeshua,Yeshua observed neither of these days. The followed Yeshua’s example and observed the same Holy Days that Yeshua,Himself observed!
The Holy Days in fact picture, in sequence, the destiny Adonai has planned for all humanity. Adonai Himself ordained these Holy Days for all His people to observe.
Pagan Holidays vs. Adonai’s Holy Days
Why do most professing Yeshuaians observe christmas, Easter, and Halloween, yet fail to observe the very days that the Bible clearly commands? Does it make that much difference which days we keep? Does it affect our hope for eternal life? And does it massively impact our understanding of what kind of Adonai we worship and what is the great purpose being worked out here on earth?
Sadly, most of us just “grew up” in Protestant churches—or in Catholicism—and basically took for granted all that we were taught about Adonai, Yeshua and religion. Very few people usually bother—even after reaching adulthood—to actually study and genuinely prove why they believe what they believe. It just seems easier to “follow the crowd” and go along with whatever we have been taught.
Have you been like this?
Have you carelessly assumed that the Bible teaches us to observe Christmas and Easter? Have you assumed that Yeshua, our example, and the original inspired Apostolic Church observed Christmas and Easter?
If so, you could not have been more wrong!
For nearly all honest theologians and historians freely acknowledge that Christmas and Easter were injected into “Christianity” many years after the death of the original Apostles! Under the article “Christmas,” the Encyclopedia Britannica states: “The history of the feast coheres so closely with that of Epiphany (q.v.), that what follows must be read in connection with the article under the heading…. The great church adopted Christmas much later than Epiphany; and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on the 6th of January, or the 25th of March, or the 25th of December…. In 1644 the English puritans forbade any merriment or religious services by act of Parliament, on the ground that it was a heathen festival, and ordered it to be kept as a fast. Charles II revived the feast, but the Scots adhered to the Puritan view”
The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us; Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their list of feast; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalia, asserts (in Lev. Home viii in Migne, P.G., XIII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthdays… In England, Christmas was forbidden by Act of Parliament in 1644; the day was to be a fast and a market day; shops were compelled to be open; plum puddings and mince pies condemned as heathen. The conservatives resisted; at Canterbury blood was shed; but after the Restoration Dissenters continued to call Yuletide ‘Fooltide’”
Rejecting the Example of Yeshua and the Apostles
A vital key to remember in trying to understand what happened is to realize that the vast majority of “Christian” priests and scholars have not seriously tried to follow the example of Yeshua and the original Apostles! As the professing Christian Church grew in the Roman Empire, they tried to make their religion more “convenient” to the pagans around them in an attempt to win the over, and also, at times, in an attempt to avoid persecution.
As Dr. Rufus M. Jones points out: “If any chance Yeshua Himself had been taken by His later followers as the model and pattern of the new way, and a serious attempt had been made to set up His life and teaching as the standard and norm for the Church, Yeshuaianity would have been something vastly different from what it became. Then ‘heresy’ would have been, as it is not now, deviation from His way, His teaching, His spirit, His kingdom… What we may properly call ‘Galilean Yeshuaianity’ had a short life, though there have been notable attempts to revive it and make it live again, and here and there spiritual prophets have insisted that anything else than this simple Galilean religion is ‘heresy’; but the main line of historic development has taken a different course and has marked the emphasis very differently”.
And mainstream Protestant author, Jesse Lyman Jurlbut—writing about the period between 313AD—acknowledges: “The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and worship. About 405AD images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, at first as memorials, then in succession revered, adored, and worshipped”.
So, although the early “Christian” leaders were accommodating to the pagans around them, Adonai warned our spiritual forefathers against following the customs of the surrounding heathen nations saying: “Do not inquire after their Adonai’s, saying ‘How did these nations serve their Adonai’s? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your Adonai in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their Adonai s’.
Yeshua,Yeshua warned the religious leaders of His day, “All too well you reject the commandment of Adonai , that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9). Notice carefully Yeshua comment about rejecting the commandment of Adonai by keeping human tradition. This is very definitely the case when we consider which days Adonai made holy, for virtually no one keeps the days introduced by the pagans and also observes the biblical Holy Days that Adonai commands—and which Yeshua and the Apostolic Church observed.
In effect, you have to choose.
You have to choose between observing the “mass of Yeshua”—which pictures Yeshua as a helpless little child, and is surrounded by pagan concepts of the Yule log, the christmas tree, Santa Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer—or, on the other hand, observing the biblical Holy Days that picture, step-by-step, the awesome plan that Adonai is working out here on earth. You have to choose between following Yeshua and the original Apostles, or following the Catholic ‘fathers’ of the Dark Ages who increasingly injected layer after layer of rank paganism into professing Yeshuaianity.
Which Will You Choose?
As I explain Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? , if you were on the proverbial desert island with only a sacred calendar and a Bible, you would have to observe the biblical Sabbath and biblical Holy Days because these are the only days the Bible commands or even directly talks about. For instance, the word “Christmas” is not even in the Bible. And there is not even the slightest hint in the Bible that we should observe the day of Yeshua’s birth, even if we knew when it was—which we do not! And the word “Easter” is purposely not mentioned in any reputable modern translation of the Bible. It is incorrectly mentioned one time in the King James Version in Acts 12:4. But all scholars concede that the word “Pascha” from which it is translated is correctly rendered “Passover” and has no relation to Easter whatsoever. And, virtually all scholars recognize that the word “Easter” is simply a derivation of the name of the ancient goddess Ishtar or “Isis”—Goddess of sex and fertility of the ancient Middle East. That, of course, is where “Easter eggs” come from—the pagan worship of sex and fertility.
Interestingly, even though we were not taught about Adonai’s Holy Days in Sunday School, Adonai’s commanded days are mentioned quite often in the Bible! These days were clearly commanded in the Old Testament, and their observance by Yeshua and the Apostles in the New Testament certainly ratifies them for the Yeshuaian Church.
Luke tells us: “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of YHWH was upon Him. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover” (2:40-41). Then the account describes how “when they had finished the days…Yeshua lingered behind” (v. 43). All scholars recognize that “the days” spoken of here were the Days of Unleavened Bread, which comes immediately after the Passover. So even though Yeshua was “strong in the spirit” and able to discuss spiritual principles at the highest level with the doctors of the Jewish law. He joined His parents in keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread.
During His ministry, we find Yeshua going up to observe the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. He told His physcil brothers: “You go up to this feast” (John 7:8). Clearly, they were instructed by the Son of Adonai to go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles! Then, Yeshua Himself went up secretly, at first so as not to arouse persecution (v. 10). Then “about the middle of the feast Yeshua went up into the temple and taught” (v.14).
At the end of Yeshua human life, Luke tells us: “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat….’ Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’” (Luke 22:7-8, 15). So as an adult—setting us an example—Yeshua observed the Passover.
Then we find that the inspired Apostolic Church began on another of YHWH’s Holy Days, the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). What if the disciples had rejected Adonai’s Holy Days and were not even there on the day when the Holy Spirit was given?
Some may assume that this was the only Day of Pentecost the early Church observed. Not so. In Acts 20:16 we read: “For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible on the Day of Pentecost.” And Paul observed yet another Pentecost in Ephesus: “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries”
(1 Corinthians 16:8-9).
Also, the Apostle Paul clearly commanded the Gentile Church at Corinth to observe the Days of Unleavened Bread. Speaking of these days, Paul wrote: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Yeshua, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 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” (1 Corinthians 5: 7-8). Paul was obviously speaking of “keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
All Nations Will Observe Adonai’s Holy Days
A powerful end-time prophecy makes it exceedingly clear that all nations will soon learn to observe the Feast of Tabernacles! Notice what Adonai inspired the prophet Zechariah to write about the years just ahead of us: “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south…. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:1-4; 16-19).
Since every human being on earth will soon learn to observe these biblical Holy Days, why not learn to obey YHWH and start keeping them now? Why not become a spiritual “pioneer” and help blaze the trial for the billions of others who will come to this understanding soon after Yeshua’s return?
“But,” you may say, “we have been taught that these are Jewish Holy Days! Are Yeshuaians to keep the Jewish Holy Days?” Well I have just explained that all nations, Jew and Gentile, will soon learn to keep the biblical Holy Days—not because they are “Jewish.” But because Adonai commands all of His people to observe them. And all of His people did keep them in the New Testament Church and, as we have seen, Yeshua kept them—setting us an example. The original Apostles Kept them also.
True Yeshuaians Are the “Israel of Adonai”
A vital key to understanding is to truly grasp Yeshua instruction to the Samaritan woman. He told this non-Jewish woman: “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
Although they often rejected His teaching, or overlaid it with human traditions, the Jewish people did preserve the knowledge of the Creator YHWH and the only written Bible available to the original New Testament Yeshuaians—which we today call the Old Testament. Clearly, the Jews were given the ‘oracles of YHWH’ the understanding of how to construct the sacred calendar upon which those days are based. So the Jews did “know” Whom they worshipped.
And through Yeshua and a correct understanding of the Old Testament, salvation was “of the Jews.” In spite of human weakness and man-made tradition, the Jews have preserved YHWH’s spiritual law, the Ten Commandments, the true Sabbath and the annual Holy Days that the Creator has commanded. And the Jewish race produced Yeshua,Yeshua—the prophesied Messiah.
The Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “For he is not a Jew show is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from Adonai ” (Romans 2:28-29). So all true Yeshuaians are Spiritual “Jews”! And we are bound to keep the spiritual laws and Holy Days that Adonai
gave Israel, and that were reaffirmed by the example of Yeshua and the inspired New Testament Church.
As Paul wrote: “For in Yeshua,Yeshua neither circumcision nor uncircumcised avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of Adonai ” (Galatians 6:15-16).
Clearly, the “Israel of Adonai ” are the true people of Adonai —those who are spiritually circumcised and have Yeshua living His obedient life in them through the Holy Spirit. So, yes, we must get rid of our prejudices and quit calling “Jewish” those things Adonai gave for all His people of all races and all nations!
True Yeshuaians are to keep holy the days Adonai made holy. And we are to follow the example of Yeshua and the original Apostles in so doing. Then, as we shall see, the understanding and observance of Adonai ’s Holy Days will open our minds to the great plan and purpose that Y Adonai is working out here below. Indeed, Adonai does have a great plan in mind for all humanity. Adonai reveals this to us through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “Having, made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Yeshua, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:9-11).
Leviticus chapter 23 makes very clear that ALL the days which Adonai wants us to observe are:
- The weekly Saturday Sabbath day (verse 3)
- The Passover (verse 5)
- The seven days of Unleavened Bread, the first and last days of which are a special convocation (verses 6-8)
- The Feast of Pentecost (verse 21)
- The Feast of Trumpets (verses 24-25)
- The Day of Atonement (verses 27-32)
- The Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day (verses 34-36), the first and last days of which are holy convocations in which no work is done both also Holy Days