IF we have sown unto you spiritual things,
Is it a great thing if we shall reap from you carnal things? 1Corinthians 9:11
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
How Do We Keep the Feasts?
Pt. 1 By the Lights of Heaven, By the Sabbaths
In connection to the series that I had offered “why do we keep the feasts?”, this next series is offered, to help further support and encourage the Israel of God in her return to YHWH’s ordained worship according to the Scriptures.
I’d like to add that last year around this time I had offered as series on
As well as, just a few months back, I had more so established a systematic reason for keeping the feast as Christians under the New Covenant in the series:
So with that said, I’d like to start with the best text for outlining the feasts of YHWH, as found in the codification of the law of Moses, Lev_23:2.
It is important to mention that the KJV word uses the English words: ‘Feast’ and ‘Season’ interchangeably at times, though there are two different common root words present in the Hebrew text MUOD / מועד . and cHaG / חָג . Thus in order to cause an English equivalent to correspond to these Hebrew words: MUOD(I,IM) / מועד . and cHaG / חָג . I will in this series exclusively call the derivatives of the Hebrew common root MUOD by the English words Appointed-Seasons and the derivatives from the common root cHaG by the English word Feast or Festival.
This, differentiation and correspondence will help in understanding the differences in the lessons to come, between the differences of what a MUOD is from what a cHaG is, and how the two are related in their particular arrangement with in a time of worship.
This correspondence is used in this section of Leviticus 23 of the Youngs Litteral Translation, thus for simplicity (I hope) I will read our first citation of festival law or seasonal worship from that translation of the Hebrew text:
Lev_23:1 And Jhvh speaketh unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 ‘Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, Appointed seasons of Jhvh, which ye proclaim, holy convocations, are these: they are My appointed seasons:
Lev 23:3 six days is work done, and in the seventh day is a sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye do no work; it is a sabbath to Jhvh in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:4 ‘These are appointed seasons of Jhvh, holy convocations, which ye proclaim in their appointed seasons:
Notice how in this first Season or Appointment or as the KJV calls it ‘Feasts’ is the Sabbath day, the 7th day, which is called a day of ‘Holy Convocation’, and also the reminder is made of the primitive command that ‘you work 6 days of labor but the 7th after that is the rest’. Why is this important ? Because this first line of Law establishes the Sabbath of the weekly cycle as the normative Sabbath of the text to follow, in relationship to the times of worship which shall be discussed as they pertain to their Feasts. And the Weekly Sabbath is listed here as the first Appointed-Season / MUOD of this proclamation by the Sons of Israel.
So this term we has read 4 times , Appointed-Seasons / MUOD, is thus important to understand as to how it relates first to the weekly Sabbath as commanded here after 6 working days, and it’s extended usage in the text as it is interposed into the system to come of the cHaG or Feasts. So I will discuss this Hebrew Concept of MUOD or Appointed-Season and then focus upon the Sabbath itself as one of these MUODIM.
Let me give the definition which Strong’s offers for your easy look up and the scripture implied examples. So, both a simple definition from lexical aids and a few biblical examples:
מועדי MUOD(I) Lev 23:2 / מועדם / MUODiM / Lev_23:4
And so the word Strong uses: MUOD is not even present in this form in the text of Lev_23, yet it is the object of the suffixed words that are used as properly translated MUODI ‘MY Season’ or MUODiM The ‘Seasons of YHWH’ plural use.
H4150 – מועד MUOD
From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).
Strong’s lays out a good run-through of the meaning of MUOD, which we could as the Young’s Literal Translation simply calls it an ‘Appointed seasons’, this Idea is rooted in the word OD H5707, which references a fix thing or testimony a witness which is the more primitive root Y-OD H3259 which Strong’s lists in this definition meaning: a fixed time or meeting.
So all of that boils into one collective word that in this Text YHWH says is His MUOD and the MUODiM of YHWH. This is YHWH’s own personal Season, and for the purpose of this discussion I am from this point only going to call it a Season, but it is only the same as the Hebrew derivative equivalent of MUOD, in it’s relations in the scripture.
So the subject of time as the term is normally working within, the first time we are introduced to this word is in Gen_1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for Seasons (Appointed-Seasons), and for days, and years:
This for us, who care about having a foundational answer tells us the first proclamation of YHWH GOD in Leviticus 23 references to this Organic Creation Principle, here is where the biblically minded look for the answer of what a season is, the text here speaks of the broad plural MUODIM, all seasons the Light of heaven produce. So when Israel is told this in Leviticus it is a foregone conclusion that a ‘season’ of YHWH is dictated by YHWH’s lights, YHWH’s witness, his testimony, his appointment, are told not by an invention of man such as the calendar system we have today, that only mathematically corresponds to the average of the solar cycle, but that YHWH’s system is constrained to the lights of the heavens, the sun, moon and stars in application to the vegetation which is growing (as seen in day 3 of creation), this system will witness and testify to the laws yet revealed for earth dwelling man to worship by if they are to worship YHWH, by his Law and His creation.
So How do we first keep the Sabbath day as a feast or Appointed-Season of YHWH? By the Lights of the Heaven.
Not by a numeric count of days that we dictate, Why? Because they are YHWH’s Seasons, they are His Feasts, and the definition of What YHWH’s Appointed Season is, is defined by the Witness of the lights of Heaven which YHWH appointed for this use by Israel, and in fact all creation universally. But it is Israel as the steward of God that is entrusted with the Oracles of God to assure this organic Law is imbued into YHWH’s divine worship, thereby rendering it Holy as pertaining to, dictated by and worshiping the God of Creation, of the Heaven and the Earth He That Is / YHWH. And the Sabbath of the weekly Rest does not fail from this Appointment to have a totally Organic foundation in Heavens Lights.
What does the Scripture say? In Psa_104:19 YHWH appointed the moon for seasons (MUODIM): the sun knoweth his going down.
It is here we see reference to the Organic Light that dictates certain aspects of the Appointed-Seasons, that is the moon as it was made for this appointment.
In the context of the Psalm David is drawing attention to the Fact that YHWH taught, instructed, appointed or gave knowledge to all things, and the seasons / MUODIM of the moon which YHWH appointed were appointed for seasons, that is for festivals, such as the Sabbath and that which is to follow.
From an Apocryphal reference this was a well accepted reality of the people of Judah which our New Testament Apostles came from, while you may not believe the Apocrypha is Canon as the non-Apocryphal books of scripture the thoughts of it’s writers must at least weigh in at the same value as any history we have from the period, if not even extending unto inspired history preserved for this very reason, to know the mind of Judah in the Greek Hellenic age: Wisdom of Sirach
Sir_43:6 He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.
Sir 43:7 From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.
Sir 43:8 The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven;
The moon was to Sirach a sign of the feast, which here in the LXX from which Sirach comes to us from, the word feast finds it’s parallel to Gen 1:14, Leviticus 23:2-4 and Ps 104:19.
As early as Gen_2:1-4, we see the sabbath proclaimed and as well answerable to the ‘Seasons’ of the Lights in Gen 1:14, and as well implications are found in the language of scripture in the lives of the patriarchs to tell us that a Sabbatic system which recognized festival worship was known and observed.
The first course of building this calendar system of How we keep the feasts, it is important to realize that the Sabbaths or 7th days of YHWH seat upon the gravel and well compacted base of 6 days labor, days being the smallest increment of time in definitive collection (while no doubt those days are composed of smaller increments, but those are not our definitive focus).
The Sabbath as the first Season or Appointed time of Holy convocation is placed here as the foundational feature of the calendar system Adam man is intended to and commanded to use. It is offered by scripture that this Worship system was part of Adam’s original nature having himself been patterned after the Heavenly Likeness and Image which is Spiritual in it’s make up, as part of the Law, even the Sabbath law was graven on the Heart and Mind, the true interworkings of Adam man’s inward parts, and as such it is this system which starts with Sabbath worship is after 6 days of Labour and work like YHWH’s own Rest / Sabbath was corrupted in Adam’s death as passed on to his generations. Remember, while chronologically the closer we get to Adam’s time the closer we are to the source, but Death reigned from Adam to Moses, and at the time of Moses in some way a-creditable to the perfect revelation of the Law for a National People had Death at that time met resistance.
So in this first Season of YHWH called the Sabbath of YHWH, 6 days of working labor found it’s nature in the converse, so that we distinguish a Sabbath day starting upon the 7th day in a count as a Holy or set apart time appointed as a season special to YHWH in your life, spiritual and physical by you not working as you normally would on a common day of the 6 appointed for non-holy, non-festival, non-convocational worship. The 4th commandment of Israel’s National Law says:
Exo_20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates…
Notice that the sabbath Time, it yet requires a ‘Remember’ing by Israel’s sons as it’s Heads of remembrance as also specified in Lev_23:2, and this Sabbath after 6 days of common labor, this commandment requires a family convocation festival, a season every end of the week dictated by the remembering of the lights by the remembering of the Heads of the families that extends jointly in worship of the God of Creation and Deliverance from bondage according to Deu_5:15, which starts with the Israelite family unit and extends as far as cattle and non-family strangers and servants who are in that families lands.
This is the base of Calendar Law, hard work with the terminus of Sabbath- if you do not work hard according to this commandment, that is if you do not feel the need for the sabbath day you will not appreciate this weekly season as a festival for your family and land. And in truth if this is not the aim and goal of your every week as a Servant of YHWH bowing to His will on Earth as it is in heaven and able to be seen in heavens lights, the rest of the festival laws of YHWH built on this Law called the 4th commandment will be utterly unimportant to you, and it will be a tenant of Grace you will not enjoy and your heard hearted spirit will turn it’s ugly head and reject or ignore this blessed rest offered to you and your family and society as a pleasure and delight a true aspect of Grace, gifted to you for your good; a law which will work in rest to aid your flesh IF it is spent in love and meditation, holy convocation with family and friends, in blessed rest from the hard work you put in the 6 days before in preparation for it. And all of the festivals will hindge on this point as found in the 6 days work followed every week by the Sabbath appointed by YHWH’s Appointers of His Season, the lights of heaven.
In ending on this point of How do we keep the Feasts? which answers: By the Lights of Heaven. It is important to see that you cannot number days by the dictates of man, proclaim it to be a 7th day by mans counting, and then infuse the Feasts to come into a manmade ‘Season’, which in fact is no season by definition of Scripture. But rather the system is built of YHWH’s creation and the numbering answers to Light Appointed Seasons and then a numbering of 6 days work laid atop that creation, if one would suggest a way to allow man to number his weeks with out authority of scripture and an anchor to creations organic principles the system intently becomes man derived. Which is what you will often find with half heard feast keepers as they chose the closest ‘modern week end’ ‘sat or sun’ and proclaim them to be the seasons of YHWH with no Biblically Lawful Testimony or Natural Witness and thus No authority.
It is as David said in the Psalm “He appointed the moon for seasons”, and it is as the Law in both the Hebrew Scriptures and in the ancient Greek LXX site it as, the Remembrance piece of the Sabbatic system, and it is only this Lunar system of Sabbath keeping that offers a 7 day pattern in witness of the signs of the feasts and the times of their seasons as Sirach doth witness with this testimony.
It is the Moon that is according to Psa_89:37 established for ever… the moon… a faithful witness (OD/עד) in heaven.
In not realizing the Moon is the chief Appointer of Seasons, of which the sabbath is first according to Lev_23:2-4, and thus as the Genesis 1:14 as the lesser light, this is why the tabernacle of Witness of MUOD is recorded in Exo_40:2 to have been erected and set in order on the first new moon of the year, that is the tabernacle on earth did not establish the system but was matched to it according to the pattern Moses was shown and which the Heavens had always proclaimed, it was a system prior known.
And I will last mention this, as we will recover this verse in the future in it’s connection with the Day of Trumpets, never the less the language here is attached to the 4th commandment in it’s enactment of saying “Remember” as we find the instrument of this memorial in the blowing of the trumpet in Num_10:10(reading from theTyndale trans. 1534 for this point) it says, “Also when ye be mery in youre fest dayes (seasons MUODIKM) and in the first dayes of youre monethes ye shall blowe the trompettes ouer youre burnt sacrifices and peaseofferynges that it maye be a remebrauce of you before youre God. I am the lorde youre God.”
(the LXX uses the words ‘nou-meniais /νουμηνιαις’, that is specificly ‘new moon’. Not a man made month of 28-31 days as we have today, but a month as Sirach’s ancient mind points out that is called after ‘the moon’s changes’, and in Hebrew that is exactly what a cHoDeSh/ חדשׁ is, a renewal lit of the moon’s light by a sign at a season upon a day proclaimed by the son’s of Israel to their families to ‘Remember this Memorial’ every New Moon and every 7th day in conjunction of one and other, there will only be one systematic result. That is not to say the day will be agreed upon all over the world, but that the system of Sabbath based New Moons and New Moon based Sabbath will be the only result where man’s dictates are limited to the Organic creation faithfully witnessed in the heavens by it’s lights, and understood by the testimony of how that system works with in a 6 days of work and 7th day of Rest Sabbath system, it is as well only this system that will continue to faithfully interact by this pattern as the underlying foundation of the Festivals of YHWH, HIS Appointed Seasons, the Appointed Seasons of YHWH.
This is How it can be said and understood plainly and the understanding furthered concerning the Sabbath:
Exo_31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Exo 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
Exo 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Exo 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
In the 4th day Creation YHWH said he was appointing them for ‘signs and seasons’, here is where we see the Sabbath called a sign, as it is witnesses in our location for the feast of the Sabbath that is at hand to appoint it’s season by that faithful witness, this sign of the feast will not need to change as we understand the Yearly Festivals as this same time piece, the moon in it’s signs or phases will continue faithfully week to week and month to month giving us the object of witness to offer us YHWH’s memorial times for the Sabbaths , that is the appointed seasons or MUODIM which are the Sabbaths of rest and holy convocation for all of the festivals to come in the 1st month, in the 50day count, in the 7th month and even in the non-Torah festivals which Judah proclaimed atop of the sabbath system that is built in to every month, such as the days of Purim from Easter 9 which are aligned on the full moon portion of the 12th month on the 14th-15th day of the moon, just as the 2 Torah ordained festivals have appointed to them, this is because it was a natural Sabbath festival time of celebrated weekly, monthly and yearly worship a time demanded by YHWH under penalty of death to be kept Holy by No Work since the foundation of the earth.