Feast Days


 The Saviour said, “I am not come to destroy the Law nor the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill,” observe, obey, do (Matthew 5:17).

He was careful to keep the weekly Sabbath day. It was his custom, or habit. See Luke 4:16. And also we find him keeping the feasts of Yahweh. (See John 2:23; 4:45; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2, 10, 14, 37; 13th chapter). He was our example.

You do not read of him ever offering upon the altar, nor sacrificing a lamb, a goat, a bullock, a dove; but you do read that he kept the “moed,” appointed times, the sacred [separated] days. We can safely follow him, surely!

If one objects, saying that he was just present at these feasts in order to reach more people, and teach greater crowds, we can answer that the same objection is put forth for his being present in the Temple and the synagogues on the Sabbath day. Of course we know that his purpose was to “fulfill” the Law; and the Sabbath and the other sacred appointed times (moed) stand or fall together. They are all Yahweh’s “set times” and Yahshua kept them as such. Matthew 5:17, 18.

Can we not safely and surely follow the example of the One who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of Life?”

The day of Pentecost was also a Sabbath day; it was also one of the “moed” days of Leviticus 23rd chapter (verse 21). In Acts 2:1, we read of the Saviour’s disciples being in worship on that sacred day, “And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” If it is wrong to keep these sacred days, if the Master had abolished them, then why were these His disciples keeping the Pentecost Sabbath day? Why did the Holy Spirit come upon that sacred day? How could they be in one place, in one accord, except by being led by the same “Word” – by the same desire to obey? It was no accident that the Spirit came upon that day; nor was it accidently that the disciples were together at that time. It was a sacred day, and, like their Master, they wished to show their love for the Father by obedience.

Smith-Goodspeed’s translation renders this text: “On the day of the Harvest Festival, they were all meeting together.” Moffatt gives us: “During the course of the day of Pentecost, they were all together.” Rotherham translates: “And when the day of Pentecost was filled up the number of days, they were all together with one intent.”

Like obedient children, who loved their heavenly Parent, they were all together in that “holy convocation” on that “Sabbath,” not accidently, not because they were meeting with the Jews to convert them; but because it was one of the “moed” days, to be kept as a Sabbath, “as a statute forever,” and “throughout all generations” (Leviticus 23:21).

Yahweh has appointed set times to meet with His children, and He blesses those who are obedient as to the time and the spirit of the days.

PAUL AS TO PENTECOST – Not only had Pentecost day been a most solemn day from antiquity, and the Jews had observed it in memorial of the giving of the Law, as well as the Harvest ingathering but to the early Assembly it was additionally an especially important “moed;” for on that day, as we read in Acts 2:1, the promise of the Father had been showered down upon them in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, we can readily understand why Paul was anxious to meet with the other believers on Pentecost day. And so we find the record, “He hastened, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.” Acts 20:16.

It is shallow reasoning to say that Paul merely wished to be at Jerusalem on Pentecost day in order to reach the many Jews who would be assembled there, and thus teach them of the Messiah. The same shallow reasoning is put forth by antagonists of the Sabbath rest, insisting that the Messiah, Paul and the other disciples went to the Sabbath meetings merely to proselyte; while the Scriptures indicate they were in the services on this sacred day because they were Sabbath keepers. Likewise, Paul tarried over the days of Unleavened Bread, and hastened onward that he might reach Jerusalem for the holy day of Pentecost, that he might keep it with others of like faith. This is indicated by the next text under consideration.

NOTHING PREVENTED PAUL – In answer to the suggestion that Paul merely was present on the “moed” holy days that he might be able to proselyte more of the worshippers who were attending the Feasts; to us the following text answers this objection completely. Paul was at Ephesus. He was entreated by them that he might tarry with them; but he did not consent to their pleas, but bade them farewell, saying, “I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem.” (Acts 18:21). Need of the message being preached in Ephesus and pleas of friends, neither deterred Paul from hastening onward that he might “keep the moed (feast) that was coming in Jerusalem.” You ask, “What Feast?” It matters not, although we believe Acts 20:16 explains what kind of feast he was attending. To those who offer the suggestion that it was a festival of the Church,* and not one of the ancient “moed” set times, we ask, Where in all the New Testament Scripture does one find where the “Church,* the disciples of the Messiah, ever kept a feast, or festival, other than the “moed” (set times) as given in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus? I know of none such!

The Memorial Supper, commonly called “The Lord’s Supper,” is nowhere called a “feast.” True, it is to be held on one of the “moed” (set times) of Leviticus 23rd chapter, but nowhere is it designated a “feast,” or a “festival.” When Paul spake of “feasts” he meant those already so designated as such, as the “moed” (set times), and so understood by those who heard him. Therefore, he hastened away from Ephesus, in order that he might “keep the feast of Yahweh: (one of the “moed”) which was just ahead. Whether we supply the name, “I must by all means keep this feast (of Passover, or Pentecost, or Tabernacles), it matters not. Paul was our example that the disciples should keep the “moed” set days of Yahweh.


*The word “Assembly” would be a better rendering of the Greek ekklesia, as it conveys the meaning of “a calling out,” or “congregation” more correctly than does “church.” Editors

NOTE: The above article was taken from the tract “Feasts of Yahweh,” by the late Elder C. O. Dodd.