The sacred calendar is based upon observable new moons as was the custom during the days of the patriarchs and when the Savior walked the hills of Galilee. Moon-spotters are asked to report their sighting of the sliver crescent.
The Elders of Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua arrange for a place for Yahweh’s people to gather for the annual Feasts. There are seven special “Annual Sabbaths” to be observed throughout the year.
The Feasts are special times Yahweh gives us for His worship. These times are for our spiritual and physical rejuvenation. These are in addition to the weekly Sabbath and a special offering is taken each annual Sabbath in accord with the command that we should not come before Him empty-handed (Deut. 16:16b). All the Feasts days are mentioned in Leviticus 23 beginning with the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week known as Saturday. The Sabbath occurs every seven days and is a holy time when we desist from our worldly labors and pleasures. We abstain from secular activities and spend time communing with Yahweh and studying His Word, drawing closer to Him and His Son.
Unleavened Bread is the first annual festival and immediately follows the Passover, usually in March or April. Passover is observed on the evening of the fourteenth of Abib (Lev. 23:4-5). Bible days begin at sunset (Lev. 23:32). Passover is not a holy day and work is permitted. It is called the “preparation day,” that is, the preparation for the first Day (High Sabbath) of Unleavened Bread which follows (John 19:31).
Seven days of Unleavened Bread follow Passover, and begin on the fifteenth Day of Abib. The fifteenth is a high (i.e., holy, set apart) annual Sabbath. The last Day of Unleavened Bread, which falls on Abib 21, is also a high annual Sabbath. No bread with leaven is to be used with the Passover Memorial service nor is any leaven to be eaten during the days of Unleavened Bread. During these special days we are to eat some unleavened bread daily to remind us that just as Israel left Egypt, we are to forsake the leaven of the world. Not all peoples customarily eat bread as part of their diet, but a token amount should be consumed daily.
The next annual festival on Yahweh’s calendar is called Shavuoth, Firstfruits, Pentecost or Feast of Weeks. This is a holy day which falls on Sunday (when the Sabbath ends, the week is out). Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit and no labor is to be done on this day. As much preparation as possible for meals for this day should be done the previous Friday. A convocation of Yahweh’s people is held on this day just as the disciples gathered together on Pentecost (Acts 2:1) in 31 C.E.
With the approach of autumn, we welcome the first of the four Annual Sabbaths, starting with the Day of Trumpets. It is a Sabbath of rest when no laborious work is to be done, except for the meals of the day. None of the Feasts of the seventh month has been fulfilled as yet. Fulfillment is yet ahead of us. Remember, you are an example to those around you. Be a light to the world, and make this day a joy for your family. Spend extra time studying your Bible and prayer.
This day is indeed unique because it is referred to as a Feast day, but is actually a day of fasting! The Day of Atonement is a day in which no food or drink is taken for 24 hours — from sunset to sunset. Leviticus 23:27 reads “afflict your souls,” which is a commanded fast. Yahweh commands that no work of any kind be done on this day. It is the holiest of all days of the year. Because obedience to Yahweh is voluntary, children are not expected to fast. Yet, many desire to do what their parent does, and surprisingly do quite well. Allowing them to participate will bond the parent relationship, but we must ensure we don’t make this a burdensome time for the young children who may find a complete fast difficult until much older.
The Feast of Tabernacles is a time to join with others of like faith in thanking and praising Yahweh. We share our hopes and dreams for the seven days with others also striving to enter the Kingdom under Yahshua Messiah. It is a time to rejoice! The first Day of the Feast of Tabernacles is a High Sabbath, and after seven days comes the last Great Day of the Feast, written in the Law as the Eighth Day. No work is to be done neither on the first day of Tabernacles nor on the last Great Day. Yahweh places His Name in His people through baptism, and the Elders of His Assembly invite all sincere people to attend the Feast and join with others.
SCRIPTURE TO REMEMBER:
"And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, The set feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts."