God Takes a Holiday

Unleavened bread

To be eaten during the
Feast of Unleavened Bread,
commonly called the Passover Season.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

— YHWH (the existing or eternal one)

Does God rest? Does God take holidays? What is a holiday, anyway? Let’s first define just exactly what is a holiday? The first definition given for holiday in my Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is “HOLY DAY.” For our purposes here, that’s the only definition we need. So this chapter is about God and his Holy Day(s). Obviously, to be a true Holy Day, the day would have to be sanctified by one who is Holy. We shall see in this chapter that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, James and John, did indeed institute Holy Days. We learn from Genesis 2:2 that God does rest. Since we know that God rests, and since we shall see shortly that God did establish Holy Days, and since “holiday” is simply another word for Holy Day, we can conclude that God does take holidays (Holy Days).

NOTE: The quotes at the head of this chapter are from YHWH. YHWH is an English translation of the Hebrew letters which form the proper name of God. The meaning of this name is “the self-existent one” or “the eternal one”. The Hebrew children did not use vowels, and in deference to their understanding of the third commandment neither did they pronounce the name of YHWH. Thus the knowledge of the proper pronunciation of God’s name “YHWH” has been lost. Many experts in Hebrew think that the pronunciation is probably Yahweh (yah – way). Anytime in the Hebrew text when you see the word LORD (in all capitals) it is the King James translation of the name of God, i.e. LORD is really YHWH. So when we see in the Hebrew text that the LORD has directed or commanded any particular action, we can know that the LORD referred to is YHWH or Yahweh, the Eternal One.

Hebrew letters for YHWH

Did Yahweh have anything to say about holidays (Holy Days)? We find in the Torah (the first five books of the Holy Bible or the Books of Moses or the “instructions” or the “law” as referred to by most Protestants) that indeed Yahweh did have a complete list of Holy Days for his followers to observe. Before we get to the list of Holy Days as outlined by Yahweh through Moses, let’s first settle our minds on an issue that is of importance to almost all who have had chronic exposure to what is called Christianity in the 21st century. Most professing Christians have come to believe that it does not matter what Moses taught. It only matters what Jesus and the Apostles taught. Earlier chapters have already touched upon a portion of this, but we will review those passages and look at a few additional ones so as to establish just exactly what did Jesus and the Apostles do and teach concerning the Holy Days of God. Let’s remember that the Holy Days to which we are referring are found in the instructions of Moses. What did Jesus have to say about the instructions of Moses? Let’ read Matthew 5:17-20.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

Did Yahweh have anything to say about holidays (Holy Days)? We find in the Torah (the first five books of the Holy Bible or the Books of Moses or the “instructions” or the “law” as referred to by most Protestants) that indeed Yahweh did have a complete list of Holy Days for his followers to observe. Before we get to the list of Holy Days as outlined by Yahweh through Moses, let’s first settle our minds on an issue that is of importance to almost all who have had chronic exposure to what is called Christianity in the 21st century. Most professing Christians have come to believe that it does not matter what Moses taught. It only matters what Jesus and the Apostles taught. Earlier chapters have already touched upon a portion of this, but we will review those passages and look at a few additional ones so as to establish just exactly what did Jesus and the Apostles do and teach concerning the Holy Days of God. Let’s remember that the Holy Days to which we are referring are found in the instructions of Moses. What did Jesus have to say about the instructions of Moses? Let’ read Matthew 5:17-20.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

Could Jesus have been plainer? Regardless of what any Christian minister, pastor, preacher, elder, deacon, layperson or priest ever tells us, the above is what Jesus has told us. Regardless of any explanation or argument which may be offered by any Christian minister, pastor, preacher, elder, deacon, layperson or priest, the above is what Jesus has told us. Jesus has told us in plain and simple language; Jesus did not equivocate. We should never allow anyone to “explain” to us that this very plain and easy to understand paragraph means something other than what it very plainly says. Our Creator has told us that “till Heaven and Earth pass” it would be best for us to pay attention to the law and the prophets – close attention. Simple.

What did the Apostle John have to say about the law? He told us in I John 3:4 that “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Could John have been plainer? Since the New Testament had not been canonized at that point in time, the Torah was the only law to which John could have been referring, and to transgress that law is to sin. Simple.

John also tells us in I John 5:3, that “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” Again, this is also quite plain. Simple.

What did the Apostle Peter say concerning the law and the prophets? Peter said in I Peter 4: 11, “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.” To what oracles could Peter have been referring other than the “Old Testament”? Could Peter have been plainer? Simple.

Peter also tells us in II Peter 3:2, to “be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets.” To what prophets could Peter have been referring other to than those who were canonized in the Old Testament? Simple.

What did the Apostle Paul have to say about the law? Paul had a lot to say, some of which was not simple and has been misunderstood. But among other things which Paul wrote, he asked the question in Romans 6:1, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Paul certainly knew as did John that “sin is the transgression of the law,” and he knew that we should not sin. And if we want to suppose, as do many protestant ministers want us to suppose, that Paul was trying to say that the law is no longer in effect, then pray tell what do we do with the verses in Colossians where Paul talks about “forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14), “wicked works” (Col. 1:21), “sins of the flesh” (Col. 2:11), “dead in your sins” and “forgiven all trespasses” (Col. 2:13), “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5), and finally “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done” (Col. 3:24). It surely seems that Paul knew that sin was transgression of the law (Torah), and that sin had consequences, and that he advised against sin. Paul nowhere tells us to not obey the Torah. Nowhere do we find examples of Paul not obeying the Torah. Paul does indicate that perhaps Gentiles should not be concerned with some of the ceremonial traditions which were instructed to the descendents of Abraham for a time. Paul’s writings were not quite so simple and plain, perhaps; nonetheless upon close review we find sound agreement with the other Apostles.

Biblical holidays

Let’s add one small note about Paul’s teachings before we proceed. Paul preached faith. Paul preached grace. Paul preached that through the sacrifice of Jesus, true Christians would not suffer the consequences of law-breaking. Paul did not preach that the law had become null and void, i.e. we should not sin that grace might abound. Paul taught that our focus should be Jesus the Christ and his grace. Paul taught that our focus should NOT be the Torah (law) and its consequences. Paul did not teach that we should do away with or ignore the Torah. Paul’s point was that the bond which formerly pledged us to the decrees of the law was of no effect for those sincere Christians who are covered by the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. Paul simply did not use simple language.

Thus we see from the above passages that Jesus and the Apostles taught that we should heed the law and the prophets. Now let’s see what Jesus and the Apostles actually DID concerning the Holy Days. God’s Holy Days are divided into three seasons. Exodus 23:14 states, “Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.” The seasons are: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These are spring, summer and fall, with two “high days” (annual Sabbaths are referred to by Jews as “high” Sabbaths or “high” days – see John 19:31) during the Passover season, one high day at Pentecost, and four high days during the fall season or Tabernacles. Did Jesus and the Apostles observe these days? They absolutely did. We can see the scripturally plain and simple evidence in the verses below.

Matthew 26:17 – Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

Matthew 26:18 – And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.

Matthew 26:19 – And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover.

Luke 2:41 – Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

Luke 22:15 – And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:

John 2:13 – And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

John 2:23 – Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Hebrews 11:28 – Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Acts 2:1 – And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 20:16 – For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

1 Corinthians 16:8 – But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

John 7:2 – Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.

These scriptures above in addition to the four gospel accounts of Jesus entire life demonstrate that Jesus and his Apostles did indeed observe God’s Holy Days. It is even very likely that Jesus was born on a Holy Day. There is significant evidence that would suggest that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets (now commonly called Rosh Hashanah) which is one of the fall Holy Days just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles. Whether he was born precisely on a Holy Day, there is substantial scriptural evidence to demonstrate that Jesus was certainly born during the fall Holy Day season. One of the minor evidences that it was the Holy Day season when Jesus was born is that there were so many Hebrews in Jerusalem and the surrounding communities that there were no hotel rooms available for Joseph and Mary. The Hebrews were all to journey to Jerusalem for the Holy Day seasons; this journey to Jerusalem by so many would thus result in numerous “NO VACANCIES” at all the hotels.

The modern day Jewish community observes a list of Holy Days. Some of these coincide with what was taught by Moses and observed by Jesus and the Apostles. Modern terminology has placed the label of “Jewish Holy Days” or “Jewish Holidays” upon these festivals of God. That is an incorrect label. These are GOD’s Holy Days. These days were instituted and commanded by YHWH. These days were given to all Israelites, not just to the Jews. For the record, the Jews are only one tribe of the original twelve tribes of Israel. The Jews are certainly correct that they should observe God’s Holy Days, but the Holy Days do not belong to the Jews. No where in scripture are these days defined as “Jewish Holy Days”. The Holy Days are God’s.

So, can we find anywhere a list of God’s Holy Days? Yes, we can. The entire 23rd chapter of Leviticus is devoted to explaining all the Sabbaths and how they are to be observed. There in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus, in addition to the weekly Sabbaths, we find the seven annual Sabbaths outlined. There we can discover that the Day of Atonement which falls on the 10th day of the 7th month – in addition to being an annual Sabbath – is also a day of fasting. There we can discover that the Feast of Tabernacles is a period of seven days during which YHWH directed that all Israelites should live in temporary dwellings (tabernacles – or tents). There we can discover that the Day of Pentecost is the only annual Sabbath which always falls on the same day of the week (Sunday). There we can discover that for seven days during the Passover season, the Israelites are to eat unleavened bread. And there we can discover that these Holy Days of God were to be for ALL TIME.

Here we have in the Torah, which was given to Moses by the Great I AM, a statement that these days were to be for ALL TIME. That same “I AM” in the human personage of Jesus the Christ tells us in Matthew 5:18 that not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the Torah as long as Heaven and Earth exist.

As further evidence that these Holy Days are to be forever kept by those who worship God, let’s consider what Jesus told his Apostles just prior to his torture and murder. In Mark 14:25, Jesus says “Verily, I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God”. Upon scrutiny of the context, it is easily discernable that in this verse Jesus was not merely speaking of drinking wine. He and his Apostles were observing the Passover supper (called by most the “Last Supper”). Later that same day (the Hebrew day begins at sunset) Jesus was nailed to a stake of wood. Jesus, on that day, became our Passover sacrifice. Jesus knew that he was about to be tortured and murdered. His statement in Mark 14:25 was referring to the next time when he and his Apostles would again enjoy the observance of a Passover supper. The next time, yet future, Jesus will observe the Passover with his friends will be in the Kingdom of God. This bit of information – that Jesus will observe the Passover in the Kingdom – gives us definitive knowledge that the commanded observance of God’s Passover has not been rescinded.

Not only has the Passover observance not been rescinded, but the Apostle Paul – yes PAUL, the Apostle whose teachings are used by most protestant leaders to promote the idea that the “law” is no longer to be considered – gives us explicit instructions to observe the Passover. Let’s read the passage below from the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 5:7-8 – Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Zechariah 14:16 states: “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles”. This prophetic passage is very obviously speaking of the yet future time after Jesus returns to establish his Kingdom. This verse makes it totally obvious that the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed in God’s Kingdom on Earth.

We see that Jesus was the being who actually “created” the Holy Days. We see that Jesus and his apostles observed the Holy Days. We see that Jesus and his Apostles will continue observing the Holy Days when Jesus returns to establish his kingdom. We can plainly see that the Holy Days of God are commanded Sabbaths that are to be observed as long as Heaven and Earth endure. We can plainly NOT see anywhere in scripture any indication that there is to be a Christian “dispensation” during which the Holy Days are not to be observed – such instruction does not exist.

Thus, by using only the teachings of the Holy Bible, we can easily conclude that God does take Holy Days (holidays) and that he gave us a list of his Holy Days that we might also observe these Holy Days. We can also easily establish that God directed that we should observe his Holy Days. The only reasons we have to not observe God’s Holy Days are the illogical and unfounded arguments presented by the leaders of the established Christian community. We should not allow the teachings of such leaders to replace the teachings of Jesus the Messiah. We should not allow such leaders to replace Jesus the Messiah as our Savior and King.

The Feast of Tabernalces
lasts for an entire week, with the first day being a High Holy Day, or annual Sabbath. This week is immediately followed by the
Last Great Day,
which is also a High Holy Day.