Tony Wray is not only a recording artist but is also a teacher, and lecturer; having taught Messianic apologetics at numerous conferences, churches, and congregations. If you would like to view a list of referrals from leaders, scholars, and theologians, or are interested in having Tony speak at your congregation or event, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To kick off the new blog at hazakim.com I will be starting with a series of lectures I’ve shared at different theological conferences & congregations over the past couple of years regarding the Biblical Feast days and how they inform our view of eschatology (end times). This will be a 7 part series, ending in a summation of the evidence. Let’s dig in!
Questions That Will Be Answered in This Series:
1) What are the Feasts of the Lord?
2) In what ways do these Feasts point to the work of Jesus?
3) Why are the Feasts of the Lord important to New Testament believers?
4) What are the eschatological implications of these truths?
What This Series is Not:
1) This series is NOT a call to legalism or a call for non Jews to live as Jews.
2) This series is NOT a call to gain knowledge for “knowledge” sake in order to sound more spiritual than others. This teaching has practical implications in the life of a believer.
What are the Feasts of the Lord
The “Appointed Times of the Lord”, or “Moedim Elohim”, have their start in the Book of Genesis – before there ever was a nation called Israel. Our first glimpse of “moedim” being mentioned is in Genesis 1:14-15,
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.”
The Hebrew word for sign here is the “Moed” and has the following meanings:
an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly; technically the congregation; place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):—appointed (sign, time), place of solemn assembly, feast, (appointed, due) season
The plural form of this word is “moedim”. These Feasts are directly linked to our galaxy as they are based on a lunar calendar and coincide with the cycles of the moon. In other words, our galaxy was created, with its stars and planets, as a sort of timepiece – for seasons and appointed times & assemblies.
“Moedim” appear again upon the redemption of the nation of Israel from Egypt. Through the great law-giver & prophet Moses, the Lord established specific national festivals which they were commanded to keep:
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord. Lev 23: 1-3
Again the word “moed” appears, meaning “appointed time”. The word used for “sacred assembly” in verse two, however, is “Mikra”, and literally means “rehearsal”. And so the command here is for the nation to observe set times of sacred assembly for the purpose of rehearsing. It is interesting to note that the Sabbath is also a “Mikra” (rehearsal) in addition to the “Feasts of the Lord”. The question is: What was Israel rehearsing for?
Before I answer that question let us review the implications of what we have already looked at:
These texts seem to imply that when God created the cosmic order and flung the planets and stars of our galaxy into their places, He set appointed times which were to be rehearsals for something(s) to come.
Notice that God did not say “these are the Feasts of Israel”, or “the Feasts of the Jews”. These “appointed times” were God’s set appointments with His creation. Though they were given to Israel they are never called “Jewish Feasts” or Jewish holidays” by the Lord. More than cultural festivals, these are God’s sacred times of appointment with His people!
Upon reading both Old and New Testaments, it becomes clear that Jesus did major things on these Feast days in FULFILLMENT of their meaning. It is no wonder that Jesus fulfilled these Feasts of the Lord as He is the promised Messiah of Israel. First century believers in Yeshua understood that the feasts symbolized God’s plan of salvation through Yeshua, the long awaited Messiah. They continued to observe the feasts – as we will soon see – but with new joy and understanding of the substance that is the Messiah!
We will look at the Feasts of the Lord, their Old Covenant origins and meaning, and their New Covenant fulfillments in Messiah. We will see how God initiated these Feasts through His amazing deeds with the Nation of Israel, and how He brings their meaning to ultimate fulfillment through His Son. It is important to note that, those Feasts which have reached their fulfillment were fulfilled ON THE VERY DAY of the Feasts…and IN SEQUENTIAL ORDER. At this time, only the first set of Feasts (Spring Feasts) have been verifiably fulfilled. The second set of feasts (The Fall Feasts) still await fulfillment. We can also, based upon the background of the origins of the unfulfilled Feast Days – and in light of New Testament future promises, make an educated guess as to how Jesus will fulfill the rest.
We can rest assured that, if He fulfilled the FIRST set of Feasts of the Lord – bringing in the first phase of everlasting redemption – He will fulfill the rest.
In part 2, we will begin looking at the Spring Feasts of the Lord, as given to Israel, and how they point to – and magnify – the Messiah’s work of redemption.