Along with the weekly Sabbath rest and new month observances, God has provided seven annual feasts and invited us to enjoy them with Him. He says, “These are my feasts” (Le 23:2), and describes when and how we are to observe each one. It evidently pleases the Creator when we celebrate these feasts, as each festival points in some way to our Messiah.
In the year 2023 CE, since Israeli barley ripened by March 22, we believe the Feasts of the Lord occur as follows:
Each holy day starts sunset the prior evening.
♦ Sunday Sabbath: work forbidden
♦ Weekday Sabbath: take off work
Note that God does not say these are Jewish festivals: He says they are His festivals. God is evidently revealing these feasts to Israel so that the entire world may enjoy them along with Him. There is no indication in Scripture otherwise. We understand from this that celebrating these feasts on the correct dates is important to God.
There is, however, as one might expect in anything of practical spiritual value, a problem in determining the timing of the feasts in God’s calendar: the enemy has gone to great lengths to spread lies, confusion and controversy around most every aspect of these feasts: when they occur, who should observe them, what they are for, what they mean, whether they are still relevant, etc. Celebrating them seems to displease and threaten the enemy very much; we will need God Himself to sort out the confusion when He returns. Meanwhile, we do our best to follow Him.
It is clear from Scripture that God’s feasts contain pictures and shadows of spiritual realities (He 9:23-24) as well as a prophetic index of God’s redemptive timeline. (Col 2:16-17) The Spring feasts were evidently precisely fulfilled (to the day) in the context of Christ’s first coming to Earth, in a chronological sequence matching the annual calendar cycle. Those who were faithfully observing these appointed times were actually present to observe their fulfillment firsthand as it actually occurred. So it would appear reasonable to conclude that the Fall feasts also symbolize key events in the future, and that each one will be fulfilled on its prescribed day in the sequence of the annual calendar cycle.
Therefore, it would appear that one way in which believers might abide in the light, and not be taken by surprise in these future events (1Th 5:4), is to be in step with God’s prophetic calendar by enjoying and meditating on these precious feasts.
In addition, each of God’s feasts identifies activities to be performed in and around God’s earthly temple in Jerusalem, which is patterned after the eternal temple of God in Heaven. (He 8:5, Re 15:5-8) In saying “my feasts” God emphasizes that these feasts are His, not ours or merely for us, and so — in the same spirit in which He Himself rested on the seventh day — it would appear that He Himself celebrates these feasts in the heavenly temple with the heavenly hosts according to His definition of each one. Further, when He returns to reign on the earth, it is evident that He will continue celebrating these appointed times here, and that He will require the nations to celebrate them with Him. (Is 66:23, Zec 14:16-17)
So these feasts, the weekly Sabbath and the seven annual feasts, are evidently very important to God. It is no surprise then that there is much controversy concerning when these feasts occur as well as how to observe them. The singular aim of the enemy is to keep us all out of step with heavenly realities in every way that he can, and his footprint is particularly evident here. It does take a great deal of patience to work through all of the issues and find the truth. We have attempted to do so, as have so many others, and present here what we have found.
We write on the subject, not to add to the present confusion or just to be unique, but because we believe God’s calendar is important and that it should be sought out based only on the wording of Scripture rather than partly on religious tradition and the teachings of Man. We do not see any other publication which approaches the subject entirely in this manner. We also wish to conveniently highlight weekday Sabbaths so we can make proper arrangements at work in advance.
Doubtless, this process of understanding and appreciating God’s feasts will be ongoing as we learn more about their value, meaning and significance, as well as how to observe and enjoy them. However, regardless of our findings, we must finally contend that it is actually better for a saint to follow the conventions and practices of their local spiritual community, should they be so blessed to walk with others who are also inclined to observe these feasts, rather than spending these seasons in isolation or in causing strife and division. God clearly intended for spiritual communities to observe these times together, and this aspect of the design, in our opinion, is actually more weighty and helpful to the saint than for him to miss this wholesomeness in order to be technically correct on the calendar itself. An informed saint can do both with integrity: observe peaceably with an imperfect community as well as commune with and obey God when, in his own view, divinity is engaging in and observing each feast in the heavenlies.