so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all that has been written in the Torah"

"The Way" ResTorah-ation

“And this I confess to you, that according to The Way which they call a sect,

Appointed Times in Scripture

To observe the Sabbath is to experience a little bit of eternity. When we spend the Sabbath in the way YHVH intended for us to spend it, we experience blessing, joy, love and insurmountable peace. It becomes the center of the week, a day to look forward to, a delight indeed. My favorite day of the week.  Many people are new to this, but even for those who have been keeping the Sabbath for years, let this be a refresher for you. We all need it sometimes just to refocus or to realize how good we have it to be able to celebrate the Sabbath in freedom.
We can find, first and foremost direction from YHVH regarding Sabbaths in Genesis 2:2 and 2:3, as He rested on the 7th day from Creation. As so many other accounts are listed All throughout Scripture it is very clear we are to observe them. Further direction can be referenced to Moses in Exodus 16 and 20, as he was commanded to keep the Sabbath Set- Apart (Holy).

Rosh Chodesh - I have recently read an article stating that Rosh Chodesh (New Moon day) is to be celebrated as a Sabbath. The article contained some scriptural references that prompt me to re-evaluate my understanding of Rosh Chodesh. Having studied these scriptural references in their context, we have come to the conclusion that Rosh Chodesh is not a Sabbath, but  should be celebrated as an appointed feast with some very specific instructions. Let me explain…

If Rosh Chodesh was a Sabbath, you would expect to find it described in Levitucus 23 as such. In Leviticus 23 we find specific reference to all the Sabbaths. Leviticus 23 gives us specific instructions on which days we are not allowed to perform servile work. The feast of First Fruits for example is an appointed time, but no mention is made of not being able to perform servile work. In all other cases it is stated specifically what work may be performed.

You will notice in Leviticus 23 that there is no reference to Rosh Chodesh. So what makes Rosh Chodesh an appointed time? The answer lies in the book of Numbers. Here, we find specific instructions with regard to Rosh Chodesh:

In Numbers 10:10 we are instructed to blow the trumpets on the first day of the month (Rosh Chodesh)

Passover (Pesach) - The book of Exodus tells us how Moses was sent by God to Pharaoh to be a deliverer of Israel. The Pharaoh, of course, did not heed Moses' appeal to set the people of Israel free from their slavery, and the stage was then set for the showdown between the God of Israel and the gods of Egypt.
The final terrible plague that would descend upon the people of Egypt would be the death of the firstborn sons in the land. Only those families that sacrificed an unblemished lamb (pesach) and smeared its blood upon the doorposts of the house would be "passed over" (pasach) from the impending wrath from heaven. God commanded that on Nisan 10 (Shabbat HaGadol) each head of the household should set aside a young male lamb which should be examined for blemishes which might disqualify it as an offering. Interestingly, this period of time allowed time for each family to become personally attached to their lamb, so that it would no longer simply be "a lamb" (Exod. 12:3) but rather their lamb" (Exod. 12:5). On the afternoon of the Nisan 14 the lambs were to be publicly sacrificed by the "whole assembly" (Exod. 12:6). And even though the entire nation was responsible for the death of the lambs, each family was to apply the blood of their personal lamb upon the doorpost as a sign of their faith in the Lord's deliverance (Exod. 12:7). The name Pesach (translated Passover) derives from the Hebrew word pasach (passed over) and refers to the sparing of the households of the faithful on account of the sacrificial blood of the lamb:
The Feast of Unleavened bread begins the night after the Passover and celebrates Israel being delivered from bondage in Egypt. Lev. 23:6. A morning and evening sacrifice was offered. Only unleavened bread is eaten and meat of the sacrifices. Exodus 12:19 states the seriousness of the commandment from God. “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.” Leaven is symbolic of sin and the Passover was a memorial to God’s delivering them from slavery in Egypt, but also a time of repentance and the putting away of sin. Galatians 5:9 says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Leaven when placed in a lump of flour with begin to grow and spread until it permeates the whole lump. The picture is that of one diligently searching for and getting rid of sin even the smallest sin in one’s life. Even as a little leaven (sin) will spoil the whole of the lump, therefore any and all sin is to be confessed and put out of one’s life
Firstfruits is an appointed feast held in the early spring at the beginning of the grain harvest. It was observed on the first day of the week after the weekly Sabbath, after Passover during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Firstfruits was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. Leviticus 23:9-14 institutes the firstfruits offering. The people were to bring a sheaf of grain to the priest, who would wave it before the Lord. A burnt offering, a meal offering, and a drink offering were also required at that time. Deuteronomy 26:1-10 gives even more detail on the procedure of firstfruits.
No grain was to be harvested at all until the firstfruits offering was brought to the Lord (Leviticus 23:14). The offering was made in remembrance of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, the Lord’s deliverance from slavery, and their possession of “a land that floweth with milk and honey.” The day of the firstfruits offering was also used to calculate the proper time of the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-16).

Shavuot is one of the seven feasts of the Lord found in Leviticus chapter 23, and it's importance is of paramount value, not only to the Jewish people, but also, to the Christian community.

In the New Testament it is called 'Pentecost', due to the fact that its observance falls on the fiftieth day after the first day (Sunday) during unleavened bread week. In the days of the Prophet Moses it is believed that on this very day of Shavuot, the Torah (the Law) was given by the Lord God unto Moses to be given to the people of Israel and, to be shared with the entire world. How merciful and kind is the Lord God of heaven and earth

Yom Teruah is the first fall feast – it marks the start of the fall feast season. “Yom” means day, and “Teruah” means to make a loud noise, which is why Yom Teruah is also called the “Day of Trumpets” or even “Day of Shouting.”

The event Yom Teruah references is one we are told many times not to forget – the day the Almighty shouted down the 10 commandments to the people from atop Mount Sinai in the desert after delivering them from slavery in Egypt; YeHoVaH laid out his commandments for the people, and they agreed to follow them (Exodus 19 and 20). This is what we remember on Yom Teruah each year – this day of shouting, this day of announcement, this day the people witnessed YeHoVaH’s power, authority and might.

On Yom Teruah, we also remember that the heavens declared the coming of the Messiah through YeHoVaH’s calendar in the sky. This feast is the very day the “Great Sign in Heaven” appeared to announce the coming birth of Yeshua that would occur during the Feast of Sukkot.

“There appeared a great sign in heaven – a woman clothed with the sun, the new moon under her feet, and above her head a crown of twelve stars. Being great with child, she cried, agonizing in labor and about to give birth.” – Revelation 12:1

This was the intermediate fulfillment of Yom Teruah. As at Mount Sinai, YeHoVaH made an important announcement. The Great Sign was a constellation, and those that understood it knew the Messiah was soon to be born!

When we prepare for Yom Teruah, we think about preparing for our Messiah. We must be ready, clothes washed and hearts and minds prepared for his coming. Then we wait and watch for the signs of his return, just like we do for this feast day. Because we don’t know for sure when the first sliver of the new moon will be sighted, we have to be completely ready for Yom Teruah before it comes; it’s a rehearsal for the ultimate Yom Teruah when Yeshua returns.

In the Hebrew Torah (Lev. 23:27-28) this day is called Yom HaKippurim (in the plural), which literally means Day of “coverings”, as this is the day when the High Priest would pour the blood of a goat over the Kaporet (the Hebrew for the Mercy Seat, same root) to atone (cover) for the many sins and transgressions (plural again) of the nation of Israel.

On Yom Kippur, we are told to do no work whatsoever and to “afflict our souls” or “deny ourselves.” This is most often taken to mean fasting, or not eating.

Most people who observe Yom Kippur do not eat or drink from sunset to sunset. The point of fasting is to help us focus on things that are more important than our body’s desire for food. Our relationship with our Creator is the most important in our lives.

It is easy to get caught up in thinking and worrying about day to day things, so fasting on Yom Kippur is the reminder that all those kinds of needs come after our need for our Father and his love and grace.

Whether you are ready to completely fast from all food and water on Yom Kippur, or you are just ready to deny yourself your normal favorite foods, make sure you are thinking about what is really important on this day.

When you are feeling hungry, remember that Yeshua our Messiah tells us that he is the Bread of Life. Our relationship with him is what truly feeds us. Eating food every day allows us to live, but knowing and loving the Father is what allows us to live holy lives that please Him. And the Father’s grace and mercy allow us to live eternally

Sukkot (pronounced sue-COAT) is also called the Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths. Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts, or feasts for which we are commanded to “go up” to Jerusalem. Today there is no Temple to go to in Jerusalem, but we still celebrate this feast because it is a rehearsal of events that have already occurred and some yet to come. The first day of Sukkot and the last (8th) day are High Sabbaths (special Sabbaths other than the weekly Sabbath, Saturday) of no work. During the feast of Sukkot we remember when the Almighty led the Israelites out of Egypt, and they lived in shelters in the wilderness for 40 years. During this time, the Almighty also dwelt in a sukkah (sue-KAH), the singular form of the Hebrew word sukkot, among the people (i.e. in the “tabernacle”).

For Sukkot, each family is commanded to build a temporary shelter a sukkah and dwell in it for the length of the 8-day feast. Some people set up a tent to dwell in during this time, while others build more elaborate, yet temporary structures with PVC pipe, bamboo, or wooden boards. It can be as simple as a square or rectangle top and four legs. The walls of the sukkah are usually some kind of fabric. Most people eat their meals in the sukkah and some even camp out in it each night. The sukkah is intended to remind us of our need for the Almighty’s provision and of the fact that our life on Earth is temporary, like the sukkah itself.

Physically speaking, the Feast of Sukkot commemorates when, over 2,000 years ago on the first day of Sukkot (a High Sabbath), the Messiah was born. He was the very Word of the Almighty made flesh, and literally “dwelt” or “tabernacled” with us.

In a spiritual sense, the Feast of Sukkot is all about finally dwelling with the Almighty after the end times. When we are gathered to the Messiah, there will be a great feast (during the feast of Sukkot, of course). The Bible likens it to a wedding feast and calls it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6) . The groom is Messiah and we are like a bride that has waited for him.

Then, on the Last Great Day, the eighth day of the feast, Yeshua returns to the earth on a white horse to rule with his people for 1,000 years. In the final fulfillment of this feast, there will be a new Heaven and new Earth, and we will finally dwell with the Almighty forever — the eternal Sukkot!

The LAND SABBATH — A Commandment For Today!

In the Old Testament, YEHOVAH God gave Israel a very special law regarding the land — a commandment to allow the land to rest from active agricultural production every seventh year. It was called the “land Sabbath.”

Observance of this seventh year rest for the land allowed the land to rejuvenate itself. It prevented the exploitation and forcing of the ground. It allowed the land to regather its strength and fertility.

But the land Sabbath was also a benefit for man, the tiller of the ground. It gave the farmer an opportunity to devote his time to repairs on the farm, fences, barns, or even time for travel, education, and and to do future planning. It was as well a “Sabbatical year” to pursue the study of Yehovah God’s Word in a more active way.

The land Sabbath command is still valid today. The command to allow the land to rest every seventh year is still binding upon the people of Yehovah God today!

Turning the land back to its original ownership also has monumental importance in the grand salvation plan. At creation, Yehovah made the earth. He put man in Eden and gave him charge over it. For 6,000 years man has spoiled this planet through sin and evil under the influence of the Adversary. As in the Jubilee when land parcels reverted to their original owner, Yehovah will take back this earth from the ruler ship of man (and Satan), and Yeshua will assume control of it again with a rod of iron.

It was because of Yehovah’s promise to Israel that they would inherit the land that the Promised Land of Israel became known as the "Holy Land." It was a land set apart—made holy—for Yehovah, and it is a land that was to be kept holy through the Sabbatical and Jubilee land rests.

Note that Isaiah’s prophecy, which Yeshua quoted, speaks of the "acceptable year." The Companion Bible equates this term to both the Jubilee year of Leviticus 25 and the start of Yeshua’s ministry. Other translations call it the "welcome year," the "favorable year" or the "year of [Yeshua's] favor."

Yehovah expected His people to keep the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, as is clear by His detailed instructions on how to observe them. Israel, however, was not faithful in their observance of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees (Lev. 26:35).

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