IS KEEPING THE FESTIVALS SIN?
CHRISTIANS & JEWS CANNOT KEEP THE FESTIVALS
IT IS A SIN WITHOUT JERUSALEM & THE TEMPLE
Deut 16:2 “And you shall slaughter the Passover to יהוה your Elohim, from the flock and the herd, in the place where יהוה chooses to put His Name. Deut. 16:13-16 “Perform the Festival of Booths for seven days after the ingathering from your threshing-floor and from your winepress, and you shall rejoice in your festival, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates. “For seven days you shall observe a festival to יהוה your Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses, because יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be only rejoicing! “Three times a year all your males appear before יהוה your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and at the Festival of Weeks, and at the Festival of Booths. And none should appear before יהוה empty-handed, but each one with the gift of his hand, according to the blessing of יהוה your Elohim which He has given you.
The place where Elohim chose from Moses to David was where the ark of the Covenant was. Then He said, “Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel” (2 Chr. 6:5-6). It hasn’t changed nor will it change.
Recall what happened to the 10 tribes of Israel who departed from the remaining 2 tribes. Many from the 10 tribes didn't want to come to Jerusalem to worship Elohim, so they made up their own rules to keep it. Just like many do today - they are adding and taking from the law to try to keep the ordinance.
All the festivals are dependent on 2 factors 1) Temple & 2) Sacrifices. Neither of them are here today therefore at best you can do is remember the fulfillment we have in them. Like Paul said, “For followers of Christ are the temple of the living Elohim. As Elohim has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people” (2 Cor. 6:16). What about “the condition of perpetual ordinance”? The ordinance can only be perpetual kept WHEN the circumstances are available. For example “when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.” (Exo. 30:8) It is perpetual but they can’t do this now because there isn’t a temple. What happens if a high priest burns it in his house to compensate for the missing temple, would that be acceptable before Elohim? Obviously not!
Here is an interesting statement in the Book of Jubilee on the Passover affirming the scriptures (Chapter 86, Charles R H) “every man who hath come upon its day shall eat it in the sanctuary of your God before the Lord from twenty years old and upward; for thus is it written and ordained that they should eat it in the sanctuary of the Lord. And when the children of Israel come into the land which they are to possess, into the land of Canaan, and set up the tabernacle of the Lord in the midst of the land in one of their tribes until the sanctuary of the Lord hath been built in the land, let them come and celebrate the passover in the midst of the tabernacle of the Lord, and let them slay it before the Lord from year to year. And in the days when the house hath been built in the name of the Lord in the land of their inheritance, they shall go there and slay the passover in the evening, at sunset, at the third part of the day. And they will offer its blood on the threshold of the altar, and shall place its fat on the fire which is upon the altar, and they shall eat its flesh roasted with fire in the court of the house which hath been sanctified in the name of the Lord. And they may not celebrate the passover in their cities, nor in any place save before the tabernacle of the Lord, or before His house where His name hath dwelt; and they will not go astray from the Lord.”
Let’s look at Daniel the Prophet. Jerusalem was destroyed and Daniel was taken captive into a foreign land. How do we know that Daniel didn’t keep the Passover? Because he fasted over the Passover period, specifically he didn’t eat meat nor wine, which is part of the Passover festival (Dan. 10:2-4,13). He never kept the festivals because it was illegal to keep them outside of Jerusalem and without a temple. Keeping the Passover came many years later, after Nehemiah & Ezra rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6).
Yeshua parents came to Jerusalem and even Paul. Paul didn’t think it was acceptable to keep the feast outside of Jerusalem. And after teaching them for 1 ½ years he wanted to go to keep the feast (Acts 18:11). Where? In Jerusalem. “When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, Elohim willing” (Acts 18:20-21). If a Christian today wants to remove leaven bread in their house during the Passover period, that is up to them and that would be the extent of their participation. Adding anything more is contrary to Elohim's law.
During the millennium, when Yeshua reigns on earth, people need to come to Jerusalem to keep the festival of booths/tabernacles. If they decide to stay at home to keep it what will happen? Zech 14:16-18 “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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Therefore “let no one judge you in meat or drink (offerings), or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths (Sabbath relating to the festivals), which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ”. (Col. 2:16-17). Some people compare the 7th day Sabbath to Festivals but Sabbath is not dependent on the Temple, Priests nor on Sacrifices!
Sometimes we think that the Jewish people today have got it right when in fact they have been wrong for centuries and continue to add laws that are not in the Torah. Just like Yeshua said, they keep “making the word of Elohim of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye” … Just like some trying to make up things to keep the festivals. Many people through history were sincere, but they were sincerely wrong and then fight over something that doesn’t even exist in the law.
As a follower of Elohim's law, trying to make up things to keep the Festivals is a sin.
Extract taken from http://www.angelfire.com/ill/hebrewisrael/Articles/passover.html:
CAN WE KEEP THE PASSOVER OUTSIDE OF JERUSALEM (YAHRUSHALOM)?
Shalom to the House of Ysrayl, the 12 tribes scattered worldwide. It is that time of year for us Hebrews, the month of Abib, and with it our new year is approaching. With the coming of the new year begins Yah’s festivals or "feast days." This time of year is a true delight to many Israelites the world over.
The first of those set apart days is called "the Passover," which is followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This article will focus on the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, along with the Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles.
I thought this initially to be a divisive topic. However, it occurred to me that this subject is not at all controversial, that it deals simply with the obedience of a people to their Mighty One. It was our disobedience to Yah that put us in the situation we are in today. Rightly so, it will be our obedience that will free us from it.
Obedience is the key to understanding this article. Once we were brought into the truth of who we are, of who Yah is, of who Yahoshua is, we realized it was necessary to let go of a lot of things that were contrary to the Word of Yah. In so doing, we open our hearts to being obedient to our Father. TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE:
I SAMUEL 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath YAH as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of YAH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Ysrayl is still a stiff-necked, hardheaded people who delight individually and collectively in doing its own will.
For example, one topic of discussion among Israelites around this time of year is how to calculate the correct date for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Scriptures tell us how to do so, but many of us do not follow this mandate. Instead, we choose our own timeframes. One camp of Israelites is keeping Passover on one date, another group is keeping it on a different date; one group celebrates it one way, another group in a different manner. Why is there so much confusion? Yah is not the author of confusion.
The issue we should be discussing is this: WHETHER WE ARE TO KEEP PASSOVER IN THIS LAND AND IN ANY LAND TO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN SCATTERED – IN OTHER WORDS, CAN WE PROPERLY KEEP YAH’S FEASTS OUTSIDE OF JERUSALEM?
Even today Ysrayl refuses to submit to Yah, to look to His Word and see what He has to say. This is the primary reason so much confusion arises.
What I intend to show you from Scripture is that not only can we not keep the Passover outside of Jerusalem, but we also cannot truly keep the Passover without the Levitical priests and the temple, that any Passover observed absent any of Yah’s mandates is, in fact, not a feast to honor Him; but rather it is a sacrifice to devils. If there exists a true controversy surrounding our annual Feasts, here it is, my Brothers and Sisters.
Once this information is given to you, you must decide what you will do with it. It is my duty to show you what Yah has shown to me and the understanding he has given to me. I pray that He do so with every Israelite who reads this article. Please read on and learn what Scripture tells us.
* * *
I have made many attempts over the years at keeping the feast days. As I reflect, however, I realize my tremendous ignorance. Having no idea of what I was doing and being unable to find the answers necessary for correcting my error, I stopped keeping the Feasts and firmly believe Yah has turned my heart in this direction.
Before I continue, allow me to remind you of something very critical: THOSE WHO ARE A PART OF THE BODY OF MESSIAH, THE REDEEMED AND RANSOMED OF YAH, WILL BE THOSE WHO FULLY OBEY YAH’S VOICE, THOSE WHO PROFESS THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, WHICH IS TOTAL OBEDIENCE TO YAH’S WILL.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of our obedience to Yah. Once the Scriptures are presented and you see what Yah has to say about our trying to keep His set apart days without following Him, your obedience will become your decision.
The Passover was an event ordained by Yah for the children of Israel to commemorate our FREEDOM from Egyptian bondage (read Exodus (Shemoth) 12).
The Passover is not a feast day. The Passover is the event of sacrificing the lamb or goat and preparing it for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As you might know, the Passover is not a high Sabbath day; the first and last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are high Sabbath days. A "high Sabbath" is a Sabbath day other than our weekly Sabbath.
Yah says the Passover lamb or goat used must be of the first year (a year old) and be without spot or blemish. To sacrifice an all white lamb or goat for Passover, this means there must not be one black, red or yellow hair or one cut or bruise found on the sacrifice; otherwise it cannot be used for the Passover.
EXODUS 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
The Passover of Exodus 12 was done in the wilderness as the Israelites were freed from bondage. However, Yah told them that once they enter the land, they could only keep the Passover at the place He chose to place His name. This applies to not only the Passover, but also to our burnt offerings, food tithes, vows, etc. All these things are to be done in the place YAH chose to place His name.
Deuteronomy 12:26 Only your set apart things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which YAH shall choose:
27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of YAH: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of YAH, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
We could not take our sacrifices and burnt offerings to a place of our choosing, but only to the place where Yah shall place His name. These things had to be done according to the will of Yah.
Deuteronomy 12:5 But unto the place which YAH shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
7 And there ye shall eat before YAH, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein YAH hath blessed thee.
8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
Yah tells us not to do what is right in our own eyes. This disobedient practice is echoed in our time, as we can see with those who attempt to keep the feasts. They are doing what is right in their own eyes. Yah is laying out the plan to Israel as to how these things are to be done. We must do them either His way, or NO WAY AT ALL.
9 For yea are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which YAH giveth you.
10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which YAH giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
11 Then there shall be a place which YAH shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto YAH:
Notice Yah continually tells us to bring these things to the place He shall choose to place His name. WHERE IS THAT PLACE? SCRIPTURE WILL TELL US.
13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:
14 But in the place which YAH shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
YAH HAS GIVEN US A COMMANDMENT TO NOT OFFER OUR BURNT OFFERINGS IN ANY PLACE WE SEE BUT IN THE PLACE HE CHOOSES. PAY ATTENTION BECAUSE HE SAYS THE EXACT SAME THING ABOUT THE PASSOVER SACRIFICE.
17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:
18 But thou must eat them before YAH in the place which YAH shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before YAH in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.
AGAIN WE SEE WE CANNOT DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN OUR OWN EYES. WE MUST BE OBEDIENT TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF YAH.
IF HE SAYS YOU CANNOT DO THIS AS YOU SEE FIT, IN THE PLACE YOU DESIGNATE, THEN YOU CANNOT DO IT.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE DISOBEDIENT TO YAH AND TO TRANSGRESS HIS LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS, THEN YOU ARE SINNING (I JOHN 3:4; I SAMUEL 15:24). HEBREWS 10:26 SAYS IF WE WILLFULLY SIN, AFTER KNOWING THE TRUTH, THERE REMAINS NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION – THIS CONCEPT GOES DEEPER.
Let see what Yah says about those who are disobedient to His commandments, those that do what they want to do and not do as He says.
LEVITICUS 17:1 And YAH spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which YAH hath commanded, saying,
3 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp,
4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto YAH before the tabernacle of YAH; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:
5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto YAH, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto YAH.
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of YAH at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto YAH.
7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
Yah is telling us that when we fail to bring our sacrifice to Him in the manner He commands us, we are sacrificing to devils. Keep that in mind as we look at what He says about the Passover and how it should be done.
Deuteronomy 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto YAH: for in the month of Abib Yah brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto YAH, of the flock and the herd, in the place which YAH shall choose to place his name there.
Once again we see Yah speaking about a place where He shall put His name and the Passover can only be sacrificed there.
Not only was Passover to be kept in this sacred place that carries Yah’s name, but three feasts are to be kept there also.
DEUTERONOMY 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before YAH in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YAH empty:
The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows the Passover. It is the Feast of Unleavened Bread where the Passover lamb is to be eaten along with the bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Yah says you can only keep this feast in the place He choose to place His name.
Let us see where this place is He chose to put His name, the place where we must keep Passover and the feasts.
2 Chronicles 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
9 Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.
Yah has chosen Jerusalem as the place to put His name. Remember He told us to keep the Passover in the place He chooses, along with unleavened bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Tabernacle. Yah tells us not to sacrifice the Passover in any of our gates but only do it in Jerusalem.
Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which Yah giveth thee:
6 But at the place which Yah shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
YAH’S WORD CANNOT BE MORE CLEAR ON THIS, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS. THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE GOING TO THE CORNER MEAT MARKET TO BUY LAMB CHOPS, OR HALF LAMBS AND ATTEMPTING TO KEEP PASSOVER ARE TRANSGRESSING THE COMMANDMENTS OF YAH.
HE SAYS IN DEUTERONOMY 16:5 NOT TO SACRIFICE IN ANY OF YOUR GATES (DWELLINGS/TOWNS) BUT TO DO IT IN JERUSALEM. The lamb we buy from the grocery store could be 1, 2 or 15 years old; we do not know whether it was without spot or blemish.
IF WE ARE NOT TO SACRIFICE THE PASSOVER IN THIS LAND, THEN NEITHER ARE WE TO KEEP THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD OUTSIDE OF JERUSALEM, AS BOTH GO HAND IN HAND. YAH TOLD US TO KEEP UNLEAVENED BREAD IN JERUSALEM.
Allow me to give you some history on this matter.
As I mentioned, the Passover is not a Sabbath or feast, the Passover is the sacrifice made of the lamb or goat. Our people would take a male lamb of the first year, without spot or blemish, on the 10th day of Abib, keep that lamb until the 14th day, go to Jerusalem and sacrifice the lamb. The priest sprinkle the blood upon the altar, then we roast it. At the going down of the sun on the 14th day, which will begin the 15th, we begin the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in Jerusalem, which lasts for a total of seven days. The killing of the Passover began at the 9th hour and lasted until the setting of the sun, which would be about the 12th hour. These correspond with 3pm-6pm solar time.
Yahoshua was sacrificed at this exact time.
Yah also tells us that if we cannot keep the Passover in the month of Abib for whatever reason, then we can keep it the second month. But it still must be kept in Jerusalem.
Numbers 9:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto YAH.
11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.
Our people knew these ordinances of the Passover must be kept according to the commandments of Yah. Look at how our people kept Passover during the time of King Hezekiyah:
2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of YAH at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto YAH THE MIGHTY ONE of Israel.
2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
They could not keep the Passover in the first month of Abib because the priests were not ready and the people had not yet come to Jerusalem. They had to postpone the Passover to the second month. As you will see they still had to keep the feast in Jerusalem.
13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
15 Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of YAH.
16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of YAH: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto YAH.
18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good MASTER pardon every one
19 That prepareth his heart to seek YAH MIGHTY ONE of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
20 And YAH hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem, kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised YAH day by day, singing with loud instruments unto YAH.
22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of YAH: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to YAH MIGHTY ONE of their fathers.
23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD WAS CELEBRATED IN JERUSALEM FOR THE ENTIRE SEVEN DAYS.
24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his set apart dwelling place, even unto heaven.
Oh, how Yah blessed Israel for OBEYING His commandments of PROPERLY KEEPING Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
Now, let us ask ourselves whether we have experienced a celebration such as this. NO, WE HAVE NOT. WHY? Because Yah has not blessed our hand in this matter. Yah listened to Hezekiyah’s prayer as they partook of this great celebration in the manner Yah commanded.
The reason so much confusion arises among Israel about how to keep Passover is that it attempts to keep Passover in places where YAH HAS NOT CHOSEN TO PUT HIS NAME. Israel’s attempted Passover celebrations are an abomination to Yah. He told you not to do this, but we stiff-necked ones have not hearkened unto His voice.
If you need to have further proof, let’s go back to Scripture.
Yahoshua celebrated Passover in Jerusalem just as the law states:
Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Yahoshua tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
First lets notice something, Passover is not a feast, it’s the sacrificing of the lamb, calling Passover a feast is a mistake. Next it says his PARENTS MIRIAM AND YOSAFE WENT TO JERUSALEM EVERY YEAR TO KEEP THE PASSOVER. IT WAS THEIR CUSTOM TO GO TO JERUSALEM EVERY YEAR FOR THE PASSOVER. VERSE 43 SAYS AFTER THEY HAD FULFILLED THE DAYS, THEN THEY LEFT JERUSALEM.
They spent a week in Jerusalem partaking in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which Yah said we are to observe for seven days in Jerusalem (the place He chose to put His name). Therefore, they were keeping the law. If it was all right for anyone to keep Passover and the Feast outside of Jerusalem, wouldn't it have been Yahoshua, and his earthly parents? Yahoshua was a man without sin (spot) He kept every commandment and ordinance of Yah.
Not only was Jerusalem chosen as the place, but Yah also put His name on the temple Solomon built for his honor.
2 Chronicles 7:16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
Jerusalem, along with the temple, is the place Yah chose to place His name. Not only do you need to be in Jerusalem in order to keep the feasts, but the temple must also be there. Notice what King Hezekiyah said:
2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of YAH at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto YAH THE MIGHTY ONE of Israel.
The house of Yah is a reference to the temple that stood in Jerusalem. In order to keep Yah's feasts, we need to have the temple in Jerusalem.
Let us look at another example of Israelites’ keeping the festival days in Jerusalem as was commanded. Look at Acts 2:
2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Interesting. Who was in one accord and in what place were they on the day of Pentecost (or "The Feast of Weeks")? Let us read on and see.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Israelites, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
They were Hebrews who came from every nation under heaven to keep the festival of Pentecost. Let’s see from what nations some of the brothers had come:
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Israelites and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of Yah.
These brothers returned to Jerusalem from Egypt, Iraq, North Africa, Rome, Iran etc., in order to keep this feast.
Why did they come from so many places and from so far? Why didn’t they keep the feast in the lands of their birth? You are keeping the feast in the United States, Jamaica, Canada, South America, etc. What makes you different from them? If you can do it, why didn’t they? Could it be those brothers lost their minds to journey all the way from their distant lands in order to keep the Festival of Weeks when they could have been like us in the U.S. and stayed at home. "NO!," SAYS YAH IN DEUTERONOMY 16:
16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before YAH in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YAH empty:
THE FEAST OF WEEKS IS CALLED PENTECOST IN THE GREEK TONGUE. The brothers were being obedient. Scripture says they were devout, meaning they were serious about being obedient to Torah. They traveled from far away lands to keep this commandment; but notice once again we see Yah blessed them with the outpouring of His set-apart spirit.
Have any of you ever experienced anything like that at your Pentecost celebrations? I know I have not. WHY? Because Yah’s hand is not involved in our celebrations. He told us not to do this in any other place other than the place He shall choose. We see that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be kept in Jerusalem, as is the Feast of Weeks. But, what about the third required feast, Tabernacles? After Israel is returned to the land, after Yahoshua returns, all of mankind will be required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
Zechariah 14:16 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, YAH of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Yet another interesting point here. Where shall the nations go to keep this Feast,? Is it another place other than the one Yah told us about in Torah? Let’s look to Scripture:
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the YAH of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
So, the Feast of Tabernacles will be in Jerusalem, just as Yah commanded us to keep it. This is speaking about a future time when the kingdom of Yah has come to earth, AFTER THE GREAT BATTLE, AFTER SATAN IS UNDER CHAINS, This Feast will be reinstated. JERUSALEM ONCE AGAIN WILL BE THE SOVEREIGN NATION OF YAH'S CHOSEN.
But what if the nations do not want to keep the feast in Jerusalem? What if they do like we do and keep the Feast anywhere they please? If we can do it, why can’t the nations? What does Yah say about this?
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith YAH will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
So we see the nations will be punished for not keeping the Feast in the place Yah choose to place his name FOREVER (Jerusalem). So if the nations are being punished, what about us? Yah said He has to punish us for all our sins.
Amos 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
ISRAEL WILL BE PUNISHED FOR ALL THEIR INIQUITIES. IF HE WILL PUNISH THE NATIONS FOR BEING DISOBEDIENT WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO TO US FOR DOING THE EXACT SAME THING? CAN THIS BE THE SOLE REASON WE ARE SO CONFUSED ABOUT THESE FEAST DAYS? WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO KEEP THEM, WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO CALCULATE THEM. MANY OF US FOLLOW JEWISH TRADITIONS, AND OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, WHICH IS AN ABOMINATION TO YAH.
In closing let me say this, remember the Passover was the act of sacrificing the lamb or goat, that was to be eaten during the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In the book of Corinthians it states Yahoshua is our Passover sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us:
If He is our Passover and was sacrificed for us, question: WHERE WAS HE SACRIFICED? ANSWER: JERUSALEM. WHY? BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE THE PASSOVER CAN BE SACRIFICED, IN THE PLACE WHERE YAH CHOOSE TO PLACE HIS NAME.
Brothers and Sister this is not being written to condemn anyone. I was in that same boat, trying to keep these days without any knowledge on how to do so. But Yah has shown me better, so now I have to do better.
There remains much more to this lesson than time will permit.
Acts 18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if YAH will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
2nd Chronicles 35:1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the YAH in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
If you believe you can still keep passover outside of Jerusalem, it is upon you to search the scriptures and bring this information forth. Can you find one instance where the children of Israel kept passover outside of Jerusalem and Yah blessed them? Can you find one instance where one of the prophets kept passover outside of Jerusalem? Daniel was taken captive to Babylon, how many feasts did Daniel keep in Babylon? Can you find ONE? NO. UNDERSTAND - TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE. Us not being able to keep passover in this land should be motivation for us. We long to keep the passover in our land, just as Yah subscribed. Our motivation is to leave this place and return to ours. But if you are keeping the feast days in places Yah has not choosen to keep his name, then what is your motivation to leave? Why go back to Jerusalem when you can keep the feast where you are? You can't make AMERICA, EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA, INDIA INTO A JERUSALEM. YAH ONLY CHOOSE ONE PLACE TO PLACE HIS NAME, HE ONLY CHOSE ONE TEMPLE (HOUSE) TO PLACE HIS NAME, AND HE TELLS US TO KEEP THESE FEASTS IN THAT PLACE. IF YOU REFUSE, YOU ARE DISOBEYING THE WORD OF YAH. THINK ABOUT what YOU ARE DOING, AND WHAT YOU MAY BE LEADING OTHERS TO DO.