QUESTION: from a reader:
Rory, what is the difference between the law of God and the law of Moses?
In at least 4 places in the Old Testament, we are commanded that the Feast Days are intended to
be kept "for ever." (Ex. 12:14, 17; Lev. 23:41; 2Chr. 2:4).
I pulled this from a site when I was studying on the feasts:
“If we correctly understand that eternal life is "for ever," then this same term and concept belongs
to the Feast Days. "For ever" is, in fact, for ever, notwithstanding conflicting theological views about
the Feast Days.
The feasts are from the law as given Israel, in the Old Covenant.
In order to give a thorough answer, please be patient while we develop the apostle’s doctrine.
1. The Feasts and the Law
The 7 feasts were given under the Old Testament law, to the natural-born people of Israel,
who were given inheritance in the land.
Let’s note there are a number of other matters that are called an "eternal" covenant.
So before we tackle the feasts we have an example, i.e., circumcision in
He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised:
and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an *everlasting covenant*.
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman conceive seed, and bear a man-child,
......... (3) And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Which was upon penalty of loss of salvation under the Old Covenant:
Exodus 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee,
and will keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised,
and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land:
but no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
Paul confirmed this truth in Galatians 3:17:
Now this I say: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law…..
5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, … … unto the priest,
and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace-offerings unto the LORD.
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tent of meeting,
and burn the fat for a sweet savor unto Jehovah.
7 and they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices unto the he-goats, after which they play the harlot.
This shall be a statute forever unto them throughout their generations.
ye shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner of work, the home-born,
or the stranger that sojourneth among you:
30) for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you;
from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD.
31) It is a sabbath of solemn rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; it is a statute forever
iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.
Exodus 12: 24
And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
9) The covenant which he made with Abraham, And his oath unto Isaac,
10) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covenant.
3. The Christian Pharisees in Acts 15 attempted to apply the law to Chrisitians
Therefore in Acts 15, the law observant Pharisee Jews that believed, seemed to have legal basis for
imposing the "everlasting covenant" of circumcision from the law...
-and in the law, any male not circumcised was "cut off" from the Covenant, and his family.
2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.
3) Yea, I testify again ---> to every man that receives circumcision,
that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
see this writing about Acts 15
Let’s strongly underscore that statement with several of the scriptures from the New Testament:
and to teach, 2 until the day in which he was received up, after that,
he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles …
and the commandments of the Lord and Savior through your apostles:
of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.
that ye both do and will do the things which we command.
15) And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant,
that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions
that were under the first covenant, ……
16 For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.
This includes the 10 commandments, as Jesus changed the spirit and nature of the law.
Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity
a change also of the law.
" But I say unto you, that every one that looks on a woman
to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
" but I say unto you, that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the
- the law said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy”
And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness
and circumcision is that of the heart,
in the spirit not in the letter
-the "letter" was the law that commanded fleshly circumcision that the Pharisee Christians sought
to impose on the churches.
Phillipians 3:3 for we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God,
and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh:
And Colossians 2:11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands,
in the putting off of the Body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;
We see it was not a fleshly circumcision they received, but a spiritual circumcision of the heart.
Thus we see again the “change” in the law, and of course, the Feasts of Israel were included.
Now that we have taken an "everlasting covenant" from the Law, and "translated" some of it into the New Covenant, we can look at the feasts.
in the place which He shall choose:
- in the feast of unleavened bread,
- in the feast of weeks, (firstfruits)
- in the feast of tabernacles (booths).
1Kings 11:36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a lamp always
before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
Notably, they required all males to appear three times a year in Jerusalem,
which Jesus did for us as He fulfilled the legal requirement of the OT law.
(it should be obvious all male Christians cannot go to Jerusalem 3 times a year)
Exodus 13 … The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep:
seven days thou shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee…
For Those that did not obey:
(which includes the laws of the feasts) that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him
4. The feast of "unleavened bread is very interesting.
neither shall there be leaven seen with thee, in all thy borders.
for whosoever eats that which is leavened,
that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel,
whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land.
“Leaven” is yeast. Yeast is found in all sorts of bakery and wheat products, crackers, cookies, cakes, breads, pasta, and the list goes on. The law required 100%, “ALL leaven”, out of the house for seven days.
I really wonder how those that maintain we must observe the feasts do so?
- and if they go to Jerusalem three times a year to do so correctly? If we cannot keep them the way God gave them to the Old Testament Jews, are we then free to invent our own variations?
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law
and we read how in John 5:1
After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Since we read where the penalty for breaking them in the law was being a soul "cut off", how can we reconcile the feasts in the New Covenant that were some of the forever’s in the law?
to them that are under the law, as under the law,
not being myself under the law,
that I might gain them that are under the law.
we see there is no righteousness, no obligation, and no law on New Testament saints regarding the lawful observance of the feasts.
Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and seasons, and years…. And went on to say in
21) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, …….
Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink (dietary laws) ,
or in respect of a feast day (from the feast laws)
or a new moon or a sabbath day.......
17) which are A SHADOW of the THINGS TO COME;
....but the body is Christ`s.
WHY, as though living in the world,
do ye subject yourselves to ordinances (from the law).
and severity to the body;
BUT ARE NO VALUE against the indulgence of the flesh.
-“received you the Spirit of God by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?” Gal. 3:5
BUT the feasts were a "shadow" of what is to come.
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of the good to come…
What was to come?
-It was the “better covenant" which had been prophesied.
Hebrews 7:22 By so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant.
we as citizens of NEW Jerusalem that have an “abiding city”, keep them by abiding in the Words of our Covenant, and abiding in Christ. Jerusalem above is our mother.
I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.
Christ Jesus is our “Passover” feast which was another “forever” statute.
1Corinthians 5:7 Purge out the old leaven that ye may be a new lump,
even as ye are unleavened. For our passover (another “forever statute)
also hath been sacrificed, even Christ.
1Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits
The Feast of Firstfruits (Weeks) was the shadow for Christ who is the forever firstfruits who was given to the church on the Day of Pentecost.
The Feast of Weeks, also known as Harvest (Exodus 23:16), Shavuot, the Day of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26), or Pentecost, was a festival celebrating the completion of the harvest season.
2Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved,
we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal,
in the heavens.
by being “doers of the Word”.
Matthew 7:24 Every one therefore that hears these words of mine,
and does them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock:
God did not command us to observe any Jewish calendar dates as the church is a worldwide body and not even keeping the same time zones. There are no dates specified for the church to observe.
Without those instructions, the literal feasts cannot be observed as God gave them under the law.
In another article we will show the 7 day/ 7 year prophetic conclusion foreshadowed by the feasts.