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Time is a part of life. Yahweh is eternal. We are finite. Yahweh created time for us to measure our existence and what we do during our existence.
We measure our time using a calendar. Days of the week, months of the year, and years of our lives.
In the United States and most of the world today, we use the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar was instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.
The calendar is based entirely on the sun. It has nothing to do with the moon. It has months of uneven numbers divided into the year. Most months have 30 or 31 days, and February has 28 or 29 days. The year is 365.2425 days long.
The calendar has 12 months. They go from January to December.
The calendar gets its origins from an early Roman calendar that used to have ten months. So, some of the names are based on that ten-month calendar.
The Gregorian calendar is a pagan calendar. Many of the names of the months are named after false gods of Roman and Greek mythology.
January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings.
February is named for Februa, the feast of purification, which was held on Februa 15th.
March is named after Martius, the god of war. As the Oxford English Dictionary notes, ‘In ancient Rome several festivals of Mars took place in March, presumably in preparation for the campaigning season, since Mars was a god of war.’
March is the time of spring and the Scriptures do say that, “In the beginning or turn of the year [or spring] when kings went to war (2 Samuel 11:1).” As we’ll find out soon, Yahweh willing, Yahweh’s year begins right around springtime.
April comes from the Latin word Aprillis. The name may come from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.
May comes from the Greek Maia, a goddess of nurturing and growth.
June comes from the Roman goddess Juno, the queen of the gods, a goddess of marriage and childbirth.
July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 BC after his death. July was the month of his birth. It used to be called quintilis, which means fifth. It used to be the fifth month in the early Roman calendar.
August was named after Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, in 8 BC. It used to be called sextilis, which means sixth. It used to be the sixth month in the early Roman calendar.
September is based on the Latin word septem, which means ‘seven’. It used to be the seventh month in the early Roman calendar.
October is based on the Latin word octo, which means ‘eight’. It used to be the eight month in the early Roman calendar.
November is based on the Latin word novem, which means ‘nine’. It used to the ninth month in the early Roman calendar.
December is based on the Latin word decem, which means ‘ten’. It used to the tenth month in the early Roman calendar.
What about the days? The seven-day week is based primarily on Scripture, and it was adopted by many peoples.
But the names of the week from Sunday to Saturday are based primarily on English and Germanic, commonly known as Anglo-Saxon, mythology.
Mythology refers to false gods.
Sunday comes from sunnandaeg. This is old English. It means the day of the sun. Many people regarded the sun, moon, and planets and stars to be gods.
Monday comes from mon(an)daeg, the day of the moon.
Tuesday comes from tiwesday. Tiu was the English/Germanic god of war, like Mars was the Roman god of war. This god is identified with Norse god of war Tyr. Norse refers to medieval Norway and Scandinavia.
Wednesday comes from wodnesdaeg, which means “Woden’s day”. Woden is identified with the Norse god Odin, the All-Father of the gods.
Thursday comes from thursdaeg, which means “Thor’s day”. Thor is the Norse god of thunder. They have been many movies made recently featuring this false god.
Friday comes from frigedaeg, which means “Frigg’s day”. Frigg is the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin.
Finally, Saturday comes from soeter(nes)daeg, which means “Saturn’s day”. Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture.
On this calendar, many people also observe several holidays based on pagan festivals like Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. Research the history of these festivals and you’ll learn why you shouldn’t participate in them.
That is man’s calendar.
All those names of gods and names of false gods. Those aren’t real gods. Behind each false god is a demon who desires to cause people to stray from Yahweh and His word.
But Yahweh also has a calendar. Yahweh is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He is the only true God. There is none else.
John 17:3 [Yahshua’s prayer] And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God [Elohim], and Yahshua Messiah whom You have sent.
James tells us that our religion is based on worshiping Yahweh, obeying Him, and keeping yourself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before our Elohim and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Then in Deuteronomy, Yahweh tells us to not worship Him like the pagan do.
Deuteronomy 12:29 – 32 “When the Yahweh your Elohim cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship Yahweh your Elohim in that way, for every abominable thing that Yahweh hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.
So, many of the days and months are based on false gods.
So, am I saying that we stop saying Monday and Thursday? No, this is just for your information.
We know that when Israel came out of Babylon, they used Babylonian month names, some or all of which were based on false gods. There is nothing wrong with that.
For example, in Nehemiah 2:1 and Esther 3:7, the month name Nisan, which is Babylonian, is used.
We live in a pagan society and there’s nothing wrong with using pagan god names for days and months.
But, we must know that we who are born again have been adopted into Yahweh’s Kingdom and Yahweh’s Kingdom uses a whole different kind of calendar.
We must know this calendar because it speaks of Yahweh and His great salvation.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (KJV);
Peculiar means “strange”, “not of this world”. Indeed, we are in the world but not of the world. That’s why we shouldn’t look and behave like the world.
We are a separate people with a calendar based on Yahweh. So, let’s look at Yahweh’s calendar and His feasts. We’ll only look at the first feasts, the spring feasts.
Then, Yahweh willing, we’ll look at the others later.
Yahweh is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Yahweh is eternal. He was never created. He is self-existent. He has no beginning or end.
We, human beings, were created by Yahweh. We have a beginning and a physical end. We measure our beginnings and endings using time.
Out of all the peoples of this earth, Yahweh has called some. Those who have believed in Yahweh and chosen to obey His commandments are Yahweh’s chosen ones.
Yahweh has a people. Yahweh’s people must follow Yahweh’s calendar.
Yahweh created the sun, moon, and stars to tell time. As our knowledge about the sun, moon, and stars has increased, so has our ability to keep time accurately.
Genesis 1:14-17 And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons [appointed/feast days], and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And Elohim made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.
So, at creation Yahweh had already made the sun and moon for seasons. That word “mo’edim” really means “appointed times” and not seasons. We follow the sun and moon primarily in order to keep Yahweh’s calendar. On Yahweh’s calendar are His appointed days.
These appointed days and Yahweh’s feast days.
Yahweh created everything in six literal days and rested on the seventh. So, there are seven days in the week.
When it comes to time, the sun was created to tell us when the year begins and ends. The moon was created to tell us when the months begin and end.
In man’s calendar, the Gregorian calendar, the moon doesn’t matter. Only the sun matters. All days are simply divisions of the time it takes the earth to go around the sun.
But, in Yahweh’s calendar, the moon matters. The sun controls the years and the moon controls the months.
Because the years are based on the sun and the months are based on the moon, two different planetary objects which are unrelated, you can’t divide the months into the years.
The Gregorian calendar is quite accurate. It misses only 1 day every 3,236 years. Because the calendar is based only on the sun, February 5th, 2010 for example will be identical to February 5th, 2017. The sun will set at the same time for both days. If they are different, it is by a tiny irrelevant amount.
But Yahweh’s calendar uses both the sun and the moon. So, the 5th day of the second month last year will almost not be the same day as next year.
If we don’t understand this, we’ll get into problems and have confusion of time. Confusion of time leads to confusion of feast dates and other things.
But, I pray that we humble ourselves and continue learning about how to keep Yahweh’s calendar as He says.
So, let’s talk about the feast days. You may find this teaching both basic and complex depending on your knowledge of the feast days.
The goal of this sermon is to prepare us for the feasts that are coming soon.
We’ll also talk about how the feasts preach about Yahshua and the great plan of salvation. We’ll also talk about the harvests involved with the feasts.
Yahweh speaks about how harvests are related to salvation in both the old and new testament Scriptures. So, harvests are important.
Now, I’m also just learning a lot of this. So, I may get it wrong. So, you could correct me if I’m wrong. It’s also OK if you don’t agree with this and can prove your disagreement with Scripture.
You can find the instructions for keeping all the feast days in Leviticus 23. Then you can search the Scriptures for more detailed or additional instructions for each feast.
First Feast: Sabbath Day
OK, so the first feast is the weekly Sabbath. You’ll find that in Leviticus 23.
Leviticus 23:1-3 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of Yahweh that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are My appointed feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to Yahweh in all your dwelling places.
These are Yahweh’s feasts, which are kept by Yahweh’s people. They are not Jewish feasts, or Hebrew feasts, or ancient feasts. They are Yahweh’s feast days kept by Yahweh’s people.
These feast are some of the things that make Yahweh’s people peculiar.
The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week. “Seven” in Scripture denotes completeness or perfection.
In Revelation 16 we read about the seven bowls of wrath, Naaman the Syrian had to wash in the Jordan seven times for his healing to be complete (2 Kings 5), and Joshua and Israelite army marched seven times around Jericho before Jericho fell. There are many other examples of seven denoting completeness or perfection or fulfilment.
There are seven days in the week which denote the completion of man’s life. If lived out properly, the seven days of man’s life should end in a Sabbath rest with Yahweh.
Hebrews 9:4 tells us There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of Elohim.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord [Yahshua] from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors [Sabbath], for their deeds follow them!”
Every week is a rehearsal of our lives. Each week is a reminder of starting our lives in Yahweh and ending them in Yahweh.
Yahshua rose again on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9, John 20:1). That was not a coincidence. We begin our lives in Yahshua. We are born again.
Then we live each day for Yahshua. Each part of our lives should be given to Yahshua. Then we end the week, we end our lives, in a Sabbath rest in Yahweh.
Later, Yah willing, we’ll learn that all the feast days end in the eighth day. The eternal Sabbath rest of Yahweh. That’s the one mentioned in Hebrews and Revelation.
That’s the weekly Sabbath. It occurs every week.
The following feasts occur once a year.
Beginning of the Year
Yahweh’s year begins around the spring equinox. Yahweh’s chosen place of rest on the physical earth is Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 6:6, 2 Chronicles 33:4). Jerusalem is located in the northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere is the half-part of the earth north of the equator.
Because Pittsburgh is also located in the northern hemisphere, it shouldn’t be too difficult to relate to the seasons in this sermon.
While the seasons in Jerusalem aren’t exactly like Pittsburgh, we shouldn’t have too hard of a time relating to the seasons.
The northern hemisphere is like our world.
The sun sets the beginning of the year.
There is no life without the sun. If the sun stopped shining, life on earth would slowly start to cease. The earth would become extremely cold, no food would grow, and all life would stop. So, the sun is necessary for life on earth.
The heavens declare the glory of Yahweh so even the creation shows Yahweh’s plan of salvation.
Yahweh’s year starts around the time of the vernal or spring equinox that is March 20th on the Gregorian calendar. Yahweh’s year starts around springtime in the northern hemisphere.
Also, Yahweh’s year corresponds to the ancient agricultural practices of Israel. Yahweh’s feasts coincide with some of the harvest times in Israel. They all point to Yahweh’s great plan of salvation.
So, before spring, what is happening? What season is before spring?
The season before spring is winter. What is winter known for?
Winter is known for cold or cool temperatures. Very few things grow during winter. If things are growing, they’re usually below ground. In general, winter is known as a dark, cold, lifeless time.
Especially when compared to the summer, when bees are buzzing, fruit trees are blooming, and there’s a lot going on, winter is dead, lifeless, and cold.
Another way to explain winter is no harvest, particularly in December to February. Harvest has to do with salvation.
Winter is cold because during that time, the earth in the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. This means there are less rays of the sun reaching the earth.
Also, because the sun starts to tilt away from the earth after the autumnal equinox, which is around September 20th, the weather gets colder and colder as we approach the beginning of winter, December 21st.
But after December 21st, when the earth is tilted farthest away from the sun in the northern hemisphere, the earth starts to tilt towards the sun after December 21st. The days start to get longer.
Now, one may think because the days are getting longer, then the earth should start to get warmer, so then January and February should be warmer than December or November. But, that’s not the case.
January is colder and February proves to be the coldest month, at where we live, of all the months of the year.
The reason for that is because even though the days are getting longer, the northern hemisphere has been tilted away from the sun for so long that the ground is still cold and requires a lot more heat from the sun to warm it up.
The days keep getting longer in February. The sun, as it seems from the earth, is moving north from the southern hemisphere.
In general, what does the sun do to the earth? The sun brings light to the earth. The sun brings light to the world.
Who is the Light of the world? Yahshua is the light of the world.
John 8:12 Again Yahshua spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
So, the sun moves north and around March 20th, the sun crosses the equator and enters the northern hemisphere.
The light has come into our world and has brought with it life.
It’s in spring that life starts with Yahweh. The sun has come into the northern hemisphere, into our world, and things get warmer, plants start to sprout, birds are chirping in the air, and green starts to be prominent all over.
Song of Solomon 2:10 – 13 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
Solomon is speaking to His beloved and telling her to come with him and enjoy the beauty of spring. The winter is gone, the flowers appear, the fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom.
There is life now. The sun coming north has brought with it light and life.
We go from dead brown to lively green. This process in Hebrew is known as abib. The term “abib” is also used to describe the young fresh, green ears of grain particularly barley, which starts to ripen around this time.
These green ears of barley are also known as abib. We don’t, as a church, use them to determine the beginning of the year, they just tell us that the year has already begun.
We don’t use the ripening of barley to determine the year because barley is not available everywhere in the world. Besides, in the southern hemisphere they are going into autumn while the northern hemisphere is going into spring so I don’t think the barley will be ripening there.
We, as a church, use the sun by looking at the equinox. The equinox is everywhere on earth and is the same everywhere. We use the sun because Yahweh said the sun is to be involved in determining years (Genesis 1:14 – 17).
There are, however, some saints who set the year using abib. They have people who go to Israel and look for the ripening of this barley. This year, they said the barley will be green, young and fresh two weeks from March 7th.
Two weeks from March 7th is March 21st, which is right around the equinox of March 20th.
Last year, another group online, I don’t know them, stated that the barley was found to be abib, that is green, young, and fresh, on March 16th, 2018. That is also around the equinox time of March 20th, 2018.
The wild barley ripens around the time of the equinox because plants need the suns light to make food and grow. This process is known as photosynthesis. It requires a good amount of light.
The Scripture tells us that we must begin to count our months from the first new moon of the year. That is after the year has been declared by the sun, the first new moon is the beginning of months.
Yahweh’s ways are not like the ways of man. The beginning of the year is not necessarily the beginning of months. The year starts with March 20th, every spring. The months begin with the first new moon after spring. If you want, you could say, there is a solar year and a lunar year. Though, I’m not a big fan of that because lunar years are inconsistent. Sometimes 12 months, sometimes 13 months.
But the sun’s years are consistent. The sun is the same. Yahweh is the same. In Him there is no variableness.
We start counting months from the first new moon of the year.
Exodus 12:1,2 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2“This [here] new moon shall be for you the beginning of new moons. It shall be the first new moon of the year for you.
Yahweh’s months begin with the new moon phase. The new moon is the first crescent of light you can see with the naked eye. In the northern hemisphere, the crescent will be on the right side of the moon.
So, after the year is set by the sun, we look for the first new moon.
Passover and Unleavened Bread
So, in 2019, Yahweh’s year begins around equinox, which is March 20th, 2019. That’s the beginning of the year.
The first new moon is the beginning of the months, not the beginning of the year. The beginning of months is the exact wording in the Hebrew.
These months are important for us to know when to keep the feasts of Yahweh. These are days that Yahweh has already appointed, so we don’t make our own.
We just follow what He has already told us.
The first new moon after March 20th, 2019 will be on Sunday, April 7th, 2019. To Yahweh, and Yahweh’s people that is the first day of counting the months. I think we really should make a note of that as we should be keeping the new moons anyway.
Because this new moon is the first new moon after the greening or ripening of barley, particularly barley I believe, the month set by this new moon is also known as Abib.
On the 14th day, as the sun is setting going into the 15th day is Yahweh’s Passover. Yahweh’s days go from evening to evening.
The Passover marks the beginning of Yahweh’s people, Israel. A lamb or goat that was one year old was slain, its blood placed on the posts and lintel of the main door to the house.
Yahweh passed through all the land of Egypt and killed the firstborns of every man and beast. But when Yahweh saw the blood on the door, He passed over that house. In English, we call that the Passover. In Hebrew, it is Pesach.
You can find this in Exodus chapter 12.
This was the beginning of Israel as a nation.
That lamb was a precursor of Yahshua, the innocent lamb of Elohim who was slain. Yahshua is the Passover sacrifice. The Passover is the entry way into life with Yahweh. The Passover is the door to Yahweh.
Without Passover, there is no life with Yahweh. Without Yahshua, there is no life with Yahweh. Yahshua said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
You must go through Yahshua. You must have Yahshua’s blood on you, before you can have a relationship with Yahweh or see Him.
The 15th day of the first month, which will be April 21st, 2019, this year, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Passover sacrifice was eaten on the first day of Unleavened Bread.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread we will have a holy convocation. That’s what the Scripture says. Yahweh willing, we will be gathered here, and we will worship Yahweh our Elohim.
Leviticus 23:5,6 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is Yahweh’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread Yahweh; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
We will bring sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, blessing Yahweh for sending us Yahshua our Passover.
We will also humble ourselves before Yahweh and before one another by washing each other’s feet. Be prepared for someone to wash your feet. That means go and walk around barefooted then come to the feast. I’m just kidding!
But, be prepared to have your feet washed and to wash your brother’s or sister’s feet. That’s what Yahshua did. The women will wash the women’s feet and the men will wash the men’s feet. We also pray for one another.
We do this to follow Yahshua’s example.
John 13:12 – 17 [Before Passover meal] When He [Yahshua] had washed their [disciples’] feet and put on His outer garments and resumed His place, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
In the general sense, we ought to humble ourselves before one another and serve one another.
Passover is the sacrifice. The lamb or goat killed. Some years we observe the Passover meal. Other years we don’t. I think it’s every other year. But we do observe Yahshua our Passover every year.
Passover is the door to the feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days long. During the seven days we are to eat Unleavened Bread. The first day of this feast is a Sabbath, and the last day is a Sabbath.
In 2019, the first day of Unleavened Bread will be observed on Sunday, April 21st. It starts the evening of the previous day.
April 21st is a Sunday. April 20th is a Saturday, the weekly Sabbath. That means we’re going to have two Sabbaths back-to-back. There’s no buying or selling or working on both days. Be prepared for that. Take those days off.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days long. Before the feast starts, remove leaven from your homes. It’s wise to start a week or two before the feast starts. Leaven in the Scriptures is a symbol of sin. It’s not a sin to eat leaven. Leaven is just a symbol of sin.
Leaven is anything that is used in baking to cause dough to rise. Common leavening agents include yeast, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, baking powder, and sourdough starter.
Before Yahweh passed over Egypt, killed the firstborn, and set Israel free, He commanded them to make unleavened bread. Unleavened bread is bread without yeast or any leavening agent.
So, the bread is flat and hard. It’s not fluffy.
This was bread they were to eat for seven days.
We are to do the same. We eat unleavened bread for seven days. From April 21st, starting from the previous evening, to April 27th at evening.
Unleavened Bread in Hebrew is called Matza. You can find it at Walmart, Giant Eagle, I think, and major grocery stores.
Because leaven is a symbol of sin, and because seven is a symbol of completeness, having no leaven in your house and eating no leaven symbolizes you having no sin in your life and not taking part in any sinful activities for the entirety of your life.
Things that have yeast or any other leavening agents must be removed from your house. If you live with other people who don’t observe Passover and Unleavened Bread, you might not be able to do that.
I don’t think it was hard back in Israel’s time to avoid leaven. Today, because so much of our food is processed it can be challenging.
You need to read labels. Many foods that you eat like chips, cookies, some crackers have yeast in them. Sometimes, they’ll just say leavening agents.
Some foods you would never think had leaven in them have leaven. For example, Walmart’s water, their Great Value brand, has sodium bicarbonate, commonly called Baking Soda, in it. That’s a leavening agent. During Unleavened Bread, you can’t drink this water.
Being careful by reading labels and watching carefully what you eat is a symbol of being careful with all you do to avoid sin. We do this for seven days. Seven symbolizes completeness, so this tells us that we should be careful with what we do, being careful to avoid sin, all the days of our lives.
Going through Unleavened Bread really teaches you about keeping this commandment:
Deuteronomy 12:28 “Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of Yahweh your Elohim.
Those who have children, prepare your children and tell them why you’re doing this. That is also commanded in Scripture in Deuteronomy 6 and 11. Tell them that when Israel came out of Egypt, there were commanded to not eat anything leavened for seven days.
Yahshua ate His Passover meal with the disciples, the eleven disciples I believe, on the first day of Unleavened Bread. It was in the evening. Yahweh’s days start in the evening. They sang a hymn and they went to the Mount of Olives, then to the Garden of Gethsemana.
Later that day, Yahshua would be beaten, humiliated, and crucified and die as the lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world.
He was buried in a tomb.
After three days, according to the Hebrew way of counting time, on the first day of the week, Yahshua rose from the dead with a spiritual body. He is the first person ever to have done that. He rose himself up from the dead. Yes, He was really dead! Not fainted, or passed out, or dazed, dead! Lifeless! No heartbeat, no pulse. You could stab him with a spear into the heart, and he wouldn’t feel a thing. He was dead.
The First Fruits
On the first day of the week, which was three days after He was killed, He rose from the dead! Never to die again! He was the first person ever to die and rise to life again with a spiritual body and never to die again.
The first day of the week is known as Sunday to most of us.
You remember those abibs we talked about? Those sheaves of barley with the green ears on them?
They are known as the first fruits of the spring harvest. They are the first crops of barley to start showing life. They are the ones to ripen first. They are the first of the harvest.
In Israel, when spring rolls around, before there is a big harvest of barley or wheat, wheat comes later, you get those few sheaves of barley that ripen first.
The barley is still green at this time. You are to take one of those sheaves of barley and give it to the priest who would wave it on a particular day. But, before we talk about this, let’s look at what was happening in Israel.
The sun comes north and brings light and warmth with it. This light and warmth causes plants to start to ripen and becoming green. Barley becomes green.
This happens around March 20th, the time of the equinox.
Barley is a grain crop that was used in making bread primarily. Today, I believe, barley is used primarily for feeding farm animals and in the brewing industries. People eat wheat bread mostly today. But, in Israel’s time, barley was used to make bread.
When the barley is green, it’s not ready for harvest yet. It’s a young crop. But, you are to take one of the sheaves of the young barley crop. During the feast of Unleavened Bread, Yahweh said that on a particular day, you must present that sheaf of barley to the priest, who would wave it before Yahweh.
A sheaf is a bundle of harvested crop.
Now, remember, the feast of Unleavened Bread requires that you eat unleavened bread for the seven days of the feast. This bread comes from barley.
To make bread from barley, you must first harvest the crop. So, the barley goes from being green to being a yellow straw color. This only takes a few weeks.
The barley is then threshed. That means the grain is removed from the sheaf or stalk. The grains are then dried. You place them on a sheet and let the sun dry them. This should take 2 to 3 days. Then the grains are pounded, ground up into flour.
That flour is then mixed with water, and maybe some salt, to make unleavened bread. You must have this bread by the time of the feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was one of the pilgrimage feasts. Your whole family or a representative of your family, males mostly, would make the journey to Jerusalem to keep this feast.
They would probably take a sheaf or sheaves (if one got lost or destroyed, just my thinking) of barley of first fruits, some barley grain, and probably some unleavened bread too.
They would arrive in Jerusalem and keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
That means that the Feast of Unleavened Bread must come either during the harvest of barley or after the harvest of barley. You need the bread, which is made from harvested and dried barley, to make the unleavened bread.
Once, the Feast of Unleavened Bread starts, you are to eat the unleavened bread for seven days.
During those seven days, you are going to have a weekly Sabbath. We commonly call it Saturday. The day after that day, which is commonly called Sunday, the first day, is known as the day of first fruits.
On this day, before you eat any more of your unleavened bread, or any of the grains you brought with you when you came to Jerusalem (you roast the grains), you would bring that sheaf of first fruits of your barley harvest and give it to the priest, who would wave it before Yahweh.
On this day only, after the sheaf is waved before Yahweh, you can continue to eat your unleavened bread. Just on this day, before you eat any more of your bread, you must have the priest wave the sheaf before Yahweh.
Leviticus 23:9 – 14 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to Yahweh. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to Yahweh with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your Elohim: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
The NLT translation of verse 14: Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your Elohim. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.
In the New Covenant, we offer spiritual offerings. So, we don’t bring physical barley and physical food. Because the Scriptures don’t tell us to gather on this day, we don’t have any church services on this day.
The Scriptures tell us that Yahshua is the first fruits from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep [died].
When Yahshua rose from the dead other saints also rose from the dead on the same day.
Matthew 27:52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after His [Yahshua’s] resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
So, other people were raised from dead after Yahshua rose from the dead. But, only Yahshua, rose up from the dead with a spiritual body never to die again. Yahshua is the first fruits.
When He rose again, He presented Himself before Yahweh before Mary Magdalene or anyone could touch Him. I hope we are understanding this.
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my Elohim, and your Elohim.
Observe the New Moon of Abib
Now I have a new commandment for us to keep. I think it’s something we’ve been missing. It’s always been there but I think we’ve been missing it because we are still learning about keeping Yahweh’s feast days.
Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month [new moon] of Abib and keep the Passover to Yahweh your Elohim, for in the month of Abib Yahweh your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night.”
That word “observe” in Hebrew denotes guarding an object or keeping watch over something. A month is time. Time is immaterial. You can’t see time. You can’t guard or keep watch over it.
But, you can watch for or guard the new moon. So, I believe the best translation is new moon. Observe the new moon of Abib.
That is the new moon after equinox, the time of abib, the greening of the barley. Yahweh tells us to watch for this new moon. This would be the beginning of months.
This new moon is very important because it was on this very day that Yahweh told Moses about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You can find this in Exodus 12.
Starting from this day, the people had it in their mind, and started preparing for the feast and the journey. They probably started making their bread, and gathering supplies for the journey to the promised land after Passover.
Remember, they would be traveling for many days, so preparation was important.
For us, this day will be Saturday, April 6th, 2019 at 7:50pm. The sun will set at 7:50pm. There will be a new moon then.
Observing this day will really put us into a mindset of Unleavened Bread and it is on this day that we could start removing or preparing to remove leaven from our homes.
This gives you two weeks to remove leaven from your house. Two weeks to start buying Matza and eating those last loaves of leavened bread, cookies, and chips.
Two weeks to clean out the toaster, and those little breadcrumbs. Those little hidden sins that you don’t acknowledge. Start sweeping your house and remove the sins in the corners, those dark places that are hard to get to.
Because this will be on a Saturday right after the Sabbath is over, I think we should stay over and worship Yahweh. We are supposed to observe new moons anyway.
I leave you with this:
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old bread, leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and of truth.
Yahweh bless you all!