Some Thoughts on the Appointed Times
According to our understanding the calendar, Shavuot (aka the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost), begins at sundown this Saturday evening. So, we wanted to take a moment to go over a few of our thoughts relating to the appointed times of our Creator.
1) It’s important to note that many of the moedim require specific requirements (such as sacrifices or actions to be completed by the Levitical Priesthood) we are unable to observe today. Because of this, we cannot truly keep all of the feast days as biblically instructed, we can only do what we are able to in memorial, or remembrance, of the Scriptures. In fact, it would be sin for us to attempt to keep these moedim as described in Scripture. How could it be a sin? Here is one example; if we were to make the required sacrifice (such as on Yom Kippur) then we would be breaking the Torah because we do not have the Levitical Priesthood (including High Priest) here on earth, nor the altar and Tabernacle (or temple) at which to perform the sacrifice as required in the Torah. For more on this, please see our teaching: Sacrifices in the Backyard and Welcome to the Whole Word. Because we would not be doing it exactly as commanded, we would be sinning, breaking the Torah.
2) Does this mean we should not still strive to observe the appointed times to the best of our abilities and simply ignore them? Of course not, but we need to be aware that when we do observe these times, it is done so out of a desire to be obedient but it is actually simply a memorial, or practice, for when we can once again fully observe them. Also note, there are really very few requirements given for many of the appointed times outside of when to observe them, resting when it is a day of rest, sacrifices to be performed by the Levitical priesthood, staying in a temporary dwelling, or sounding a shofar. This is not an all-inclusive list, but does cover a majority of the requirements given. In fact, we are really given very little on the “how-to” observe the feasts outside of the requirements given.
3) Because there is little given in way of instruction, there are myriads of different man-made traditions surrounding these times. We not endorse such traditions as being something that must be followed, but nor do we teach against them as long as they do not contradict Scripture or detract from the Torah. One example of a tradition that we see no problem with is the observance of Hanukkah. While Yeshua often railed against the Pharisees and their traditions, it was not because having traditions was bad. The problem with the Pharisees traditions were that they were being taught as either being from the Creator or even were practiced in preference to those of the Creator’s Torah, thus making the Word of God null and void. Traditions are not bad in and of themselves unless they are contradicting or in opposition to the Word of God; they should never be considered Torah, they are simply man-made behaviors or actions.
We hope this helps to bring some insight into our thoughts on following the appointed times of the Creator. For more specific information relating to Shavuot, please see the information below.
Feast of Weeks (Shavuot or Pentecost)
Verses: Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26-31
Related Teachings: The Sabbath Day, Time: Our Creator’s Calendar – How to Calculate First Fruits