How to Celebrate the Feasts

Lev 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Feast timing and specifications (found in Lev 23) Notes

14th day of the first Hebrew month “at evening” (the evening begins the day, so it is celebrated at the end of the 13th day)

Duration: one evening

Original commands:

* Eat unleavened bread

* Sacrifice and eat the Passover

“As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages.” {DA 652}

We no longer eat a lamb because “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor 5:7) and Christ replaced the Passover supper with the Lord’s Supper. (PP 539; DA 652)

However, the name Passover was still often used for this day, and we’re never told that the date has changed; though we’re supposed to celebrate the Lord’s Supper more than once a year.

Paul kept the Passover a Philippi with his gentile converts:

“At Philippi (a Gentile city) Paul tarried to keep the Passover. Only Luke remained with him, the other members of the company passing on to Troas to await him there. The Philippians were the most loving and truehearted of the apostle’s converts, and during the eight days of the feast he enjoyed peaceful and happy communion with them.” {AA 390}

Note: The name Passover is still used, and it says “the eight days of the feast.” Putting the Passover (Lord’s Supper) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread together would make eight days.

Unleavened Bread

15th-21st days of the first month (immediately following Passover)

Often included in the term “Passover”

Duration: 7 days

First and last days are Sabbaths (no servile work) and holy convocations

* Appear before the Lord

* Eat unleavened bread 7 days

* No leavened bread or leaven in house

Ex 13:6-10 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD… And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

Note: Notice what this feast is for. A sign on thine hand, a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth. That sounds very important! (Revelation 14:9-12 could this feast of the Lord help keep us from receiving the mark of the beast?)

“At Philippi Paul tarried to keep the Passover… during the eight days of the feast he enjoyed peaceful and happy communion with them.” {AA 390}

Note: This is obviously speaking of the Feast of Unleavened Bread also since it says eight days. Also the Bible account uses the term “days of unleavened bread.” Acts 20:6

Pentecost/Feast of Weeks

50 days after the “morning after the Sabbath” of Unleavened Bread (in other words, 50 days after the 16th day of the first month)

Duration: one day

A Sabbath (no servile work) and holy convocation

* Appear before the Lord

* Bring a freewill offering

* Rejoice before the Lord, you and your servants, the Levite, the fatherless, and the widows

“Fifty days from the offering of first fruits, came the Pentecost, called also the feast of harvest and the feast of weeks. As an expression of gratitude for the grain prepared as food, two loaves baked with leaven were presented before God. The Pentecost occupied but one day, which was devoted to religious service.” {PP 540}

The Pentecost was the day on which the early rain was poured out on the disciples in Acts. It can also be a day for us to receive a special blessing and pray for the outpouring of the latter rain.


1st day of the 7th month

Duration: one day

A Sabbath (no servile work) and holy convocation

“A memorial of blowing of trumpets”

Neh 8:2-12 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

“It was the time of the Feast of Trumpets….
“And the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.” They listened, intent and reverent, to the words of the Most High. As the law was explained, they were convinced of their guilt, and they mourned because of their transgressions. But this day was a festival, a day of rejoicing, a holy convocation, a day which the Lord had commanded the people to keep with joy and gladness; and in view of this they were bidden to restrain their grief and to rejoice because of God’s great mercy toward them. “This day is holy unto the Lord your God,” Nehemiah said. “Mourn not, nor weep. . . . Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

“The earlier part of the day was devoted to religious exercises, and the people spent the remainder of the time in gratefully recounting the blessings of God and in enjoying the bounties that He had provided. Portions were also sent to the poor, who had nothing to prepare. There was great rejoicing because the words of the law had been read and understood.” {PK 661-662}

Day of Atonement

10th day of the 7th month

Duration: one day

A very sacred Sabbath (no work of any kind) and holy convocation

Afflict your souls

The Day of Atonement is a yearly cleansing for he soul temple, and should be a serious and solemn day for self-reflection and confession of sin. On this day it is our duty to ascertain, through fasting and prayer, that our sins have all been confessed and that our record book is clean. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be a gloomy day—great peace and joy comes with repentance and reconsecration.

“Would that those who have had great light would, in this the day of atonement, humble their souls and confess and forsake their sins, declaring that from henceforth by the grace of God, they will hold fast to their integrity, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan, and taking the word of God as their rule of conduct, their standard of duty.” {PC 255}

We must also appreciate the fact that we are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement which was symbolized by the yearly service. Jesus our High Priest is right now cleansing the heavenly sanctuary. More than ever we must be afflicting our souls and confessing our sins, because the Day of Atonement will soon be over and probation will be forever closed.


15th-22nd day of the 7th month

Duration: 8 days

First and last days are Sabbaths (no servile work) and holy convocations

8th day is “last great day of the feast”

* Appear before the Lord

* Rejoice in thy feast with your children, servants, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow

* Rejoice before the Lord

* Build booths of tree branches and live in them 7 days

Neh 8:14-18 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month … And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

“At these yearly assemblies the hearts of old and young would be encouraged in the service of God, while the association of the people from the different quarters of the land would strengthen the ties that bound them to God and to one another. Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles–a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God had wrought for their fathers, and His miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt, so should we gratefully call to mind the various ways He has devised for bringing us out from the world, and from the darkness of error, into the precious light of His grace and truth.” {PP 540}

Feast of Tabernacles is a time for rejoicing and thanksgiving for the goodness of God toward us. It also points to the second coming of Christ, when we will dwell together with Him at last.

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