The Yearly Sabbaths


IAUA God's Sacred Calendar
IAUA End Time Ministry
Preparing for the End of Time
(Book Contents) Home

Chapter Contents

The most complete description of the observance of the weekly and yearly Sabbaths is in Leviticus 23. The weekly Sabbath is described first, then the yearly Sabbaths. The same words describe the observance of the weekly Sabbath and the yearly Sabbaths. There are two signs, using the identical words indicating holy convocation and no work, which identify all Sabbath observance.

The correct practice for all Sabbaths is a day of rest from daily work. The fourth commandment clearly indicates the concept of no work on the weekly Sabbath.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:8-10

Only in the statutes do you find a holy convocation is also a required observance.

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:3

It is unfortunate the church avoids the statutes, which are God's detailed guidance for our lives. The Church teaches the importance of church attendance and fellowship on the weekly Sabbath. The church avoids the direct command of God in this verse because of its association with the Law of Moses and the yearly Sabbaths. Instead of quoting God directly, the church relies on a weaker encouragement of the Apostle Paul.

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25

Excuses

There are many excuses given for ignoring God's commands and direction for our lives. The pretense of love for God does not extend to a love of all His truth. Delusion is the result!

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
II Thessalonians 2:10

One of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is they are part of the "Law of Moses". The leadership of the church currently teaches the "Law of Moses" is nailed to the cross. The Saviour nails to the cross the charges of sin against us by Satan.

What does God say about the "Law of Moses"?

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Malachi 4:4
The Fourth Commandment uses same word "Remember". Do you think it is a coincidence? Every scriptural excuse used to justify neglecting the yearly Sabbaths is the same excuse used by Sunday-keepers against the weekly Sabbath.

Another of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is they had animal sacrifices associated with them. The offering of animal sacrifices is the only thing, which ceased at the cross. The weekly Sabbath had animal sacrifices associated with it. We still keep the Sabbath but remove the practice of animal sacrifices.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Daniel 9:27

Another excuse for not observing the yearly Sabbaths, we do not know how to observe them. There is no mystery! All Sabbath observance is primarily the same, by holy convocation and no work. The Fourth Commandment tells us what not to do on Sabbath. The statutes tell us a holy convocation is expected.

Another of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is sometimes it says no work and sometimes it says no servile work.

Do you have some other excuse to ignore the Law of God?

Sabbath Observance Law

Listen to the word of God.
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Leviticus 23:1-2
Leviticus 23 is the most complete summary of the appointed times of God. It has a specific introduction and a specific conclusion. God left no room for confusion to those who choose to follow His word without excuses.
44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
Leviticus 23:44
It is important to note the word, which is translated feasts, is the Hebrew word H4150 "moed" which was noted in the introductory chapter to have a very special meaning. I believe a better translation from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary is "appointed time".
  1. appointed place, appointed time, meeting
    1. appointed time
      1. appointed time (general)
      2. sacred season, set feast, appointed season
    2. appointed meeting
    3. appointed place
    4. appointed sign or signal
    5. tent of meeting
Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #04150
Some refer to these appointed times of God as "Jewish Feasts". God refers to them as the "appointed times of IAUA" using His own name. He even repeats a very possessive "these are my appointed times".

In these quotations the identical words indicating holy convocation and no work are underlined. I cross out the references to the animal sacrificial system, completed by the Saviour and no longer practiced.

These are the words of God recorded by Moses. This is what identifies a Sabbath, a day of rest with God.

These are the weekly and yearly events on God's Sacred Calendar. The equivalent Gregorian Calendar date for the year 2008 is noted for the yearly Sabbaths. The Gregorian calendar date changes every year. The date on the Sacred Calendar does not change. I am using numbers for the months of the Sacred Calendar in keeping with the Biblical example.

Weekly Sabbath

First, God proclaims his weekly appointed time, to meet with His children.

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:3

The weekly Sabbath is a memorial of God's creation of the world. The sacred yearly Sabbaths are memorials of great events in God's Sacred Calendar and prophetic dates for fulfillment of past and future signs. I believe this will be especially true at the end of time. I anticipate each of the yearly Sabbaths may mark a special event at the Second Coming of the Messiah.

4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Leviticus 23:4
After proclaiming the weekly appointed time, God continues with the yearly appointed times. Some of these special times are not observed as Sabbaths.

01-14 Passover (Not a Sabbath)

Jewish Calendar: Erev Pesach
Gregorian Calendar: March 22, 2008

5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.
Leviticus 23:5
14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Exodus 12:14
While the Day of Passover Eve is not a yearly Sabbath, it is a day of memorial remembrance and is the ideal time for a rehearsal of the Last Supper. It is important to note, the Jewish name literally means Passover Eve. The former animal sacrifices and the crucifixion occurred in the evening just before the yearly Sabbath was to begin. I usually use the term Unleavened Bread instead of Passover because there is confusion about the difference between Passover Day, which is the 15th of the month and Passover Eve, which is the 14th of the month.

01-15 First Unleavened Bread Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Pesach I
Gregorian Calendar: March 23, 2008

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:6-7
In addition to the usual command to observe a holy convocation and no work on the yearly Sabbath, the entire week is to be a time of eating bread made without yeast. This is often extended to include most of the day of Passover Eve.
18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Exodus 12:18

01-16 Wave Sheaf (Not a Sabbath)

Jewish Calendar: Pesach II
Gregorian Calendar: March 24, 2008

9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Leviticus 23:9-11
Wave Sheaf is not a yearly Sabbath but it is identified as one of the appointed times and is a day of special memorial of the resurrection of the Saviour.

01-21 Second Unleavened Bread Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Pesach VII
Gregorian Calendar: March 29, 2008

8 in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:8

03-06 Pentecost Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Shavu'ot
Gregorian Calendar: May 12, 2008

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days;
Leviticus 23:15-16
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Leviticus 23:21
The fifty-day count of Pentecost crosses two ends of the month. The day of the month for Pentecost depends on the number of days in those months. In God's Sacred Calendar the number of days in a month is not fixed as it is in the popular Jewish calendar, which is based on a fixed formula.

While the usual monthly progression is an alternation of 29 days and 30 days, this is not always the case. When the moon is moving faster at perigee there can be three months in a row with 29 days. When the moon is moving slower at apogee there can be two months in a row with 30 days. For this reason, Pentecost usually falls on the sixth day of the third month but it can fall on the fifth day.

07-01 Trumpets Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Rosh Hashanah
Gregorian Calendar: September 1, 2008

24 In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein:
Leviticus 23:24-25

07-10 Atonement Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Yom Kippur
Gregorian Calendar: September 10, 2008

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
Leviticus 23:27-28
The additional observance of the command to "afflict your soul" is understood to mean a time of fasting, soul-searching, and repentance.

07-15 Tabernacles Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Sukkot
Gregorian Calendar: September 15, 2008

34 The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:34-35

07-22 Last Day Sabbath

Jewish Calendar: Shemini Atzeret
Gregorian Calendar: September 22, 2008

36 On the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:36

Sabbaths and Feasts

There is a poorly understood difference between the "seven feasts" and the seven yearly Sabbaths. The confusion between the two is compounded by the fact they overlap in meaning, observance, and time. There is a difference between them, which I will explain. If you are a serious student of the Bible, this may seem obvious to you.

The seven feasts are usually listed as:

  1. Passover
  2. Unleavened Bread
  3. Wave Sheaf
  4. Pentecost
  5. Trumpets
  6. Atonement
  7. Tabernacles

The seven yearly Sabbaths are:

  1. First Unleavened Bread
  2. Second Unleavened Bread
  3. Pentecost
  4. Trumpets
  5. Atonement
  6. Tabernacles
  7. Last Day

The unique characteristic of the yearly Sabbaths is God commands these are days of holy convocation and no work. This is why I find it clearer to refer to them as yearly Sabbaths rather than feasts. The yearly Sabbaths are primarily observed in the same fashion as the weekly Sabbath. On the weekly Sabbath, we specifically remember the creation of which it is a memorial. On the yearly Sabbaths, we remember the past events for which they are memorials and the future events to which they point.

There are additional observances of the feasts beyond remembering the past events for which they are memorials and the future events to which they point. Unleavened Bread is observed by abstaining specifically from bread made with yeast and in general anything, which is a product of fermentation. Trumpets Sabbath is a time of rejoicing, literally "shouting" or the blowing of trumpets. Atonement is a time of fasting and soul searching. Tabernacles Sabbath was celebrated as a week of living in a temporary booth.

As I mentioned previously, words have specific associations and need to be chosen carefully for maximum understanding. This is complicated by the fact different people have different associations and understanding. In general, I focus on what I believe will be the basic associations and understandings of those who have studied the Three Angel's Messages.

The term "feast-keeper" is likely to be associated with observances based on Jewish tradition. The correct motivation is to follow God's law. While much of Jewish tradition is based on God's law, there is much, which is not. Since Adventists have a clear understanding of the seventh-day weekly Sabbath, it is more readily understood to refer to observing the "yearly Sabbaths". This is a completely accurate description, which is not misleading in any way.

Yearly Sabbath Defined

I use the term "yearly Sabbath" because not only are they observed the same as the weekly Sabbath but also most of the yearly Sabbaths are specifically described with the exact word Sabbath. These quotes highlight the Hebrew words for Sabbath from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary.

  1. Sabbath
    1. sabbath
    2. day of atonement
    3. sabbath year
    4. week
    5. produce (in sabbath year)
    Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #07676
This Hebrew word is translated Sabbath or is translated as “rest” when used as a superlative of the Sabbath. A deeper study of this word may find some special significance to its use.
  1. Sabbath observance, sabbatism
    1. of weekly sabbath
    2. day of atonement
    3. sabbatical year
    4. of Feast of Trumpets
    5. of the 1st and last days of the Feast of Tabernacles
    Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #07677

Weekly

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath [7676] of rest [7677], an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath [7676] of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:3

Unleavened Bread

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath [7677] the priest shall wave it.
Leviticus 23:11

Trumpets

24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath [7677], a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Leviticus 23:24

Atonement

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath [7676] of rest [7677], and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath [7676].
Leviticus 23:32

Tabernacles/Last Day

39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath [7677], and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath [7677].
Leviticus 23:39

There are a couple of observances (Passover Eve, Wave Sheaf) associated more with feast keeping than with the yearly Sabbaths. These are easier to add to an explanation of beliefs than to try to remove assumptions likely to be incorrect. The most dangerous and damaging of the erroneous assumptions is "feast-keepers" are interested in the restoration of the animal sacrifices or the importance of rebuilding the earthly Jerusalem temple in Israel.

A true student of the Bible recognizes the end of animal sacrificial practice and the transfer of focus back to the heavenly temple. The corrupt idea of resuming animal sacrifices in a rebuilt earthly temple is a crossover from Messianic thinking, which is still deeply bound, in Jewish tradition.

It is true some modern believers of the Third Elijah Message are lead astray by these ideas. This sometimes occurs when they find rejection among those who follow only part of God's Law. Some turn to Messianic groups who share a belief in all of God's Law. They do not recognize the danger of failing to reject Jewish tradition, which results in accepting apostate Jewish ideas after having rejected apostate Roman Catholic ideas.

This is sometimes called, in a humorous way, "Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire". Unfortunately, it is very serious when our only desire is to practice obedience to God's Law based only on the Bible record.

(Book Contents) Next: The Spring Feasts


Revised 2011-10-14