Fall Holy Days

The Fall Holy Days – The Second Coming

The spring festivals prophesied the first coming of the Messiah, the fall festivals prophesy His second coming. The Holy Days were given as an annual reminder and rehearsal of YHWH’s master plan of redemption and salvation.

The spring Holy Days represent the early harvest of first fruits (salvation for the first fruits), Yahushua being the first of first fruits. The fall Holy Days represent the larger agricultural and spiritual harvest, picturing salvation for billions of humans who previously have never been given the opportunity.

The fall festivals are the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth). The fall festivals occur in the months of September – October on the Gregorian calendar.

The fall festivals are initiated on the lunar based calendar by the first visible crescent of the new moon in the seventh month called Ethanim, also commonly known on the Babylonian calendar as Tishri. The new moon day of Ethanim 1 is the Feast of Trumpets. Nine days later is the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of Ethanim. On Ethanim day 15 starts the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days, with the eighth day being a holy convocation we know as the Last Great Day (John 7:37) .

Table 1 – Fall Holy Days

Fall Holy Days
Ethanim 1 Trumpets Rosh Hashanah
Ethanim 10 Day of Atonement Yom Kippur
Ethanim 15-22 Feast of Tabernacles Sukkoth
Ethanim 23 Last Great Day-8th day

The Feast of Tabernacles, including the Last Great Day, is commemorated as the final fall agriculture harvest and combines a joyful time of feasting along with a holy convocation.

Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. (Ex 23:14-16 NKJV)

While the spring feasts, including Passover and The Days of Unleavened Bread, have been fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Yahushua Messiah, the fulfillment of the fall holy days is yet in the future. The fall holy day season starts with The Feast of Trumpets which is a reminder of the coming time of worldwide tribulation culminating with the return of Yahushua. The Day of Atonement pictures the forgiveness of sin and the removal of Satan as the primary cause. The Feast of Tabernacles (ingathering) looks forward to the reign of Yahushua on Earth and universal peace for 1,000 years. The Last Great Day, the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles, looks forward to a time when salvation is made available to all humanity.

New Testament History

The first century believers in Messiah clearly observed the holy days listed in Leviticus Chapter 23. The scriptures provide references to the following Holy Days:

  • Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread (1 Corinthians 5:7-8, Acts 20:6)
  • Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4;20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8)
  • Day of Atonement (called the Fast, Acts 27:9)
  • Feast of Tabernacles (called the Feast, Acts 18:21) [1]
  • Last Great Day (John 7:37)
  • We also find reference to fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets (Mark 9:2-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, Revelation 8-11)

Many today think that Paul advocated that the entire law was “nailed to the cross” (Col 2:14,  Ro 7:6).

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Col 2:14 KJV)

 G1378 = dogma = a law (civil, ceremonial or ecclesiastical), decree, ordinance.

The same word “ordinances” is used again in Col 2:20-21:

Wherefore if ye be dead with Messiah from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not) (Col 2:20-21 KJV)

It is conspicuous that the Greek word translated “ordinances” is pronounced dogma. Paul is making the point that the purification ceremonies associated with the Temple sacrifices is no longer applicable. In other words, there is no longer a need for the sacrificial Temple system. Although not the focus of this study, it should be noted that early forms of Gnosticism and pagan mysticism were also beginning to surface in Colossae and Paul was addressing this apostasy as well. In any case, Yahushua has replaced the sacrificial Temple system with His onetime blood offering for all, forever (Heb 10:10-14). What was “nailed to the cross” was the animal sacrificial system along with all of the rituals, ceremony and associated Temple administration, not the commandments.

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good (Ro 7:12).

Gnosticism Develops

While gnostic heresy flourished among early believers,[2],[3] the historical records show the 2nd century disciples of Yahushua followed the original practices of the apostles including keeping the weekly Sabbath and annual holy days.[4] Noteworthy are Polycrates of Ephesus (130-196 CE)[5],[6] and Polycarp of Smyrna[7] (69–155 CE). Apollinaris (same as Apolinarius, but not to be confused with Apollonius of Ephesus or Apollinaris of Laodicea) was also a religious leader in the 2nd Century. Apollinaris was considered to be a Quartodeciman (one who held that the date of Passover must remain the 14th of Nisan). The Quartodeciman Controversy lasted until the Council of Nicea in 325 CE when Emperor Constantine abandoned Passover as an outdated Jewish tradition and syncretized the Pagan custom of Easter (from Ishtar, Eostre, Astarte) with what today we call Christianity.[8]

As a result, by the early 4th century the Universal Church became the Roman standard of worship starting with Emperor Constantine. The practices of the first and second century followers of Yahushua Messiah were being marginalized as “Jewish fables”. The true believers were increasingly subject to oppression, persecution and even martyred for their faith. The faithful were relentlessly accused of “Judaizing” simply because they honored the Torah. The “Jews”, including anyone (non-Jew) who simply followed the practices of the early apostles were held accountable by the Roman and Greek philosophers as responsible for Messiah’s crucifixion and subsequent death. Anyone (non-Jew) adhering to any “religious” practice that embraced anything perceived as “Jewish” (like the Torah) became anathema and loathsome to the growing ecclesiastical authority. The ‘Jewish” Holy Day practices were totally abandoned by the developing Universal (Catholic) Church and replaced with holidays derived from pagan origin and syncretized with the scriptures in order to provide an illusion of sanctity with a wide appeal to the society at large. What developed in the 3rd and 4th century was religion for the masses with minimal or no Biblical foundation. This was a huge benefit for the Roman empire, but a major train wreck for the truth and understanding of the tree of life (Gen 2:16).

Enter John Chrysostom (347-407 CE), the Roman Catholic saint who preached the following in 387 CE:

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407)

A historical perspective of John Chrysostom and his writings of the “Eight Homilies Against the Jews” can be found at:

It is obvious during the time of John Chrysostom, that believers in Yahushua were observing the Holy Days or else why would he write such a toxic missive against them?

Over a period of a few hundred years the identity and practices of the original apostolic believers were deserted and replaced with Greek (and Roman) ecclesiastical orthodoxy. Timothy, Peter and Jude all admonished early believers of precisely such an outcome.

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Tim 4:4-5 KJV)

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Pet 2:21 KJV)

 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3 KJV)

[1] http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Holy_Days/Tabernacles/Tabernacles/History_of_the_Feast

[2] http://www.churchhistory101.com/century2-p5.php

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_heresies

[4] http://www.christianityonline.org/christianity/?q=node/307

[5] http://www.cogwriter.com/polycrates.htm

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycrates_of_Ephesus

[7] http://www.cogwriter.com/polycarp.htm

[8] http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/epiphanius.html

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free – John 8:32