“We have been robbed of a significant part of our godly heritage through a calendar that was intentionally removed from the biblical one.”
That is how Pastor Don Finto begins his excellent discourse published recently in Charisma Magazine on the purpose of the Biblical calendar and its applicability to all of God’s people – not just Jews, but Christians as well. This is a subject Messianic believers have understood for quite some time, but which the church as a whole is only now beginning to suspect. Finto continues:
“The early believers in Jesus were all Jewish. Not until Cornelius were the Gentiles received into the fellowship without converting to Judaism. But even these early Gentile followers observed the biblical feasts as a prophetic statement of their newly found faith in the Jewish Messiah who is also Redeemer of the nations. When Paul wrote to the predominantly Gentile believers of Corinth, he spoke of “Christ, our Passover lamb (who) has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival …” (1 Cor. 5:7-8). The biblical feasts had become the feasts of the Gentile believers as well.”
This is a topic The Barking Fox has covered before and will cover again. It appears that our Lord is even now awakening His people to a more complete awareness and understanding of the full counsel of His Word than we have known before. That, I believe, is the reason for this growing awareness and acceptance (or at least tolerance) of Messianic and Hebrew Roots teaching. At a small gathering of friends at the beginning of 2014, I was asked what changes we would soon see in the world. My answer included the bold statement that by the end of 2014 mainstream Christianity and mainstream Judaism would each have to start dealing with the phenomenon of believers in Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua) embracing what has up to now been considered Jewish practices. If we are indeed part of the congregation and Commonwealth of Israel, then this phenomenon is quite possibly the fulfillment of something God explained to our ancestors long ago, starting with Moses and continuing through the Prophets (see, for example, Deuteronomy 30:1-14, Jeremiah 16, and Ezekiel 20).
What I had in mind when making that statement in January 2014 was that the church and Judaism would have to deal with Christians embracing God’s Sabbath (Shabbat) and Feasts, and turning away from the man-made substitutes of Sunday worship, Christmas and Easter. It appears that this is indeed happening. The first item that caught my attention was an informative and even-handed article on the Hebrew Roots Movement in Tablet, a Jewish online magazine. Then, on May 10, 2014, pastors Jim Staley and Chris Rosebrough engaged in a lively and informative debate on the question of whether Christians should keep the Sabbath. That debate, facilitated by Joseph Farah of World Net Daily, continues to draw attention, and certainly will not be the last word on the subject.
Now we have Pastor Finto’s article in Charisma, which is a very clear presentation of the Feasts of the Lord and the reasons Christians should celebrate them. Don Finto is a recognized leader of the Charismatic Movement, having been in ministry over 60 years. Much of his work was as pastor of the Belmont Church of Nashville, TN, after which he co-founded the Caleb Company, a ministry dedicated to “equipping God’s people with His heart and purpose for Israel and the nations.” I have enjoyed sitting under Pastor Finto’s teaching, and on a couple of occasions have ministered with him as part of a panel of ministry leaders facilitating intercessory conference calls in prayer for Israel. He is a true father of the faith, and his word carries much weight. Therefore I am very glad to recommend his article, not only as an introduction to the Feasts of the Lord, but also as an exhortation to all of God’s people to pay attention to the calendar our Creator has given us.
Pastor Finto’s article is available at this link: It’s Time to Get On God’s Calendar