GIVING & SHARING NEWSLETTER                                                            March, 1990 No. 9


The Important Feasts


      One of our major purposes is to promote the observance of Biblical Holy Days.  We constantly look for resources that add meaning to and refresh our observance of the Eternal’s divine appointments.   Recently, we have been able to obtain two fine books on the Holy Days:  The Feasts of the Lord by Robert Thompson, and The Jewish Festivals, History & Observance by Hayyim Schauss.  We encourage everyone who observes the Almighty’s festivals to order and read these books.


The Feasts of the Lord, by Robert Thompson.  Medford, Oregon:  Omega Publications, 1989.  330 pages.  Available from Omega Ministries, PO Box 1788, Medford, Oregon 97501-0140.


      Here is a unique book on the Festivals, a treasure of spiritual understanding.  Rather than examining each Holy Day individually, as most writers have done, Thompson describes common spiritual lessons, how each day corroborates that lesson.

      Thompson says that the Bible gives major types, or object lesson examples, of divine redemption:  (1) the seven days of creation, (2) the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan, (3) the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and (4) the seven Holy Days.  These all illustrate the Eternal’s plan in the Messiah for mankind to be saved from sin and death and brought into the family of the Almighty.

      In the major section of his book, Thompson applies the seven annual holy convocations to four areas of interpretation:  (1) the person and work of the Messiah, (2) the redemption of the believer, (3) the perfecting of the Church, and (4) the setting up of the Kingdom of God.

      One of the best books on the Holy Days, The Feasts of the Lord could easily launch a thousand sermons and fruitful Bible Studies for those who wish more inspiration from the awesome meaning and purpose of the Eternal’s sacred appointments.  This book belongs in the home of every person who observes Biblical Holy Days.

      Yet there are some flaws.  Thompson apparently is a “charismatic” Protestant who does not understand that “speaking in tongues” is speaking in multiple languages, not gibberish.   He believes Wavesheaf Day is always Abib 16, rather than the Sunday after the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Thompson, along with others, incorrectly refers to Wavesheaf Day as the Feast of Firstfruits.  Actually, Pentecost is the Feast of Firstfruits.  Nevertheless, this book is one of the best we have seen on the Holy Days.  We heartily recommend The Feasts of the Lord.


The Jewish Festivals, History & Observance, by Hayyim Schauss.  New York:  Schocken Books, 1988 edition of 1938 copyrighted book, originally entitled Guide to Jewish Holy Days.  316 pages.  Available from Giving & Sharing.


      Jewish customs and traditions relating to the Sabbath and Holy Days are fascinating.  In our book, Biblical Holy Days, we frequently cite Jewish understanding of the meaning of these sacred occasions.  Why do we cite the Jews?  We should gather all pertinent information relating to a Bible topic.  To ignore the history and practices of a group of people who have observed the Sabbath and Holy Days for thousands of years would be folly.

      The Holy Days are not “Jewish.”   Jews have corrupted these sacred times in their rejection of the Messiah who has come and is coming again.  They are wrong in the date for the Passover supper and the date of Pentecost.  Schauss, in following liberal Jewish scholarship, expresses the origins of the Holy Days in humanistic rather than divine terms.  Yet Jews have gems of truth and understanding about the Festivals.

      For example, Schauss explains that the blowing of the shofar on the Day of Trumpets reminds us of the giving of God’s law, and is a call of thanks to God who halts the war between nations and ushers in peace and harmony to the world, ending Satan’s dominion of this world.  This exactly conforms to our understanding.

      Jewish terminology and Hebrew wording for the Holy Days may not be understood by some. Here is a quick cross reference:


               Jewish: Pesach, Shovuos, Rosh Hashonoh, Yom Kippur, Sukkos


               English: Passover, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles


Schauss gives interesting insights gathered through centuries of observance.  God’s plan for the salvation of mankind is clearly shown, even in the Jewish understanding of the Holy Days.                                                               Ω