In Gen 49.10 it says, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the rulers staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Another translation says, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the law-inscribing pen from between his feet, until his sprout, seemingly the last and weak, will come, and then it will be to him, the one on manly strength, that the nations dulled with age, will turn” (Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch). As we have said before, the Messiah is “here now, but not yet.” When Yeshua returns, the obedience of the peoples will be to him. Those that don’t believe will go to the Feast of Leviathan and are killed (Ezek 29.1-7; Ezek 32.1-8; Rev 19.11-21). Those that do believe and obey, they will go to the Wedding Supper (Isa 25.6; Matt 8.11, 22.1-14; Luke 12.35, 13.29, 14.15; Rev 19.7-10).
Israel, specifically the priests, were charged to protect what God had given in the Avodah (Ezek 44.23 and “to keep and observe” the services) of the Temple until the Messiah comes. The obedience of the people would be to him (the Messiah). What that means is that we need to be careful about “changes” so that we can be faithful to the “blueprint” or the “tavnit.”
We have all come out of denominations that have changed the blueprint. However, if we are well versed in the Temple and the festival “sub-languages” we can find the true Messiah. The Jewish prayer books (called a Siddur) and the festival prayer books (called a Machzor), the services (avodah) and the ceremonies of the Temple are full of teachings about Yeshua. We don’t need to “add” Messiah to these things because he is already there.
For example, when we examine the Lord’s Supper, we should look at what this was in the time of Yeshua, and not what has been watered down from it in what other denominations say it is. It was a whole meal, with prayers, songs, psalms and blessings, and not a wafer and thimble full of grape juice. We need to examine what Tevilah (baptism) is and all the many applications. Heb 6.2 says “baptisms” (plural) and most believers today would be hard pressed to explain all the different types of “baptisms” mentioned there. We would also recognize that the Sabbath has not been changed to Sunday. We would know all about the festivals and their application to the first and second coming of the Messiah. We have changed the tavnit (blueprint) so much that people can no longer recognize what was really happening, nor see the Messiah in these things. Keep this in mind, the highest form of worship is what was done in the Temple.
As another example of just how far this has deteriorated, let’s look at the Sabbath seder, or Lord’s Supper. It will contain blessings, prayers, Scriptures, psalms and songs. There are three meals on the Sabbath. First, you have the evening meal as the Sabbath begins. There are blessings over the children and the wife called “Eshet Chayil” which means “The Woman of Valor” based on Prov 31.10-22. This passage is read to the wife, showing just how the husband and the children feel about her. These three meals come from the korbanot eaten in the Temple on the Sabbath. The table has become an “altar” so there are certain ceremonies associated with it. One recites the “Shalom Aleichem” and the “Kiddush.” There is a ritual hand-washing involved and a blessing called the Ha Motzi. Then the meal itself is accompanied by songs and these tell the story of what happens at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, the Sabbath of God or Messianic Kingdom, as we have discussed in our teachings on eschatology.
Then there is a morning meal, again with psalms, Scriptures and songs. These teach certain aspects of the Messianic Kingdom or the Day of the Lord, and what happens. The afternoon meal is again accompanied by psalms, Scriptures, songs and blessings that teach and allude to what happens at the end of the Day of the Lord, or Messianic Kingdom, and the coming of the Olam Haba (the World to Come). At the end of the Sabbath, there is what is called the Havdalah service. This is done after sundown at the end of the Sabbath. You would have a candle, wine glass and a spice box. There are certain prayers. You light the Havdalah candle, called the “Lapid” which means “torch” and a name for the Messiah, and you extinguish it in a glass of wine, symbolizing the death of the Messiah. Then you lift the spice box to your nose to smell the sweet fragrances. This concept is seen in Isa 13.3, which is symbolic of the catching away of the believers (the Natzal) and the Lord smelling our good works done “in him.” This is seen in Acts 20.7-8 where it says, “And on one of the Sabbaths (incorrectly translated as “on the first day of the week”) when we were gathered together to break bread (the third Sabbath meal at sundown at the end of the Sabbath), Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day (the first day of the week, after sunrise), and he prolonged his message until midnight. And there were many candles (lamps) in the upper room where we were gathered together.” The Havdalah service was done to “separate the light (of the Sabbath) from the darkness (of the rest of the week).” In other words, to teach and know the difference between the holy and the common (Ezek 44.23).
So, when it says “to keep and observe” in the Scriptures it means to “incorporate these things and stay true to the tavnit” (the pattern, shadow or blueprint) that the Lord has given. It also means that we should learn and understand the patterns and blueprints that each Sabbath, New Moon and festivals teach. We should learn about the Lord’s Supper and the “food and drink” associated with them. This brings us to Col. 2.16-17, two verses that have been used against those who observe the tavnit. However, that is not the meaning of these verses. Because the Colossians were saved, having their sins “nailed to the cross “of Yeshua (Col 2.14), they should not let anyone “act as your judge in regard to food or drink (associated with the festival meals and the Lord’s Supper) or in respect to a festival or a New Moon (teaches the concept of being “born again”) or a Sabbath day (teaches the Day of the Lord, the Natzal and the Messianic Kingdom), things which are (present tense, which means they were being observed at that time) a shadow (a tavnit, picture, blueprint or pattern) of what is to come (eschatology and the coming of Messiah) but the body of Messiah (don’t let unbelievers judge you about these things, but those in the body of Messiah).”
The Lord’s Supper, the meals (a seder) in the Temple teach the things of the Lord and the Wedding Supper. However, Isa 65.11-12 teaches the opposite of these things in the context of a meal “not consecrated to God” where it says, “But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain (the Temple Mount), who set a table for Fortune (or “Gad” and referred to by Vespasian in a speech at Gamla in the Jewish war, a sun deity) and who fill wine cups for with mixed wine for Meni ( or “destiny” because it was “the numberer” and was used in determining your “destiny”, a moon deity). I will destine (a play on words) you for the sword and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter. Because I called you, but you did not answer; I spoke , but you did not hear. And you did evil in my sight, and chose that in which I did not delight.” In other words, to worship in things not according to God’s pattern is seen as “forsaking the Lord” and his word. The context for these verses is the second coming of the Messiah. The false gods in these verses were worshipped with festive meals around Dec 24th and 25th, according to “Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop. Zeph 1.7 says, “Be silent before the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near (here now). For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice (the Feast of Leviathan for unbelievers), he has consecrated (set apart) his guests (the Wedding Supper for believers).” Everyone has been invited to an eschatological meal and both of these will happen in the “day of the Lord” after he returns.
So, meals in the Scriptures can have a good and righteous purpose, but they can also have a purpose in regards to the wicked. The concepts of the Wedding Supper and the Feast of Leviathan are associated with the festival of Sukkot.
SOURCES USED IN THIS STUDY INCLUDE:
Two Babylon’s by Alexander Hislop
Hatikva Ministries: Jerusalem Temple Study
Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch