Monday, October 3, 2011

God's Appointed Times by Barney Kasdan

book cover

God's Appointed Times:
A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays
by Barney Kasdan

ISBN-13: 978-1-880226-35-3
Trade Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Lederer Books
Released: 1993

Source: Bought from Books-A-Million.

Book Description from Back Cover:
The biblical holy days are not just for Jews. Christians, too, can receive the blessing of these glorious days, the greatest object lessons in the Bible.

God gave each day to teach his people about him and his relationship to them. From the Sabbath, which pictures eternity, to the popular holiday, Hanukkah, mentioned by name only in the gospel of John, the special times were set apart to bless the people of God.

In this book, Barney Kasdan, leader of Kehilat Ariel of San Diego, one of the largest Messianic congregations in the world, explains every holy day described in Scripture. He teaches about the major and minor holy days, ever mindful that he is writing to both Jews and Christians.

Beginning with the Sabbath, the first holy day revealed in Scripture, he writes about Passover, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, The Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah the Festival of Dedication, and Purim, the special day given in the time of Queen Esther.

Each chapter offers historical background, traditional Jewish observance, relevance to the New Testament, prophetic significance, and a practical guide for believers, including recipes, songs, and crafts.

My Review:
God's Appointed Times is a Bible background type book, but it's also for those who believe Yeshua is the Messiah who wish to celebrate these Feasts. The book covered Sabbath, Passover, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah, and Purim.

This book quoted some of the Bible verses in the Old Testament where God commands the people about these feasts and holy days. He gave the details about how observant Jews celebrate these feasts today. I liked how he explained the meaning behind each act, so it wasn't just meaningless ritual. He then pointed out places in the New Testament that referred to these Feasts, and he suggests how these Feasts are fulfilled in Yeshua, the Messiah. Finally, he suggested ways to modify the modern Feast celebrations to suit Messianic followers and included a couple recipes, songs, and related crafts.

The information given for the Spring Feasts is much what I've heard before, though I liked how he said Sabbath was for remembering that God is our Creator and our rest is in Him. However, the author believes that the Fall Feasts are related to Yeshua's birth as well as His Second Coming. I've read some articles by other authors stating that Jesus' birth occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles, but one of this author's arguments for it is actually a strong argument against it, in my view. Why would the Romans order a census that required people to go to their home towns at exactly the same time as their religion demanded that they go to Jerusalem for a Feast? They wouldn't; they knew better.

If you are interested in celebrating these feasts as a way to celebrate what Yeshua has done for us, then this book is very useful. However, if you're mainly interested in the mentions of the feasts in the Bible and how Yeshua fulfills the feasts, I think I'd recommend The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal, instead.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
The Sabbath

The Historical Background

The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.'" (Leviticus 23:1-3)

It might surprise some to see a discussion of the biblical holidays start with Shabbat. After all, this is such a common day. It occurs once a week. The Jewish perspective is different. It is not that Shabbat is so common, but that it is so special, that we are to observe it every seven days.

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