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Holidays Or Holy Days?

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The Holy Days of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath and His annual Sabbaths or Feasts, have been kept by His people from the very beginning. They were continuously observed by Jesus Christ (Luke 2:41-42, Luke 4:16, John 5:1), by the Apostles and Disciples (Matthew 26:17-30, Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6), by the Church in the New Testament (Acts 2:1, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), and will continue long into the future (Zechariah 14:16, Isaiah 66:22-23, Ezekiel 45:21-25). 

When the Apostle Paul described worshiping the God of his fathers, “believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets,” he obviously included God’s Holy Days established in the Old Testament. Today we have been called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, to imitate the Apostles as they imitated Christ, and to follow and teach the commandments of God. 

Is there anywhere in scripture where the Holy Days expired or were made obsolete? Does Scripture anywhere call for the observance of these Holy Days to end? Can the modern day “Christian” holidays replace these Holy Days? What does the Bible actually say?

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God Introduces the Holy Days.

At the same time God formally gave the Ten Commandments to the entire nation of Israel, He also introduced His statutes and judgements. These were governing principles for all of God’s followers to live a peaceful, righteous way of life. And it’s within these beginning moments of God’s special relationship with His people that the Holy Days were revealed. 

Exodus 23:14-17 “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. “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

In addition to the seventh day Sabbath, God Himself established special days, also known as Feasts, for His people to observe specific days that He set aside and made holy. 

Leviticus 23:1 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
Exodus 31:13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

This is the Path To Our Ultimate Goal. 

God gave His Holy Feast Days to be kept by His people forever - throughout their generations - and they remain the only days our Creator commanded to be kept holy, found in His Word.

The Holy Days of God are so much more than tradition! They reveal the step-by-step process of achieving our ultimate goal: to join the Family of God. Each Feast day builds upon the next and they’re intentionally connected. Collectively, they tell the story of God’s plan and can’t be separated from each other.

Passover: The 14th Day of the First Month in God’s Biblical calendar (Leviticus 23:5)

The Passover pictures the very first step in God’s plan of salvation. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it is now possible for the sins of all mankind to be forgiven. We can be justified, cleansed, and redeemed. Here, the door is initially opened to the Family of God.

Feast of Unleavened Bread: The 15th-21st Days of the First Month (Leviticus 23:6-8)

The second festival of the year and next step in God’s plan is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This festival shows that after our past sins have been forgiven, we must continue to eliminate sin from our lives and obey God and keep His commandments. In this overcoming process, we put Christ in, growing in grace and knowledge, and living a life of repentance.

Feast of Pentecost: Count to the 50th Day from the Wave Sheaf (Leviticus 23:15-22)

The third festival is called the Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, or Feast of Harvest. In this next phase of the salvation process, through baptism and the laying on of hands we receive a measure of God’s Holy Spirit. We are to grow and increase in godly character. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful to His way of life ultimately become the firstfruits in God’s Family, but they will certainly not be the last!

His Plan Continues.

The “little flock” called by the Father in this current life are only the “firstfruits” of the larger spiritual harvest that will occur after Christ’s return. The final Holy Days of the year reveal the next phase of God’s plan when all of mankind will be given the opportunity to become a part of His Family. 

Feast of Trumpets: The 1st Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:23-24)

The Feast of Trumpets is the fourth festival and pictures the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to execute judgment and establish His Kingdom. Christ will bring an end to the corruption of this world at the most devastating time in human history (Revelation 8, 9, 16, Revelation 11:15), and the firstfruits will be raised “at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Day of Atonement: The 10th Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:26-32)

Following Christ’s return, Satan is supernaturally bound and put into the bottomless pit “so that he should deceive the nations no more”. Finally, without the influence and interference of Satan, man has a clear path to become “at one” with God. We observe the fifth spiritual festival—the Day of Atonement by afflicting our souls with fasting as we humble ourselves to draw closer to God. 

Feast of Tabernacles: The 15th-21st Days of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:33-36, 39-43)

The sixth festival of God’s Holy Days is called the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Ingathering. This seven-day Feast pictures the culmination of God’s seven thousand year plan for humanity: the time when Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints rule over the whole earth for a period of 1000 years, also called “The Millennium” (Revelation 20:6). After Christ’s return, God pours out His Spirit and begins to educate all humanity (Isaiah 11:9) with the true understanding of His great plan of salvation. The plan of God will continue as He prepares to expand His Family with those who repent and live according to every Word of God.

The Last Great Day: The 22nd Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:36, 39)

Finally we come to the seventh and final festival in God’s plan, often referred to as the Last Great Day (John 7:37). At the end of Christ’s 1,000-year reign, there will still remain untold billions of people of past ages who never understood virtually anything about the true God, Jesus Christ, or God’s purpose for their lives. At this second general period of resurrection, also called the Great White Throne Judgment, every man, woman and child to ever live will be given their first opportunity to know the truth (Revelation 20:11-13). Their minds will be opened to His will, and God will formally introduce Himself to all mankind at this large harvest and massive expansion of the Family of God. 

With the observance of this seventh festival we finish the portrayal of the entire plan of our Creator. From our first acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior to the picturing of His Second Coming and setting up God’s Kingdom on earth, all the way until the Last Great Day picturing the time when all human beings will finally have a real opportunity for salvation—these God-given, God-inspired festivals picture the real plan of God.

When we understand the purpose of the Holy Days, why would we ever attempt to replace them? Should we blend God’s Holy Days with pagan practices? Are popular man-made holidays a suitable replacement for what God has instructed?

What About Mankind’s Holidays?

For hundreds of years professing Christians have kept holidays they claim are associated with Jesus Christ and the appropriate worship of Almighty God. On days like Christmas and Easter countless people claim to honor Him, give gifts, go to church services, and spend time with family. However, not one of these popular holidays are found in the pages of your Bible - and none of them were actually kept by Jesus Christ or the original New Testament Church! 

It is commonly known that many traditional holidays are rooted in pagan origin. For instance, during the fourth century, as the Roman empire grew, the so-called Christian church adopted a multitude of pagan celebrations into worship practices. Sunday, known as the day of the “sun-god,” attempted to replace the Sabbath as the seventh day set aside by God for rest. And in 350 AD, Pope Julius I declared the pagan celebration of the sun-god, Mithras (Dec. 25th) to be the celebration of Jesus’ birth. 

Easter was an attempt to replace the Passover, claiming to be the celebration of Christ's resurrection. However, its origin is found in the false worship of the pagan goddess Ishtar, or Astarte. She was known as the Babylonian consort of Baal, another sun god whose worship is condemned in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry.

Numerous times God condemns incorporating pagan practices and the worship of false gods, yet alleged followers have regularly done so, disobeying His commands (Judges 3:7, Jeremiah 10:1-5, Deuteronomy 12:29-32). We need to be careful to follow the example God has given us.

Holy Days of the Past, Present, and Future!

God has created us to one day become His Family. Yet in this life, many struggle to faithfully follow His instructions and achieve our incredible potential. We can easily be overwhelmed with the cares of this life, fighting against our human nature, and lose sight of our ultimate goal. 

However, God has taken every detail into account and created a way for us to rehearse His plan of salvation for us, through His Holy Days. While they may seem like a pointless exercise or another form of religious tradition, the Holy Days found in the pages of your Bible reveal the plan of God and provide the framework for reaching the end of our faith and our eternal reward. (1 Peter 1:9)

Therefore God’s people must continue to keep God’s Holy Days as He has instructed us. During the Millennial reign the whole world will gather together to honor and worship our Creator on these Holy Days. These Feasts were given so God’s children would never forget what He’s doing on earth and the opportunity we have received to become full members of His Family. This is the purpose of human existence and we must keep these days holy, continuing our preparation for what is soon to come!

God created the Holy Days, Jesus Christ observed the Holy Days, the Apostles and New Testament Church followed in His footsteps, and we should too!

swipe

Holidays Or Holy Days?

Printer + Reader Friendly
swipe

The Holy Days of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath and His annual Sabbaths or Feasts, have been kept by His people from the very beginning. They were continuously observed by Jesus Christ (Luke 2:41-42, Luke 4:16, John 5:1), by the Apostles and Disciples (Matthew 26:17-30, Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6), by the Church in the New Testament (Acts 2:1, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), and will continue long into the future (Zechariah 14:16, Isaiah 66:22-23, Ezekiel 45:21-25). 

When the Apostle Paul described worshiping the God of his fathers, “believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets,” he obviously included God’s Holy Days established in the Old Testament. Today we have been called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, to imitate the Apostles as they imitated Christ, and to follow and teach the commandments of God. 

Is there anywhere in scripture where the Holy Days expired or were made obsolete? Does Scripture anywhere call for the observance of these Holy Days to end? Can the modern day “Christian” holidays replace these Holy Days? What does the Bible actually say?

swipe

God Introduces the Holy Days.

At the same time God formally gave the Ten Commandments to the entire nation of Israel, He also introduced His statutes and judgements. These were governing principles for all of God’s followers to live a peaceful, righteous way of life. And it’s within these beginning moments of God’s special relationship with His people that the Holy Days were revealed. 

Exodus 23:14-17 “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. “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

In addition to the seventh day Sabbath, God Himself established special days, also known as Feasts, for His people to observe specific days that He set aside and made holy. 

Leviticus 23:1 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
Exodus 31:13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

This is the Path To Our Ultimate Goal. 

God gave His Holy Feast Days to be kept by His people forever - throughout their generations - and they remain the only days our Creator commanded to be kept holy, found in His Word.

The Holy Days of God are so much more than tradition! They reveal the step-by-step process of achieving our ultimate goal: to join the Family of God. Each Feast day builds upon the next and they’re intentionally connected. Collectively, they tell the story of God’s plan and can’t be separated from each other.

Passover: The 14th Day of the First Month in God’s Biblical calendar (Leviticus 23:5)

The Passover pictures the very first step in God’s plan of salvation. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it is now possible for the sins of all mankind to be forgiven. We can be justified, cleansed, and redeemed. Here, the door is initially opened to the Family of God.

Feast of Unleavened Bread: The 15th-21st Days of the First Month (Leviticus 23:6-8)

The second festival of the year and next step in God’s plan is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This festival shows that after our past sins have been forgiven, we must continue to eliminate sin from our lives and obey God and keep His commandments. In this overcoming process, we put Christ in, growing in grace and knowledge, and living a life of repentance.

Feast of Pentecost: Count to the 50th Day from the Wave Sheaf (Leviticus 23:15-22)

The third festival is called the Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, or Feast of Harvest. In this next phase of the salvation process, through baptism and the laying on of hands we receive a measure of God’s Holy Spirit. We are to grow and increase in godly character. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful to His way of life ultimately become the firstfruits in God’s Family, but they will certainly not be the last!

His Plan Continues.

The “little flock” called by the Father in this current life are only the “firstfruits” of the larger spiritual harvest that will occur after Christ’s return. The final Holy Days of the year reveal the next phase of God’s plan when all of mankind will be given the opportunity to become a part of His Family. 

Feast of Trumpets: The 1st Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:23-24)

The Feast of Trumpets is the fourth festival and pictures the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to execute judgment and establish His Kingdom. Christ will bring an end to the corruption of this world at the most devastating time in human history (Revelation 8, 9, 16, Revelation 11:15), and the firstfruits will be raised “at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Day of Atonement: The 10th Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:26-32)

Following Christ’s return, Satan is supernaturally bound and put into the bottomless pit “so that he should deceive the nations no more”. Finally, without the influence and interference of Satan, man has a clear path to become “at one” with God. We observe the fifth spiritual festival—the Day of Atonement by afflicting our souls with fasting as we humble ourselves to draw closer to God. 

Feast of Tabernacles: The 15th-21st Days of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:33-36, 39-43)

The sixth festival of God’s Holy Days is called the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Ingathering. This seven-day Feast pictures the culmination of God’s seven thousand year plan for humanity: the time when Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints rule over the whole earth for a period of 1000 years, also called “The Millennium” (Revelation 20:6). After Christ’s return, God pours out His Spirit and begins to educate all humanity (Isaiah 11:9) with the true understanding of His great plan of salvation. The plan of God will continue as He prepares to expand His Family with those who repent and live according to every Word of God.

The Last Great Day: The 22nd Day of the Seventh Month (Leviticus 23:36, 39)

Finally we come to the seventh and final festival in God’s plan, often referred to as the Last Great Day (John 7:37). At the end of Christ’s 1,000-year reign, there will still remain untold billions of people of past ages who never understood virtually anything about the true God, Jesus Christ, or God’s purpose for their lives. At this second general period of resurrection, also called the Great White Throne Judgment, every man, woman and child to ever live will be given their first opportunity to know the truth (Revelation 20:11-13). Their minds will be opened to His will, and God will formally introduce Himself to all mankind at this large harvest and massive expansion of the Family of God. 

With the observance of this seventh festival we finish the portrayal of the entire plan of our Creator. From our first acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior to the picturing of His Second Coming and setting up God’s Kingdom on earth, all the way until the Last Great Day picturing the time when all human beings will finally have a real opportunity for salvation—these God-given, God-inspired festivals picture the real plan of God.

When we understand the purpose of the Holy Days, why would we ever attempt to replace them? Should we blend God’s Holy Days with pagan practices? Are popular man-made holidays a suitable replacement for what God has instructed?

What About Mankind’s Holidays?

For hundreds of years professing Christians have kept holidays they claim are associated with Jesus Christ and the appropriate worship of Almighty God. On days like Christmas and Easter countless people claim to honor Him, give gifts, go to church services, and spend time with family. However, not one of these popular holidays are found in the pages of your Bible - and none of them were actually kept by Jesus Christ or the original New Testament Church! 

It is commonly known that many traditional holidays are rooted in pagan origin. For instance, during the fourth century, as the Roman empire grew, the so-called Christian church adopted a multitude of pagan celebrations into worship practices. Sunday, known as the day of the “sun-god,” attempted to replace the Sabbath as the seventh day set aside by God for rest. And in 350 AD, Pope Julius I declared the pagan celebration of the sun-god, Mithras (Dec. 25th) to be the celebration of Jesus’ birth. 

Easter was an attempt to replace the Passover, claiming to be the celebration of Christ's resurrection. However, its origin is found in the false worship of the pagan goddess Ishtar, or Astarte. She was known as the Babylonian consort of Baal, another sun god whose worship is condemned in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry.

Numerous times God condemns incorporating pagan practices and the worship of false gods, yet alleged followers have regularly done so, disobeying His commands (Judges 3:7, Jeremiah 10:1-5, Deuteronomy 12:29-32). We need to be careful to follow the example God has given us.

Holy Days of the Past, Present, and Future!

God has created us to one day become His Family. Yet in this life, many struggle to faithfully follow His instructions and achieve our incredible potential. We can easily be overwhelmed with the cares of this life, fighting against our human nature, and lose sight of our ultimate goal. 

However, God has taken every detail into account and created a way for us to rehearse His plan of salvation for us, through His Holy Days. While they may seem like a pointless exercise or another form of religious tradition, the Holy Days found in the pages of your Bible reveal the plan of God and provide the framework for reaching the end of our faith and our eternal reward. (1 Peter 1:9)

Therefore God’s people must continue to keep God’s Holy Days as He has instructed us. During the Millennial reign the whole world will gather together to honor and worship our Creator on these Holy Days. These Feasts were given so God’s children would never forget what He’s doing on earth and the opportunity we have received to become full members of His Family. This is the purpose of human existence and we must keep these days holy, continuing our preparation for what is soon to come!

God created the Holy Days, Jesus Christ observed the Holy Days, the Apostles and New Testament Church followed in His footsteps, and we should too!

swipe