Written April 7, 2014
One week from today (April 7), on April 14th, will be the biblical Passover, but most Christians are not aware of this season, indeed, they are busy closing out “lent” and preparing for the pagan festival of Easter. It is disappointing to know too, that many in the communion of Seventh-day Adventists will pass the season of Passover unnoticed, and this attitude of ignoring holy time within our church has been handed down to us by our religious ancestors, and maintained by our theological overlords. My aim for writing this essay is in response to the current Sabbath School Lesson’s unscriptural teaching that “the biblical feasts” were terminated at the cross, and therefore have no practical relevance to Christians today. I propose therefore, to demonstrate from Scripture and History the following points:
- Spiritual blindness on the part of the Jews has morphed into spiritual blindness on the part of Christians, and in particular Seventh-day Adventists.
- Christians should critically examine dogma which have survived the passage of time, but not supported by the teachings of the Scriptures.
- The festivals which were celebrated by the Hebrew people, are not “Jewish” but divine.
- The “Ceremonial Law” concept is of Roman Catholic origins, with the distinct objective of erasing the Sabbath and the associated festivals of YHWH from the biblical calendar.
- Call for a revival and reformation of primitive godliness—a return to our historical Hebrew-Christian roots which was handed down by Christ (Y’shuah) to the Apostles, and who have dutifully charged us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1: 3).
The lessons which our Heavenly Father sought to teach the Hebrew people, were by and large overlooked by them on account of their theological overlords who taught them otherwise, and for this reason the Gospel Prophet laments: “O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isa. 3:12.
With this knowledge, we must, today, challenge ourselves with the question as to whether or not we are being lead or mislead by our theologians on certain components of truth touching the Torah. As seekers after truth and righteousness, we ought not to remain in a state of ignorance, but must be duly informed on the historical and spiritual foundations of our faith. The Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hos. 4:6.
We see that to reject knowledge is tantamount to “forgetting the Law of God;” hence, a necessary concomitant of truth is “knowledge,” because revealed truth can be traced through the pages of recorded history to confirm or discredit the claims of theologians and dogmatists. This method of examining doctrinal positions has been repeatedly used by our Saviour to teach his antagonists, when he walked as a man among men. (See Matt. 21: 41; Matt. 22: 41-45).
Dogma Which Have Survived The Passage of Time
Within the theology of Christianity, there are some erroneous doctrines which were developed by “the Church Fathers,” and have survived the passage of time, extending down to our day, and because of their age, have been pawned off as truth. But we must be aware that age will never turn an error into truth, neither will it turn the truth into error, because truth is as eternal as its Author, and only becomes more lustrous with the passage of time. Christ had to contend with this group in His days and rightly said of them, “in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Mk. 7: 7.
It is understandably difficult for a congregation or denomination to separate itself from the views of its founders, because they were the ones used of YHWH to start the particular church or spiritual movement. But truth is not dependent on the changing attitudes of men, but on the Holy Scriptures, and the unchanging mind of God (Mal. 3: 6). Thus we are counseled by the Holy Spirit, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa. 8: 20.
I know how we Adventists have historically viewed the above passage, but I’d challenge you to take a step backwards and ask the question: What was the testimony in Isaiah’s days and before, against which they tested doctrines? Did they have the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy—Ellen White’s writings? The obvious answer is no. So then, to what was Isaiah pointing? Let’s see: “(21) And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. (22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” Ex. 25: 21, 22.
In brief then, the testimony represents the Word of YHWH “given” to Moses—The Torah, revealed in the statutes, judgments and commandments. “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them.” Deut. 6: 1. So the testimony to which Isaiah refers constitutes the writings of the prophets beginning with Moses. And this method was employed by Y’shuah when he taught His disciples on the dreary Emmaus road: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27. Moses being the earthly scribe, is called the lawgiver, and is synonymously used to represent the law. By extension of this view, the passage is now more clearly stated: “And beginning at the Law (Moses) and all the prophets (Spirit of Prophecy), He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures.”
It should be immediately clear to us that “Moses and all the prophets” constitute “all the Scriptures!” This was Christ’s method of teaching truth, and it ought to be ours as well. Having said this, I am in no wise disregarding the latter-day prophetic writings of our day, but respecting the fact that such writings must be understood in the light of “all the Scriptures,” and at no time should be used to countermand them. When this method is followed, none can honestly condemn Seventh-day Adventists for making Ellen White’s writings an authority above the Bible, as has been the common practice, but to regard her writings as inspirational with deeper insights in some areas of Scripture.
The leading method of discovering truth, however, is through the law and the prophets: “And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31. This passage teaches that “Moses and the prophets” writings must be respected in order to advance go greater light. Conversely, rejecting Moses and the prophets, will only lead to error and confusion. David penned this melody, and left it on record for us to sing with him: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Ps. 19:7.
Isaiah would later declare “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Isa. 8:16. The testimony is closely related to “the law,” the commandments of God, and thus David again exclaims, “Quicken me after thy loving kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.” Ps. 119:88.
In light of what we have just learnt from the Scriptures, let’s now examine the Sabbath School Lesson to see if it complies with “the law and the testimony:”
“Though instituted by Jesus, the ceremonial system was meant to function only as a type, a symbol of a future reality-the coming of Jesus and His death and High Priestly ministry. Once He completed His work on earth, this old system-along with its sacrifices and rituals and feasts-no longer was needed (see Heb. 9:9-12). Though we no longer keep the ceremonial law today, by studying it we can garner insights into the plan of salvation.” — Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Quarterly), April 1st, 2014; http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/14b/less01.html
I have read Heb. 9: 9-12 in many versions of the Bible, and nowhere does the word “feasts” appear! I shall produce only five respected translations of verse ten in the above-mentioned passage, as it is the central focus used to teach that the “feasts” were abolished at the cross of Calvary, when the so-called “ceremonial system” came to its end.
- New International Version: “They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.” Heb. 9: 10.
- English Standard Version: “but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.” Heb. 9: 10.
- New American Standard Bible: “since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” Heb. 9: 10.
- Aramaic Bible in Plain English: “Except in food and drink only, and in various washings, which are ordinances of the flesh that are established until the time of reformation.” Heb. 9: 10.
- GOD’S WORD® Translation: “These gifts and sacrifices were meant to be food, drink, and items used in various purification ceremonies. These ceremonies were required for the body until God would establish a new way of doing things.” Heb. 9: 10.
We look in vain to find the slightest mention of the word “feasts,” in these various renderings of the passage cited in the Adult Quarterly, and behold it is not! We must, therefore, ask the question: why did the authors of the Sabbath-School Lesson take the liberty of condemning that which the Bible did not? Is it to maintain status quo, and continue the philosophy and doctrines taught by the authority and “commandments of men, or was it to reveal new light which we have not yet seen?” The reader can clearly attest that when examined under the illuminating lenses of the “law and the testimony,” we immediately see “no light” in the termination of YHWH’s “feasts,” as the Sabbath School Lesson alludes.
Let’s examine more closely the statement from the Adult Lesson: “the ceremonial system was meant to function only as a type, a symbol of a future reality-the coming of Jesus and His death and High Priestly ministry.” Note carefully that the ceremonial system foreshadowed the “High Priestly ministry” of Christ, an event which by our own church doctrines, came after the cross! See Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Adult Quarterly) 4th Quarter, 2013; http://ssnet.org/study-guides/lesson-archives/2010-2019/the-sanctuary-2013d/
From that lesson I quote: “Christ appears in the heavenly sanctuary in the presence of God “for us” (Heb. 9:24), and He is making intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). Thank God that we have a divine Representative to appear in the judgment in our place.”—Ibid., The Great High Priest, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2013.
Since His “High Priestly” ministry commenced “in the heavenly sanctuary,” it would be unrealistic for Christ to have an antitypical work to perform in heaven, with regard to these typical services, while His followers on earth ignore the antitypical significance of them. Here’s the lesson again: “Once He completed His work on earth [at the Cross], this old system-along with its sacrifices and rituals and feasts-no longer was needed (see Heb. 9:9-12).” Did you find the word “feasts” mentioned in any part of the book of Hebrews, chapter 9 included? The answer is no. We must therefore, conclude that the Lesson erred, and over-reached its bounds to teach for doctrines the commandments of men. It is a simple fact that since Christ (Y’shuah) has an antitypical work to perform in the heavenly sanctuary touching events which were revealed in the earthly, His followers on earth would likewise have a corresponding duty to “follow the Lamb” as he carries out His official mediatorial work in the presence of God for us.
When this truth is understood, then we will better appreciate His teachings and instructions to us:
“(14) And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. (15) And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: (16) for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof [Passover], until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. (17) And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: (18) for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. (19) And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Luke 22: 14-19.
At His last earthly meal with His disciples, Christ perpetuated the Passover among His followers, commanding them (us) to “do” Passover in “in remembrance of” Him—in remembrance of his death for sinners, having been crucified as the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. This truth also gives a future hope to His believers, pointing them to the time when “the kingdom of God shall come.” (v. 18). Hence Passover places the Christian between two significant events in the life of Christ, his death on Calvary’s cross, and his coming in the future “kingdom of God,” when Passover, by His definition will be “fulfilled.” Those who today teach that Passover was “fulfilled” at the Cross, or at any time in the past, while Christ walked as a man among men, are teaching for doctrines “the commandments of men.” Christ has said it will be “fulfilled” in the future kingdom of God, therefore let us believe him and follow his “command” to “do,” or “keep” Passover “in remembrance of [Him]”. The apostle Paul, who met Christ years later, and while teaching the Greeks in Corinth, admonished them to “keep the feast” of Passover (1 Cor. 5: 8).
Be mindful too, that Christ did not use the word “communion” in His address while admonishing the disciples on that solemn occasion, as many Christian theologians today have been wresting the Scriptures to teach, rather he calls it “Passover.” Let us not now “add to” the Words of our Saviour, for he will not take kindly to that: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deut. 4:2; also read Rev. 22: 17, 18!
Are The Festivals of “Jewish” or “Divine” Origin?
Many Christians call the festivals “Jewish feasts,” as though they were conceived by Moses, or the Israelites, but a careful reading of the Scriptures immediately dismisses this notion, and squarely establishes the truth that these are YHWH’s festivals:
“(1) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Lev. 23: 1, 2.
Observe that the Bible did not say, “this, (singular) is my feast,” rather it emphatically spoke in the plural declaring, “these are my feasts.” God could not have been clearer in identifying these festivals as His, thus He resoundingly declares of them, “these are my feasts.” The Lord (YHWH) went on to itemizing eight “feasts” namely:
- The Seventh-day or weekly Sabbath
- The Passover
- Feast of unleavened bread
- Wave Sheaf—first of the first fruits
- Pentecost—the feast of weeks (first fruits)
- Day of Atonement—Yom-Kippur
- Tabernacles—Feast of booths
With this declaration, it forever settles the claim of possession (ownership), and places the existence of the feasts in the heart of our Heavenly Father, instead of a cultural tradition of Jewish origin.
“Of course, the biblical feasts were done away with long ago at least as far as Christians are concerned. They all met their fulfillment in Christ. However, we can learn a great deal through studying them and the messages that they contain, because all of them teach lessons about God’s saving grace and power to deliver.” Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Quarterly), April 7th, 2014;http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/14b/less02.html
This remark is similar to what the Sabbath-breakers in Christendom teach, that the Sabbath has been done away with, as far as Christians are concerned, but important “lessons” can be drawn from its precepts. We must first validate whether or not “the biblical feasts were done away with.” This is a rather easy puzzle to solve given Christ’s commandment above, that we must “do” or “keep” the Passover in remembrance of His death and future coming kingdom of Glory (Luke 22: 18, 19), so that when He comes he will resume Passover with us (Lu 12:37). “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Matt. 24: 46. This, my friends, is “meat in due season” (Matt. 24: 45), receive of it, and be “blessed.”
There is no way on earth that “important lessons” can be gleaned from the biblical feasts when year after year they are ignored and discredited by our church leaders! How can one learn a lesson from the heavenly Sanctuary if one never understands the function and services of the earthly? No more then, can we learn lessons from the feasts which we have theologically “nailed to the cross,” some two-thousand years ago.
The above remark from the Adult Bible Study Guide, is neither true to the words of Christ, nor to the records of sacred history, for they both militate against the abolition of the “biblical feasts.” Let us now call forth the witnesses of history:
- “In the second century of our era there were many churches in Asia which kept the fourteenth day (Passover). They were called Quartodecimans, which means the keepers of the fourteenth day of the lunar month. Among the observers of the quartodeciman festival are counted Polycarp …it is (also) incontrovertibly clear that the quartodeciman Christians celebrated Passover. The name and the date of the festival are the same as in the Israelite calendar.”—The Encyclopedia Britannica, Passover.
o This historical data shows early Christianity, nearly 200 years after the cross still observing the biblical festivals, including Passover. As Adventists, we do hold and strongly believe that we are the spiritual descendants of the Waldenses (Quatrodecimans)—the early keepers and preservers of the Law of God. Below is Ellen White’s description of them:
o “The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution. They declared the Church of Rome to be the apostate Babylon of the Apocalypse, and at the peril of their lives they stood up to resist her corruptions… Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath.”— The Great Controversy, p. 66.
- “The first Christians being mostly Jews, continued to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of the death of Christ, the true Passover; and this was continued among those who from among the Gentiles had turned to Christ. Accordingly, the celebration was always on the Passover day,—the fourteenth of the first month. Rome, however, and from her all the West, adopted the day of the sun as the day of this celebration. …The rule of Rome was that the celebration must always be on a Sunday—the Sunday nearest to the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish year. And if the fourteenth day of that month should itself be a Sunday, then the celebration was not to be held on that day, but upon the next Sunday. One reason of this was not only to be as like the heathen as possible, but to be as unlike the Jews as possible; this in order not only to facilitate the ‘conversion’ of the heathen by conforming to their customs, but also by pandering to their spirit of contempt and hatred of the Jews. It was upon this point that the bishop of Rome made his first open attempt at absolutism.” The Great Empires of Bible Prophecy, A.T. Jones, p. 383.
o This statement is clear that even the converted “Gentiles” to Christianity also practiced and kept the Passover, based on apostolic teachings. This was now some 300 years after the cross, that the proselytes to Christianity, after the death of the early disciples and Apostles, were still teaching and practicing the divinely appointed festivals. This fact should give us pause to ask the question: When did the Christian church stop keeping these holy times, and by whose authority? My research has pointed the answer to a single source—ROME!
As “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matt. 18: 16), it is now left as an assignment to the reader to find other witnesses whose testimony either corroborate or deny the evidence thus far presented. From what we have examined up to this point, with the weight of evidence resting in the mouth of Y’shuah, it is clear from both Scripture and history that he has not authorized the abrogation or termination of the biblical feasts. How Christianity descended to this point is clearly attested to by the ancient records that Rome is the point guard for this change.
The “Ceremonial Law” Concept: Biblical, Christian or Catholic, Which?
Most Christians are not aware that the terminology “ceremonial law” is not taught in the Bible, and so are not aware that this is a doctrine of distinctively Roman Catholic origins, coming courtesy of the world-famed theologian and philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas.
- “Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas explained that there are three types of biblical precepts: moral, ceremonial, and judicial. He holds that moral precepts are permanent, having held even before the Law was given, since they are part of the law of nature;ceremonial precepts, which deal with forms of worshipping God and ritual cleanness; and judicial precepts (such as those in Exodus 21) came into existence only with the Law of Moses, and were only temporary. The ceremonial commands were ‘ordained to the Divine worship for that particular time and to the foreshadowing of Christ‘. Accordingly, upon the coming of Christ they ceased to bind,  and to observe them now would, Aquinas thought, be equivalent to declaring falsely that Christ has not yet come, for Christians a mortal sin.”–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_the_Old_Covenant
I have shared with you before that the Bible does teach that the Torah is broken in three distinctive components—(1) Statutes, (2) Judgments and (3) Commandments. Rome teaches differently, she holds “that there are three types of biblical precepts: (1) moral, (2) ceremonial, and (3) judicial.” It is right here that modern Christianity has fallen off the wagon of truth, and starts to teach Romanized doctrines, such as “the ceremonial law,” a term, idea, and expression altogether foreign to the Holy Scriptures of truth. Ellen White has used this terminology in her works, and has been extremely careful in her definition, as shown below:
- “The Jews refused to accept Christ as the Messiah, and they cannot see that their ceremonies are meaningless, that the sacrifices and offerings have lost their significance.”–Selected Messages, Bk1, p. 239.
- “As He now ate the Passover with His disciples, He put an end to the sacrifices which for four thousand years had been offered.”— E.G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1139.
- “He (Paul) also gave due honor to the ceremonial law, showing that Christ was the one who instituted the whole system of sacrificial service.”—Review and Herald, November 25, 1890.
Note carefully that in all instances Ellen White explained that it was the sacrificial service which was done away with at the cross, in harmony with the abundance of proof amassed from the scriptures, not the feasts. For example, here is the prophet Daniel declaring that, “he [Messiah] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Dan. 9: 27. Sacrifice and oblation do not equate to “sacrifice and feast days,” as some have been wresting the Scriptures to teach.
Even our fundamental beliefs, as Adventists, has shown the limited usage of the term “ceremonial law” to be restrictive to only the sacrificial system: “When Christ died, He fulfilled the prophetic symbolism of the sacrificial system. Type met antitype, and the ceremonial law came to an end.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe…27. p. 243.
The evidence is conclusive that it was not Christ—the Law Giver—who dissected the Torah into the tripartite “moral, ceremonial and judicial” components, but instead Rome. And this she did in an effort to forever remove from the law, our allegiance to the YHWH’s festivals pertaining to worship on a day of the week, month or year. Here’s St. Aquinas again, expounding on his fully-developed replacement theology:
- “As to the Sabbath, which was a sign recalling the first creation, its place is taken by the Lord’s Day, which recalls the beginning of the new creature in the Resurrection of Christ. In like manner other solemnities of the Old Law are supplanted by new solemnities because the blessings vouchsafed to that people foreshadowed the favours granted us by Christ. Hence the feast of the Passover gave place to the feast of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection; the feast of Pentecost when the Old Law was given, to the feast of Pentecost on which was given the Law of the living spirit; the feast of the New Moon, to the feast of the Blessed Virgin, when appeared the first rays of the sun, that is Christ, by the fullness of grace; the feast of Trumpets, to the feasts of the Apostles; the feast of Expiation [Day of Atonement], to the feasts of Martyrs and Confessors; the feast of Tabernacles, to the feast of the Church Dedication; the feast of the Assembly and Collection, to the feast of the Angels, or else to the feasts of All Saints.” Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question CIII, Of The Duration Of The Ceremonial Precepts, Article 3. [Added]
Do you now see the logical conclusion of St. Thomas’ theology? It was a total replacement of all the divinely appointed festivals and observances of YHWH as proclaimed in Lev. 23. Those who hold that the festivals were nailed to the cross, are ignorantly proclaiming an age-old doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, in defiance against God’s clear commands to Moses, in the giving of His law.
Have you thought for a moment that the obligatory “tithes and offerings,” are a part of the so-called “ceremonial law?” Here’s the punch line: if the “ceremonial law” is truly done away with, you may, from this day forward, cease and desist from returning a faithful tithe and offering to your local church, and feel no special guilt for doing so. This would be the fastest and surest way of driving the Seventh-day Adventist church into financial bankruptcy! The General Conference will quickly lose all obligatory financial support since it can be shown that the system of tithes and offerings were not included in the ten commandments (moral law), but were placed in the so-called the ceremonial law, “book of Moses”—the statutes—Heb, 7:5; Deut. 14: 22-23, 28-29. (Please read these verses.)
At last check, the vow we Adventists take at the time of baptism, to abstain from unclean meats, and alcohol, etc., is not found in the ten commandments—the “Moral Law,” but instead are in the so-called “ceremonial law,” which we teach has long been nailed to the cross. Yet we triumphantly baptize our members on condition of their “test of faith,” regarding obligatory tithing and dietary restrictions—both being items found solely in what we characterize as “the ceremonial law.” If this is confusing to you, don’t feel surprised, because it is utter confusion for our theologians to make a test of membership in the baptismal vow on principles which our very message teach have been nailed to the cross some 2,000 years ago!
While on this note, I might also remind you that the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination lays claim to October 22nd, 1844, as her spiritual birthdate, the Day of Atonement (Yom-Kippur) of that year. What she does not realize is that in order for there to be 2,300 days of atonement counted off from 457 BC, someone had to have been keeping track of those events, and since Jesus, on the very day when the High Priest on earth would have officiated in the Holy of Holies, actually entered on His High Priestly mediatorial work in the Heavenly sanctuary, even while there was no earthly temple at Jerusalem for over 1800 years. This speaks volumes against the festivals’ having been done away with at the cross. Further, it shows that time has not stopped in 1844, at the end of 2,300 years, but that those annual events continue to punctuate the passage of time. How unfair would it be of our all-knowing Almighty God, in predicating the understanding of a prophecy to an event which had long been abolished some 18 centuries earlier! That is tantamount to the Traffic Cops of United States issuing speeding citations to motorists for driving on the Freeways at 65 mph, after the 55 mph law had been revoked! That would be “confusion,” of which he is not the “author”.
Had our spiritual ancestors understood the relevance of the festivals in the Christian diaspora, they might never have made some of the terrible miscalculations and pronouncements they made back then. Prophecy saw that they were to be bitterly disappointed, and warned of it (Rev. 10: 8-11), but we can all agree that it was most unbiblical for the early Adventists (Millerites) to predict the day of Christ’s return, in the face of so many plain Scripture passages to the contrary, (Matt. 24:36; 25: 13; Mk. 13: 32). Ignorance of the feasts is not bliss!
“The closing words of Malachi are a prophecy regarding the work that should be done preparatory to the first and the second advent of Christ. This prophecy is introduced with the admonition, ‘Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”—EG White, The Southern Watchman, March 21, 1905.
Observe that in the above statement, the closing book of the Old Testament had no mention of “ceremonial law,” but instead showed the three major divisions thereof: “commandments, statutes and judgments.” So Ellen White agrees with the rest of the Bible writers that “preparatory” to Christ’s Second Advent, the divine statutes, judgments and commandments are to again receive renewed attention, even through the Elijah’s message of today. It should not surprise you to see the abundance of new light derived from these holy times.
Revival and Reformation of “Primitive Godliness”
The redemptive features of YHWH’s festivals are far-reaching, and I shall summarize them below:
- The Seventh-day or weekly Sabbath: points to the rest (1,000 years) our earth will have from the burden of sin, and the rest we will have with Christ in eternity.
- The Passover: Points to the opening of earth’s harvest; to the saints’ deliverance from the kingdoms of this world into the glorious kingdom of our God and Saviour—Y’shuah. It also shows the simultaneous destruction of those who have not been “sealed” by the blood of the Lamb.
- Feast of unleavened bread: Points to our total consecration to Christ, and our lives being unleavened—without sin—thereby attaining to the character of the 144,000 who stood “without fault before the throne of God,” living sinless lives in mortal flesh, prior to the Second Advent.
- Wave Sheaf—first of the first fruits: Points to our being reconciled with the Father, separated for his service—being his divine vanguard, and be prepared for the baptism of His Holy Spirit
- Pentecost—the feast of weeks: Points to the Second Pentecostal outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in Latter Rain Power on his 144,000 “first fruits” saints.
- Trumpets—Rosh-Hashanah: Points to the last judgment warning message, the Judgment on the Living to a lost and dying world.
- Day of Atonement—Yom-Kippur: Points to the day of Christ’s cleansing sin and sinners from the camp of the saints, as also revealed in Ezek. 9—separation of the wheat from the tares in the books of heaven and in the church on earth (1 Pet. 4: 17).
- Tabernacles—Feast of booths: Points to the birth of Christ on the 15th day of the 7th Hebrew month in a booth (manger) under the stars; to the travail of the saints during the time of trouble (dwelling in booths), and to the completion of earth’s harvest, emblematized by the great multitude’s having “palm branches” (Rev. 7: 9) in their hands.
“And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles(booths), as in the days of the solemn feast.” Hos. 12:9. The fact that we are to “yet” dwell in tabernacles as in the days of the solemn feast, is clear evidence that tabernacles has not lost its effectiveness. True, we do not slay the sacrificial animal, as in the day of the solemn feast, but we do celebrate the holy time. The weekly Sabbath was also used as a day of sacrifice (Num. 28: 9-10), but with the sacrifice having “ceased” at the Cross, we do not throw away the day with the sacrifice (baby with the bath water), but instead keep the holy day and dispense with the earthly sacrificial offering, for Christ our Passover has already been sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7), fulfilling once and for all, the sacrificial lamb requirement in all the festivals.
“That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgments.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 332.
May we all strive with all the power God has given us to be among the “clean and holy people” whom He will seal “to declare His statutes and judgments” to a lost and dying world. What a glorious day that will be!
“Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children…Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 464.
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law, at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired.” Prophets and Kings, p. 678.
Here’s Rome’s Challenge to You
June 1, 1905
I have offered and still offer $1000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound, under grievous sin to keep Sunday holy. It was the Catholic Church which made the law obliging us to keep Sunday holy. The church made this law long after the Bible was written. Hence said law is not in the Bible. Christ, our Lord empowered his church to make laws binding in conscience. He said to his apostles and their lawful successors in the priesthood “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be binding in heaven.” Matthew 16:19. Matthew 18:17. Luke 16:19.
The Catholic Church abolished not only the Sabbath, but all the other Jewish festivals. Pray and study. I shall be always glad to help you as long as you honestly study the truth.
T. Enright, C.S.S.R.; St. Alphonsus (Rock) Church, St. Louis, MO.
I wish to only note that at the time the weekly Sabbath was changed by Rome, they had made other changes too—they “abolished not only the Sabbath but all the other Jewish festivals.” This is by their own admission. At this point I recommend a re-read of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica doctrine, on what has been replaced, quoted on p. 7 of this document.
Start A New Tradition This Year
Now that you’ve seen, maybe for the first time, that God has not cast away his “holy times,” why not seek out a Christian fellowship this year where you can participate in the Passover experience. It’s better to be on YHWH’s calendar, at His appointed Passover season, rather than on the beast’s calendar at his appointed Easter time! Passover this year is from April 14th thru the 21st.
There is a time coming known among present-truth believers as “the solemn assembly” (Joel 2: 15), but this event cannot be called except we know the biblically appointed time of such a solemn event. And we know for sure that the Most High will never respect the calendar which Rome, under Satan’s inspiration, has handed off to the world, but instead the calendar which He has given to Moses (Ex. 12: 2) to impart to us. On that calendar are the “solemn assemblies,” but when we have artificially “nailed them to the cross,” and erased them from our memories, we will, like the five foolish virgins, end up like the Millerites, in a soul-sickening disappointment! Let’s glorify our Saviour through obedience to all His holy appointed times.
- Contact the author: You may contact me by e-mail at: Gaugustus336@gmail.com, by telephone at: 1-770-722-7969, or by snail-Mail @: Garrick Augustus; P.O. Box 961; Dumfries, VA 22026. I am available for speaking engagements on a scheduled basis.
- Other Articles on this topic by the same author:
o He Shall Change Times and Laws
o Rediscovering Passover In The Christian Church
o Who Were The Waldenses?
o What is the Seal of God?
o The Law Our Schoolmaster
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not I welcome any and all comments, critique and productive feedback.
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