did Christ keep the FEAST days (John 5:1) and order his brothers
to "Go ...up unto this FEAST (John 7:8)? Why did Paul observe
the FESTIVALS (Acts 18:21; 20:16) and order the gentiles to "keep
the FEAST" (1 Cor.5:8)? Does God really "HATE"
the very feast days he originated (lsa.1:14; Amos 5:21; Hos.2:13)? Are
the festivals to be kept holy forever (Ex.12:14,17,24)? Did the festivals merely typify and foreshadow Christ (Col. 2:16-17)? Are animal sacrifices and a temple necessary to observe the holy days? Does festival-observance mean returning "to the weak and beggarly elements" of bondage (Gal.4:9-10)? Doesn't Romans 14:5-6 tell us that all days are the same?
They Existed Long Before The Old Covenant
People argue that the Old Covenant was abolished. They reason that since the feast days came into existence BECAUSE OF the Old Covenant, then naturally they would become defunct IF that covenant was abolished. They are wrong on both points. The Old Covenant law was never abolished (Matt. 5:17) and the Old Covenant can't TAKE AWAY what it didn't BRING IN. The feast days existed PRIOR TO the Old Covenant as well as within it (Ex.23:14-17). This is to be expected since God's character DOESN'T CHANGE (Mal.3:6) and Jesus Christ is "THE SAME yesterday and today and forever" (Heb.13:8). Even his name could be translated "I HAVE BEEN WHAT I WILL BE." He wouldn't change standards. If a law is eternal, it is moral.
However, the tabernacle with its Levite priesthood and accompanying sacrifices were all "added because of transgressions" (Gal.3:19) to an ALREADY EXISTING Old Covenant (Ex.19:5 to 24:8). They were either non-existent or not commanded prior to that time (Jer.7:22). They were TEMPORARY concepts (Heb.7; 9:10) "till the seed should come."
The festivals are mentioned all the way back in Genesis -- long before Exodus 23. " God commanded, 'Let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night and to show the time when days, years and RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS (Heb. "moedim") begin.'" (Gen.1:14, GNB; See also the NEB, Jerusalem, Emphasized, Moffatt, Complete and Torah Bibles which agree.) Jubilees 2:8 also says the sun and moon were made to
appear "for FESTIVALS." Psalm 104:19 says, "He appointed the moon for SEASONS (Heb. "moedim"), the sun knoweth its going down." If the sun and moon were created or made visible FOR THAT PURPOSE, and have NOT yet DISAPPEARED, then the obligation to keep the festivals must NOT have DISAPPEARED either. The sun and moon continue to define when the festivals occur and the Bible indicates they always will (Gen.8:22; Ps.89:36-37; 148:3-6; Jer.31:35-36).
What Was "Written For Our Learning"? Who Are "Our Examples"?
"All scripture (including the Old Testament) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 Tim.3:16) and the only "scriptures" known to Timothy were the Old Testament scriptures. And "whatever things were written aforetime (in the Old Testament) were written for our LEARNING" (Rom.15:4). "Now these things (we read about in the Old Testament) were our EXAMPLES" and "they are written for our ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor.10:6,11). Let's examine some Old Testament EXAMPLES now.
Adam Was Created On The Festival Of Trumpets
Rabbi Eliezer said creation began on Elul 25, and on the sixth day from this, Tishri one (the FEAST OF TRUMPETS), Adam was created (Leviticus Rabbah 29:1). Rabbi Eliezer said, "in the month of Tishri the world was created ... and in Tishri they (humans) will be redeemed in time to come" (Rosh haShanah 10b-11a). Jewish tradition teaches that Adam was created this day (Mishnah, San Hedrin 38b). How did they determine this? Because the fruit trees in the garden had ripe fruit on them and there were fig leaves available to use as clothing. Also the first word of Genesis, Bereshit, "in the beginning" when changed around, reads "Aleph b'Tishri," or "on the first of Tishri."
Adam is a type of Jesus (Romans 5:14; Phil.2:8; 1 Cor.15:45-47). And "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor.15:22). Just as Adam was first to die (Gen.2:21), so Messiah was first to be resurrected. Just as Adam was originally clothed in light which was later removed so that he knew he was naked, so Jesus began naked and then was later clothed in light. Both were tempted by Satan directly with opposite results. Satan tempted Adam to eat and he did. Satan told Adam he wouldn't die and Adam believed him. Adam worshipped Satan and his descendants were given all kingdoms to rule. But Satan tempted Christ to eat and he didn't. Satan told Christ he wouldn't die and Christ rebuked him. Christ refused to worship Satan and wasn't given rulership by him. Just as a rib was taken from Adam's side to make a living woman of flesh, so the blood from Jesus' pierced side gave life to the female spiritual assembly. Just as Adam was created on the FEAST of TRUMPETS, so the Messiah was born on the FEAST of TRUMPETS.
Jesus' ministry lasted for THREE-AND-ONE-HALF YEARS (Dan.9:27, etc.). His ministry came to an end at the PASSOVER (John 18:39) so must have begun SIX MONTHS BEFORE PASSOVER in the FALL FESTIVAL SEASON. When Jesus began his ministry he was "about THIRTY YEARS of age" (Luke 3:23; cp. Num.4:3) and this was in the FALL. So he was born THIRTY YEARS BEFORE in the FALL FESTIVAL season. (See p.55 for more proof of when he was born .)
Genesis 3:7 indicates another FESTIVAL when Adam and Eve knew they were "naked" (a type of sin -- Rev.3:17; 16:15) and a sacrifice of an animal -- "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8) -- was made since the penalty of death was transferred to the animal so that their nakedness (sin) was covered with coats made from animal skins (Gen.3:21). Did this event occur on PASSOVER?
"Righteous" Abel Attended Rosh HaShanah
In Genesis 4:3-4 we read "And IN PROCESS OF TIME it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof." The phrase "IN PROCESS OF TIME" means "IN THE END OF DAYS" in literal Hebrew which refers to the end of the year or Tishri one -- the FEAST OF TRUMPETS -- the time of tithe-paying when the fruit harvest had been gathered. Both brothers appearing together at the same place and time, when they were not close friends, indicates a feast day which required their attendance. The Living Bible renders it "At harvest time."
Cain and Abel were merely obeying God's command for all males to appear before God in the place which he shall choose at feast time to give an offering (Deut.16:16-17). Even Cain's reluctance to give his best to God is proof that this wasn't voluntary or spontaneous, but a legal requirement. Matthew 23:35 calls Abel "RIGHTEOUS" and we know that "all thy COMMANDMENTS (Heb. "mitsvah") (including the feasts) ARE RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Ps.119:172). So Abel must have observed the feast days.
Noah Was Born On The Feast Of Trumpets
From Adam's time on, according to one theory, humans reckoned their physical births and age from autumn to autumn starting on Tishri one (TRUMPETS) of the year in which they were born. Thus Noah's birth day is reckoned as being on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. He was 600 years old in 7:6 and became 601 on Tishri one (Gen.8:13) (even though his actual birth date may have been another day.) Our spiritual births
will all be reckoned from Tishri one also when we are "born again" (John 3:3) as spirit beings at Christ's return on the FEAST OF TRUM- PETS (1 Cor.15:52; 1 Thess.4:16). The "six hundredth and first year" of Noah's life is what is meant in 8:13. The flood lasted exactly one year and ten days (7:11; 8:14). Jasher 4:13 says Noah was born "at the revolution of the year" which probably refers to Tishri one -- NEW YEAR'S DAY.
Noah was "a preacher of RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 Pet. 2:5) and we know that "ALL thy COMMANDMENTS (including the FESTIVALS) are RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Ps.119:172) so Noah must have preached about the FESTIVALS (see Gen.6:9 & 7:1). Noah "walked with God" (Gen.6:9) and two can't walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). Therefore, Noah must have agreed with God that the FESTIVALS are REQUIRED. Just as those inside the ark were SEALED with pitch, so also the 144,000 tribulation saints are SEALED with the Holy Spirit. Thus both remain unharmed (Rev.7:2-4; Gen.6:14). "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be" (Matt. 24:37). Methuselah (meaning "When he dies, the flood will come") died at 969. Noah was 600 YEARS old when the FLOOD came (Gen.7:6). Then "in the 601st year, in the first month, the first day of the month, (according to the civil calendar; seventh month according to sacred calendar) the waters were dried up ... and Noah removed the covering of the ark" (Gen.8:13). On this FEAST OF TRUMPETS the earth was CLEANSED of all its evil and BEGAN AGAIN with the righteous. It will be that way in the MILLENIUM after 6000 YEARS and a FIERY catastrophe (2 Pet.3:5-7).
If Methuselah died on Tishri 10, Noah would have mourned for the usual 30 days (Num. 9:10; Deut. 21:13) and not entered the ark till the second month rather than the more significant Tishri 10. The door was closed. Then the flood began on the 17th of the second month rather than Tishri 17.
In Genesis 8:4 we read that "the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat" which coincides with the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD on the very same day Christ was resurrected, three days after PASSOVER. Christ saved humanity by sinlessly going through this world just as the ark saved humanity by going through the flood. Both the ark and Christ's body were saved from death and arrived at their destinations. Both left the sinful world behind -- a theme of the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
An alternate possibility is that the Bible is using the sacred calendar here rather than the civil calendar in which case Noah was travelling in a temporary home and came to rest on the FEAST OF SUKKOT. In this case, Genesis 7:4 and 7:11 would be times of the selection of the lamb to be slaughtered (wicked humanity in this case) and the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD for the second PASSOVER respectively. Furthermore, "in the new moon of the seventh month all the mouths of the deep of the earth were opened, and the water bagan to descend" (Jub.5:27). This is the time of the FEAST OF TRUMPETS again. And "at the revolution of the year, when a full year was completed to Noah's dwelling in the ark (i.e. at the FEAST OF TRUMPETS), the waters were dried from off the earth, and Noah put off the covering of the ark" (Jasher 6:38; see also Jub.6:23 & 7:1-2).
In Genesis 8:20 Noah "offered burnt offerings" only days after "the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month" (8:14). We know that PENTECOST always falls early in the third month (anywhere from Sivan 4th to 12th) and we know that "burnt offerings" plural were only made on feast days (Num.28 & 29). It was "the continual burnt offering" singular which was presented each day. Jasher 4-6 and Jubilees 6 both claim this day was PENTECOST. It is significant that later this same day "God spoke unto Noah ... saying ... I establish my covenant with you ... And God said, this is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you ... I do set my bow (rainbow) in the cloud" (8:8-13). Jubilees 6:14-16 says that God "placed his bow in the clouds as a sign of the eternal covenant ... that no water should again come over the earth ... on this account it is ordained (that).... the FESTIVAL OF WEEKS (PENTECOST) should be in this month, once a year, for a renewed covenant once in each year ... And during the time this festival was being celebrated in heaven, from the days of creation to the days of Noah, it was twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years."
A pattern revealed throughout the Bible is that PENTECOST and
COVENANTS go hand in hand (Gen.9:9; 13:14-18; 30:14; Ex.24:4-8; 2 Chr.15:10-12; 31:5-7; 1 Sam. 12:17; Acts 2).
Christians Should "Do The Works Of Abraham"
We read that Abraham "obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my STATUTES (Hebrew "chuqqah"), and my laws" (Gen.26:5). The same Hebrew word translated "STATUTES" here in this verse is also found in many verses which specifically refer to the celebration of FESTIVALS (Lev.16:31; 23:14,21,31,41; Deut. 16:12). In other words, ABRAHAM KEPT the FEAST DAYS. If we are Abraham's children, as all Christians are (Gal.3:7,29), we will do the works of Abraham (John 8:39) and CELEBRATE the FESTIVALS too.
In Genesis 12:1, the Eternal told Abram to "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." According to Jubilees 12:17, this incident occurred "at the new moon of the seventh month (FEAST OF TRUMPETS)" showing once again that God speaks to us on special feast days and that significant events are brought to pass on these holy days. As Jasher 13:3-5 confirms: "AT THE EXPIRATION of three years the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him ... go to the land of Canaan."
God made certain promises to Abram in Genesis 12:1-4, on condition he leave Haran, a city in NW Mesopotamia. So Abram left Haran on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS and began sojourning in Canaan over six months later on another feast day.
For proof of this fact, we turn to Exodus 12:40-41 which states, "Now the sojourning (in Canaan and Egypt) of the children of Israel (which here includes Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- see footnotes in both the Companion Bible and Jerusalem Bible), who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, EVEN THE SELFSAME DAY it came to pass that all the hosts of the Eternal went out from the land of Egypt." Josephus says, "They left Egypt ... on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan" (Ant.2:15:2). Which day did Israel leave Egypt? Numbers 33:3 answers: "And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month: on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of the Egyptians." Exodus 12:17 further confirms that this day was the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.
So Abram left Haran on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS and arrived in Canaan on Abib 15, the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD -- exactly 430 years before the exodus to the very day.
God again spoke to Abram in Genesis 13:14-17 and confirmed the promises he had made in 12:1-3 and 7 to him. So it shouldn't surprise anybody to learn that this was another feast day.
For proof of this, we turn to Galatians 3:16-17 which says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made (in Genesis 12:1-3,7) ... And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ (in Genesis 13:14-17), the law (of rituals and sacrifices), which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of no effect."
Which law came 430 years after Genesis 13:14-17 ?
The TABERNACLE SACRIFICES and LEVITE PRIESTHOOD. There were sacrifices before but without the tabernacle or Levites. In this sense at least, they did not previously exist (Jer. 7:22), but were "added because of transgressions, till the seed should come" (Gal. 3:19). The "LAW" mentioned in Exodus 24:12 that Moses received on Mount Sinai was given beginning ONE WEEK AFTER PENTECOST (Ex. 24:16).
But the actual Old Covenant agreement occurred on PENTECOST. Thus the day in Genesis 13:14-17, where God CONFIRMED the promises to Abram exactly 430 years before, must have been the FEAST OF PENTECOST. It is interesting to note that from Genesis 12:4 to 13:14 Abram journeys from Haran to Egypt and back to Canaan, a distance of 950 miles which took Abram over eight months to complete. From TRUMPETS to PENTECOST.
Now if both the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD and PENTECOST have parallels between the books of Genesis and Exodus that are exactly 430 years apart, is it unreasonable to think that the FEAST OF SUKKOT also has a parallel between these two books?
From the chronological information given in Exodus (24:16,18; 34:28; 40:17), we know that the FEAST OF SUKKOT had to occur around Exodus 36, when the Israelites began to build the TABERNACLE of God. What better time for them to start the TABERNACLE of the congregation than on the "FEAST OF TABERNACLES," when each individual Israelite was required to build and live in his own private SUKKAH for seven days (Hos.12:9)? Solomon's temple was dedicated on the FEAST OF SUKKOT (2 Chr.7:8-9). Do significant events, even today, occur on these ancient holy days? Is this one reason why it is so important for us to rest on, and observe, these days?
Four hundred and thirty years before the Israelites began to build the TABERNACLE of God in Exodus 36, we should expect to find something about TABERNACLES and TRAVELING in the life of Abram to indicate this festival.
Furthermore, from the chronological information given in Genesis (13:14-17 being Pentecost; 14:18 being Passover) we know that this
FEAST OF SUKKOTmust have occurred some time after he left Bethel/Ai but before he reached Hebron because this is when Abram "REMOVED HIS TENT" and WALKED "THROUGH THE LAND" (13:17-18), phrases which perfectly dovetail into Hebrews 11:9,13 where Abraham "SOJOURNED ... DWELLING IN TENTS" confessing that he was a STRANGER and PILGRIM on the earth. This is a theme of the FEAST OF SUKKOT. Christians haven't inherited the earth yet (Matt.5:5) (our promised land), but we will after wandering through life in a human SUKKAH (2 Cor.5:5).
In Genesis 14:12 when Abram's nephew Lot was taken captive by Chedorlaomer, Abram "armed his trained servants ... three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.... and smote them" (vv.14-15). Louis Ginsberg's Legends Of The Jews, 1:231-232 explains that "The battle fought ... happened on the fifteenth of Nisan (FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD), the night appointed for miraculous deeds." Then in Genesis 14:18 "Melchizedek, king of Salem (or Shem, king of Jerusalem -- Jasher 16:11), brought forth BREAD and WINE: and he was the priest of the most high God." Could this be a carbon copy of the "Lord's Supper" (Luke 22:19-20)? If so, it occurred on the second PASSOVER, Iyyar 14, since Abram was busy. However, it is more likely PENTECOST since from the second to last shin in verse 20, counting every 50th letter, spells SHAVUOT in Hebrew.
In Genesis 15:18 we read that "In the same day the Eternal made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river of Euphrates." Jubilees 14:20 says this was the anniversary of the same date when the Eternal had made a covenant with Noah "in this month" and "Abram renewed the festival and ordinance for himself unto eternity." Thus Genesis 15:7-21 is PENTECOST. Also, this is another place besides Genesis 13:14-16 where the "covenant" was "confirmed" and so may correspond to the Sinai Covenant 430 years later.
In Genesis 16:3 Abram was married to Hagar and she conceived (v.4). This occurred "At the end of ten years in the land of Canaan," or the first day of Tishri, the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. The same phrase found previously in Genesis 4:3 pops up again here. And in Jasher 16:36 the same phrase describes Hagar's conception. We read that "at the end of days Hagar bare a son to Abram, and Abram called his name Ishmael." Is it only coincidence that the father of the Arab people was born on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS -- a day always associated with warfare? The perpetual conflict between Arabs and Israelites all began on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS (cp. Jasher 17:11).
The whole seventeenth chapter of Genesis is called "this set time" (v.21) when God talked to Abram and said "I will make my covenant between me and thee" (v.2). God here promised that Sarah would give birth to Isaac at this same time (a holy day) one year later. In Genesis 21:2 we read that "the Eternal did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him." Jubilees 15:1 gives the time of Genesis 17 as being "in the third month, in the beginning of the month, Abram celebrated the festival of the first of the grain harvest" (PENTECOST). In Jubilees 16:11 we read that "in the third month, in the middle of the month, in the days which the Lord had said to Abraham, on the festival of the first harvest, Isaac was born." This occurred one year later. The phrase "set time" can be linked with the "appointed time" (Heb. "moed") (Gen.18:14) and means a festival time according to Strong's Lexicon (cp. Jasher 21:1-7).
In Genesis 18:1, Abraham rested in his tent door in the heat of the day indicating a Sabbath. Then Abraham prepared a calf which indicates a special festival (Luke 15:23).
From Genesis 18:1 to 19:28 we span only two days time sandwiched
somewhere between the two PENTECOSTS just mentioned. Abraham
tells Sarah to "make ready quickly (cp. Deut.16:3-4; 2 Chr.35:13; Ex.12:11) three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth" (18:6). Since a minimum of about three hours are required to leaven dough, and since Abraham and Sarah were in a hurry, we can safely say that these "cakes" were UNLEAVENED BREAD.
"Righteous" Lot Observed The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
In Genesis 19:3 we find that Lot made two angels "A FEAST," and did bake UNLEAVENED BREAD, and they did eat." Lot is called "RIGH- TEOUS" (2 Pet.2:8) and "all thy COMMANDMENTS are RIGHT- EOUSNESS" (Ps.119:172). One of these commandments is celebrating the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (Lev. 23:7).
If indeed these days fell within the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, then a very interesting pattern unfolds. Lot warned Sodomites of coming doom. The same day he fled from Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone down from heaven upon both Sodom and Gomorrah during the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (19:22-25). Noah warned the wicked to repent. Then the flood destroyed all humanity and the ark rested on the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (Gen. 8:4). Also, Moses warned Egypt of coming plagues. But when Moses led Israel from Egypt through the Red Sea, God drowned the Egyptian army during the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (Ex.14:15-28). Ezra left Babylon for Jerusalem on the twelfth day of the first month (Ezra 7:6-10; 8:31). No doubt he was still leaving Babylon on the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD three days later (15th to 21st of Nisan). Also, Abraham escaped from Haran of Mesopotamia after "the Chaldeans ... raised a tumult against him" for publishing the notion "that there was but one God" (Antiquities 1:7:1). His journey ended when he reached Canaan on the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. After three days of fasting, Esther, Mordecai and the Jews were saved from death on UNLEAVENED BREAD and Haman was executed (3:12; 4:16). When Cestius temporarily lifted the siege of Jerusalem, all the Christians fled to Pella before 70 A.D. Then the siege was resumed and the entire population of Jerusalem was killed or enslaved. (Wars 2:19:7; 2:20:1; Jer.6:1; E.H. 3:5:2; Luke 21:20-21). Did the Christians flee on the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD? Will Christians flee from a modern Babylon on this feast? If Christ returns in the fall, then 3 1/2 years before would be spring when the flight of the church occurs on UNLEAVENED BREAD in the future (Rev. 12:6).
Genesis 21:33 says, "And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Eternal, the everlasting God." Jubilees 16:16 says, "And he built there (at Beer-sheba) an altar to the Lord who had saved him and had filled him with joy in the land of his pilgrimage, and he celebrated a festival of great joy in this month, seven days, at the altar which he had built at the fountain of the oath and he built tents for himself and his servants on this festival, and he was the first one
to celebrate the FESTIVAL OF TABERNACLES on the earth" (in a long time) (cp. Jub.16:23-24). Also, "at the revolution of the year Abimelech king of the Philistines died" (Jasher 24:19). That was TRUMPETS.
Isaac Celebrated The Feast Of Pentecost
"Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned" (Gen.21:8). The Bible indicates this day was Nisan 15 since Ishmael mocked Isaac (Gen.21:9) which began the 400 years of affliction of Genesis 15:13 that ended on Nisan 15. Incidentally, since the 430-year count ended on the same day as the 400-year count (Ex.12:40-41), and since Abraham was 75 at the beginning (Gen.12:4) and 100 when Isaac was born (21:5), we know he was weaned for five years to make up the 30.
Concerning the FEAST OF PENTECOST, we read that "Abraham alone observed it, and Isaac and Jacob observed it, for these are his children" (Jub.6:17). And Abraham commanded "his children and his household after him, that they shall keep the way of the Eternal, to do justice and judgment" (Gen.18:19). And "the year in which Abraham died, Isaac and Ishmael came from the fountain of the oath that they might celebrate the festival of the seven days, that is, the FESTIVAL OF THE FIRST-FRUITS of the harvest, with Abraham" (Jub.22:1; Gen.25:7-8).
Isaac was a type of Christ. "An angel told Abraham: Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name ISAAC; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him" (Gen.17:19) just as "An angel told Joseph: Miryam will bear a son, and you shall call his name YESHUA; for it is he who will save his people from their sins" (Matt.1:20-21). Both were mocked and persecuted by their own kindred: ISHMAEL persecuted Isaac and the JEWS persecuted Jesus (Gen. 21:9-10; Gal. 4:28-29; Matt. 27:29). By a miracle from God, Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was "PAST AGE" (Heb.11:11) just as by a miracle Mary gave birth while still a VIRGIN. Abraham was told to offer Isaac as a burnt offering (done with willing heart) on Mount Moriah (Gen.22:2). Isaac is the ONLY BELOVED SON of his father who WILLINGLY lays down his own life on Mount MORIAH (Gen. 22:2; cp. 2 Chr.3:1) as a type of the heavenly Father offering Jesus Christ his ONLY BELOVED SON (John 3:16) as a willing sacrifice on the same mount. "They went both of them together" (22:6) just as Jesus said, "I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29) and "I am not alone, because the Father is with me" (John 16:32). Abraham "saddled his DONKEY ... and took Isaac"(Gen.22:3) just as Jesus rode a DONKEY (Matt.21:5). Then Abraham encountered a STREAM in the way and said, "The Lord rebuke thee, O SATAN, begone from us for we go by the commands of God" (Jasher 23:38) just as Jesus said to PETER who tried to oppose him "Get thee behind me SATAN" (Matt. 16:23). Isaac carried the FIREWOOD to be used in his own execution (Gen.22:6) just as Christ carried the WOODEN cross-beam used in his execution (John 19:17). Both were TIED to the wood just as the high priest tied a lamb to the altar at the third hour (9 a.m.) on the fourteenth of Nisan. Jesus was tied to a tree at 9 a.m. (Mark 15:25). Abraham knew God would provide himself a lamb (22:8) because he saw Mount Moriah "AFAR OFF" in time (22:4) as well as in distance. He saw the crucifixion in vision (Gen. 22:4; Heb.11:13). "Your father Abraham rejoiced to SEE MY DAY: and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:56). The Hebrew word "achar" (Gen. 22:13) translated "behind him" means "in the future." God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on the 12th of Abib (Jub. 17:15-17). Thus, Abraham "came to the place (of sacrifice) on the third day" (Jub.18:3). Therefore, "the third day" (Gen.22:4) when Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac would have been Abib 14th -- PASSOVER. Both Isaac and Jesus went forth to DIE and came back ALIVE on "the THIRD DAY" (22:4). Yes, "Jehovah-jireh" (The Eternal will provide) is a prophecy about Christ's sacrifice. Both Jubilees 17-18 and Jasher 23 say Abraham offered Isaac on the PASSOVER. Abraham believed God would resurrect Isaac (Heb. 11:17-19). Eliezer (HOLY SPIRIT) finds Rebekah (BELIEVERS) to marry Isaac (CHRIST). She consents to the marriage before meeting him just as 1 Peter 1:8 says, "having not seen, ye love." Isaac, being married at FORTY (Gen.25:20), parallels Jesus coming to earth at the end of 4000 YEARS to choose a bride for himself and to pay the "bride price." The birth of his childrten at SIXTY (25:26) shows the salvation of Christians at the end of 6000 YEARS. The BIRTHPANGS of a woman in TRAVAIL are the tribulation just before the Millenium. As Isaac left his home and went out into the FIELD to meet Rebekah, so Jesus will descend from heaven to meet his bride, the church, in the AIR (Gen. 24:65). Yes, "every scribe ... bringeth forth out of his treasure things NEW (testament) and OLD (testament)" (Matt. 13:52) because "The NEW is in the OLD contained; The OLD is in the NEW explained." OLD Testament scripture is a "SHADOW of good things to come, and not the very image of the thing" (Heb. 10:1).
Then Genesis 22:17-18 describes the blessing given Abraham probably on the 15th of Abib. And Abraham "celebrated this festival in all the years, seven days in joy, and called it "the FESTIVAL of the Lord," according to the seven days in which he had gone and returned in peace. And thus it is, and it is engraven and written in the tablets of heaven concerning Israel and its seed to keep this FESTIVAL (of UNLEAVENED BREAD) seven days in joy" (Jub.18:20-21).
In Genesis 26:24, the Eternal appeared to Isaac "at the new moon of the first month" (Jub.24:24). And in verse 30, Isaac "made them a feast."This feast is either the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD or the FEAST OF TRUMPETS.
Jacob Kept The Feast Of Sukkot And Eighth Day
The covenant promising ownership of the land was confirmed to Jacob (Gen.28:10-22) "in the beginning of the first month" (Jub.27:15).
Also "the Lord appeared to Jacob at the expiration of six years" (Jasher 31:37). The Lord appeared to Jacob on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS therefore. (See also Jasher 33:3)
In Jubilees 28:2 "Laban made a feast" and said "Let the seven days of this feast pass by" (v.10). In Genesis 29:22 Laban "made a feast," and Jacob "fulfilled her (Leah's) week" of marriage festivities. If this occurred on the FEAST OF SUKKOT, we know that seven years earlier when Jacob agreed to work for his bride, it must have also been SUKKOT. And seven years later when Rachel's seven years were completed, the EIGHTH DAY occurred (Gen.30:26) because Jacob was given Rachel after fulfilling Leah's week (29:28). However, if Leah's HONEYMOON "WEEK" occurred within the "DAYS OF AWE" (as Christ's will), then the seven years were completed on ATONEMENT. Leah represents the resurrection of pre-tribulation saints (bride) whom Christ takes to heaven to his father's house for a seven-year honeymoon (Matt. 25:10; 23:39; Ps. 47:5-8; Dan. 12:2; Isa. 26:20; Rev. 3:10; 1 Th. 4:13-5:9; 1 Cor. 15:50-52). Rachel represents tribula-
tion saints (bride) who are resurrected at his return from the wedding and honeymoon (Luke 12:36; Zech. 14:1-7; Jude 14; Isa. 27:13; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 3:18; Isa. 66:8; Rev. 6:9-11; 7:14).
According to the Talmud, "on New Year (FEAST OF TRUMPETS), Sarah (Gen. 21), Rachel, and Hannah were remembered on high (and they conceived)" (Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a; Yevamot 64b). First Samuel 1:20 uses the same phrase "end of days" to describe when
Hannah conceived. These women were childless until these special sons were born just as the church is childless until the "birthpangs" and first resurrection which are associated with ROSH HASHANAH.
Possibly Rachel conceived Benjamin on TRUMPETS (Gen.35:18) but she gave birth to Joseph on the EIGHTH DAY because he was born the same day that Jacob's contract was fulfilled seven years after the EIGHTH DAY when he first took Rachel (cp. Gen.30:25 & 29:28). This, of course, is based on the theory that Leah's "week" of marriage festivities was the FEAST OF SUKKOT. Another possibility is that Leah's "week" fell during the "DAYS OF AWE" in which case ATONEMENT was the eighth day and the day she gave birth to Joseph.
Jacob returned to Gilead "in the first month, on the twenty-first" (Jub.29:4; cp. Gen.31:21-23) which is the last day of UNLEAVENED BREAD. "And on the fifteenth" day of "the third month," "Jacob made a FEAST to Laban" (Jub. 29:4; cp. Gen.31:21-23). And they made a "covenant" (Gen.31:44). Could this be another PENTECOST?
Genesis 33:16-17 says "Esau returned ... unto Seir (lit. "Rough"). He went into the wilderness just as the rough, hairy goat (Heb. "sair" -- Strong's 8163) was taken to the wilderness (Lev.16:22). This event may have occurred on ATONEMENT because Jacob then "journeyed to Succoth ... and made booths" (33:17). The FEAST OF SUKKOT.
Genesis 35:2 occurred "in the new moon of the month, (when) Jacob spoke to all the men of his house, saying, '... tear away the false gods which are in your ears and on your necks, and the idols which Rachel took from her father Laban ...' And he ascended at the new moon of the seventh month to Bethel" (FEAST OF TRUMPETS) (Jub.31:1-5).
Genesis 35:6-8 occurred on PASSOVER. Jacob "remained in that night in Bethel ... and Jacob started early in the morning, on the fourteenth of this month, and the tenth of all that came with him ... And in those days, Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin ... And on the fifteenth of this month he brought to the altar (sacrifices) ... This was the fulfillment of the vow he had made to give the tenth ... and he
remained there eating, and all his sons and his men in joy seven days ... And on this account it is ordained ... concerning the giving of a second tenth -- to eat before the Lord at the place upon which he has chosen his name to dwell" (Jub.32:1-9).
Jacob observed the FEAST OF SUKKOT and EIGHTH DAY according to Jubilees 32:29 and made Levi a priest at the same time. Then in Moses' day this festival was "renewed" (Jub.6:17) and Levi's priesthood was also renewed.
Jacob offered sacrifices (plural) to God at Beer-sheba which indicates a festival (Gen. 46:1). Jubilees 44:1-3 tells us this sacrificing took place in "the third month" on the fourteenth day of the month when Jacob "celebrated the harvest FESTIVAL OF FIRST FRUITS with old grain, for there was not a handful of seed in all the land of Canaan."
Joseph Was Sold Into Slavery On The Day Of Atonement
Genesis 37:20-36, which mentions Joseph being sold as a slave into Egypt, occurred "on the tenth of the seventh month, and they stayed all this day until the evening, and they brought it (Joseph's coat dipped in blood) to him (Jacob); and he became fevered in his grief unto death ... And on that day Balla (Bilhah) heard that Joseph had been killed, and she died in her grief ... and Dinah, his daughter, died also after Joseph had been slain.... And he continued mourning for Joseph one year ... And on this account it is ordained for the children of Israel, that they shall mourn on the tenth of the seventh month, on the day when they brought the sad news concerning Joseph to his father Jacob (ATONEMENT), that on it pardon should be sought by the death of a young goat ... for their sins" (Jub.34:13-19).
Joseph was in Potiphar's house "a year" (Jasher 44:73) and his inprisonment occurred around the FALL FESTIVAL season because "Joseph was in the house of confinement twelve years" after that (Jasher 44:76) and then was released on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS (Ps.81:3-5). He was sold into slavery on ATONEMENT (Jub.34:13) which occurs after TRUMPETS. So the Ishmaelites didn't sell Joseph for a whole year, making FOURTEEN years minimum that Joseph was enslaved. According to the Talmud, Joseph was released on TISHRI ONE after spending SIXTEEN years in prison (Rosh HaShanah 10b).
In Genesis 41:1 we read that "it came to pass at the end of two full years (on TRUMPETS) that Pharaoh dreamed" a dream. This same phrase "in the end of" days is found in Genesis 4:3-4, Genesis 16:3 and 1 Kings 17:7 and means the end of the agricultural year and civil year or TISHRI ONE eve. Then "Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and theybrought him hastily out of the dungeon" (v.14). "And Pharaoh saidunto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt" (v.41). "And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt" (v.45).
In one day's time Joseph was "resurrected from the dead" to sit at the right hand of "god" (Pharaoh) on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS -- just as we may be raised to spirit beings on that day -- if we are observing it. As Psalm 81:3-5 says, "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time of the full moon, on our solemn feast day ... This decree he imposed on Joseph when he came out of Egypt" (KJV; Jerus.; NEB). Yes, "on New Year Joseph went forth from prison" (Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a). That very day Joseph celebrated the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. At Christ's second coming, the same thing will happen to Christians "at the last trump" (1 Cor.15:52) (trumpet). "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... with the trump of God" (1 Thess 4:16). See also Jasher 46:6,20 for further proof he was released precisely on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS.
God told Moses to make two silver trumpets. When the priest blew ONE, only the LEADERS gathered before God. When the priest blew both, the entire congregation gathered together before God. Revelation 20:4-6 mentions the first resurrection of Christians who will REIGN "with Christ for a thousand years." The "dead in Christ" not "all the dead, small and great" are raised "at the last trumpet" singular (1 Th. 4:6) because they are the RULERS.
"At the revolution of the year (FEAST OF TRUMPETS), in the second year of Joseph's reigning over Egypt, the Lord gave great plenty throughout the land for seven years" (Jasher 50:7; see Jasher 41:1).
In Genesis 43:8-15, Jacob sent Benjamin with Judah down to Egypt "in the new moon of the month" (Jub. 42:23). When the brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph "made them a FEAST" (42:27).
Genesis 46 and Jubilees 44 mention that Joseph sent for Jacob on the FEAST OF PENTECOST but Jacob feared to come (Jub.44:1-2).
Then God made a covenant with Jacob (Gen.46:2-4; Jub.44:4-7).
The Messiah is described in the Talmud as the "son of JOSEPH" (Sukkah 52a). Just as God RESURRECTED JESUS from the TOMB of JOSEPH of Arimathea, so Moses also RETRIEVED JOSEPH'S body from HIS TOMB in Egypt. Yes, both made their graves "with the wicked" [Isa.53:9). Both left their tombs EMPTY on the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD. Joseph was sold for the PRICE of a SLAVE by JUDAH his brother -- twenty pieces of silver (Ex. 21:32), just as Jesus son of JOSEPH was sold by JUDAS his Jewish brother, for the price of a slave -- thirty pieces of silver (Ex. 21:32). Joseph was HATED by his Israelite BROTHERS and Jesus, son of Joseph was HATED by his JEWISH brothers. Both have their COATS DIPPED in BLOOD at the return (Gen. 37:31; Rev. 19:13). Both were cast into a PIT (GRAVE) and left for dead but both were LIFTED UP OUT of their tombs. Both were FALSELY ACCUSED and both were made "of no reputation" and took upon themselves "the form of a servant." Both went to PRISON (1 Pet.3:18-20). Both were "numbered with the transgressors." The butler and the baker with Joseph in prison correspond to the two thieves with Messiah on the tree. One received life and the other death in each scenario. The chief butler said, "I do remember my faults this day" just as the thief on the cross said, "We indeed justly, for: for we receive the due reward of our deeds." Joseph's "FEET they HURT with fetters; he was laid in iron" (Ps. 105:18) whereas Messiah said, "they PIERCED my hands and my FEET" (Ps. 22:16). Both were RAISED UP to be ruler of EGYPT (the WORLD), second only to PHARAOH (GOD). Both SAVED THE WORLD from DEATH using the BREAD of LIFE. "The SECOND TIME" (Acts 7:13), Joseph REVEALED HIMSELF to his BROTHERS, who thought him to be ruler of the gentiles, rather than one of their own brethren. They "knew him not" (Acts 13:27; Zech. 12:8-10). They BOWED DOWN before him and he saved them from famine. Even though his brothers deserved death for the way they treated him, he extended MERCY. At Messiah's SECOND COMING, he will REVEAL HIMSELF to his BROTHERS the Jews, who thought he was a ruler of the gentiles, rather than a brother. During the Great Tribulation when they are starving, they will BOW DOWN before him. He will extend MERCY. Just as Joseph ESTABLISHES his brethren and their families in the "land of Goshen," so Jesus will RE-ESTABLISH Israel in Palestine (Jer. 3:14).
Moses Received The Festival Oracles "To Give Unto Us"
Moses "who received the lively oracles (the ten commandments, statutes and judgments) to give unto us" (who are Christians) (Acts 7:37-38), would not have given them to us if they were abolished. As Christ said, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you (of sin), even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:45-47). If we don't believe the Torah, we won't believe Jesus Christ. Moses gave these laws to us as Christians, just as Stephen said. Exodus 4:24-26 occurred "at the FEAST OF TABERNACLES" where
Satan with all his power tried "to kill" Moses and "to save the Egyptians" out of his hand (Jub.48:2-3). Exodus 5:1 says that "Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Eternal God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. Exodus 12 calls this feast "the Eternal's PASSOVER" and couples it with seven additional "DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD." Notice that these feast days were to be observed "FOREVER" (vv.14,17, 24), not just "until the cross," or "as long as the temple or sacrifices continue." Also notice that this PASSOVER occurred fifty-four days before the Old Covenant was given from Mount Sinai. It is an eternal law, created in Genesis and commanded to be observed "FOREVER." According to the Talmud, the bondage of Israel ceased on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS, even though the exodus was delayed till PASSOVER (Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a).
Both Moses and Christ had their lives threatened at birth by a king who massacred innocent children (Ex.1:16; Matt.2:13-18). They said to Moses, "Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?" Christ said to them, "Who made me a judge or divider over you?" Both gave up the pleasures and riches of Pharaoh's (God's) court for a life of suffering. Both fasted 40 days before teaching the law to the people (Ex.34:28; Matt.4:2). Moses was "very meek" (Nu. 12:3) and Jesus was "meek and lowly in heart" (Matt. 11:29). Both came out of Egypt (Ex.12:41; Matt.2:15) and fed their followers with miraculous food (Ex.16:35; Matt.14:17-21). Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament and Christ spoke the first four books of the New Testament. Just as Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands, one on each side, causing Israel's enemy to be defeated (Ex. 17:12), so Christ's hands were nailed and tied to a cross between two thieves, causing Israel's enemy of death for sin to be defeated. According to the Talmud, MOSES CAME DOWN from Sinai with the second set of commandments on the DAY OF ATONEMENT (Tanna Eliyahu Zuta, 4). Moses had a SECOND COMING carrying God's law as a sign of forgiveness for the golden calf. The following day Moses told Israel to build the TABERNACLE. Christ is a new Moses (Deut. 18:15-18). If Christ RETURNS on the TRUMPET that sounds the JUBILEE Year, he will actually be returning on the DAY OF ATONEMENT since that is when the trumpet sounds (Lev.25:9; Joel 2:12-15). That also fits the scenario of him RELEASING the WORLD from BONDAGE to SATAN (Rev.11:5) and the worship of the image of the beast. Then Israel will build the kingdom of God. Both Moses and Messiah INTERCEDED with God to prevent the destruction of Israel for their sins (Num.14:19; Heb.7:25).
MOSES typified the meaning of ATONEMENT in Exodus 35. The time element of this chapter can be determined by taking the Sivan 7 date for Pentecost and adding 7 days (24:16) plus 40 days (24:18) plus another 40 days (34:28). This brings us to about the fifth day of the sixth month. If Moses CAME DOWN from Mount Sinai after another 35 days elapsed, as Jewish tradition says, we have ATONEMENT occurring on the same day that Moses called a MEETING of the children of Israel to explain the need for building materials for the construction of GOD'S TABERNACLE. Jews begin building their sukkahs the day after ATONEMENT. Moses' sermon included the exhortation to "Take ye from among you an OFFERING unto the Eternal; whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Eternal" (Ex.35:5). Moses had made a similar journey taking forty days and returning with the ten commandments only ONCE BEFORE. So, in a sense, Moses had a "SECOND COMING" which coincided with the DAY OF ATONEMENT. The tabernacle is a type of GOD'S KINGDOM which Christians will help build when he returns. On the DAY OF ATONEMENT, "The Eternal, my God, shall come, and all the saints with thee" (Zech.14:5). "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 14; cp. Deut.33:2). His face will SHINE (Deut.33:2) just as Moses' face SHONE (Ex.34:30).
Jews observe the "Teshuvah" ("Repentance") from Elul 1 to Tishri 10 in prayer and confession and preparation for the fall festivals based on the belief that Moses ascended Mount Sinai Elul 1 to receive the second set of tables of the law and descended on YOM KIPPUR (Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer 46). Perhaps Christ used this time to fast "forty days and forty nights" (Matt.4:2) in preparation for his public ministry.
People argue that there were special sacrifices on the festivals (Lev. 23) and therefore the festivals were abolished with the sacrifices when Christ died. If this is true, then the weekly Sabbath is also abolished since special sacrifices were offered on that day also. "And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of every sabbath" (Num. 28:9-10).
Egyptian Army Destroyed On Last Day Of Unleavened Bread
Moses continued to use the civil calendar with its fall to fall reckoning (Ps.81:3-6) but now began a religious calendar as well. Notice that Exodus 13:3 says, "Remember this day (Thursday -- Ex. 19:1), in which ye came out of Egypt." Israel went out by night (Deut.16:1) "from Rameses to Succoth" (Ex.12:37) on "the fifteenth day of the first month" (Num.33:3; cp. Ex.12:17). "And they took their journey from Succoth and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness" (Ex.13:20; cp. Num.33:6), a Friday. In Exodus 14:2, the Israelites were told to "turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon." This was the Sabbath sermon from God himself instructing them on what to do the very next day. But they didn't travel on the Sabbath, Abib 17. On Sunday, Abib 18, "they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pihahiroth, which isbefore Baal-zephon: and they pitched before Migdol" (Num.33:7; cp. Ex.14:9). After the Israelites had taken these "THREE days' journey into the wilderness" (Ex.3:18; 5:3; 8:27) which correspond to "the THIRD day" of Isaac (Gen.22:4) and Christ's THREE days and THREE nights in the tomb, and Esther's THREE-day fast (Esther 4:16) and God speaking 10 commandments to Moses the THIRD day (Ex.19:16) and Joshua leading Israel into the promised land the THIRD day (Josh.1:11; 3:2; Hos.6:2) and had begun sacrificing to the Eternal, Pharaoh felt he had done his duty (Ant.2:15:3) and heard that Israel was "entangled in the land" (Ex.14:3-5) and pursued with "six hundred chosen chariots,
and all the chariots of Egypt" (14:7) as well as "two hundred thousand footmen" (Ant. 2:15:3) which must have taken two full days to catch up. Monday and Tuesday, Abib 19 and 20, were spent in pursuit. Then all night long the Eternal kept the two camps apart (14:20) while the Israelites passed through the sea (14:21-22). The morning of the 21st of Abib, a Wednesday, witnessed the destruction of the Egyptian army.
Just as ancient Israel took "THREE DAYS' journey into the wilderness" (Ex. 3:18; 5:3; 8:27) and then made an EXODUS FROM EGYPT victorious over her enemies, so Christ spent THREE DAYS and three nights in the earth (Matt. 12:39-40) and then was RESURRECTED victorious FROM THE TOMB. God called both Israel and Jesus out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:15). God REMOVED THE WHEELS of the Egyptian chariots where the Israelites had been temporarily "BURIED" in the watery "grave" (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12) just as he removed the STONE WHEEL of the tomb where Christ was BURIED. Just as the waters COVERED the Egyptian army, so the Holy Spirit COVERS our sins. Both were the FIRSTBORN of EGYPT (Hos. 11:1). Both were chosen on the TENTH day of the first month (Josh. 4:19; John 12:12-13). Then after they were safely across the Red Sea with the Egyptians destroyed, Israel held a worship service to God and sang a song (Ex.15:1-22) showing this day was one of the holy convocations. They now had the time to once again bake leavened bread.
They Were Commanded "Forever"
God promised to keep his covenant (Ex.19-24) with his people for a thousand generations (Deut.7:9; Ps.105:8; 1 Chr.16:15). A generation is defined in the Bible as 100 years (Gen.15:13-16). Yet from Moses to our day is only about 35 generations since 3500 years divided by 100 years per generation is 35 generations since Moses. Now since the
festivals are part of that covenant (Ex.23:14-17), they have at least 965 generations to go. Furthermore, the sun and moon continue to define when the festivals occur and the Bible indicates they always will (Gen.8:22; Ps.89:36-37; 148:3-6; Jer.31:35-36). As Psalm 104:19 says, "He appointed the moon for seasons (literally "FEASTS" from the Hebrew "mowadah"); the sun knoweth its going down."
We read in Exodus 12:17, "ye shall observe the FEAST OF UNLEAVEN- ED BREAD ... observe this day in your generations by an ordinance FOREVER." Leviticus 23:14,21,31 and 41 also mention that the
festivals are "FOREVER."
Critics argue that the word "FOREVER" doesn't always mean FOREVER. For instance, Jonah was in a fishes' belly for three days and three nights and this period of time is described as "FOREVER" (olam) (Jonah 2:6). Also, if a servant chose to serve his master rather than going out free, he was then obligated to serve his master "FOREVER" (olam) meaning for the rest of his human life (Ex.21:6). Even "EVERLASTING" (olam) hills (Gen.49:26) only last for awhile (Isa.54:10; 42:15; 41:15).
"Do His will as if it were your own, so that He will do your will as if it were His. Nullify your own will before His so that he will nullify the will of others before you" (Pirke Avot 2:4).
In the case of Jonah, those conditions ended when he was vomited out of the fishes' belly. In the case of the slave, those conditons ended with the death of the slave. In the case of hills, those conditions end with an earthquake or bulldozer. But in each case the timespan was UNKNOWN and UNKNOWABLE. The Hebrew word "OLAM" which is translated "FOREVER in Exodus 12 literally means a "CONCEALED" vanishing point in time. It doesn't always mean FOREVER. The meaning of "OLAM" depends on the context and the duration of the fish, the slave, and the mountain. If there are NO LIMITING FACTORS, the command is PERPETUAL. FESTIVALS are FOREVER.
Sinai Old Covenant Made On Pentecost
Now we come to the Old Covenant -- Exodus 19 to 24. Exodus 19:1 says "in the third month." Numbers 33 lists Israel's encampments as they travelled from Egypt to Sinai. The seven encampments from Marah to Rephidim correspond roughly to the seven Sabbaths be-tween Wave-sheaf Sunday and Pentecost. But they are not all Sabbath encampments since Israel arrived at Sinai (Nu.33:15) on a Thursday, three days before the final Sabbath encampment (Ex.19:1). From this data alone, we get a general feel that it was around PENTECOST when the Old Covenant was ratified. Jasher 82:1-7 says it was the sixth day of the third month when Israel was given the ten commandments from Sinai. Jubilees 1:1 says it was the 16th day but this date is too late to even be considered. Assuming Jasher is correct, PENTECOST occurred the 7th. The Bible teaches that we must count fifty days from the Sunday within the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD in order to arrive at the FEAST OF PENTECOST which always occurs on a Sunday (Lev.23:15-16).
That being understood, it may be assumed that Exodus 24:8 took place on a Sunday. Later this will be proven beyond any doubt. If this agreement took place on a Sunday, then Exodus 19:16 through 24:2 took place on the previous day, a Sabbath, since Moses "rose up early in the morning" in verse 4. If Exodus 19:16 occurred on a Sabbath, then the Israelites must have arrived at Mount Sinai on a Thursday because Exodus 19:11 mentions that the Eternal would descend "the third day"
from their arrival. If they arrived at Mount Sinai on a Thursday, then Nisan 15, the first day of UNLEAVENED BREAD and the day they left Egypt, must have also been a Thursday because Exodus 19:1 says these two events occurred "the same day" of the week. (It couldn't have been "the same day" of the month because 29 or 30 days just wont fit between Exodus 16:1 and 19:1. Israel was already near Sinai on the 29th of the second month -- Ex.17:6 & 18:5.) If Nisan 15 was a Thursday, then the fifty-day count must begin with Nisan 18 -- the Sunday during the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. So let's begin counting.
From Nisan 18 (Sunday -- day 1) to Exodus 16:1 is 28 days inclusive because Exodus 16:1 took place "on the fifteenth day of the second month," or Iyyar 15. Nisan is a 30-day month because this day also happens to be a Sabbath (Ex.16:8) and if Nisan had been a 29-day month, Exodus 16:1 would be a Friday. From Exodus 16:1 to 16:22 is another six days and verse 27 is another Sabbath since it is called the "seventh day." So now we have 28 days plus seven more totalling 35 in all. Here we must pause, on day number 35, a Saturday, Iyyar 21, to get our bearings. We know from Exodus 19:1 that the Israelites arrive at Sinai "In the third month" or Sivan Thursday. At the earliest, this could be no sooner than the 47th day (Iyyar 21) plus 12 days gives us the first Thursday of Sivan -- Sivan 3 or 4 (depending on whether Iyyar is 30 or 29 days respectively).
With this information we can resume our count. From 16:27 to 18:12 is another seven days since 18:12 is obviously a convocation at which extra sacrificing took place, which definitely indicates a Sabbath (Lev. 23:3; Num. 28:9-10). Also, verse 13 seems to imply that Moses waited till the Sabbath day was over before returning to his regular work schedule. Certainly Moses hadn't spent the previous day judging the people "from the morning until the evening." Instead he had spent it in fellowship with his father-in-law -- a priest (18:1-11). This all indicates a weekly Sabbath right where a person should expect to find one. So 35 days plus seven more gives a total of 42 up to verse 12. Adding verse 13 we get 43 days. Now from 18:13, a Sunday, till 19:1, a Thursday, there are four days. That makes 47 in all. Exodus 19:11 tells us that this Thursday is the first of three days which take us to God's descent on Sinai -- a Sabbath. From Exodus 24:4 we learn that
the actual agreement took place on the following day (after the Sabbath) -- a Sunday -- Sivan 7 or 8, PENTECOST, when "Moses rose up early in the morning." Thus we know that from 19:16 to 24:2 was only one day -- the Sabbath.
Incidentally, even if we didn't know that PENTECOST always falls on a Sunday, we would still be required to say that the Sinai covenant took place on that day of the week because Exodus 16:1 was a Saturday that occurred 29 or 30 days after Nisan 15, making Nisan 15 a Friday or Thursday, which we know was the same day as Exodus 19:1. And of course, from Exodus 19:1 to the giving of the law is three days inclusive -- either Saturday or Sunday. So the next day is either Sunday or Monday. But we read that "Moses went up into the mount" the same day the covenant was ratified. Then in verse 16, "the cloud covered it (the mount) six days: and the seventh day he (God) called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud." The seventh day is the Sabbath -- a Saturday. So here we have a complete weekly cycle counting from the Sinai covenant. It had to occur on a Sunday therefore.
The fact that "burnt offerings" plural (24:5) were given on this day, rather than just "the continual (daily) burnt offering," is still more proof this day had to be PENTECOST. Additional burnt offerings were only given on God's festivals (Nu.28 & 29).
Now let's examine the Old Covenant more closely. Turn to Exodus 23:14-17. Not only is the "FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD"
mentioned, which we saw in Exodus 12, but now we find "THE FEAST OF HARVEST" (PENTECOST) and "THE FEAST OF INGATHERING" (SUKKOT) also commanded. Actually all seven of the holy days are included in this passage because verse 14 is more correctly translated, "There are three annual religious pilgrimages you must make" (Living Bible). The seven holy days of the year all fall within three literally means "footstep" as in a journey or pilgrimage. In Nisan (Abib), Sivan and Tishri all male Israelites were to appear "in the place which the Eternal thy God shall choose to set his name there" (Deut.16:2,6,11,15,16).
The Midrash says God's voice thundered the Torah from Sinai "in seventy LANGUAGES, so that all the nations should understand" (Exodus Rabbah 5:9). God spoke in"VOICES" (Ex.20:18; Rhm.; YLT). There was also "FIRE" and a "SOUND" (Heb.12:18-19 Ex.20:18). These Israelites weren't given the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Instead, "the Eternal said unto Moses, come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and a LAW, and commandments which I have written, that thou mayest teach them" (Ex.24:12). They were given an "ADDED" law of RITUALS (Gal.3:19) as a SUBSTITUTE for the HOLY SPIRIT and about 3000 men were buried because of idol worship (Ex.32:28).
In Acts 2:2-4 , the New Testament church began on PENTECOST at the temple mount in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1). Before going onto the Temple mount itself, a pilgrim had to be ritually cleansed in a mikvah and excavations have uncovered many mikvaot outside the south wall of the Temple Mount. Therefore, this had to be the spot where the 3000 were baptized (buried in a mikvah) on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41,46). In fact, the "house" they were sitting in (Acts 2:2) may have been the "House of God." The Gospel was spoken in many "OTHER TONGUES" also accompanied by "FIRE" and a "SOUND" Incidentally, according to legend the world was divided into 70 LAN- GUAGES at Babel on PENTECOST also (Gen. 11:8).
The TONGUES OF FIRE over the apostles' heads (Acts 2) correspond to the fact that "all the people saw the thunders and the FLAMES"
(Ex.20:18). The "devout men" (Acts 2:5) weren't Christians but instead were those who obeyed the laws of the Old Testament.
Since the women bought the spices AFTER the ANNUAL Sabbath (Mark 16:1; John 19:31) and prepared those spices BEFORE the WEEKLY Sabbath (Luke 23:56; 24:1), we know that WAVE SHEAF SUNDAY was Abib 18. Therefore we conclude that the Pentecost of Acts 2 had to be SIVAN 7, 8 or 9 depending on whether the months in between were 29 or 30-day months. There is every reason to believe that both the Sinai Pentecost and the Jerusalem Pentecost occurred on the SAME DATE in Sivan. Another conclusion we can draw is that Christ's ascension on the Mount of Olives was THURSDAY, "forty days" after his acceptance on SUNDAY (Acts 1:3).
Jericho Collapsed During Feast of Unleavened Bread
"And the people came up out of the Jordan on the TENTH DAY of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho" (Josh.4:19). Israel then kept PASSOVER (Josh.5:10). The four days the Passover lamb was set apart symbolize the FOUR GENERATIONS Israel was set apart in Egypt before Passover and deliverance. Christians will be resurrected and JESUS (Yeshua) will lead them into the Millenium just as JOSHUA led ancient Israel. Actually the English Joshua is the Hebrew Yeshua which was the same as the Greek "Jesus" (an English transliteration of the Greek letters found in the oldest N.T. manuscripts.)
JERICHO is a type of CIVILIZATION as we know it which will come tumbling down as God introduces his "PROMISED LAND" -- the MILLENIUM. The priests took SEVEN TRUMPETS and blew them and then civilization tumbled down (Joshua 6:4-5). In the Book of Revelation, these same SEVEN TRUMPETS sound (Rev.8-19). The DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD were meant to picture the 6000-year history of human rule coupled with the 1000-year Millenium of God's rule. The Church of God has warned the world of sin for six days -- going around the city and blowing the trumpets (Josh.6:3). But the world has ignored the warning and has remained standing. Nothing will happen until the MILLENIUM -- the SEVENTH DAY. Then our present civilization will perish and a new civilization -- the Kingdom of God -- will emerge. Just as the WEALTH of Jericho was to be destroyed or donated to God (6:18-19), so the WEALTH of the nations around Israel will be brought in and used by Israel (Isa.23:18; 60:5,11,16,17; 61:6; 66:12). The gold and silver will be gathered. The destruction of end-time "Babylon" will be in one prophetic day -- a year (Isa.34:8; Num.14:34; Ez.4:6). Rahab, like those non-Israelites who trust God, will be saved. Achan, who was Israelite, knew his responsibility but wanted to take remnants of the "old world" into the new. This happened on the SEVENTH DAY of unleavened bread -- the MILLENIUM. Thus we know that the Kingdom of God will not be a perfect society all at once. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a SHOUT" (1 Thess.4:16) just as "the people shouted with a great SHOUT ... (then) the wall fell down flat" (Josh.6:20). Joshua's Feast of Unleavened Bread was very significant. If anyone attempted to rebuild the city of Jericho (typifying corrupt civilization), he would lose both his firstborn as well as his youngest (Josh.6:26). See 1 Kings 16:34 for the fulfillment.
King David Danced On The Feast of Trumpets
David and the Messiah were both born in BETHLEHEM (Micah 5:2-5). Both were GOOD SHEPHERDS (Ps. 23; John 10:11). Both were KINGS from JUDAH. Just as GOLIATH menaced Israel for 40 days before David went and overcame him (1 Sam. 17), so Jesus fasted 40 days and then overcame SATAN. Just as King SAUL was jealous and tried to kill David, so King HEROD was jealous and tried to kill Jesus. Both escaped. David fed an army of 400 MEN(1 Chr. 12:16) while Jesus fed 4000 MEN (Matt. 15:38). Many of David's Psalms are dual in nature. They refer to David himself as well as the Messiah to come. For instance: "My own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat my bread, lifted up his heel against me" (Ps. 41:9). David is referring to AHITHOPHEL (2 Sam. 15:12). But Jesus quoted the same verse regarding his betrayal by JUDAS (John 13: 18-27; Luke 22:47-48). David's RETURN to Jerusalem after the rebellion and death of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 19:9-43) foreshadows the RETURN of Jesus to Jerusalem after the rebellion of an "Idol Shepherd" (Zech. 11:17) known as Antichrist whom he will consume with the spirit of his mouth (2 Th. 2:8). King David's throne over Israel would endure FOREVER (Ps. 89:35-37) just as Jesus will rule over Israel FOREVER.
Nabal (lit. Heb. "Fool") "held a FEAST in his house, like the FEAST of a KING (Rosh Hashanah -- the day of the crowning of kings). Then Abigail his wife told him she had given his food to David in spite of his refusal. Then "his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about TEN DAYS after, that the Eternal smote Nabal, that he died" (1 Sam.25:36-38). "All are judged on Rosh Ha Shanah and their fate is sealed on Yom Kippur" -- Rabbi Meir. Nabal was given an opportunity to repent during the "Days of Awe" but refused to repent or give financial help to the coming kingdom of Israel under David -- a type of the coming kingdom of God under Christ which many fools today refuse to support. Did Abigail become David's wife on SUKKOT?
King David celebrated the FEAST of TRUMPETS in 2 Samuel 6:14-19 by DANCING and "with SHOUTING, and with the sound of the TRUMPET ... and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.... And he distributed among all the people ... to everyone a cake of BREAD, and a portion of MEAT and a flagon of WINE." He was celebrating the arrival of the ARK of the COVENANT to Jerusalem.
An almost identical FEAST of TRUMPETS occurred in Solomon's reign just after "the house of the Eternal was FINISHED" (2 Chr. 5:1)
and the event being celebrated was the RETURN of "the ARK of the COVENANT of the Eternal" (5:2) "in the FEAST which was in the SEVENTH MONTH" (5:3) which we know was TRUMPETS because Sukkot is found in 7:8. Notice that there were "SINGERS" and "TRUMPETERS" who were "praising and thanking the Eternal" (5:12-13) just like in the Book of Revelation when MESSIAH RETURNS. Therefore the theme of this feast seems to always be the joyful, triumphant RETURN of GOD or God's ways (See also 1 Ki.8:2). The foundation of the second temple was laid just AFTER TRUMPETS (Ezra 3:6,10,11).
SOLOMON, the prince of peace, in his wisdom, wealth and glory was a shadow of the MESSIAH to come. SIX STEPS (six thousand years) led to his THRONE (the millenium) (2 Chr.9:17-19). That is why Solomon's temple -- representing the church --- was COMPLETED just BEFORE the FEAST OF TRUMPETS (2 Chr.5:1-3).
Again, we read about JOASH the HEIR to the throne of Judah being "hidden in the house of the Eternal SIX YEARS ... And the SEVENTH YEAR Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the Eternal, and made a covenant with them ... And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him" (2 Kings 11:3,4,12). This is a prophecy of the crowning of Jesus.
JESHUA the priest built the altar and began offering burnt offerings "From the FIRST DAY of the SEVENTH MONTH" (Ezra 3:1-6) just as JESUS our High Priest will atone for us when the Millenium begins. "And Ezra, the priest, brought the law before the congregation ... upon the FIRST DAY of the SEVENTH MONTH ... and ... said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Eternal, your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared (Give away second tithe.); for this day is holy unto our Lord. Neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Eternal is your strength" (Neh.8:2,9-10). Yes, the Millenium will be joyful.
Man has been given the first 6000 YEARS to do what he pleases. But the seventh period of 1000 YEARS is God's MILLENIUM. This teaching can be found in the Slavic version of the Book of Enoch 33:1-2 ; Talmud Sanhedrin 97a; Avodah Zarah 9a; Epistle of Barnabas 13:4 as well as Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8, Revelation 20:1-7 and Hebrews 4:1-11. The first SIX MONTHS of the sacred calendar contain only THREE holy days. But in the SEVENTH MONTH the remaining FOUR holy days all come together. This tells us that MAJOR EVENTS will CRESCENDO in the MILLENIUM. The FEAST of TRUMPETS portrays the beginning of the MILLENIUM. Christ said "There are some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matt.16:28). Then, "AFTER SIX DAYS Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John, his brother, and bringeth them up into an high MOUNTAIN (kingdom -- Dan.2:35,44-45) privately, and was TRANSFIGURED before them; and his face did shine like the sun, and his raiment was as white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him" (Matt. 17:1-3).
Jesus went to the WEDDING in Cana on the seventh day SABBATH. The first four days are found in John 1:19,29, 35 and 43. On the fourth day he TAKES a TRIP, and is not seen again until the seventh day in chapter 2 (John 2:3). Yes, after 4000 YEARS, Christ TOOK A TRIP to earth, but we won't see him again till the end of 6000 YEARS when he celebrates his WEDDING on the FEAST of TRUMPETS. Christ said, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39). That time is the FEAST of TRUMPETS, when the people sing "Baruch Haba Bashem Adonai -- Yeshua haMashiach!" (Ps. 118:26).
A Jewish wedding requires two witnesses. These two are often the same as "the FRIENDS of the BRIDEGROOM" -- one being assigned to the bride and the other to the groom. John the Baptist, a type of Elijah (Luke 1:17), was "the friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:28-29). Moses escorted the bride (Ex.19:17). Indeed, the Torah (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) are the two witnesses of Christ's Messiahship (Luke 24:25-27; cp. Rev. 11;3-7).
Messiah's bride is Israel. She has her monthly cycle like all women. "For fourteen days the moon increases, and after it is full for one day, it decreases for another fourteen days. So it is with Israel. From Abraham to Solomon, he increased in numbers and power for fourteen generations; for fourteen generations, however, from Rehoboam to Zedekiah he decreased" (Shemot Rabbah to Exodus 12:2, with comments by Mamigah, 69, 2, 1, in "Mikrae Kodesh.")
Hezekiah had the priests cleanse the temple desecrated by his father
Ahaz. They completed their work on the sixteenth of Nisan (2 Chr. 29:15-19). Then "Hezekiah the KING ROSE early" (2 Chr.29:20) and took many of the NOBLES with him to the TEMPLE just as Christ the KING ROSE from the dead on this day along with many RIGHTEOUS ONES. Hezekiah "did that which was RIGHT in the sight of the Eternal" (2 Chr.29:2).
Haman Hanged On Feast of Unleavened Bread
Esther and the Jews fasted for THREE DAYS from Nisan 14 to 16 (Esther 4:16). Just as Christ was in the grave for THREE DAYS and nights, but then was RESURRECTED to be with God, so Esther, Mordecai and the Jews were PARDONED from their death sentence on Nisan 17 after THREE DAYS of fasting. Esther went before the King Ahasuerus on Nisan 16 (Esther 5:1-2). The King and Haman had a banquet that same day (Esther 5:4). Then Mordecai was crowned and honored as a KING of the JEWS picturing Christ's acceptance by the Father in heaven as the KING of the JEWS (Dan.7:13-14). Then the King and Haman had another banquet on Nisan 17 (Esther 5:6-8) and HAMAN was hanged (Esther 8:10) just as the ANTICHRIST will be killed. Just as the false Messiah has TEN KINGS under him (Rev.17:13), so Haman had TEN SONS who were killed. Later comes the WAR between the Jews and their enemies just as Christ's return with the army of saints will be a time of anti-semitism and WAR (Esther 8:10-12; Zech 12:4-9).
Nineveh Repented On The Feast Of Sukkot
Just as Jonah got a CROWN of SEAWEED (Jonah 2:5) placed there by the WATERS ("peoples" -- Rev.17:15) when he was CAST into the SEA, so Christ was given a CROWN of THORNS placed there by ROMAN SOLDIERS (Mark 15:17) when he was CONDEMNED to DEATH. Both Jonah and Christ spent THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in a specially prepared TOMB or FISH (Jonah 1:17; Matt.27:60). The fish got sick and couldn't hold Jonah (Jonah 2:10) any more than the grave could hold Christ. Both were VOMITED OUTon dry land in a RESUR- RECTION. Jonah was bleached WHITE by this time and Christ was radiant WHITE. Jonah preached "yet FORTY DAYS and Nineveh shall be overthrown" (Jonah 3:4) just as Christ preached FORTY DAYS concerning the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). The Ninevites WOR-SHIPPED the FISH-GOD and Jonah was a man out of the fish to prove he was from God just as the Jews worshipped the LIVING GOD and Christ was a man who came back from the grave as proof he was from God (John 20:26-28). Just as Jonah went out of the EAST of the city and SAT DOWN to watch what would become of the CITY (Jonah 4:5), so Christ went out of the EAST of the city (Acts 1:12) and SAT DOWN at the Throne of God to watch over his Holy CITY.
The mass repentance of the entire city of NINEVEH from the preaching of JONAH (Jonah 3:10) is a type of what will happen in the MILLENIUM when CHRIST begins to preach to the world. A Millenial time-setting is pictured by the fact that "Jonah ... made a BOOTH for himself, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the
city" (4:5). Thus we know that Nineveh's repentance occurred on the FEAST OF BOOTHES. The Hebrew word translated "BOOTH" in this passage is the same as the word in Leviticus 23:42 which refers to the FEAST OF BOOTHS. The SPIRITUAL HARVEST of HUMANS is a theme of this feast. The name "Jonah" means "dove" -- a type of the Holy Spirit (Matt.3:16).
Josephus, in his War Of The Jews, says that the Massada suicide of 960 men, women and children in 72 A.D. occurred "on the fifteenth day of the month Nisan" (5:9:1) -- FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.
Counterfeit Feast Days
There are TWO TYPES of FEAST DAYS mentioned in the Bible. The first type is known as "MY FEASTS" (Lev.23:2) and the second type is called "YOUR FEAST DAYS" (Amos 5:21). God commands us to observe HIS feasts while condemning those who observe THEIR OWN feasts. God didn't command us to celebrate the feasts in one place only to condemn feast-keeping in another place. He says, "I hate, I despise YOUR FEAST DAYS, and I will not smell (smell incense which is defined as hearing prayers -- Ps.141:2; Rev.5:8; 8:3) in YOUR SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES" (Amos 5:21).
Jeroboam created a counterfeit FEAST OF SUKKOT when he "ordained a feast in the EIGHTH month, on the fifteenth day of the month," like the Feast of Sukkot in Judah on the fifteenth day of the SEVENTH month (1 Ki. 12:31-33). Jeroboam CHANGED the TIME to a month "which he had devised of in his own heart" (v.33). Not only that, but Jeroboam CHANGED the WORSHIP of the true God for "two calves of gold" (v.28) and CHANGED the PRIESTHOOD to "the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi" (v.31). He also CHANGED the LOCATION of worship from Jerusalem to Bethel and Dan (vv.28-29).
Later, King Omri "walked in all the WAY OF JEROBOAM" (1 Ki.16:26) and REPLACED the laws of God with the "STATUTES OF OMRI" (Micah 6:16) and later even "Judah kept not the commandments of the Eternal their God, but walked in the STATUTES OF ISRAEL which they made (the statutes of Omri). And the Eternal REJECTED all the seed of Israel, and AFFLICTED them" (2 Ki.17:19-20).
In more recent times, another power described as a "LITTLE HORN" with "eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great ("pompous" -- R.A.V.) things" (Dan.7:8) decided to do the same thing as Omri, Jeroboam and Aaron. Daniel 7:25 says, "He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High (Christians), thinking to CHANGE THE FEAST DAYS (of God) and the law" (New American Catholic Bible).
Since a "HORN" is defined as a "KING" (Dan.7:24), a "LITTLE HORN" must be a "LITTLE KING" -- a king ruling over a little kingdom or nation. But at thesame time, this king looked "more stout than his fellows" (7:20) implying that he possessed a great deal of influence and power.
The "POPES" of Rome fit this description exactly. Not only have they oppressed Christians in the Inquisition and by means of religious wars, but from about 606 A.D. the "POPES" ruled as "little kings" over the "papal states" and later Vatican City. Catholics worldwide are subject to their authority. But their great power and influence lies in their pompous claim of being INFALLIBLE and of being ABLE TO FORGIVE SINS, of having the keys that OPEN AND SHUT HEAVEN, and of being nothing less than "GOD ON EARTH." The "POPES" have even claimed authority to CHANGE GOD'S LAWS:
"The pope is of SO GREAT DIGNITY and SO EXALTED that he is NOT A MERE MAN, but as it were GOD, and the VICAR OF GOD ... The pope is as it were GOD ON EARTH ... The pope is of SO GREAT AUTHORITY and power that he can MODIFY, EXPLAIN, or INTERPRET even DIVINE LAWS ... The pope can MODIFY DIVINE LAW, since his power is not of man but of God, and he acts as VICEREGENT OF GOD upon earth with most ample power of binding and loosing his sheep" (pp.25-29 of Lucius Ferraris, "Papa II," Prompta Bibliotheca, vol. VI).
But how did the "POPES" counterfeit God's Feast Days?
They discarded the SACRED HEBREW CALENDAR in favor of "pope" Gregory XIII's ROMAN CALENDAR in use today. Thus the YEAR begins in DEAD WINTER rather than SPRING. The MONTH begins on ANY ARBITRARY PHASE OF THE MOON rather than with the NEW MOON CRESCENT. The DAY begins and ends at MIDNIGHT rather than SUNSET. Furthermore, the SABBATH was changed from SATURDAY to SUNDAY by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Laodicea in 364 A.D. The PASSOVER was changed to EASTER SUNDAY by the Roman Bishop Sixtus (116-125 A.D.), Victor, Bishop of Rome (189-199 A.D.) and finally by the Roman Catholic Church in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicaea. In place of PENTECOST, they substituted a "WHITESUNDAY" which falls fifty days after EASTER SUNDAY. In place of God's autumn festivals (when Christ was actually born), "POPE" Julius I set December 25 -- the winter solstice -- as the most probable date (in his mind) of Christ's birth in 350 A.D. Roman Bishop Liberius ordered the observance of "X-MAS" on December 25 in 354 A.D. Instead of cutting branches to make sukkahs, a tree is cut down to make an idol (Jer. 10:3-4). In place of the EIGHTH DAY in October, which pictures the resurrection of the unconverted dead back to physical life -- a happy event -- the Catholics unintentionally invented a Satanic counterfeit called "ALL SAINT'S DAY" and falling on October 31, instituted by "POPE" Gregory IV in 834 A.D. -- a morbid, evil festival picturing the spirits of the dead visiting the living.
God condemns these "LITTLE HORN" counterfeits in Isaiah 1:13-14: "Come no more with your meaningless offerings! Incense is abominable to Me; the NEW MOONS (astronomical and Gregorian) and Sabbaths (SUNDAYS), the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth (LENT, "GOOD FRIDAY," EASTER SUNDAY, WHITESUNDAY, X-MAS, HALLOWE'EN and Hillel II's Jewish feasts because they're at the wrong time) ; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them." (Ber; JPS; ASV; KJV) (cp. Isa.5:11-12; Jer.51:37-39; Lam.1:4; 2:6-8,22; Hos.9:3,5; Zech.7:5-14; Mal.2:1-3,7-10).
So we see that men "CHANGED the ORDINANCE" (Isa.24:5). The Hebrew word for "ORDINANCE" here is "CHOQ" which can be translated as "an appointment of time" or a FEAST DAY. Yes, Israel "CHANGED" God's judgments and statutes (Ez.5:5-8) and chose "the STATUTES of the HEATHEN" (2 Kings 17:8) instead. Jeremiah 8:7 says, "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her APPOINTED (Heb. "moed") times, and the turtle (turtledove) and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming (know when to migrate), but my people know not the judgment (law) of the Eternal" (don't know when to meet together for festivals and sabbath).
In Hosea 2:11 and 13 God says, "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, HER feast days, HER new moons, and HER sabbaths, and all HER solemn feasts.... And I will visit upon her (punish her for) the DAYS OF BAALIM, unto which she burned incense ... and forgot me, saith the Lord." In England, the Puritan Parliament struck CHRISTMAS, EASTER, and PENTECOST (Whitesunday) from their calendar. They avoided celebrating these same holidays in America. "The Puritans rested on the Sabbath in order to keep it holy; they worked on DECEMBER 25 in order to strip it of its sanctity" (J.P. Walsh, "Holy Time and Sacred Space in Puritan New England," The American Quarterly, 32 (Spring 1980), p.81.
Why are they called "DAYS OF BAALIM"?
Because worshipping on SUNDAY goes back to Nimrod's Baal-worship about 2000 B.C., Baal being another name for the SUN. Webster defines "Baal" as "An idol ... representing the SUN." BAAL was the Sun god of the Canaanites, Phoenicians and even Druids, hence a round BALL and round BELL are named after him. Nimrod's religion consisted of child-sacrifice (Jer.19:5) and thus we get the word "cannibal" from "Cahna Baal" (Priest of Baal). This is why Leviticus 18:21 says, "thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the FIRE to Molech."
(Deut.12:31; 2 Ki.16:3; 23:10; Jer.32:35; Ez.20:31). The modern FEAST OF NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN (June 24th) -- same as the ancient resurrection of Tammuz -- still follows the custom of people passing through the FIRE when it is very low. The term "YULE LOG" means "child log" because children were made to stand in a large circle around a tall oak pole. At sunrise, the shadow of the pole would fall upon a single child. The child was tied up and burned in a bone fire (bonfire).
They worshipped the "queen of heaven" using ROUND wafers or "cakes" at communion (Jer.44:17-19; Jer.7:18), another image for the SUN. Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13) or EASTER was the mother/wife of Baal who gave birth to the SUN on December 25 (Wilkin's Egyptians 4:405), NINE MONTHS after she was fertilized in the Spring as "Mother Earth" or "Mother Nature." SUN-worshippers were fearful the SUN would continue to decline in the sky and not return and so celebrated the WINTER SOLSTICE. "But indeed a Christian will not even dishonour his own gate with laurel crowns (WREATHES)" (Tertullian, De Corona chpt.13). Wreathes are ROUND images of the SUN. These Baal priests pollute God's name with their X-MASS (Ez.20:39) and X-MASS tree (Jer.10:1-5) on which are hung more ROUND ornaments. Ezekiel mentions "women weeping for Tammuz ... and they worshipped the SUN toward the east" (Ez.8:14-16). He is describing EASTER SUNRISE services on SUNDAY morning. Aaron created a counterfeit festival FORTY DAYS after Pentecost, complete with a golden calf and solar disk (Ex.24:18; 32:4). It was a summer LENTEN season (Ex.32). Yes, originally they "worshipped the sun toward the east" in June-July during the 40-day period of "weeping for Tammuz" (Ez.8:14-16) and hence it was called the month of Tammuz. Later this "LENT" was transferred to spring. A LENT of 40 days was practiced by Babylonian Ishtar-worshippers (Easter: Its Story and Meaning, p.58, by Alan Watts, 1950). ROUND HOT CROSS BUNS originated in Babylon also. "The Greeks offered such sacred cakes to Astarte ... (which) they called bous (ox), in allusion to the ox-symbol marked on it, and from the accusative boun it is suggested that the word 'bun' is derived" (Encyc. Brit. 4:796) The cross on the bun is the letter "T" -- the initial of the SUN-god Tammuz. Actually, one of Mithra's signs was a cross formed by the ecliptic and celestial equator at the EQUINOX (Plato's dialogue, Timaeus). Hyginus, an Egyptian, says "An EGG of wondrous size is said to have FALLEN from HEAVEN into the River Euphrates.... out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess" (Hyginus, Fabulae pp.148-149). Acts 19:35 says the goddess DIANA "FELL down from Jupiter." Then in Luke 10:18 we read that Christ "beheld SATAN as lightning FALL from HEAVEN." Therefore, the worship of DIANA is SATAN-worship. Yet how many "Christians" have EASTER-EGG HUNTS? Also, SANTA is SATAN who counterfeits Christ returning from the NORTH (Isa.14:13; Ps.48:2; 75:6) in the air wearing a RED garment (Rev.19:13) and WHITE BEARD (Rev.1:14). Yes, Jesus is eternal (Rev. 1:8). He sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake (Pr. 5:21). He knows if you've been bad or good (Pr. 15:3) and will reward the good people at his coming (Rev. 2:23). But Satan has counterfeited these traits. Truly, Satan is "the god of this world" (2 Cor.4:4). The NIMBUS (radiant light) or HALO around many of the ancient gods and goddesses originated in SUN-worship. Semiramis was the original religious leader over the kings of the earth (Rev.17:1-2). Since the language of each country was different, naturally the names of Nimrod, Beltis and Ninus were changed in each language. All the gods mentioned in the Old Testament are just different names for these three members of the first ruling family of ancient Babylon. For instance, the Egyptian TRINITY is Osiris, Isis and Horus. CUPID is the Roman name for Ninus or Horus (ST. VALENTINE'S DAY). HALLOWEEN is blatant DEVIL-WORSHIP. Today this same system is called "daughter of Babylon"(Isa.47:1) and Revelation 18:3 says all nations have drunk of the wine of her fornication or false Babylonian doctrine (Jer. 51:7). This may be why God says in Hosea 2:14-17 that Israel "shall no more call me BAALI." When worshippers call upon Jesus' name on "CHRISTMAS" -- December 25 -- or at EASTER, aren't they calling him "BAALI"? The "resemblances between the two religions (Mithraism & "Christianity") ... were so numerous and so close as to be the subject of remark as early as the second century, and the cause of mutual recrimination.... the identification of the object of adoration with LIGHT and the SUN ... the use of bell and candle, holy water and the communion; the sanctification of SUNDAY and of the 25TH of DECEMBER; the doctrine of heaven and hell ... the immortality of the soul ... are some of the resemblances" (Encyc. Brit. 18:624). H.G. Wells says of Mithraism: "It would seem the Christians adopted SUN-DAY as their chief day of worship instead of the Jewish Sabbath from the Mithraic cult" (The Outline Of History, p.543). Those who put presents under the tree are condemned by Ezekiel who mentions, "under every GREEN TREE ... the place where they did OFFER sweet savor to all their IDOLS" (Ez. 6:13). For more information, see The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop; Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow; and Satan's Great Deception by C. Paul Meredith.
God says, "My SABBATHS (both weekly and annual) they greatly polluted ... then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them ... I gave them up also to statutes that were NOT GOOD, and to judgments by which they should NOT LIVE" (Ez.20:13,21,25; cp. Lev.18:3 & Deut.12:8).
The "Added" Law Didn't Include Festivals
In contract law, anything added after the signature is no part of the original contract. Instead it is a separate agreement. We've seen how the original Old Covenant from Exodus 19:5 to 24:8 DOES INCLUDE the holy days. After agreeing to obey, blood (the signature) was sprinkled on the people (24:8). This occurred one week BEFORE any RITUALS or SACRIFICES were added (Jer.7:22). Notice that Hebrews 9:21 mentions a separate and LATER sprinkling of blood (signature) by Moses which was added to the covenant of Hebrews 9:18-20 (cp. Ex.29:12,20,36).
The rituals and sacrifices would not have been necessary if Israel had obeyed God. But Israel continually sinned, so God added temporary ritualistic/sacrificial laws -- morning, noon and evening -- to remind them of sin, to teach object lessons (Gal.3:24) and the habit of obedience. Just as it becomes a fixed habit to wind a watch once a day, so the rituals -- morning, noon and evening -- fixed in them the habit of obedience by reminding them of sin's penalty constantly. These laws were "imposed on them until the time of reformation" (Heb.9:10) or the crucifixion in 31 A.D.
These laws were not actually a part of the original Old Covenant. Israel's disobedience required the institution of rituals. Since these rituals required much laborious work, they became known as "THE WORKS OF THE LAW" by New Testament times. Those sins committed by Israelites, which didn't deserve death, now had to be acknow-
ledged with manual labor and work to remind them of sin and its
penalty. But these rituals didn't forgive anything (Heb.10:4). They were a "YOKE OF BONDAGE" (Gal.5:1; Acts 15:5,10) and a "LAW OF SERVITUDE AND BONDAGE" (Gal.4:1-9). These three phrases never refer to the festival statutes.
The ritualistic/sacrificial law came "four hundred and thirty years after" the promises to Abraham were confirmed (Gal. 3:17). So we know this law isn't and can't be permanent. It was "added because of transgressions, till the seed (Christ) should come to whom the promise was made" (Gal. 3:19) of inheriting the whole earth forever. It was added to a pre-existing law (the Old Covenant) that had been transgressed by the Israelites. Transgressions aren't possible without laws (Rom.4:15; 1 John 3:4; Rom.5:13). The law which was transgressed is called "my commandments and my laws" (Ex.16:28). But God never did take delight in the other law of sacrifices and offerings (Ps.40:6). "Therefore the (sacrificial) law was our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a (sacrificial) tutor" (Gal.3:24-25).
Mandatory tabernacle sacrifices really began in Exodus 29 orally and Leviticus 1 in practice (cp. Jer.7:22). The TABERNACLE (Heb.9:11) with its LEVITE PRIESTHOOD (Heb.7:12), and mandatory priestly WASHINGS (Heb.9:10), and SACRIFICING (Jer.7:22; Dan.9:27; Heb.9:12-14) which Paul called a "MINISTRATION of (animal) DEATH" (2 Cor.3:7) were all new concepts. Any man could be priest and offer sacrifices from the time of Adam to Levi or Moses (Ex.24:5). Abel, Noah, Job and Abraham didn't use a tabernacle. These temporary concepts are not found in the "book of the covenant" (Ex.19:5 to 24:8).
Only the PASSOVER "sacrifice" is mentioned there (23:18). The PASSOVER sacrifice was re-instituted in Egypt weeks BEFORE SINAI and didn't originate with the Old Covenant. This is the only PERPETUAL sacrifice mentioned in the "book of the covenant." The PASSOVER lamb was neither a sin offering nor a burnt offering. Sin offerings were not instituted until after Israel came out of Egypt (Jer.7:22) and burnt offerings weren't mandatory at any time (Lev.1:3; Ez.46:12). The PASSOVER lamb is called "my sacrifice" in Exodus 23:18 and is no part of the law of rituals and sacrifices added later. It is called a "memorial" (Ex.12:14), not just a shadow of Christ.
Those who try to abolish the festivals link them to the sacrifices (Lev.23:37). Since extra sacrifices were performed on the holy days and festivals, people reason that these days must must have been instituted merely for sacrificial purposes. But, if we use that argument, we must abolish the weekly Sabbath also since extra sacrificing took
place on that day. Furthermore, sacrifices were offered on every single day of the year (Num.28:3-8). Therefore the entire year must be abolished. But Jeremiah 7:21-23 says, "Thus saith the Eternal of hosts, the God of Israel, Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice ... and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you."
The holy days stood by themselves in Exodus 12. All of the festivals existed before the sacrifices were instituted. Exodus 15:26 says that the "statutes" (Heb. "choq") were already in existence. "Choq" means the same thing as "chuqqah," which we saw before. Exodus 25:1 to 31:11 was added to another law which was already in existence called the "Old Covenant." The temporary law was added to the permanent law because there had been transgressions of the permanent law (Gal.3:19). Romans 4:15 states, "where no law is, there is no transgression," so there must have been a law in existence before these sacrifices ever became necessary. Only spiritual sacrifices are required today (Rom.12:1-2; Ps.51:17; 1 Sam.15:22).
Did The Festivals Merely Foreshadow And Typify Christ?
Christ fulfilled the ritualistic types and sacrificial shadows in the law as well as the prophecies in the prophets. Many rituals typified Christ's crucifixion or the gift of the Holy Spirit. Christ didn't come "to destroy the law ... but to fulfill" (Matt.5:17) the prophecies about himself (Luke 24:44). The Sabbath day and festivals are prophetic. But in most cases their prophecies HAVEN'T COME TO PASS yet. The Sabbaths and festivals "ARE a shadow "OF THINGS TO COME" (Col.2:17) even beyond Paul's day, so they had to picture more than just the crucifixion and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Present tense indicates these days were still being observed at the time Paul wrote. Paul wrote this about 60 A.D., 29 years after the crucifixion of Christ. In those cases where the festivals do picture the crucifixion and gift of the Holy Spirit (Passover & Pentecost), many feel that the type was done away by the reality. But these days have MORE THAN ONE FULFILLMENT. Furthermore, we know that Christ celebrated them (John 2:13; Luke 22:8) as an example for us to follow and told his disciples to do the same (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1; John 7:6-8; John 14:15).
These festivals are living prophecies that never grow old. They are HOLY TIME just as much as the tithe is HOLY MONEY or God's name is a HOLY WORD. All must be used properly or it dishonors God. God may fulfill their meaning in us if we continue to observe them. Those who refuse to keep the festivals, will fail to understand just as the Jews who kept Passover one day late (John 18:28) rejected Christ.
How could the festivals be abolished when they have NOT BEEN FULFILLED yet? They picture both past and FUTURE events. They are memorials and shadows "of THINGS to COME."
For instance, during the PASSOVER Seder, each person pours ten drops out of his second cup onto his dinner plate while enumerating the ten plagues on Egypt. This is prophetic of a time when God will pour his CUP of WRATH "out without mixture into the plate" and terrible plagues will fall on a modern "Babylon" to once again fulfill PASSOVER (Rev. 14:10;16:19;18:6). Also in Luke 22:16 Christ said, "I will not any more eat of it (the PASSOVER), until it be FULFILLED IN THE KINGDOM of God." The" MARRIAGE SUPPER of the LAMB" (the Seder meal -- Rev.19:9) was eaten on PASSOVER. It was eaten at night so is called "SUPPER." It was the betrothal agreement. Christ will eat the "SUPPER" in the kingdom (Rev.19:7-8) and only the righteous will attend. They will be the bride. The new covenant -- just like the old -- will be a marriage between God and Israel. This hasn't happened yet.
Another captivity of Israel will occur "AFTER the MANNER of EGYPT" (Isa. 10:26). Israel will once again flee and be pursued by an army but this time "the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood" (army) (Rev. 12:16). As Jubilees 49:12 says, "But thou, command the children of Israel that they should observe the Pascah (Passover) on its days in ALL the YEARS ... that no plague come over them to kill them and to scourge them IN THAT YEAR." (see Luke 22:15-16 NASV; Isa. 26:20-21; Rev. 18:4; Isa. 31:5). Failure to keep PASSOVER results in God cutting the person off from his people (Num.9:13; 2 Chr.30:1-27). Unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life in us (John 6:53-54). This must be renewed each year. Our future deliverance from eternal death by being made immortal may also occur on the PASSOVER and thus be a fulfillment in the Kingdom of God (Rev.19:9; Luke 22:15-16).
We read that "the days come, saith the Eternal, that they shall no more say, The Eternal liveth, who brought up the children of Israel OUT of the LAND OF EGYPT, But, The Eternal liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel OUT of the NORTH COUNTRY, and from all countries to which I had driven them, and they shall dwell in their own land" (Jer.23:7-8; 16:14-15; Isa.27:12-13; cp. Isa.10:20-22; 11:11-12; Ez.20:33-44; Hos.5:13). Will this occur on a future FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD? This FUTURE EXODUS occurs after FUTURE PLAGUES are poured out: hail, fire, darkness, locusts, ulcers, blood and frogs. Instead of Moses and Aaron will be the TWO WITNESSES saying "Let my people go." Those saints (Israelites) who escape the BEAST'S (Pharaoh's) BABYLON (Egypt) again sing the SONG OFMOSES (Rev.15:3; Ex.15:1-21). What's that? "The Eternal is my strength and song. And he has become my salvation" (YESHUA). (Ex. 15:1-2). None of this has happened yet.
During this festival, the BEAST dictator, as a counterfeit of CHRIST, will be "wounded unto DEATH" (Rev.13:3) and then "miraculously" resurrected three days later when his wound is "HEALED" (13:3). He also has a mark -- SUNDAY-KEEPING -- that counterfeits Christ's sign (Ex.13:9) of SABBATH-KEEPING (weekly and annual) (Ez.20:12). Is it mere coincidence that in 1945, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread on April 28, Benito Mussolini was shot dead and on May 1, during the same Feast of Unleavened Bread, Adolf Hitler (who was not only anti-Jewish, but also anti-Christianity) shot himself.
Regarding PENTECOST, there will be a FUTURE out-pouring of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Joel 2:28-32 "upon all flesh" (2:28) and "before the great and terrible Day of the Lord come (2:31) (cp. Acts 2:15-21). This hasn't happened yet.
On the FEAST of TRUMPETS in the future, "the books were opened (on Yom Ha Din the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked and the book of remembrance are opened) ... I saw ... one like the Son of man (Messiah) came with the clouds of heaven (clouds are saints -- Heb. 12:1; Rev. 1:7; Jude 14; Isa. 60:8; Acts 1:9-11), and came to the Ancient of days ... And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him." Notice that the Messiah and his saints arrive in heaven, not the earth, for the coronation. This hasn't happened yet.
On the DAY of ATONEMENT "Aaron shall cast lots upon the TWO GOATS: one lot for the ETERNAL, and the other lot for the scapegoat" ("goat of departure" -- Strong's #5799; "EVIL DEMON" -- Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon) (Lev.16:7). In the same way, .Pilate said unto them, Which of the twain (TWO) will ye that I release unto you? They said, BARABBAS. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with JESUS, who is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be CRUCIFIED" (Matt.27:17-22; cp. Mishnah, Pesahim 9:6) . JESUS was the SON of the FATHER (John 8:54) and "BARABBAS" means "SON of the FATHER" in Hebrew. The people were unable to distinguish between the true SON of the FATHER and the "ROBBER" (John 18:40) who was guilty of "SEDITION" and "MURDER" (Luke 23:19). PILATE acted the role of HIGH PRIEST.
When Christ returns on the DAY of ATONEMENT, people will once again have a hard time choosing between the FALSE MESSIAH and the TRUE. Most men who think they're worshipping GOD are actually worshipping SATAN -- "the god of this world" (2 Cor.4:4). The "father of lies" (John 8:44), like Barabbas, tried to take a position that wasn't rightfully his and rebelled against lawful authority (Isa.14:13-14). In the same way, God selected Israelite firstborn to live (Hos. 11:1) and Egyptian firstborn to die; in the future, the righteous will be selected for eternal life and the wicked will be selected to die on this day.
Once the GOAT for the sin offering is KILLED, which represents CHRIST, then the RISEN CHRIST is typified by the HIGH PRIEST since Christ didn't remain dead. Just as Israel looked for the RETURN of the HIGH PRIEST from the holy of holies and the tabernacle, we look for CHRIST'S RETURN (Heb.9:28). The people waited for Aaron as he completed the atoning sacrifices. If he didn't return, they knew their sins were not forgiven and atoned for. When he came out, all Israel knew they would have life for another year. Satan may be imprisoned TEN YEARS after the Millenium starts and be released TEN YEARS after the Millenium ends (Rev.20:2) typified by TEN DAYS OF AWE. "Each DAY for a YEAR" (Num.14:34; Ez.4:6). Daniel and his three companions were tested TEN DAYS (Dan.1:12). Smyrna was tested TEN DAYS (Rev.2:10). Nabal died TEN DAYS after learning Abigail disobeyed him (2 Sam.25:38). He didn't repent and neither will Satan.
If the "GREAT TRUMPET" of the DAY OF ATONEMENT (Isa.27:13; Matt.24:31; Joel 2:15) is the same as the "SEVENTH TRUMPET" of the DAY of the LORD (Rev.11:15), then the culmination of both is at ARMAGEDDON when Messiah TAKES the BEASTand false prophet and CASTS them both in the burning trash dump on the south side of Jerusalem known as the Hinnom Valley (gehennah). This is a fulfill-
ment of the AZAZEL GOAT being TAKEN AWAY and CAST over a cliff.
Messiah will annihilate the armies gathered together to fight him (Rev.19:17-21; Zeph.3:8; Joel 3:9-17; Isa.63:1-6; Jer.25:30-33 ).
By this time the advanced columns of the armies will have swept down from Megiddo to Jerusalem in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron Valley) just east of Jerusalem where they get BLOODIED (Joel 3:1-21).
"And their BLOOD shall be SPRINKLED upon my garments" (Isa.63:3). This will fulfill the SPRINKLING OF BLOOD by the HIGH PRIEST. Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem "shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall MOURN for him ... and shall be in BITTERNESS" on a national scale just as Jews MOURN for their sins every DAY of ATONEMENT individually. This hasn't happened yet.
The FEAST OF SUKKOT in the SEVENTH MONTH may actually be picturing GOD dwelling in HUMANS in the MILLENIUM which is the SEVENTH 1000-YEAR period of human history. Both Peter and Paul compare the SUKKAH (Greek "skenoma") to a HUMAN BODY (2 Pet. 1:14; 2 Cor. 5:1,4) and each human "is the TEMPLE of the HOLY SPIRIT" (1 Cor.6:19). Just as CHRIST INCARNATED HIMSELF in a HUMAN BODY and "TABERNACLED" (Greek "scenoo") among us (John 1:14) and DWELLS IN Christians NOW (1 Cor. 6:19), the time may come in the Millenium when GOD might DWELL IN ALL HUMANS for their 70-YEAR lifespan (Ps. 90:10) just as Christians DWELL IN SUKKAHS now for SEVEN DAYS. As "God hath said, I will DWELL in THEM, and WALK in THEM; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor. 6:16-17; Ez. 37:26-27). "Behold, the TABERNACLE (Gr. 4633 "skene") of God is with men, and he will dwell with them" (Rev. 21:3). This hasn't happened yet.
A prophecy explaining the fulfillment of the EIGHTH DAY says that "the REST of the DEAD lived not again UNTIL the thousand years were FINISHED" (Rev.20:5). Then John says, "And I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the DEAD small and great, STAND before God, and the BOOKS were OPENED (The books -- "biblos" -- of the Bible were opened to their understanding is one interpretation. Another is that these are the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked and the book of remembrance); and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the DEAD were JUDGED out of those things which were written in the books according to their WORKS" (Rev.20:11-13). Yes, "the JUDGMENT was SET (the court was seated), and the BOOKS were OPENED" (Dan.7:10). As John 12:48 says, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that JUDGETH him: the WORD that I have spoken, the SAME shall JUDGE him in the LAST DAY." (The EIGHTH DAY). This hasn't happened yet.
Christ Observed The Festivals
The only "SCRIPTURES" that Christ or the early Christians used or knew anything about were what we call the "OLD TESTAMENT" today (2 Tim.3:15-16; 1 Cor.10:11). As Christ said, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you (of sin), even MOSES, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed MOSES, ye would have believed ME: For he WROTE of ME. But if ye believe not HIS WRITINGS, how shall ye believe MY WORDS?" (John 5:45-47). If we don't believe the TORAH, we won't believe JESUS CHRIST. As Stephen said, Moses "received the lively oracles (ten commandments; statutes; judgments) to GIVE UNTO US" (Christians) (Acts 7:37-38).
Christ said that man shall live "by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt.4:4) and the OLD TESTAMENT scriptures were the only written word of God at this time. Christ also said, "the scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35) -- meaning the OLD TESTAMENT isn't abolished. Later he said "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The apostle Paul even said he believed "all things which are written in the LAW and in the PROPHETS " (Acts 24:14). Does that remark sound like he was DOING AWAY WITH the feast days?
Christ stated, "THINK NOT that I am come to DESTROY the LAW, or the PROPHETS; I am NOTcome to DESTROY, but to FULFILL" (Matt.5:17). Fulfill what? Christ answers, "all things must be FULFILLED, which were written in the LAW of Moses, and in the PROPHETS, and in the PSALMS CONCERNING ME" (Luke 24:44; see also vv.25-27; Luke 18:31-34 & Acts 13:27-33).
Christ fulfilled the RITUALISTIC TYPES and SACRIFICIAL SHADOWS in the law as well as the PROPHECIES in the PROPHETS. But Christ didn't come to destroy the laws against murder, adultery, idolatry or Sabbath-breaking. These laws serve a PRACTICAL PURPOSE and are not MERE SHADOWS or TYPES. They aren't JUST PROPHECIES of Christ's death or types of the Holy Spirit. The Sabbath is an UNFULFILLED prophecy (predicting the happy Millenium) and a MORAL RESTRAINT. In the same way by extension, the festivals serve as both UNFULFILLED PROPHECIES and MORAL RESTRAINTS. They pro-vide a needed PHYSICAL REJUVENATION and SPIRITUAL REMINDER. They are part of the MORAL LAW that reveals God's character which DOESN'T CHANGE (Mal.3:6; Heb.13:8).
It's true that Christ also FULFILLED the MORAL LAW, but in a different way. He MAGNIFIED the LAW and made it honorable (Isa.42:21) by adding the FULL SPIRIT and INTENT to the MERE LETTER of the LAW.
This is proven by reading through the "Sermon on the Mount" and especially from Matthew 5:21-44. Unless God specifically abolishes an Old Testament statute, it is binding on us today whether or not the New Testament mentions it.
Beginning in Luke 2:41-43, we read, "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the FEAST of the PASSOVER. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the FEAST. And when they had FULFILLED the DAYS (of UNLEAVENED BREAD), as they returned, the child, Jesus, tarried behind in Jerusalem."
John 2:13 states, "And the Jews' PASSOVER was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." Verse 23 states, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the PASSOVER, in the FEAST DAY, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did." Luke 4:16 states, "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the SABBATH day, and stood up to read." This scripture shows us that Christ was in the habit of keeping the seventh-day SABBATH. Some people teach that since the Greek word for "SABBATH" here is plural, Christ was observing the "DAY OF WEEKS" or FEAST OF WEEKS (Ex.34:22). But the truth is that the Greek word for "SABBATH" is often found in its plural form in the gospels (Matt.12:5,10,11; Mark 1:21; 2:23-24; 3:2,4; Luke 4:31; 6:2,9; 13:10) when it clearly must refer to the weekly SABBATH. Both Acts 13:14 and 16:13 refer to the weekly Sabbath also, even though the Greek word for "SABBATH" is plural in both places.
John 5:1 says, "After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." At this feast, the theme of Christ's message was the resurrection from the dead -- indicating TRUMPETS possibly. The next chapter deals with PASSOVER (John 6:4,53).
John 7:2 states, "Now the Jews' FEAST OF TABERNACLES was at hand." Then verse 10 states, "But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret."
This is because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him (7:1). He RISKED HIS LIFE to attend God's annual festivals. Verse 14 says, "Now, at about the midst of the FEAST, Jesus went up into the temple, and taught." Finally verse 37: "In the LAST DAY, that GREAT DAY of the FEAST, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."
The Jews knew Jesus always attended these festivals because John 7:11 says, "Then the Jews sought him at the FEAST, and said, Where is he?" They were confident he was there someplace.
Finally, we read that Christ said, "With desire I have desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15). If we follow his example, we should desire to take the PASSOVER.
The point of all these scriptures is that Christians should follow the example that Christ set. As 1 Peter 2:21 says, Christ left us an example "that ye should follow his steps." Also, 1 John 2:6 states, "He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Christ didn't sin (1 Pet.2:22) and sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and the law commands FESTIVAL observance (Lev.23; Deut.16). Therefore, Christ celebrated the FESTIVALS. He may have celebrated HANUKKAH also since he "walked in the temple in Solomon's porch" (to teach?) at the "feast of the dedication" (John 10:22-23).
Christ Commanded His Disciples To Observe The Festivals
In Matthew 28:19-20, Christ commanded his disciples, "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations ... teaching them to OBSERVE ALL things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you." As the God of the Old Testament (John 1; 5:37; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; Heb.1; 13:8; James 4:7; 1 Cor.10; Mal.3:1), he COMMANDED all Israel to OBSERVE these FESTIVALS (1 Cor.10:4).
But did Christ ever COMMAND any of his DISCIPLES to observe any of the annual festivals?
Matthew 26:19 states, "And his DISCIPLES did as Jesus had COMMANDED them; and they prepared the PASSOVER" (Lamsa). (See Matt.26:27; Luke 22:8,19; John 13:14).
John 7:6-8 states, "Then Jesus said unto them ... Go ye up unto this feast" (of SUKKOT-- v.2). Both James and Jude were given this COMMAND and both later became DISCIPLES of Christ, so this command also qualifies as an order to his disciples. (See Mark 6:3; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19; Jude 1) Peter knew SUKKOTS weren't abolished since he offered to build them for Moses and Elijah as the custom was at the FEAST of SUKKOT (Matt.17:4). A special chair is traditionally placed in the Sukkah for exalted persons such as Moses, Abraham or Elijah.
In Acts 1:4-5 and 2:1 we find that Jesus "COMMANDED them (the APOSTLES) that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father ... And when the DAY of PENTECOST was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." (cp. Luke 24:49) This was after Christ's death -- after everything that was to be abolished had been abolished.
Since Christ COMMANDED his DISCIPLES to OBSERVE these three annual pilgrimage festivals, we as Christians should go and TEACH ALL NATIONS to OBSERVE them also (Matt.28:19-20). As Christ said, "why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the THINGS which I SAY?" (Luke 6:46) and "If you love me, KEEP my COMMANDMENTS" (John 14:15).
"I Cannot Come to the Banquet"
"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king (God), which made a MARRIAGE for his son (Yeshua), And sent forth his servants (Christians) to call them that were bidden to the WEDDING (proclaim them in their seasons): and they would not come ("The feasts are abolished"). Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage (annual feast days typify a marriage). But they made light of it ("The festivals are abolished"), and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers (Jews in 70 A.D.), and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The WEDDING is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the MARRIAGE. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the WEDDING was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a WEDDING garment (tallit): And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a WEDDING garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:1-14; cp. Luke 14:15-24). The bride is bought with a bride price on Passover. Betrothed on Pentecost --legally married but don't live together. Second coming of the bridegroom on Trumpets to steal his bride away pre-trib. Honeymoon till Day of Atonement when he returns and marries a second bride post-trib.
Paul Celebrated And Taught The Feasts
Now what about Paul's EXAMPLE? What did Paul COMMAND? Let's study the life of the apostle Paul now since Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be ye FOLLOWERS of me, even as I also am of Christ." Also in
Philippians 4:9 he said, "Those things, which ye have both LEARNED,
and RECEIVED, and HEARD, and SEEN in me, DO." Paul said, "I am a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6). He was "brought up in this city (Jerusalem) at the feet of Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3). Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin since it was the responsibility of the members of the Sanhedrin to witness public stonings and this is what he did when Stephen was stoned (Acts 7:58). Also Paul "received authority from the chief priests" and gave his "voice" (Gr. "vote") against the saints while a member of the Sanhedrin (Acts 26:10). Paul attended a synagogue regularly "as his manner was" (Acts 17:1-2).
Paul spoke these WORDS, and gave these COMMANDS, not to Jews, but to people with a GENTILE frame of mind. The Corinthians and Philippians were both GENTILE in their point of view (1 Cor.12:2; Philip. 3:2-4). Do we see and hear Paul CELEBRATING WITH, or TEACHING the FESTIVALS among NON-JEWS?
Before we answer that question, let us first notice that Paul's compan-ion Luke, who wrote Acts, mentions the festivals in Acts 12:3-4: "because he (Herod) saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the DAYS of UNLEAVENED BREAD.) And when he had apprehended him (Peter), he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter (Greek here is "PASCHA" or "PASSOVER" [Strong's #3957]) to bring him forth to the people."
Now for Paul's example: Acts 13:14 states, "And when they (Paul, Barnabas and others) departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia (a NON-JEWISH city in Asia Minor), and went into the synagogue on the SABBATH day, and sat down." (c. A.D. 47)
Acts 16:13 says, "And on the SABBATH we (Luke, Paul and others) went out of the city (Philippi -- a NON-JEWISH city in N.E. Greece in the sense that not even ten leading Jews lived there since there was no synagogue) by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke unto the women who resorted there." (c.50 A.D.)
Acts 18:20-21 states, "When they desired him (Paul) to tarry a longer time with them, he consented not, But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this FEAST that cometh in Jerusalem." (c.52
A.D.) Leviticus 23:2 calls the festivals "holy CONVOCATIONS" and Paul was obediently trying to MEET TOGETHER at Jerusalem. Hebrews 10:25 also says to not forsake "the ASSEMBLING of ourselves TOGETHER." But many say "I cannot come" and "make excuse" (Luke 14:18-20).
Lamsa's Bible uses the word "CELEBRATE" in verse 21 rather than merely "KEEP." "KEEP" is from the Greek "poieo" and can mean "CELEBRATE" as well as "KEEP." Ninety-five percent of all Greek manuscripts include all of verse 21. The five percent which leave it out are those which were copied in Italy and Egypt. But the reliable Syriac manuscripts leave it in.
Acts 20:6 states, "And we (Luke with Paul) sailed away from Philippi after the DAYS of UNLEAVENED BREAD, and came unto them to Troas in five days." (c. 56 A.D.)
Acts 20:16 states, "For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia; for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the DAY of PENTECOST." (c. 56 A.D.)
Knox's Bible says, "to KEEP the DAY of PENTECOST at Jerusalem." Lamsa's Bible says, "to CELEBRATE the DAY of PENTECOST at Jerusalem." The Greek for "to be" is from "ginomai" and means, in the context of festivals, "to be kept, celebrated, solemnized as festivals" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon by Harper, p.79). Lamsa's footnotes agree also.
Someone is bound to argue that Paul wasn't going to Jerusalem to WORSHIP AT or CELEBRATE ON this festival, but instead was merely using this occasion as a chance TO PREACH to large crowds and effectively evangelize. But Acts 24:11 proves this contention wrong. Paul said, "Because thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem TO WORSHIP." Paul went up to Jerusalem on the DAY of PENTECOST TO WORSHIP. He himself said it. Not to preach or evangelize.
Then in verse 14 he stated, "But this I confess unto thee that, after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS which are written in the LAW (first five books of the Bible) and in the PROPHETS (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings and the major and minor prophets)." Certainly this includes the FEAST DAYS.
Paul said this long after everything was supposedly "nailed to the cross." This is now 56 A.D. -- twenty-five years after the crucifixion. Verse 17 mentions Paul bringing an offering and alms in compliance with Deuteronomy 16:16 and other scriptures.
Acts 27:9 says, "Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous (in the Mediterranean), because the FAST was now already past (late fall of the year), Paul admonished them." (c. 61 A.D.)
This "FAST" refers to the DAY of ATONEMENT, the only holy day which is not a feast. Most commentators agree that this is the meaning. Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, wrote for his "patron" Theophilus (Acts 1:1), a Greek Christian. Why mention the FESTIVALS to a Greek Christian to whom they are meaningless -- unless they were being OBSERVED by Christians from NON-JEWISH backgrounds.
Why would the writer of Acts insert these HOLY DAYS into the context if they weren't being celebrated? Should we assume they were merely chronological benchmarks? Do modern "CHRISTIAN" writers regularly mention the FAST of RAMADAN, FRIDAY PRAYERS or PILGRIMAGES to MECCA in their story flow? Do modern Jewish writers regularly mention EASTER SUNDAY, "GOOD FRIDAY" and X-MAS? Of course not! So why would the Book of Acts be any different? These words were inspired by the Holy Spirit years after the crucifixion.
Since we should FOLLOW PAUL as he FOLLOWS CHRIST (1 Cor. 11:1), we must observe these holy days also.
But some people believe Paul kept the holy days because his philosophy was "unto the JEWS I became as a JEW, that I might gain the JEWS" (1 Cor. 9:20). Besides, they argue, Paul was a JEW himself and so naturally would participate in the customs of his own nation.
However, the problem with these arguments is that several of the references to the FEAST DAYS in the Book of Acts DID NOT even OCCUR in a JEWISH environment. Paul was the apostle to the "GENTILES" (Rom.11:13; 1 Tim.1:11). The Greeks and Romans were naturally UNIMPRESSED by his HOLY DAY observances. Yet not only did he CELEBRATE these days in NON-JEWISH churches, as we've already seen, but he also TAUGHT "GENTILES" to do the same.
Notice 1 Corinthians 16:8: "But I will tarry at Ephesus (a non-Jewish city on the west coast of Asia Minor) until PENTECOST." (C. 55 A.D.) Paul here is keeping PENTECOST in a NON-JEWISH city among NON-JEWISH Christians. He calls the Ephesians "GENTILES" (Eph.2:11-13; 3:1; 4:17).
Even more significant is the fact that in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 Paul actually COMMANDS a church located in Greece, composed of NON-JEWISH people, to keep the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD. He writes, "Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump (spiritually), as ye are unleavened (physically). For even Christ, our PASSOVER, is sacrificed for us. Therefore, LET US KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Corinth was a NON-JEWISH city in southern Greece and Paul calls the church members in the Corinthian church "GENTILES" (1 Cor.12:2).
First Corinthians 11:23-25 says, "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took BREAD; And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for
you: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME. After the same manner also he took the CUP, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: THIS DO, as often as ye drink it, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME." (c. 55 A.D.) (See 1 Cor.11:1)
If we do these things in REMEMBRANCE of Christ, then the PASSOVER is a MEMORIAL, not just a shadow, just like the DAYS OFUNLEAVENED BREAD mentioned earlier. A MEMORIAL is observed once a year. But critics object to any observance of the festivals and use several passages of scripture to try and prove their point.
The first passage is found in Galatians 4:8-11 and mentions counter-
feit feast days. As Paul said, "Nevertheless then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are are no gods. But now, after ye have known God, or rather are known by God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, unto which ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe DAYS, and MONTHS, and TIMES, and YEARS. I am afraid of (for) you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain."
Paul couldn't be referring to God's Sabbaths, new moons, feast days or Jubilees here since HE HIMSELF OBSERVED THEM. (We are not commanded to rest on new moons or keep them holy. They are simply bench-marks in time.) These Galatians were gentiles in their frame of mind (Gal.1:16; 2:7-9; 5:2; 6:12-13). They were returning to FORMERGENTILE PRACTICES which they had followed BEFORE they had known the God of Israel. The Jews had a long history of knowing God (John 4:22;Eph.2:12), but the Galatians WORSHIPPED IDOLS and DEMONS and didn't know God. The true God by nature is God, so Paul must have been referring to IDOLS when he said "they are no gods" (see 1 Cor.8:4-7). These were idolatrous, pagan, religious holidays. The "TIMES" are defined by Chrysostom who mentions that "Christians" took part in these celebrations, but without IDOLS used in previous times. He states, "Many were superstitiously addicted to the observance of TIMES, and made DIVINATION and conjectures upon them ... In the celebration of these times (they) set up lamps in the marketplace, and crown their doors with garlands (WREATHS)." (Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church, pp.1123-1124) The scriptures also mention observers of TIMES" (Lev.19:26; Deut. 18:10,14) and lump them with DIVINERS and ENCHANTERS.
The "DAYS," "MONTHS," and "YEARS" could refer to the "FESTIVAL of GENESIA" (9:625 Collier's Encyc., 1986), the FESTIVALS of "NOUMENIA" and "DICHOMENIA" (pp.624-625, ibid.) and the Olympian and Pythian games every fourth year (11:443-445, Encyc. Brit. 11th ed.; cp. pp.93 & 96 of The Two Babylons and ch.15, pp.19-20 of Decline And Fall).
The second passage is Romans 14:4-10 which says, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? ... One man esteemeth ONE DAY ABOVE another; another esteemeth EVERY DAY ALIKE. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the DAY,regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the DAY, to the Lord he doth not regard it.... why dost thou JUDGE thy brother? Or why dost thou SET AT NOUGHT thy brother?"
Paul is NOT TALKING TO JEWS about JEWISH customs. He is speaking to those with a GENTILE frame of mind in Rome, Italy about arbitrary, subjective customs such as drinking wine (Rom.14:21).
First he refers to the matter of "one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth HERBS" (Rom.14:2). He wasn't talking about kosher food laws. The word "unclean" in verse 14 should be translated "common" (koinos). Kosher laws don't require that a person just eat HERBS. Instead he was referring to FOOD OFFERED to IDOLS. Its OKAY to eat meat OFFERED to IDOLS when you're merely buying it at the meat market AFTER the RELIGIOUS CEREMONY (1 Cor.8:1-4; 10:19,25,28). But its NOT OKAY to be a PART of the RELIGIOUS CEREMONY and eat meat OFFERED to an IDOL as a way of honoring the idol (Ps.106:28; Acts 15:20,29; 21:25; Rev.2:14,20).
Thus, one person eats only VEGETABLES (herbs) for fear of buying in the marketplace what might have PREVIOUSLY been part of a religious ceremony. Another person realizes that it doesn't matter.
If we assume the "WEAK" believer is one who observes Jewish feast days, Paul would be labeling himself "WEAK" since he observed the Sabbath and festivals as we have seen. Yet he viewed himself as "STRONG" (15:1). So the matter of "one DAY above another" (Rom.14:5) should be taken in the same NON-JEWISH context. Some Romans probably thought it would be better to fast on days that DIDN'T happen to COINCIDE with PAGAN Roman RELIGIOUS DAYS lest the fast be contaminated. Other Romans realized that it doesn't make any difference WHICH DAY we fast. Chapter 8 of the Didache urges Christians to fast on Wednesday and Friday rather than on Monday and Thursday as the Jews.
The third passage is Colossians 2:16-17 which says, "Let no man, therefore, JUDGE you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an HOLYDAY, or of the NEW MOON, or of the SABBATH DAYS, Which are a SHADOW of things TO COME; but the body is of Christ." (c. 60 A.D.)
The word "is" is italicized in the King James Version, showing that it is not in the original inspired Greek scriptures but was added by men attempting to clarify the meaning. This scripture is greatly misunderstood by many churches. Far from doing away with God's feast days, it actually is one of the STRONGEST proofs in the New Testament that these DAYS were CELEBRATED by CHRISTIANS. Colossae was a city in western Asia Minor and the Colossians were GENTILES in their frame of mind (I1:21; 2:13). Obviously Paul wouldn't order them to STOP CELEBRATING FESTIVALS which they, as unconverted people, WEREN'T KEEPING to begin with. Remember that Paul was the apostle to the "GENTILES" (Rom.11:13; 2 Tim.1:11). Actually Paul was attacking the philosophy of ASCETICISM in his letter to the Colossians. The ASCETIC philosophy was one of SELF-DENIAL in FOOD and CLOTHING and other COMFORTS of life. By shunning these comforts, the followers of ASCETICISM created a sort of "self-humiliation" (2:18, Con.) "and severity of the body" (2:23, A.S.V.) or "ascetic discipline" (2:23, Gspd). These ascetics had been criticizing the Colossian Christians for their INDULGENCE at the FESTIVALS.
This is what Paul was saying: "Let no ASCETIC, therefore, sit in JUDGMENT of your hearty EATING and DRINKING on annual, monthly
or weekly FESTIVALS, which picture future events, but let the body of Christ -- the church -- do the judging." (author's paraphrase)
This was written about 60 A.D., 29 years after the crucifixion of Christ. Any SHADOWS which pictured CHRIST'S SACRIFICE would necessarily be past history by this time (Heb.10:1-2). But Paul spoke in the PRESENT TENSE of the festival shadows. They "ARE a shadow of things to come." So they weren't merely types of CHRIST'S SACRIFICE. PRESENT TENSE indicates these days were STILL BEING OBSERVED at the time Paul wrote. If the festivals foreshadow FUTURE EVENTS, as we have seen, how could they be abolished when these events HAVEN'T even OCCURRED YET?
Furthermore, the "handwriting of ordinances" (Col.2:14) should have been translated "LIST of SINS" or "NOTE of charges showing GUILT." This is what was nailed to the "cross," not the laws of God.
Concerning the practice of eating and drinking together, Paul had to write the Corinthian church about this matter too. The Corinthians had gone to the other extreme at the feast days. Instead of being ascetics, they were DRUNKARDS and GLUTTONS (1 Cor. 11:20-21,33).
The problems at these feast days got worse rather than better, for we read in 2 Peter 2:13 that "they (the unjust) count it pleasure to RIOT in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they FEAST with you." (c. 66 A.D.)
Jude adds, "These (evil men) are spots in your FEASTS of CHARITY (love), when they FEAST with you, feeding themselves without fear" (v.12). The "LOVE FEASTS" are "FEASTS of the LORD" (Lev.23:2) because "GOD is LOVE" (1 John 4:8). These are the only FEASTS God ever gave.
The apostolic church met in SYNAGOGUES (Acts 9:2; 22:19), was considered a sect within JUDAISM (Acts 24:5) composed primarily of JEWS (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14; 9:42; 12:24; 13:43; 14:1 17:12) who were "ZEALOUS FOR THE LAW" (Acts 21:20).
We keep the full seder PASSOVER just as Jesus did (Luke 22:15;
John 2:13): the first cup (Luke 22:17), the footwashing (John 13:5-17),
bitter herbs on unleavened bread dipped in salt water (the "sop")
(John 13:26), the questions (Ex.12:26-27), second cup, unleavened bread
(Luke 22:19), marriage supper of lamb (Luke 22:20), blessing and afikomen
(Luke 22:19), blessing and third cup of wine (Matt.26:27-29), fourth cup
and hallel (Ps.113-118) sung (Matt.26:30) all with staff in hand (Ex.12:11).
We don't recognize an Abib 15 Passover. Our Passover is the 14th. Instead
of "Good Friday" to "Easter Sunday sunrise," we believe
it was an "Evil Wednesday" to "Unleavened Bread Sabbath
afternoon" period with three days (72 hrs.) in between. The afikomen
matzo symbolizes his striped body (Matt.26:26) and the third cup symbolizes
his blood (John 6:54) when he was whipped and crucified on Passover. We
burn up all yeast, leaven, baking powder and sodium bicarbonate before
the FEAST of UNLEAVENEDBREAD and eat only flat-bread
for seven days. Any grain exposed to moisture for over 18 minutes is considered
leaven. Any remaining leaven is nullified in prayer. As Paul said, "Let
us keep the FEAST, not with old leaven" (1 Cor.5:8). Israel
left Egypt and Christ left the tomb on these days. We must leave sin behind.
The wave sheaf symbolized Christ's resurrection to the Father (John 20:17;
Matt.28:9). We circle-dance (Heb. "chagag") on all festivals
except Atonement and the weekly Sabbath.
Israel had a small spring HARVESTand a large
fall HARVEST to typify the small first resurrection of Jewish Christians
before the Millenium (1 Cor.15:23). and the large second resurrection
of non Jewish Christians (Matt.10:14-15; 11:21-25; 12:41-42) after the
Millenium (Rev. 20::5). The GRAINS were harvested in the spring
and the FRUITS and NUTS were harvested in the fall. Jesus
was the "wave-sheaf" of BARLEY. Jewish Christians are
compared to "firstfruits" of WHEAT (Jer. 2:3; Rev. 14:4;
James 1:8). while GRAPES are associated with repentant wicked people
(Rev. 14:15) and WEEDS are associated with unrepentant wicked people.
There is no good FRUIT on a weed so it is rooted out and burned
(Matt. 13:30). When we die, we are all buried in the ground like seeds
(1 Cor. 15:36). Like a plant that SPROUTS and buds to a more glorious
form than the original seed, we are resurrected to greater glory. The
"former RAINS" (Joel 2:23) and "latter RAINS"
(Hosea 6:3) are the two out-pourings of the Holy Spirit.
On PENTECOST, we give the "priest"
our first fruits and recite Deuteronomy 26:2-11 silently in prayer. We
don't recognize postponement rules or a Sivan 6 PENTECOST. It is
Sunday not Monday and can be anywhere from Sivan 4 to 12. "Paul...
hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of PENTECOST"
(Acts 20:16). On another occasion he said, "I will tarry at Ephesus
until PENTECOST" (1 Cor.16:8). The law was given to ancient
Israel and the Holy Spirit was given to the church on this day. The two
wave loaves represent the old and new testament saints, or the Kingdom
of Judah and Kingdom of Israel (Lev.23:17). On Rosh Hashanah or the FEAST
of TRUMPETS we watch for the crescent after sunset above the western
horizon the night before the day of this festival. When we see it, we
blow the ram's horn (Ps.81:3). "For the TRUMPET shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Cor.15:52). "The
Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... with the TRUMP of God;
and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Th.4:16). We ask to be
written in the Book of Life for another year. The coronation now begins.
During the seven "Days of Awe," Christ and his bride will take
their honeymoon back to heaven (Gen.29:27; Judg.14:12) during the seven-year
tribulation. Good deeds are performed by Jews on these days. But "he
will return from the wedding" (Luke 12:36) on the "Day of the
Lord" (Zeph.1:14-16; Joel 2:31; lsa.34:8) which is the DAY
of ATONEMENT when we fast (Acts 27:9). We don't eat or drink. It
is "a day of darkness and gloominess" (Zeph. 1:15). We confess
last year's sins to God and ask forgiveness and to have our names sealed
in the Book of Life before the gates of the kingdom close.
Just as Moses on the DAY of ATONEMENT had a "second
coming" down the mountain with the ten commandments and his face
"shone" (Ex.34:30), so also "the Eternal, my God, shall
come, and all the saints with thee" (Zech.14:5) and his face will
shine (Deut.33:2) on the DAY of ATONEMENT. Just as there
were two goats, one good one killed and the other evil one let go free
(Lev. 16:10), so Jesus, the Son of the Father, was killed (Matt. 27:17-22)
while Barabbas (meaning "Son of the Father") was evil (Luke
23:19) and was released. Now comes the Millenium. During the FEAST
of BOOTHS, we actually build leafy huts with fruit-filled branches
woven in. We wave the four species symbolizing the resurrection of the
rest of humanity. We live in boothes for seven days using pup tents and
sleeping bags. Peter offered to build huts for Moses and Elijah (Matt.17:4).
Christ also "went... up unto the feast" of BOOTHS (John
7:10). John 7:37 says "In the LASTDAY, that GREATDAY of the FEAST. Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If
any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." This was Hoshanah
Rabbah -- the seventh day. HUTS symbolize HUMANBODIES
in the Bible (2 Pet.1:14; Ps.49:11-12; 2 Cor.5:1,4). Just as the Israelites
dwelt in booths when God brought them out of Egypt to the Promised Land
(23:43), so also GOD will DWELLINHUMANS
during the MILLENIUM. Then on the EIGHTHDAY when
we NO longer LIVEINSUKKAHS we picture a
time AFTER the MILLENIUM when all HUMANS have either
been DESTROYED or made IMMORTAL. Jude mentions these "FEASTS
of charity" (v.12) still being kept in 68 A.D. (cp. 2 Pet.2:13).
Clearly, all these festivals are "convocations" (Lev.23:2; Strong's
#4744, meaning "REHEARSALS") or "a SHADOW
of things TOCOME" (Col.2:17).