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At a festival all the age-old barriers of race, colour and class are usually swept aside as people give themselves over to the "spirit of the occasion". And so we have music festivals, sports festivals, film festivals, wine festivals, carnivals, fetes, fairs, religious festivals and Feasts of various kinds. Indeed there is a festival to suit almost every taste and they are all normally well attended.
Festivals are often held to commemorate some important event, and in this connection they may be referred to as memorial festivals. Many religious festivals fall into this category; they are 'memorial festivals' held to commemorate the actions of the various Gods people worship.
This study is of the Feast Days of Yahweh the Holy One of Israel, the
Creator of the mighty universe, the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who is
intensely interested in the welfare of every soul on earth. Yes, the
Almighty has certain memorials. He calls them 'My Feasts;' for they are
the Sacred Memorial Banquets of His greatest acts in the Programme of Salvation; banquets to which all His subjects are invited.
|Leviticus 23:1-4||And the LORD soake unto Moses, saying. "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS! ... These are the Feasts of the LORD, even holy convocationss, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."|
Undoubtedly Yahweh's festivals were initially given to the people of Israel, for it was His plan that through them salvation was to be proclaimed to the world. But the feasts themselves are the LORD'S, not Israel's or Judah's, but Yahweh's. Remember this vital fact.
Unlike the popular festivals of Ash Wednesday, Easter, Hallowe'en and Christmas, whose observance is nowhere comanded in the Scriptures, the Feast Days of Yahweh are described in the Bible in considerable detail. They are to be proclaimed to and observed by all true believers in the LORD God of Israel. Read about these sacred memorials in Leviticus 23, Numbers 28 & 29 and Zechariah 14. There you will see overwhelming evidence of their divine origin and everlasting nature.
Stewarton Bible School's aim is to draw the church's attention to these
appointed feasts of the Most High; to proclaim them to all the world in
accordance with this divine direction:
|Leviticus 23:4||"These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."|
What do these sacred feasts commemorate?
The answer is: They are the spiritual anniversaries of Yahweh's mightiest deeds; each and every one of them being an eternal memorial of some distinct, divine accomplishment in the great Programme of Salvation. If you read this booklet to the end you will see that statement proved over and over again.
Let us now consider Yahweh's feast days in turn, for there are several, and open our minds to the profound spiritual realities they represent.
|Exodus 12:29-30||"And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."|
"And how," you may well ask, "is the blood of the real Passover Lamb, the Son of the Almighty God, applied to a believer in this electronic age?" The answer is: By taking part in a special memorial service called the Passover Service on the evening of the 14th Abib each year, which is the divinely appointed time. The Passover Service is a memorial of the Saviour's death on Calvary and every believer in the Messiah is commanded to keep it. "this do in remembrance of me" said the Messiah, the Lamb of God. Memorial services, incidentally are not observed several times a year; neither should they be observed at any time people fancy. The time to observe the Passovere Service has been divinely appointed; and that time is the evening of the 14th day of the month of Abib. Let all who read, pause and take note.
The new covenant emblems of the Saviour's body and blood are "unleavened bread and wine." (Luke 22:14-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) These emblems have replaced the need to slay a literal lamb each year, for the Messiah, the real Passover Lamb, has already been slain. But the TIME set apart for this memorial service remains the same. It is the evening of the 14th day of the first month (Abib) in the sacred calendar (Exodus 13:5-11). The date is important and can never be altered, because it is the memorial date of our Saviour's death, when he paid with His life to rescue mankind from extinction at the hands of the Destroyer. When a believer takes part in this service he/she is, figuratively speaking, applying the blood of the Messiah to his/her mind, which is the lintel of the soul. This act of faith is a clear sign to the Almighty that that soul seeks pardon, protection and salvation. That is how the Passover Lamb's blood is applied to the lintel of a believer's mind in this century.
Incredible as it may seem, the fulfilment of the Passover (the day itself , not the Lamb) is still
future. According to Scripture that day will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the Saviour is awaiting the approaching midnight of this age when the
Destroyer will be compelled to spare or passover all those who are
displaying the sign of the Lamb's blood.
|Luke 22:15-16||"I have longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" said the Master, "because I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."|
Believers in the Almighty who, therefore, celebrate the Passover Service on the appointed evening each year will be greatly blessed; for as they eat the unleavened bread and drink the wine (the new covenant emblems of the Saviour's body and blood) they are, in truth, applying the Saviour's life-giving blood to the lintels of their souls..
Put differently, we may say that Yahweh's main purpose in staging such a breathtaking Passover display in ancient Egypt was His way of giving the entire universe a 'prophetic preview' of His earth- encompassing plan to 'pass over' and deliver His people in the closing days of this age. Yes, the LORD God of Israel is in the near future going to personally visit all the nations of the world, and as before, 'pass-over' (pity, spare and deliver) all those who faithfully display the Sign of His Son's blood on the lintels of their minds and the door post of their supporting actions. Thus we can see that ancient Israel's exodus from Egypt was a "prophetic drama," a "living blueprint," a "meaningful model" of a far greater deliverance of Yahweh's people which is scheduled to take place on a world scale in our day. In view of this, believers in the Messiah should beware of failing to keep this memorial service at its appointed time. (See How to hold the Passover in your own home.)
Leaven (yeast) is a symbol of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine, a week represents eternity and a house represents the church of God. Thus the week of unleavened bread (when every trace of leaven is cleared from the houses of believers) symbolises the church which is to be purged by God: of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine - for all time. Only when that work has been done will the church be a fit "Temple of God," a spiritual home the Almighty will inhabit for all eternity. Yes, before Yahweh's Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in His house (the church) He has scheduled Himself to purge His people of every trace of (leaven) sin. (Matt. 16:6-12, 1 Cor. 5:6-8, Luke 12:1).
I repeat, there is coming a time when the Almighty will purge hypocrisy, false doctrine & sin (leaven) from the minds of His people; and only when that time arrives will the Week of Unleavened Bread have found its fulfilment, not before.
Scripture tells us that this Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Sacred Sign on the believer's hand and mind that the Almighty's law is inscribed therein. This Feast is, in fact, the appointed sign of faithful obedience, as opposed to the Mark of the Antichrist, which is the brand mark of disobedience.
|Exodus 13:6:||Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7: Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 8: And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.|
9: And IT shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10: Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
Note: that specific reference to this Feast being a sign on the hand and a memorial between the eyes (the mind).
The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are the true believers won to God by His Son the firstborn. (1 Cor. 15:20&23, James 1:18, Rev. 14:4)
The ancient ceremony of presenting the Almighty with the firstfruits of the earth (Deut. 26:1-11) with two oven-baked loaves, in which the leaven had been de-activated (Lev. 23:15-17), was a figure, a type, a shadow of the spiritual harvest of human souls in whom the yeast of sin will one day cease to exist. There is coming a day when the power of sin will be de-activated in us believers just as the power of leaven is neutralised in an oven baked loaf.
The breathtaking experience recorded in Acts 2 was but the early harvest, a kind of "firstfruits" of an even greater out-pouring of divine power scheduled to fall upon the church in the near future when the main harvest of human beings will be gathered in.
The Feast of Pentecost, in short, prefigures, guarantees and commemorates the early harvest, the first fruits of human souls: and those who celebrate it declare their willingness to be part of that spiritual multitude which will one day be gathered in and presented to the Almighty by His Son - the Firstborn!
Trumpets were used by Yahweh's command in ancient Israel:
|Isaiah 18:3||"All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when He bloweth a trumpet, HEAR YE."|
|Zechariah 9:14||"And the LORD shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south."|
No one will doubt but that the Feast to Trumpets has still to find even partial fulfilment; and it is because of this fact and the many texts which tell of the use of the Trumpets of God in the future that believers should beware of ignoring this important feast day.
On some future Feast of Trumpets the mighty Trumpet of the LORD will sound.
It will be heard throughout the world! and will reverberate with tones as
awesome as the rushing sound which filled Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost
some 2000 years ago (Acts 2:2). All of mankind will hear the Trumpet, for the Bible
|Zechariah 9:14||"And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south."
|Isaiah 18:3||"All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye."|
Our salvation, in other words, will only by complete when we are actually brought into the very presence of the Almighty.
The word "atonement" means to make amends for, to reconcile, to restore, to repair, to make at-one again. And that is exactly what the Day of Atonement prefigures. It points to a specific time in the future when the great High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Yeshua the Messiah) will literally bring the redeemed host of mankind right into the very presence of His Father, in order that we may be AT-ONE with YAHWEH.
That indeed will by a reconciliation beyond compare, when the Almighty's estranged human family - alienated from Him by sin - will actually be brought into His presence to be AT ONE with Him. Can you now begin to see the plan of salvation prefigured in the feasts?
Yahweh's family of true believers:
|Luke 15:11-32||"Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. Bring the fatted calf, kill it and let us eat and be merry. For my son here was dead and he has come to life. He was lost and he is found."|
This feast begins a week during which all 'Israelites born' are required to live in temporary dwellings or shelters. (Lev. 23:39-43). It is, at its basic level, a memorial of the time when Yahweh made His people live in tents and temporary shelters in the wilderness when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.
At a higher level it is also a reminder or memorial of the fact that the Almighty came down from heaven to live in a Tabernacle (a tent) amidst His people Israel. (Exodus 33:7-11 & chapters 35 to 40)
The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible has this to say about the Tabernacle in the wilderness. "The movable sanctuary in the form of a tent which God directed Moses at Sinai to make, that God might dwell as king among His people." (Exodus 25:8-9) Hence it was called:
From these and other passages we can see that the literal Tabernacle which Moses built according to the Almighty's design was merely a type, a shadow, a physical expression of:
Consequently, we may say that the Feast of Tabernacles is also a memorial
of the Almighty's astonishing condescension to come down to earth to
tabernacle or pitch His tent with humanity in the person of His Son. For
Jesus Christ is Immanuel, GOD WITH US, God incarnate; that is the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel taking
up his abode in the tabernacle of a human body, in order to redeem and
enable mankind to obey His eternal law.
|Romans 8:3||"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: |
4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Is it any wonder that the profound reality of this fact (that God is going
to tabernacle with mankind for eternity) drew from the lips of an angel
these amazing words:
|Revelation 21:3||"Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God."|
The Last Great Day prefigures the endless cycles of eternity when the life-giving power of the Almighty God will flow to and through His people on the earth made new. At the moment (1999) the reality of the Great Day of the Feast is an event to look forward to; but in the hereafter, when the saints occupy the new universe, the breathtaking bliss of the Great Day will begin to be appreciated as each anniversary - through the endless ages of eternity - brings unspeakable joy to the ransomed host. The Great Day will have begun - never to end!
A special invitation to this great spiritual banquet of an endless life of bliss is given to you by the
Master Himself in John 7:37-39.
|John 7:37||"In the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"|
These, then, are the appointed, memorial feasts in the Almighty's Programme of Salvation. As you can see each and every one of them commemorates in a special way a unique accomplishment of the Holy One of Israel.
This is the message of the Bible concerning the Feast Days of Yahweh the
Holy One of Israel. And it is concerning these sacred feasts that He says:
|Leviticus 23:2||"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS... 4. These are the FEASTS OF THE LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."|
|Galatians 3:29||"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."|
|Romans 2:28||"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that
circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: |
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Gentiles who believe in the Messiah of Israel are, according to the Holy Scriptures, grafted
into the Olive of Israel. They become part of the commonwealth of spiritual
Israel and thereafter share all the blessings of the chosen race. Paul's letter to the
Romans (chapter 11) makes this fact abundantly clear.
|Romans 11:17||"And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree... 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off. |
23 And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again...
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. "
What do these facts mean? They mean exactly what they say: that all true
believers in the LORD God of Israel and His Son Yeshua are Israelites and are included in this gracious invitation to become part of the Olive of Israel. As Israelites we rejoice greatly and gladly observe the Feasts of the LORD; the eternal memorials of our salvation!
|Leviticus 23:2||" Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them. Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my Feasts!|
|Genesis 1:14||"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night: and let them be for SIGNS, and for SEASONS, and for DAYS, and YEARS. "|
The capitalized words in this verse are extremely meaningful; because they link the creation of the sun, moon and stars with the sacred seasons and feast days of the Creator. Using Strong's dictionary a close look at those words reveals that:
Yahweh's solemn festivals, in other words, are part of the Plan of
Salvation; for they not only prefigure the seven major events in His plan,
but they specifically identify the appointed times WHEN those mighty events
are scheduled to take place.
|Genesis 1:14||"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."|
The commandments concerning the Feasts of Yahweh are found in the following
passages: Exodus 12:14-24, Exodus 13:5-16, Leviticus 23 - the whole chapter
but note carefully verses 14, 21, 31 and 41.
Space does not allow us to quote all these verses, but let us look at one or two
and refer to Strong's dictionary in order to appreciate the kind of
language Yahweh used when giving His Feast Day commandments. The verse I have
have selected is in the book of Exodus, but the other verses mentioned above are just as meaningful because they use similar or identical terms.
|Exodus 12:14||"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance FOREVER."|
So do not let anyone confuse you by saying that the Feast Days of the Almighty God of Israel have been done away with: because they haven't. All who make such wild and totally irresponsible claims - and you will hear them - are insulting the intelligience and ability of the Most High to formulate His own laws; and it is unthinkable that He who knows the end from the beginning would have used such enduring language, terms such as 'for ever and ever,' 'perpetual' and 'from generation to generation,' if all along His plan was to do away with the Feasts at Calvary. The very idea borders on blasphemy and is only being given this coverage because of the untold damage that false doctrine is causing in the ranks of the Christian church.
The plain truth is this: That as the supreme Judge and Advocate in the law court of Heaven, Yahweh knew perfectly well what He was saying when He commanded that His solemn festivals were to be celebrated for ever, from age to age, for ALL TIME!.
Further confirmation of this fact will be given later where you will see that in the coming millennial age, and in the age after that (on the new earth) the redeemed host of mankind will celebrate the Feast Days of the Almighty with great gladness and respect.
This multiple slaughter of innocent victims was, bear in mind, carried out by the Almighty's command. "What was the purpose of all this killing on the Feast Days?" you may well ask. "Wasn't the sacrifice of one lamb at the Passover enough to illustrate the innocence of the Saviour?" or "What was the point in slaying some 200 animals at the Feast of Tabernacles when Christ - to whom all the sacrifices pointed - was slain at the Passover some six months earlier?"
The answer, briefly, is this: that whereas the sacrificial lamb symbolised the innocence of Yeshua (Jesus) the Lamb of God; the multiplied slaughter of victims - the sheer number of animals - prefigured in mathematical terms the manifold results the single sacrifice of the Saviour would bring about at certain appointed times in the great Plan of Salvation. For it is a fact that numbers describe the magnitude, the capacity, the value and the overall results of an achievement far more accurately and meaningfully than all the adjectives in the dictionary. Thus the significance of Yahweh's Feast Days are also numerically described by the massive number of sacrifices made upon them as days of supreme importance when the Almighty's greatest achievements will be made manifest to the whole universe.
|1 Kings 12:27||"If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at
Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again to their
lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and
go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28. Whereupon the king took counsel,
and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for
you to go up to Jerusalem: behold, thy Gods, O Israel, which brought
thee up out of the Land of Egypt.
29. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. 30. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31. And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not the sons of Levi.
32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he has made.
33. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eight month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, the burnt incense."
Why was Jeroboam's sin so grievous? Because by it, with one master-stoke, he allowed Satan to sever the nation's main spiritual link with Yahweh's appointed Sabbaths and form of worship. The sacred feasts were times for spiritual instruction and revival, when the men and families of Israel gathered in Jerusalem to learn of the Almighty and His requirements. (Exodus 34:23) Jeroboam's bogus feasts and substitute form of worship at Bethel broke that spiritual link and like a rudderless ship the nation of Israel began to drift away from the Creator.
The results were appalling, for very soon millions of Israelites completely
lost their spiritual bearings and adopted the basest forms of paganism.
Many were the calls to repentance, but the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat (the
sin of using substitute forms of worship on unsanctified festivals) was not
given up. As a result the Almighty carried out His predicted threats given
through His servants the prophets and handed the people of Israel over to their
enemies. After a serious of devastating defeats they were deported from the
Promised Land and sold like cattle in the markets of the Middle East.
|2 Kings 17:20||"And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them,
and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them
out of His sight. 21. For He rent Israel from the house of David; and
they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel
from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. |
22. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them. 23. Until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
Hundreds of years earlier the prophet Moses had foretold Israel's
scattering and deportation if they forsook the commandments of God and here
it was happening exactly as foretold.
|Deuteronomy 28:64||"And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other Gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone."|
At this very moment the whole of Christendom is steadily - yea almost imperceptibly - splitting into two distinct camps:
In short, when Yahweh's people disobeyed Him, they were punished - often very severely - but when they repented of their sins and turned back to the pathway of obedience they were blessed; blessed in a measure that was quite breathtaking in its effect and out of all proportion to their obedience. The Almighty literally showered upon His people the spiritual riches of heaven and the bounties of the earth. When they obeyed His commandments they prospered in all that they did, and when they refused to obey they suffered the consequences. In a sentence, that summarises Israel's history.
Now bear in mind that Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel has not changed. (Mal. 3:6) He still blesses those who obey Him and punishes those who sin. No matter how people try to ignore this fact, it will not go away, because it is a fundamental teaching of the Scriptures. If you trust and obey the Most High you will be blessed. But if you persist in sinning you will be punished; it's as basic as that.
Let us now look at four revivals recorded in the Scriptures to illustrate this point.
This cleansing work was soon finished and royal invitations to come to
Jerusalem for the Passover were sent out by special couriers to every
corner of the Promised Land. The record reads:
|2 Chronicles 30:5||"So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it is written. |
6. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying. Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7. And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethre which transgressed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9. For if ye turn unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him."
The Spirit of the Almighty was present at that sacred season, the Passover; and there followed a great outpouring of blessing on the assembled worshippers. A revival shook the city of Jerusalem and it sent spiritual vibrations to the furthermost corners of Israel. The nation once again began to obey Yahweh's law and to remember His sacred Feasts. For His part the Almighty in His great mercy pardoned their sins and blessed them abundantly. When did that extraordinary revival begin?
It began, as pointed out above, on New Years Day (1st Abib) and it came to a climax at the sacred season called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Bear that little known fact in mind because it has deep spiritual significance.
|2 Chronicles 33:1||"Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: 2: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 3: For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.|
4: Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 5: And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6: And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
Then onto the stage of time came Josiah, one of Judah's greatest kings. Josiah
was only eight years old when he came to the throne; but he accomplished more for the
truth of God by the age of twenty five than all the kings of Israel
and Judah before him. The reformation under Josiah was swift and
astonishing in its effect. With terrifying ruthlessness he demolished the
altars of Baal and cut down the Asherim (heathen poles) in the high places. He
literally purged the land of paganism and humbly reinstated the worship of
Jehovah in accordance with His law. (2 Chron. 34) King Josiah then organised
the Passover celebrations and invited the whole nation to Jerusalem.
|2 Chronicles 35:17||" And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 18: And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. |
18. And there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet: neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept..."
|2 Chronicles 36:14||" Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. 15: And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
16: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 17: Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 18: And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 19: And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
20: And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 21: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years."
|Lamentations 1: 4||"The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. 5: Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions... "|
The nation of Israel rejected Jeremiah's call to repentance and in the course of time the inevitable happened. The LORD God of Israel allowed the city of Jerusalem to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. His well disciplined but ruthless battalions stormed the capital and literally tore it apart. Thousands of terrified half-naked captives were brutally deported to Babylon and the land of Judah was subdued and lay desolate for seventy years. Note that significant reference to the Sabbath which even the land was to keep every seventh year. (Lev. 25:1-7)
Time passed, the predicted seventy year captivity ended and the returning exiles came back in waves to the Promised Land. Under Zerubbabel the governor, Nehemiah the prophet and Ezra the priest, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh were rebuilt. There followed a revival of mighty significance and one which caused the enemies of truth to tremble throughout the Middle East. With astonishing speed the wall of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh were rebuilt and the sacred feast days of the Almighty proclaimed. A holy spirit of dedication swept the country and all pagan associations and alliances were broken off. Multitudes of believers attended the sacred feasts and the blessings of the Almighty poured down on the nation.
These events are recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah and what thrilling reading they make. Yahweh's people after a long and painful exile return to the land of promise and to the city they love. The spiritual lessons for the church of today are too numerous to tell, though thousands of worthy sermons have been based on them. What is not generally known is this fact, that all those recorded experiences of ancient Israel and Judah:
|1 Cor. 10:11||"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. "|
Why? Because when the spiritual realities portrayed by those ancient events occur in our day, we can be certain that they will occur on the same dates in the sacred calendar as their Old Testament counterparts did in days gone by. In othere words, future events have not only been foreshadowed, but the dates on which they will occur have also been specified.
Just as Noah removed the covering from the ark on New Year's Day (1st Abib)
after having being shut in by Yahweh for almost a year (Gen. 8:13), so too will
the Almighty remove - on an appointed day -
the covering that is draped over the minds of millions.
|Isaiah 25:6-8||"And in this mountain shall the LORD of Hosts make unto all
people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the
lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well
And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will will wipe away tears from all faces: and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it."
|Acts 1:4||"And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the father, which, saith he, ye heard of me. 5. For John truly baptised with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. "|
|Acts 2:1||"And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. 2. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance."|
|Acts 1:8||"You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."|
Now, let no-one suppose that the mighty outflow of spiritual power which came on the church at Pentecost some two thousand years ago was all that the Eternal has planned for His people. Oh no! The prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 goes far beyond the happenings on that memorable day in Jerusalem. The events recorded in Acts chapter 2 are by comparison only the 'appetisers,' the 'starters,' the 'foretaste' and 'beginnings' of a much greater Banquet of Power still to be set before the obedient church in the near future. On some coming Feast Day - any year from now - the LORD God of Israel is going to astound the universe with the next great event in His Programme of Salvation. And we can be certain that it will be an event more spectacular, more wonderful, more powerful and more effective than all the sons of men have hitherto seen or even remotely imagined.
Now pause a while and consider - yea analyse the revivals recorded in the Scriptures. Did you notice that they were all directly linked with the sacred seasons in the Almighty's calendar? That they all either began with or climaxed on one or the other of the Feasts Days?
And why not? For that is exactly why the Eternal, at the creation of the world, ordained His feasts. The Feasts are His appointed times and sacred seasons, and are entered in His diary as days of special significance, days to keep, days to look forward to, days to remember, sacred memorial days set aside to mark the times when He would perform His greatest acts in the Programme of Salvation. That is why He has commanded His followers to remember them, to celebrate them with feasting, joy and gladness; for they are the sacred memorial days of our salvation.
Doubtless some of you may have heard these and similar statements. But are you sure they have the backing of Scripture? Have you examined the evidence to see if that is what the Bible says? Have you looked into the New Testament record to see what the early church did after the Saviour's resurrection? Have you read the prophecies concerning the new covenant and the Feasts of Yahweh, prophecies identifying who the new covenant is made with and what's new about it? Prophecies which tell of the coming millennium (the 1000 year) Reign of Peace) when all the nations of the earth will obediently keep the Feasts? Have you considered that weighty Scripture which tells of the Sabbaths of Yahweh being observed for all eternity on the New Earth?
Or are you believing what you want to believe, because you are secretly afraid of the truth, incorrectly supposing that it will somehow ruin your life if you accept it? Always bear in mind that facts do not cease to exist because people refuse to accept them. Facts are stubborn things, and the only effective way to deal with them is to examine them and then act upon them.
In view of this, I would advise that before you make any lasting judgement one way or the other, before you settle your mind in a fixed position which you may well find impossible to abandon, examine what the Scriptures have to say about the new covenant and the Sabbaths of the Most High under it.
|Jer.31:31||"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL, and with the house of Judah: 32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:|
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
|Heb.8:7||"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8: For finding fault with THEM, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL and with the house of Judah:
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."
|Matthew 24:20||"But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day."|
The answers are perfectly obvious. The Master knew that the Sabbath commandment would still be valid long after his resurrection and he wanted his followers to keep it. He knew very well that at the approaching fall of Jerusalem they would be in danger of breaking the Sabbath command; so he advised them to pray to the Father to make it possible for them to be obedient. And this unequivocal fact - that He advised His followers to pray about Sabbath observance some 40 years after the crucifixion - proves that the Sabbath commandment was not abolished at the cross. Historical records tell us that the early church fled from Jerusalem in the middle of the week when the Roman armies mysteriously withdrew their forces from the besieged city. This indicates that those early believers followed the Master's advice and prayed to the Father about Sabbath observance and the Almighty in His great mercy answered their prayers and made it possible for them to keep the Sabbath amidst all the confusion that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem. Do remember that these events took place in the new covenant era - some 40 years after the Messiah's death on the cross.
|Acts 17:2||"And Paul, as his manner was, went in into them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures."
|Acts 18:20||"When they desired him (Paul) to tarry a longer time with them, he
consented not; 21. But bade them farewell saying, I must by all means
keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem..."
|Acts 20:16||"For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend time in Asia, for he hasted if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."|
|Acts 13:14||"But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. ... 42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43: Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. |
44: And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God."
|Acts 18:4||" And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks."|
|1 Cor.5:7||"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: 8: 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."|
The above verses prove that Paul observed Yahweh's Sabbath law and went to great lengths to dispel any doubts the early church may have had that he was abandoning God's law given through the patriarch Moses. Spend a little time reading Acts 21:17-24 and there you will see to what extraordinary lengths Paul went so "that all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing: but that thou thyself also walkest orderly , and KEEPEST THE LAW! "
In Hebrews 4:9 we read that
Once again we must remember that these events and observations were recorded some 30 years after the Messiah's death on the cross. They tell of the early church - including converted Gentiles - keeping the Almighty's Sabbath days; and also of how Paul went out of his way to prove that he still kept the law of God!
|Zechariah 14:1||"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken... |
3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south....and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.... 12: And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth...
16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
17: And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
19: This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES."
Can anything be clearer than that? Does this amazing prophecy - which has obviously still to find fulfilment - give the impression that the Feast of Tabernacles has been done away with? Oh no dear friend, the presence of this prophecy alone demolishes forever the delusion that Yahweh's Feasts are obsolete or that they are only to be observed by the nation of Israel. Anyone with spiritual eys will plainly see that this prophecy teaches that in the millennium Yahweh's Feasts will be observed by all the nations of the world!
If you have an open mind, if you are not afraid of the truth, if you have 'eyes to see, and ears to hear', then you will see and hear and understand this unmistakable fact that Yahweh's Feasts have not been done away with at all; and what is more, they will be observed by all nations of the earth during the Millennium.
That is what the Scriptures teach.
|Revelation 21:1||" And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. "|
|Isaiah 66:22||"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23: And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. "|
What of those "new moons", are they significant? Certainly they are. Abib's new moon is New Year's Day in the sacred calendar. (Exodus 12:1-2 & 18, Exodus 13:4) and Ethanim's (Tishri's) new moon determines the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24). Indeed in the sacred calendar every month begins on the day of the new moon. Indeed, the Almighty's church, the woman in Revelation 12, is seen standing on the moon; which means she takes her stand on the Sacred Calendar of the Most High and the Sabbath days and years in it.
Isaiah's prophecy highlights several important points about the Sabbaths of the Eternal. Here are two of them:
The answer to these questions may surprise you, but, briefly here is the truth of the matter. The popular festivals of Christendom (Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en, Ash Wednesday etc.) together with the weekly rest of Sunday are all of pagan origin. Their observance is not commanded in the Scriptures. Where did they come from? They were adopted by the Christian church several centuries after the Saviour ascended to heaven. Here are a few authoritative statements to prove these amazing claims.
"There is no authoritative tradition as to the day or month of Christ's birth ... The winter solstice was regarded as the birthday of the sun and at Rome a pagan festival of the nativity of "sol invictus" was introduced by the Emperor Aurelian on the 25th December 274. The church unable to stamp out this popular festival, spiritualised it as the Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness. When Christianity spread northwards it encountered a similar pagan festival also held at the winter solstice - the great Yule feast of the Norsemen. Once again Christians absorbed heathen customs. From the various sources came the Yule Log, the Christmas tree introduced into England from Germany and first mentioned in 1978." (Chambers encyclopaedia 1970 edition page 530)
"Indeed it is admitted by the most learned and candid of writers of all parties that the day of our Lord's birth cannot be determined and that within the Christian church no festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the 3rd century, and that not till the 4th century was far advanced did it gain much observance."
How then did the Romanish church fix on December 25th as Christmas day? Why thus:
"Long before the fourth century and long before the Christian era itself, a
festival was celebrated among the heathen at the precise time of the year
in honour of the Son of Babylonian Queen of Heaven: and it may fairly be
assumed that in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of
the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the
Roman Church giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on part of
the Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early adopted ...
upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts the
apostasy went on, 'till the church, with the exemption of a small remnant,
was submerged under Pagan superstition.
That Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated proves its origin. In Egypt the Son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the Queen of Heaven, was born at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice." (The Two Babylons by Alexander Hyslop, pages 92 and 93)
But enough of quotations, for the reader can visit any reference library and trace the origins of Christmas and Easter back to paganism.
The question now is: Should a true believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel celebrate Christmas and Easter? Is it acceptable to enter into these festivities and keep these pagan feasts now that their heathen origins have become widely known? And will the Holy One of Israel object to one of His followers, say, attending a Christmas dinner or party?
The Bible answer is absolutely clear on this point and if you have the courage to read it turn to 1 Corinthians 10 and study verses 16-22 you will find this question, answered and it amounts to this:
|1 Cor. 10:||"20: But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21: Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22: Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?"|
This is a serious error and if the reader has not already done so he/she must read our article Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath? The article examines every text in the Bible which mentions the first day of the week, and proves beyond any doubt that nowhere in the Scriptures is Sunday observance called for. This amazing conclusion is also verified by learned writers of several major Christian denominations.
What then of the coming Spiritual Election? And what have the Sabbaths of the Almighty and the popular festivals of Christendom to do with an election? A great deal. Very soon all humanity will be compelled to choose between:
In that coming spiritual election the electorate will not be expected to enter a polling booth to put a mark against a candidate's name. Instead, the two spiritual candidates, (Jehovah, the God of Abraham on the one hand: and Satan the Devil on the other), will set their signatures, (an inscription of their names) in the minds of the voters. In other words you will indicate your choice of Leader by accepting in your mind either the Signature of Yahweh the God of Israel or the Mark of the Beast. The Leader whose signature you mentally accept and subsequently reflect in your actions, He will be the One of your choice. That is how you will vote, whether you fully realise the eternal implications of that choice or not.
|Ezekiel 20:12||"Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths to be a SIGN between me and
them, that they might know that I am the LORD, that sanctify them."
|Ezekiel 20:20||"And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a SIGN between me and you
that ye may know that I am the LORD your God."
|Exodus 31:12||"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a SIGN between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. ... 16: Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17: It is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel for ever."|
|Exodus 13:9||"And it (The Feast of Unleavened Bread) shall be a sign unto thee
upon thine hand and for a memorial between thine eyes (in the
forehead) that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth."
|Deut.6:6||" And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up |
. 8: And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."
|Hebrews 8:8||" ... Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.... 10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. 11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord:' for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."|
|Hebrew 10:16||"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. "|
Just before the end of this age the Antichrist is scheduled to make a
personal appearance on this earth. (2 Thess. 2:7-8, Rev. 17:8) With
breathtaking miracles and lying wonders he will seduce the inhabitants of the world into worshipping Him. (Rev. 13:13-15) His hatred of truth
will focus on Yahweh's Law and particularly on the Sabbath days in His law.
Vainly will the Antichrist imagine that he is able to change and replace
God's Sabbaths with days of his own choosing. The prophet Daniel has this to say
about the Antichrist's activities:
|Daniel 7:25||"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times." "|
|Matthew 5:17-18||"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."|
And you dear reader are now being given the opportunity to choose:
|1 John 2:3-4||"And hereby, we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him."|
How long you personally have before you make your choice and finalise your vote we cannot tell. But you may be sure the time is short and to delay is dangerous. Carefully consider your decision before you make it, for the issues at stake are momentous and the consequences of a wrong choice are too dreadful to even contemplate. Read Rev. 14:9-11 for your own safety.
To help you further understand this matter, Stewarton Bible School has produced a lesson entitled The Mark of the Beast. It contains information of great importance, so read it today if you have not already done so.
If you decide to obey the Almighty you will be bountifully blessed; blessed
and protected from the terrors of Abaddon's regime which is about to tear
our civilisation apart. (Rev. 9:4) Yes, obedience will bring blessing.
|Revelation 22:14||"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates unto the city."|
But from the throne of the Almighty you may hear another call. And if you
do, it will be the voice of the Master, the call of Yeshua the Messiah,
the only begotten Son of the Most High. His voice will overwhelm your whole being as only
the voice of the Saviour and the presence of the Holy Spirit can. And this is what He will be saying dear reader to you:
The Bible tells us that at the end of this present age and in the ages to come, true believers will be keeping the commandments of God. How could this be possible if the commandments were abolished at Calvary?
|Rev.12:17||"17: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."|
|Rev.22:13||"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."|
Incidentally, laws are not abolished by obedience or disobedience. Consult any solicitor or member of parliament if you have any doubts about this legal fundamental. Christians who speak and write against the law of the Most High are unwittingly furthering the cause of Satan the Lawless One. They are adding to the enormous catalogue of sin of which the world and the church is already guilty: for when they teach that God's law is done away with, they encourage the spiritually blind to persist in their sins. For further information about Yahweh's commandments, see the Divine Law Page.
|Ephesians 2:7||"That in the ages to come He (the Almighty) will shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Jesus Christ."|
|Genesis 6:8||"Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."|
|Exodus 33:13-16||"Moses found grace in the LORD's sight."|
|Jeremiah 31:2||"Israel found grace in the wilderness."|
What, then, is the relationship between grace and law? And what does it mean to be under grace? Briefly here are the facts concerning this misunderstood matter.
|Romans 6:15-16||"Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?"|
|Romans 6:15-16||"God forbid! Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"|
|Romans 6:16||"His servants ye are whom ye obey."|
|Romans 14:5-6||"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 no regard it ...
|verse 10||... for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ."|
The points being made in this passage are:
That is what Paul is saying.
|Colossians 2:16-17||"Let no man therefore judge you in meat and drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."|
And why does Paul mention meat, drink, Sabbath days and new moons in the same verse? The answer is, because "meat, drink, new moons, and Sabbath days" are "shadows"," tokens" or" emblem types" of great spiritual realities still to come. And though they are extremely beneficial when properly understood and applied, they are of little practical value to the Christian who spends his energies and time criticising others.
Having said this, however, it would be very unwise for a believer to conclude that since these things are "shadows" or "spiritual tokens" they are, therefore, of little account and that Paul is here giving all Christians a free pass to ignore Yahweh's Sabbath law.
That is most certainly not what Paul is saying. Indeed when we examine the Apostle's other writings - and take a close look at his own actions - we notice that he went to great lengths to honour the Almighty's Sabbaths and to prove to the brethren in Jerusalem that the reports about him teaching believers to forsake the law and old customs were simply not true, because the fact was that he (Paul) walked in an "orderly way and kept the law." (Acts 21:20-24, Acts 20:16)
What, then, does this passage mean? It means exactly what it is saying. Just like that passage in Romans it concerns a believer's mental attitude towards himself and others. In Romans 14 Paul says "do not judge others, but allow them to make up their own minds as regards to their diet and the days they honour." In Colossians 2 he says "Do not allow others to judge you". In neither passage is the identity of the true Sabbath day discussed.
|Galatians 4:9-10||"But now, after that ye have know God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the week and beggarly elements, where unto ye desire again to be in bondage. Ye observe days, months, and times and years."|
What were they wanting to turn back to?
The answer is they were wanting to "turn back" to the weak and beggarly elements, of the days, months, and times and years which they had kept before they became followers of Jesus Christ. In other words, they wanted to turn back to the pagan festivals they had previously observed; festivals which centered on the beggarly elements of sun, moon, wind, river and fire worship. These are the beggarly elements which the converted Galatians used to worship. And this fact, understandably amazed Paul.
Had he been writing to converted Jews, who had kept the Almighty's Feasts since childhood, then we could allow that the "days, months, seasons and years" of verse 10 may well have meant Jehovah's Feasts and that these pagan converts were wanting to go back to celebrating them. But Paul is not here writing to Jewish believers, he is writing to converts from Paganism; and the only celebrations to which they could possibly go back, were the heathen festivals they had previously known; festivals which were directly linked to the beggarly elements mentioned above.
Also bear in mind that Paul honoured Yahweh's Feasts (Acts 18:21, Acts
20:16, 1 Cor. 16:8). It is therefore unthinkable that he would refer to the Almighty's Feasts
as "weak and beggarly elements" in one instance and then strive desperately
to keep them in the next. Paul' s verdict in Romans 7:12 concerning the commandments of God was:
|Ephesians 2:15-16||"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances for to make himself of twain one new man, so making peace. And that he may reconcile both unto God in the one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereof."|
|Romans 8:7||"The carnal (non-spiritual) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."|
|Romans 8:3||" 3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. "|
And why did the Saviour come to slay our inherent enmity against God and our fellow men? The answer is: "In order that the righteousness of Yahweh's Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:4)
If the reader is an honest seeker after the truth he/she will immediately recognise that the Apostle Paul is not introducing strange and contradictory teachings in these passages; but is in complete harmony with all other inspired writers from Genesis to Revelation. What he is doing in these passages is highlighting some extremely important but little understood truths:
Here is how we know this fact. In Exodus 16:14-30 we read of how the Almighty fed Israel with manna. By the following three miracles - performed every week - Yahweh made known His Sabbath day to the whole nation.
We can be certain that it was again identified when the Messiah observed it, for just prior to his death on Calvary the Saviour categorically stated that he had kept his father's commandments. (John 15:10) He could hardly have said this if the day that he had been keeping for some thirty three years was the wrong one. Besides, if he had kept the wrong day he would have been a sinner and that would have disqualified him from being our Saviour.
We are, therefore, certain that the Saviour dept the correct seventh day Sabbath.
Soon after the capture of Jerusalem in AD70 the diaspora took place. The diaspora is the scattering of the body of Jews to lands other than their own. Initially the exiles had fled to the surrounding countries of Egypt, Syria and Phoenicia, but in the course of time, as persecution mounted, the Jews went further and further afield and today you will find Jewish communities in every country on the face of the earth.
With them the Jews took the Holy Scriptures and their knowledge of the true Sabbath day. Every seventh day since then orthodox Jews all over the world have remembered the seventh day.
And what do we find in this 20th century? We find the Jews still keeping the original seventh day Sabbath, the same day they knew at the time of the diaspora, which was the same day Jesus kept.
There is absolutely no disagreement or dispute amongst the Jews - scattered as they still are - as to which day is the seventh day of the week. Every synagogue in every country is in perfect agreement that Saturday is the seventh day.
Had there been any change of the day, any loss or gain of time, any deliberate or accidental slip or alteration in the weekly cycle - which would have resulted in the Jews in one country observing a different weekly Sabbath from Jewish believers in the next - then we would readily agree that the identity of the seventh day of the week was in doubt. But we do not find that situation anywhere on earth. Instead we have in total agreement amongst all the Jews of all nations that the day known throughout the world as Saturday is the seventh day of the week.
Those who use this argument are misinformed. Here are the facts of history: In the year 1582 the Julian calendar (named after the Emperor Julius Caesar) was found to be 10 days late when compared with the position of the sun. That is, the vernal equinox was not occurring on or about March 20/21 - as it should do in a correct solar calendar - but was gradually receding towards the beginning of March. The reason for this error was that the Julian calendar worked on the basis that a year was 365¼ days in length, whereas in truth it is about 11 minutes more than that. Over the centuries this 11 minute discrepancy accumulated causing the Julian calendar to steadily recede, till by the sixteenth century it had lost 10 days and the equinox was occurring on March 11th.
To correct this discrepancy Pope Gregory XIII ordered that 10 days be added to the Julian calendar dates to bring them into line with the sun. The month of October was chosen for the amendment and in the calendar of 1582 that month appeared as follows:
This amendment understandably, was not very popular in some countries mainly because it had been organised by a Roman Catholic Pope. Several Protestant countries refused to acknowledge it and continued to use the Julian calendar; but one by one they came into line. Here is a short list of when they did:
|Germany (Catholic States)||1583|
|Germany (Protestant States)||1700|
|Rumania, Turkey and Russia||1919|
All those years between 1582 and 1919 while both calendars were in use, the sequence of the days in the weekly cycle was the same in every country. In other words Sunday in Rome in 1900 was also Sunday in Russia in that year even though both countries were using a different calendar. And as each nation adopted the Georgian calendar it simply added 10 days to its Georgian Calendar date. There was no need to change the order of the days of the week, because they already agreed.
The Sabbath day in other words is a day that Yahweh set apart for sacred use. He wants us to remember that fact and to keep the day holy - set apart - for sacred use. How is it done? What is involved? What does one do or not do on the Sabbath?
Without attempting to pontificate on so deep a matter, and certainly with no intention of judging another believer's performance, we offer these brief guidelines about Sabbath observance with a prayer to the Almighty that He will use them to fulfil in every reader the spiritual potential latent in him or her.
If you remember the Sabbath is Yahweh's holy day (the portion of time that He set apart for His work) and if you rest from your own labours and interests and devote yourself to His service, then you will be on the glorious path of Sabbath observance. And what's more, you will be blessed in this world and the next in direct fulfilment of this amazing promise:
Isaiah 58:13 "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
Without allowing a Feast to deteriorate into a show of gluttony, try to ensure that an extra special meal is served on the Feast day. In this way you will declare your faith in Yahweh's breathtaking Programme of Salvation which He has made possible through His Son, and prove your desire to partake of the real spiritual banquets that He has prepared for those who serve Him.
Yahweh has made many promises to the believer who is willing to observe His
Feasts. Space does not allow us to print them all, but we will end this
article with this beautiful millennial picture of multitudes of true believers keeping the Feasts of the Almighty in a Jerusalem purged of sin.
Ezekiel 36:33 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from ALL your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34: And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
35: And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36: Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. 37: Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
38: As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD."