CHRISTIAN FEAST DAYS
Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
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. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks." Romans 14: 4-6
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
THE CHRISTMAS AND EASTER DEBATE
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
The issue of understanding Christian feast days, is so complex, because the forces of darkness have set out to make the subject as difficult to understand as possible, setting layer upon layer of diversions and deceptions upon what is really a simple subject. This is because so many cults base their core centre deceptions in feast day issues, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and other such heretical cults.
Playing semantic word games in order to beguile simple, distracted or unwary souls is one of the main layers of deception used to complicate feast days. So lets first help to dispell the fog on this topic.
1) ETYMOLOGY IS NOT ITS PRESENT MEANING
Words from every nation, except for the most part Israel, will have etymological controversy attached to them. But God cleverly dispells the mist on this, about his attitude to this topic, by the Holy Spirit's own use of vovabulary. Take the word HADES for example. The Oxford English Dictionary says:
the underworld; the land of the spirits of the dead.
• the god of the underworld, one of the sons of Cronus. Also called Pluto.
• informal hell.
So long before the Holy Spirit used this word, in the inspired Greek manuscripts of the new testament, the word had been used by the Greeks to represent Sheol, though some might argue it means "the abode of the dead" rather than the Lake of Fire, the point is the Holy Spirit uses the word without pedantic, semantic legalism. So let us get this clear, God is obviously showing us that just because the hundreds of languages in the world have controversy in the very ancient origin of their words, it will not stop God using their language to translate the bible, neither does what a word once meant, mean that it means the same thing hundreds,or even thousands of years later.
The word GOD is itself the perfect example of this subject. It would be entirely laughable (if it was not so serious) that many cults, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, insist God's must be called Jehovah or YHWH, when the word does not appear even one single time in the entire new trstament! Not even once! The words used instead by the Holy Spirit Himself, are Theos (God) and Kurios (Lord). The word Theos was used in the old Greek "Version of the 70" (Septuagint) of the Old Testament long before its use in the new testament, but for many hundreds of years before this the word Theos was applied to the multiplicity of false Greek gods. Did that stop God using the word HIMSELF in the new testament? No! In a similar way God does not care if we translate the word Theos as God in English. The word God sounds nothing like the word Theos in Greek, just as Yahweh sounds nothing at alllike Theos.
To refine this lesson let us make another comparison. The concept of the Trinity in the bible is rock solid, but the word itself is a man made theology word, not found in scripture. Saying the underpinning doctrine of the Trinity is not biblical, because the word is not in the bible, is entirely shallow, as the word bible is not in the bible. The word monotheism is not in the bible, but does that stop you believing there is one God. By the use of such pedantic word games cults deflect people from the underpinning theology under discussion, by going into miniscule details about the origin of words, when these pedantic things clearly mean little or nothing to God himself. He is drawing in all nations into his kingdom, and does not let (what he clearly considers to be) irrelevant etymology prevent the best translations of bibles.
THE UNDERPINNING TRUTH.
If we stop using diversion tactics, and look at the UNDERPINNING ISSUES instead, we can then start understanding the Truth. Attacking the word Easter (a word for which the etymology has actually been lost) does not stop or take away the underpinning right or freedom to hold a reasonable feast day, any more than attacking the word Trinity means you are trashing the underpinning doctrine of one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a doctrine supported by a huge amount of scripture. So even if you think the words Christmas and Easter are somehow definitely defiled, is that the same subject as to whether a Christian has the right or freedom in Christ to hold a feast day? NO IT IS NOT! Indeed what many people do not seem to grasp (why I'm not sure, it is quite clear) is that Romans 14 is different from old covenant law, in that whereas feasts were commanded under the old law, they are allowed by not commanded in the new covenant. Saying what are controversially called Christmas and Easter are not biblical because they are not commanded, is missing the whole point that feast days are allowed by not commanded. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
A COMPLETE CHANGE OF DIRECTION BY GOD?
In the new covenant the old feasts are not kept. So this means that either feasts are now totally outlawed in new covenant law, or they are allowed. If you choose to live a life condemning other Christians who observe, for instance, calendar days to remember the resurrection and crucifixion, that is your day of judgement. But are you sure it is not the same self sanctified spirit, as those who consider themselves "holier than thou" because they refrain from eating certain foods? You refrain from remembering Jesus dying on a certain day, in a certain special way, thus you are better than others? From my own walk with God I will say this - If I choose one year to set aside the days around the Passover to remember Jesus dying and being resurrected, I feel no condemnation in Christ by doing this. Be careful you are not causing division for no good reason. If you want to refrain that is one thing. Condemning other people as "sinners" is quite another. Considering we will be judged as we judge others, it seems like a controversial decision on your part.
THE OLD FEAST DAYS.
The Feast of Tabernacles has now been spiritualisation, and is retained not as a feast as such. "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." 1 Cor 15:46
The entire old testament Law was nailed to the cross of Christ. After "all things were fulfilled" on Calvary and in his resurrection (Luke24:44-48) new covenant law was established for the world. This means all the old feast days were done away with as "must keep" law.
The old Passover feast is now heretical to keep, as it was in the old covenant, as it was a foward looking feast, toward the death of the Lamb of God. This having been now fulfilled, if it is kept as it was in the old covenant, it would be akin to the repeat sacrifice of the Roman Catholic mass. Circumcision has a new testament equivalent (circumcision of the heart) thus requiring no Gentile or Jews by force of law to be physically circumcised. Sabbath also is spiritualised in Hebrews 4, and no one is required to keep the old Jewish sabbath day in the new covenant, which was not practicedin 4 covenants in Genesis, and was specifically created as a reaction by God to the slavery Israel suffered in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). Even so the Passover has a new covenant equivalent, in that as the Lamb is now slain, and the Holy Spirit given (John 7:39) we have a new nature, and God therefore rightly expects SINCERITY in true believers,
"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: 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" I Corinthians 5:7-8.
And so this daily walk in sincerity, purged by the cleansing blood of Jesus, is the keeping of the spiritualised new covenant form of theold feast, the old form beuing rendered heretical, as has been explained.
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
In the new covenant the olfd Feast of Tabernacles is abolished, but the theme of what was happening is spiritualised and replaces it.
To quote the Oxford English Dictionary:
Succoth |sʊˈkəʊt, ˈsʌkəθ| (also Sukkot, Sukkoth) noun
a major Jewish festival held in the autumn (beginning on the 15th day of Tishri) to commemorate the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness. It is marked by the erection of small booths covered in natural materials. Also called Feast of Tabernacles.
In this feast is symbolised God sheltering his people in the wilderness, as they travel toward PHYSICAL JERUSALEM, the earthly city, dwelling in tents (tabernacles). The Feast requires that a tent like booth, or make shift home, is built on the sides of Jewish houses. "they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13
The new covenant has something similar, and is the theme of the Book "Pilgrims Progress" where Christian is on a journey toward the Celestial City (New Jerusalem), and he is a pilgrim with no fixed abode, tabernacling as Christ is the flesh, on a spiritual journey, with people from all nations, made one in Christ.
"For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:14-16.
"For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."
Thus those trying to keep the old, dead law, and the old feast, are of the spirit Hagar, but those who take this spiritual journey in Christ, that is are pilgrims on the path toward New Jerusalem, are blessed.
Romans 14 does indeed empower Christians to remember (for instance) the death and resurrection of Christ on calendar days, that is if they so choose to do. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Stop condemning other people! "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."
HOW TRADITIONS ARE ALSO USED AS A DIVERSION.
If secular people seek to make money from Christmas and Easter, and introduce and create things in order to commercialise the popularity of these feasts, does that mean the underpinning right or freedom to hold the feast has been destroyed? Or if Roman Catholics defile the days with unbiblical traditions, does that annihilate or destroy the underpinning freedom to worship Christ on any day, or to use a particular day? Clearly not.
THE WORD EASTER.
THE WORD CHRISTMAS.