Few individuals on this planet in the present day preserve God’s Holy Days. However what significance have they got for God’s Church?
My spouse and I attended our first service within the Church of God in August, 1951. We had been dwelling close to Portland, Ore., and had heard from buddies that Herbert W. Armstrong could be preaching in a small home the place the Church met each Saturday. Not solely was this our first service in God’s Church, but it surely was the primary Sabbath we had ever noticed!
We had been listening since that January to Mr. Armstrong’s radio broadcasts, and had been studying among the Church’s literature. It was very completely different from what we had been taught since childhood, but it surely was true in keeping with the Bible.
We had simply learn a booklet about the Sabbath and had accepted it, as we noticed it confirmed from each Previous and New Testomony. The arguments we learn in opposition to it from our personal church’s teachings and different spiritual sources didn’t maintain up beneath cautious biblical examination.
We had been attending companies with about 2,500 different individuals in a giant Protestant church. The group we discovered on this “church” — truly it was a transformed house — was solely about 40 individuals, together with our household of 5. Folks had come from throughout northern Oregon and southern Washington to listen to Mr. Armstrong.
What a stunning time we had that Sabbath! It was totally not like something we had skilled earlier than. We had been forewarned about what to anticipate, from the individuals who informed us concerning the service.
The sermon was the longest we had ever heard, and the topic was coated in additional element than another topic we had ever heard expounded. That was not fairly as stunning, although, as Mr. Armstrong’s reference, on a number of events throughout the sermon, to “the Feast of Tabernacles” and “the Days of Unleavened Bread.” He may simply as properly have been talking in Greek or Chinese language, so far as I used to be involved. What unusual sounding names these had been!
I had been a Bible pupil ever since I may learn. I reasonably prided myself in studying a chapter or two of the Bible day-after-day and had all the time faithfully attended Sunday Faculty, however I by no means remembered studying In my Bible about things like we heard of right here.
These unusual Holy Days
It took me a few months to essentially be satisfied about these unusual “Holy Days.” However I had accepted them by the point the Feast of Tabernacles got here that fall, and I went to Belknap Springs, Ore., the place the Feast was being noticed that yr. As I recall, there had been solely 100 or so individuals attending.
God has actually given improbable development to His Church within the 29 intervening years!
In all probability you may inform the same story about your introduction to God’s Church, and the way stunned you had been if you first heard concerning the Holy Days. It’s to be hoped that we all have been doing lots of examine since then to show this stuff, and that we refresh ourselves of those identical truths yr by yr.
For some, this Fall Pageant season could be the first they’ve ever noticed, and so these truths could also be totally new. Others have stored the Feasts for years. In both case, allow us to look into the Scriptures to see what nowadays are all about.
Commanded in Egypt
The Holy Days had been commanded to the kids of Israel earlier than they left Egypt, earlier than the outdated covenant was made and earlier than the sacrificial or Mosaic legal guidelines got.
Exodus 12 provides the directions for the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. These directions got whereas Israel was nonetheless in Egypt. The Feast of Trumpets was additionally commanded in Egypt, and this actually implies that the opposite feasts had been commanded there as properly (Ps. 81:3-5).
A studying of the regulation, particularly Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16, exhibits that the festivals had been included in God’s commandments to Israel. Of course, Israel disobeyed these commandments nearly instantly after they’d been given at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 20), by worshiping the golden calf (Ex. 32). Solely at this level did God add a sacrificial regulation, to show Israel obedience (Gal. 3:19). Thus sacrifices had been provided on the Holy Days and each different day of the yr.
However simply because sacrifices had been added to these days doesn’t imply that when the sacrifices had been now not wanted that the times had been achieved away — Christ’s supreme sacrifice no extra did away with the Holy Days than it did away with any of the opposite days of the yr!
Stored in New Testomony
Within the New Testomony, we learn of Jesus Christ (and His mother and father, when He was a toddler) protecting the Holy Days. All through the e book of Acts and the epistles we discover the true servants of God protecting these feasts (see “Why I Keep the Feast of Tabernacles,” p. 6). It’s unusual with all these New Testomony texts concerning the Holy Days that almost all Christians, who declare to observe the New Testomony, overlook them.
Bible prophecy reveals that even gentile individuals, along with all Israel, will preserve these particular days throughout the Millennium (Zech. 14:16).
Today imply a lot to God, and He instructions us to maintain them holy. However why did God set up these days within the first place?
Why Holy Days?
There is no such thing as a file that God made the festivals holy from the time of Adam, as He did the weekly Sabbath. The weekly Sabbath was made for man — all males, not simply Jews or Israelites, although only a few people have stored it (see Mark 2:27).
As we noticed, God ordained the Holy Days whereas the kids of Israel had been nonetheless in Egypt. They had been made holy at a time when Israel was changing into a nation — they usually had been made for Israel.
Today had been for God’s individuals, His nation, His Church. It could be by way of that Church, throughout Christ’s reign on earth hundreds of years later, that the remainder of the world by way of Israel and her God would be taught of these essential days.
God established nowadays as nationwide or Church “holidays” for a particular motive. Different nations have had their holidays, too. They’ve often been established by individuals in remembrance of nationally essential historic or spiritual occasions. There has not been a lot rhyme or motive within the institution of holidays, however such days assist be a part of individuals collectively in a frequent bond or curiosity.
God’s days are a lot completely different, as a result of they’ve nice function. They weren’t established haphazardly. They weren’t solely to assist in bringing God’s individuals collectively in a frequent celebration, however, extra importantly, they divulge to God’s individuals His nice plan of salvation.
With the intention to perceive this plan of God, we have to briefly take a look at every Holy Day and its that means. The Holy Days image occasions of historic and future significance to Israel, the world and the Christian.
Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread
To historic Israel the Passover pictured, yr by yr, the beginning of the nation and its deliverance from Egyptian slavery. It reminded Israel of when God despatched a loss of life angel to destroy all of the firstborn of man and beast within the land, aside from these who had the blood of the Passover lamb painted on their doorposts and lintels of their houses. The loss of life angel did cross over these Israelites who obeyed God’s directions by way of Moses, His bodily chief at the moment. This occasion occurred on the 14th of the primary month.
Solely after this final plague would Egypt’s pharaoh lastly let Israel go. The very subsequent day after this primary Passover, on the evening of the 15th of the month, Israel was lastly assembled collectively and began out of Egypt.
“They set out from Rameses within the first month, on the fifteenth day of the primary month; on the day after the passover the individuals of Israel went out triumphantly within the sight of all of the Egyptians” (Num. 33:3, RSV). They went out by evening (Deut. 16:1) after having stored the Passover the earlier day.
The Passover reminded the Israelites that their firstborn had been spared within the land of Egypt consequently of obedience to God’s instructions. Beginning the very subsequent evening they started to go away Egypt. However it was a lengthy trek to the Pink Sea, and the pharaoh and his military adopted them there, able to convey them again into slavery. Via a mighty miracle God parted the Pink Sea they usually walked by way of on dry floor. When the Egyptians tried to observe they had been all drowned within the sea. God had a fantastic victory in delivering His individuals from slavery. That deliverance apparently occurred over the last or seventh day of Unleavened Bread.
Because the Israelites noticed these Spring Festivals, they had been reminded of those outstanding deliverances of their nation by almighty God.
However what do these Spring Holy Days signify to us as Christians? Paul stated, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). We no longer are to kill a lamb, roast it and eat it for our Passover on the 14th of Abib. The traditional Passover ritual, which required the lifetime of a lamb, pictured the “Lamb of God” who would grow to be our Passover — Jesus Christ.
Christ grew to become our Passover Lamb on the identical day of the yr that the Passover lamb was slain. He gave His life’s blood so we’d have the loss of life angel cross over us and never take our lives. Consequently, we might, after repentance, baptism and accepting Him as our private Savior, be forgiven of our sins. So the Passover in Christianity reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice in order that we is likely to be forgiven of previous sins and reconciled to God.
The following day after the Passover, the seven Days of Unleavened Bread start. We’re commanded to place leaven out of our houses for the period of nowadays. This teaches us obedience and reminds us that we’re to place sin out of our lives. Leaven is not sin, but it surely does signify sin as a sort. Leaven puffs up, simply as sin puffs up. Paul stated, “Due to this fact allow us to preserve the feast, not with outdated leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; however with the unleavened bread of sincerity and reality” (verse 8).
About seven weeks after leaving Egypt, upon their arrival at Mt. Sinai, God Himself spoke the Ten Commandments for all Israel to listen to. He additionally wrote them with His fingers on two tables of stone. Traditionally, the Jews have stated that this occurred on the subsequent Feast — Pentecost.
Now Israel had a particular historic reminder as they noticed Pentecost yr by yr. On that day, years earlier than, God Himself had spoken His nice regulation for all Israel to listen to. However very quickly after this nice event, even after promising to do in any other case, Israel sinned grievously in making and worshiping the golden calf.
A short while later they once more rebelled and believed the destructive report of 10 of the spies despatched in to look over the promised land. God then sentenced them to spend 40 years in the wilderness, a day for a yr (Num. 14:34).
Pentecost additionally has nice significance for Christians. After we repent, are baptized and start to place sin out of our lives, we discover that one other ingredient is important — God’s Holy Spirit. It’s a energy emanating from God, a portion of His very personal character. It begets us to everlasting life. It was on Pentecost in A.D. 31 that God despatched the Holy Spirit to beget, encourage and strengthen His servants.
Pentecost is a Greek phrase and is generally used within the New Testomony for this third Pageant of God. However this Pageant was known as by different names such because the “Feast of Weeks,” as a result of it was essential to depend seven weeks from Sunday through the Days of Unleavened Bread to find out when it will be noticed.
It was additionally known as the “feast of the harvest, the firstfruits of your labors,” as a result of it was related with an essential harvest. Really it was the early harvest in Palestine, beginning through the Days of Unleavened Bread. This was a a lot smaller harvest than the autumn harvest and included primarily grains. A a lot bigger harvest ended simply earlier than the Feast of Tabernacles. This smaller harvest, or harvest of “firstfruits,” reminds us that the non secular harvest God is reaping now’s the smaller harvest. The a lot bigger non secular harvest will come later, when God will save the world.
Israel denied relaxation
Due to Israel’s grievous sins, God denied them the chance to enter into relaxation within the land of Canaan at the moment as an alternative of getting to attend a number of thousand extra years. “For if Joshua had given them relaxation, God wouldn’t converse later of one other day” (Heb. 4:8, RSV).
If Israel had entered that relaxation as a results of obedience, they’d have understood the particular nationwide that means in celebrating the nice Fall Festivals. However they most likely had little, if any, notion of the connection between nowadays and God’s total plan, or what they’d later imply to Christians.
The “Day of Blowing”
The following competition is the Feast of Trumpets. It’d actually be known as the Day of Blowing (Num. 29:1), from the. Hebrew yom turuah.
At the present time was marked by a blowing of horns or “trumpets.” The e book of Revelation and sure prophecies of the Previous Testomony converse of trumpet blasts in a prophetic sense. Revelation’s seven final trumpets sign dire plagues that come on the earth as a results of God’s intervention within the affairs of this world.
These occasions climax with the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the saints on the seventh or final trumpet. That is adopted by the institution of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Accuser of the brethren stopped
The following occasion in God’s plan is pictured by the subsequent Holy Day, the Day of Atonement. Celebrated on the 10th day of the seventh month, it’s a day of commanded fasting, or whole abstinence from foods and drinks. The historic ritual for this present day is present in Leviticus 16, the place the removing of the Azazel goat represents the banishment of Devil into the “wilderness” the place he’ll bear all of the iniquities he has brought about on this planet.
This symbolism is described in plain language in Revelation 20:1-3. Right here Devil, who has deceived the entire world and accused the brethren (Rev. 12:10,20:3), is certain in an abyss for 1,000 years and his evil actions are dropped at a halt.
With Christ ruling on earth, assisted by the now-immortal saints, we come to the occasions pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles and the Final Nice Day of the Feast.
All Israel saved
Now Christ, ruling in His Kingdom, lastly begins the work of saving the entire world. Paul refers to an essential a part of this course of when he says, “And so all Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26). That is one in every of probably the most thrilling and vital verses within the Bible, since Isaiah and different prophets present that the gentiles will probably be known as, too! God isn’t any respecter of individuals, so far as salvation is worried.
The primary seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles image the millennial interval. That is 1,000 years when the entire earth will probably be filled with the data of God. However one nice day nonetheless stays — the Final Nice Day or eighth day of the Feast.
There may be nonetheless an essential work to be achieved. All of the lifeless who by no means knew the true Jesus Christ and who by no means had an opportunity to be transformed — the ones God the Father didn’t draw to Christ earlier than — are nonetheless of their graves, lifeless.
These huge multitudes will probably be resurrected to bodily life. The books (of the Bible) will probably be opened to their understanding for the primary time (Rev. 20:11-12). The e book of life lastly will probably be open to them. In the event that they reside in keeping with the books (Bible), repent, obey God and overcome, they too will obtain everlasting life.
The incorrigibly depraved will then be solid into the lake of fireplace, additionally known as Gehenna fireplace (verse 15). The earth, purified by this fireplace, will now be able to be made new, “And I noticed a brand new heaven and a brand new earth: for the first heaven and the primary earth had been handed away; and there was no extra sea” (Rev. 21:1).
That may be a skeletal define of God’s plan of salvation as portrayed by the Holy Days. There may be way more that can’t be informed right here in these pages.
Come to the Feast of Tabernacles and listen to the remainder of the story!