Should We Keep the Holy Days?

by Fred R. Coulter - August 7, 1999

Now, I have this letter sent to me from a man out of the country, and he is a Sabbath-keeper. Now let me just read you the letter and put a couple things here. He says - I won’t read the whole thing – “I am almost overwhelmed by the quantity of material you have sent me, and my duties in my church group as well as my personal activities have not allowed me to fully analyze all the material sent. There is much that can be of benefit to me, and only last Friday I received the video cassettes about the Jesuit Agenda and Seventh Day Adventist Church…” Now if you haven’t received those, you need to be sure and receive them, because it’s going to be profound if you do.

“I must thank you for all you have sent so far, and also urge you to have me on your mailing list. I am not one who is aligned to a person, but I do seek to cling to what is true, and even in the church group in which I fellowship, that is well known. I am therefore enlightened by your revelation of the problems that existed long ago in Worldwide Church of God and Church of God International. And I am not offended by any criticism of anyone as long as it is just. As I said before, [and he gives the name of the church that he is with] we have doctrines similar to the Church of God Seventh Day, but still there are vast differences. I was once in a discussion with CGI brethren about tithes and feast days, and we could not be convinced that these were for the New Covenant. Can you provide a presentation on these topics?” Well I just did one on tithing here recently, “To Tithe or Not to Tithe.” So I will do this. He says, “I hope to address some of the differences that may exist in what we both believe at a later date. Keep seeking after God’s truth and always be open to correction.” Well that has to be that we’re always open to correction to God.

Now let me just state hear something that is very, very important, that what a person believes of and by himself separate from the Word of God is really not relevant. Or, what a person may believe by an improper interpretation of the Scriptures is not truth, though the Scriptures have been used. Now let’s go to 2 Corinthians 4, because there are a lot of people out there who can use the Scriptures. A lot of them use them carnally. I mean, Sunday-keepers…now these people here keep the Sabbath, so I can say that you have it half-way right. But if you think you have everything when you have half of it, then you need to really expand your thinking beyond it. Now I am also dealing with some Seventh-Day Adventists and they are the same way. They say, “Well,…” after being discouraged with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, they use the same excuse that came out of Worldwide: “Well, Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath for me. Therefore, every day is holy to me. And the only difference about Sabbath any more to me is that I don’t work on it.” Well, pretty soon that will be gone because that’s just how Satan works. He likes to get you into things where they are not handled by truth, and they are not handled properly. And what he does then, he gets you into discussion and concerned about it, and then he misinterprets the Scriptures. Now we’ll look at some of those.

Here, 2 Corinthians 4:1. “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,...” Now that’s a very important thing to do, because the human heart is “…desperately wicked above all things, deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, paraphrased). So you have to renounce that. “...Not walking in craftiness,...” Now, “walking in craftiness” means walking with a hidden agenda that other people don’t know, that you will craftily spring upon them at a later date. “...Nor handling the word of God deceitfully;...” That is, by taking the Word of God and applying it to things which are not true, or to things which are not true and saying they are true. “...But by manifestation of the truth [comparing] commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:1-4).

So any part of the Gospel that you have hidden from you, or blinded from you, then you need to understand that it falls into several categories here. Number one, you have misinterpreted the Word of God; number two, you have blinded your eyes to it; number three, it may be a tradition; or number four, Satan has blinded your mind to that part of it. Because Satan is trying to get all those who truly have the Spirit of God and are Christians to give up on something somewhere along the line, because he knows that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Now let’s also understand something here. Let’s come to Matthew 7, and this is profound. Some of these Scriptures are very basic, because this is a very basic topic; as a matter of fact, so basic that I have not given a sermon on proving keeping the holy days in years and years and years and years, because I’m basically dealing with all of those who keep the holy days. But now when we come into contact with people who do not keep the holy days, nor understand the holy days, then we do need to go back and we need to reconfirm the truth as to why we do it, and so forth. But I’m going to approach this a little bit differently. Here, Matthew 7. Let’s understand this. Now we have applied this to false prophets, haven’t we? Because Matthew 7 talks about false prophets. And there can be a prophet who is a half false prophet by preaching half truth. So you need to understand that too. Verse 21, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that [is doing] doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.”

That is the key. Are you doing the will of the Father? And was it the Father’s will that Christ created the Sabbath? Was it the Father’s will that Christ gave the holy days to the children of Israel? Was it the Father’s will in these things? Now, was it the Father’s will that what Christ did and what He observed part of what God wanted? Yes, absolutely. So if you are not doing the will of the Father which is in heaven, though you use the name of the Lord, though you may belong to a church, though you may have a group which really is a group that you really like, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?...” Now that means, “preached in Your name.” And I have heard some stinging sermons against the holy days. And there are tremendous errors in their way of thinking. We’ll cover that a little later. “...And in Thy name have cast out [demons] devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:21-22).

So you see, you can have part of the fruits there. You can have some of the things that look like they come from God. You can have some of the truth of God. But unless you have the whole truth of God and you are willing to live by all the truth of God, and if when you come to understand the truth of God which you have previously not understood, you are willing to keep it, if you’re not doing those things then you’re going to end up in this category, verse 23: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity,” or lawlessness. Now that means being against law. So since the holy days are part of the law of God, you need to make yourself very sure that you are not against the law of God as respecting the holy days. Because you see, the only thing you have different than, other than the Sabbath, you have nothing different than a Protestant. So you might as well put yourself in the same category of the Protestants if the only thing you do is keep the Sabbath. Now if that offends some people, well then, you might take your offense to God and find out from His Word what you need to do.

Now we have to keep the will of God. Now this is the attitude that we need - Psalm 143. Let’s go back there. The will of God is contained in His Word. And the will of God is here for us that we’re to keep. And we’re going to see that it is the will of God that we keep the feasts of God. And as a matter fact, we’re going to see that the apostle Paul, with no doubt, no question whatsoever, absolutely commands the keeping of the feast. Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do Thy will;...” So God is the one Who is going to have to teach you from His Word and with His Spirit. “...For Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” That is, to be righteous before God.

Now here is a New Testament expression of that very same Psalm. Let’s come to Romans 12. And this is important for us to realize. Because the will of God is what we are all going to be held accountable for, right? Didn’t Jesus say that? Didn’t Jesus say to those who were not doing the will of the Father in heaven above that they were going to be cast into outer darkness? Yes He did. And believe me, after the experience in the lake of fire it will be outer darkness. There will be nothing left. Now here, Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren,...” So Paul here is sincerely asking the brethren, “ the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [or spiritual] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the reviewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). And so that’s what we have to do. That’s why the holy day issue becomes a very important. So as we go through this, ask yourself, “Am I keeping all the will of God?”

Now let’s notice here, very important. It says prove, renewing of your mind. So you are to use your mind. Rightly divide the Word of God, as Paul told Timothy. Rightly divide it, see, not handle it improperly. “...That ye may prove...” Now how do you prove something? You prove something by the facts. God is fact. His law is fact. His Word is fact, as well as truth. Now what’s important here is this: You don’t go on what you feel. You don’t go on what you personally believe. Because a lot of personal beliefs, then, become idols before God. They are idols in your mind. So you have to prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. How? As defined by His Word. That’s how you do it. You don’t prove it by an emotion or a feeling. See, God’s Word is here. You have the whole thing, it’s impartial. The problems come when people interpret things. And the problems comes when they interpret them incorrectly.

So let’s go here to and look at some of these things and see how these are handled and what is done. Now let’s go to Luke 16, and let’s see one of the Scriptures which has been misinterpreted almost universally by the Catholics, by the Protestants, and by some in the churches of God; in particularly the Sabbath-keeping, non-holy day-keeping churches of God, which also that includes the Seventh-Day Adventists. Let’s pick it up here in verse 13. This becomes very important for us to understand. “No servant can serve two masters: [that’s true] for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Meaning, that there’s only one way to serve God, and that’s through His Word, and through His truth, and with His Spirit.

“And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him. And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men;...” And that’s exactly what happens with all of these false doctrines. They justify themselves before men. “...But God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Now that can apply to all the religions of men. They’re very highly esteemed, aren’t they? Yes. Now here’s the verse that He’s leading up to here. And this is something that almost everyone universally does not understand. “The law and the prophets were until John:...” “Therefore, from the time of John the Baptist the laws of God have been done away.” That is the conclusion. Let’s read the whole thing and see what it says. “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man [is pressing] presseth into it.” Showing that to enter the kingdom of God is a difficult situation.

With the kingdom of God being preached, does that do away with the laws and commandments of God, including the holy days? What does it mean, “The law and the prophets were until John”? Now there’s also another misconception that people are under, which is this: is that Jesus was under the Old Covenant. Not true. Jesus was under a special covenant between Him and God the Father, so He could establish the New Covenant. The New Covenant is the kingdom of God. The Law and the Prophets were the authority for preaching up to that time. Now then, Christ comes and the kingdom of God is preached. But notice, He wants to make it very clear concerning the laws of God. He wants you to understand that the laws and commandments of God have not been done away because there’s a different emphasis in preaching. Verse 17, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, then one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:13-17).

Now let’s look at another scripture. Let’s come to Matthew 5:17. Now especially for those who are Sabbath-keepers, you believe in the commandments of God. You believe in the Ten Commandments, and you’ve probably read this scripture. Well you have to apply it correctly to all the rest of the Scriptures as well. So let’s read it here: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:...” Now that means don’t let it enter into your mind. Don’t even think this thought. Now, “destroy” means abolish, or do away. “...I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Now here’s where the other miscommunication and twisting of the Scripture comes, which is this: if Christ fulfills it, then we don’t have to do it. Which is where people get into the false doctrine of saying, “Well, Christ fulfilled the Sabbath for me; therefore, I don’t have to keep it.” Or, “Christ fulfilled the holy days; therefore, I don’t have to keep them.” Or, “Christ fulfilled ‘You shall do no murder’; therefore, I can murder.” Or, “Christ fulfilled ‘Do not commit adultery’; therefore, it’s all right to commit adultery.” No, because then you have abolished the law. Let’s find out what Jesus fulfilled, and let’s find out what is yet to be fulfilled, or is still being fulfilled.

Now notice again verse 18. “For verily [that means truly] I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18). That means everything be fulfilled. And then of course, when that is fulfilled then if you read Revelation 21 and 22, then you have a new beginning with other things which are going to be fulfilling to a greater degree than the ones we’ve had in the past.

Now let’s come to the book of Hebrews and see, first of all, what did Jesus fulfill? Because I know that the doctrine of not keeping the holy days, for those who keep the Sabbath, is that the holy days were part of the ritual. Well, we will see Jesus did away with the ritual. But did He do away with the days? Now let’s come here to Hebrews 9, and let’s see what it is that Christ did. Verse 11, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, but a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this [physical] building;...” And Paul was referring to the physical building of the temple in Jerusalem at the time. “…Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:11-12).

Now let’s come all the way down here to verse 28. “…So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Now then, Paul goes on to explain what Christ did with His sacrifice to fulfill. And when He fulfilled it, we will see that He added to it a greater sacrifice, that is, being His sacrifice. So we’re going to find that He fulfilled the animal sacrifice and the temple ritual for a special purpose.

Hebrews 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” It is the goal of God to have everything perfected. These animal sacrifices could not do it. “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrificesthere is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Because it’s a lesser being that a human being. How can a goat atone for human sin? How can a bull atone for human sin? No, those things were just to cover them at the temple so they could continue functioning under the Old Covenant.

“Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me:...” Now that’s referring to Christ. “…In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.” God’s will and the proper worship of God, the proper forgiveness of sin before God, is what he’s talking about here. It ties right in with what we talked about - the will of God. “Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;...” But is that the whole law? Let me ask you this question: do the animal sacrifices constitute the whole law of God, or are they part of the law of God as we find in the Old Testament? No. The animal sacrifices were a small part of the law of God. And we’re going to see that when we get into it.

Verse 9, “…Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.” The first covenant with the second covenant, but understand this: the covenant does not do away with law; the covenant is your relationship with God. And in every covenant there are always laws. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;…” What are we talking about here? We’re not talking about doing away with law; we’re talking about doing away with sin. The way to do away with sin and the way to worship God is what has been changed.

Now stop and think of this: what is sin? New Testament doctrine: sin is the transgression of the law. So the New Covenant is how to do away with sin and your relationship with God. So Jesus’ one sacrifice fulfilled all the animal sacrifices and all the temple ritual, and replaced it with His sacrifice and with the temple in heaven above. So it was done away with only in respect to that it was obsolete and not effective, and never could do away with sin, and now we have a new way of worshiping God under the New Covenant. So far having nothing to do with the Sabbath, having nothing to do with the holy days. Let’s continue on.

Verse 14, “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy [Spirit] Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, 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;...” Now that is the exact opposite of doing away with anything. That is the exact opposite of fulfilling them for you as a person. “…And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Whereas the animal sacrifices were what? There was a remembrance of sin every year, correct? Yes. “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin”, of animals and other rituals, because the one offering for sin was Christ.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)…” (Heb. 10:1-12, 14-23). So what we have here is a whole new way of worship: a new temple in heaven above, a new High Priest, Who is Christ, Who is at the temple in heaven above at the right hand of the throne of God; which is superior to the earthly temple, superior to the earthly priesthood, superior to the earthly sacrifices of the goats, and the bulls, and the turtledoves, and so forth.

So that is what has been changed. And it has been changed with the fulfillment of those things by Christ. Now Jesus said “until everything be fulfilled.” So far the only thing that has been fulfilled is the replacing of the temporary animal sacrifices and the temporary temple, tabernacle on earth with the permanent eternal one in heaven. So whenever anything has been done away it is replaced with something of a higher standard. And you can understand that when you read Matthew 5, 6, and 7, where Jesus said, “You have heard it said of all time, but I say to you... You have heard it said of all time, but I say to you…” So whenever He brought the fulfillment of the law He gave it a higher standard. He didn’t do away with anything. Christ came to do away with sin.

Now let’s ask another question. Let’s come back to Genesis 2. And I know those of you who believe in the weekly Sabbath turn here all the time to prove that Sabbath was a day which was created. So what I want to do is ask the question: which came first - the day, by creation, or the ritual of animal sacrifice? The day came first. No doubt. The sleight of hand, the deceitful handling of the Scriptures is when you claim that the ritual sacrifices and the ritual temple things done at the temple, when those were done away with they also did away with the Sabbath and did away with the holy days. That’s where the sleight of hand comes in. So therefore, we have to ask the question, which came first? Now we’re not talking about evolution, the chicken or the egg. We’re talking about which came first - the creation of the day, or the sacrifices? The answer obviously is the creation of the day.

Now let’s pick it up here in Genesis 2:1. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day [that means, just as the sixth day ended and the seventh day was beginning] God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:1-3). So we know that God made the seventh day, He sanctified the seventh day. We all understand that. But is that all that God made?

Let’s come over here to verse 14 of chapter 1. The truth is, God created all days, right? But He especially made the seventh day of every week Sabbath, correct? Now let’s understand something else that He did here, 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:...” Now how do we govern the weekly Sabbath? From sunset to sunset, correct? Yes. But God also created seasons, didn’t He? Yes, He did.

Let’s come along here, let’s ask a couple of other things. Let’s come to Genesis 15. Now you’ll have to write for the tapes concerning the covenants of God with Abraham, and we will send them to you. Because long before the Old Covenant was ever given, Genesis 15, the covenant was given to Abraham. Now we do not have the time to go through the technical explanation of it, so I will just tell you. Let’s pick it up here in verse 4. “And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir [that is, Eliezer of Damascus]; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:4-6). This was given on the fourteenth day of the first month at night, the same day in which the Passover, if you believe in the Sabbath and Passover. So we have the day first, then the significance of the day. Then the next day in which He made the covenant to take the children of Israel out of Egypt was the fifteenth, which became the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Now let’s see that by going to Exodus 12. Let’s ask the question: which came first - the day or the sacrifice? We will see the day came first. The sacrifice came as later instruction. Now here’s the instruction that they were to do concerning the lamb, Exodus 12:5. “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:...” So the day came first, correct? He designated the day first. “...And the whole assembly of congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” Now, I’m not going to go through any technical explanation on it, except to say that this is after sunset, between sunset and dark.

So God named the day, the fourteenth, verse 11, last sentence, “ is the LORD’s passover.” Now I assume that most of you keep the Passover. But you see, if you keep the Passover and you don’t keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then you are cutting something off. You are not following through on the commands of God. You are throwing the commands of observation, which God has commanded to be holy days, you are throwing that into the same categories as the animal sacrifices. And they were never in the same category. Now He says in verse 13, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 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 a feast by an ordinance for ever.” So the day was chosen first, the sacrifice was put on the day, and God says you are to keep the day forever. Later when Christ came, when was He sacrificed? He was sacrificed on the fourteenth day. And now that becomes the sacrifice which replaces the lamb which the Israelites killed. Christ is the Lamb of God, and it’s on the fourteenth day. That’s why the Passover day is to be kept.

Now notice here verse 15, speaking of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This becomes very important, because again, we’re going to see that the day was there before the offering. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall [have] put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shallbe an holy convocation,...” Now that is the same weight and force of command as in Genesis 2 of blessing the Sabbath day - holy convocation. “...And in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no matter of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever” (Ex. 12:5-6, 11, 13-17). So the day came first.

Now let’s come to Exodus 20. Here is where the giving of the Ten Commandments was in Exodus 20. But in the chapter preceding it we have a special event which took place - the preparing for the giving of the Ten Commandments. Now you can write in for the tape concerning the Ten Commandments were given on the day of Pentecost. So the day came first. Now the trick is this: if you believe in the Ten Commandments, which you do, then why do you not celebrate or keep or observe, rather, the feast of Pentecost on which the Ten Commandments were given, before any animal sacrifices were offered? You need to understand that. That’s the question you need to ask.

Now let’s come to Leviticus 23. And Leviticus 23 is the chapter in the whole Bible where all the holy days are listed. Now again, we have established: one, the Sabbath day was before any sacrifice; two, the Passover day was established before any sacrifice. Three, the first and last day of Unleavened Bread were established before any sacrifice; four, the Day of Pentecost was established before any sacrifice, and those are holy convocations. Now let’s read it here. Leviticus 23:1, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD,...” Now I want to make this very clear: they are not, never have been, never will be the feasts of the Jews, though other people have called them the “feasts of the Jews,” and though for particular reasons which John knew, he labeled the “feast of the Jews” concerning the Feast of Tabernacles, but it’s the feast of the Lord. “...Which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.” All of them. Then He starts off with what? “Six days shalt work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.”

Now the other holy convocations are “Sabbaths of the Lord in all your dwellings” too, just as well. Now we’ll see that here in just a minute. Verse 4, “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” God created the time, as we saw in Genesis 1:14, for seasons. If you believe that you are to proclaim the seventh day as a feast of God every seven days, and that you are obligated by God to keep the Sabbath and to keep it holy, then what gives you the right to go against God and proclaim that His feasts, “even holy convocations which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” you disobey that command and do not proclaim them? Now what is your reason for not proclaiming them? Well, we will look at some of them. And your reasons are going to fall apart, because it hasn’t been a proper, rightful dividing of the Word of God.

“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.” Notice, in every case He gives the day first and then the offering for that day, every one of these. “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days:...” The sacrifices at the temple, then, were added to the days. The days came first. Likewise with Pentecost, and how to count it. If you don’t know how to count Pentecost you can write in for it. We have three booklets which explain in depth the whole thing of counting Pentecost.

But verse 21, which says, “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you:...” Then we come down here to verse 24, “…Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” Again, the day is proclaimed first and then the sacrificial offering. Verse 27, “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.”

Now let’s come down to verse 32. “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate [or observe] your sabbath.” Now we’ve got you. Because this is the verse that all Sabbath-keepers turn to, to show that you must keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset, but this is defining the Day of Atonement. So if this defines the Day of Atonement, and you keep the Sabbath but not the Day of Atonement, why do you take your definition from the Day of Atonement and apply it to the Sabbath, if it is not equally applicable to the Sabbath and the Day of Atonement and all the other holy days?

Then we come down here to verse 34. “…The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” Same way with the eighth day, verse 36. A holy convocation; you have day one, day eight, then the sacrifices and so forth. Now notice verse 37, because it’s very important. “These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim...” (Lev. 23:1-8, 21, 24-25, 27-28, 32, 34-37).

Part 2

Now as you can see, I’m doing these by survey. Because in order to understand this, you must get an overview by a survey to understand. Verse 37, “These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations,...” So if you take this statement, which is true, and it is, and you go back and you apply it in verse 1, “...the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts,” and it starts out with the Sabbath: “Six days shalt work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” Now then, you’re stuck, aren’t you? Why do you not proclaim those other days according to God’s calendar the way that they should be? Are you missing something by not doing it? Are you incorrectly dividing the Word of God because you are misapplying Scripture?

Let’s go to Numbers 28, and let’s go to the heart and core of the whole thing here. We’ll see it. Now you’re also going to be stuck with another problem if you say that, “Because they had ritual sacrifices on these days, and the sacrifices have been done away with because Christ’s sacrifice superseded all the animal sacrifices…” OK, we’re all together so far, right? Then what are you going to do with Numbers 28, especially the first part? Verse 1, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and My bread for My sacrifices made by fire [because there was the tabernacle, and later the temple], for a sweet savor unto Me, shall ye observe to offer unto Me in their due season. And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.” This is the daily burnt offering. Now, because animal sacrifices were done away, have days been done away with? No. One in the morning, one in the evening.

Now let’s come down here to verse 9. “And on the Sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenths deals of flour for a meat [meal] offering, and mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering” (Nu. 28:1-3, 9-10). Now then, if you take your reasoning, which so many do to get rid of the holy days, by saying that, “The ritual sacrifices were offered on the holy days and the sacrifices were done away with; therefore we don’t have to keep the holy days,” now what are you going to do about the Sabbath? Because if you take the reasoning of one, you must also take the reasoning of the other, correct? Were there sacrifices on the Sabbath day? Yes. Were those sacrifices done away with and fulfilled in Christ? Yes. Then if you take the assumption that because those were true, therefore we conclude that we don’t have to keep the Sabbath because the sacrifices were done away. Now you see, you’re stuck in your own logic. Because if you keep the Sabbath, because God commanded it, and you don’t keep the holy days because the sacrifices were done away with, then your logic traps you into your own corner, where then you must not keep the Sabbath by the same logic.

Now I’ve gone over with - this is with Church of God, Seventh Day people, until I’m blue in the face. But you see, when you are dead and when your mind is set, and when you are not willing to let the truth of God enter into it, then you can come to that conclusion. But how else are you going to conclude it? If you take the reasoning that the holy days do not need to be kept because there were ritual sacrifices on those, and those ritual sacrifices are all done away with in Christ, so was Sabbath ritual sacrifice done away in Christ. So therefore, you’re stuck in your own logic because you’re not honest in handling the Word of God, and you misapply the Word of God so that you may keep the Sabbath and do away with the holy days. Now you’ve got to understand that. That’s where you begin. Maybe other people couldn’t convince you, but maybe the Word of God can convince you.

Now then, let’s come to the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 20. Now you can go through and apply this to all the holy days here in the rest of Numbers 28 and 29. Because every one of the days had sacrifices. So you can’t use that logic. That logic is a misnomer. That logic is not correct. Now if you run on to Galatians 3 and misapply that, then you’re also going to get yourself in trouble. Now if you need some understanding concerning the book of Galatians, we have at least seven or eight tapes on that which go through it and explain it. I’ll see if I can cover maybe one or two of those verses a little later on.

Now then, I call your attention to, as we’re here in Ezekiel 20, I call your attention to reference back to Exodus 31, where the sabbaths God said you were to keep. Now notice when we are reading here, God does not make any differentiation between which Sabbath is which. All of the holy days - please understand - are annual Sabbaths. So when we read this - let’s begin here in verse 10. God says, “Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths,...” Plural. That is not “the Sabbath,” but “My Sabbaths,” plural. Because you see, the fourth commandment in the Ten Commandments says, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” But He gave them more than the weekly Sabbath. He gave them His annual Sabbaths, “ be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.”

Now, question: if you don’t keep the holy days, is there something that you don’t know about the Lord? Is there something in your understanding that is missing because you’re not sanctified by those days? Verse 13, “But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness:...” Question: are you rebelling against God if you reject His holy days? “...They walked not in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My sabbaths [plural] they greatly polluted:...” Verse 16, “…Because they despised My judgments, and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.” Because when you take God’s time and make it yours, or you declare God’s holy time not holy, it becomes an idol in your mind. So then, He told them not to do it. Verse 19, He said, “I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; 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. Notwithstanding the children rebelled...” (Ezek. 20:10-13, 16, 19-21).

Now I want to ask a question here. If you think that the weekly Sabbath is good and right and fine, tell me why the annual Sabbaths are not also good and right and fine. And if you don’t keep them, then you are saying that God’s Word is not worthy of your observance. I mean, you need to keep things on a clear, factual basis. Don’t get your feelings involved in on it, because you’re going to get yourself in deep trouble.

Now I’m not going to handle a technical scripture at this point. Let’s come to the New Testament. Let’s come to Matthew 22, and let’s see what we are to do in the New Testament. And then we will see, did they in the New Testament, under the New Covenant, keep these days? Let’s come to Matthew 22:37. Because you see, you’re also stuck with another problem. If you say you love God, and you try and love God this way, then you have to ask yourself a question: why do I reject the holy days of God? “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40). And whereby Jesus said, “One jot or one tittle shall no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled.” The only thing that we have seen in the Scriptures which has been fulfilled has been the animal sacrifices and the temple ritual, which have been replaced and superseded by a higher sacrifice of Jesus Christ in a greater temple in heaven above. All of the rest is still hanging on the love of God, correct? Do you love God? Do you love God in truth? Or do you want to love God your way and tell God what to do?

Let’s come to John 4. Let’s ask some other questions. How does God want us to worship Him today? Verse 23, “But the hour cometh [that is, when you wouldn’t worship any longer in Jerusalem, the temple would be gone, and so forth] and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:...” Now we know the commandments of God are truth; we know the laws of God are truth; we know that all of God’s ways are true, and His commandments are true; so therefore, if you’re going to worship God in spirit and in truth, you’re going to be keeping His commandments from the heart spiritually, loving God. “...For the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). Now the word “must” there in the Greek has the force of “obligatory.” You are obligated before God to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And since all the words of God are true, and since the holy days are part of the true Word of God, you must worship Him on those days, as well as the weekly Sabbath.

Now let’s come to Psalm 119. And I know here recently I brought this up concerning other topics, but it is true. Let’s do a little attitude check for everybody here now, whether you agree with what I have said or not up to this point, or maybe some of the things you agree with, and some of the things you don’t agree with. But you have to ask yourself the question is: do I agree with God? Not whether you agree with me, or agree with another man. Because if I don’t teach you the Word of God, and if I don’t preach the Word of God, then it really doesn’t matter what I say, even though I may misuse the Word of God and sound religious. Now here, Psalm 119:127. And this is profound. And this is the whole attitude we’ve got to come to concerning the will of God, concerning the commandments of God, concerning all the things of God. “Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”

Now hold your place here because we’re going to come back, and I want you to go to 2 Thessalonians for just a minute. Because with the deception that is coming upon the whole world there is going to be a reason why it’s coming. And you may be part of that deception, or caught up in that deception if you do what they do in the world. Now Satan is going to come. 2 Thessalonians 2:9, “ ...whose coming [this is the great beast power that is coming] is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth,...” Now we just read where David wrote, “I love your commandments.” But if you don’t love the truth, which then is all the word of God, what are you subject to? You’re subject to death, because you can’t be saved. And another thing takes place.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes. 2:9-12). So if you don’t believe the truth of God’s word, are you having pleasure and unrighteousness by rejecting them? Because if those are Sabbaths (which they are), and if they are commandments (which they are), and if they’re to be kept (which they should), and if you are transgressing that, then you are sinning, and you are unrighteous, correct? And if you don’t keep them then you have pleasure in unrighteousness. Is that not true? Are you not then going to blind yourself to other things further down the road? And always remember, when God gives a witness out of His Word, once is sufficient. Please understand that.

Now let’s come back here to Psalm 119:127. “Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” And how many people do you know work on the Sabbath so they can make money because they reject the Sabbath commandment? Well, apply the same thing to the holy days. Verse 128, here’s where we need to come. “Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right;...” Do you believe that of the will of God? Do you believe that every precept of God is right, every command of God is right, every law of God is good and right? Notice, “...and I hate every false way.” Are you willing to hate the sin that you have been committing in not keeping the holy days? Or are you going to come up with other arguments to justify your own idol? That’s what it gets down to. Because those are self-justifications for your own way. There’ll be no doubt about it. Do you consider all the precepts of God concerning all things to be right? If you do then you will hate every false way.

Now let’s come to the New Testament, and we’re going to spend the rest of the time in the New Testament, showing that, yes, the holy days were kept by those in the New Testament; and in fact, by a very command of God. Let’s come to Mark 2, please. And this is one, for those of you who are Sabbath-keepers, turn to, to show that we need to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament. Well let’s read it here, because this becomes very profound. Verse 27, “And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man,...” No question about it. God really expects all mankind to keep the Sabbath. “...And not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). Question: since the holy days are Sabbath, is he also Lord of those? Is He Lord of the Passover? Is He Lord of the first day of Unleavened Bread, the last day of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? The answer is yes. Now those other days and commands were made for the people of God. The Sabbath was made for mankind in general. So if you only keep the Sabbath, you’re only doing what God requires of all people everywhere. The holy days have special meaning for the people of God. Now maybe you’ve never thought of it that way. Well, you need to think of it that way.

Let’s come to Luke 2, and let’s see what Jesus did. And let’s understand that Jesus was not under the Old Covenant; He was under a special covenant with God the Father, which was even greater than the New Covenant, when you really come to understand it. Because with the covenant that God the Father and Jesus Christ had, Jesus could not sin once. Now I’m going to give a sermon on that here. I’m working on it: what was the covenant between God the Father and Jesus Christ? It was a greater covenant that we are under. Obviously, it had to be. Because He was God before He became a human being. But let’s notice what He did here. Luke 2:40, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him. And His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” And then you know what He was doing.

Did Jesus keep the feast? Yes. Did He keep it only because His parents kept it? No. Why did His parents keep it? Because it was a law of God. But why did Jesus keep it? Because it was the law of His Father. And what was He doing there at the feast? Verse 46, “And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers.” Because as I point out in the series, the prophecies of Jesus, Jesus was taught every morning of God the Father. So there He was on the holy days, and afterwards, doing the Father’s business. “And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:40-42,46-49), showing that Joseph was not His father. That’s what He was clearly saying here. Was it the Father’s business to send Christ? Yes. When did Christ die? On the Passover day. Was that the Father’s business? Yes, it was.

Now let’s see how He carried out the Father’s business in His ministry. Let’s come to John 2. We’re going to survey some things here in the book of John for just a minute. Keep in mind this, that Jesus Christ set us an example, in Whose footsteps we should follow. Now if Jesus did no sin…now you see, some people come to the point of saying that if you keep the Sabbath and holy days you are sinning. Well, we know that if you keep the Sabbath you are not sinning. But are you sinning if you don’t keep the holy days? You are. Here, if it was sin to keep them, then Jesus sinned, correct? Now let’s read it. Verse 13, “And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem...” Now the reason why John says “the Jews’ Passover” is because he is showing that Jesus was correcting them for their wrong worship of Passover, and Tabernacles, and other days. The days of the holy days are God’s days.

So what did He do? He went into the temple, “…and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.” So He got rid of them, the sin there, didn’t He? Plus, He was also showing another thing, which He later on said to the Pharisee who wanted to know, which was the great commandment? He answered correctly, and Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then He said, “Now go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” So that’s what He was teaching here. He desired mercy and not sacrifice.

Now notice verse 23, “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did” (John 2:13-16, 23). So He was healing, and He was teaching on the feast day of Unleavened Bread, right there at the temple.

Now let’s come over here to John 5:1. Now, it doesn’t tell us what feast this is. But according to the chronology as we go through the book of John, we find that it is Passover, fall festival season, Passover, fall festival season, and Passover. So by chronology, this had to be one of the feast days, either Trumpets or the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, or the last of the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the three. It was not Atonement, because they were carrying burdens and so forth. “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” Was He there keeping it? Yes. Did He correct them for their wrong use of the day? Yes, He did. He told the man whom He healed to pick up his bed and walk, and he walked. And so then He gave the spiritual lesson here that God is working spiritually.

Let’s come over here to John 6:4. “And the passover, the feast of the Jews, was nigh.” And then Jesus explained about the bread and the wine, that it symbolized His body and His blood; and made it absolutely mandatory that you keep the Passover, otherwise you don’t have any life in you. Let’s read that right here in John 6:53. “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily [or that is, truly, truly], I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” So unless you keep the Passover properly you don’t have life in you. And I just might mention here too, those who use grape juice are not keeping it properly, because it is not wine. You need to understand that.

Let’s go on. John 7:1, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He could not walk in Jewry [Judea, as it should read] because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.” His brethren - I’ll just summarize it - said, “Why don’t You go up and show Yourself?” And He said, “No, you go up. My time is not yet.” Verse 8, so they went up to the feast. Now verse 10, “But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were [secretly] in secret.” So here, in spite of the public pressure that was put against Him and all those seeking to kill Him, He still went and kept the feast, didn’t He? He observed the Feast of Tabernacles, didn’t He? Yes, He did.

Now notice. Here’s something very important concerning the will of God and understanding. Now verse 14, “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” And Jesus was there during the Feast of Tabernacles. And there is great meaning to the Feast of Tabernacles. If you would like some tapes on those, we have almost hundreds of tapes on the Feast of Tabernacles – well over a hundred anyway - covering the feast going way back. So if you want to know about the meaning of it, you can write in for it.

Let’s come over here to verse 37. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy [Spirit] Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:1-2, 10, 14-17, 37-39). So Jesus taught on the Last Great Day, didn’t He? So we find him teaching during the Feast of Unleavened Bread; we find Him teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles; we find Him teaching at the Passover time, taught His disciples during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and so forth. Jesus did all of those things.

Now let’s come to the book of Acts, and we’ll do a little survey with the book of Acts. Please understand, we’re into New Covenant teachings. And if the holy days were to be done away, if they were no longer to be kept, then you would hear Jesus say this statement: “You have heard it said of old time, ‘You shall remember to keep the Sabbath day holy, and the holy days holy.’ But I say unto you, you shall keep Sunday holy, and Christmas, and Easter, and New Year’s.” He didn’t say any of that, did He? No, He did not. Now here, Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1, by the command of Christ, right? He said, “Remain in Jerusalem until you be imbued from power from on high.” So His command was to be there and keep the day of Pentecost. If Jesus commanded His apostles to keep it, and gave the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which was the same day that the Ten Commandments were given, should you not keep the day of Pentecost?

Verse 1, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,...” Which really should be translated, “And when the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled,...” or, “During the accomplishing of the day of Pentecost...” “ ...They were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2). Then you know the rest of the story, in preaching on the day of Pentecost. And that’s when God started the church. So He formalized the church in the wilderness on the day of Pentecost by giving the Ten Commandments. He started the New Covenant Church on the day of Pentecost right there at the temple of God.

Let’s continue on here. Let’s come to Acts 12:1. “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it please the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)” Now the reason that is mentioned is because they were keeping the days of Unleavened Bread. “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter [which should read ‘Passover’] to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:1-4).

Let’s come to chapter 16. Now I know all of the arguments that people will give. Acts 16:13; let’s understand this. This is a time when Paul went into Macedonia and preached to them. “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont known to be made;...” Now the Sabbath here in the Greek actually should read “...and on the day of the weeks,...” which is Pentecost. Hold your place here, and go back to Luke 4. And we will see that on that very day in one of the synagogues in Galilee Jesus Christ stood up for to read, and began His ministry in Nazareth on that day. Luke 4:16, “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” And that is on “the day of the weeks,” if you look at the Greek. So Jesus taught on Pentecost, Paul taught on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost, the day of the weeks.

Now let’s come back here to the book of Acts, chapter 18 and verse 18. “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; but bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem:...” (Acts 18:18-21). Now the only feast, chronologically speaking, that it could be here is the Feast of Tabernacles. So he went to Jerusalem to keep it. So Paul said, “I must by all means keep the Feast.” Now you can’t say that he was keeping it under the obligation of circumcision, because he preached against circumcision.

Now let’s come to chapter 20 and verse 5. “These going before tarried for us at Troas. And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread,...” Now why mention going after the days of Unleavened Bread? Well, it’s very simple: they kept the days of Unleavened Bread and wouldn’t leave until the Feast of Unleavened Bread was over. In other words, they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then left after that. “...And came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.” So they got there on a Sunday, stayed there seven days. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,...” (Acts 20:5-7). And that was then after sundown after the Sabbath ended, getting on into the first day of the week and so forth. So they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That’s the important thing to understand.

Now let’s come here to chapter 24 and verse 14. “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they [the Jews] call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:...” And Paul himself was the one who wrote to show that the only thing that had been fulfilled and superseded by the sacrifice of Christ was the animal sacrifice and the temple ritual. And we read that earlier. He believed everything else.

Let’s come here to chapter 27 and verse 9. “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already passed,...” Now you may have in your reference there going back to Leviticus 23:27, referring to the Day of Atonement. So here Paul, even when he was sailing, and it was dangerous, he was still keeping the Day of Atonement on that ship. And the fast had ended. So Paul kept it.

Now let’s come over here to 1 Corinthians 16:7. “For I will not see you now by the way [or that is, in my travel this time]; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry [or that is, remain] at Ephesus until Pentecost.” So how were they measuring time? By Christmas? No. By Easter? No. By New Year’s? No. By Sunday? No, but by Sabbath and the holy days, all the way through. Here’s Pentecost.

Now let’s come to 1 Corinthians 5, since we are here. And here is the command. And you need to understand this, as here is a principle: you can’t have one commandment without the other. You must have all of them. And did not the apostle James say that if you keep the whole law yet offended one point, you’re guilty of all the law? Correct? So if you keep the Sabbath but don’t keep the holy days, then you are guilty of transgressing the holy days, and stand before God as a sinner. Especially when we have here in 1 Corinthians 5 an absolute, dogmatic command by the apostle Paul to keep the feast, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 7. “Purge out therefore the old leaven,...” Because during the Days of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a type of sin. “...That ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.” Having put it out of their houses, and they are unleavened in Christ. “For even Christ our passover is [was] sacrificed for us [as it should read]: therefore let us keep the feast,...” Which feast? Of Unleavened Bread, “...not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:7-8). So he is virtually saying here in this command to keep the feast, “If you don’t keep the feast, you’re not keeping the truth.” There is a great command.

Now then, we need to understand another principle, which is this: People say, “Well, if it’s not repeated in the New Testament, I don’t have to do it.” The reason a lot of these things are not repeated in the New Testament is because it would become redundant. And God didn’t want to have a book of fifty volumes. He wanted one book. So that’s why you have to believe the whole Word of God. Let’s come to Hebrews 4. Now if you want a more in-depth study on Hebrews 4, you can write in for it, we have it. I just want to focus in on one verse, verse 9, and to summarize the part up to it, because God’s plan is not yet complete. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Now that is an improper translation. And it should read this way: “There remains therefore Sabbath keeping to the people of God.” Now that becomes very important, because Sabbath-keeping, then, means more than just keeping the Sabbath. Sabbath-keeping includes all of the holy days, and the people of God include the Gentiles (1 Peter 1), not just the Hebrews.

So for people to say, “I am not convinced that we ought to keep the holy days,” then what you need to do is get in and really study your Bible more, and ask yourself the question, “Do I really believe in the Word of God, and the will of God, am I willing to understand it the way God says? Or am I going to keep this in the way of personal opinion and become like all other religious people?” and end up rejecting the Word of God.

Should We Keep The Holy Days? - August 7, 1999

Scriptural References


2 Corinthians 4:1-4


Psalm 119:127-128
2) Jeremiah 17:9 21) 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
3) Matthew 7:21-23


Mark 2:27-28
4) Psalm 143:10 23) Luke 2:40-42, 46-49
5) Romans 12:1-2 24) John 2:13-16, 23
6) Luke 16:13-17 25) John 5:1
7) Matthew 5:17-18 26) John 6:4, 53
8) Hebrews 9:11-12, 28 27) John 7:1-2, 10, 14-17, 37-39
9) Hebrews 10:1-12, 14-23 28) Acts 2:1-2
10) Genesis 2:1-3 29) Acts 12:1-4
11) Genesis 1:14 30) Acts 16:13


Genesis 15:4-6


Luke 4:16
13) Exodus 12:5-6, 11, 13-17 32) Acts 18:18-21
14) Exodus 20


Acts 20:5-7
15) Leviticus 23:1-8, 21, 24-25, 27-28, 32, 34-37 34) Acts 24:14
16) Numbers 28:1-3, 9-10 35)

Acts 27:9

17) Ezekiel 20:10-13, 16, 19-21 36) 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
18) Matthew 22:37-40 37)

Hebrews 4:9

19) John 4:23-24