Q: Are we supposed to keep the Holy days or not? Passover, Pentecost, Trumpets and other Feast day? I recently discovered we christians have been worshiping in the wrong name. I now know his true name. I did not find this out from your website but others and they say I should start keeping the sabbaths, the holy days or i am still living in sin, or not obeying YAHWEH.
A: No. You obligation does not go beyond the Cross and the introduction to the New Covenant, not the Old, as some are teaching. We have no right to claim to be Israel, or to live as Jews. Some call this replacement Theology, which is contrary to the Word. Yes, we can and should learn about the Holy Days and what they mean, to the Jew first and then to ourselves as those called to YaHshua. The lessons are invaluable in understanding the plan and pattern that has been predetermined for mankind. That is the short answer. What follows is a bit of my own history with this, from my calling to now. No one has to agree with me, or my experiences but one thing I am not, and that is I am no long an Old Covenant supporter. I am a New Covenant believer, but it too, me several years of study and spiritual struggle to get there, to over come my first beliefs as truth -- truth to be sure, but not rightly divided, not correctly applied.
Once upon a time, when first called, it was my full desire and love (and still is) for my Savior and my Creator, to observe the Holy Days of the Bible, His words and commands. It had become apparent that the falsehood built around the holidays, not Holy Days, but holidays of the Christians churches, came from other sources, having their foundations in a pagan past, from Rome, to Greece, all the way back to Babylon. I was not a religious person, prior to my calling, but as a child growing up in a wishy/washy, not so religious family -- you know, sometimes they went to church or mom would send us, my brother and I, out to church. Myself and my brother never had any formal training in the Christian religion, but all of the Christian holidays, like Christmas and Easter, along with the federal holidays were observed or celebrated, but nothing overly religious, even then. Indoctrinated so very little, but from a young life into adulthood, can leave an impression embedded into one's life. My exposure to religion ended when I was old enough to say, No, Im not going to church, it makes me uncomfortable, besides, my parents never went, why should I? Still, with this briefest of exposure, I was aware of the Sunday sabbath, Christmas stories, and Easter, with all th bunnies and eggs, and when asked on any questionnaire, I would list myself as a Christian. Then, one day, I heard that Christmas was a pagan holiday, and Easter too. Where I heard it, I am not sure, but this peeked my interest.
I found the Christmas was not really when our Savior was born, after that the other Christian holidays fell, easily proven to be of pagan origin. When this happens, and someone called to this revelations, such as yourself, you begin to look closer at the things you were taught from your youth. This new knowledge, or revelation, however, makes the new fresh mind and outlook susceptible to some very clever people, and even those with this old knowledge, presented to you as something new and exciting, may be very sincere. I spent nearly 7 years with such a group. A group that said we must obey God and not man -- true. A group that said we had to shun all things pagan, and take on the mantel of obedience to the Old Covenant Holy Days and Sabbaths, and this, then, was being obedient to God -- kinda, sort of, not so true. Obey our Savior -- yes. Obey the God of the Bible -- yes. But to a newcomer, we are prey to those feeding us the word, as they see it, with words like, He changes not, and He is forever and His words are forever and His Holy Days are forever -- therefor you should obey us and our leadership because we know what God wants us to do, Forever. It all sounds good in the beginning.
It seemed to me at the time that something our Creator, YaHWeH, laid out in such detail should be something we should pay attention to and to do in full obedience -- He gave detaile instructions for the observance of His 7 (8?) Holy Days and a weekly Sabbath, and the desire to please Him, as we grow in the knowledge of how we have been betrayed by the Chrisitan Churches, seeming to confirm this new truth, to us, anyway, seemed to make sense, and the new found Love for our Creator, and to show that love can make us, with our child like minds, easy prey for the wolves. For a little over seven years I observed all the Sabbaths, the weekly and the High Sabbaths (Holy Days), all having to do with the Holy Days listed in the Scriptures, in the Torah, written by the hand of man, as dictated YaHWeH Himself. I admit, that in all my desire to be perfect and to keep from breaking even the least of the Sabbaths, the weekly Sabbath and the High Sabbaths, I often failed, and this became evermore disturbing and frustrating for me and for my new family.
Slowly, through trial and error I began to discover that all of the requirements of the Holy Day observances could not be kept in their pure form without the whole community, State or Nation following the same instructions, and then there was problem of the Temple -- without the Temple and without animal sacrifice the days remain the same but the system falls apart. Read Leviticus Chapter 23 and you will see for yourself the impossibility of observing these Holy Day, in the perfect Word of fulfillment as commanded, and then you will begin to see that I was listening to men and not to YaHshua, our Savior. Then, when we see this, we can understand, better, His words when He said, If you break the Least of these, you are guilty of breaking them all -- hence, disobedient, and lost, and the reason we need a SAVIOR. YaHshua offered Himselve, on our behalf, to pay the price of the disobedient.
(Jas 2:10) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
(Mat 15:3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Okay, sure, I bought into the idea that our Lord was and is the final shedding of blood for sin, our sin, but what about the Wave Sheaf offerings, what about the New Wine Offerings, all prophetic Holy Days pointing to the First Fruits? Not all of the sacrifices are blood Sacrifices, still, without the Offerings, of the grain, and the wine, this leaves a big hole in the Feast days, those High Sabbaths and all of it. ULTIMATELY, the High Sabbaths, called Holy Days, are ceremonially tied to the slaying of bull, and goats, and sheep and lambs and doves, and all of these various animal sacrifices are directly tied to the Temple at Jerusalem. The Passover and the Feast of Weeks are primarily involve pilgrimages to Jerusalem and the Temple in order to observe properly.
When YaHshua turned over the money table on the Temple grounds, it was not just about the money, it was about the selling and buying of animals, like pigeons, for example, for personal exchange of a small animals blood for a personal sin or sins. A Temple, with an sacrificial Altar was need for this very lucrative interprise. Now, this Temple has been missing for around 1950 years -- no Temple, no Altar of fire and ash, no forgiveness. In human time 1,950 years is a long, long time. Remember, as believers and confessing YaHshua as the Messiah and Savior, we are excused from such sacrificial systems, those who have rejected Him are not. To attempt to restore the Old Covenant system, which is directly tied to this system of sacrifice for the forgiveness of personal and national sin, is, as I see it, a sin in itself. I discovered this the hard way. First I tried to live by the Torah Law, excusing the animal sacrficing, but found it near impossible to be in this world, living and working and raising a family among the blind. We are a community only in a Spiritual sense, seen from Heaven but not among mankind. Israel was the best shot toward that kind of unity, but what has Modern Israel done? NOTHING. It is reported by the Jerusalem Post that 90% of the population of Modern Israel are Secular, and do not identify as Jewish by religion. Even then those that do, like the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox, are a mess. They are not an example of the Jewish religion under Moses. They bring the customs learned in other societies and from other countries from where they originated, like the Russian Orthodox are different from the Sephardic Jew from Spain, and these have immigrated to the New Israel and maintain a separate society withing closed neighborhoods. Is this what our Creator meant by all Israel living without walls and in safety? Hardly.
To properly keep the High Holy Days, excluding the weekly Sabbath, you must travel to Jerusalem -- the place YaHWeH chose to put His Name. Jerusalem is really pronounced, YaH shalom, or Peace of YaH. It is supposed to be the City of Peace, but today, in these Times of the Gentiles it is anything but fulfilled or finished (Luke 21:23-5). Following in the example set forth by the destruction of the Temple I would say that the keeping of the Holy Days is, or has been put on hold. After all, where is the High Priest? As believers in the New Covenant our High Priest is in Heaven, and has promised to return and RESTORE what needs to be restored.
No Temple, no High Priest and no animal sacrifices, seems to suggest we are not required to keep these Holy Days -- if Israelites cannot properly function without the Temple, then how can those trying to return to their Jewish Roots, as they call it, going to? Oh, yeah, they are giving themselves a pass. What does the Word in the New Covenant say?
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Wait, that was too easy, let's put this into the context of the teaching, and perhaps you will see were the stuggle begins and where it should end?
(Gal 5:2) Behold, I Paul say to you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (live as one requiring circumcision, as mandated by the Law or Torah)
(Gal 5:3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (If you live that way then you must apply the whole, otherwise you have broken the whole law or Torah)
(Gal 5:4) Christ is become of no effect to you, whosoever of you are justified by the Law (TORAH); you are fallen from grace.
(Gal 5:5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by Faith. (The Law of Faith - Romans 3:27 - the Torah of Faith, replacing the Law of Stone, that is the Torah)
(Gal 5:6) For in YaHshua the Anointed neither circumcision avail any thing, nor uncircumcision; but Faith which works by Love. (His Love, not yours)
(Rom 10:5) For Moses described the righteousness which is of the Law (TORAH), That the man which does those things shall live by them. (The ability to live by Torah is impossible because the Temple is gone and the Priesthood is dispersed and unkown)
Does this mean we should ignore the Holy Days? Not at all, we should study them, learn what they have to teach us, because they tell us something, they guide us into the thinking and the Mind of our Creator. These Holy Days were established for the people of Israel. They never kept them in their purity either, and they never seem to be able to come to their full understanding, growing in knowledge but never able to fully understandt that these Holy Days are, in fact, an OUTLINE for our Creator's plan, not just for Israel but for all people. Anything that happens to Israel, happens to the world. However, while there is a lot written in the Prophetic word concerning the people of Israel/Judah, most Prophecy actually centers around Jerusalem (YaHusalem -- Salem means Peace and YaH is His Holy Name). If you want to read about the origin of Jerusalem and how this City came to be favored in the eye of our Creator, then read, Ezekiel chapter 16.
I recently read another of the arguments favoring our observance of the Holy Days and the threat that if we don't, then we are committing a sin, or several sins -- you know, breaking Torah, and of course losing our salvation. Believe me when I tell you that you are committing a sin if you believe in you heart that this is something you need and must do and you do not do it, then you are indeed sinning against yourself -- your own conscience is conficting you of sin, but is our Savior, isn't that why He was sent, to save us from the penalty of Torah, the Law? However, if you believe in your heart of hearts that you are not sinning, and you know why -- because of your repentant confession in Him -- not just because someone said so, but that you know, it is by the Law of Faith that you believe He is Saving us and has forgiven us, even in our ignorance of thing never revealed. How can you be guilty of something you were never aware of? Yes, the Jews were aware, and failed, even with the knowledge they had and as the caretakers of the Written Word, they failed in knowledge and in their denial are not or have not found forgiveness. But what about those of us who have only learned about the obligations of Torah recently? Our lesson, once we accept and confess YaHshua as our single sacrifice and Savior, is that all Israel failed to observe Torah in its purity and so all deserved death, for that is the penalty required for sin without forgiveness -- without animal sacrifice the Israelis have no forgiveness. Gentiles ignorant of these things are guilty in a different way, mostly by worshiping idols or other gods or spirits. Once forgiven by the Ultimate and once and for all Sacritice, and all it forgiven, then you are not sinning, how can you be sinning when you have been forgiven through Him? In fact, in today's climate, the absence of the Temple and the Priesthood you cannot properly observe any of the Holy Days, and that is a simple fact.