Will You Celebrate God’s Holy Days?
If Not, Why Not? And If Not Now, When?
Millions of Christians throughout the world celebrated Christmas this past year. What previously was a couple of days to celebrate Christmas—Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or December 24 and 25—has morphed into a season that for the commercial world begins as early as October and runs all the way to December 25. The general public often begins Christmas festivities (decorations, planning, and gift buying) long before Thanksgiving. The season meant to celebrate the birth of Christ has become a time of drunkenness, family dissolution, skyrocketing personal debt, increase of greed, and using the precious name of Jesus Christ to make cash registers sing throughout the land. Dear Christians, please consider this appeal for Christian remnant fathers and mothers to take your children and come out of this pagan madness into the biblical holy days of Jehovah!
--Pastor Dan Gayman
A voice from heaven calls for the children of God to come out of the pagan madness of the Christmas celebration and return to the forgotten holy days. If you listen closely, the Holy Spirit will confirm the words of Revelation 18:4-5. Your spirit will bear witness with the Holy Spirit to this truth: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Centuries before, the words of the Prophet Jeremiah had called God’s people to resist following the culture, customs, and pagan rituals of the heathen: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them” (Jeremiah 10:2). More than twenty-five hundred years ago, God called His people to refrain from following the culture of the heathen. Specifically, Jeremiah called them to refrain from cutting down a tree, building a stand for that tree, decorating it with silver and gold, and placing it on display as an act of idolatry. “For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jer. 10:3-4). The Christmas tree has roots that run deep into the heart of pagan cultures.
Speaking of Satan, the Prophet Isaiah declares that Lucifer, that old serpent called the Devil… (Revelation 12:9 & 20:2) seeks to exalt himself above God and “…sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isaiah 14:13). Pagan celebrations have Santa coming down from the North Pole to bring gifts and claim the loyalty of the little children, who are taught that Santa, rather than God, is the source of the gifts we enjoy in this life. To further mimic God, Santa always is dressed in red, when the Bible clearly has the Lord Jesus Christ adorned in red apparel when He returns to earth to take vengeance upon His enemies: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel…Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel…For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come” (Isa. 63:1-2, 4). Moreover, Satan is always adorned with a white “woolen” beard, something again reserved for the divine persona of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:13-16: “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire” (Rev. 1:14). A second witness is found in Daniel 7:9.
The commercialization of Christmas has become so notorious that retail sales depend on the Christmas celebration for more than 50% of its annual sales. No single day in the calendar has been more exploited for monetary gain. Sadly, this addiction to greed is all done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christmas that millions celebrate has absolutely no roots in the Bible and little to do with the actual birth of Jesus, which occurred in late September rather than the cold of winter on December 25.
Just as the world’s celebration of Christmas has gone overboard into paganism, so has the celebration of Easter, which, true to paganism, has replaced the biblical Feast of Passover (Passion or Crucifixion of Christ) and (Firstfruits of the Wave Sheaf) and Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. The name “Easter” has roots in ancient, polytheistic religions dating from ancient Babylon. God never uses this term one time for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is linked to a pagan god named Ishtar, a name traced under different spellings into many pagan cultures. The fertility and love cult symbols of the Easter bunny, together with decorated eggs, have been integrated into the pagan celebration of Easter—something in which literally millions of professing Christians gullibly participate, without a though as to whether these practices are biblical.
Is it not time for those who bear the name Christian to turn to the founder of their faith, Jesus Christ, with a contrite and penitent heart and resolve to come out of these pagan celebrations? Come, and “Let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) and leave behind the madness of these heathen celebrations and their pagan customs, symbols, and idolatry. Let us find our way back to the biblical celebrations of God’s holy days.
God Is Calling! Are You Listening?
Every generation must witness a call for the Christian remnant to come out of the pagan culture and into the biblical pathways. More than two millennia ago, the Prophet Jeremiah called us to return to the pathways established by the covenant God of Israel: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16). The return to the old pathways has become especially important in America, a lands replete with heathen gods and religions of many cultures. Christianity, the founding faith of America, has become the target of oppression, persecution, and hostility from not only the prevailing culture, but also from the government. The progressive religion of Secular Humanism seeks the eradication of Christianity from the American public.
In the face of this spiritual warfare, the God of Heaven is calling a faithful remnant that will return to the well-marked feast of Jehovah God. Each of these divinely ordained feasts honors, celebrates, and defines the one, true, ever-living, self-existing God Whom we know as Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. Jesus Christ is the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of His Person (Heb. 1:3). Each festival features one of the persons of the Godhead: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Our sovereign God ordained His festivals as the means by which every believer may know God and His revelation to man, through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the biblical festivals do more than define, honor, and celebrate the three persons of the Godhead. They encompass a prophetic overview of the entire biblical panorama of God’s marvelous plan for His children. No major event in the prophetic calendar of Jehovah is exempt from its observance in God’s holy days. Any student of Scripture who reads God’s Word with any understanding at all can properly evaluate God’s prophetic time clock and see God’s conceptual plan for the ages.
If you are a professing Christian or perhaps are non-committed regarding faith and doctrine, perhaps you would like to carefully examine the feasts of Jehovah and compare them to world’s celebrations of Christmas and Easter. The more you know about the holy days, the less you will want to do with the holidays that man created, complete with their pagan symbols of a decorated tree, gift giving, Santa and his reindeer, and mistletoe, and Easter’s fertility symbols of the rabbit and the colored eggs. Truly, a profound gulf separates the biblical festivals from the pagan celebrations of Christmas and Easter.
The Seven Biblical Feasts
The following summary is provided as a brief outline for the feasts of Jehovah. This summary is intended to be an introduction. A wealth of further biblical information is available in the Old and New Testaments. Exodus 12 and 23:14-19; Leviticus chapters 16 and 23; Numbers chapters 28 and 29; and Deuteronomy 16, and even more passages in the Prophets and historical sections of the Old Testament, contain essential information on the biblical festivals. Further, the New Testament Gospels and Epistles flesh out essential information necessary to establish that God’s feasts were not meant for the Old Testament alone, but indeed were practiced by Christians of the early church.
THE SPRING FEASTS
PASSOVER UNLEAVENED BREAD FIRSTFRUITS
The Crucifixion The Walk and Worship of The Resurrection
of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life of Jesus Christ
THE SUMMER FEAST
The Advent of the Holy Spirit, initiation of the New Covenant, and the
Birth of the New Covenant Church of God
THE FALL FEASTS
TRUMPETS ATONEMENT TABERNACLES
The 2nd Coming of Latter Rain, Repentance, The Kingdom Rest Christ and His Regathering and Conversion of Israel and Restoration of Israel of Israel
A quick glance reveals that Jehovah’s feasts encompass the full panorama of God’s plan of the ages. The biblical calendar begins with the celebration of Passover as a memorial to the death of Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb. Jesus Christ, the “Bread of Life” (John 6:35), is typified by the days of Unleavened Bread in our walk with and worship of those who become disciples of Jesus Christ. The Wave Sheaf Offering of Firstfruits points to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The one summer feast, Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, commemorates the advent of the Holy Spirit and the initiation of the New Covenant, as well as signals the birth of the New Testament church.
The fall festivals point to the unfulfilled epochs of salvation history—events which are yet to occur. Trumpets points to the Christ’s long anticipated Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the translation of those who are alive and remain through the tribulation when He returns, and the re-gathering of the redeemed children of God to the land of their fathers. Atonement typifies the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the redeemed children of God to bring in the full blessings of the New Covenant. This is the “Latter Rain” of the Holy Spirit that will result in the full conversion of God’s covenant children. Tabernacles typifies kingdom rest, the full restoration of Christ’s Theocratic Kingdom, and the institution of the divine monarchy of the Davidic throne, upon which Jesus Christ, the Greater David of Prophecy, will reign.
Seven High Holy Days
There are a total of seven festivals (seven is the number of divine perfection), and there are a total of seven high, holy days in the yearly festival calendar. Passover is the day preceding the seven days of Unleavened Bread and is not a high, holy day. However, the first and the last of the seven days of Unleavened Bread that follow Passover are high, holy days that call for public convocations and worship. Pentecost is the only summer feast. A one-day festival, it always falls on a Sunday; however, combining it with the weekly Sabbath that precedes the Day of Pentecost makes it a two-day celebration. Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, is designated as a high holy day requiring a public holy convocation and worship.
Trumpets, also a high, holy day, falls on the first day of the seventh month and is a one-day celebration complete with holy convocation. The Day of Atonement, also a high, holy day, falls on the tenth day of the seventh month and is always a single day of fasting and afflicting the soul, with a holy convocation. Further, the first and last days of the eight-day Feast of Tabernacles are high, holy days requiring holy convocations. These seven annual holy days may fall on any given day of the week, with the exceptions of the Wave Sheaf Firstfruits of the Resurrection and Pentecost, which always fall on a Sunday. These high, holy days call for worship and celebration and are all non-work days.
Making Time Relevant to God
The greatest treasure we possess on earth is time. We cannot store time or buy it. Every day is a gift from God: what we do with it is our gift to God. The biblical festivals make time relevant to God and His plan for His redeemed children. They establish a rhythm for life. Spring, summer, and fall are significant as the biblical calendar unfolds. These festivals establish a pattern for our lives and keep the hearts and minds focused on Jehovah.
Celebrating the seven feasts of Jehovah provides a biblical culture. Not only does the celebration of these festivals keep the entire story of the Bible alive in our hearts and minds, but they also provide the context out of which a biblical culture takes root. Fellowship and the friendships that grow out of these festivals are only some of the benefits. Children and youth build friendships with a peer group that is inclined toward God and Scripture. Out of these friendships come godly marriages, which produce children—all part of God’s magnificent design. Celebrants of these holy days have an opportunity to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God as hearing God’s Word is always an integral part of the celebration. Music and worship are also central to celebrating the feasts. Most of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father are elevated at these feasts.
The late afternoon of the day of Passover is the proper time for celebrating Holy Communion, or the Passover Memorial Communion of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. This service is a memorial to Christ’s death and passion. The Wave Sheaf of Firstfruits, celebrated on the Sunday that follows the weekly Sabbath within the seven days of Unleavened Bread, is a special time to celebrate Christ’s glorious Resurrection from the dead! As you can see, Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection are highly featured aspects of the spring festivals.
Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits, is the designated time (Deut. 26) for bringing the first of the firstfruits of the early summer harvest into the sanctuary to be distributed among those specially designated to receive them (Deut. 26:11-12). Pentecost also is an appropriate time for the Order of Confirmation of baptized celebrants into the faith.
The one-day celebration of Trumpets should include a blowing of the trumpets (Lev. 23:24) in a formal assembly. The single Day of Atonement is set aside for congregational fasting, afflicting of the soul, confession of sin, prayers, and ending with the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the atonement of personal and collective sin (Rom. 5:11). Finally, at Tabernacles, the glorious birth of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is celebrated amid the great traditional hymns of the faith, Bible teaching, and worship.
The Biblical Calendar for 2014
The following festival dates are established by careful calculations and have been reviewed and scrutinized by sound biblical scholarship. I pray that you will make every effort to keep the feasts of Jehovah in 2014 and turn away from the pagan celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Will you purpose to celebrate these festivals with a gathering closest to you, and if there are no gatherings near you, simply mark these days the best that you can and remember their significance. Will you keep the Feasts of Jehovah? If not, why not? If not now, when?
The Feast of Passover, Firstfruits, and Unleavened Bread:
Passover falls on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The first high, holy day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on Sunday, April 13, and the Resurrection falls on Sunday, April 13.
Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks:
Pentecost Sunday is June 8, 2014.
The Day of Trumpets is Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
The Day of Atonement falls on Friday, October 3, 2014.
The Feast of Tabernacles: The first high, holy day falls on Wednesday, October 8, 2014; the Last Great Day falls on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.