The Feast Day Sabbaths
The Restoration of The Feast Day Sabbaths
In the Advent Movement
From the commencement of the Advent Movement in 1844, the question has arisen many times concerning the relevance of the Covenant Feast Days for antitypical Israel. That is, the remnant believers of Revelation. In fact, this important topic has been woven into the fabric of this movement in many ways and at various times throughout our church history. The significance of this historical issue of our faith was not only clearly evident in the providential timing of this movement's beginnings, it was also carefully presented and touched upon many times in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy through Heaven's messenger, Ellen White.
This study is a Scriptural and Spirit of Prophecy treatment of the Feasts of the (Lord) Yahvah, which were and are, the foundation of the Jewish economy, which is the Scriptural economy and which should be our economy as modern Israel. We all represent the Advent Movement in its purity, truth and in its advanced principles, if we have overcome the Laodicean condition of being "lukewarm ... wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked..." Revelation 3:15-17.
As a people, we must teach and exemplify 'the economy' of the Creator. We should be purveyors and promoters of the Divine economy, to the congregation first, then to the world. We shall discover in this study that the types and shadows are key to understanding the Creator's complete work of salvation. These types and shadows bring into focus the Sanctuary message and all the teachings which give us a clear understanding of the mind and character of the Creator. This includes all Divine Law, the Commandments "with the statutes and judgments" (Mal.4:4) which have been given "to proclaim the Sabbath more fully". [Word to the Little Flock p.19].
Thus, as we study these truths regarding harvest law and gospel order, we must first comprehend how the Elohim (God) will conduct the final great harvest of souls at the end of probationary time which is fast approaching. We will notice throughout Scripture there is a certain timing to the Heaven's movings, particularly when it comes to sowing and reaping, as this is what the Divine economy is all about. The Father is trying to teach us something here. Time is the Creator's secret. The Father has given us the first principles of this secret, that we may finish the Gospel work which Leviticus 23 gives a clear picture of. This study emphasizes Heaven's timing in the natural cycles and the Feast Day cycles, in the Hebrew economy, in sowing and reaping which is harvest law and gospel order.
"But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church." --The Great Controversy, page 425, E.G. White.
"Through the prophets, God has given a delineation of what will come to pass in the last days of this earth's history; and the Jewish economy is full of instruction for us." The dream of the temple service, E. G. White, R & H, Feb. 4, 1902.
"In seeking to cast contempt upon the divine statutes, Satan has perverted the doctrines of the Bible, and errors have been incorporated into the faith of thousands who profess to believe the Scriptures. The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering -- a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah [YHWH], between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition." The Great Controversy, page 582 [supplied].
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ (Yahshua Ha Mashiach ), which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God (Elohim) hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21. emphasis supplied.
LEVITICUS 23 and EXODUS 23
The relationship between Leviticus 23 and a revealing statement in Word to the Little Flock, page 19, should become apparent to the reader. Here, it is revealed that "at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the church, and the nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth." The time component of this prophetic statement could not be more clear. This is in our day, since there was no "time of trouble", in Ellen White's day, in the first phase of the Three Angel's Messages which is a separate study in/of itself.
Leviticus 23 opens our understanding as to how we "proclaim the Sabbath more fully". Notice, how both Leviticus 23 and Exodus 23 begins the instruction to keep the Holy Feast Days with the Seventh-Day Sabbath which is a "sign" (Ezekiel 20:12) between the Creator and those who belong to Him. Notice, there is no variance, distinction or division between the sanctity and validity in observing of all the required Holy Times which begins with the Seventh-Day Sabbath -- the Fourth Commandment. All these statutes regarding holy time stand together or fall together. We cannot pick and choose what holy times we shall observe, which we are reminded of in Malachi 4:4. Remember, the Messiah came to "magnify the law and make it honorable." Isaiah 42:21.
Leviticus 23:1-6 says, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the Feasts of the Yahvah, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy Convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall 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 Yahvah in all your dwellings. These are the Feasts of the Yahvah even Holy Convocations, which ye shall proclaim their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Yahvah's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Yahvah: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread."
Beginning verse 15, the command is for the keeping of the day of Pentecost with its various rites and duties showing the dedication of the Firstfruits. In the harvest of souls in the end of the world we know that the 144,000 who are "Firstfruits" to the Lord (Revelation 7 & 14) will be gathered and dedicated on this day, even as the Firstfruits were gathered on the day of Pentecost in 34 AD when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Apostles as documented in Acts chapter 2. Take note that this event was after the cross. The Apostles were still keeping the Sabbath and all the Feast Days of Elohim.
Leviticus 23 verse 24 gives the command and instruction to observe the Feast of Trumpets (a one day Feast) which prepares the people for the coming of the high and most holy Day of Atonement, which is commanded in verse 27. It is most important to note that the Advent Movement culminated and officially came into being as we know it today on October 22, 1844. Why did the anointed and appointed leaders of the movement choose October 22, 1844? The book, "The Great Controversy" tells us on page 400, in the chapter entitled "Prophecies Fulfilled," that the beginning of the movement was calculated according to the Jewish calendar. It was a literal biblical Feast Day. Sister White clearly pronounces the significance of this event in 1844. She states on page 399, at the very bottom of the page that:
"In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service." -- Great Controversy, p 399.
The Advent Movement and the great Antitypical Day of Atonement officially began October 22, 1844. It is no wonder that she tells us that "the Jewish economy is full of instruction for us." There is only one "symbolic service," that which pertains to the temple service and the timing of all its services. This is why Sister White was given the prophetic dream that she relates in the same Review and Herald article of February 4, 1902. Her dream shows the destiny of the Advent Movement. She relates:
"In the night season I was in my dreams in a large meeting, with ministers, their wives and their children. I wondered that the company present was mostly made up of ministers and their families. The prophecy of Malachi was brought before them in connection with Daniel, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah. The teachings of these books was carefully investigated and considered. The building of the temple, and the temple service, were considered. There was close searching of the Scriptures in regard to the sacred character of all that appertained to the temple service."-- R&H, 2-4-1902;
Bear in mind here, that in the Scriptures "the temple service" was a system and order of rites and ceremonies based on specific times of their performance. The reason such a dream was given Sister White is that the only reason the Divine Hand began this movement in 1844 was to 'get', or gather, His 144,000 Firstfruits. The 144,000 Firstfruits were the first point and primary purpose of the very first vision Ellen White was given, as we can see in Early Writings, page 15. If I may say it in a more direct statement, the 144,000 were the ONLY purpose of the Advent Movement. In the Scriptures, the Firstfruits are gathered and dedicated at a specific special time in the symbolic service. Without these "Firstfruits", there could not be any "great multitude" (see Revelation 7:9). Without "first fruits" there cannot be second fruits! The great multitude are second fruits. In all rudimentary reasoning and logic, there cannot be "First fruits" unless there are second fruits. A first implies a second.
When the 144,000 Firstfruits are gathered and dedicated, it will most certainly be according to the TIME of the "symbolic service" (GC, p 399) of Levitcus 23 (23:15), when the Firstfruits are dedicated to begin the harvest season and which typifies the final day of harvest in the end of the world, at the end of the great antitypical Day of Atonement. Sister White further expounds to us in the book Acts of the Apostles, p. 14,
"Through the teachings of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before all nations, and all who would look to Him should live. Christ was the foundation of the Jewish economy. The whole system of types and symbols was a compacted prophecy of the gospel, a presentation in which were bound up the promises of redemption."
Returning to Leviticus 23, we are commanded to keep the Feast of Tabernacles beginning in verse 34, the final Feast of the Harvest season, although it is only the beginning of the sacred year in the civil aspect. The religious year begins at Passover according to the Jewish economy. At least FOUR times in Leviticus 23 we are commanded that these Holy Times are "a statute forever through out your generations in all your dwellings." This is most clear and is the last command given to Israel in Malachi 4:4. " Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel with the statutes and judgments." We today are given this command assuredly as is the Fourth Commandment's injunction to "Remember...."
FURTHER SCRIPTURAL CONSIDERATIONS
It is clearly evident in Scripture that only the animal sacrifices that were connected to the Feast Days [even the "Daily" sacrifice that took place on the Seventh-day Sabbath] were the only aspect of the Law which was "done away with". We can observe throughout Scripture that there exists a law of spiritual conservation that the Creator has designed and set forth. Specifically, we can use reason and basic logic to see that for something to be "done away with", something must take its place! We know that the animal sacrifices were "done away with" because something, or someOne (Messiah), took their place. The Messiah came and "fulfilled" the animal sacrifices. If He also came to "take away" the time component of the yearly Sabbath festivals then we must search, in vain, to find what "replaced" the yearly Sabbath Feasts. Nothing can be found that replaced the Feast days. We know that Satan has tried to replace the Creator's "times of refreshing" and religious gatherings with the pagan feasts of Christmas, Easter, Lent, Halloween and others. This should tell us something. Particularly when Seventh-day Adventists keep a number of these clearly pagan, forbidden "times" set by man. The Scripture warning is clear. Deuteronomy 18:9,10,14 instructs us,
"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations." "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination , or an observer of times..." "... For these nations, which thou shalt inherit harkened unto observers of times..."
This preceding verse could not apply to any of God's Sabbath "times" and Feasts given to His people, for He had just given direct command and detailed instructions for the people to observe the Feasts. These instructions to keep the Feasts were repeated in Deuteronomy 16:1,13-16. The apostle Paul shows the continuity of the Creator's Sabbath Holy Times in the New Testament when he stated in Acts 18:21,
"But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means KEEP this Feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again to you, if God will...."
If the Feasts were discontinued in the New Testament period, being nailed to the cross, then WHY did not the apostle Paul just tell us plainly! Rather, Paul clearly showed he himself still observed THE TIME ELEMENT of the ceremonial law in its New Testament context. Paul wrote it plainly in Colossians 2:17, for those in doubt, lumping together all the Holy Times, including the Seventh-Day Sabbath, that such were "a shadow of things to come", NOT things past or "done away with"! Bear in mind, Leviticus 23 groups together all the Holy Times as well, beginning with the Seventh-Day Sabbath and on into the yearly Feasts. For the sake of consistency and logic, it is clear that these Times of gathering and "refreshing" all stand together, or they all fall together. Just as the Ten Commandments stand together. It is written,
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore LET US KEEP THE FEAST , not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7,8.
It could not be more clear than this -- keeping the Feast in the new light, the new understanding, in the shadow of the Cross. Paul stated that, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon or of the Sabbath Days: Which are a shadow of things to come." Col. 2:16,17.
If Paul was warning the people not to observe such things [7th day Sabbath as well] then why do some popular teachers manipulate this verse out of its intended admonition. In fact, Paul gave the observance of these "holy days" the highest approval and denotation of blessing that he could have given in verse 17, stating they were "a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Evidently, the new believers (Gentiles) Paul was encouraging, who were following Paul's example [not his requirement], were new keepers of Holy Times, who were being "judged" and ridiculed by their old pagan Gentile friends, keepers of pagan TIMES. These new believers in Christ were ridiculed and "judged" because they were no longer keeping pagan TIMES with their Greek/Roman culture [i.e. the feast of Diana, the feast of Zeus, the feast of Apollo and many others, with their specific time honored pagan temple rituals]. Paul told these new Gentile believers not to worry because the new Holy Times they were keeping, based on The Torah, God's Word, "are a shadow of things to come" and are "the body (embodiment) of Christ." Paul taught the Gentiles by example, not imposing the Covenant Jewish Law upon them as mandatory, as it still was and is for all of Israel today -- to be a LIGHT to the Gentiles. Ultimately, all of Divine Law is voluntary--mandatory. His Laws are "mandatory" if we want His blessings, if we honor His salvation, therefore we graciously, thankfully volunteer to keep His Laws. The Creator desires willing, grateful servants, not fearful slaves and robots.
It is evident in the verse in discussion that the new believers were even emulating Paul's example of dietary observance of meat and drink, clean and unclean. His example, not his requirement! Nevertheless, Paul did not want these new Gentile believers to get any wrong idea or misunderstanding of JUSTIFICATION. Justification is by faith alone! Paul did not want these new believers to become like some Jewish believers back in Jerusalem, who were legalists. The various churches today, even SDA, still do not understand the relationship and the difference between justification and sanctification and their relationship to glorification. For example, the Seventh-Day Sabbath is a vital part of our sanctification process (Eze. 20:12), through the keeping of the law.
We need to recognize that the beast power of Daniel 7:25, who was to "wear out the saints of the Most High", was the power who would "think to change times and laws".
Obviously, thinking to change "Time s" [plural], and "Laws" [plural], not just the Seventh-Day Sabbath. We can see by brief examination of a Catholic yearly calendar that almost every month and most every week has a holy day observance ordained by the Roman church. They not only "thought" to take away the Seventh-Day Sabbath, but all of the Covenant Sabbaths of the Feast Days, replacing them with their pagan-idolatrous feasts which are clearly spelled out in the Catholic Catechism.
SPIRIT OF PROPHECY COUNCIL AND ADMONITIONS CONCERNING THE HOLY CONVOCATIONS OF ISRAEL
As we progress through the book Patriarchs and Prophets, we discover the true position of the Advent Movement leadership, under the Third Angel messenger, concerning the time component of the Ceremonial Law, the Biblical Feasts. In citing the Scriptural statute for the Feast of Passover in Exodus 11 and 12, Ellen White comments:
"In commemoration of this great deliverance a feast was to be observed yearly by the people of Israel in all future generations. '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 it a feast by an ordinance forever.' As they should keep the feast in future years, they were to repeat to their children the story of this great deliverance, as Moses bade them: 'Ye shall say , it is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.'" -- Patriarchs and Prophets, page 274.
Let us now take a look at another statement in the same chapter in Patriarchs and Prophets concerning the Passover, I will develop it more fully later on in reference to another Feast day that she comments on in the same book.
"The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointing back to the deliverance from Egypt, but forward to the greater deliverance which Christ was to accomplish in freeing His people from the bondage of sin. The sacrificial lamb represents 'the Lamb of God', in whom is our only hope of salvation. Says the apostle, 'Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.' 1 Corinthians 5:7 " -- Patriarch and Prophets, page 277.
Bear in mind the words "The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical," for reference later as I develop this point. Here again, if we were not to keep the Feast, as Ellen White comments on Paul's direct admonition in 1 Corinthians 5:7,8, then why did she not also just tell us plainly? On the next page in the same chapter we read,
"By obedience the people were to give evidence of their faith. So all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation. While it is Christ only that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is to be saved by faith, not by works; yet his faith must be shown by his works. God has given His Son to die as a propitiation for sin, He has given facilities, ordinances, and privileges; and now man must co-operate with these saving agencies; he must appreciate and use the helps that God has provided -- believe and obey all the divine requirements. As Moses rehearsed to Israel the provisions of God for their deliverance ... "Before obtaining freedom, the bondsmen must show their faith in the great deliverance about to be accomplished." -- Patriarchs and Prophets 279, 278.
A key purpose of the yearly Feasts are recounted by Ellen White.
"Again the people were reminded of the sacred obligation of the Sabbath. Yearly feasts were appointed, at which all the men of the nation were to assemble before the Lord, bringing to Him their offerings of gratitude and the firstfruits of His bounties. The object of all these regulations was stated: they proceeded from no exercise of mere arbitrary sovereignty; all were given for the good of Israel. The Lord said, 'Ye shall be holy men unto Me' -- worthy to be acknowledged by a holy God. These laws were to be recorded by Moses, and carefully treasured as the foundation of the national law, and, with the ten precepts which they were given to illustrate, the condition of the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, p 311.
Take careful note there is no mention here of the animal sacrifices. She is commenting expressly and exclusively on the time element of the Ceremonial Law. On the next page she explains:
"Thus the conditions of the covenant were solemnly repeated, and all were at liberty to choose whether or not they would comply with them." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 312.
Today, we who are modern Israel, the Sabbath-keeping Advent Movement, are given the same opportunity and liberty to choose whether or not we will comply with the conditions of the covenant, which will soon be repeated to us in the new covenant as described in Early Writings, pages 34, 285.
Sister White makes the issue very clear which portion of the law was "done away with". Let us read in her words in the chapter "The Law and the Covenants" in the same book. Speaking of the Moral and Ceremonial-Sacrificial systems:
"There are many who try to blend these two systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear. The Ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease. It is this law that Christ 'took ... out of the way, nailing it to His cross.' Colossians 2:14." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, page 365.
This statement makes clear what so many attempt to prove otherwise. Specifically, that ONLY "ritual law with its sacrifices and ordinances" ..."were to cease". The Feast days themselves were not "sacrifices" nor "ordinances", nor were they "ritual law". When Sister White explained in Desire of Ages, page 652, that "The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever", the ordinance of the animal sacrifice was the only consideration of the statement context, particularly when the "national festival" of slaying the Passover lamb was observed on the fourteenth day of the first month before sundown, before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Sabbath Holy Day, which began at sundown on the fifteenth day of the first month. Remember, we must harmonize statements, not place them at variance against each other. The Feast days were "statutes" given to be a hedge for the Ten Commandments in which the Sabbath Commandment was embedded. Concerning the whole law, she further comments on the same page,
"Concerning the law proclaimed from Sinai, Nehemiah says, 'Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai , and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments.'" Nehemiah 9:13.
The key of wisdom on this important subject confronting the church today is to harmonize Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy statements with each other and not make one verse or statement contradict another, or one piece of evidence neutralize another. Some brethren who are prejudiced and uninformed will take statements out of context and not bring them into focus with the whole body of evidence on the subject. This principle of harmony will be referred to later in this study to bring it full circle. A perfect example of this is the statement Ellen White makes in the same book and chapter:
"The ceremonial law was given by Christ. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces the law glorious, worthy of its Divine Originator." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, page 367.
We must remember that the laws pertaining to the Feast days had TWO facets to them, namely, (1) ritual sacrificial ordinances, and, (2) the statutory Feast Sabbath(s) -- times which dealt with the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly agricultural round of planting and harvest cycles for the nation of Israel. The only statements found in the Scriptures and Spirit of Prophecy denoting the "taking away" of the law, deal ONLY with the "animal sacrifices". This is it! To advocate otherwise is to violate the key principle of harmonizing Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy statements with each other. Another perfect example of this is forthcoming. Chapter 52 of Patriarchs and Prophets, entitled "The Annual Feasts", carefully explains the nature and blessings of the Statutory Sabbath(s) -- time element of the Feasts -- as applied today. In this chapter Sister White speaks of the Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Commenting on the Feast of Tabernacles she says:
"At these yearly assemblies the hearts of old and young would be encouraged in the service of God, while the association of the people from the different quarters of the land would strengthen the ties that bound them to God and to one another. Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles -- a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them. The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 540, 541.
The above statement again teaches the principle of Harvest Law and Gospel Order. The above statement explains why the apostle Paul says these Sabbath holy days "are a shadow of things to come" (Col. 2:16,17)! And if such is the reality of it: being a "shadow of things to come", in other words, not yet FULFILLED [not fully]: then what are some doing "taking away" these Holy Convocations, which the Bible terms as "statutes forever", casting them upon the trash heap of FULFILLED types. Remember, the previous statement by Sister White in Patriarch and Prophets, page 277, where she also said,
"The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointing back to the deliverance from Egypt, but forward to the greater deliverance which Christ was to accomplish in freeing His people from the bondage of sin."
She states in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 541, that the Feast of Tabernacles was also "commemorative and typical". When Sister White says we should "keep A Feast of Tabernacles", is there a better time to "keep" it other than at the TIME God instructed His people to "keep" it?
Have we as a people obeyed this direct admonition - command? Therefore, "A" Feast of Tabernacles means "THE" Feast of Tabernacles calculated according to the Jewish calendar. As quoted previously in Deuteronomy chapter 18, the Lord - Elohim - commands against keepers of "times", according to man's reckoning or convenience, as are all campmeetings of the SDA Church determined.
Therefore, well would it be for the people of God at the present time to keep "a" / "the" Feast of Passover, not only as joyous commemoration of the children of Israel's deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, but also to point forward to our deliverance from sin. We will not understand the work that the Holy One is going to do for us as a people, and how the end time harvest of souls is going to be conducted, unless we do KEEP these harvest feast days. Remember, as quoted earlier:
"In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service." -- The Great Controversy, p 399.
Now this statement is becoming clearer. All the harvest Feast days are "symbolic services" at specific "times". This is why October 22, 1844 fell on the literal Jewish Day of Atonement! If these Feast Days [the time element] have been taken away, then why does Sister White say they are the blueprint of time for events leading up to the fulfillment of the Second Advent? Is it any wonder that most of the SDA Church believes that we are "stuck" in our sin condition until we are taken UP. In other words, we will be saved "in our sins", instead of being saved "from our sins", contrary to the way the Scripture reads.
The clincher to this argument in favor of keeping these "Holy Convocations," Sabbaths of the Lord, in the history and typology of ancient Israel, is given in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 539, where we read:
"Not until this ceremony had been performed was the harvest to be gathered." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 539.
Today, the harvest Feast Days have been restored to the Advent Movement, because the Lord of the Harvest -- the Creator of Heaven and Earth -- MEANS WHAT HE SAYS, according to the statement of His servant Ellen G. White. The great harvest of souls at the end of time will not take place until ALL the Holy Days have been restored and are again being rehearsed by "the little company standing in the light" (5 Testimonies 209) who are keeping the Feasts in the Advent Movement, so that the 144,000 FIRSTFRUITS of the harvest know the time of their gathering and dedication. TIME is the key
MORE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY INVITATIONS AND INJUNCTIONS TO KEEP THE FEASTS
"These camp meetings are of importance.... Let all who profess to believe the truth respect every privilege that God offers them to obtain clearer views of His truth, of His requirements, and of the necessary preparation for His coming." -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies Volume 2, pages 573-576, The Chapter entitled , "Convocations".
"God gave directions to the Israelites to assemble before Him at set periods, in the place which He should choose, and observe special days wherein no unnecessary work was to be done, but the time was to be devoted to a consideration of the blessings which He had bestowed upon them .... Besides these special religious feast days of gladness and rejoicing, the yearly Passover was to be commemorated by the Jewish nation. The Lord covenanted that if they were faithful in the observance of His requirements, He would bless them in all their increase and in all the work of their hands.
"God requires no less of His people in these last days, in sacrifices and offerings, than He did of the Jewish nation...
"Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided that they may become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to God. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast. He will be present, and He will do for you that which you most need to have done.
There are some who would quibble with the words and principles stated in the above inspired statement, but when specific words are used such as, "at set periods"; "observe special days"; "special religious Feast Days"; "The Lord covenanted that if they were faithful in the observance of His requirements"; "God requires no less of His people in these last days"; "Sacred convocation"; "He will come up to the feast"; then there can be no doubt to an honest soul seeking the full blessings from above to be faithful to all the requirements of the Lord. When the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy say "at set periods", is there a better time to gather together than at the "set time" that the Holy One said to gather? Is an arbitrary time better and more 'convenient' for campmeetings, set by a council of men, than the time set by God? If this principle holds true, then why not just keep 'one day in seven' as "a" Sabbath rest, rather than "the" Sabbath rest on the Seventh Day? These are questions each of the faithful must carefully ponder.
Is it any wonder that when a faithful company of believers in the Advent Movement present this important topic, thereby "proclaiming the Sabbath more fully" (Word to the Little Flock, page 19, by James and Ellen White), that "this enraged the church, and the nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth" concerning the Sabbath Feasts of Yahvah?
"Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came ...In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands... The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people...`If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need time in these last days of peril and conflict! " -- Testimonies Volume 6, pages 39, 40, chapter title "The Camp Meeting".
Friends, it could not be any plainer than this statement, yet, some seem determined to quibble and doubt these required statutory "TIMES of refreshing" because it is just too much of a sacrifice. Truth is always a test to prove what is in our hearts. The Seventh-Day Sabbath was a test to the Advent Movement in 1845.
"As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes .... Other chapters will open before us, and in order to discern their meaning, we shall need keen perception." Ellen White, Review and Herald, October 13, 1904, "The Closing Work".
"These statutes were explicitly given to guard the Ten Commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law."
"God's people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial."
"Christ speaks to such: 'Not every one that sayest unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.' What is the will of the Father? That we keep His commandments. Christ, to enforce the will of His Father, became the author of the statutes and precepts given through Moses to the people of God. Christians who extol Christ, but array themselves against the law governing the Jewish church [the Feast Days set by lunar time], array Christ against Christ." Ellen White, Review and Herald, May 6, 1875 [supplied] em.
"Would it not be well for us to observe holidays (Holy-Days) unto God, when we could revive in our minds the memory ["commemorative" and "typical"] of His dealing with us? The world has many holidays, and men become engrossed with games, with horse races, with gambling, smoking and drunkenness. They show plainly under what banner they are standing. They make it evident that they do not stand under the banner of the Prince of life, but that the prince of darkness rules and controls them. Shall not the people of God more frequently have holy convocations in which to thank God for His rich blessings?" Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students page 343 [brackets added relating to previous quotations in Patriarchs and Prophets] (supplied) em.
"Shall we not keep holy festivals unto God? Shall we not show that we have some enthusiasm in His service?... Let the school and the church henceforth have festivals of rejoicing unto the Lord." Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, page 371.
Friends, bear in mind, that dates for campmeetings and festivals appointed by men, or church leadership, cannot be "holy" festivals or "holi"days. Only the TIME the Creator APPOINTS can be Holy time, Holy days, and Holy festivals. Yet, some will still quibble on this point that they know a better time to gather together to worship the Lord and receive greater light from heaven than is otherwise clearly stated in Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy. All Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy statements must be taken in full context, harmonizing with each other.
When we consider the Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy evidences presented here-in, the historical evidence in the early New Testament church, locks-in our conclusions to fully recognize the Covenant Feast Days of Israel, to "proclaim the Sabbath more fully". The understanding and keeping of these Holy Days gives modern Israel, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the needed instruction, rehearsal and enlightenment that we must have to understand just how the great harvest of souls will be conducted in these end days of earth's history. These harvest Feast days are paramount to give all sincere honest seekers for truth, and more light, the knowledge to rehearse and put in practice harvest law and gospel order to know the Yahvah's movings, to understand His secret of time.
Below, historical evidence from a 1996 "Center For Action" Newsletter, Kamiah, Idaho/Sandy Valley, Nevada, for Messianic believers.
"The Encyclopedia Britannica states: 'There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament. Generally speaking the Eastern churches, containing most of those who remained as part of the true Christian Church, followed the Jewish rule of observing Passover on 14 Nisan, the first month of the Sacred Hebrew Calendar. A calendar change regulating the insertion of the intercalary month occurred in A.D. 142, after which "new ideas" began to be introduced into the professing Christian world. The true Christians who fled Jerusalem continued to use the Jewish cycle until the circumcised bishops were replaced by unconverted Gentiles. Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 A.D. to confer with Anicetus, bishop of Rome, on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had received from the apostle of observing the 14th day. Anicetus, however, declined.'
"Forty years later (A.D. 197) the issue came up again between Victor, the bishop of Rome and Polycrates, who headed the territory of the churches established by the Apostle Paul. Victor demanded that all adopt the usage prevailing at Rome. This Polycrates firmly refused to do so as was almost excommunicated. When pagan Emperor Constantine convoked the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., he ordered the bishops to settle the matter. The decision went with Rome. "Easter" would be kept on the same Sunday throughout the world and "none hereafter should follow the blindness of the Jews." If the 14th Nisan fell on Sunday, Easter Day was transferred to the following Sunday. "For how," says Constantine, "could we who are Christians possibly keep the same day as those wicked Jews?" So strong was the anti-Jewish feeling, that pork, and abomination to the Jews, was deliberately eaten on Easter to show utter contempt for the original tradition. Thus the Nicean Council, regarded by the world as one of the great milestones of Christianity, condemned observance of the New Testament Passover, one of God's most sacred memorials with worship of Ishtar (queen of heaven) on a day recognizing Nimrod (her son).
The Scriptures are clear on this issue. The Creator has His appointed times for the people to rest, remember, and memorialize His works, and to rehearse His Harvest Law and Gospel order, and then the Devil has his days for the ill informed. The Word commands us ; "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2). Acts 2:1, 18:21, 20:6, 27:9 clearly state God's will for His people to keep the Passover as a Holy day. "Again, look to 1 Corinthians 5:7-8;11:20-34 and 16:8 for the instructions of Paul to the Gentiles. Easter is a pagan holiday. What about the 40 days of Lent? Again, no Biblical precedence, but instead Lent is borrowed directly from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess, Nimrod's mother. In those days a woman, following birth, was isolated for 40 days, and was then brought forth for purification with the new born child. Nimrod was born on 6 January (the day of the winter solstice as time was recorded then). His mother came forth on February 14th (Valentine's Day) for purification. The word February comes from the Roman word "februa": thongs from the skins of sacrificial animals used in the rites of purification on the day honoring the sun god Nimrod." "Valentine" is derived from the word "valens" meaning to be strong and mighty -- like Nimrod the mighty hunter. Nimrod founded Babel (Genesis). In the Chaldean tongue spoken in Babylonia, the word for heart, "bal," because of the similarity of sound, a symbol of Nimrod -- the mighty Baal, or Lord of the Babylonians. How many of you exchanged valentine hearts this past February ? Christ never observed Lent -- it comes to us from pagan practices. Why aren't these facts taught in Seminary schools that prepare preachers to care for God's children?
"Yahshua the Messiah demonstrated, as recorded in Luke 22:14-20, how we should remember Him on the very eve of His death. It was the night of the final and last Passover supper that our Savior introduced the New Testament emblems -- unleavened bread and wine [grape juice] -- in place of the lamb that was slain annually. Read Exodus 13:10 AND FIND OUT WHY THE TIME OF CELEBRATION IS IMPORTANT. If Israel would have changed the date, they wouldn't have been saved when the angel of death passed by that night in Egypt.
"Before His death on the cross, the Son of God asked : "That ye should do as I have done" (John 13:12-15). Yahshua says to us in Matthew 28:19-20 : "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." If we love Him, we will keep His commandments ! Yahshua instituted this memorial just as the [15th] day had started -- at sunset. Later He retired to Gethsemane to bear our burden of sin....".
Acts 12:4 is the only place where we read the word "Easter" in the New Testament, or the Bible for that matter. The original Greek word is "pascha" meaning "Passover" which is recorded as such in every other case -- "The mystery of iniquity doth already work" warns Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians.
"The Protestant historian Schaff in his History of the Church, Vol. 1 page 373, follows Easter into Anglo-Saxon Germany as Ostara (Goddess of Spring): "is at all events connected with the East and sunrise. Easter came from pagan sun worship not from Jesus Christ [Yahshua Ha Mashiach] or the apostles." Remember Ezekiel 8:15-18 ? God is vexed with those of His children who worship false gods (Tammuz was Nimrod's son - the sun god). Now, read Deuteronomy 12:30-31. It doesn't matter what we think, or intend. Clearly, God judges the Easter celebrations an abomination. Rabbits and eggs all symbolize fertility in honor of the pagan goddess, mother of Nimrod, the sun god.
"One last reference: Socrates Scholasticus wrote in chapter 22 of his 4th century "Ecclesiastical History:" not long after Constantine: "Neither the apostles, therefore, nor the Gospels, have anywhere imposed Easter. Wherefore, inasmuch as men love festivals, because they afford them cessation from labor: each individual in every place, according to his own pleasure, has by a prevalent custom celebrated Easter. The Savior and His apostles have enjoined us by no law to keep this feast." With the rejection of God's sacred calendar (A.D. 142) [the Jewish calendar--based on the lunar time] the Passover was replaced by Easter. Of course the Sabbath was not Sunday (1st day of the week), but from sundown Friday till the same time Saturday (last day of the week). Irenaeus (2nd Century) records that the bishops of Rome, specifically Xystus, changed the Sabbath to Sunday and disallowed proper recognition of Holy Days -- just after the Apostle John was taken.
"Polycrates wrote to Victor, Bishop of Rome as recorded in Vol. 8 of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, pp. 772-773: "As for us, we scrupulously observe the exact day. For in Asia great luminaries have gone to their rest, who shall rise again in the coming of the day of the Lord. I speak of Philip, one of the twelve apostles; John moreover, who reclined on the Lord's bosom; these all kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in accordance with the Gospel, keeping to the rule of faith." How about you?"
"Instead of Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's day, Easter, and Halloween we should be recognizing the Passover on April 15, 1995; April 3, 1996; April 22, 1997; April 12, 1998 and May 1, 1999 with the days of Unleavened Bread for seven days following each of these dates -- that is if we love God and seek His Grace." [Supplied], emphasis supplied, some corrections and variations inserted. Author.
And let us not forget the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Wavesheaf offering at Passover, and the New Moons, and the Feast of Trumpets, ten days before the great Day of Atonement, the starting point of the Advent Movement in 1844; five days later, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles, admonished for us to keep by Ellen White no less (P.P. 541). It is up to each individual church member to decide if they want the truth, grace and knowledge that the keeping, practicing, or rehearsing, of the Holy Feast Days bring, and not lean on the church leadership, who historically never accept new light and reformation, to do our thinking for us. If we truly want to honor the Lord and keep all His commandment and statutes, just as the apostles faithfully kept and taught the New Testament Church long after Messiah Yahshua had ascended.
It is written, " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17. Most uninformed Christians think the word "fulfilled" means "destroyed" or "done away with". No dictionary definition will concur with this misapplication of words.
"For verily 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. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:18-19. No honest searcher of truth would question or misunderstand these very plain words. The Law and the Statues stand today, to the end of time! "To the Law and to the Testimony..." Isaiah 8:20.
A SECOND TESTIMONY
Most better informed Seventh-day Adventist church members are aware of the 1888 message given to the church leadership [but rejected] at the Minneapolis General Conference session meeting. Sister White clearly stated that Elders Waggoner and Jones brought "a most precious message" (Testimonies to Ministers 91-92) to the church. This message from Heaven to His commandment keeping people was the beginning of a multifaceted message of The Righteousness of Christ in the initial stage of its complete unveiling.
The 1888 message was never given free course and in Ellen White's words, "the angel was sent back". One of the facets of this message that began to be given by Elder Waggoner had much to say concerning the Ceremonial Law, one of the subheading laws that came under the broad jurisdiction of the "Statutes" given to Moses, which included the Feast Days in their appointed SET TIMES. One little known booklet by Elder Waggoner that was first published in 1888, entitled "The Gospel in the Book of Galatians", deals extensively and exclusively with the Ceremonial Law, clearly indicating the Feast Days, of which Elder Waggoner was a strong proponent.
In his booklet, reproduced in the History Archives section on the homepage, Waggoner formulates very compelling arguments to the upholding of the Ceremonial Law of the Bible in its time element. The book is basically a letter dated February 10, 1887, from Oakland, California, to Elder George I. Butler of Battle Creek, Michigan. It is a point by point rebuttal [using New Testament verses] to Elder Butler [Gen. Con. President], who strongly opposed the Ceremonial Law of the Feast Days. On page 42 of one particular reprint of the book, Elder Waggoner deals with a key portion of the Colossians 2 controversy. Ultimately, the book "The Gospel in Galatians" shows the direction and progressive course in which the Advent message and movement was heading, namely, to the recognition, acceptance and keeping of the "two-fold system of Law" as clearly stated by Sister White.
A FINAL WORD FROM WILLIAM MILLER
Many church members today are not aware of the their providential heritage with respect to the Biblical calendar, the Hebrew Lunar Calendar, in the development and timing of the Advent Movement's historical genesis in 1844. This rich Biblical heritage based on the Jewish calendar mode of reckoning played a crucial role in the determination of the October 22, 1844 date. In a book recently published by the Christian Research Institute entitled "Prophets of the Apocalypse" page 106, it is quoted from one of our historical references, that, on January 1, 1843 William Miller stated:
"I am convinced that somewhere between March 21st, 1843 and March 21, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of computation of time, Christ will come."
William Miller was correct. Divine Agencies ordained that event in 1844.
The events of the Advent Movement began, developed and will climax according to "the time pointed out in the symbolic service" just as Sister White has counseled [GC399] that the church may be forewarned and ready for the awesome divine proceedings facing each of us when our names come up for review in the Judgment for the Living [GC490]. We should meditate on these themes so that we may be ready and worthy to be among the righteous in the Firstfruit harvest when it begins. For Judgment first begins at the house of God! 1 Peter 4:17.
CLOSING THOUGHTS FROM INSPIRATION
"The word of the Lord, spoken through His servants, is received by many with questionings and fears. And many will defer their obedience to the warning and reproofs given, waiting till every shadow of uncertainty is removed from their minds. The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence that God is pleased to give. He requires of His people faith that rests upon the weight of evidence, not upon perfect knowledge. Those followers of Christ who accept the light that God sends them must obey the voice of God speaking to them, when there are many other voices crying out against it. "—Testimonies, Volume 3, page 258, Ellen G. White.
"The True Witness condemns the lukewarm condition of the people of God, which gives Satan great power over them in this waiting, watching time. .... Satan has ability to suggest doubts and to devise objections to the pointed testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue, a mark of intelligence in them, to be unbelieving and to question and quibble. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence." -- Ibid. p 255.
"If you lose confidence in the Testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth." -- Testimonies Volume 5, p 674.
"In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored."-- Prophets and Kings, p 678.
"The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give." Christ's Object Lessons p 133.
SUPPLEMENTAL REFERENCES:THE FOURTH ANGEL'S MESSAGE
"Here Inspiration explains how the Judgment for the Living begins, how the cleaning of the sancturary on earth takes place." ... He then reassures us that He changes not; that He is the same unerring and just God; that His ancient statutes and ordinances are everlasting; that He has not changed them; that He will restore all things. He, as you will see, finally comes to the real trouble, then pleads HIs people accepts His remedy." Jezreel Letter 9:3 (p. 667 DSDA Salem SRS book).
"Therefore, the Sabbath and Sanctuary constitute "The Truth." (See Hebrews 9:10; 4:4-10.) Thus these two doctrines are coupled together, cannot be separated, and bear the whole truth.
"How do we keep the Sanctuary truth? It is kept, not in type, but in antitype. By faith we believe that Christ, our High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary is officiating in our behalf, as it was taught in the type by the earthly sanctuary, built by Moses. As Israel complied with the requirements of its service in the type, so we must in the antitype. Thus we proclaim the truth [Sabbath and Sanctuary] more fully." 2SR139 (SRS767).
Word To The Little Flock page 19 tells us that "at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the church, and the nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath [The Sabbath Feast Days] truth." [supplied] Notice the "church" and "the nominal Adventists" were "enraged", not slain in the Ezekiel nine prophecy. Thus, the time frame for the restoration of the Covenant Holy Days is prior to the fulfillment of the Ezekiel nine harvest.
"Therefore, these two temples are made up of these two laws -- moral and ceremonial. "..... Therefore, as the first temple typified the first section of the early Christian church with faith in a true sanctuary service, just so the second temple has prefigured the last section of the same church with faith in a sanctuary service that would be identical with the first.
".... the typical temples represent both sections of the church with two divine laws; namely, moral and ceremonial. Thus the "woman" represents a church that keep the "commandments of God -- moral law, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" -- ceremonial law or the plan of salvation revealed in the light of "The Spirit of Prophecy:" (Rev. 12:17) 2SR268 (p798 SRS) See AA14; "Christ is the foundation of the Jewish economy [the Feast Days]. The whole system of types and symbols [again, the Feast Days] was a compacted prophecy which are bound up the promises of redemption." [supplied]. Thus, the plan of salvation is revealed in the ceremonial law, or the Covenant Feast Days.
"Broadly speaking, the law of Moses consists of three parts. The first is the ceremonial law, the law of the temple -- the sacrificial law. This law, of course we today must NOT observe, except in antitype."
"Your obeying "all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgements of the moral law of Moses, you see, is your evidence that you have been born again, that you have been endowed with power from above, that you are enabled to choose the good and refuse the evil, that you are the children of God. Keeping the commandments and the statutes in the Lord, then, is the light and shield of your life. It is the outward sign that by the life of Christ you have overcome the Enemy of your soul and body. This SYSTEM of worship, therefore, is truely the Righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ in the people of God. Let us now with ears wide open hear the crier's bell.
"Isa. 52:1,7 -- Awake, Awake; put on they strength O Zion ...
"Nah. 1:15 -- Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that PUBLISHETH peace! O Judah keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the WICKED shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly CUT OFF. V.T. Houteff 2TG37:24 (emphisis added).
From April 19, 1993 to the present day, these words of Nahum have been fulfilled in your sight. Today, "The Branch of YHVH shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing, For those of Israel who have escaped." Isaiah 4:2-4. A modern TYPE to teach events to come.