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Church Holidays According to Scripture
Holy Spirit Teaching Series 8
New Testament church Holidays According to Scripture
The church system celebrates many different days as church holidays, what days are we as new testament Christians to celebrate as church holidays according to scripture? And How are we to celebrate each of these holidays as prescribed by Jesus? Come with me as we examine the
for the truth about church holidays.
Since some churches that profess to be Christian churches follow holidays that were given to Israel we will first look at some of them to see if they apply to us.
There are many feasts (holidays) in the jewish calendar but we will look only at the Sabbath and three annual feasts here.
Ex 23:14 "Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. Ex 23:14-16+
Three Annual Feasts
(Ex 34:18-26; Deut 16:1-17)
14 "Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.17 "Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.
I suggest before you continue with this study you read my study “God’s Covenants”.
First is the Sabbath.
There are two different sabbaths, one weekly and the other high Holy days, here we discuss the weekly sabbath. We find that the weekly sabbath was given to the Hebrews by God as part of the law. The only place we find the sabbath meeting in the new testament is before Jesus was crucified or where they are preaching to the jews in the synagogue. We do not see the sabbath appear under the new covenant after Acts 16. We never see the sabbath mentioned in reference to the Christians in the new testament. They met every day of the week and there was no differential between days. The sabbath was part of the law of Moses and since it was completed and finished at the cross it is not a valid Christian church holiday. The Christian church is not to recognize it.
Second is the Passover- Feast of Unleavened Bread
Before continuing you should read Exodus 12.
Here are a few of the scriptures pertaining to the Passover. You will notice it is given to the “children of Israel” and that it is very complete and concise as to what, when ,where, why, how and by whom it is to be celebrated. And they are to keep it throughout their generations. As long as they are under the law. There are specifics about keeping and not keeping the Passover. It is only for the Hebrews, no non Hebrew can eat it, (There are exceptions given for those owed by or born in the home) You can not eat it if not circumcised, it must be eaten in homes, none can be saved- it must all be eaten, the bones cannot be broken, ALL must eat it- its not optional, they must all eat it at the same time, anyone that does not eat it is to be cut off, anyone found with leaven is to be cut off, all of the instructions are to be followed every time..
Ex 12:43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44 But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49 One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."
Num 9:9 Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 "Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it."
Num 9:13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.
Ex 12:15 For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
Ex 12:14 'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat — that only may be prepared by you. 17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 In the first month, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"
Do you see the principle here, those holidays that God wants us to keep will be given to us in complete detail, when, where, why, how, and by whom it is to be kept, even for how long.
Are we as Christians qualified to eat it? Have we been commanded by our Lord Jesus to eat it?
No of course not it was given to the Israelites in the law. And it passed away with law .
1 Cor 5:7For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
We have our own Passover Lamb and we will see what He has to say about holidays later.
We are NOT to celebrate this Hebrew holiday it was given to them and belongs to them. Only they who are still under the law are to keep it and they must keep it EXACTLY as prescribed by God through Moses. It is NOT a Christian holiday we are not to keep it.
Firstfruits ( Feast of Harvest) (Feast of Weeks) (Pentecost)
You can read about this in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy as it is also part of the law.
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
This scripture explains this Feast well enough to not need a comment on it. It was given to
the Israelites as part of the law of Moses. It belongs to the Jews, Christians are not to keep it.
Feast of Ingathering (Feast of Tabernacles)
(Ex 34:22; Num 28:26-31; Deut 16:9,10)
15 'And you shall count for your selves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.'" NKJV
For all of the above Feasts they were required to go to where the Lord was. Remember God was in a box in a tiny room and no one could enter his presence without dying . (Except the high priest on the day of atonement and he had a rope tied to his leg in case he did). They kept these feasts in front of the Lord (in front of his room-called the most Holy place.) They were separated from God by a veil, a curtain in the front of His room. They had NO direct contact with God, they had to go through the priests to get to God. Their go-betweens were mortal men.
Feasts, Celebrations and Holidays commanded by Christ for the Church of Jesus Christ.
As we look into the new testament (NEW Covenant)(New Church)(Beginning of the Kingdom of God) we find only one thing that was commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ , The repeat of the last supper.
15 Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
1 Cor 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
Since the pattern and example that were given to us by God (the old testament is a physical example of the spiritual for us) is that He will give complete details for any holiday HE wants us to celebrate as a church holiday we should follow His pattern and only celebrate those things He tells us to as celebrations unto Him.
Celebrations (Holidays of the Churches of Men) and their origins.
One thing we need to keep in mind while we are looking at this is any scriptures that may pertain to this particular subject. There is scripture that applies to celebrating days etc that He has not commanded unto the Lord. We need to look at it first.
8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. NKJV
We also need to always keep in mind that scripture clearly tells us to use discernment in all things and to not mix the holy with the profane.
So now lets look at easter including all the other days celebrated with it such as good friday, maundy thursday etc.
Remember what happened when Jesus gave up His Spirit and died? Remember the veil that kept the people away from God? It was supernaturally (God did it) rent (torn) from top to bottom. God was let out of the box. The presence of God was now available to ALL men no matter where they were. No longer must man come to where God is to worship him, God has come to be with man. All who will believe now have access to God wherever they are and all the time -any time. The messiah has paid the price of salvation once and for all and for ALL. His shed blood. No more blood sacrifices are needed. The ultimate sacrifice for which the world was waiting has been made.
1 Tim 2:5-6
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, NKJV
We no longer need the priesthood and that is why it was finished with the law. We were free from the law once and for all. Its a new day, the New Testament has come.
Jesus made it clear that He wanted us to celebrate only the acts He performed for our Salvation, the giving of his body and blood for all. Blood shed is required for salvation and only His shed blood gives salvation to all who will believe. That and that alone.
The celebration of Easter and all the different aspects of it was never considered by the Apostles and early church, it was added later , probably in the 1st or 2nd century.
Easter is derived from the word eastre which means spring. There are many gods named after this word, and most have to do with fertility and sun worship.
The worship of the sun and their sun gods has been an integral part of most heathen religions since the early days of man.
Sometime between the second and fourth centuries the church decided to bring this heathen holiday into the church to help with keeping these people from leaving the church to be a part of the festivities.
I am not going to do a long disertation on this as there are so many excellent articles available on the internet. Just look up origins of easter.
If you study the origins of the celebration of easter you will find they eminated from the apostate catholic church and its false god popes.
Scripture does not tell us to celebrate this heathen holiday. It is not what Jesus commanded us to do in remembrance of Him. Christians should reject this mixture of the profane with the Holy as scripture teaches.
Christmas is very similar to easter. It also is derived from the heathen worship of the sun. It also was brought in to the church by the catholic church to keep the people from leaving to celebrate it.
Nowhere in scripture are we told to celebrate the birth of Jesus Salvation is predicated on His blood being shed. In fact the scriptures are so vague about His day of birth that we simply cannot identify His birthday. Further the information that scripture does supply about His birth show a totally different season for his birth.
the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night NKJV
The weather In Israel in December is winter and cold. The shepherds usually come down from the fields sometime between October and November. There is snow and bad weather in the fields on the mountains where the flocks are taken to graze. Jesus could not have been born in December as it would not line up with scripture.
How was December 25 selected for christmas?
1. Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25..
2. An ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian describes the festival in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (which are still produced in some countries bakeries during the Christmas season).
3. In about the 4th Century , The catholic church imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to bring the pagans in with it. Christian leaders followed and succeeded in converting large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.
4.Since there was no Scriptural holiday at this time. To make it fit into the church system the catholic church named the last day of the festival, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.
5. Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.
If you study the origins of the celebrations of easter and christmas you will find they began with the apostate catholic church and its false god popes.
Scripture does not tell us to celebrate His birth. Christmas is a mixture of the
profane with the Holy. Christians should not accept this as a church holiday.
Note: I have no issue with those celebrating Xmas as a non-Christian Family holiday, It is NOT to be celebrated as a Christian holidy.
Christian Family Ministries
Charles LaFoe 10/12/2011