Shall We Keep the Feasts?

lords_supperOne of the major questions today has to do with whether or not we are keep the feasts in the dispensation after the cross.  How do we find the truth on a matter like this?  One of William Miller’s rules of bible interpretation reads as follows, and we will follow this rule strictly in this bible study:

Rule #4.  To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in an error.  Isa. 28:7-29; 35:8; Prov. 19:27; Luke 24:27, 44, 45; Rom. 16:26; James 5:19; 2 Pet. 1:19, 20

Consistent Reasoning?

The terms “New Moons” and “Sabbaths” are used together in fourteen different verses in the bible.  Thirteen of these are in the Old Testament.   Only one instance where these terms are used together is found in the New Testament.   The one found in the New Testament is often used against keeping the Sabbath’s, New Moons, and Feast days.  It reads:

Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

The Colossians, an early Christian church which existed in the time shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ were admonished to let no man judge them with respect to something to do with meat(food) and drink.  As well as in respect to the feasts, New Moons and Sabbath days.

What Sabbaths?

If you keep the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, and ever ask a Sunday keeper why he doesn’t keep the Sabbath, the first verse they will likely quote to you is usually Colossians 2:16.  They believe that they no longer must keep the weekly Sabbaths and that they are to let no man judge them because they don’t keep them.   When talking to those who keep the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, the answer is that the verse in Colossians 2:16 refers to annual Sabbaths, such as the ones kept during the annual feasts.

During the feast of unleavened bread there were two Sabbaths, one on the first day, and one on the seventh day.  (Lev 23:7, 8) There was also the Day of Atonement which is called a Sabbath, (Lev 23:32) and there are two other Sabbaths which come on the first and eighth day of the feast of tabernacles. (Lev 23:39)  In total we have five annual Sabbaths.  Many who keep the Seventh-day Sabbath will say that Colossians 2:16 is referring to those five annual Sabbaths, and they say that these Sabbaths are abolished, nailed to the cross, and to keep them would be a curse to God’s people.

Isn’t it odd however to mention the feasts in this verse, then the new moons, then unnecessarily repeat “Oh and by the way, also the first and seventh and eighth days of those feasts as well which are Sabbaths”.  This would be repeating something that is already stated.

Should we use the same rules when the terms “new moons” and “Sabbaths” are used together?   Let’s take a look at some of these verses.   And let’s ask the question:

What Sabbaths are referred to when the term “Sabbath” is used in Context with the “New Moon”?

In numbers 28 we read of the appointed times of sacrifice. Before looking at the verses that consider the New Moons and Sabbaths together, a few things need to be understood.   There are four different segmentations of time which are appointed for different sacrifices which are all mentioned in Numbers 28 and 29.

1.  Daily –Evening and Morning Sacrifice
2.  Weekly –Sabbath
3.  Monthly – New Moons
4.  Annually – Feasts

Sacrifices were to be offered at all of these appointed times.  And these appointed times were also appointed as “assemblies”.  In Numbers 28:3, 4

God’s Appointed Times

1.  The Daily – Evening and Morning

Numbers 28:3, 4  And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;

In these verses continuing through to verse eight we read of the sacrifices done at the time of the morning and evening convocations or assemblies.

2.  The Weekly – Sabbath

Numbers 28:9 And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof

In verse 10 we are told that we are to also offer the daily sacrifices on the Sabbaths.

3. The Monthly – New Moons

Numbers 28:11  And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;

The beginning of your month, means the beginning of the moon, or new moon.  A moon and a month were the same in the times of ancient Israel.   The sacrifices are to be done every month which are mentioned from verses 11-16 of Numbers 28.  On top of these, the daily sacrifices were to be offered. (verse 15)

4.  The Annual – Feasts

Starting with Passover and Unleavened Bread in verse 16-25 of chapter 28, we find all the sacrifices associated with it.  In verses 26-31 the sacrifices for Pentecost are mentioned.   In Chapter 29 verses 1-6 the Feast of Trumpets, then verses 7-11 the Day of Atonement, and finally from verses 12-39 we see the sacrifices and offerings made at the feast of Tabernacles.  These are the annual assemblies.

What we find with all of these is the fact that they all are appointed times for making specific sacrifices and offerings. 13566-family_campfire630x315.630w.tn

We see this in several verses:
1 Chronicles 23:30-31  And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;    And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:

So in this verse is mentioned:
1.  Daily – Evening and Morning
2.  Weekly – Sabbaths
3.  Monthly – New Moons
4.  Annual  – Set Feasts

So when the terms “Sabbaths”, “New Moons” and “Holy Days” are used in the same verse we will find this constant pattern.  That it is always referring to the WEEKLY Sabbath, and not the ANNUAL Sabbaths.  Let us look at a few more.

All of these verses when using the term “Sabbaths” with the term “New Moon” never refer to the ANNUAL but always the WEEKLY Sabbath.

2 Chronicles  2:4  Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.

2 Chronicles 8:13  Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.

2 Chronicles 31:3  He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.

Evening and Morning Sacrifice = Continual

You’ll notice that every time these terms are used together, it is always referring to the weekly Sabbath.  The term “Continual” refers to the Evening and Morning.  (Numbers 28:3, 6, 10, 15, 23 etc.)

Neh_10:33  For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.

Notice how when using these terms together, it refers to all 4 of God’s appointed cycles, the daily, weekly, monthly, and annualy.  However in some verses it only refers to the weekly, monthly and annual assemblies.  Such as:

Ezekiel  45:17  And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.

Isaiah and the New Moons And Sabbaths in New Heaven and Earth

Isa_1:13  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

In the time of Isaiah, offerings were being brought to God with the wrong Spirit.  The first chapter of Isaiah opens with the terrible assemblies taking place as we just read during these appointed times of assembly.   Some have used this passage against the New Moons and Sabbaths.  However, just as the book opens with a rebuke regarding the appointed times, the last chapter of the book of Isaiah closes with a passage on Sabbaths and New Moons.

Isaiah 66:22-23  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

When will this take place?  When we get to heaven.    This is definitely referring to the weekly Sabbath here.  Isaiah mentions it in Isaiah 58 saying that the Christian world would receive a blessing if they would take their foot off of His Holy day. (Isa  58:11-14)

This is what the people were doing in the time of Isaiah as well as today.  Trampling on His Sabbath.

For Seventh-day Adventists, this should be something already known.  That we will come together at the beginning of the months or New Moons when we get to heaven.  Ellen White discusses this very point on the New Moon.

“God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever.”     (Ellen White Amazing Grace 76)

They will assemble each Sabbath.  We know she is referring to the weekly assembly.  And the New Moon is clearly the monthly assembly.

In Numbers 10 we read of the assemblies on the New Moon.  What is the trumpet for?  Calling of assemblies.

Numbers 10:2-3  Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.  And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

On what days were these Assemblies?

Numbers 10:10  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

The trumpet was to call an assembly on the New Moon.   So let’s be clear with what we’ve learned so far.

  1. When the term “Sabbath” is used with the term “New Moon” it always refers to the WEEKLY Sabbath and not the ANNUAL
  2. God has four appointed cycles for His people. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Annually.  These terms are often used together.
  3. We are told that we will be keeping the New Moons in heaven.new moon chart question

The argument is often that the New Moons and Feasts, and sometimes the weekly Sabbaths are nailed to the cross.  But how is this true if we will be assembling at these appointed times in heaven?  The only verse used against these assemblies is Colossians 2:16.  But in light of the way that the terms “Sabbaths” and “New Moons” are used throughout scripture, we should consider that this verse is definitely referring to the weekly Sabbath and that it may be possible that Paul is not saying that the Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days are done away or nailed to the cross.

Is it possible that the Hebrew assemblies still remain?

Let’s consider the following as well.  Seventh-day Adventists often argue for the “evening and morning sacrifice”.   Even Ellen White herself said:

The Daily – Sacrifices and the Evening and Morning Worship

“Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry.”  (Ellen White Patriarchs and Prophets page 144)

Now, no one that I know professing Adventism will be offering up two lambs, one in the morning and one in the evening.  However, they will come together as a family uniting in prayer.  The continual or daily is mentioned by Paul when he says:

Hebrews 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

We know that the “morning and evening sacrifice” here refers to coming together at the appointed time.

Rule:
Daily Assembly = Keep
Sacrifices = Don’t Keep

The Weekly – Sacrifices and the Sabbath Worship

Paul the apostle in his journeys kept the Sabbath.  This is recorded in several places throughout the book of Acts.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

His manner was to keep the Sabbath.  This was God’s appointed time for blessing.  In the book of Numbers we were told that we were to offer two lambs besides the daily sacrifices.

Should we lay upon the altar our Sabbath sacrifice in the same manner that we do the evening and morning sacrifice?  Absolutely, no lambs necessary.

Rule:
Weekly Assembly = Keep
Sacrifices = Don’t Keep

The Monthly – Sacrifices and Monthly Assemblies

In Numbers 28 if we follow the same rule, shouldn’t the principle be that the sacrifices pointed to the cross and His sacrifice, however “let us not forsake the assembly” (Heb 10:25)  I’ll come back to the importance of these assemblies as we continue.

In the New Testament the Greek term Sabbathon is used 68 times.  Out of those 68 times the term is never used to refer to the annual Sabbaths.  If we go to the Old Testament, it is never used to refer to the ones in the feasts either, unless it is referring to the Day of Atonement.

We need to follow the same rules as we do with the “daily” and “weekly”.  We keep the assembly, since it will be kept in heaven(Isa 66:22, 23), yet the sacrifices are done away.

Rule:
Monthly Assembly = Keep
Sacrifices = Don’t Keep

The Annual – Sacrifices and Annual Assemblies – Feasts

Since Paul is the one who wrote Colossians 2:16, and he is the one used against the feasts, let us consider his words on this issue of the feasts and see whether he is for or against the feasts, as perhaps a quick reading of Colossians 2:16 is not conclusive.  In the mouth of two or three witnesses should we confirm a doctrine, rather than building it on one verse?

1 Corinthians 5:7-8  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the feast, passover-jpg

Annual Assembly = Keep
Sacrifices = Don’t Keep

Paul kept many feasts throughout his journeys in the book of Acts chapter 20:6,7 he is noted for keeping this same eight day feast with the Philippians.

At Philippi Paul tarried to keep the Passover. Only Luke remained with him, the other members of the company passing on to Troas to await him there. The Philippians were the most loving and truehearted of the apostle’s converts, and during the eight days of the feast he enjoyed peaceful and happy communion with them.”  {Ellen White AA 390.4}

These were not Jews; this was not in Jerusalem that he was keeping a feast.  Just as he told the Corinthians to “keep the feast”, he was also teaching the Philippians to “keep the feast”.  Furthermore he wrote to the Corinthians telling them that he was keeping the feast of Pentecost with the Ephesians.  (1 Cor 16:7)

So now we have Paul keeping feasts with Philippians, Ephesians, and also encouraging the Corinthians to “keep the feast”.  All of these verses refer to Paul after the cross.  So what about the Colossians?  What do you think he was trying to say to the Colossians when he said “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

Let’s go to the context of the verse now and break it down, to see how it is misused.

Breaking Down Colossians 2:16

The context of Colossians 2:16 is very important, but oftentimes quickly browsed through and misread.  As a student of the bible we need to approach the word knowing that “God cannot lie” and as William Miller stated “form your theory without a contradiction.”

Many times people use the verses like they are in a card game of euchre, and then say “My verse trumps your verse, I win.” As if the scriptures had contradictions.  However, we can trust the word of God, that God does not contradict Himself and that these words were inspired by His Spirit allowing “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Cor 14:32)

In the context of Colossians 2:16 we read of something being done away with, or abolished, “nailed to his cross.”  Let’s read it carefully.

Colossians 2:13-14  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

In the passage above we read that something has been “blotted out” and “nailed to his cross”.  Many have used this verse to say that “the law was nailed to the cross”.  Some say the weekly Sabbath and Feasts, and others  say just the New Moons and Feasts.  However, from the biblical evidence we have accumulated so far, perhaps we have misunderstood and misinterpreted the passage.

If you look up the Greek word for “handwriting of ordinances” it is the word “Cheirographon” which can be translated “certificate of debt”.  The verse is actually telling us that Jesus Christ by being nailed to the cross, paying your “debt”.  What did you owe?  “The wages (Earnings) of sin are death” (Rom 6:23).  You earned your wage because of sin.  You were “SOLD under sin” (Rom 7:14) and you could not pay that “certificate of debt”.

So therefore, we can safely say that Christ being “nailed to his cross” has “forgiven you all trespasses;” taking them and “blotting out your certificate of debt” or the price you owed.  He took your sins and the penalty for them and nailed them to his cross.

The word “Redeem” actually means to “Buy” or “Pay For”.  The “Debt” needed to be “Paid”.  It needed to be “Redeemed”.   What was blotted out?

Isaiah 44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

What did our sin bring that he had to redeem us from? The Penalty for breaking the law.

Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Some will run away frantically from verses like this saying “We don’t have to keep the law anymore, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of law keeping.”   The reason they do this is because as Paul himself said “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”   (Romans 8:7)

No,  “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  (Gal 3:10)  What God pronounces a curse against remains a curse forever, and what God pronounces a blessing on remains a blessing forever.  In the very last chapter of the bible we read:

Revelation 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The law says “thou shall not kill”.  Imagine you killed a man, your wage is death.  And you are being held in a prison cell awaiting your sentence.  Then someone comes along and takes the sentence himself so that you could be free.  After your price has been paid, are you then free to go and kill people?  No.  The law hasn’t changed.  The penalty remains the same.   Christ paid the debt you owed for sin.

So what is Colossians 2:14 saying?  It is saying the same thing as Paul was saying to the Corinthians “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”(1 Cor 5:7) Our Passover sacrifice was “Nailed to the cross” (Col 2:14)  “Therefore let us keep the feast,” (1 Cor 5:8) in other words “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” (Col 2:16)

The Meat and Drink – A Shadow or Type

One other thing that should not be overlooked has to do with the “meat” and “drink” which Paul is referring to in Colossians 2:16.  Let’s read the passage again with the context of verse 17.

Colossians 2:16-17  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  (17)  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. IMG_1776

This verse needs some careful reading.  Especially because there is something special here that if we are careful, we will find the gold.  We are told that the Colossians are being judged.   Just like the Corinthians, Phillipians, and Ephesians, the Colossians are keeping the feast.  A.T Jones documented this in his book Great Empires of Prophecy:

“From Rome there came now another addition to the sun-worshiping apostasy. The first Christians being mostly Jews, continued to celebrate the passover in remembrance of the death of Christ, the true passover; and this was continued among those who from among the Gentiles had turned to Christ. Accordingly the celebration was always on the true passover day — the fourteenth of the first month. Rome, however, and from her all the West, adopted the day of the sun as the day of this celebration.” (Great Empires of Prophecy  Pages 314, 315)

In other words the early gentile Christians kept the feasts, the Phillipians, the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Colossians, etc.  And it wasn’t on whatever day they wanted.  That change came from the Roman Church.

Dan 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

But he only can think to change the appointed times.   There was no documentation of a change from the early Christian Fathers.   Including Paul.

But just like the Corinthians, the Colossians recognized that “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us”  (1 Cor 5:7)  And something was instituted in place of these ceremonies which pointed back to the cross.  As A. T. Jones said they “continued to celebrate the passover in remembrance of the death of Christ”.

So what were they doing in “remembrance of the death of Christ”?

1 Corinthians 11:24-25  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

This is a symbol of the Lord’s body.

1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Col 2:17 …But the body is of Christ

Meat and Drink = LIFE

John 6:54-55  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  (55)  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Here we have our “meat” and “drink” which the early Christians continued to do “in remembrance of the death of Christ”.  This was a shadow that pointed to the Lord’s body.  This was done on the true Passover day, as well as other appointed times.

Is the Lord’s Supper a Shadow or Type

The verse in Colossians 2:16 referring to the “meat” and “drink” refer to what the Colossians are being judged for.  The Jews at this time would be coming to the camps, the Sabbaths, New Moons, the Feast days, and they would be asking “Where is your sacrifice? If you don’t have a sacrifice you cannot be saved (Judgment, Condemnation).”  The answer of the Colossians would be “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, let us keep the feast” (1 Cor 5:7, 8)  And let no man judge us with respect to how we keep it.  (Col 2:16)

But the question arises “Wasn’t the system of types and shadows done away with?”  Let’s look at this carefully.  Some say you cannot find the word “Type” in the bible.  But the greek word “typos” is found in Hebrews 8:5 when referring to the sanctuary service and its shadows.

Heb 8:5  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern(typos, type) shewed to thee in the mount.

It actually means to “typify” or “symbolize” a “reality” or the real thing.  So all of the patterns shown were symbols, types, and shadows, of the heavenly sanctuary, our true high priest, and the true sacrifice.

All sacrifices were types.  And there was an entire “system of types.”  And this system of types was done away with.  However, this does not imply that all types were done away with.    Ellen white said “Moses was a type of Christ.”  [Ellen White Conflict and Courage 111]

Moses was not part of this system of types that was done away with at the cross.  A type is a symbol or shadow of the reality.  And that is what the Lord’s Supper is.  It is only a symbol of the sacrifice of Christ and receiving the life of Christ into the soul.  It is a type.  Just as the foot washing service also is a type.   Notice Ellen White describes the foot washing service as a “type”.

“A ray of light penetrated the mind of the disciple. He saw that the service that he refused was the type of a higher cleansing—the spiritual cleansing of mind and heart. He could not endure the thought of separation from Christ; that would have been death. “Not my feet only,” he said, “but also my hands and my head.” [Ellen White Christ Triumphant Page 263]

The reality of the foot washing is the “higher cleansing”.  The reality of the Lord’s Supper is Christ being nailed to the cross, and us receiving his Holy Spirit.  The Sacrifices were only a type or shadow pointing to the cross.  The Lord’s Supper (Meat and Drink) are type or shadow done in remembrance of the cross, and also shadow forth to a time when we come into the Kingdom.

Luke 22:15-16  And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:   For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

What will we do in the Kingdom of God?  Eat something that is a type of the life of Christ.

“I then saw Jesus leading His people to the tree of life…“The leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations. Eat ye all of it.”” (Ellen White Early Writings , p. 289, emphasis added).

Ok.. Something we should notice here.  What does he say regarding the leaves of the tree?  “Eat ye all of it”.   Similarly, we notice that when eating the Lord’s Supper Jesus said similar “Drink ye all of it… I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”(Matt 26:27-29)

It’s interesting to note that Ellen White also says the tree of life is a type or shadow.  But notice what she likens it to?  The body of Christ, the “meat” and “drink” and his life.

The tree of life was a type(symbol) of the one great Source of immortality. ..Christ declares, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; For My flesh is meat indeed,  My blood is drink indeed….he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. . . .The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”  (Ellen White 17MR 352.3}

To eat is LIFE.  And when were we to take part of the fruit on this tree?  “Every Month (New Moon)” according to the last chapter of the bible.

Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Twelve months, twelve fruit, every new moon, we would eat new fruit when we come to the new heaven and new earth,(Isa 66:22, 23) we will gather around the throne from Sabbath to Sabbath, New Moon to New Moon to eat from the tree of life and contemplate the love of God in giving His only begotten Son. Should we be doing this today?  This tree was compared to the body and blood of Christ, which we must eat in order to have life.  It is also compared to the sacrifices which pointed to the sacrifice given on the cross, his life for our life.

The appointed times for coming to the throne for worship include Sabbaths and New Moons.

 

 

So let’s summarize what we’ve just learned.

  1. The ceremonies of sacrifices and offerings were symbols, shadows types that pointed to the life of Christ given being nailed to the cross.
  2. The ceremony of the Lord’s supper was a symbol, shadow, type, that pointed back or was done in remembrance of the life of Christ being nailed to the cross.
  3. Coming to the tree of life was a type of the life of Christ given for the world when Christ was nailed to the cross.
  4. The Lord’s supper was “meat” and “drink” and symbolized “the Lord’s body” or “the body of Christ”.
  5. All of these ceremonies were to be done on the New Moons. Not just in the dispensation before the cross, but in the dispensation before the second coming, as well as in the dispensation in eternity.
  6. We cannot use Colossians 2:16 to nail the feasts to the cross any more than we can use it to nail the Sabbaths and New Moons to the cross. All of these assemblies should still be kept.

 

There are some Adventists who may still oppose quoting Ellen White saying: “To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.” E.G. White Comments, Bible Commentary, Vol 5, p 1139-1140

It is referring to the sacrifices.  Notice the context:
“Christ discharged His disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue; for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all Jewish ordinances that pointed to Him as the great and only efficacious offering for the sins of the world.” (.ibid)

The context tells us he instituted the Lord’s Supper: “It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential” (.ibid)

Notice the chart below:

new moon chart

 

Not that we should use Ellen White for feast keeping  the feasts, nor was she the end all of all light that was to come to Adventism.  For she said herself:

“Said my guide, ‘There is MUCH LIGHT YET to shine forth from THE LAW OF GOD and the GOSPEL of righteousness. The message, understood in its true character, and proclaimed in the Spirit, will LIGHTEN the earth with its GLORY.’” [Ellen White Manuscript Releases,Vol. 2, 58.]

However when she spoke respecting the feasts she said:

Well would it be for us to have a feast of tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to us as a people.” [Ellen White Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 17, 1885]

Now we could quickly answer and say, “Yes, but she didn’t keep the feast”.  Well, she didn’t say “It would be an insult to God to keep the feast”.  She didn’t say “It won’t be well for us if we have a feast of tabernacles.”  She said “Well would it be for us”.  And she said it would be a “joyous commemoration”.

She always spoke well of the feasts.  Some might say she didn’t keep it at the appointed time.  Well, perhaps this was some of the light that was to come.  Feasts are connected to New Moons.  They were celebrated on the 14th of the 1st moon, the 15th of the 7th moon, etc.  How should we treat these dates?  Should we assume that we like the Papacy can “change times and laws”? (Dan 7:25)

Just like when light came to Adventists on the Sabbath they had various discussions concerning what time to start the Sabbath.  This is no different.

I believe that we should do them at the appointed times.  One King made a feast on the 15th of the 8th moon.  His own time rather than in the seventh month.   Here is the bible account.

1 Kings 12:32-33  And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah… he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.  So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart;

This would be similar to us holding a feast according to our own time which we have devised.  Though it may be the right motive, we should follow what God had given us and be careful that we don’t take it upon ourselves to follow times devised in our own heart.

Ellen was growing in light.  About the feasts she definitely did not teach that to keep them would be an insult to God.  She actually believed that it was more important and necessary to keep them today than it was in the time before the cross.

“Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. ..through their association together in this sacred service they were to be bound closer to God and to one another. In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world.

The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn away from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.  If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict!” (Ellen White 6T 39-40)

How much more do we need these assemblies in these last days?  Paul said:

Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We need these annual assemblies  and their benefit more than any people have ever needed them before.  We are always praying for unity.  But in the quote above we are told that during the time of the feasts people were “bound closer to God and to one another.”

On the day of Pentecost the disciples were of “one accord”.  (Acts 2:1)  They were united in spirit.  That is the purpose of these appointed times.   As we read “these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people.”

When speaking of LIFE, we talk about eating his flesh drinking his blood.  But we also talk about the “river of life”, and the “tree of life”.  The times appointed for coming to the throne to worship.  We will come to this throne, new moon to new moon, Sabbath to Sabbath, but we should learn to do these things today.  To come to drink of the water of life which is in the channel of blessing, the river of life.

“We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. . . . The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.”    (Ellen White FLB 246)

These are the appointed times for receiving the latter rain of the Holy Spirit.  The feasts.  We read earlier that they were to blow trumpets at the time of the New Moons and the assemblies or Feasts of the Lord.  In Joel chapter 2 we are told that God has an appointed time for spiritual blessings.  It is in the first moon, or month.

Joe 2:23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

What happens in the first month?  On the 14th day of the first month is the Passover, and on the fifteenth to the twenty second of that month is the Feast of Unleavened bread.

Joe 2:15  Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

God is telling His people in this last day to come together at these appointed times.  That they are necessary for receiving large outpourings of the Holy Spirit.  That they are necessary to the spiritual life of the people.

In Zechariah also among other places we are told:

Zec 10:1  Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Ask at “the time of the latter rain”.  There is a “time” for asking for the “latter rain.  Zechariah mentions the rain one more time in his book.  In chapter 14 we read of when we should ask for the latter rain.

Zechariah 14:16-18  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

The latter rain message is the message that seals God’s people.  We need to improve every opportunity to be at these meetings.

It is interesting as well that there is one other ceremony that the Lord gave us.  That is the foot washing service.  When we read Revelation we can notice that the woman’s feet are on the moon. (Rev 12:1)  The moon being a symbol of God’s clock.  The New Moons, the time of humility for the church.  Just as the woman has her monthly time of cleansing, so must the Church in these last days have her time of month, from New Moon to New Moon putting away the differences in humility.  Assembling at his throne.

How about now?  Shall we assemble on Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days?  Shall we “Keep the Feast”? “Let us keep the feast”.  (1 Corinthians  5:8)

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  • Here are a few scriptures that come to mind…

    “Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” Deuteronomy 31:26

    “This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offering.” Leviticus 7:37

    “These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day.” Leviticus 23:37

    “And this day (Passover) 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 for ever.” Exodus 12:14

    “And he (Christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:27

    “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Hosea 2:11

    “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:14-17

    “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Galatians 4:9-10

    “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10

    Here’s a few statements from the SOP…

    “Christ was the foundation and life of that temple. His crucifixion would virtually destroy it, because its services were typical of the future sacrifice of the Son of God. They pointed to the great antitype, which was Christ himself. When the Jews should accomplish their wicked purpose, and do unto him what they listed, from that day forth sacrificial offerings, and the services connected with them, would be valueless in the sight of God, for type would have met antitype in the perfect offering of the Son of God.” {2SP 122.2}

    “Many of the Jews who had accepted the gospel still cherished a regard for the ceremonial law and were only too willing to make unwise concessions, hoping thus to gain the confidence of their countrymen, to remove their prejudice, and to win them to faith in Christ as the world’s Redeemer. Paul realized that so long as many of the leading members of the church at Jerusalem should continue to cherish prejudice against him, they would work constantly to counteract his influence. He felt that if by any reasonable concession he could win them to the truth he would remove a great obstacle to the success of the gospel in other places. But he was not authorized of God to concede as much as they asked.When we think of Paul’s great desire to be in harmony with his brethren, his tenderness toward the weak in the faith, his reverence for the apostles who had been with Christ, and for James, the brother of the Lord, and his purpose to become all things to all men so far as he could without sacrificing principle–when we think of all this, it is less surprising that he was constrained to deviate from the firm, decided course that he had hitherto followed.” {AA 405}

    “It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed–that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah. Eating of the body, and drinking of the blood, of Christ, not merely at the sacramental service, but daily partaking of the bread of life to satisfy the soul’s hunger, would be in receiving His Word and doing His will.” {5BC 1139.6}

    “Many who at that time united in the services of the Passover never again took part in them. Light was to shine into their hearts. The disciples were to communicate to them the knowledge that the great Teacher had come.” {12MR 418}

    “Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages.” {DA 652}

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