Jewish holidays are biblical festivals for God's Church!
Religious Jews have celebrated God's festivals for thousands of
years. They were observing the biblical holy days long before
the Church was brought into being. The Scriptures clearly
prove that God entrusted the Jews with the preservation
of God's Law and sacred calendar (Genesis 49:10, Romans 9:4),
and states this fact after the Church was founded (since some
wrongly teach that it's now the Church's responsibility). Only
the Jews out of all the tribes of Israel have faithfully kept
God's Word (Hosea 11:12). The Bible says it, so we should
believe it, case closed!? Unfortunately not.
God used Herbert
W. Armstrong to restore life to a dying Church (Revelation
3:1). It's interesting that Herbert Armstrong restored 18
essential truths to His people. Why? Because the Jewish
numerical value of 18 equals life. One of those truths
restored concern the observance of God's Holy Days.
Many have repented and forsaken their former pagan traditions to
keep the biblical commands. But did God authorize Mr. Armstrong
to determine when the holy days are to be kept? Did Jesus Christ
reject the Jews and decide God's Church would now be the
custodian of His sacred calendar? After all, what's the purpose
of the calendar except to determine when the festivals are to be
observed? No! Herbert W. Armstrong was to restore the knowledge
of God's holy days, not change the days the Jews have always
kept them on.
God's Church celebrates every holy day on the same dates as the
Jews except for Passover and Pentecost. If we can have the
chutzpah to tell the Jews that they're celebrating those days on
the wrong days, then how can we rest assured that they're not
wrong about which day is the true Sabbath? The Sabbath and holy
days stand or fall together. Either we trust God gave it to the
Jews to accurately keep the correct days and dates, or we doubt
God's ability to keep His Word. Which is it?
Herbert W. Armstrong would've done well to recognize that
God's government has ordained the Jews to determine these
particular matters. He should've just followed their example as
to when to observe these biblical holy days, rather than to try
and figure it out for himself. It wasn't his responsibility!
First Mr. Armstrong counted wrong for Pentecost and kept Monday
for the holy day. Later he changed the day he counted 50 from
and kept pagan Sunday, but he was still counting from the
wrong day. He unnecessarily became confused about which
Sabbath was to be counted from. The Jewish religious authorities
(that have prevailed) agree that the Sabbath to count 50 from is
the annual Sabbath, not the weekly Sabbath. The Pharisees
- whom Christ said "sit in Moses' seat" (Matthew 23:2-3) - whom
GOD entrusted with authority - counted from the annual Sabbath
(John 19:31; Mark 16:1).
Paul was a strict Pharisee and said that his religious education
had been according to "the perfect manner of the law" (Acts
23:3,6). He testified that he was "blameless in the law"
(Philippians 3:5-6). He didn't say except for Passover and
Pentecost! And does it make sense for GOD to be so meticulous in
fulfilling prophecy that not one of Christ's bones could be
broken (John 19:36), and then sacrifice His Son at the wrong
time? God - and the Jews - know what time on the 14th to perform
the Passover sacrifice. Then the lamb is eaten after sundown on
the 15th - the night to be much observed - the way the Jews
have always done it.
The only Jews who disagreed with the Pharisees in Jesus' time,
who didn't follow God's government (since Christ recognized the
authority of the Pharisees), were the Sadducees. They became
history when the Temple was destroyed. Jesus had condemned their
religion and blasted their biblical ignorance (Matthew 22:29).
Who would want to follow them? Those who do stubbornly insist on
keeping their traditions will also come to an end! Any who've
stolen the prerogative of the true Jewish authorities will be
exposed as liars (Revelation 3:9)! God has not ordained
others to determine when to observe His holy days.
I believe God allowed Herbert Armstrong to make this honest
error to test His people to see whether we would change when
confronted with the facts or not. We demand it of others, but
why don't we practice what we preach? Have we become too
comfortable in our religious ways and don't want the boat rocked
(Amos 6:1)? This is the test of true conversion: the willingness
to continue to change as truth is revealed, not get stuck
in our ways. We're to walk in the light of our God-given
understanding (1 John 1:7). And we should THANK GOD for bringing
this to our attention rather than leaving us in the dark!
If the Pharisees didn't keep the correct holy dates, or if Jesus
and His disciples didn't, don't you think that they would've
made an issue of it? Do you think Jesus would let them slide on
something as important as this? Yet there isn't one word
of disagreement between them on this holy subject!
Why should we be afraid to change when proven wrong? We
should fear not to. God will hold us accountable for what we
know. We should not continue to sin by working on God's
holy days to keep our own. Who will you obey? God or men? What
will you follow: God's commandments or human traditions? (Mark