In the greater Christian Community, there are few subjects which are met with greater disinterest than the seven annual Holydays found in the pages of Scripture. Despite the Early Church being seen as having observed them, and despite the Apostle Paul’s direct instruction to a Greek (Gentile) congregation to keep one set in particular, (1st Cor. 5:7-8) yet the attraction to non-biblical religious holidays seem the more compelling in society and even among the religiously inclined.
Factoring into people’s sentiments in this matter is the issue of Grace. It is counter-posed that we are not in any way obligated to keep Biblical Holydays as means of attaining salvation. Despite this being technically correct, the greater matter is overlooked. These days are not our means of attainment, rather they are educational tools created by God to permit us to better understand the process of salvation, both personal salvation and world salvation, and to provide a framework upon which to be able to better understand Bible Prophecy. Observing these before-ordained Holydays and focusing on their illustrative meaning gives each disciple a more in-depth comprehension of how personal salvation is attained and how that opportunity will be extended ultimately to all who have ever lived!
It is ironic that the one place in the New Testament which most specifically mentions Holydays is used to discourage interest in them! Colossians 2:16-17 admonishes the Christian: “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…of Christ. What this verse says is to let no man judge them in how they were observing these things, but rather to let the Church (the body of Christ) do so. (The word “is” was added by translators.) Notice please, that Paul wasn’t indicating that ‘men’ were judging them for NOT keeping these things, but rather for HOW they WERE keeping them. The New Testament Church KEPT them somewhat differently than did the religious zealots of the day! What has been largely overlooked here is the explanation of their ultimate purpose, that they’re a ‘shadow of things to come’. Why would Paul want them to disregard observances which offered an ‘outline of future events’? ( A modern way of saying it.)
Biblical Holydays offer a more in-depth understanding of redemption and prophecy. Most perceive prophecy to be only dark predictions of end-time events. Anyone with a reasonably correct under-standing of prophecy will immediately see the correlation between prophecy and God’s Holydays, particularly the Fall Holydays. Anyone not finding Bible Prophecy to be clear and understandable will gain much from a familiarity with Holydays in knowing how events interrelate and why they happen.
Holyday observance isn’t a means of earning salvation, but of enhancing understanding, (growing further in grace and knowledge). (The world will one day be introduced to them: Zech. 14:16)
The Spring Holydays illustrate the process of personal salvation. (Passover, the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost)
The Spring Holydays end with the First Resurrection, the Fall Holydays sequence begins with it.
The Fall Holydays illustrate how the process of salvation will be afforded to all who have ever lived or will live in the Millennial Age. (The Day of Trumpets, Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day.)
A brief test as to whether or not you could benefit from a familiarity with biblical Holydays follows:
1. Do you understand about the Millennial Rule of Christ and His Glorified Saints on Earth? (Rev. 2:26, 5:10, 20:4 & 6)
2. Do you understand the need for the resurrections from the dead? (1st Cor. 15:13-17, Heb. 6:2)
3. Can you explain how many resurrections there are and generally when they occur? (Rev. 20:5)
4. Do you know that Pentecost was an Old Testament observance? (Lev. 23:15-16)
5. Do you understand when and why God the Father will descend to Earth and assume full rule from Christ? (1st Cor. 15:24-28, Rev. 21:2, 3, 22, & 22:3)
6. Can you explain when it is that all the uncalled dead will have the opportunity that they never had in their lifetimes? (Rev. 20:12, John 6:44, & 6:37-40, Ezekiel 37)