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Paul explains that we are not to retain our favorite past religious traditions. Indeed, "all things have become new"! As part of the "old man" (Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9), our former styles of worship must go. As Jesus taught, we simply cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). We cannot simultaneously embrace two competing systems of worship.
We see the obvious continuity between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible; the new forbids mixing pagan tradition with the "worship in spirit and truth" God commands (John 4:23-24).
Authority from man or God?
Since God is so strongly opposed to altering His revealed days of worship (Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:18-19), by what authority did human beings change the days we observe? Here is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica says about some early Christians: "Though many of [Jesus'] disciples continued to observe the special times and seasons of the Jewish Law, new converts broke with the custom because they regarded it as no longer needful or necessary" (15th edition, Vol. IV, p. 601, "Church Year"). Notice the lack of divine authorization. The people decided to make this change.
One of the first humanly devised changes was to worship on Sunday rather than the seventh-day Sabbath, the day authorized in the Bible. The same source acknowledges that "the New Testament writings do not explain how the practice began" (ibid., p. 603). Though some have theorized this change occurred in honor of Christ's resurrection, we have already seen that this rationale is flawed because Christ was resurrected near sundown on Saturday rather than on Sunday.
Replacing God's annual feast days with pagan holidays was also done in the same spirit. This same encyclopedia article also makes this frank admission: "Unlike the cycle of feasts and fasts of the Jewish Law, the [modern] Christian year has never been based upon a divine revelation. It is rather a tradition that is always subject to change by ecclesiastical law. Each self-governing church maintains the right to order the church year" (p. 601).
When the kingdom of Israel divided after Solomon's death, King Jeroboam of the northern 10 tribes soon changed the date of the annual autumn festival from the seventh to the eighth month of the Hebrew calendar (1 Kings 12:32-33). So the first king of the new northern Israelite dynasty established a corrupting pattern in the nation's religious life, one that eventually helped lead to the northern tribes' destruction at the hands of the Assyrian Empire.
Throughout the northern kingdom's history, the political and ecclesiastical leadership stubbornly persisted in "the sins of Jeroboam" (1 Kings 13:34; 15:30; 16:2-3, 19; etc.), one of which was his unauthorized alteration of the date of a God-ordained religious festival.
Time to leave traditions behind
As creatures of habit, we can find ourselves following traditions that are contrary to God's instructions. Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ pointed out that a devoutly religious group, the Pharisees, was in just such a situation. Christ told them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men ... All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:6-9).
Just proclaiming that something is Christian does not make it so. No matter what our traditions have been or what rationalizations our reasoning may employ, the Bible is clear that we must follow our Creator's directions on His days and forms of worship.
In Colossians 2:8 the apostle Paul warns, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
Similarly, one of the last messages in the Bible reveals this warning for people caught up in a great worldwide system that established itself in opposition to God: "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities" (Revelation 18:4-5).
We have a choice. We can choose the feast days instituted by God or the holidays substituted by men. The choices we make affect our destiny and impact our relationship with our Creator.
We can take great comfort in the meaning of God's days of worship, since they represent the magnificent plan of God, who will give every human an opportunity to understand and accept His way of life either now or, for the majority of human beings, in an age yet to come.
The Delights of Obedience
A joy and peace of mind come from making right choices, from knowing you are conscientiously obeying God's instruction in the pages of the Bible.
Before the time of King Josiah of Judah, the scroll containing the book of the law had been lost, along with the knowledgeof God's festivals. but hilkiah, the high priest, found that scroll, and Shaphan the scribe read it in the presence of young Josiah. The repentant king quickly restored the true worship of God according to the instruction he found in the scroll.
One of Josiah's first steps in restoring proper worship of God was observing the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. For a time the whole country caught the righteous fervor of the youthful king, and a national festival observance ensued such as had not been since the days of Samuel the prophet (2 Chronicles 34-35)
Later that same spirit of obedience and joyful festival-keeping swept the Jewish settlements in the Holy Land during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Not only did the people enjoy the physical aspects of these days, but the nation gained renewed understanding of God's Word as well (Nehemiah 8:9-12)
If You'd Like to Learn More
If you've finished reading this booklet, you've probably been surprised to discover thereal origin of today's popular holidays. But what about the days of worship defined in the Bible? Does God expect us to keep them today? When and how should we observe them? To discover the festivals of the Bible, be sure to request Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest and God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.
This is a principle of interpretation which is "type meets anti-type". One is the shadow of the other, which is the actual "thing". Jesus is our actual salvation and the lamb is the symbol of that salvation. We are not at the foot of Sinai, but at the foot of the cross. We are in a new dispensation of grace and have the real items that the old dispensation had only the symbols of.
As we remember God kept his promise and delivered the jews from egypt, he has delivered us again thru the Paschal (passover) lamb, Jesus the Christ.
Here is the key to it, in my way of thinking. Jesus invited his closest friends to share the supper with. We reinforce our status as friends when we commemorate his death. I am glad to read your message of brotherhood and it is nice to hear it and wish there were more people with that point of view. Unfortunately there is dogma that gets in the way of real brotherhood. That goes along with what I said earlier about this priesthood of officialdom, that in my mind, interposes itself between us.
we are brothers and sisters in Christ
But the truth is we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we must not try to trip each other up with rituals, dogma or paradigms. For each of us it is a personal journey, whoa I am getting way too close to moral relativism. I do believe there is one way...what I am trying to say is I want to be respectful of others views, but kindly disagree. My disagreement is that the passover is now a memorial and Jesus asked us to remember him when we recreate it in the mass. We no longer have to have the
bitter herbs (because Christ suffered the bitterness one and for all for us in his passion)
or the sweet mortar,(beacuse we will never be slaves again , we are free and we are redeemed)
parsly dipped in salt water (becase Jesus was drenched in the salt of his own suffering at His passion)
egg (because we do not need to remeber the poor widows offering at the temple, because Jesus has made the offering of all offerings)
shank bone(because we will consume the body of Christ at Eucharist...no literal pasch necessary)
But we will partake int he the unleavened bread (Which IS Jesus' Body)
But we will drink one cup, not four (Which is His precious Blood-cup of salvation)