- Why Should You and I Keep the Feasts Days?
- "And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month." (Lev. 23:41)
- "What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?" (Hos. 9:5)
- Are the Feast Days outlined in Leviticus just a relic of the past, significant only to the "Jews?" What do these days signify for Christians of the New Covenant today? Should we make an effort to keep them today?
- by Jerry Gentry
- First let me say freely and without apology that I have been a keeper of Biblical Feast Days now for about 43 years. 2007 will be my 44th year. This experience does not make me an expert, but it does give me somewhat of a background from which to speak. I will admit that I am now biased in favor of keeping the Feast Days. For most of these 43+ years, my feast keeping was that of a good "pharisee," who was trying to practice Biblical "good works," and therefore somehow influence God, perhaps to like me a little better. it never worked, at least for that purpose! Back then, I did not realize that He already loved me, so much that he gave his Son to die for me.
- Dear reader, for about the past 10 years, I have kept the Feast Days from an entirely different perspective than that of mere commandment keeping, or to find favor in God's eyes. Yes, we are commanded to "keep the feasts. . . forever." And God does in fact "favor" Feast keepers, I believe. I suppose we can stop keeping the feasts when "forever" is over. But of course that is an absurd impossbility!
- In times past, during the reformation, the reformers (specifically John Calvin) passed off the Feast Days as mere ceremony, and therefore not applicable for New Covenant Christians. Most modern Christians have followed this Calvinistic view of neglecting the Feast Days, relegating them along with the sacrificial system, food laws, etc. as relics and useless ceremony for Christians today.
- However, there is one problem with this view. In at least 4 places in the Old Testament, we are commanded that the Feast Days are intended to be kept "for ever." (Ex. 12:14, 17; Lev. 23:41; 2Chr. 2:4). If we correctly understand that eternal life is "for ever," then this same term and concept belongs to the Feast Days. "For ever" is, in fact, for ever, notwithstanding conflicting theological views about the Feast Days.
- It is clear to any honest reader of the scripture, that Feast keeping did not end with Moses or Malachi. Christ Himself was a Feast keeper. So were the original apostles, as well as the Paul, apostle to the gentiles. So much then for the "law" aspect of keeping the Feast Days.
- A far greater aspect of keeping the Feast Days of the Bible is what they signify in God's great scheme of history. This short treatise is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is meant to be a short personal overview, and provocative of further study on your part as reader. It is written from the point of view of my own personal experience and bias.
- During my first 20 years or so, growing up in a southern Christian denomination, not once do I recall even hearing about the Feast Days of the Bible. I heard plenty about Easter and Christmas. I helped color Easter eggs as a little boy. I dressed up as good as I could for this one day in the year event. Well do I remember the traditional easter egg hunt. Little do I remember anyone explaining what the eggs signified!
- I remember as a young boy walking out into the forest and helping my father cut an evergreen tree. I remember loading it into the back of my father's old pick up truck in about 1947 or '48. I was about 5 years old. I remember fastening the evergreen to a board with nails, and securing it upright to the living room floor.
- I remember helping my mother put tinsel and baubels and stars and other decorations on the tree. And I remember the brightly decorated gift boxes sitting under the tree, at some point. I think that was when i learned that there was really no Santa Claus. And that was a real let down to me. As a little boy, I felt lied to!
- I remember hearing stories about the "little lord Jesus" and "away in a manger." Of course, no one ever read Jeremiah chaper 10 to us. Only much later did I learn about the pagan origins of "Christmas," and the direct command from the Lord against practicing such traditions (Jer 10).
- The point I am making here is that we have all grown up keeping certain traditions, only most of the traditions we have kept have origins that are not Biblical! And if the root and origin of a tradition is not Biblical and Christian, how can the tree bear good fruit? It makes no sense, except that we were just following along. In the end, we had some presents and fun, but nothing very real about Christ.
- Back then, I think we would all have been aghast if we had learned the pagan origins of these church traditions! And for good reasons, most of us today, who consider ourselves part of the "remnant," have been forced to exit the modern denominational church, forming home churches and study/fellowship groups who desire to get "back to the Bible" in our practices.
- Now lest you, dear reader, conclude that I believe Feast Keeping will help me to "earn salvation," let me state something clearly: No amount of Feast Keeping or Law keeping or other good works can in any way help to earn salvation, which is FREE GIFT. And if salvation is a FREE GIFT, then why worry about Feast Keeping at all? Or we might ask it in a larger sense: Why worry about doing any good works at all, if our salvation is in fact a FREE GIFT?
- Now I will give you my answer, for what it's worth. I keep the Feast Days of the Bible, not for purposes of earning salvation or engratiating myself in the eyes of an otherwise stern, judgmental God, and maybe staving off his judgment. Rather, I keep the Feast Days of the Bible, as an effort (sometimes feeble) to walk in obedience to my Savour. Further, I have found that during the past decade or so, there have always been special blessings in Feast Day keeping.
- I have found, the past decade or so, the biggest hindrance to Feast Keeping is getting there! I have found that one of the biggest difficulties within the remnant is putting our faith into practice. I have found that those who make the effort to show up, or even sponsor, a Feast are the ones most blessed. I for one have experienced blessings beyond belief, by simply showing up for the Feast!
- So for purposes here, let me challenge you, dear reader. Let me challenge you to make the effort, this year, to simply show up for the Feasts. Maybe you will need help finding a place to go. Pray. Maybe you will need financial help. Pray and ask. Ask the Lord to lead you to the right place and to give you the means to show up. The devil will fight you. God will help you. There are lots of resources. The internet is one. Email your friends. Find out where they are going. Then show up for the Feast days. It may be the biggest blessing you have ever experienced, better even that your best Christmas as a child!
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