Interests in The Holy Days in Evangelical circles continues

Again, the irony. When the Worldwide Church of God  (now Grace Communion International) embraced the historic Christian faith (and rightly so) in the 1990’s, sadly what went along with it  was a campaign from the church’s leadership to de-emphasizing and eventually eliminating any type of celebration of Levitical festivals that the denomination held for many decades. Turn the clock ahead to another decade a new one, the 2010’s—on the long-running popularly acclaimed Canadian-based Christian show, 100 Huntley Street, a scholar by the name of Joe Amaral who studies the Hebraic foundations of Christianity, is talking about how Jesus Christ is the focus and fulfillment of the Holy Days mentioned in Leviticus 23. Mr.Amaral is not without the aggressive but very ignorant “We-are-not-Jews” resistance approach from opponents and other silly paranoia but nevertheless there are others who interested in a real adult conversation and have no time for others who aggressively shut down their ability to think outside the box. Joe Amaral has a website called First Century Foundations: Exploring Our Hebraic Roots and here is some clips from 100 Huntley Street with him explaining how Christ is a part of these festivals. Not once did I hear him saying that they are required for salvation. Instead, I hear him say that learning and understanding these feast are beneficial. He may celebrate differently than other evangelical Christians when it comes to the liturgical calendar of worship but he’s no Armstrongite and he’s  no Judaizer and trust me I will not tolerate an inch of slander declaring that’s not the case on this blog. Don’t test me. Otherwise, enjoy what he has to say on these clips and the let the adult conversation begin.


6 thoughts on “Interests in The Holy Days in Evangelical circles continues

  1. Felix, your posting on this topic is timely. The information for the Feast of Tabernacles for the Seventh Day Church of God is now available at The Herald of Truth. The congregations in the Seventh Day Church around the world have been keeping the Feasts since 1919. There are churches as far away as India. In 2008, there was a teen from Sweden attending at the Fruitland, Washington site.

    In the past few months, the New Life Church of God, Seventh Day has decided to keep the Feast of Tabernacles and had a series of Bible Studies examining the importance of understanding the Feasts in the light of the Christian life. The congregation is very much dedicated to seeking understanding Jesus Christ and their services are a celebration of Christ. Except for their services on the Sabbath, you would not associate them with Judahising in any way. A married couple in the church in their mid eighties have been keeping the Feasts all their lives (without any association with the Worldwide Church of God).
    There has been growing interest in the general Christian community in the meaning of the Feasts as being relevant to the Christian way of life. Certainly, there can be little understanding of the prophesied events of Revelation chapters 20 through 22 without the background of the Feasts.
    Unfortunately — and this is where the real adult discussion begins — those who followed Herbert Armstrong seem to believe that they have a corner on the truth because they understand the Plan of God through keeping the Feasts and are therefore some how holier than thou. It never seems to occur to them that God the Father in His remarkable flair for the dramatic has set aside those He has chosen to begin to understand truths at a different time. The Armstrongists do not seem to understand how little they know in their swelling pride.
    They have forgotten that “no flesh will glory” and have so little of the truth because they took the instant plastic instead of growing in grace and in knowledge — blinded by the prejudices rooted in the false prophecies of British Israelism which the other Sabbath keeping and Feast keeping Christian churches recognize for the idolatry it is.

  2. Nice or necessary?

    I have asked this question of those who even keep the Feasts and have not received an adequate answer. While actually keeping the Feasts may lend more understanding, is it absolutely necessary to keep them for salvation?

    There is another consideration to this: What does God want. Certainly Scripture supports the idea that He would want us to do what we do for Him cheerfully and willingly. Isaiah 1:13-14 should be noted for those who lay claim that keeping Feasts will get anyone into the Kingdom of God:

    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. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

    Even if they were to be necessary, there’s a lot more than just keeping them at stake. It’s as the CoG7 minister commenting on “A Sabbath Test” last weekend: If it is a matter of just keeping it to attain salvation, it is a waste of time, since keeping any specific law while breaking others isn’t going to help to attain the Kingdom of God. Many people make Feasts the talisman of redemption without pursuing justice, judgment and mercy.

    The whole idea that the Sabbath and the Holydays stand or fall together represents a distortion of Scripture and continues to contribute to the question of nice or necessary?

  3. There are many questions to answer when a congregation does the Bible studies and finally decides that in order to understand Christianity more fully, they should keep the Feasts in some manner. There are not going to be animal sacrifices and there are other practices which will not be in effect for a Festival. Just how do the New Testament followers of Christ conduct themselves on a holyday? What should services, if they are held, look like?

    Other questions come up, such as how to fund an “expedition” to, let’s say, a Feast of Tabernacles which a congregation may want to keep the whole period of a week? There is no such thing as a “second tithe” for this purpose and congregations discovering the Feasts would not generally think of it.

    While the answers to these questions may seem evident to the corporation based venue of the WCG, in truth, there is a great deal of doubt that the practices of Worldwide concerning the Feast were ever that appropriate and certainly can’t answer the important questions to fledgling feast keepers satisfaction. They must find such answers on their own, with whatever spiritual assistance available to them as it is revealed.

    I have a great deal of admiration for those embarking on this difficult journey of discovery. After all that is said and done, the attitude of being willing to pursue righteousness is one rare and rarely found in today’s society.

  4. Joe Amaral seems to represent a fresh Work God the Father has begun to lead to Revelation 21:3, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” According to Jesus himself, Yeshua came to lead people to God the Father and that God Most High is greater than Christ.

    The United Church of God, an International Association has the vision: “Preparing a people”. After, not a generation, but a lifetime of Armstrongism, the Radio Church of God, Worldwide Church of God and the spin-offs have failed to get anywhere near fulfilling that vision. Instead, they have set a terrible example, are rife with church wars and have prompted blasphemy among the masses with their bad behavior. It appears that God has given them all sufficient time to prove themselves, but the only thing they have proved is what a disappointment they are.

    So there is new blood and a fresh beginning. Let not the Armstrongists believe that they are going to be involved. They have had their chance. Fledgeling Christian groups are taking small beginning steps on a long journey to fulfill the destiny set before them. They have been preserved to this time as a people which will be led where the Armstrongists are unwilling and unable to go.

    Or so it would seem.

  5. Happy new year!

    How disappointing it is that here it is, nearly two weeks and nobody seems to have made note of it.

  6. If you watch TBN, or the 700 Club, you’ll see that the Levitical holy days are frequently mentioned. Pat Robertson’s son, yesterday, mentioned on the 700 Club that the longer he is a Christian, the more “Jewish” he becomes. His rationale for this is that you can’t fully comprehend Christianity without a knowledge of what preceded it. On TBN, I can think of at least 3 prominent Messianics who teach about the holy day seasons, and they do teach that understanding them brings blessings as opposed to the necessity of keeping them to qualify for salvation.

    The sacrifices definitely were part of the holy day observances, surprisingly, even for the Day of Atonement. Basically, the way that WCG incorporated Jesus into the holy days was to note that He was our sacrifice (elliminating the need for the animal sacrifices previously required on those days), and that since the holy days anticipated Jesus, the knowledge of Him enabled members to keep them in “fulfilled” form.

    Interestingly, in the Gospel of John, they are spoken of as pertaining to the Jews, i.e., “the Jews’ Passover”, etc.

    WCG members point to prophecy to support the idea that the holydays will be kept in the Milennium, the best known of which is the prophecy that if Egypt does not come up to Jerusalem for the FT, they will not receive rain. I don’t know that we could use prophecy to substantiate doctrine, though, because scripture seems to also indicate that there will again be animal sacrifices. Prophets often seemed to have the basic substance of future acts, but not always the deep details. Some of their own beliefs often crept into the ways in which the prophecies were expressed, and we also know that the scribes during the exilic period did some “backwriting” when they revised the scriptures, putting them into the state in which they were found when Ezra read them to the returned exiles at the rebuilt temple of that day.


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