The Fullness of Time
I – Introduction
his essay is one of the rare contributions I make that is specifically geared toward an Adventist perspective. Most of my writings generally avoid the work of Ellen White entirely, not because I do not consider them to be a great blessing and inspired by the Holy Spirit, but because there is enough information in the Bible – and the Bible alone – to establish every point of CSDA Doctrine. This has been my primary goal.
Regarding the matter of keeping the appointed times of Yahweh, however, many Adventist groups are beginning to re-examine their positions. While I have already written something of an Overview of The Feasts for a more general audience, this article attempts to fill in the gaps. Specifically, I am addressing the question, “What exactly happens when type meets antitype?” As some of Ellen White’s commentary on the Biblical Feasts are not always understood, and often misused, this article will attempt to demonstrate that she was entirely in line with both the Bible and the Church’s current understanding of all these matters. I believe that what I write here will be of benefit to every reader, but it will be particularly helpful for those with an SDA background who have begun to study the annual Feasts using both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings.
The rest of this article is organized as follows: The second section will examine the descriptions and symbolic nature of the various Feasts of the Old Testament. The third section will study the issue of type and antitype, using the Passover as the main example. The fourth section, the most clearly Adventist-oriented in nature, will look at Ellen White’s statements about the Passover, and what she wrote about Feasts in general. The fifth and final section will show how the principles and statements of the previous sections can be applied to all the Biblical Feasts, and our current methods of keeping the appointed times holy.
Please note that the appointed times studied here do not focus much on the New Moon, which I deal with in The Cycle of The Moon and Conjunction. I also do not discuss the 7th day Sabbath in any great detail, for this issue is covered in various other articles on my website.
II – For Signs and For Seasons
Being Creation Seventh Day Adventists, it is always fitting for us to realize that every ordinance and statute that Yahweh has ever given to His people is based upon the principles revealed at the creation of the world, or in the events that took place shortly thereafter.
We find written this well-known verse, “And Elohim said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so.” (Gen 1:14, 15) As those who keep the Feasts correctly point out, the word for “seasons” there is the Hebrew term mo’edim, which means “appointed time.” It is translated 150 times in the Old Testament as “congregation,” generally connected with the Sanctuary, because it refers to the gathering of worshippers at these appointed times before His presence.
Naturally, the concept of the mo’edim precedes the actual “giving” of the Law to Moses. The commandments and many precepts were given in a tangible form to Israel at Mount Sinai, but a great number of those things which were spoken and recorded in Exodus 20 were already known (and practiced) by those who had been faithful. Now, while it is written that Abraham kept the “commandments” and “statutes” and “laws” of the Almighty, (Gen 26:5) it is important to realize that since he did not dwell in a settled place (Gen 23:4) he would not have been able to keep the rituals as described in the Pentateuch.
Of course, we know that everything Yahweh does has purpose, has meaning, and the ceremonies that He associated with the various seasons of the year all had great symbolic value to the Hebrews. When the Israelites came forth from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, they were given a set of practices to mark the seasons of the year, and each of these had a definite purpose. Not only would the ceremonies establish a pattern of thanksgiving to the Almighty for the earthly blessings they were to enjoy in Canaan, but they also pointed the people forward to the events being unfolded through the plan of Salvation. One ceremony in particular, the Passover, also pointed back to the flight from Egypt, anchoring it forever to a real event in Israel’s history.
Provided here is a simplified timeline of the Hebrew months, and the various ceremonies that were performed at appointed times. We will consider each of these in terms of both the associated rituals, and their symbolic meanings.
The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread
The Hebrew religious year began with the month of Nisan, also known as Abib. On the 14th day of this first month, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. This involved the slaying of a lamb that had been selected four days earlier, (Exo 12:3-6) and making a meal of its flesh. In the original celebration the Israelites were yet in Egypt, and the blood of the lamb was used to mark the entrance of their houses, so that the solemn angel about to fall upon their heathen captors would not approach their own families. (Exo 12:7, 12) The lamb was a substitute for the firstborn sons of each Hebrew home, which was slain by the tenth plague on the night before the slaves were set free. (Exo 12:29)
Now, associated with the Passover, and indeed so closely that it was often called the “Feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41, 22:1), was what is more correctly termed the “Feast of Unleavened Bread.” The reason for this close association is that the times are connected – the Passover ceremony was used to initiate the Feast of Unleavened Bread – but the activities associated with each are different. “And the children of Israel that were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days.” (2Chronicles 35:17) The Passover was marked by an event – it specifically involved the slaying of the paschal lamb and its accompanying meal. The Feast that followed was a seven-day affair in which the people celebrated their escape from bondage, and ate no foods prepared by fermentation. (Exo 12:15)
This first Feast of the Hebrew sacred year is the most discussed in the New Testament. Clear and unambiguous is the language of the Apostles about the meaning of the symbols involved to Christians of both Hebrew and Gentile lineage. Chronologically, the first writings that address this issue are Paul’s epistles to the Churches; the author says, “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (1Cor 5:7b) Some years later, John records the words of the Baptist declaring Yahshua to be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) The Gospels describe in great detail the path that the Messiah followed to the Cross. He entered Jerusalem during the time of preparation for the Passover and Feast. (Mat 21:10) For three days He disputed with the religious leaders of the Jews, and taught the people. (Mat 21:18, 26:2) On the fourth day, which was the 14th of Nisan, He was slain as “the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 2:2)
Now, just as the ceremonial Feast of Unleavened Bread represented a joyful escape from Egypt, the land of bondage, which was made possible by the blood of the lamb, (Exo 15:1, 20) so the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Christians represents today a joyful escape from Sin, the land of bondage, which was made possible by the blood of the Lamb. “... ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Peter 1:18, 19)
Is this applicable today? Absolutely. Paul writes, directly connecting Christ’s death to the Passover and accompanying Feast, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Cor 15:7, 8) Some have said that Paul is writing that we should “spiritually” keep the Feast; that is, we should acknowledge that Christ died for us that we would be free from “the leaven of malice and wickedness.” While it is undoubtedly true that the spiritual component here is vital, the context of his words offers no excuses for failing to realize that he is speaking about an actual, physical gathering of believers. In verse 4 of the very chapter he speaks of when they are “gathered together” for this purpose. Jude also writes to the congregations, telling them that false teachers are “spots in your feasts,” (Jude 1:12) clearly indicating physical events.
Even so, there is a distinction in the writings of the Apostles between the Passover ceremony and the Passover Feast – which is more accurately the Feast of Unleavened Bread. While Paul encourages others to “keep the Feast,” and continued to do so himself, (Acts 20:6) it is acknowledged that “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” (Hebrews 9:28) While the communion service instituted at the Last Supper was to serve as a reminder of the Messiah’s sacrifice of His body and blood, this was not intended to be another offering of the same sacrifice (pointing out the patent falsehood of such ideas as trans-substantiation), but a perpetual ordinance to be done “in remembrance.” (Luke 22:19)
This distinction will become important when looking at Mrs. White’s commentary on both the ceremony and the Feast.
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, three days after the lamb was offered, a sheaf of the firstfruits was waved before Yahweh. (Lev 23:10, 11) The first and best of the spring harvest was to be presented before the Tabernacle as a sign of thanksgiving, and an acknowledgement that the harvest was due only to the grace of the Most High. Paul points out that this also has great significance to the New Covenant, since he writes that “He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1Cor 15:4) The only Scripture that speaks about something taking place on the “third day” after the Passover is Leviticus, those verses that describe the wave sheaf. This connection is made concrete when we realize that the Apostles explicitly used this symbol to refer to the resurrection, saying, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept” (1Cor 15:20 – the very language of the Levitical ceremony. When the Messiah rose He presented Himself, and the various Old Testament saints that were raised with Him on that day, (Mat 27:52, 53) to the Father as a token of the coming Harvest of the earth. (Rev 14:15)
The Feast of Weeks
Fifty days after the waving of the firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks was to be celebrated. (Lev 23:16) While the Wave-Sheaf ceremony represented thanksgiving for the beginning of the harvest, the Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, represented the end of the gathering-in. (verses 20-22) It represented a fullness in the storehouse of Yahweh, for the people were assured of their food in the months to come. Many scholars also connect this Feast with the giving of the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai, and tracing the timeline of the Exodus certainly makes this assertion plausible.
When we examine the New Testament’s use of its symbols, the possibility is greatly reinforced. It was at Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Messiah, that the Apostles received an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the divine Messenger of truth and grace. (Acts 2:1-4) We see Pentecost therefore as an acceptance of Yahshua’s Firstfruits by the Father in Heaven, (John 20:17) the descent of the fires of the burnt offering given at the Wave Sheaf (Lev 23:12) and the giving of “good gifts” by the Creator to His People. (Psa 68:18, Luke 11:13, Ephesians 4:8) If, then, the Law consists of both Letter and Spirit (2Cor 3:6) we see that just as the Letter of the Law was given to Moses on Sinai, (Neh 10:29) so the Spirit of the Law, provided to make the Apostles “ministers of the new testament,” was given (at the same appointed time) after the ascension of the Son.
The Feast of Trumpets
After Pentecost, we see a long break in the ceremonies of the Hebrew religious year. The Feast of Weeks takes place near the beginning of the third month, and then there is nothing until the seventh month of Tishrei/Ethanim. We see a corresponding gap in the fulfillment of the Feasts’ symbols, for the Feast of Weeks is the last annual holy day about which the Scriptures record any particular manifestation of glory. In fact, this gap represents a division of both prophetic and literal time; the Spring Feasts began to meet their fulfillment at the beginning of the Church age, and the Fall Feasts will meet (and are meeting) their fulfillment at the end: in these last days. This is not a minor point.
The type of the Feast is described in this way: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh.” (Lev 23:23-25) As the Feast of Trumpets always fell on “the first day” of the month, it was a New Moon, and already a day on which no work was to be done, and trumpets were to be blown. (Ezekiel 46:1, Numbers 10:10) Yah attached special significance to the seventh New Moon of the year, however, because as we shall see it was to be a most holy month.
The trumpet blasts of the Feast of Trumpets, which also marked Rosh Hashanah, or the beginning of the Jewish civil year, were of a different nature than that which were sounded on every New Moon. While the New Moon blasts were a constant reminder of a call to judgment and self-examination, the seven soundings on the first of Tishrei were the beginning of a period that Jewish scholars call the “days of awe.” During this time there was an earnest putting away of every known sin and defect; there was a great confession of the people, so that when the High Priest performed the Day of Atonement ceremony on the 10th of the month, all these forsaken sins would be blotted out forever. As the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are so intimately related, one leading up to the other, we will look at their New Testament fulfillments together.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
The 10th day of the seventh month was known as the “Sabbath of rest,” literally the “Sabbath of Sabbaths,” or the “high” Sabbath. (Lev 23:27) It was the only time a fast was commanded for the Israelites, and this practice persisted into the New Testament times. (Acts 27:9) We read of the day as follows: “And ye shall do no work in that same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” (Lev 23:28, 29) On this day the High Priest entered the Sanctuary, commanded to make an atonement for both the holy place and the most holy place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. (Lev 16:16, Rev 11:19)
While a full explanation of every step of the atonement process would take a great deal of time and space, the basic overview is that the high priest would make an atonement for himself, and then would make an atonement for the sanctuary and its people. The atonement for the people involved the use of two goats, one for “Yahweh” and one for “Azazel.” The goat for Yahweh was sacrificed, and by means of its blood the sins that had been collected in the Sanctuary were transferred to the priest. The priest would then transfer the sins to the living goat, the one for Azazel, and then this goat was led out of the camp and sent into the wilderness, bearing the guilt of all the people. Every confessed sin was therefore purged, and the “scapegoat” was left to perish as a result.
The New Testament application to this can only be fully understood through the teachings of Adventism. First, we note that the Feast of Trumpets, the call to judgment and repentance, took place ten days before the Day of Atonement. While there is no Scripture in the New Testament that points to a direct, earthly fulfillment of the symbols represented by this Feast, its antitype exists in the history of the development of the SDA Church. Using the principle that when studying a timed prophecy, every day spoken by the prophet or angel represents a year of literal time, (Ezek 4:6, Luke 13:32) a group of Christians in the 1800s realized that a promise made to the prophet Daniel was about to be kept.
Daniel was told that 2300 “days” after the decree to rebuild the Temple after its destruction by Babylonian armies, the “sanctuary” would be cleansed. (Dan 8:14) Sincere believers from many denominations, and in all parts of the world, suddenly experienced a spiritual outpouring that is called today “The Great Awakening.” They did not have all their facts right about the historical dates involved, and so they had to go through one or two disappointments before realizing that the time provided by the angel ended in October of the year 1844. This “cleansing of the sanctuary,” they soon realized, was connected to the “atonement for the holy sanctuary” outlined in Leviticus 16 – it was, in actuality, the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
Now, William Miller, a Baptist minister who was the most prominent figure in this movement, received his license to preach in the year 1833. Though he actually started speaking in public on this subject around 1831, his work did not truly begin to take effect, sounding the warning of the judgment to come, until the following years, beginning with 1834 – ten years before the 1844 cleansing. Ellen White writes, “The falling of the stars in [November 13th] 1833 gave added force to the proclamation of the message of a soon-coming Saviour. Through the labors of William Miller and many others in America, of seven hundred ministers in England, of Bengel and others in Germany, of Gaussen and his followers in France and Switzerland, of many ministers in Scandinavia, of a converted Jesuit in South America, and of Dr. Joseph Wolff in many Oriental and African countries, the advent message was carried to a large part of the habitable globe.” [The Southern Watchman, January 24, 1905] Thus, the trumpet was sounded 10 days (of prophetic time) before the Day of Atonement was to begin; and in perfect accord with what the symbols of the Scriptures represent.
Of the Day of Atonement itself, the Book of Hebrews tells us that Yahshua is our High Priest, (Heb 4:14) that He entered the Sanctuary in Heaven by virtue of His own sacrifice, (9:11, 10:20) and that “He ever liveth to make intercession” for His people. (7:25) While He was always our intercessor between Yahweh and man, just as the High Priest was always the intercessor between Israel and the Almighty, the Day of Atonement represented a special time in this arrangement during which the sins would not only be forgiven, but also blotted out from the record books, never to be considered again. (Acts 3:19, Isa 43:25) We notice from the pattern in Leviticus that although the transgressions of the people were forgiven when they sacrificed their sin offerings, the sins remained “on record” as it were, in the stains of the sanctuary, (Lev 4:6, 17) until the Day of Atonement transferred those same sins unto the High Priest, and then ultimately unto the Azazel-goat for their permanent removal.
The Feast of Tabernacles
Now, shortly after the Day of Atonement, the last Biblical Feast mentioned by Moses was to begin. This was, in the physical world, a celebration of the harvest of the fall (fruit) crops. We read, “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a Feast unto Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before Yahweh your Almighty seven days.” (Lev 23:39 - 40)
We see represented here a week of celebration, and an “eighth day” that was used as a special convocation. It was known as “the last great day,” and in Yahshua’s ministry it was on one of these that He began to teach in detail about the coming of the Holy Spirit. “Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. In the last day, that great day of the Feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Yahshua was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:2, 37-39)
To understand these symbols, we need only look at the progress of the Feasts so far. The Sacrifice was given in the Passover, and the Messiah raised on the day of the Wave-Sheaf. After this the Holy Spirit was poured out (Pentecost) and then the crops (the Church) would have to go through a hot Summer without any particular revelations. In the Fall, a trumpet was sounded to bring the people near to judgment, and then the High Priest would perform a final work of atonement, cleansing the sanctuary and blotting out the sins of the people forever. After this, there was a final harvest, when the fruit was ripe and ready to be gathered in. As in the physical world, the Fall harvest of souls will be preceded by a “latter rain,” to refresh the crops.
When the sacrifice of Yahshua is accepted in the heart of the believer and his life becomes unleavened, he is summoned to judgment. This is not something to be feared; the Creator says to such a one, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen 17:1) All those who consent to stand in the judgment, sending their sins to be cleansed beforehand, (1Tim 5:14) receive the times of refreshing, and their transgressions are blotted out. After this, they need only wait to be gathered home, for their fruit (the fruit of the Spirit) ripens. (Gal 5:22-25)
The Feast of Tabernacles represents the final chapter in the great conflict between Christ and Satan; the “booths” represented temporary dwelling-places, (Lev 23:42) as those who are fleeing from the world’s persecution will find no settled spot. (Mat 24:15 – 22) In one fulfillment the Feast of Tabernacles represents Christ’s “dwelling” among human beings, (John 1:14) where the word “dwelt” is the Greek term for “to live in a tabernacle.” Yet while some contend that this is the ultimate and final fulfillment of the Festal symbols, there is obviously more to it than that. The Feast of Tabernacles represented not only the dwelling in tents, but also a celebration of the harvest. We find that this does not occur until the events recorded in Revelation: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” (Rev 14:14-16)
A special significance is attached to the 8th day of the Feast. If you look up relevant Scriptures regarding a period of eight days, you read this of Hebrew males, “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Lev 12:3) Paul tells us that for New Testament believers, there is a circumcision of the “heart,” (Rom 2:29) a symbolic “putting away” of the flesh, for “they that are in the flesh cannot please Yah.” (Rom 8:8) Now in the ultimate fulfillment of this principle, we will be taken up with Yahshua at the end of the antitypical Feast of Tabernacles (so yes, after the Tribulation), and our current, sinful flesh will be shed.
After a period of trouble, and dwelling in booths, the dead are resurrected and the living are translated. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1Cor 15:50-53)
Purim and The Festival of Lights
The Feast of Purim was established during the days of Esther. Under the leadership of Zerubabbel and Joshua the high priest, some of the faithful Israelites returned from their long exile in heathen lands, and began to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Not every Hebrew returned to the Promised Land, however, and many – for various reasons – decided to remain under Persian rule. The family of Esther was one such group, and due to a series of events recorded in the Book of Esther, the Jews were saved from an evil plot by Haman, an Amalekite minister to the Persian king. (1Sam 15:8, Est 3:1) In commemoration of this event, the 14th and 15th of the month of Adar were set aside as “days of Feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” (Est 9:22)
The Festival of Lights, also called Hanukkah or the Feast of Dedication, arose during the time of the Maccabees, when a small portion of oil was miraculously kept burning for eight days when the Temple was restored after a defilement by Antiochus IV. While it received no direct Biblical sanction, we find the Gospels making reference to it during the winter months of Yahshua’s ministry. (John 10:22, 23)
Although these two Feasts received some support in the ministry of Yahshua, they were not directly ordained by the Almighty in the Law as given to Moses. They are undoubtedly significant in understanding several spiritual concepts, and the culture of the Hebrews in the days of Christ, but for the purposes of prophetic fulfillment, they are only mentioned here and not discussed in detail. The appointed times of Yahweh as listed in Exodus and Leviticus are those which have the most direct import to the unfolding plan of Salvation, and that is where our focus will lie.
III – In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses
Having taken the time to establish exactly what the Feasts are, and what they point to in symbolic language, we can move a little more quickly through our other sections.
We read Paul quoting a principle from Moses’ writings, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2Cor 13:1) We have found that this is true not only of laws and principles, but of the symbols of prophecy as well. Just about every prophecy has two or three fulfillments, and we can outline them based on what we have examined above.
The Passover represented the lamb whose blood spared the firstborn Israelites from destruction. Spiritually, it pointed to the eternal Sacrifice made by Yahshua on Calvary. The Feast of Unleavened bread represented a diet of haste, as the Hebrews fled from their Egyptian captors. Spiritually, it pointed to the lives of the believers, those who accept Christ’s sacrifice; and the lives they live in Him are free from hypocrisy and sin, the “leaven” of the heart. In the physical world it was also a celebration of the grain harvest in Spring. About fifty days later, Pentecost was representative of both the end of the Spring harvest and the giving of the Letter of the Decalogue. Spiritually, it pointed forward to the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles; both the former and latter rains.
The Feast of Trumpets summoned all of Israel to judgment, and in the days of William Miller we see Christians of all backgrounds and doctrines deliberately casting away their man-made doctrines and coming together as a people to examine the matter of Yahshua’s imminent return. The ultimate result of this unity was the Seventh-day Adventist movement, the body of believers dedicated to heralding the Gospel to all the world, and the final warnings of judgment to those who persist in living lives of rebellion and sin.
The Day of Atonement was a ritual designed to impress upon the people that Yahweh had truly forgiven their sins; and not only had He taken it from the people, He had expelled those sins from their very presence. The “goat for Azazel” was not merely slain for the transgressions it bore, but it was sent with “all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited; and [the man] shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” (Lev 16:22) Spiritually, this Sabbath of Sabbaths pointed to the final atonement that Yahshua makes in the Sanctuary “not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.” (2Cor 5:1) It represented that final judgment to which the Feast of Trumpets pointed, and the assembly of all believers before the Almighty for entrance into that eternal Sabbath – rest from the “works” of the flesh.
Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles had several fulfillments. In the letter, it pointed to the celebration of the fruit harvest in Fall. In the Spirit it pointed forward to the appearance of the Messiah among men, and it continues to foreshadow the flight of the believers from the world’s persecution, and the ultimate harvest of the earth when the Son of Man returns to collect the fruit of His labors.
These things have all been established by the Scriptures referenced in Section II, and the reader may note that some Feasts’ fulfillments “pointed” forward to events which have already occurred, and some “point” forward to events that are yet future. This is important for the Christian to recognize, because the reason Paul gives for keeping the Feasts in the New Covenant is inseparably joined to the flow of events in the plan of Salvation.
Paul tells us, in a much-abused verse of the New Testament, “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 [is] of Christ.” (Col 2:16, 17) Leaving out the “helpful” words and unavoidable biases of the King James translators, we find that the Apostle writes to his Gentile converts, “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, which are a shadow of things to come, but the Body of Christ.” (Col 2:16, 17) As pointed out in other articles, this is a clear sanction of the New Moon, Sabbath and Holy Days, all of which are shadows of things yet to come. As long, therefore, as the New Moon is a shadow of a coming event, it has value to a Christian. Isaiah 66 points out that it does – it will be an eternal ordinance of humility and worship before the Everlasting Throne. Similarly, Sabbaths will continue to be a day of rest, peace and worship in the age to come. (Zeph 3:13, Isa 66:23, Rev 22:14)
But what of the Holy Days? Adventists believe, and can demonstrate, that the Sabbath is eternal – thus, it existed before the physical creation, though it was “made for man” at that time. (Mark 2:27) The Scriptures show that although the New Moons were not instituted until after the fall of man, they will continue to be kept in the New Creation as an eternal reminder. (Isa 66:23) But what of the annual mo’edim? They are not mentioned in the events either before or after this physical world, and as they are tied to the seasons (literally) and the plan of Salvation (spiritually), both of which primarily affect the residents of earth, we must conclude that they are only a part of this current age.
This does not lessen their importance! If Yahweh provides something for His people, it is because He knows we need it; we dare not take lightly a gift from the Almighty. However, the premise that the mo’edim are tied to this current age leads us to some interesting conclusions.
Of the three things Paul mentions in Colossians 2 regarding sacred times, only the annual Feast days will meet a final fulfillment in this current world – and indeed some of them have already done so. When the symbols in the Old Testament find their corresponding events after the death of Christ, we say that the symbol (the type) meets the reality (antitype), and the necessity for their observation ceases. Indeed, even the activities associated with some of the Feasts that have not yet met their antitype were changed when Christ died. For example, we have no record in the Scriptures or the early history of the Church that any of the believers (either Jewish or Gentile) actually dwelt in booths during the Feast of Tabernacles.
We have no record of the believers sacrificing a Passover lamb on the 14th of Nisan after Christ’s death, and in fact we need not argue from a mere lack of evidence on this matter either. In the verse we have seen before, Paul writes, “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Cor 5:7, 8) In other words, the Sacrifice has already been “once offered,” and need never be offered again; therefore though the Feast of Unleavened Bread was kept, the Passover ritual itself was not observed. Realizing the distinction between the Passover (14th of Nisan) and the Passover Feast (15 – 21 Nisan) allows us to understand not only certain passages of the New Testament but also, for Adventists, several statements by Mrs. White.
Some have raised the following point: “Yahshua said that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Yet, His fulfillment of the Law does not mean that we can break the literal Decalogue just because we now claim to keep the ‘Spirit’ of the Law.” Further, they say, “Now if you apply this to Feasts, even if a particular Feast has met its fulfillment, that does not mean every Feast should not continue to be kept.”
The problem with this view is twofold. First, it modifies Paul’s explanation to the Colossian converts in ways he never intended. The reason he gave for the keeping of Feast days by Christians specifically involved their value as foreshadowing upcoming events. Second, Adventists (and many other Christians) acknowledge that the Law of God is “from everlasting to everlasting,” (Psa 105:10, 119:44) and not tied to this present age as are the mo’edim. It will NEVER be acceptable in Yahweh’s sight for a man to murder another man, or for one to steal from his neighbor, or to commit adultery. Keeping the Spirit of the 10 Commandments inherently involves keeping the letter, and this is the very thing that makes the precepts inscribed on stone unique.
The 10 Commandments are everlasting principles of righteousness, and as such they have no antitype. Prophecies have fulfillments, and when they are fulfilled we can learn about the Almighty by looking back and seeing that He keeps His promises. Symbols have antitypes, and when they are met they may continue to have value as instructive principles, but the rituals associated with them have no more value today than if we were to slay a lamb every 14th of Nisan. I have heard someone make the argument that this would be useful for Christians also – but Yahshua’s command regarding the memorial of His death involved only the bread and wine of the last supper.
Based on all this, Creation Seventh Day Adventists today emphasize two of the annual Feasts, these being the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles. The first of these is a continual reminder of conversion, and it continues to be valid until the fruits are fully ripened. The harvest of the ripened fruit is gathered in the last days, as pointed out by the latter Feast. We must be careful to point out, as we discuss this, that the key word here is emphasize. We certainly believe that all of Yahweh’s appointed times have certain value as long as this age should last, and there was a time when CSDAs actively observed all of mo’edim; as time passed, however, the Spirit of Yahweh led us to focus more on some and less on others; and by a study of the Scriptures, and by understanding the principle of type meeting antitype, we have come to realize why this is.
Pentecost, while one of the “special” Feasts on which Yahweh says every male was to gather before Him, (Exo 23:17) has already met both of its New Testament fulfillments. This explains why Paul continued to keep the Feast of Weeks in the 1st Century. We read that “Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia; for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.” (Acts 20:16) In his day the former rain had fallen (Acts 2:1-4) but the latter had not yet begun to fall. In 1988, when the Victory message began to be taught by the faithful children of Yahweh, it fell – and accompanying this final message have been manifestations of glory corresponding to that which was seen in the upper room.
The Feast of Trumpets signaled the beginning of a10-year period of study and soul-searching that resulted in the SDA movement, and while our message is one of continuing judgment, the actual rituals associated with the day have no further practical significance. Of course, in the case of this specific Feast the issue of “observing” it is somewhat moot. The Feast of Trumpets always falls on a New Moon, which we consider sacred time anyway according to the Scriptures.
The Day of Atonement, of course, met its antitype in 1844, with the initiation of the Investigative Judgment. Like Pentecost, we are now in the time of its final fulfillment, and our affliction and fasting is of a continuous, joyful and expectant nature. Again, like Pentecost, this is one that was acknowledged by the Apostles, because its final earthly significance had not yet come to pass. (Acts 27:9) It does not currently foreshadow anything, but naturally we continue to teach about the Sanctuary and what our Savior is doing for us in the Heavenly Tabernacle as we speak.
Now, an Adventist, approaching these matters, has both an advantage and a disadvantage – and both of them are related to the writings of Ellen G. White. The Advent believer has the benefit of her clear explanations of what all the symbols related to the Feast days mean, but he also generally has a great deal of baggage, since most SDAs to date have misread some of her works; and a few go so far as to say that if one keeps the Feasts, he rejects the ministry of Christ. Let us see, then, if this is a valid point of view.
IV – Times and Laws
Ellen White generally has positive things to say about the Feast days. She writes, for example, “The directions that Moses gave concerning the Passover feast are full of significance, and have an application to parents and children in this age of the world.” [Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 21, 1895, paragraph 1, emphasis mine]
Speaking of the early Christians she says, “The Philippians were the most loving and true-hearted of [Paul] the apostle’s converts, and he enjoyed a peaceful and happy visit with them during the eight days of the Feast.” [LP 196] Adventists who realize that the Philippians were mostly Gentiles should have no excuse for claiming that Feastkeeping was not ordained by the New Testament believers; or worse, that they somehow belittle the Sacrifice He made on our behalf.
In another place Mrs. White writes, “If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!” [Testimonies for the Church Volume Six, page 39, paragraphs 3, 4; page 40, paragraph 2] Some, in reading this, remark, “Oh, she’s just talking about camp meetings, and it doesn’t matter when these occur.”
That does not explain her other statements, like this one: “Well would it be for us to have a feast of tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to us as a people. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God wrought for their fathers, and his miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt to the promised land, so should the people of God at the present time gratefully call to mind the various ways he has devised to bring them out from the world, out from the darkness of error, into the precious light of truth. We should often bring to remembrance the dependence upon God of those who first led out in this work. We should gratefully regard the old way-marks, and refresh our souls with memories of the loving-kindness of our gracious Benefactor.” [Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 17, 1885]
Now, the problem comes in if the difference between the Feast days and the Feast rituals are not understood. For example, Ellen White said that “The directions that Moses gave concerning the passover Feast are full of significance,” however she also says things like the following:
“Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy, and in all his specific directions regarding the ceremonial observances, these were distinguished from the Decalogue. They were to pass away. Type was to meet antitype in the one great offering of Christ for the sins of the world.” [The Signs of the Times, July 29, 1897]
“This was the last time that Christ was to keep the [Passover] Feast with His disciples. It was really the last Passover that was ever to be kept. For the lamb was slain to teach the people about Christ’s death; and when Christ, the Lamb of God, should be slain for the sins of the world, there would be no need of slaying a lamb to represent His death. [SJ 95] And again, “Many who at that time united in the service never again took part in the paschal rites. Many even of the priests were convicted of the true character of Jesus. Their searching of the prophecies had not been in vain, and after His resurrection they acknowledged Him as the Son of God.” [DA 775]
In order to understand Ellen White’s position on the Feasts and Old Testament rituals in general, it is essential to realize that she is saying the following: while the “rites” and “rituals” associated with the Feasts have passed away forever, the principle of “keeping” the Feast days themselves have not. There are no contradictions among her various statements. Again the directions for the “Passover feast,” (which is really the Feast of Unleavened Bread) have significance for us in this age, and it would we well for us to “keep” a Feast of Tabernacles. In no place does Ellen White say that the appointed times should pass us by unnoticed; at the same time, institutions dealing with rituals such as slaying a lamb, dwelling in booths, and eating a commemorative meal only once a year belong to the past age. “They were to pass away.” There is a difference.
The matter of the Lord’s Supper is of particular importance, for some believe that when Yahshua instituted this ritual, He was also connecting it to the Feast of the Passover in a chronological way. This is not the case, as Mrs. White took some pains to explain. “The Saviour had been obedient to the Jewish law, and observed all its divinely appointed ordinances. He had just identified himself with the paschal lamb as its great antitype, by connecting the Lord’s supper with the passover.” [3SP 128] Here we see that the Lord’s Supper was not merely a continuation of the annual event, but a new thing to be “connected” to it. There are even more clear quotations pointing this out.
“In the place of the national festival which the Jewish people had observed, He instituted a memorial service, the ordinance of feet washing and the sacramental supper, to be observed through all time by His followers in every country.” [Ev 275-76]
“As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages. [Desire of Ages, p. 652 – emphases mine] Clearly, the Lord’s Supper is a “new” thing that was established to replace the paschal lamb. Now, this still does not prove that it was not intended to be an annual event. The following, however, does:
“And as we had the emblems of our dying Lord before us, and were about to commemorate his sufferings, Brother A. arose and said he had no faith in what we were about to do, that the Lord’s supper was a continuation of the passover to be observed but once a year. These strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially as Brother A. spoke of the one thousand years being in the past. I knew that he was in error, and great grief pressed my spirits, as it seemed to me that God was dishonored, and I fainted under the burden. [2 SG 97, 98]
“Duties are laid down in God’s Word, the performance of which will keep the people of God humble and separate from the world, and from backsliding, like the nominal churches. The washing of feet and partaking of the Lord’s supper should be more frequently practiced. Jesus set us the example, and told us to do as He had done.” [EW 116, 117 – emphases mine]
Here is a longer passage that makes an important point: “The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ. Says Paul: ‘Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.’ 1 Corinthians 5:7. The sheaf of first fruits, which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking of the resurrection of the Lord and of all His people: ‘Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.’ 1 Corinthians 15:23. Like the wave sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest, Christ is the first fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into the garner of God.
“These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that Feast which was to commemorate His own death as ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, ‘the first fruits of them that slept,’ a sample of all the resurrected just, whose ‘vile body’ shall be changed, and ‘fashioned like unto His glorious body.’” [GC11 399 – emphases mine]
Here again we see the idea that the Lord’s Supper was something instituted to “replace” the annual, paschal meal. Not only the event, but the time of this ritual was to pass away... and again, note the distinction between the Feasts themselves (which Ellen White acknowledges continued to be kept) and the types, the rituals and practices associated with those appointed times. Let it also be noted that the “time” of the paschal meal is listed along with the “time” of the Wave-Sheaf offering; Christians today do not offer the firstfruits of their physical harvest, and so the transient nature of the Passover rituals to New Covenant Christians should be obvious. The Communion service instituted by Christ, and which should be practiced more frequently than once a year, was intended to replace the Passover service in its entirety – including the slaying of the lamb, the eating of the lamb during the paschal meal, and the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits three days later. Again, this is different from the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, which followed, pointing to something else entirely.
Mrs. White also states in elegant terms the reason why the rituals needed to be replaced, particularly as relates to the Passover and paschal meal:
“As Christ joined in the Paschal service, there was before His mind the scene of His last great sacrifice. He was now in the shadow of the cross, and the pain was torturing His heart. He knew all the anguish that awaited Him.” [SJ 95 – emphasis added]
“But the Communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose. As the Lord’s disciples gather about His table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell upon their past religious experience, whether that experience has been elevating or depressing. They are not to recall the differences between them and their brethren. The preparatory service has embraced all this. The self-examination, the confession of sin, the reconciling of differences, has all been done. Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.” [DA 659]
Now a picture becomes clear. The Lord’s supper ceremony, since it involved the slaying of the lamb, was established in the “shadow of the cross.” After the type met the antitype those who partake of communion, the service that replaces it, “are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light.” The two, therefore, could not be more different. As CSDAs celebrate communion on New Moons, it perfectly matches both the symbolism and the intention of Mrs. White’s words regarding the “preparatory service.”
Now we also have new light on Paul’s statements in Colossians. He calls the types that have not yet met their fulfillment a “shadow” of things to come. This is to say, until the antitype arrives, the rituals are in the “shadow” of the reality; and when the reality comes to pass neither the symbol nor ritual are not destroyed, but each “passes away” in the sense of remaining in the shadow while the believer progresses into the “light” of its established truth. This, then, is what truly happens when type meets antitype: the rituals pass away, or are modified; but the time, particularly a holy day that is not tied directly to a ritual, remains. Using this as a pattern, we can easily examine the rituals and ceremonies of ALL the Biblical Feasts, asking, “Has this yet been fulfilled? Has the antitype yet arrived?”
Now, some might raise the objection that we are “in” the times of both the Unleavened Bread and the Day of Atonement, so why do we keep one and not the other? The difference is in the nature of the rituals involved. The Day of Atonement was centered around the ceremony itself, the cleansing of the Sanctuary. To be “in” that time is to acknowledge that Christ is currently performing those acts, and not on a particular day of the year. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was centered around the celebration of the time, and as such is still appointed. In other words, Yahshua is doing every day the rituals associated with the 10th day of the 7th month; but the Feast of Unleavened bread continues to be tied to a definite period of the earthly year.
In addition to this, the Day of Atonement was a unique event, and its fulfillment was a unique event. Just as with the Passover the lamb was “once offered,” so at the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement our High Priest has “entered in once into the holy place.” (Heb 9:12) He became the High Priest once, as Paul points out, and He has entered into the Tabernacle (for the sake of atonement) once; as even it is said of the earthly high priest, “Yahweh said unto Moses, ‘Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat.” (Lev 16:2a) It was a unique event, and this is not a distinction to be ignored.
Now, while the Feast of Unleavened Bread had a unique, time-based symbol (15th to 21st of Nisan), the fulfillment is not a one-time event. The moment a person becomes converted, he enters into that unleavened life, free of hypocrisy and sin. We cannot point to a historical date, like October 1844, and say, “The Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled at that time,” or even that it began to be fulfilled on a particular date, as is the case with Pentecost and Yom Kippur. The Feast of Unleavened Bread therefore has a continuous fulfillment, while the Day of Atonement ceremony began on a specific date, and will end on a specific date.
Anyone who has read my article Conjunction knows that the matter of applying the Old Testament Feasts to a New Testament understanding is tricky business. Truly, it could never be accomplished by human understanding alone; it is a matter about which we may well say, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psa 139:6) Even so, Yahweh has not left us without the ability to understand, and to be sure about such things. Where skill is lacking, He gives skill. (Exo 31:2-6) Where wisdom is lacking, He gives wisdom. (James 1:5) Where faith is lacking He says, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” (2Cor 12:9) and He binds together a Church, into which He sets “some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.” (Eph 4:11, 12)
Having believed in these precious promises, the CSDA Church has arrived at its current position.
V – Receiving The Rain
Just like the Almighty, the Church of Christ puts a difference between commandments and ordinances. If you read Isaiah 1, you receive some interesting information about the Creator’s view of Feastkeeping. He says to His people, while they were in a state of rebellion and sin, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith Yahweh. I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 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. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isa 1:11 – 17)
Now, we have to be careful with this verse for a number of reasons. You notice that the word “Sabbaths” is in there, however from the context you can see that “New Moons and Sabbaths” is a direct parallel to “New Moons and ... appointed Feasts.” In the New Testament, the word “Sabbath” always denotes the seventh day of the week, but this is demonstrably not the case in the Old, and it is a vital factor to keep in mind. The convocations within the Feast days were also known as “Sabbaths,” (Lev 23:24) and therefore we see that Yahweh is not speaking here of the 7th day Sabbath, but of those days associated with “the calling of assemblies” (Heb: mikrah – convocation days). Further proof of this comes from other passages where the Israelites were commanded to keep the 7th day holy even when the other aspects of their faith was not perfect. (Neh 13:15-20, Jer 17:22)
Feasts in Yahweh’s eyes only have value for the participants if their souls are clean. By neglecting the commandments, however, which represents eternal principles, an individual actually does immediate violence to his or her soul. There is an instant, terrible effect in performing a known transgression of the Decalogue’s requirements, and this is why the Creator’s true, born-again children do not perform such deeds. (1John 3:9) Yahweh has never commanded His people NOT to obey the Law according to these things, although in Isaiah we read that He commanded His people not to perform any more of the ceremonial requirements unless they were walking in purity before Him. This is applicable to both Old and New Testament Feastkeeping, for (as I quoted earlier) Jude mentions that those who are wed to dangerous, false doctrines are “spots” at Christian feasts. (Jude 1:12) To keep the Feasts with anything less than the full light of present truth is an abomination to Heaven, especially in these last days when our goal is not merely to “get to Heaven,” but to so reflect the character of Christ that death itself will have no power over us. (1Th 4:17)
Today, we hold to the same teaching we have received. CSDAs do not consider “Feastkeeping” on its own to be any great work of faith. Apart from the Church itself, there is no real benefit to keeping the appointed times as an “independent group.” As Ellen White said, “Well would it be for us to have a Feast of tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to us as a people. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God wrought for their fathers, and his miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt to the promised land, so should the people of God at the present time gratefully call to mind the various ways he has devised to bring them out from the world, out from the darkness of error, into the precious light of truth.” [Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 17, 1885 – emphasis mine]
While we would certainly teach everyone to keep the commandments regardless of circumstances or level of spiritual education, (Mat 5:19) we realize that the appointed times were (and are) for the faithful children of the Messiah only, for those who are walking in Victory, and worshipping according to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. A narrow road? Yes, it is... but one for which we have precedent, “because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:14) At the Feasts provided by the Church of Christ, people will hear the words of life taught. They will not hear sermons that are merely pleasing to the senses, or teachings that are “brilliant” or “insightful” or “deep.” They will hear the way of the Messiah set before them in uncompromising terms, and Yahweh says to us, “This is the Feast I have appointed.” Those who love this message say, with Paul, “I must by all means keep this Feast.” (Acts 18:21) Though the way be far for some, and the passage difficult, there is a blessing to be received among the organized, (1Cor 14:40, Acts 6:2-7) assembled (Isa 45:20, Acts 4:31) Children of the Most High, and nowhere else.
The Bible tells us about the Feast of Tabernacles in the last days, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of tabernacles.” (Zech 14:16-18)
Adventists well know that references to “rain” in the prophecies of the last days refer to the Latter Rain, that outpouring of the Holy Spirit that binds people to Christ and seals them for Heaven. The Scripture here tells us that if anyone has not experienced this rain already, and neglects to come up to the Feasts, he might just miss it. The rain has been falling for some time, and the work is drawing to a close.
Even in the Old Testament, and certainly in the New, Feastkeeping was not “commanded.” (Deu 14:24-27, John 7:2-10) Even so, individuals who willfully neglect the “the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25) miss out on a great blessing, perhaps the very blessing that would have bound them forever in loyalty to the Most High, giving them the Seal of Yah, that “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved.” [Manuscript Releases Volume One, page 249] The latter rain is falling, and at the Feasts of Yahweh’s people it is poured out in great measure. Though the rituals may have changed, the appointed times are still appointed.