Some have issued statements and even railing accusations that I teach error because of my position on "the feast days, new moons, and Sabbaths". I can easily refute those claims for brethren seeking truth, and who will give me opportunity. For the sake of those who might prefer, for one reason or another, to avoid a personal meeting of the minds, I will offer the following commentary which any and all are invited to respond to in sincerity:
FACT #1: In Colossians 2:16, Paul is speaking of yearly feast days, monthly new moons, and weekly Sabbaths. When comparing the Greek word for "Sabbaths" in this verse with the Greek Septuagint (Old Testament), the same word is always used for the seventh-day Sabbath, and never employed in reference to a feast day or annual ceremonial "sabbath" (holy convocation). Therefore, we must conclude that "Sabbaths" in Col. 2:16 refers to the seventh-day. We also know that the Sabbath was not "nailed to the cross", and neither were the other holydays.
FACT #2: Only antichrist has "thought to change times...". (Dan. 7:25). It is true that "The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ." (GC 399). However, "the time of Passover" was not the "type". While it is also true that "types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time" (GC 399), this is not an argument for disposing of the time. "In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service." (GC 399). Scripture says, "In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease." (Dan. 9:27). "With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of offerings which...had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease." (GC 327-28). "As He ate the Passover..., He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice." (DA 652). The "appointed time" was not there altered. To emphasize further, "There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin." (DA 757). "That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath...Many who at that time united in the service never again took part in the paschal rites." (DA 774-75). So it is very clear that "The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype.... Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease." (PP 365). No "holy convocations" were to cease.
FACT #3: The only proof that the apostles kept the Sabbath with Gentile converts is found in Acts 16:12, 13, during Paul's Second Missionary Tour at Philippi (c. A.D. 49- 52). Interestingly enough, during Paul's Third Missionary Tour (c. A.D. 53- 58), he kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread with Gentile converts at Philippi (Acts 20:6; AA 390-91). Surely by this time Paul would have known God's will concerning the keeping of the feasts, and he did, because he writes, "...let us keep the holyday..." (1 Co. 5:8, margin; c. A.D. 57). [Philippi: "...a Roman 'colony', i.e., it contained a body of Roman citizens,...The church there was mainly Gentile, there being no Jewish synagogue." NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE; Cambridge Study Edition; Concise Bible Dictionary, p. 95.]
NOTE: Since writing FACTS #1, FACTS #2, and FACTS #3, I have been exposed to QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT THE FEASTS WERE NAILED TO THE CROSS, a paper written by Stephen W. Kraner. I discovered more "facts" which need to be presented in this commentary.
FACT #4: The mighty angel of Revelation 18 was seen by John as "having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory." (Rev. 18:1). Ellen White writes, "In the future the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them to men." (9T 40). "Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship.... In the days of Christ these FEASTS were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through THEM have been given to all the nations of the world....The Lord saw that these gatherings were NECESSARY for the spiritual life of His people....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 !"(6T 39-40). The sacred feasts of YAH are beneficial, not only to strengthen Israel, but also to lighten the earth.
FACT #5: YAH had instituted "set times for worship". Annual, monthly, and weekly "appointed times" are evident in Colossians 2:16. But what about daily times ?
Ellen White writes, "The daily service consisted of the MORNING and EVENING burnt offering, the offering of sweet incense on the golden altar, and the special offerings for individual sins. And there were also offerings for Sabbaths, new moons, and special feasts....(PP 352)...The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation....In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer....God...looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing MORNING and EVENING to...present their requests for needed blessings." (PP 353-54). This "example" proves that "sacred times" or "set time for worship" was not changed by God.
FACT #6: "When the Savior yielded up His life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased...". (PP 539). Yet,"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...." (RH May 21, 1895). What better time is there to teach the present significance than at the time of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread? If we were to teach a lesson using a pine tree as an object in the lesson, we could draw a picture or just imagine the pine tree. However, it would be much more meaningful and lasting in our memory if we went out among the pines. In the same way, the times designated by YAH may be used to great advantage in the thorough instruction of Israel.
FACT #7: Seventh-day Adventists agree that the Papacy did "think to change times and laws". (Dan. 7:25). In this, the Council of Nicea, 325 A.D., was significant. The record shows that at the Council of Nicea, the seventh-day Sabbath and a Christian observance of Passover was defended, as noted in the following by Eusebius, from THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, p. 231 (Penguine Ed.):
We for our part keep the day scrupulously, without addition or subtraction. For in Asia great luminaries sleep who shall rise again on the day of the Lord's advent, when He is coming with glory from heaven and shall search out all His saints such as Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis with two of his daughters, who remained unmarried to the end of their days, while his other daughter lived in the Holy Spirit and rests in Ephesus. Again there is John, who leant back upon the Lord's breast, and who became a sacrificing priest wearing the mitre, a martyr, and a teacher; he too sleeps in Ephesus. Then in Smyrna there is Polycarp, bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, the bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who also sleeps in Smyrna. Need I mention Sagaris, bishop and martyr, who sleeps in Laodicea, or blessed Papirius, or Melito the enuch, who lived entirely in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis waiting for the visitation from heaven when he shall rise from the dead? All of these kept the fourteenth day of the month as the beginning of the Paschal festival, in accordance with the Gospel, not deviating in the least but following in the rule of faith. Last of all I too, Polycrates, the least of you all, act according to the tradition of my family, some members of which I have actually followed; for seven of them were bishops and I am the eighth, and my family have always kept the day when the people put away the leaven. So I, my friends, after spending sixty-five years in the Lord's service and conversing with Christians from all parts of the world, and going carefully through all Holy Scripture, am not scared of threats. Better people than I have said: "We must obey God rather than men."Three centuries after the crucifixion of Messiah, the saints are found defending the "appointed times of YAH". Should we not do the same?
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