Could it make any difference which days we observe or whether we keep them? Does the Bible teach that Christians should keep certain days holy?
Most people who profess Christ do not keep the Holy Days listed in the Bible. Instead they keep days that originated in paganism that were modified to give the impression that they were Christian.
Which should you keep?
Here is some information that should help:
Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The 'Fall' Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God's Holy Days and popular holidays.
There are basically two views of which days should be kept. Some keep the biblical ones (sometimes called Jewish ones by critics), while others rely on traditions of men that modified pagan holidays and attempted to merge them into a faith that also refers to Christ.
Here is a view from the 4th/5th century Orthodox bishop, and doctor of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, John Chyrsostom:
The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now...If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies...Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html 12/10/05).
So, are the Greco-Roman days that most keep venerable or lies?
Which are God's Holy Days? The following answers that question:
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many "Christians" somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about "speaking in tongues" and led by the Holy Spirit? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus one by Herbert Amrstrong HWA sobre Pentecostés). Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach?
The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians "The Day of Atonement." Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today's Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
What about the world's claimed 'Christian' holidays? The following articles explain the pagan connections with the holidays that many who profess Christ observe?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world's New Year's day.
Valentine's Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine's Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true? There is also a YouTube titled Should Christians Observe Valentine's Day?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Did Jesus celebrate Carnaval? Where did it come from?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma?
Why The Continuing Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday? What did Patrick write and stand for?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
Walpurgis Night: Witches’ Sabbath? This is observed in parts of Europe April 30th-May 1st. Though named after a Catholic saint, it tends to be like Halloween.
Our Lady of Fatima Day Millions observe May 13th, but do not realize the truth about what was seen then.
Milvian Bridge Day, Constantine, and St. Jude Milvian Bridge Day and St. Jude's day are observed by some on October 28. Yet, do these two events point to a contradiction?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls' Day When did "All Saints Day" and the "Day of the Dead" begin? "What about All Soul's Day"?
Catholic Saint Nicholas Day December 6th is observed by some in Nicholas' honor. Was he fat or jolly as Santa Claus is portrayed?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? December 8th is observed by Rome for this. But did early Christians observe it?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the "Church of the Nativity"? Were the wise men there?
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus' birthday or that of the sun god?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Notice something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
Starting with the ancient Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, this prophecy foretells the successive world rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander's Greco-Macedonian kingdom with its four divisions, and finally, of the mighty Roman Empire. Out of the original Roman Empire, symbolized by "horns" growing out of the head of a "beast," are pictured the ten resurrections of the Roman Empire that have continued since its fall to the present, and are scheduled to continue until the coming of Christ.
Among these ten kingdoms which have ruled in the Western world since the fall of Rome to the present, appeared another "little horn," whose "look was more stout than fellows." In other words, another government, actually smaller, yet dominating over all the others. Student of prophecy recognize this "little horn" as a great religious hierarchy. And in the 25th verse of this prophecy, it is stated that this hierarchy shall "think to change times and laws."
How Time Was Changed
This same power is mentioned again in the 17th chapter of Revelation, here pictured as ruling over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, persecuting the true saints.
In every possible manner, this power has changed TIME!
God begins the days at sunset, but "the little horn" has changed it so the world now begins the day in the middle of the night by a man-made watch.
God begins the week with the ending of the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, but the world begins the working week in the middle of the night, the second day of the week.
God begins the months with the new moons, but this "little horn" has induced the world to begin the months according to a clumsy man-made calendar of heathen origin.
God begins the year in the early spring, when new life is budding in nature everywhere, but ancient heathen Rome caused the world to begin the year in the middle of dead winter.
God gave His children a true rest day, designed to keep them continually in the knowledge and true worship of the true God a memorial of God's Creation the seventh day of the week. But the "little horn" has fastened upon a deluded world the observance of the days on which the pagans worshipped the Sun, the first day of the week, called SUNday.
Ancient Rome's pagan holidays have been chained upon a heedless and deceived world. These include certain annual holidays Christmas, New Year's, Easter, as well as many more, every one a pagan day every one used to stimulate the sale of merchandise in the commercial markets. Upon honest investigation, the earnest seeker after truth learns that these days are all of heathen origin and pagan significance. He learns that he can have no part in them.
But is the Christian of today left without any annual holy days? Did God never give to His people annual holy days, as well as the weekly Sabbath? Are not ancient Rome's annual holidays mere counterfeits of God's true holy days, exactly as Sunday is a counterfeit of the true Sabbath?
Let us honestly open our Bibles, and prayerfully investigate. We are told to study not argue, not to refute, but to show ourselves approved unto God to learn God's will. We are commanded, as Christians, to grow in knowledge as well as in grace (II Peter 3:18). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable to correct and to reprove us, where we have, through assumption, false teaching, or prejudice, been in error.
Most people have supposed that all the annual Sabbaths and feast days of Israel were done away. And yet Church history shows that the early true Church did, for more than four hundred long years at least perhaps much longer after Christ's resurrection, continue to keep and observe these annual holy days given by God!
And just as the Sunday observer is inclined to look, at first, upon any argument for the weekly Sabbath with prejudice as a heresy and to examine every argument only in an attitude of attempting to refute it, so it will be only human only natural for us, if we are not on our guard against it, to look upon any presentation of these annual Sabbaths in the same spirit of prejudice.
But remember that "he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (Proverbs 18:13).
Let us, therefore, in willing submission to God, to His will, with yielded hearts free from prejudice, with open minds desiring truth more than our own way, trembling before the sacred and holy Word of God, ask God humbly for the direction of His Holy Spirit. And in this prayerful, submissive, willing, yet careful and cautious attitude, study this question proving all things. (Pagan Holidays or God's Holy Days Which?)
Obviously, those who wish to follow the God of the Bible would keep His Holy Days, which were the same ones that Jesus and His disciples kept. None of them kept Christmas or Easter Sunday, nor most of the other holidays that those in the Greco-Roman churches keep.
The following articles contain answers to other Holy Day related questions that some have:
Hebrew Calendar and "Postponements" This John Ogywn writing explains why the most faithful in the Church of God use the calendar that we do and answers such questions as "Did Jesus Observe the Postponements?"
How often should we partake of THE LORD'S SUPPER? Herbert Armstrong answers that question.
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on "Good Friday"? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Melito's Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.
When are God's Holy Days? The following contains dates through 2024:
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos.
The Continuing Church of God also has a free booklet available explaining what the Bible and history shows about God's Holy Days and popular holidays: Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?
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