Why We Should Not Keep the Feast Days

Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
(Ephesians 2:15)

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(Colossians 2:14-17)

Wherefore then serveth the law: It was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
(Galatians 3:19)

Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
(Hebrews 9:10)

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
(Galatians 3:16)

The foregoing passages of Scripture are vital in the study of the subject of the feasts. Many people are confused because they are not able to determine what was nailed to the cross and what was not nailed to the cross. Because of this, there are those who feel there is no law whereby man must live today. Even the Ten Commandments are nailed to the cross by those who claim there is no law.

And then there are those who claim to keep the Ten Commandments and a portion of the law of Moses, or a portion of the laws of the feasts because they feel only the laws pertinent to sacrifices were nailed to the cross. I believe the foregoing passages of Scripture are very plain in that each one of them points out very plainly that the law, being a foreshadow of something to come, was nailed to the cross and abolished with the death of Christ, Who was the Thing of the foreshadow that then stood.

First, we want to consider “the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” In other words, what is a law contained in ordinances? What are ordinances? In our cities and our government, we have ordinances. These ordinances are laws to follow. Does the Bible speak of laws when it uses the word ordinances, as it does in the foregoing Scriptures? Or is there a difference when we speak of ordinances and law contained in ordinances? These are vital questions as we begin to study the subject before us.

The word contained means “to have within itself, included in”, and “comprised of” (American Everyday Dictionary). So then, “the law of commandments contained in ordinances” would simply mean a law that has within itself rules or regulations governing how to exercise that law. In other words, a law contained in ordinances is one that has rules of instructions how to keep, or exercise, that law. In some languages the word ordinances is translated “rituals”, and in some languages, it is “ceremonies.” So then, a law that is contained in ordinances has no effect unless it is kept by, or in accordance with, the rituals or ceremonies that tell how to keep it.

In languages where the word ordinances is translated “rituals”, there is no other word that can be used to mean the same thing. This is true with the language that used “ceremonies” for the word ordinances. We would then read this passage like this: “The law contained in rituals is nailed to the cross”, or “The law contained in ceremonies is nailed to the cross.” I hope this will help to explain what Paul actually wanted to tell us in the foregoing passages of Scriptures.

What we want to take notice of from here on is that Paul told us that “the law that contains ordinances was nailed to the cross: Jesus took it out of the way.” It was not a part of the law but the law contained in ordinances. There is no Scripture anywhere in the entire Bible that separates anything from the law contained in ordinances or that tells us to keep this part of that law but not to keep the other part. So then, we will have to go on with the study of God’s word to see what stands for us to do today.

The ones who try to hold to a part of the feasts, the law contained in ordinances, also try to connect the weekly Sabbath with the feasts. This is twisting the Scripture to fit man’s theory, but in the Scripture, it is not so found. The Ten Commandments were written with the finger of God onto tables of stone. (Exodus 31:18) Then the tables of stone were placed inside the ark that Moses made according to the instructions from the LORD (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). The law contained in ordinances was written in a book by Moses, and not by God, and then placed in the side of the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:9, 24-27). And this for a witness against the children of Israel, because of their being stiffnecked.

The weekly Sabbath was written on the tables of stone with the other nine commandments and was not a part of the law contained in ordinances. None of the Ten Commandments contained ordinances; they were “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” from the very beginning of creation. The other law was added because of transgression of the Ten Commandments (Galatians 3:19). The seventh-day Sabbath was created by God for a special purpose; the Sabbaths of the feasts are a part of the ordinance that was added to the sacrifices under the Levitical priesthood.

Now, let’s go back to the passage found in Colossians 2:6-14. As we begin to read the first verse of Colossians 2, we find that Paul refers to the mystery of God and of Christ. In the sixth verse, he says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” These Colossians lived unto God by faith, not by laws contained in ordinances.

Paul tried to encourage them to continue in this faith and he continued his writing in verse 7: “Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Who taught these Colossians to stay in the faith? It was Paul, was it not? He did not teach them to keep the laws, nor part of the laws contained in ordinances.

We will see later in the chapter that he taught them not to be judged because they do not keep them. Verse 8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Even as there were those who deceived through philosophy in the days of the Colossians, so there are those in our day who use the same to deceive people and draw disciples after them, using the rudiments of the world (such things that are not spiritual but carnal) with which to do it.

The feasts were literal (carnal) events. There were those in Paul’s time who claimed the feasts must be kept, not the sacrifices, but the eating of unleavened bread, Sabbaths, and even circumcision, and there are those in our day that claim the same, not even stopping to think that they who do such things do away with Christ and crucify Him afresh.

Now, note verse 9: “For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” You see how that Paul tells the Colossians the fullness is in Christ and not in anything else. And now note verse 10: “And ye are complete in him (in Christ), which is the head of all principality and power.” So then, we are complete in Christ. If completion is in Christ, why do the things that were a shadow of Him? You might ask if the feasts were shadows? What else were they? If they were not shadows, then why not keep them as they are described in the Scripture?

Why keep a part of them and only that part which a man chooses to keep and not the rest? There is no Scripture anywhere in the Bible that separates one part of the feast from the other part. We say the sacrifices of animals pertained to Christ but not the days and the unleavened bread. Where is the authority given any man to make such separation of God’s things if it is that the feasts were not a shadow? If one part of a feast was a shadow, the other part is not left out.

As we read verse 11, we find that Paul tells the Colossians that circumcision is not with hands; it is by the spirit through Christ. Then comes the burial in baptism and the resurrection unto newness of life, all in Christ Jesus. Then in verse 14, Paul says, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

The handwriting that was against us is none other than the laws that are contained in rituals. It does not say that the sacrifices were nailed to the cross — it says the law. The law included meats, drink, holy days, new moons, and Sabbath days. Since the Colossians had their fullness and their completion in Christ, Paul said not to let anyone judge you for not keeping those things which were a shadow of things to come.”

Those who teach that it is necessary to keep parts of some of the feasts fail to recognize that there are no other Sabbath days but those of the feasts that were a shadow of anything to come. They try to maintain that the days remained but do you know that the day of the feast was the most unimportant aspect of the feast and did not exist until the beginning of the Levitical priesthood? The Levitical priesthood began with Exodus, and so did the feasts. They also vanished with the Levitical priesthood. Anyone claiming to keep the feasts or any part of them claims that Christ is not yet come to take away the shadow that stood or stands before them.

Now, would you take careful note of Colossians 2:20? “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (elements) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances.” Here Paul is very plain; he asks the Colossians why they want to go to something that is equal to that which they had while living in the world.

Note these words: “why, as though living in the world.” He does not say that they are going back into the world but he asks why they want to go into something equally as bad as that which they had while living in the world. It simply adds up to this: To go back to the keeping of the feasts, the things which were a shadow of a thing to come, is equally as bad as to be out in the rudiments of the world. The man that is in the rudiments of the world is lost, so what about the man who keeps the things that are a shadow of Christ? Verse 21 tells us, “Touch not: taste not: handle not.” I ask why not? Verse 22 tells us why not: “Which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men?”

The rudiments of the world are after the doctrines and commandments of men; one is equal to the other — this is what Paul is telling us in these verses. Read Colossians 2:20-23 and omit that which is in parenthesis and keep note of the words “as though living in the world” in order to get exactly what Paul says.

In Galatians 4:1-11, we find a passage of Scripture that speaks in the same manner as we have read in Colossians 2:20-23. Here in Galatians Paul says in verse 9; “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” Paul does not say in this verse that the people desired to go back into the world but he likens the things they desired to enter equal with the things of the world. This can be plainly seen in Colossians 2:20-23 and Galatians 4:21.

I might ask, what is the bondage mentioned in Galatians 4:9? If you turn and read Acts 15:1-11 you will find that the yoke of bondage is “to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses.” The law of Moses is none other than the law contained in ordinances, the feast days with all their feasts. Paul goes on to say in Galatians 4:10: “Ye observe days, and months and times, and years; I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”

What are these days, months, times, and years mentioned here? They are none other than that of which Paul tells us in Colossians 2:1-17, a shadow of things to come; that is why he felt he had bestowed his labor in vain. He caused the Galatians to come out of the world and the lust thereof, and now they were going into something that was equal to ungodliness and worldly lust. Read Galatians 4:21: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” This shows Paul was speaking of going back under the law and not out into the world.

Paul uses the entire book to try to get the Galatians to understand that the laws contained in ordinances were only a schoolmaster to bring us on down to the time of Christ (Galatians 3:19-29). In this passage, Paul tells us that we now are justified by faith in Christ Jesus and no longer by works (doing of the feasts). In Chapter 5, verses 1 and on, we find that Paul tells us if any man falls back to circumcision, he is obligated to do the whole law. What law? The law of Moses, and he must do all the things in the law (not a part of the feasts but all of it), and if he does, Christ profiteth such a man nothing; he is fallen from grace.

This is as plain as day that if any man goes back to do any portion of the law contained in ordinances he is lost, for he denies that Christ came and died for him. Satan is not concerned how he destroys God’s people; he will use the Scriptures to do it. However, he causes his ministers to wrest (twist, pervert) the Scriptures to make something out of nothing. And if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. The keeping of the feast days is but one of the doctrines Satan uses. People do not actually realize that they have no salvation if and when they keep even a part of the feasts. And so it makes Satan very happy, because salvation is what he wants to destroy. Paul says such that keep one part of the law (the law contained in ordinances) is guilty of all the law. He is fallen from grace; Christ profiteth him nothing (Galatians 5:1-4). In plain words, man is lost.

Let’s read on in Galatians 5:5: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” A born-again person is spiritually minded; he will do the spiritual things. One who is not born again is carnally minded and does things carnally. To be spiritually minded is life and peace; to be carnally minded is death.

Now, Galatians 5:6-9: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; But faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” May I ask, what is the truth Paul speaks of in verse 7? The truth was this: That Paul preached that circumcision availeth nothing and circumcision goes along with the rest of the law contained in ordinances.

We can plainly see this by going back to verse 3. “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” So then, the truth that Paul speaks of in verse 7 is none other than circumcision availeth you nothing but to live by faith in Christ Jesus availeth you something. Or in other words, the law contained in ordinances availeth you nothing; it is faith in Christ Jesus that availeth you something. Paul tried his best to make the people understand that the shadow was no longer because Christ had come, and circumcision and the whole law, in verse 3, was no more.

Someone will say that Paul went to Jerusalem to keep the feast (Acts 18:21). But did he? Let’s read the verse, “But bade them farewell, saying I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” Let me point out something to you here. If you have a marginal reading in your Bible, you will find a small figure at “I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem.” The margin says, “The Best MSS. Omit.” In other words, this part of this verse is not found in the manuscript from which this is translated. This makes the verse read: “But bade them farewell, saying, I will return again unto you if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” This does not say anything about Paul going to Jerusalem to keep the feast.

For further proof that Paul did not go to Jerusalem, we will need to read verses 22 and 23. If you have a map in your Bible to follow as you read these verses, it will help you understand. In verse 21 we read, the last line, “And he sailed from Ephesus.” Then in verse 22, it says, “...And when he had landed in Caesarea, and gone up and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.” So then, when Paul left Ephesus he came to Caesarea, and then to Antioch. Now, read verse 23, “And after he spent some time there (in Antioch), he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.”

Jerusalem was not entered on this trip. If you will check a map, you will find that Paul missed Jerusalem by a long way. As we read on further in this chapter and into Chapter 19, we find that Paul finally came back to Ephesus. This then agrees with the margin in your Bible, which states “The Best MSS. Omit.” To check this further read Acts 18:21 in the American Standard Version, the Douay Version, The Amplified and New Revised Versions, as well as in a good Greek Interlinear, and you will find that “I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem” is not found. None of these translations say anything about Paul wanting to go to Jerusalem on this trip, nor that he said he had to keep the feast.

Someone will come along and say, “What about Acts 20:16, which tells us that Paul went to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost?” Would you read this verse carefully and note whether anything is mentioned about Paul going to Jerusalem because he wanted to keep the feast? People would like to read that but that is not what the Scriptures say. This verse tells us that Paul went to Jerusalem but it does not say why or for what reason. Maybe it would be well if we searched to find out why he went there.

In 1 Corinthians 16:8-9, we read “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door, and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” May I ask, an open door for what? Galatians 2:2 gives the answer. “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preached among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”

We want to note here, that Paul preached a different gospel unto the Gentiles then that which was practiced in Jerusalem. And so, when this open door availed itself to Paul to come to Jerusalem when the Jews would be together and he would be able to preach to them that Jesus is the Christ, he took advantage of it. This is why Paul came to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost, and not to keep the feast against which he preached to the Gentiles and to the Jews who were among the Gentiles. In Acts 18:5 we find that “...Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.” To testify that Jesus was Christ simply means that the ordinances that were a shadow of Christ’s coming were no longer. The shadow was the law contained in ordinances.

Now, let’s see whether Paul preached, teaching the people to abstain from the feasts, or whether he preached, teaching them to keep them. Acts 21:20 and on, “And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him (unto Paul), Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the law.”

This verse definitely points out that Paul preached something different than what those Jews believed, or else there would have been no need for them to get together to discuss the matter. Verse 21, “And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews (not only Gentiles) which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.”

So Paul had preached to the Jews who were among the Gentiles to forsake Moses. And would you note what they did in Jerusalem: They circumcised, for they were concerned that Paul preached not to circumcise. Further, Paul taught them not to keep the customs. The customs referred to here are none other than the rituals or laws contained in ordinances, the laws of Moses. Today, we have men who say you must keep what they did in Jerusalem because Paul went there. May I ask, what about circumcision?

Oh yes, I know that we are not required to be circumcised in the flesh. However, if we are required to keep the law of Moses (laws contained in ordinances), then we are required to circumcise in the flesh. There is no Scripture that separates one from the other. If one thing is spiritual the other is also; and if one thing is literal, the other is also literal. Who is man, regardless of his name, who can separate what the Word of God does not separate? We say the Pope has no right to change God’s law, the Ten Commandments, but we do not stop to think that there is no man born who had a right to change things in God’s Word, whether pope or not.

As we read on in Acts 21:22, we find: “What is it therefore? The multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou are come.” What difference was it that they had heard that Paul had come? Simply this, Paul had preached not to observe the feasts, nor to circumcise, and therefore, those of the Jews who believed were afraid that their teaching to keep the feasts would be brought to naught should Paul explain the real truth of the gospel. So what happened? They devised a plan to get Paul to join them, and it worked.

Note verses 23-24: “Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.” You see how deceiving these fellows worked. And Paul fell for their trick. We find that Paul says, “To the Jew I was a Jew, and to the Gentile I was a Gentile.” Paul wanted to save himself from trouble. He wanted to make use of the open door to preach unto the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Therefore, he fell for their trap. But later in the chapter, we find that he almost lost his life because of this.

Now, notice verse 25: “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” This verse refers back to Acts 15:10-35, relating to the Jerusalem meeting when Peter arose and said, “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord JesusChrist we shall be saved, even as they.”

I wish you would carefully consider the words of Peter, and note, he says: “But we believe.” Who are “we”? We, the Jews, that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, not through the keeping of feasts, shall be saved, even as they. In other words, Peter recognized that they, the Jews, could be saved by the grace of God even, or just the same, as the Gentiles were saved without the feasts. And so after a council, they wrote to the Gentiles not to be hindered by these things of the feasts over which the disputation came about.

Let’s read on in Acts 21:27-28: “And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.” You see what happened to Paul because he consented to purification.

The Jews from Asia were also at Jerusalem and saw that Paul was teaching differently than what he had taught them. Paul had taught the people against the feasts and against purification according to the law of Moses, and here he was ensnared by the Jews at Jerusalem in a deceivable way. Basically verse 28 says, “This is the man, that teacheth ALL men, not only Gentiles, but ALL men everywhere not to keep the law of Moses.” And if you read in the foregoing verses you can plainly see that it refers to the law contained in ordinances, or rituals, and ceremonies.

Now, may I ask the question, are you a Gentile or are you a Jew? Note that it was written to the Gentile not to observe such a thing as the feasts. If you are not a Gentile, what makes you a Jew or an Israelite? Are you of the lineage of one of the tribes, or does living in the United States make you a Jew or Israelite? Think seriously.

Why do you want to go back to the weak and beggarly elements, the things that were a shadow of a thing to come, things that could not give you salvation? Galatians 3:21 tells us there was no law that could give life, or else righteousness would be by the law. If you say you are an Israelite, then you will also have to admit that you are blinded, for Romans 11:25 states that, Israel is blinded in part until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And 2 Corinthians 3:13-18 tells us Israel is blinded with the veil so that they cannot see that Jesus is the Christ.

The time of the Gentile is now, and that by faith in Christ Jesus, and not by keeping ordinances, rituals, or ceremonies. You want to note that Romans 11:25 says Israel was blinded, not Jew. You want to remember that Manasseh is also a part of Israel.

Now, shall we go back into the Old Testament and consider the feasts and compare them with some of the things that are already said? As we read through the book of Genesis, we find that our forefathers sacrificed but we do not find any set feasts, nor set days, that go along with any of the sacrifices. Sacrifices were made anytime the people felt they were necessary. We might ask, why were there no ordinances, rituals, or ceremonies in connection with the sacrifices during the time of Genesis?

The answer is that during the time of Genesis the people lived under the priesthood of Melchisedec. It was under the Levitical priesthood that ordinances were added to the sacrifices. It was under the Levitical priesthood that set days were added to the sacrifices. It was under the Levitical priesthood that Israel received the law contained in ordinances. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Hebrews 7:11-12).

The law that was given under the priesthood of Levi was not the Law of God, the Ten Commandments, nor the law of promise to Abraham (See Galatians 3:17-19). The law given under the Levitical priesthood did not make the law given unto Abraham by promise of none effect. The law given under the Levitical priesthood stood only until the seed should come to whom the promise was made. And this seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 9:10).

As we begin to read the book of Exodus, we find in Chapter 2, verse 1, that a man of the tribe of Levi took to wife a daughter of the tribe of Levi. This was the beginning of the Levitical priesthood. Born to this couple were Moses and Aaron, and they were chosen of God to lead His people out of the land of Egypt. The leading of the children out of the land of Egypt brought about the first law contained in ordinances, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now that we have arrived at a starting point, let’s see what Passover means and then we will bring the Feast of Unleavened Bread into consideration.

What is Passover? The answer is the death angel’s passing over the houses of Israel which had blood on the doorposts and on the lintels. In Exodus 12 we read how the children of Israel were to take a lamb without blemish and keep it up until the fourteenth day of the first month. They were to take it on the evening of the fourteenth and kill it. Then they were to take the blood and strike it on the doorposts and lintel of the house, and when the death angel saw the blood he would pass over (Exodus 12:11-13, 22-23). This is PASSOVER.

Now, what is Passover? The death angel’s passing over. Why did the death angel pass over? Because the blood was on the doorpost. Where did they get the blood? From the Passover lamb. Do we still observe Passover today? The answer is NO. Someone will say, we observe Passover. I ask again, do you? If you do, do you kill the lamb? Do you strike the blood on the door post and lintel? Do you eat the bitter herbs? If not, why not?

Someone will say that Christ is the lamb. I say, yes, He is, but do you slay Him yearly? Do you strike His blood on the doorposts so the death angel passes over? Someone will say, no, we do not slay Christ (the lamb) yearly. We observe Passover spiritually. Then may I ask, where is the description of how to observe Passover spiritually? I cannot find it in my Bible. I find how to commemorate the death of Christ but nowhere can I find how to observe Passover other than in Exodus 12:1-24, Leviticus 23:4-5, and Numbers 28:16. But in all these places the lamb was slain, bitter herbs were eaten, with all the other parts of the ceremonies that go along with Passover. If Passover is not observed according to these descriptions, then can anyone call it Passover? I say, no, you cannot.

Oh yes, I know there are other places where it states that the children of Israel kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. But in all these places they followed the description given in Exodus 12:1-24. Is this the description that is used by those who still claim to observe Passover? If not, then it is not Passover.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke record a time when Christ desired to eat the Passover with His disciples before He suffered. In all three accounts, we find that Christ took bread while they were eating the Passover, broke it, gave thanks, and said, “This do in remembrance of me.” He did not say this is the new way to observe Passover. He said, “This do in remembrance of me.” Why did Jesus make such a statement? Read Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, and Luke 22:19-20. This is not hard to understand.

Christ said “this do in remembrance of me” because He was the Passover lamb as well as the sacrificial lamb for sin. He was the anti-type of all type or shadow. Passover ended with the death of Christ. Note how the writings of Paul substantiate this when Paul says, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Why did not Paul say, “As often as ye do this ye observe Passover?” Ah, Paul also tells us, “...For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Christ is not sacrificed every year, over and over. No, He was sacrificed once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). To observe Passover and to commemorate the death of Christ are two separate and different things. Passover was a literal thing; the Lord’s Supper is a spiritual thing. Passover was commemorating the coming out of Egypt; the Lord’s Supper is commemorating the death of Christ. They are two different institutions. One was instituted at the same time the other came to its finish. One meant anti-type; the other was the beginning of a new institution. Nowhere do we find that either Christ or any of the disciples ever called the Lord’s Supper Passover. Nor do we find any instructions or description of how to observe Passover. We do find instructions and a description of how to commemorate the death of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 tells us plainly how to observe the Lord’s Supper.

Now, let’s bring the feast of Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread) up-to-date. In order to do this, we need to begin with Exodus 12:14-20. The next account of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in Leviticus 23:6-8. And then we turn to Numbers 28:17-25. Each of these books records the same feast; however, one is more in detail than the others. So, shall we take the account that goes into the feast in more detail, rather than to dwell on each account?

In Numbers we read, “And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work therein: But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: They shall be unto you without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil: Three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram; a several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you. Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: It shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and drink his offering. And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.”

Here in these verses, we have the description of how to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, do we not? Verse 24 says, After this manner ye shall offer daily...” In other words, if anyone did not follow this instruction, he was not observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Each day had its duties outlined, with a certain amount of sacrifices, unleavened bread, drink offering, flour, mingled with oil, a Sabbath to begin the feast and a Sabbath to end the feast, plus the daily sacrifice and a sacrifice for an atonement for sin.

All these things together are what made it the Feast of Unleavened Bread, are they not? Now, may I ask, does the one who claims to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread today do all these things? Are the sacrifices made daily according to the description given in the foregoing passages of Scripture? Remember, Numbers 28:24 says, “After this manner ye shall offer daily...” This is the way to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; we have no other description to follow.

May I ask another question: How much of this feast was a shadow of a thing to come? I know, someone will say that the sacrifices were a shadow of Christ. Then may I ask, what about the rest of the feast? If one part was a shadow, what about the other part? Where do we have Scripture to separate

one part from the other? If the sacrifices were a shadow of Christ, then the whole feast was a shadow. God told the children of Israel by the mouth of Moses of what the feast is to consist and how to keep it. If we want to keep the feast, we have to follow the description of how to keep it; and if we do not keep it in accord with the instructions, we are not keeping the feast. Who is he who can leave a part of the feast undone when God said this is the way to observe it, and still feel that he is doing God a favor, though he is disobeying the instruction of God?

Oh yes, I know there are those who say, we do not sacrifice; all we do is eat unleavened bread and keep the sabbaths of the feast. Christ is the sacrifice. Paul knew this too, for that is why he said, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or 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” (Colossians 2:16-17). Paul did not mention sacrifices. He knew those who believed that Jesus was the Christ but insisted that the Gentiles be circumcised and keep the law of Moses.

These Pharisees said, “No, we do not sacrifice; Jesus is the sacrifice, but you must be circumcised, hold parts of the feasts, such as eating unleavened bread, observe the sabbaths of the feasts, and so on” (Acts 15:1-11). Paul knew that if one part of the feast was a shadow and came to an end with Christ, the other part was a shadow equally as well; and so he told the Colossians, “Let no man judge you for not doing these things; they are a shadow of Christ; and if Christ has come, the shadow is no longer.” This is true equally so with sacrifices and all other things pertaining to the feasts.

May I ask this question: What other sabbaths could have been the shadow Paul speaks of if not the feast sabbaths? Are there any sabbath days beside the feast sabbaths? Yes, there is the weekly, or seventh-day Sabbath, but it never was a shadow of anything to come. It is included in the writing of God on the tables of stone that were put inside the ark. These other sabbath days were written in a book and put on the side of the ark with the rest of the law contained in ordinances. So it is plain to see, Paul could not have meant any other sabbath days but those sabbath days of the feasts.

Someone will say that Paul points out how to observe the feast in 1 Corinthians 5:8. May I ask what feast? It does not say Feast of unleavened bread or Feast of Pentecost. What does it say? It says not to keep the feast with old leaven or with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Paul does not speak of any of the stipulated feasts in the books of Moses in this chapter. He speaks of the wickedness that existed in the church at Corinth; they were claiming to be children of God, not giving heed to the sincere word of God. They did not feast on the Word — the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

What is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth? Jesus says in John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Read also verses 48-58. These verses point out definitely that Jesus is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth that we must eat. We need to feast on this bread daily throughout the year. Paul is trying to tell the Corinthians to feast on Christ and put away evil things from among them. Paul taught no one to keep any of the feasts or to keep any part of them. Paul taught the people to abstain from having any part of the feasts of law contained in ordinances.

That is why Paul says that everyone who is circumcised is a debtor to do the whole law (Galatians 5:2-5). If one part is done away, the other is also done away, for one part is of no value without the other part. Read Galatians 3:10-11, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: For it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book...” What book? None other than the one mentioned in Deuteronomy 31:9 and 24-27.

Now, let’s read on with Galatians 3:11: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” You see that Paul tells us here if a man keeps the law written in the book, he is to do the entire law. However, Paul goes on to say that it is evident we are not justified in the sight of God by keeping this law; we are justified by faith in Christ Jesus.

Now, read verse 12: “And the law (which law: The one written in the book, the entire law of Moses) is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us...” Now to sum up what Paul has to say to us in Galatians 3:10-13, we state: To do a part of the law written in the book requires a man to do all the law. To do the law is not acceptable in the sight of God; to live by faith is acceptable.

A curse is pronounced upon the one who lives in the law. Christ came to take the curse out of the way by becoming the curse and going to the cross, and by nailing the curse to the cross He redeems us from that curse if we accept Him by faith. He became the law that is a curse, and so, now we live in Him by faith and no longer in the law. Galatians 3:14 goes on to tell us that this happened as it did so we might receive the promise that was made of the Spirit through faith.

We will not take up any of the other feasts in this study. What applies to the Feast of Unleavened Bread applies to all the feasts. In order to keep any of them, we would have to follow the description of how to keep them that is prescribed in the Bible. If one part was a shadow of Christ and is no longer for us to observe because Christ has come, the other part is also a shadow of the same Christ. If we do one part we will have to do all the feasts, or else we are not keeping the feast according to the instruction as to how to keep them given by God through Moses, the man of God. There is no Scripture separating one part to be spiritual and leaving the other part literal. It is either all literal or all spiritual.

May every reader give heed to the words in this study. There is a great danger to go back and do the things that are a shadow of Christ. By doing so, he has no salvation for his soul. If we are baptized into Christ, we have put on Christ. “There is therefore neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: For ye are ALL one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s THEN are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29). The promise to Abraham was not by the law (Galatians 3:16). It was by faith in Christ Jesus. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto (down to the time of) Christ, that ye might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:24-26).

Often it is thought that the feasts are not a part of the law of Moses. That of course, does not make it so. If one feast is not a part of the law of Moses, then none are. Furthermore, there were sacrifices during the time of Genesis but there was no feast connected to the sacrifices. Now, was there a set day for sacrificing? The feasts and set days come about during the time of the Levitical priesthood, which is the time of the giving of the law of Moses. The only sacrificing we find during the time of Genesis, which was under the priesthood of Melchisedec, was the sacrifice of Sweet Savour unto the LORD, which is a thanksgiving offering, and not for the forgiveness of sin or any feast. The feasts came into existence under the Levitical priesthood, which was directed by Moses from the very beginning. So you see, the feasts are actually the law of Moses.

Abraham sacrificed, however, there was no set day for him to sacrifice. He did so whenever he felt it was necessary. He did not make a sin offering or a feast offering but a thanksgiving offering. He lived under the Melchisedec priesthood. It was under the Levitical priesthood that the children of Israel received the law (Hebrews 7:11). It was under the Levitical priesthood that set days for the different sacrifices came into existence. So I say again, it is the feasts with their laws that are the law of Moses.

If the feasts are not the law of Moses then they must be kept today. If we keep the feasts, we must keep them according to the description given in the book of Leviticus, or Numbers chapters 28 and 29. This would include the sacrificing of animals as well as the unleavened bread, sabbath days, bitter herbs, and so forth.

The sacrifices of the feasts could not be left out or else we would not be keeping the feast, and we would come under the curse of the law. There are many sacrifices that were part of the feast, and we cannot say that the sacrifices were a shadow of something to come, if the rest of the feast was not a shadow.

We have absolutely no Scripture that separates the sacrifices from the sabbath days, unleavened bread, or anything else of the feast. We cannot keep part of the law that was a shadow and not the other; Christ is not divided. Either He has come or He has not. By keeping a part of the feasts we would declare that Christ has come only in part. By keeping a part of that which is a shadow of Christ we deny that He has come and, by it, are saying He is not Christ. We would make Him out to be a liar.

Paul says, one that keeps a part of the law is fallen from grace and Christ will profit him nothing. Yes, my friend, there is great danger in keeping a part of the feasts. It proclaims that Christ, that is here, is not yet come, and we make Him a liar and His Word a lie. We have no salvation in that which was to come. However, we do have salvation in Who came and died for us. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:10-12, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith, and the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.”

So then, why not leave the Scripture just as it is and live by faith in Christ Jesus who is the real feast and not a shadow of something to come.

Written by the late Elder Israel Haeger.

Used by permission.


Continue to the next article, Feast Days Fulfilled - Part Two >>


Additional Resources


recommend A Study of the Feast Days Given to Israel

Author: Bible Advocate Press [1950-1970?]
Publisher: Bible Advocate Press, Stanberry, Mo., [1950-1970?]
Pages: 24

A Study of the Feast Days Given to Israel
"fallacy built upon fallacy is just greater fallacy" (see pg. 7)

View/Download PDF (32 MB)file_download

scatter_plot The Feasts, Jesus, and the New Covenant Community

Author: Bible Advocate Press [2013]


Author: Pastor L.L. Christenson
Pages: 4

View/Download PDF (3.91 MB)file_download

Audio Podcasts:

Pastor Carl Palmer - "Series on the Law"
Part 1 of 4: Exploring Types of Law open_in_new
Part 2 of 4: Principles of the Law open_in_new
Part 3 of 4: We Are Not Under the Law, But Under Grace open_in_new
Part 4 of 4: The Two Covenants open_in_new

Elder Israel Haeger - Law or Grace - 7/9/1986 open_in_new

Sermon Videos: Playlist open_in_new


Israel’s Holy Days. The Holy Days given to Israel are not ACTUALLY observed by anyone today according to Scripture. Because the scripture in Leviticus 23 clearly states that the burnt offerings are to be made and also the Law states that they are to be kept in a particular place as well. Everyone, therefore, claiming to be “keeping” the feasts is taking liberty with the Law. Furthermore, according to the Law given to Israel, you are not given the right to take away or add to these things [See Deuteronomy 4:1,2] and actually “KEEP” them, NO ONE keeps them today not even the JEWS. The best they can do is to observe them “more or less” on the days that they think that they fall upon and there is disagreement even among the Jews on this issue. From a global perspective, a literal application would be impossible because the harvest sequence demanded for celebration is completely out of sync with the seasons in the southern hemisphere, for instance.

Pastor Bill Hicks
The Rest of God Ministries, Blountville, TN
(Excerpt from open_in_new)


Questions we might consider... under the new covenant today, is man allowed to either meddle with, attempt to revive, or participate in any way the old sacrificial and ceremonial ordinances, in part or in whole? Were they not done away in Christ, the ONE blood sacrifice and atonement for our sins, for ever? If we even just casually "mention" or utter that we "keep the feasts" when in physical reality we don't (and can't) according to the exact, precise, step-by-step instructions that were given to Israel from the Almighty, then are we not bearing false witness to other human beings in this life, and is that not a sin that will be dealt with by Jesus Himself? Certainly this is something to ponder and "chew" on.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Acts 17:11

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
Malachi 3:6

Material from the book Answers to Your Bible Questions by Wesley Walker.

More info:

Answers to Your Bible Questions