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What Days Must Christians Observe?

A fundamental and epic change took place on the day of Christ's crucifixion as written of by the prophets. The old Law Covenant made with Moses and all twelve nations of the children of Israel was broken on that day. It made null and void all of its ordinances. The Law Covenant was replaced by the original covenant made with Abraham and his seed, Christ, who is the mediator of a better covenant. If there were days required of us to physically observe, it would be the days given to our ancestors of the House of Israel, and not the counterfeits Christianity blindly accepts today. However, the critical point to acknowledge is that Christ said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. So then, what are we to make of all those annual holy days, that in addition to their physical observance were prophetic in nature, outlining God's plan for all twelve nations of Israel to this day?
 
A vital point to to remember concerning the law covenant is that it was not made with our patriarch Israel, or Isaac or Abraham, but with Moses and all the children of Israel. It was temporary in nature much like scaffolding used in building. The law was added 430 years after the promise of the Abrahamic covenant. Therefore, the covenant between Israel, the grandson, and God was that of Abraham, and not Moses. [See the Feature article, We're Abraham's Seed And Heirs]. The two covenants are mutually exclusive of each other as the Apostle Paul made abundantly clear. [Gal. 3:24, 25]. Christians are beholden to only one of them, not bits and pieces from both. Christ, in his prerogative, has taken the entirety of the old one upon himself, and given us a completely new one in its place as promised.

The Seed of Abraham, Christ, therefore, purposefully subtracted us, the House of Israel, from the law covenant equation. The children of Israel observing the holy days delivered by Moses to them was an integral part of the law covenant, which today is null and void, as are any required observances. We live in a new age, the age of faith [Greek, pistis, a conviction of the truth] in Christ through the Spirit rather than the age of Moses and works of the law. But this is not to say the holy days have no relevance. They do, but their relevance exists on a higher, spiritual level, which cannot be attained by our physical observance, but only by Christ fulfilling them as was intended from the beginning. When we come to realize which covenant was delivered by Christ to Christians upon his death and resurrection, we realize the times of any required observance of the holy days on our part are over.
 
Under the terms of the law covenant of Moses, the children of Israel were debtors to do the whole law, which meant they were required to observe all holy days by sacrificing bulls and goats, etc. I doubt any church does this. Yet under the terms of the law covenant, these works cannot be separated from the observance of these holy days as written in the Law and Prophets. The burnt sacrifices were to be offered continually on all these days. If we must observe these days, then we must offer sacrifices as Moses commanded the children of Israel. "Whatever I command you, observe to do it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." [Deu. 12:32]. This is what is written in the Law.
 
Therefore, we cannot pick and choose points in the law to observe as the apostles made abundantly clear. There is no middle ground with a little bit of this and a little bit that. We either observe the law according to the covenant made with Moses and the children of Israel or live in faith per the Abrahamic covenant of Christ. But it's totally one or the other. In truth, however, the law covenant made with the children of Israel no longer exists. Christ broke it the day of his crucifixion. [See Zec. 11:10, 11].
 
It is imperative we clearly understand who is fulfilling the Law and the Prophets during our age: is it A- the children of Israel, B- individuals of the church, or C- Christ? Of course, it's Christ who said, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Many people read this and think because Christ said he didn't come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, he means some parts of the Mosaic law covenant are still binding on us. This is incorrect. Otherwise his death was in vain.
 
As we no longer are required to offer burnt sacrifices as commanded the children of Israel according to our legal obligations under the law covenant, we no longer are required to observe these days. The two are explicitly tied together in the Law. Just as Christ took it upon himself to be our sacrificial lamb, so that we no longer need offer burnt sacrifices, he has also taken it upon himself to fulfill the holy days so that we no longer are required to observe them. Christ is fulfilling the Law on our behalf just as he said.
 
By definition, we cannot fulfill the holy days by any means under any circumstances. Christ, by his sacrificial death, broke the law covenant with his people. Christ has taken it upon himself to fulfill these days, and indeed the entire burden of the law, which is no longer binding on Christians. "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage [of the law covenant]." [Gal. 2:4].
 
The prophecy concerning Christ’s death and the breaking of the law covenant in Zechariah eleven is clear, “And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day. And so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” This is confirmed in the gospel of Matthew. [Mat. 27:9].1
 
The Law and the Prophets, the first two divisions of the Old Testament, still stand. We need to realize, however, that the Book of the Law contains both the promises of the Abrahamic covenant, and the Mosaic law covenant. When Christ said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, this includes both his breaking the law covenant, as we just read, and giving us a better covenant built upon better promises. This is the reason why he said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not to destroy them. [Mat. 5:17]. He destroyed the temporary law covenant as prophesied, not the book of the Law, which he fulfilled.
 
It is the law covenant, the legal contractual obligation that required the children of Israel to keep ordinances of the law, that Christ broke. As promised, Christ broke that contract and took over our responsibility to the law. Christ paid off our bad debt [sin] with his death. In place of our old debt, we have been given a new covenant by Christ, based on faith and not works of the law, which makes us debt free. How is it, then, we still are required to pay off our old debt if Christ already has paid it on our behalf and released us from all our legal obligations to do so?
 
Who of us, having had our home mortgage debt paid off on our behalf, would still insist we needed to make payments to the bank? In point of fact, we could not make any payments. Neither the obligation [law covenant] nor the debt [sin, "the wages of sin is death ..." Rom. 6:23a] still exist. In place of a mortgage debt [death], we have a fully paid deed [life]. "... but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." [Rom. 6:23b]. Otherwise, our salvation is dependent upon our perfectly keeping the ordinances of the law under the terms of the old covenant. " ... you shall not add to it nor take away from it."
 
Therefore, if we accept Christ's sacrifice as reconciliation for our sins in place of bulls and goats, then we must accept his fulfilling the holy days on our behalf as well. [Heb. 2:14-17]. Who has fulfilled the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost? Who is it that will fulfill the Day of Trumpets? The answer isn't us. The answer is Christ. If Christ is fulfilling these days, then what do we think we're doing? If we insist we have to observe the holy days, then we must observe the command to sacrifice bulls and goats. Otherwise, our actions say we trust and accept Christ's sacrifice for our sins, but we don't trust and accept him to fulfill the holy days on our behalf despite the fact he already has fulfilled two of the three appointed times. [See The Feature article, Three Times In God's Plan].
 
Thus, it is important to distinguish between the Abrahamic covenant and the law covenant contained in the Book of the Law. The Abrahamic covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ. The law covenant that was later added was made with the children of Israel. "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, [not forever as it had a timing factor] until the Seed [Christ] should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator." [Gal. 3:19]. This is exactly what the prophecy in Zechariah says too. Christ broke one covenant, paid our debt and gave us a better one. He is fulfilling that which is written in the Book of the Law concerning both covenants. So, which one do we have today?
 
Second, on whose terms is Christ fulfilling these days? Is it Moses or God? The correct answer is God. If it is God’s, then it is according to his calendar or counting of times. Remember, when Moses received the law ordinances for the holy days, he also received the calendar to go with it. [Exd. 12:1,2]. Prior to Moses receiving the observance of days for the children of Israel, Abib [Nisan] had been the seventh month in the civil calendar year. It was then made to be the first month in the new calendar.
 
Ask yourself, when Christ fulfilled the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, did he fulfill the Day of Trumpets later that same calendar year? No. The last holy day fulfilled by Christ was Pentecost when God sent the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name about 2000 years ago. As there are only 150 days or so between Pentecost and Trumpets, it is very apparent God is not operating according to the holy day calendar given to Moses. Nor should we, as Christians of the Abrahamic covenant.
 
The calendar changed from Abraham to Moses. So we should not be surprised that the calendar is changed from Moses to Abraham’s Seed, Christ. When Christ began fulfilling the holy days, he, too, began with a new calendar, which in our case defines the spiritual beginning and length of God’s “year.” As the next day to be fulfilled by Christ is his return on the Day of Trumpets, we cannot celebrate that day until it occurs as we are operating under the terms of God’s calendar or year, and not that of Moses. Thus, not only is Christ spiritually fulfilling the holy days on our behalf, we don’t even know when the next one will occur. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
 
Let’s take a for instance. If someone came to you on a Wednesday afternoon, some time before Moses’ calendar day of Trumpets and asks if you celebrate the holy days, you would answer yes.
 
Then that person says, “Great. I want to as well. How about I come by your house tonight and we celebrate the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread?”
You’d probably answer, “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that.” 
“Why not,” he’d ask?
“Because according to Moses, those days occur at the beginning of spring. Not now.”
“Okay, then how about I come over tonight and we celebrate Trumpets?” 
“Well, we can’t do that either. That’s not for a while yet.”
“But I thought you guys celebrated the holy days?”
“We do. It’s just that they occur at an appointed time. It’s not something we do everyday.”
 
In this age of the Abrahamic faith covenant, we are in the same situation theologically, rather than in the age of the Mosaic law covenant as in the example above, unless of course, you are bound under the terms of the law covenant, which, in reality, is not even possible. There are no more appointed times to observe or celebrate until the next appointed time is fulfilled by Christ at his return. For those who are led by the Spirit of God, we are on that Wednesday afternoon sometime before Trumpets in God’s calendar year. No physical observing of the Day of Trumpets according to the Mosaic law covenant calendar, regardless of how sincere and righteous it may be, will result in the return of Christ and the establishing of the kingdom of God. It’s just not going to happen. Any required observance of days is of the law covenant, which no longer exists. Therefore, how can we be required to observe that which no longer exists? There is only one covenant to live by. The covenant made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ.
 
The children of Israel under Moses were commanded, “Three times you shall keep a feast unto me in the year.” Yet the children of Israel’s physical observance of these three times was just a shadow of their spiritual fulfilling by Christ, just as the spirit of man is a shadow of the Spirit of God. Yet, who of us would give up the Spirit of God within us to go back to the spirit of man? And who of us would go back to physically observing these days in the law covenant rather than have Christ spiritually fulfilling them on our behalf?
 
In fulfilling the Law on our behalf, Christ has spiritually fulfilled the Days of Unleavened Bread, the first feast time in God’s year. He has fulfilled the day of Pentecost, the second feast time. Theologically, then, in this age we are living in the second of times fulfilled by Christ. So who is it that requires us to go back to physically observing days and give up our liberty in Christ? And for what purpose? Do we not trust Christ? Is he made perfect by our observances?
 
We are now living in the summer harvest of the lost sheep of the House of Israel sometime after the fulfilling of Pentecost and before the fulfilling of the third time, the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins with Trumpets. Rather than focus on physical annual observances of the holy days as delivered by Moses, we need to focus on the time we live in fulfilled by Christ, which is the spiritual age of the summer harvest. There are no more holy days to be fulfilled until the “fullness of the children of the House of Israel be come in.” Christ was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel to whom Peter addressed his remarks on that Pentecost day, fulfilling the second feast time.
 
Christ has given us liberty not available under the law covenant. As Paul explained it to those in the church in Galatia, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [the law covenant].” Our physical observance of any days commanded by Moses is being entangled with the yoke of bondage ... again. We are not to do it. If we do, it means we do not understand what Christ meant when he said “I have come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.” Then, it is as Paul told the church, “Christ is become of no effect unto you.” To state it colloquially, “Duh, you don’t get it.”
 
Christ is the Seed of Abraham, not the seed of Moses. This provides us with a big clue as to which covenant is for Christians. If, for any reason, we must physically observe the appointed days given by Moses, then our actions annul the death of Christ. If we annul the death of Christ, there is no justification by faith. And if there is no justification by faith, we are in bondage under the works of the law. As no one is perfect according to the contractual terms of the law covenant, we are all condemned before God.
 
It is not of the truth saying we must observe days delivered by Moses. Doing so, our actions are an expression of our lack of faith in Christ. We are essentially saying that Christ’s fulfilling of these days isn’t good enough, so being more righteous and knowledgeable than others, we have to return to Moses to observe these days ourselves. We can’t say with our lips that we accept Christ in faith, and then require that we physically observe days given to Moses, especially after Christ already has spiritually fulfilled the Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, the first two feast times, according to God’s timetable. Either we have received the Spirit of God through faith in Christ or we are children of Moses with the spirit of man through observances of the law. There is no middle ground.
 
This is what Paul’s letter to the Galatians is all about. Remember, the physical descendants of the House of Israel in the first century very likely would have thought they would have to observe the holy days as had their forefathers. Paul had to explain to them that Christ is fulfilling these days on our behalf. Under the law, we cannot be made perfect through works of the flesh. So Paul plainly told them, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith [a conviction of the truth] which works by love.” [Gal. 5:6].
 
Paul also said. “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 sabbaths:” [Col. 2:16]. This is a reference to those of the circumcision [House of Judah] judging those of the uncircumcision [House of Israel; see again Gal. 2:4]. Yet neither in the flesh avails anything. The works of the flesh justifies no one. Thus, nothing is gained. It is vanity and self-righteousness.
 
Paul is telling us, we are no longer required to observe any terms of the law covenant. Otherwise, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” [Gal. 3:10]. Paul makes it very clear that it’s all or nothing, as did Moses. [Deu. 27:26]. It's not a hybrid with bits and pieces from both. Otherwise we are, not might be, cursed. No church observes everything as it is written in the law covenant because it is not possible to do them today. As Christians, why would we choose bondage and a curse rather than the liberty Christ has given us? Would we prefer living in prison or living free?
 
Of course, some will point out that Christ and the apostles observed the feasts according to the law. And this is correct. It was required under the law covenant prior to his death and resurrection. And it is correct that it probably took some time, in some cases years in those pre-Twitter days, for the apostles to spread this truth that Christ was fulfilling the Law and Prophets on our behalf especially as those of Judah would continue to physically observe the law covenant days throughout the Roman Empire according to the Moses calendar. There was a period of adjustment and understanding as we can read in Acts eleven regarding circumcision. However, the apostle Paul didn't feel the need to spell this out in writing until 52 CE when he wrote to the backsliding Christians in Galatia.
 
Christ fulfilled the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread under the terms of the law covenant, which were in place until the death of the testator, Christ. “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” [Heb. 9:16,17]. This is why Christ and the disciples observed these times during Christ's lifetime.
 
But what testament or covenant came into effect after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ? The law covenant or the covenant of Abraham? Recall, Paul told the Christians in Galatia, “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed [of Abraham] should come to whom the promise was made ....” “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith [by God's promise made to Abraham] is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [the law covenant of Moses].” [Gal. 3:19, 24, 25]. Which covenant is of Christ? Abraham's. It doesn't get much clearer than this.
 
It is important, theologically, to understand that Moses, the lawgiver, did not cross over the river Jordan into the land given by promise to Abraham. The first Pentecost, or summer harvest, which came to mark the first day of Christianity, could not be celebrated until after the children of Israel farmed the land given to them by promise from God. And that occurred after Moses, the lawgiver, was dead. The children of Israel were led across the river Jordan by Joshua; a descendant of Ephraim, the kingly line of the House of Israel. Joshua means “Yehovah is salvation ...” as does the name Jesus.
 
Christ’s death under the terms of the law covenant resulted in the fulfilling of the first of the three feast times, the Days of Unleavened Bread, which historically occurred coming out of Egypt, before all Israel crossed the river Jordan. The symbolism should be clear enough. Moses, the giver of the law covenant, was dead. In this sense, he was a temporary bridge to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. He was not the bridge to lead the children of Israel over the river Jordan into the promised land of “milk and honey.”
 
And spiritually, neither is the Mosaic law covenant able to lead the lost sheep of the House of Israel to the kingdom of God. It is of promise and therefore it must be of faith in Christ as the Seed of Abraham. As Joshua, not Moses, physically led the children of Israel, with the spirit of man, into the promised land, so too Jesus Christ is spiritually fulfilling the days that will lead Christians, with the Spirit of God, to the coming of his kingdom. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It is of the Spirit, which is where our focus should be daily as Christians. Thus, the covenant of importance to Christians is not the law covenant of Moses, but the covenant made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ.
 
To answer the question posed that Christians descended from the House of Israel no longer need observe days given by Moses, whether they were to be observed annually, monthly or weekly, Paul states very clearly:
 
“O foolish Galatians! Who has brought evil on you feigning praise that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” [Gal. 1:1-3].
 
What is our answer to be? It really can’t be any clearer than how Paul explained it to those in the church at Galatia. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Physically requiring the observing of days given by Moses, for any reason, are works of the law, plain and simple. What profit, then, do we gain by any works of the law? There is no profit, indeed no truth according to Paul, in returning to any of the observances of the law covenant when our faith is in Christ. Holy day observances are required only under the terms of the Mosaic law covenant, which Christ broke. If our faith is not in Christ, then we return to the bondage of Moses. It is all one or the other.
 
We need to focus on the fact that Christ has fulfilled all the terms of the law covenant on our behalf. He broke the old law covenant and has given us a new covenant based on faith. And we need to fully understand that we are living, spiritually, in the second of times, according to God’s calendar, the time between Christ’s fulfilling Pentecost and his fulfilling Trumpets. Our faith in Christ has granted us liberty. We need not return to any yoke of bondage under the law including the observance of days delivered by Moses. Any person who does is, as Paul explained, “a debtor to do the whole law,” which is impossible.
 
When we are weak in the spirit, then we return to the bondage of Moses, wherein Paul asks of us, “Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.” [Gal. 5:8]. Who does that leave then?
 
When we are strong in faith, we can completely accept that Christ is fulfilling the Law and Prophets on our behalf, “Standing fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.” Lacking faith, however, we try to retreat to the law covenant, which has been broken and no longer exists. Therefore, which one is it, Christ or Moses who is our mediator of a better covenant established upon better promises that by faith leads us to the kingdom of God?


1 "Never was a complicated prophecy, otherwise hopelessly dark, more marvellously fulfilled. Various conjectures have been formed to account for Matthew's ascribing to Jeremiah a prophecy found in the book of Zechariah. But since with this book he was plainly familiar, having quoted one of its most remarkable prophecies of Christ but a few chapters before ( Mat 21:4, 5 ), the question is one more of critical interest than real importance. Perhaps the true explanation is the following, from LIGHTFOOT: "Jeremiah of old had the first place among the prophets, and hereby he comes to be mentioned above all the rest in Mat 16:14; because he stood first in the volume of the prophets [as he proves from the learned DAVID KIMCHI] therefore he is first named. When, therefore, Matthew produceth a text of Zechariah under the name of JEREMY, he only cites the words of the volume of the prophets under his name who stood first in the volume of the prophets." Jamieson, Fausset And Brown Commentary on Matthew 27:9.

See the Sneakers article, On What Ground Are We Sowing?
 
Be sure to check our Newslink section regularly for relevant secular articles.
 
Italics and [ ] are the author's.

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