It is widely believed and taught that the annual feasts listed in Scripture were given only to the Jews or were somehow “nailed to the cross.”
The argument that any part of the divine law was done away with at the cross arose in the 1800s when knowledge of the seventh-day Sabbath was being restored. As the truth spread that Yahuwah was to be worshipped on the seventh day of the week, not the first, ministers preached for the first time that the divine law was “done away with” at the cross.
Prior to that time, no one dared preach such a contradictory message. The divine law cannot be “done away with” or changed because it is perfect. It was because the divine law could not be changed or altered that Yahuwah gave His son to die for sinners because: “According to the law . . . without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins].” (Hebrews 9:22, NKJ V)
This same heresy has carried over to statute law. Satan has deceived most of Christendom into believing that not only was the Sabbath "nailed to the cross" but the annual worship days, called feasts, were as well.
Such a belief is based on a misunderstanding of the divine law. Yahushua, as our Saviour, perfectly kept the divine law. As His followers, we are admonished to follow His example. The Apostle Paul kept the feasts and taught his Gentile converts to do so as well, as can be seen by his references to keeping the feasts in Acts 18:21 and 20:6.
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21, NKJV)
The apostles and early Christians all kept the feasts for hundreds of years after the death and resurrection of Yahushua.
Many assume it took time for the apostles to lay aside what Christians today deem “unnecessary Jewish tradition.” However, this assumption is false. The apostles and the early Christians never again sacrificed any animals, because Yahushua, the Lamb of Yah that takes away the sins of the world, had already been sacrificed once for the sins of the world.
The apostles and early Christians kept the feasts without the offering of blood sacrifice because they understood that the divine law is to be kept forever:
“Thou art near, O [Yahuwah]; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:151-152, 160, KJV)
According to the Venerable Bede, writing in the early 8th century, John the Beloved observed the “fourteenth day of the first month” or Passover and taught the early Christian believers to do likewise.
These feasts were kept by all the faithful until, under the influence of the Church of Rome, paganism entered and began to corrupt the once pure faith. Under the guise of “converting the pagans,” Victor, the Bishop of Rome, compromised with paganism, adopting pagan celebrations such as Christmas and Easter while setting aside the feasts of Yahuwah.
Polycrates, an early Christian martyr, learned from Polycarp, one of John’s disciples, to keep the feasts. When Victor sought to enforce the observance of Easter, Polycrates wrote him a letter in which he lists important Christian fathers who kept Passover, not Easter:
Therefore we keep the day undeviatingly, neither adding nor taking away, for in Asia [Minor] great luminaries sleep, and they will rise on the day of the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory from heaven and seek out all the saints. Such were [the apostle] Phillip. . . There is also John who lay on the Lord’s breast. . . . And there is also Polycarp at Smyrna, both bishop and martyr, and Thraseas, both bishop and martyr, from Eumenaea. . . . [Also] Sagaris,. . . .Papirius,. . . .and Melito. . . . all of these kept the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the gospel, never swerving, but following according to the rule of the faith. (Polycrates, Letter to Victor, Bishop of Rome, quoted in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History)
The adoption of pagan holidays was deplored by Tertullian who, around 230 AD, lamented that the Biblical feasts had been laid aside in favor of pagan festivals:
“By us who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year’s day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.” (Tertullian, De Idolatria, c. 14, Vol. I, p. 682.)
The battle between the Church of Rome and those who refused to accept paganism, choosing instead to worship on the feasts of Yahuwah, grew very heated. Eusebius, a Roman historian and Bishop of Caesarea, wrote of the conflict:
“At that time no small controversy arose because all the dioceses of Asia thought it right, as though by more ancient tradition, to observe for the feast of the Saviour's passover the fourteenth day of the moon, on which the Jews had been commanded to kill the lamb.” (Eusebius, Church History, Ch. XXIII.)
Apostolic Christians, such as Polycarp and Polycrates who had been taught directly by the apostles, still observed the feasts, refusing to accept the counterfeit pagan celebrations.
The great question of dispute between the churches of Asia Minor and the rest of Christendom was whether the paschal communion should be celebrated on the fourteenth of Nisan [on the Biblical calendar], or on the Sunday of the resurrection festival, without regard to Jewish chronology [time-keeping]. The Christians of Asian Minor, appealing to the example of the apostles, John and Phillip, and to the uniform practice of the Church, celebrated the Christian passover always on the fourteenth of Nisan, whatever day of the [pagan Julian] week that might be. . . . The Roman Church, on the other hand, followed by all the rest of Christendom, celebrated the death of Christ always on Friday, and his resurrection on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (Christian Classics Ethereal Library, footnote #1687 to Eusebius, Church History, Ch. XXIII.)
It was, in reality, a fight over when to worship and which calendar to use to calculate those days of worship. Satan, as foretold in Daniel, was seeking to change times and laws.
“This controversy lasted almost two centuries, until Constantine intervened in behalf of the Roman bishops and outlawed the other group.” (R. L. Odom, Sunday in Roman Paganism, p. 188.)
For over a thousand years, the ekklesia of Scotland were still worshipping on the seventh-day Sabbath and observing Passover by the ancient calendar of the Bible.
Under the influence of a Roman Catholic queen, Scotland finally laid aside the pure faith she had preserved since apostolic times, but was later one of the first to embrace a return to truth during the Protestant Reformation.
Worship on counterfeit worship days dishonors the Creator. Clinging to pagan holidays and refusing to observe Yahuwah’s feasts, breaks the divine law.
Yahuwah gave His law for the good of His people. All who break His law today, merely follow in the footsteps of ancient Israel as they repeatedly apostatized.
“I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them. Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am [Yahuwah] who sanctifies them.
“Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me . . . they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths.
“But I said to their children . . ., ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am [Yahuwah your Elohim]: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am [Yahuwah your Elohim.’ ” (Ezekiel 20:11-13, 18-20, NKJV)
The sign between Yahuwah and His people is not just the seventh-day Sabbath. Included in the sign is the keeping of all the feasts, which are a part of statute law. These feasts are listed in Leviticus 23 and the very first feast listed is the seventh-day Sabbath.
It is the worship of the Creator on ALL of His holy convocations that is the sign between Yahuwah and His children.
In these last days, Yahuwah is calling upon all to return to true worship, on all of His holy days: weekly Sabbaths, monthly New Moons and yearly feasts. Those who return to Yahuwah, keeping His law, are given a beautiful promise – the promise of a new heart.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit with you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26, 27, KJV)
The promises are for all who keep Yahuwah’s commandments, judgments and statutes. For people who “walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them” (Ezekiel 37:24)
Yahuwah has promised: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Ezekiel 37:26, 27)
In this time of truth being restored, Yahuwah admonishes His people: “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” (Malachi 4:4, KJV)
Set aside all counterfeit worship days and pagan celebrations. Honor your Creator by worshipping Him on all of His holy days, calculated by His ordained system of time-keeping, the luni-solar calendar of creation.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of Yahuwah. Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently. I will keep Thy statutes. Teach me, O Yahuwah, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever. (See Psalm 119.)