Living The Holy Days

Mankind’s legacy is filled with violence, disappointment and failure. Much of it is due to humanity’s inability to submit to God’s authority. Our present world is nothing like what the Kingdom of God will be. The Holy Days offer a clear picture—a blueprint of what God is doing to recover mankind. They are key to comprehending how His changes will be achieved.

Living the Holy Days

A Key to Achieving Our Destiny

Mankind’s legacy is filled with violence, disappointment and failure. Much of it is due to humanity’s inability to submit to God’s authority. Our present world is nothing like what the Kingdom of God will be. The Holy Days offer a clear picture—a blueprint of what God is doing to recover mankind. They are key to comprehending how His changes will be achieved.

by Bill Watson

In the beginning, God created mankind to be represented in both male and female genders for the purpose of reproducing and replenishing the earth (Genesis 1:26–31). God took the man, put him in the Garden of Eden, and told him to maintain it; and then instructed him about certain things, which included what not to do as well (Genesis 2:15–17). However, we know Satan persuaded them otherwise—and by disobeying God, they were found to be in disfavor and forced to leave the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).

This set the course we currently find ourselves on for about the last 6,000 years or so. The performance resulting from living apart from God and His laws has been a disaster, to put it bluntly. The macabre record of ghastly horrors, gruesome events, and grisly tortures and inhumane rulership by empires throughout history has weaved an unconscionable account of unbelievable proportions of death and destruction! Compared to the original intent God had in mind, mankind has so completely missed the mark (sin) of achievement, he has left God with no option but to take a more aggressive role in the affairs of humanity, similar to what was done in the time of Noah. Presently, we are on a collision course to rendezvous with that corrective prophetic destiny—and not surprisingly, the fall holydays, in particular, describe much of the details of these prophetic smashing events.

How Did We Get to This Spot?

Sin has underscored our present condition! We are told throughout the Bible that our iniquities have separated us from Him (Jeremiah 5:25-31; Isaiah 1:4-17). Over and over we are reminded—whether through the lives of individuals in the Bible, or the nation of Israel—SIN is the cause for the failures of achieving what God had hoped for and was guiding mankind toward. We have disappointed Him repeatedly, when compared to what He originally hoped we would understand and ultimately achieve and be like. Unquestionably, this has impeded mankind’s relationship with God.

Sadly, humankind has become vain in its own conceits. Notice how the apostle Paul explains this: “For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [the physical], even his eternal power and Godhead [His very nature]; so that they [mankind] are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20–22).

However, regardless of man’s foolishness and enormous amount of rebellion, variance, and enmity against his Creator—God has reached out with a program of recovery and reconciliation—a plan of redemption—so that ultimately all human beings might be saved from the unequivocal decisiveness of death’s conclusive finality! This plan of salvation was designed and developed “before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:19–20), so that you and I might be able to avoid the death penalty and live on into the Kingdom of God, enjoying eternal life as a born son of God in His family! This is our human potential—our destiny—that is outlined in the holyday cycle repeated every year for our edification and enrichment.

The holydays outline God’s procedure that is purposely designed to redeem mankind back into the good graces of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. These holydays are, for the most part, unknown by the vast majority of people here on earth. Those who are knowledgeable about them are primarily Jewish—and unfortunately, most of them don’t really understand the deep, rich spiritual meanings the holydays ultimately have to offer (write for our free booklet, God’s Seasonal Plan). Instead, they observe these holydays from a more historical point of view, but with a futuristic hope of returning to Zion, taking what they believe is their rightful role as leaders of the world.

Recognizing the real and true value of the salvific plan of God is not understood or comprehended by the many—instead, it’s a small minority of people who have had their eyes opened to the enormous significance of just how God is “buying back” His creation from the spoilage of sin, which is the cause for man’s separation from God. The holydays portray a certain simplicity, that if remembered, can remain a constant reminder and motivator for maintaining the understanding necessary to be successful in our pursuit of a relationship with God, and ultimately, eternal life!

Maintaining the Clarity of Redemption

As most Christians know, Christ is at the heart of the movement—He is central to the program of salvation! Without Jesus Christ, there is no church, nor is there any redemption possible, because as we know, it’s through Christ that salvation is obtained! All of us know the very first holyday is the Passover. It provides a time when we should be remembering the Lord’s death (1 Corinthians 11:26). It’s by His death that we are able to obtain a position in God’s immortal kingdom; without it, we are all but dead men, doomed to perish (1 Corinthians 15:16–19).

Interestingly enough, the first holyday in the sequence of seven very meaningful annual observances, is Passover—it is first, right from the start, clearly connecting to Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7), and unequivocally establishing Him as the foundational Rock the church is built upon (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:19–22).

Now all of us know the holydays are built on actual events that have already happened, or are destined to be revealed and initiated in the last days when God, by the return of Jesus Christ, intervenes in the world affairs of humankind. But this should not lead us to dismiss, in addition, the rich spiritual meanings these annual benchmarks reveal to every one of us—explaining what we must do to obtain this destiny being offered by God the Father, through Jesus Christ. There are multiple layers of spiritual insight contained in these holydays and additional metaphors that disclose a very concise definition to the method by which God is leading us to understand what it takes to qualify for His Kingdom as born immortals—and when understood, it’s incredibly simple, but challenging to do!

The Days of Unleavened Bread begin to spiritually illustrate the “challenge” set before each and every Christian’s pursuit for righteousness and entry into the dimension of immortality—the reason being, the imagery portrays the requirement and expectation of distancing oneself from sin. For those of us who accept Jesus Christ as our “Passover,” the Days of Unleavened Bread plainly picture our life’s purpose and obligation of now being dedicated to withdrawing from our former sinful ways—reflected figuratively in abstaining from leavened products, contrasted by favoring an unleavened way of life, with unleavened products, figuratively and/or spiritually speaking, illustrating a life—behavior—worthy of representing Christ–like characteristics in us.

However, the second part of this is the fact that for seven days, unleavened bread depicts the Lord’s body, as established during the Passover services the night before. Therefore, it becomes equally important to eat unleavened bread everyday to portray the understanding and concession that it’s not by our power, or our might, but by “Christ in us” that makes all things possible in pursuing a relationship with God (Philippians 4:13). And for clarity, the following holyday of Pentecost helps us to understand and identify by what means this is accomplished.

Clearly, the holyday of Pentecost becomes a pivotal point of understanding concerning the process of how God is bringing many sons unto glory. Identifying this ingredient—the Holy Spirit—as a part of your biochemistry is a crucial recognition of the actual submission and surrender of oneself; the reason being, because in order to obtain it, you must make a declaration of acceptance and agreement, portrayed in baptism, which is an important willing step for an individual to take, and has great meaning to both God and the person. Why? Because he’s choosing to do it of his own free will! Receiving the Holy Spirit has tremendous implication with respect to the honor you have toward God, the recognition of your personal empowerment from Him, not self, and it shows your humility by the submission of your personal sovereignty, thereby validating your faith in His saving grace and empowerment, because faith without works (behaviors of change) is dead (James 2:26).

But What About the Fall Holydays?

As mentioned before, all of us know the holydays are based on actual events that have either already happened, or remain outstanding for the future. These holydays are “shadows” of things to come, which are instrumental to the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. The fall holydays are also in the script, pre-written to unfold as actual events if humankind does not repent and accept our Lord, Jesus Christ, as its model to live by. However, by the same token, they represent important and insightful metaphors, outlining specifics of details that underline significant points of spirituality for salvation, that if retained with emphasis in our minds, can be very helpful for maintaining faithfulness to Christ and the mission of Christian living.

Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, comes to us with momentous meaning that notably features a spiritual cardinal point of recognition to all Christians: Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the King of our lives! We do well to consider that nothing should be put before our Lord in our lives. Anything that supersedes our involvement with Him and/or contradicts His values/boundaries for us is idolatry! It’s the better part of wisdom to be aware of how we live and prioritize our life’s tasks as we go about our business. Remember that Solomon, after a long life of self-indulgence, concluded there was nothing more important regarding the “whole matter of life” than to just simply “Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” The reason for this is answered in the next scripture when he said, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).

After baptism, Christ is now living in us—He has made His abode in us (John 14:23), and we are now begotten by the Holy Spirit. This is the miracle of the “indwelling”—Christ in you (John 14:23; 1 John 4:4). However, there is a distinctive weightiness to a statement Paul makes when writing to the Church at Colosse. Notice: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you [the indwelling], the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

This reference to “the hope of glory” is a direct reference to the resurrection—making the direct connection to Christ the King, who has the authority over death, enabling Him to provide life to those who make Him King of their lives (John 5:25–29). But this requires the individual to eschew the devil in his lifestyle.

The Day of Atonement has an emphatic message to all Christians: flee from the influences of the devil and his minions. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Denoting this element in our lives will go a long way in helping us to limit the demonic influences and vexations that we are surrounded by throughout our lives. We are told there is a “spirit of disobedience” that does influence and assuage the minds of mankind and does, indeed, work against God’s will in our lives (Ephesians 2:1–3). We must understand our fight is not against flesh and blood, but rather against wicked spirits in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The Day of Atonement plainly reminds us just how crucial it is the devil is out of our lives—figuratively “in the wilderness,” away from us, spiritually speaking, if in fact we expect to remain untouched from his influences.

Otherwise, we will not be able to enter the Kingdom of God as portrayed in the Feast of Tabernacles. There is an undeniable value in knowing the goal of what you are aspiring to, and why the previous holydays are so important. In other words, what is it all for—what’s the point? Understanding this—that the Kingdom of God is our life’s most important objective—is an underscoring advantage to maintaining the outlook and relationship necessary that comes from adhering to the meanings of the preceding holydays. The Kingdom should be central to our lives—a constant reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Clearly, taking into consideration the mental outlook of Paul when he said: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18)—remembering this scripture is a valuable spiritual asset to our walk with Christ.

This state of mind, which allows one to go through life’s trials, life’s sufferings, as though it’s just part of the cost necessary to enter the Kingdom—the right of passage—is an incredibly advantageous outlook. Keeping the Kingdom of God as a focus is much like a cross-country runner who has the finish line well ensconced in his mind. He just runs the route dealing with whatever confronts him/her along the way—always maintaining the “can-do attitude.”

Many of our spiritual forefathers were much like this. They took on the role of a pilgrim—strong and determined, attention fixed on the future—knowing they were just passing through until they could obtain the future promise of their inheritance. Notice what the writer in Hebrews says: “These [those listed in the chapter] all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded [convinced] of them, and embraced [enfolded in the arms] them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country” (Hebrews 11:13–14). Do we plainly live as though we are seeking another country—a future kingdom? It would do us well to consider our ways and compare the things we’re doing with how they are supporting the will of God in our lives, affording us entry into His Kingdom. Ask yourself: Is my lifestyle productive, or counterproductive for entry into immortality?

The Last Great Day is an assurance that God is indeed fair! It’s priceless to know that when we’re told no other name under heaven can save us from death, except that of Jesus Christ, that God in His infinite wisdom has made provisions to allow every human being to have the chance to hear about Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Assuredly, we are told God will provide forgiveness, mercy, grace, and ultimately salvation to all who repent and embrace the fact that Jesus Christ died for our personal sins and is now acting as our atonement and intercessor before the Father, allowing us to be “passed over” by death.

This truth, which allows us to know how God defines this recovery and reconciliation plan, is priceless beyond comprehension. Knowing how to go about meeting His expectations as contained in the spiritual truths of the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, is so very valuable—beyond comparison! This information can and will, if followed correctly, provide you with the key to the Kingdom of God, which is your inheritance. Notice: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs [to the Kingdom]; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ [of the Kingdom]; if so be that we suffer with him [be willing to sacrifice], that we may be also glorified [resurrected] together” (Romans 8:16–17).

So, don’t be slack in your pursuit of the Kingdom of God. Thirst after righteousness, pursue godly character, and live to serve God and your fellow man as your main priorities. These are the things God wants us to consider as the most important responsibility of life—because there just isn’t anything more important!

Notice what Jesus says with regard to this point: “I say unto you, Take no [anxious, fret, worry, obsessive] thought for your life… The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field… how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:22–31).

So, keep in mind the spiritual meanings of the holydays, too! Yes, they are real events, some of which have already occurred, while others remain prophetic—but that doesn’t dismiss the spiritual values that are embedded for our spiritual insight and enrichment—for they are such a precise acumen of understanding of what and how God is adopting many sons and daughters into Godly Sonship. So use this knowledge to exemplify Jesus Christ in your life—for God has seen fit to reveal this privileged, empowering Truth to you, for others to benefit from!         Ω