Fred R. Coulter—March 29, 2003

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We're just a little more than two weeks from the spring Holy Days, beginning with the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Since it's time to preach in season and cover those things in season, I want to cover some things concerning the battle between the Sunday and holiday keepers vs the Sabbath and Holy Day keepers. It is really an old, old battle and began when Paul began preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles.

There's quite a history to it, and there's quite a bit behind it. As we're going to see today, there are even arguments that are used today against the Sabbath and the Holy days that were used hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

We find in Gen. 2 that God created the Sabbath Day and made that Holy time. He blessed it and sanctified it. That day is Holy and time is set aside from creation, which God expects all human beings to follow, and there's quite a history of Sabbath-keeping coming down through the course of time.

As God showed with Adam and Eve, it was to be a day that they would fellowship with God where they would be taught of God. One of the most important and profound things about human beings is that they were made to learn. God created us to be taught. He was the One Who was going to do the teaching.

Of course, Adam and Eve had that blessing and privilege directly with God. We don't know how long it was until the serpent was allowed to go into the Garden of Eden; we're not told. But suffice to say, the first test of all human beings, just like it was with Adam and Eve, is:

  • Will you believe God?
  • Will you let Him define what is good and what is evil?

That's pretty simple! But that is the whole of the Bible!

God began by creating the Sabbath Day as a day for fellowshipping, learning, teaching and to be taught directly by God. You couldn't have it any better than that. But God also gave free choice, which is very powerful and can be exercised for good or evil. You know the old saying, 'Don't bother me with the facts, I'm going to do what I want to do.'

That's what happened to Adam and Eve, they decided to do what they wanted to do. As a result, all mankind has been in various degrees of being cutoff from God from that time to this.

Of course, one of the most profound things of the carnal mind is that:

  • while it thinks that it is good
  • while it thinks that it knows right
  • while opinions abound galore in every mind, even the minds of little children

because we all live between our ears—the human mind is deceitful above all things, filled with evil and poison! It can be trained to be more evil, more poisonous and more hateful—as people yield themselves to the pure teachings of Satan the devil. So, there's a battle going on:

  • between God and those men and women whom He chooses, and Satan the devil and those men and women whom he chooses
  • between those who have the Spirit of God and those who have the spirit of Satan the devil

By the way, Satan's ministers appear as angles of light! That has been going on for a long, long time.

Needless to say, getting back to the creation of the Sabbath, God also created the seasons. In creating the seasons, God fully intended to use them to teach and communicate with His people. We find in Gen. 15 that used the Passover night to give His covenant to Abraham, the covenant of physical seed and the covenant of spiritual seed.

We know that through that God pledged His own death to carryout His plan to make it possible for all the children physically and spiritually, but in particularly spiritually! I think it's interesting that in doing the Tribute to William Tyndale that he understood to a good degree. Not completely, but to a good degree. He understood that the covenant promise that God fulfilled to Abraham for the children of Israel that there promises were temporal and not offered eternal life.

Whenever God deals with His people, He is going to use the days that He has created, for days of instruction such as the Sabbath. That's why we have the Sabbath every week. That's why it's so important that those who are teachers understand the Word of God, know the Word of God and study the Word of God, because they are held responsible by God.

Remember, James said that 'not many of you desire to be teachers, for we—including himself—will receive the sterner judgment. They are held responsible to be teaching the words of God for the people of God, because God expects them to be taught and educated for eternal life.
Just as God created the Sabbath for instruction, God also created the Holy Days for things to fulfill His actions and covenants in dealing with His people.

Of course, we are going to find Satan the devil resisting this to the utmost degree, with various arguments. Today I want to look at some of those arguments. I'm going to go back to the year nearly 400A.D. to one preacher whose name is Chrysostom. What we are going to discern out of that is something very, very clear: that there were a large number of Sabbath-keepers and Holy Day keepers in Asia Minor during his time!

Chrysostom had his church in Antioch. What was Antioch? Where the first Gentile converts of any number were converted! It was a Antioch that they were first called Christians. It was Antioch that the Apostle Paul had his headquarters, or home church.

This becomes quite a very profound thing. But let's understand something very important: Chrysostom taught that all of the Holy Days were called 'rituals,' and since the rituals are not longer to be kept, we don't have to keep the Holy Days, and the Seventh-Day Adventists, to this day, still believe that ancient argument of Chrysostom.

It's like Solomon said, 'There's nothing new under the sun!' The arguments are just recycled and fine-tuned a little bit. We know that wherever Abraham was when God made the promise and gave it to him on the night of the 14th, it was not where Jerusalem was. Later, after God called the children of Israel, brought them into the promised land, allowed Solomon to build the temple, Jerusalem was the place where God chose to place His name.

Now let's look at a very important principle to help open up and unlock the things concerning New Testament worship and why we keep the Holy Days.

John 4 becomes a very pivotal thing. This is the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus said, 'If you want some water I'll give it to you. I'll give you ever living water.' He also talked about worshipping God.

John 4:18: "For you have had five husbands…" [A guy first meet me and tell me I've had five husbands, how does He know?] (v 19): The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.'"

What happens when you come across someone whom you think is religious? You start talking in religious terms! That's exactly what this woman did.

Verse 20: "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem."

One of the great controversies was where to worship, Samaria? or Jerusalem? The Samaritans said here, the Jews say there, and God said Jerusalem!

Verse 21: "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father.'"

In order to worship the Father, there are certain set things in order to do so, as defined by Christ:

  • how to pray
  • how to live
  • how to keep the commandments of God

All of these things are part of it!

Verse 22: "You do not know what you worship…. [that's the way most of the world is, even those who profess that they know Christ] …We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews." Jesus Himself was from the tribe of Judah, and this is what He's talking about.

Verse 23: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth…" The location will change; even the means of worship is going to change from animal sacrifices and rituals!

"…for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth" (vs 23-24).

The only way you're going to worship Him in Sprit is if you have the Holy Spirit in you!The only way you're going to worship Him in Truth is by the Word of God!'His Word is Truth!' That's why Jesus said that 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'

When we come to what Jesus did in the way of the Holy Days, He did not abrogate a single Holy Day. What He did was replace the rituals of sacrifices that were given under the Old Covenant form of worship. That was not in Spirit and in Truth, that was in ritual and in sacrifice.

Lev. 23—God has given all the Holy Days here so that those who have understanding will know, and those who do not have understanding will not know. Though they are listed in different other places in the Bible—Old and New Testaments—here they are all listed in sequence with the day of the month according to the calendar.

Let me just say something concerning the Calculated Hebrew Calendar today. There are many people who are coming up with different calendar schemes. While you who are thinking of using, or are using different calendar schemes, you need to think on this a little more deeply.

If you believe the Bible is the Word of God, which you do—and we're to live by it, which I'm sure that you probably think you are—do you suppose that God would command us to have Holy Days and not give us a means of understanding when they would be without having to be an astronomer? Of course!

That's why after the last upheaval of the earth, moon, sun and stars—during the days of Hezekiah—God again revealed the Calculated Hebrews Calendar for the way that we have it now. God gave that because He knew that there would be people out there with itching ears, itching ideas, looking for every silly little doctrine and combining the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees with it to come up with their own version of a calendar, which occasionally may happen to hit a Holy Day on the right day.

Only God has the mind, the intelligence, the capacity, the ability to give to us the knowledge on how to calculate and set the calendar straight so we know when the days are. He is the Creator! He made the sun, moon, the earth and stars—the universe—and He knows how they function and how the seasons come in, because He created the seasons.

Two things we need to understand when reading Lev. 23: God determines the seasons! He's given the Calculated Calendar for it. I will say this: Any who follow any other devised calendar than the Calculated Hebrew Calendar—which has been proved to be accurate and correct over and over again—are presumptuous against God and are defying what God has set in motion. They will subsequently, one day, suffer the penalty for so doing!

These are times that God has created, made Holy and commands our attendance at the time that he has designated that He would be there, not at the time that men decide that they think He will be there! That goes for:

  • Sunday/Sabbath
  • holidays/Holy Days

God is not going to be commanded by any man! Understand that principle!

With that said, I say these things for profound reasons. Wait till you hear what I'm going to read from some of Chrysostom's so-called homilies.

Let's begin with the Word of God, and we're going to emphasize some things here that are important so that we realize that there are so many assaults against it, and Satan is relentless in his assault against the Sabbath and Holy Days! If you don't believe that is true, you don't have a clue as to the recent history of the Worldwide Church of God, or the history of Satan's religions, in particularly the Roman Catholic Church down through time until this day.

God has called us to eternal life! He didn't call us to 'play religion'! He didn't call us to 'play church'! He called us to give us ever-living spiritual life! To live and love forever with Him in His Family with Jesus Christ! So, the stakes are high! It's important!

Leviticus 23:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "Concerning the appointed Feasts of the LORD…"'" (vs 1-2).

The #1 thing to know: God owns them by virtue of the fact of creation! Therefore, He's going to tell us what to do on it.

"…which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are My appointed Feasts" (v 2). We're not to argue which day it is; we're to proclaim the day as it comes. It's that simple!

Before you think about changing a Feast day, you better think about Who owns it, because you're stealing from God and making Him a liar. No man is going to make God a liar. God is not a liar and cannot lie!

Verse 3: "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a Holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings."

That has been from creation. If you want to know how God reviews the Sabbath and Holy Days, read Exo. 31 and Ezek. 20 and you will find out that there comes a time when God must take action against His own people, because they have apostatized into paganism so far that the only recourse left is to correct them. And He does!

The Sabbath is the overarching authority for all the rest of the Holy Days. When you read the fourth commandments, some people say, 'Well, you know, when Jesus told the rich man to keep the commandments, He didn't mention the Sabbath, therefore, we don't have to keep it.'

Not everything is mentioned in one place. Jesus even told the Pharisees, 'Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life and they are they who speak of Me, and yet, you won't come to Me.'

Jesus also said to them in their lack of knowledge, 'Have you never read…' Have you never read Mark 2 where the Son of man is even Lord of the Sabbath Day.' So, when He says the Sabbath is His, Christ is the Lord of it! He made it!

You can never understand the Word of God if you run it on human opinion. If you seek to understand it by committee or CNN poll, or Gallup Poll, or an Internet poll to see how quickly the majority agree one way or the other… The Word of God is never understood that way! Yet, that's what many people think!

Verse 4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons." God set the seasons and He set the time!

Sidebar: This year (2003) is what is called a leap year according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, which is also called an intercalated year, meaning that every second or third year—in order to keep the lunar/solar calendar in line with the seasons—there is an extra month, and it's called Adar-2.

Whenever that occurs, you will find a unique situation, like it has been this year. Have you noticed how long winter has endured? That's because the Passover and the first month is later in the year on the Roman calendar.

That's something, that just by the weather know that God's calendar is right.

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover."

It's not the Jews' Passover, it's not Israel's Passover. It is the Lord's Passover, in which He used the day for Abraham, for Israel, and for Christ, and does things on those days to fulfill His Word.

  • that's why Christ was crucified on the Passover Day
  • that's why He was put into the tomb right at sunset

to fulfill Gen. 15

  • that's why He rose from the dead at the end of Sabbath, three nights and three days later
  • that's why Christ ascended to the Father on the first day of the week during the Days of Unleavened Bread

to fulfill the Wave Sheaf Offering

God uses those days for specific things in His plan!

  • that's why there is the Day of Pentecost
    • God gave the Law to Israel on Pentecost!
    • God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church on Pentecost!

You can take each one of these days and understand that there is meaning and fulfillment spiritually, in Spirit and in Truth!

In the rest of Lev. 23 we have a command to bring offerings. I'm not going to go through each one of these, except to say:

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover"—which we will keep at the proper time!

Verse 6: "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD…. [not to the Jews; not to the self] …You must eat unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein, but you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein" (vs 6-8).

  • the Holy Days do not stand or fall because of ritual or sacrifice
  • the Holy Days do not stand or fall because of location as to where to worship

God created the Sabbath first. Then later He put on the ritual knowing full well that it would be removed later after Christ came.

When people start arguing that there are rituals and sacrifices, 'we don't do those today, so we don't keep these days.' We will see that that's very argument that Chrysostom used.

Numbers 28:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Command the children of Israel, and say to them, "My offering and My bread for My sacrifices made by fire, a sweet savor to Me, you shall be diligent to observe to offer to Me in their due season"'" (vs 1-2)—then God lists them out!

Verse 3: "And you shall say to them, "This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two lambs of the first year without blemish day by day… [so there were offerings everyday] …a continual burnt offering. The one lamb you shall offer at sunrise, and the other lamb you shall offer between the two evenings'" (vs 3-4)—'ben ha arbayim'—between sunset and dark!

Verse 5: "And a tenth of an ephah of flour for a grain offering, mixed with the fourth of a hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in Mount Sinai for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the LORD" (vs 5-6). Then it shows what would be done!
Listen! Here is the reasoning: If you have a morning and evening sacrifice offered every day, was there a sacrifice and offering given on the first day of the week? Yes, indeed! Therefore, if that sacrifice given on a Sunday, which was a daily offering, was abrogated by Christ, then you have also abrogated Sunday-keeping, have you not by the same reasoning? No one has thought that, because they don't understand the sacrifices and offerings!

Then He says, v 8: "And on the Sabbath Day…" They say you don't have to keep the Sabbath because you've abrogated the offerings there!

You need to understand that they've been fulfilled; we have a greater sacrifice! You can go though and on the Sabbath, new moon, and…

Verse 16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD." You will notice that there are no required sacrifices! Profound!

All the sacrifices in Num. 28 & 29 are the required sacrifices at the tabernacle and later at the temple, and no required sacrifice except the daily morning and evening sacrifice. You can read about that in the book: The Christian Passover.

Then it talks about the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the offerings that go there. So, we have covered two important things:

  • God created the time; later He added the sacrifices and the rituals
  • those sacrifices and rituals were fulfilled in Christ

They were not abrogated; they were superseded by a higher and better sacrifice and a higher and better form of worship, which is Spirit and Truth!

Did God destroy Jerusalem and the temple, and all that system of worship? Yes, He did! That's why Jesus said, 'The hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers of God will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.' God knew that they would be scattered everywhere! No doubt!

Now let's understand some of the reasoning that takes place. Here's what Chrysostom says:

{excerpts from John Chrysostom, Against the Jews

Homily 7
{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_07_homily7.htm}

Do you see that the Law takes its force from the place? 

That is Jerusalem! Does the Law have force from its location? or From the Lawgiver? From the Lawgiver!

And since the city is gone, there can no longer be a priesthood. There can be no emperor if there are no armies, no crown, no purple robe, none of the other things which weld together an empire. So, too, there can be no priesthood if sacrifice has been destroyed, if offerings are forbidden, if the sanctuary has been trampled into the dust, if everything which constituted it has disappeared. For the priesthood depend on all these things.

But not the Priesthood of Christ! That's why in the book of Hebrews we learn why the priesthood was changed.

As I said before, it was enough for my purpose to prove that neither the sacrifices, nor the holocausts, nor the other purifications, nor any other part of the (918) Jewish commonwealth and way of life would return. It was enough, finally, to prove that the temple will never rise again. Now that it is no more, everything has been taken away; if something ritualistic seems to be going on, it is against the Law and a reckless crime.

We will see he's talking about the Holy Days! Part of his argument is that anyone who keeps these things is a Jew. Like maybe you have been accused of being or asked of, 'Are you a Jew.' We'll see where this comes from, because it's right here.

In the same way, once I have proved that the temple will never be restored to its former state, I have at the same time also proved that the rest of the ritual of worship will not return to its former condition, that there will be no priest, there will be no king….

Christ is Priest and Christ is King!

If not even a commoner of Jewish blood was allowed to be a servant to foreigners, it would be all the more forbidden for their king himself to be subject to others.

That's the summary of his argument! He is saying that because the place is no longer there, you don't have to keep these things. Because you can no longer offer the ritual sacrifices, the days have been expunged, which means that the final conclusion is this: We have the authority to establish anything we want to! Hello, Garden of Eden! So, here's what Chrysostom is going to do:

Homily 1
{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_01_homily1.htm}

And so I wanted again today to engage in that contest. For if the enemies of the truth never have enough of blaspheming our Benefactor, we must be all the more tireless in praising the God of all. But what am I to do? Another very serious illness…

That's what he calls Sabbath and Holy Day keeping! You have to read between the lines. I'll tell you ahead of time, there was an absolute fierce spiritual battle going on in Antioch between Sunday-keeping 'Christians' of whom Chrysostom was the Bishop there, and Sabbath and Holy Day keepers who were drawing people out of his Sunday-keeping church, whom he labeled as Jews and called their observing of these things a "…very serious illness…" So, you see that the arguments are the same!

…calls for any cure my words can bring, an illness which has become implanted in the body of the Church….

It was taking root in the church! That's important to understand, because later when he rails against the Jews, you will see that he is railing against Christians who were practicing the Holy Days. He is saying, 'Look, you ought not keep them because Jerusalem is destroyed, and the priesthood is gone, and you Jews ought not do those things.'

…We must first root this ailment out and then take thought for matters outside; we must first cure our own and then be concerned for others who are strangers.

What is this disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts…. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now….

You don't understand what he's getting at unless you know the battlefield, and you know what is taught in the New Testament! This is the very same reasoning that is used against us today.

…But now that the Jewish festivals are close by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing disease.

That's how they describe keeping the commandments of God, as Judaizing! Of course, no wants to be a Jew. Granted, they've had their problems and difficulties, yes, God's judgment is upon them. So, you are guilty by association! It's like anything else, you always impugn the messenger and you never look at the message. You impugn the messenger and discredit him. That's what they are doing, they discrediting the people who keep these by saying they are Judaizing.

…I am afraid that, because of their ill-suited association and deep ignorance, some Christians may partake in the Jews' transgressions; once they have done so, I fear my homilies on these transgressions will be in vain….

In other words, once they start keeping them with Sabbath-keeping and Holy Day-keeping Christians, they will see the Truth of it, and all of his homilies will be in vain. In other words, they will understand the truth and his arguments will no longer be valid to those people.

I don't know about you, but when I come across things like this, I get cranked! It stirs me up! It was called a Judaizing disease, and if he didn't do it now, if he couldn't brainwash them at this time to not keep these Feasts then he would lose the battle. What are we talking about? A battle between Christians who kept the Holy Days vs 'Christians' who rejected them and kept Sunday, right there in Antioch the former home church town of Paul.

It had to be on quite a scale, because the whole printout of this thing comes pretty close to 200 pages, covering about 6-8 homilies. This is after Constantine, about 397A.D. when these homilies were given.

…Now that the Law has ceased to bind, they obstinately strive to observe it…

In other words, he's saying that now that these Jews no longer have the land, no longer have the temple, no longer have the priesthood, why are they even bothering with anything, because the Law does not bind. So, they are out here doing a vain thing by trying to keep them here at Antioch, and they can't go to Jerusalem to do it.

That's why Jesus said, 'The hour is coming and now is when you're not going to worship at Jerusalem, nor in this mountain, but you're going to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.' Meaning wherever you are located!

What could be more pitiable that those who provoke God not only by transgressing the Law but also by keeping it?

Meaning that they're transgressing the law of the church by keeping the Laws of God, what he calls 'Jewish laws.'

He talks about the warmness that people feel when they go to these, and that's one of the reasons why they're losing people to this Sabbath and Holy Day observing groups. Then he talks about their churches as compared to the small, little synagogue type buildings and meeting in homes. He says:

Our churches are not like that; they are truly frightening and filled with fear. God's presence makes a place frightening because he has power over life and death.

Now I know why I hate going into a Catholic Cathedral. The New Covenant is the opposite of that. God wants a warm loving personal relationship. To love each other as Christ has loved us.

In our churches we hear countless homilies on eternal punishments, on rivers of fire, on the venomous worm, on bonds that cannot be burst, or exterior darkness. But the Jews neither know nor dream of these things. They live for their bellies, they gape for the things of this world, their condition is not better than that of pigs or goats because of their wanton ways and excessive gluttony. They know but one thing: to fill their bellies and be drunk, to get all cut and bruised, to be hurt and wounded while fighting for their favorite charioteers.

How is that?

Tell me, then, are their shrines awful and frightening? Who would say so? what reasons do we have for thinking that they are frightening unless someone should tell us that dishonored slaves, who have no right to speak and who have been driven from their Master's home, should frighten us, who have been given honor and the freedom to speak? Certainly this is not the case. Inns are not more august then royal palaces. Indeed the synagogue is less deserving of honor than any inn.

So, he would call their worship synagogues!

It is not merely a lodging place for robbers and cheats but also for demons. This is true not only of the synagogues but also of the souls of the Jews, as I shall try to prove at the end of my homily.

The greater portion of the city is Christian…

Antioch

…yet some are still sick with the Judaizing disease. And what could we, who are healthy, say in our own defense? Surely those who are sick deserve to be accused. But we are not free from blame, because we have neglected them in their hour of illness; if we had shown great concern for them and they had the benefit of this care, they could not possibly still be sick.

In other words, if we hadn't fallen asleep at the switch and had been watching them and got to them before they were observing the Sabbath and the Holy Days, maybe we could have pulled them back from this. That's what he's really saying!
…but that we may free him from his error and ungodliness and make him entirely our own. If you are unwilling to do this, if you know of such a person but conceal him…

Notice—reading in between the lines—the great battle that was going on!

…be sure that both you and he will be subject to the same penalty. For Paul subjects to chastisement and punishment not only those who commit acts of wickedness but also those who approve what they have done. The prophet, too, brings to the same judgment not only thieves but also who run with the thieves. And this is quite reasonable. For if a man is aware of a criminal's actions but covers them up and conceals them, he is providing a stronger basis for the criminal to be careless of the law and making him less afraid in his career of crime.

So, if you try and keep the Holy Days and Sabbath, and if you try and protect those who are doing it, you are worst than a criminal.

…Is it not strange that those who worship the Crucified keep common festival with those who crucified him? Is it not a sign of folly and the worst madness?

What he's doing is making people absolutely afraid to even investigate the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Since there are some who think of the synagogue as a holy place, I must say a few words to them. Why do you reverence that place? Must you not despise it, hold it in abomination, run away from it? They answer that the Law and the books of the prophets are kept there….

In other words, 'we come to learn!'

…For when they see that you, who worship the Christ whom they crucified, are reverently following their rituals…

What he is doing is putting the Holy Days in the realm of a ritual since the ritual has been fulfilled and no longer applicable, then the Holy Days are no longer required to be kept. That is the reasoning!

…how can they fail to think that the rites they have performed are the best and that our ceremonies are worthless?….

What he is revealing by this: You go with the Sabbath Day, Holy Day keeping Christians, and they are telling those people how foolish it is to have a cross, and the Eucharist all the time. How foolish it is to bow down to idols and worship on Sunday. Then they turn around and do the same thing to Sabbath-keepers.

…If a man sees you that have knowledge come into the synagogue and participate in the festival of the Trumpets…

So, they were keeping Trumpets!

So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a deceit which is more dangerous. In their synagogue stands an invisible altar of deceit on which they sacrifice not sheep and calves but the souls of men.

Finally, if the ceremonies of the Jews…

Meaning the Holy Days that they were keeping!

…move you to admiration, what do you have in common with us? If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, our are lies….

Which they are!

…But if ours are true, as they are true…

don't prove it

…theirs are filled with deceit. I am not speaking of the Scriptures. Heaven forbid! It was the Scriptures, which took me by the hand and led me to Christ. But I am talking about the ungodliness and present madness of the Jews.

Certainly it is the time for me to show that demons dwell in the synagogue…

…But do their festivals have something solemn and great about them? They have shown that these, too, are impure. Listen to the prophets; rather, listen to God…

And he turns to the Scripture that they always turn to:

Isaiah 1:10: "Hear the Word of the LORD, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Law of our God, people of Gomorrah."

Isaiah is likening them to Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sins. Meaning that you can't be living a sinful life and then come to the Temple of God or, since there's no temple to come to now, you cannot lead a sinful life and then come to God and pretend that you're doing good things. That God must recognize your good things and you haven't one ounce of repentance in you. That's what it's talking about here.

Verse 11: "'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?' says the LORD. 'I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats.'"

God commanded them, but even those things if they didn't come with a repentant heart were worthless. If they didn't come with a heart to really worship God, but to do their own thing. They negated even the purpose of the sacrifices.

Verse 12: "When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more vain sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me—new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly! Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates…" (vs 12-14).

They are their new moons and their appointed feasts, not God's! Read the history of Israel and what did they do? They kept all the pagan feasts and said that they were delivered to do these things, and worship Baal. They did it with the sacrifices that should have gone to God.

"…they are a trouble to Me; I am weary to bear them" (v 14).

{continuing with Homily 1}

Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together….

You see what he's done with them!

Do you wish to see that God hates the worship paid with kettledrums, with lyres, with harps, and other instruments?….

Do you wish to learn that, together with the sacrifices and the musical instruments and the festivals and the incense, God also rejects the temple because of those who enter it?….

The same argument that people use today!

But you dishonor him [Christ] so much that you pay honor to those who slew him on the cross, that you observe with them the fellowship of the festivals, that you go to their profane places, enter their unclean doors, and share in the tables of demons. For I am persuaded to call the fasting of the Jews a table of demons because they slew God. If the Jews are acting against God, must they not be serving the demons?…. For I am persuaded to call the fasting of the Jews a table of demons because they slew God. If the Jews are acting against God, must they not be serving the demons?….

I tell you, there was really a battle going on here!

If any of you, whether you are here present or not…

Chrysostom knew that those in the assembly he was preaching to:
…shall go to the spectacle of the Trumpets, or rush off to the synagogue, or go up to the shrine of Matrona…

a pagan temple

…or take part in fasting, or share in the Sabbath, or observe any other Jewish ritual great or small, I call heaven and earth as my witnesses that I am guiltless of the blood of all of you.

Now you can understand why that in Sunday-keeping Christianity there is such hatred of the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Homily 2
{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_02_homily2.htm}

THE WICKED AND UNCLEAN FAST of the Jews is…

Atonement

… now at our doors. Though it is a fast, do not wonder that I have called it unclean. What is done contrary to God's purpose, be it sacrifice or fast, is the most abominable of all things. Their wicked fast will begin after five days.

Coming up to Atonement

Since I, too, see that a very serious disease is going to come upon you, long beforehand I gave you solemn warning… I did not want the lack of time to stop you from hunting out your brothers…

Those who were attending there!

All, then, who run to Christ are saved by his grace and profit from his gift. But those who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace….

Isn't that what is said? We do not, in keeping the Holy Days, look for those Holy Days to justify us. No Law can justify! That is an act of God through His forgiveness to you through the sacrifice of Christ, and cannot be accomplished by any Law-keeping of any kind, because the Law was never designed to do that.

God commands us to keep the laws and commandments so that we don't live in sin. We're not seeking to be justified by Law. For those who seek to be justified by their own means and call it grace, you have never even fallen from grace because you have never even gotten to grace. You are excluded from it.

Homily 3
{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_03_homily3.htm}

What is the Pasch…

That is the Passover

…what is Lent? What belongs to the Jews: what belongs to us? Why does their Pasch come once each year; why do we celebrate ours each time we gather to celebrate the mysteries? What does the feast of unleavened bread mean?….

Study your Bible and maybe you can learn!

…And I would like to ask them many more questions which contribute to understanding this subject.

I'm afraid of you because you observe times! Quotes Paul. Then he says that you ought to follow the council, because the council—of Nicea—surely gave us truth.

I hear many say that the Pasch and the feast of unleavened bread are one….

Christ did keep the Pasch with them. Yet he did not do so with the idea that we should keep the Pasch with them. 

No! Christ said to do 'as I have commanded you.'

He did so that he might bring the reality to what foreshadowed the reality. He also submitted to circumcision, kept the Sabbath, observed the festival days, and ate the unleavened bread. But He did all these things in Jerusalem…..

He kept Pentecost in Nazareth in the synagogue, not in Jerusalem!

I am showing you that Christ not only did not command us to keep the festival days but even freed us from the obligation to do so.

Now we know where they get the thing that we have been "…freed from the obligation to do so," and the reasons and the rationale for it. It's the same thing that has been for 1500 years.

Wouldn't that be something that if someone is arguing to you these kinds of arguments concerning the Holy Days and Sabbath, you can just look at them and smile and say, 'You're using an argument that's 1500-years-old. Why don't you look at the Scriptures and find out what the Scriptures say, rather than argue arguments that they have used for 1500 years.'

Let's see what Paul says; we're going to challenge this "…freed us from the obligation to do so."

I am showing you that Christ not only did not command us to keep the festival days but even freed us from the obligation to do so.

1-Corinthians 14:36: "WHAT? Did the Word of God originate with you? Or did it come only to you and no one else? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are commandments of the Lord" (vs 36-37).

If you acknowledge that, accept that and if these are the commandments of the Lord, then you are do what He commands to be done—are you not? Let's see what He commands, and why He commands it, and why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It's contained right here in the words of Paul to Gentile converts. Granted, there were a few Jews who were converted in Corinth.

1-Corinthans 5:6: Your glorying is not good…. [over licentious sin] …Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (vs 6-7)—not continually sacrificed for us, but just one time.

Why are we to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Because Christ is our Passover!

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast… [direct command] …not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth."

I've given many other sermons that show about keeping Pentecost. All of those who don't believe in keeping the Holy Days, pray tell, what are you going to do that God started His Church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? How are you going to get around that, except to say that it was on a Sunday. {note sermon series: Refuting Sunday-Keeping}

It was not a Sunday in a way that Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants think of a Sunday. It was the first day of the week, which God has designated as the Day of Pentecost, having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Sunday-keeping as noted by Catholics, Orthodox or Protestants—period!

You're dragging contemporary thinking of today into an event in the past that has no connection whatsoever! What are you going to do?

  • God began the Church on the Day of Pentecost!
  • Christ was crucified on the Passover!
  • Paul says, "…let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth."

That is worshipping God on the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Spirit and in Truth as Jesus Christ commanded!

Then Chrysostom quotes Paul:

Hear what Paul had to say….

Same argument they use today! Little did you know that these arguments are more than 1500-years-old.

…And when I speak of Paul, I mean Christ…

Why doesn't he apply that to what Paul said about keeping the Feast. He applies it in one area when it's convenient for him to do so, but not in another areas when he disproves what he's trying to prove. By all means avoid the Truth! Select and pick what you desire!

…"You are observing days, and months, and seasons, and years. I fear for you, lest perhaps I have labored in vain among you."

What does this also show? It shows that they had the Scriptures, well canonized and well known before the Council of Carthage in 397A.D.! These things become profound!

Who wants to read the writings of the 'fathers'? We know they're Catholic! If we read them, look what we discover!

Galatians 4:8: "Now on the one hand, when you did not know God… [Paul is talking to Gentiles] …you were in bondage to those who are not gods by nature. But on the other hand, after having known God—rather, after having been known by God—how is it that you are turning again to the weak and impotent elements, to which you again desire to be in bondage?" (vs 8-9).

This is where they get the Scripture that if you keep the Holy Days you're going into bondage. It has absolutely nothing to do with a Holy Day or Sabbath Day keeping! They were going back to their paganized feasts, dragging the name of Christ back into it.

Verse 10: "You are of your own selves observing days, and months, and times and years."

  • Did Paul say that you are slipping back and keeping the Jewish Sabbath? NO!
  • Did Paul say that you are slipping back and keeping the Festivals of the Jews? NO!
  • Did Paul say that you are slipping back and keeping the times that the Jews keep? And the years? NO!
  • Does Paul know how to say 'Sabbath, Holy Day and Festival'? Of course!

What put you in bondage? Sin! So, they were going back and observing the days and times that they observed before they were converted when they were still pagans and didn't know Christ. It didn't say, 'When you former Jews.' He's not dealing with Jews here.

Another thing that is very interesting, in the Greek the verb to observe is a middle voice verb, meaning you are observing for yourselves, not to God!

We can see a condemnation of times. Nowhere! Nowhere did God ever say we were to observe times! In Deut. 18 he commanded us to not observe times. What they were doing in Gal. 4 had absolutely nothing to do with the Sabbath or Holy Day keeping at all, but had to do with going back to their own paganized feasts and bringing the name of Christ and circumcision with it. You talk about a strange syncretistic type of religion, that was really weird!

Deuteronomy 18:9: "When you come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or a fortuneteller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who seeks oracles from the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations whom you shall possess hearkened to observers of times and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so" (vs 9-14).

Now you know why Paul was condemning them for these things. That's why he said in Gal. 1 that there are those who are perverting the Gospel of Christ! This is actually Jewish-Egyptian circumcision Gnosticism observing those days. I've got a summary of Philo at home, and he was a mystic Jew who believed in all of these pagan practices, but Judaized them. This is what was going on here, having nothing to do with the Holy Days.

In Colossians we have a totally different problem going on. The people in Galatians were running back to it. In Colossians they were teaching philosophies to get them into angel-worship and take them away from observing the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Colossians 2:6: "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him; being rooted and built up in Him…" (vs 6-7). Christ gave us the example, and He's the Lord of the Sabbath as well as the Holy Days!

"…and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy…" (vs 7-8). That's what Catholicism is built upon! That's what Eastern Orthodox is built upon, and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, all the philosophies of men!

"…and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him…" (vs 8-10). Not needing these extra additional days or philosophies. The Word of God tells us what to do!

"…Who is the Head of all principality and power in Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands…" (vs 10-11). There's the higher circumcision that we have today, the conversion of the carnal mind!

"…in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (v 11)—through baptism; that's why baptism is so important. That's why baptism is a pledge of death.

Verse 12: "Having been buried with Him in baptism, by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him… [made alive in Christ] … having forgiven all your trespasses. He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins…" (vs 12-14)—having nothing to do with the Sabbath or Holy Days whatsoever! That has no meaning under that guise at all!

"…which was contrary to us… [sin is against us and the Holy Days are not contrary to us] …and He has taken it away… [the handwriting of our sins] …having nailed it to the cross" (v 14).

  • Christ never nailed any commandments to the cross!
  • There were never any tablets of stone nailed to the cross!
  • There was never any Book of the Law nailed to the cross!

Christ was a sin offering, and as being nailed to the cross, our sins were nailed with Him! That's what Paul is talking about!

Verse 15: "After stripping the principalities and the powers, He made a public spectacle of them, and has triumphed over them in it [the crucifixion] …Therefore, do not allow anyone…" (vs 15-16)—because of all the foregoing and here is the conclusion of it, because you have been:

  • called out paganism
  • called out of society
  • called out of this world

Now you are to love God and obey Him, you are complete in Him!

Verse 16: "Therefore, do not allow anyone to judge you in eating… [because you're not going to eat the unclean things you did before] …or in drinking… [because they had the those who did not believe in eating meat or drinking wine] …or with regard to a Festival…"—Holy Day!

  • How can anyone judge you in respect of a Holy Day if you're not keeping them?
  • Did not Chrysostom judge these people in the homilies for keeping the Holy Days of God? Yes, he did!
  • How severely did he judge them? Unto damnation and hell!

"…or new moon…" (v16). Not the new moon or a new moon; this has to do with calendar calculation. Did they not go to a different calendar when they started following God's way. Did they not abandon the pagan calendar? Yes!

"…or the Sabbaths" (v 16). You can't be judged of the Sabbath if you're not keeping it.

What the Protestants, Catholics and all those say that this means, it means the exact opposite. They were doing these things, and others were doing like Chrysostom in judging them, saying: 'Aha! Why are you doing those Jewish things?'

Verse 17: "Which are a foreshadow of the things that are coming… [In other words, we do these things because they tell us God's plan!] …but the Body of Christ."

It seems like the Christians were worshipping with the Jews. I think there may have been some Jews there, and there may have been some synagogue activity, but there were a lot of converted Jews at that time, too, because a lot of them escaped out of Jerusalem who were Christians before it was destroyed. Their descendants were still living there.

Plus, I think that he puts everyone who observes the Holy Days into the category of being Jews. Wherever they met, Chrysostom would call it a synagogue. So, you have both going on. He calls them 'brothers, Christians and says, 'rescue those…'

It's not just going back to Jewish worship alone, because they claim to believe in Christ.

Easter an Lent are not one in the same thing. The Pasch is one thing, and Lent is another. Pasch is celebrated once a year, but:

{continuing in Homily 3}

'Our Pasch is celebrated three times each week and sometimes even four, or rather as often as we wish.'
Where in the Bible do find any command for Lent? You don't!

Why, then, do we fast for forty days? In the past, and especially at the time when Christ entrusted to us these sacred mysteries…

See how they twist it all. Christ never entrusted them with that!

Tell him we fast because of our sins and because we are going to approach the mysteries. The Pasch is not a reason for fasting or grief; it is a reason for cheerfulness and joy. The cross has taken away sin…

I say this not only to those who are sick…

That is those who are keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days

…but also to you who are in good health.

You who are still here attending with us, with me!

When you who are well see how many are sick, you will show them great care and kindness, you will pick them out, gather them together, and bring them back to their Mother.

Back to Chrysostom's church!

There are other things that I could add, and we could go on and on forever, and the day is far spent!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • John 4:18-24
  • Leviticus 23:1-8
  • Numbers 28:1-6, 8, 16
  • Isaiah 1:10-14
  • I Corinthians 14: 36-37
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Galatians 4:8-10
  • Deuteronomy 18:9-14
  • Colossians 2:6-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 2; 15
  • Exodus 31
  • Ezekiel 20
  • Mark 2
  • Numbers 29
  • Galatians 1

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon Series: Refuting Sunday-Keeping

Excerpts from John Chrysostom, Against the Jews

  • Homily 7

{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_07_homily7.htm}

  • Homily 1

{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_01_homily1.htm}

  • Homily 2

{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_02_homily2.htm}

  • Homily 3

{http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_03_homily3.htm}

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 9/24/19

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