Revelation Series#15
Fred R. Coulter—September 12, 1992

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We' re going to talk today about the Holy Days, whether they should be kept or not, by going through and seeing what the New Testament Church kept. In a sermon put out by Gerald Flurry, he is radically nearly speaking blasphemous things about Herbert Armstrong being our 'spiritual father'—which is not so! Whatever Truth HWA spoke, whatever Truth he preached, was the Truth of the Bible, and no man has a corner on Truth. God alone has a corner on the Truth and the only way you understand it is to get in and really study and really understand the Word of God.

I will do a study on how to study 'precept upon precept.' How do you study? There are so many people out there really not studying. If anyone hears that sermon—or sat there while it was given—and nod their heads in agreement with what was going on, you need to wonder about their commitment to God and their commitment to the Truth, and yes, their conversion!

We have some more heresy here. An article which is practicing in ancient religion; followers of Zoroastrian, faith worship in a temple at San Jose, California. They've got a hundred followers there—can you believe that!?

I want to review just a couple of things before we get into it, so that we know exactly where we're going, that we know exactly what we're saying and doing. In James 4 is a very important principle that is true. That's why we need to go through and really study the Word of God, the way we ought to, the way we should, and to really understand it.

James 4:11: "Brethren, do not talk against one another. The one who talks against a brother, and judges his brother, is speaking against the law, and is judging the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law; rather, you are a judge." Who should judge his own law? The Lawgiver! God should judge His Law! So, any judgments we make concerning the commandments and laws of God should be the judgments of God, not our own.

Verse 12: "But there is only one Lawgiver, Who has power to save and to destroy. Who are you that you presume to judge another?" We can take that as a general principle concerning everything.

What was the judgment that Jesus gave concerning the Law and the Prophets? Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets! Is that not His judgment on it? What was His judgment on how the Law should be kept? Matt. 5, 6, & 7; to a greater standard in the spirit!
Let's go to Luke 16:16: "The Law and the Prophets were until John…" Doesn't mean that they were done away. It doesn't mean that they were destroyed, otherwise, that would be a direct conflict with what Jesus said—wouldn't it? And if it's a direct conflict, then one statement cannot be true, and if one statement is not true then Jesus lied, and if Jesus lied He didn't tell the truth; and if He didn't tell the truth He died for His own sin.

There's part of how to study! First of all, you need to not only learn how to study, but you need to learn how to follow-thru so that you can understand that these apparent contradictions, on the surface, are really not contradictions, indeed!

Verse 16: "The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the Kingdom of God is preached… [the Source of the preaching, not just the Law and the Prophets] …and everyone zealously strives to enter it…. [it's going to take work and effort and all that sort of thing] …But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail" (vs 16-17). Jesus is making it absolutely concretely clear that the Law and the Prophets still are active and stand!

Let's go to Matt. 16 and I want you to follow something through here very carefully as we do. This becomes very important! I will leave it to you to read all of the verses involved, so I'm going to summarize the flow of chapter 16:

Matthew 16:1: "Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him, tempting Him and asking Him to show them a sign from heaven." Then you know what He said you can tell the weather in the morning and evening but you can't tell the signs of the times.

Verse 4: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet…." Who was three days and three nights in the heart of the big fish.

Verse 6: "And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out and be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' Then they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'It is because we did not take bread'" (vs 6-7). Jesus, after explaining it, said:

Verse 12: "Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine [teachings] of the Pharisees and Sadducees." What is the next thing that took place after He warned them about that? It falls into the category then of the teachings of men, which reject the teachings of God! Was that not the leaven of the Sadducees and Pharisees? Yes, it was! Absolutely, it was!

Verse 13: "Now, after coming into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus questioned His disciples, saying, 'Whom do men declare Me, the Son of man, to be?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But you, whom do you declare Me to be?' Then Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven.'" (vs 13-17).

And 'I [Christ] am going to designate you [Peter] as a little rock, but on 'this Rock' [Christ, Himself] He would 'build His Church.' (v 18).

  • What was the Church going to culminate in?
  • What is the culmination of the Church down through history? Be the bride of Christ!
  • When does that take place? Resurrection!
  • What is the bride and bridegroom going to do?

When the Church, in its fullness with the marriage of Christ after the resurrection returns back to the earth, they're going to start the Kingdom of God! I want you follow that through with what we're doing here in Matt. 16.

Right after that we have the problem of Satan interfering with Peter again, v 24: "And Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall render to everyone according to his doings'" (vs 24-27).

He projects from the starting of the Church all the way down to His return, His reward and our dedication in that.

Verse 28 becomes very important in relationship to the Law and the Prophets: "Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death until they have seen the Son of man coming in His kingdom." That's a profound verse! A lot of people say, 'Oh, man!' How was this done? How did they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom? By the vision!

Matthew 17:1: "And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John… [was that some of them? Yes, it was!] …and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves." What is He doing? He's showing what you will look like at the resurrection! He's showing what He will look like at the resurrection. {note: Rev. 1:14-16 about how Christ looks}

Verse 2: "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shined as the sun, and His garments became white as the light. Then behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him" (vs 2-3). How did they know that it was Moses and Elijah? Because they were probably mentioning their names! This does not prove they were in heaven!

This is a vision. We understand more about vision today because we have television. They were looking down into what it's going to be in the Kingdom of God, by vision! Why do you suppose that it was Moses and Elijah?

Verse 9: "Now as they were descending from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of man has risen from the dead.'"

Why was it Moses and Elijah? Moses represented the Law! Elijah represented the Prophets! What is this telling us that is going to be preached during the Kingdom of God?

  • The Gospel is represented by Christ!
  • The Law and the Prophets is represented by Moses and Elijah!

So simple, but so profound, and right before our very eyes! We never understood it that way. Isn't that amazing? There it is right there!

We're going to come back to the way we need to worship God today. You know exactly where I'm going; you probably know the exact verses and you probably know exactly what I'm going to say. It needs to be said here, and it needs to be entered into the record because this is true. There are so many people going around not understanding whereof they read and whereof they affirm; they don't even understand the Word of God though they read it and preach it. Unfortunately, too many people believe them.

I remember having the experience of giving a sermon to some people who had come out of Worldwide Church of God and they were sitting there nodding their heads as I was going along, not even looking in their Bibles. I thought when I was going through, giving that sermon, I said to myself utt-oh, this is not good! Just the thought flashed through my mind, and sure enough they didn't endure!

John 4:19: "The woman… [at the well of Samaria] …said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem.' Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews'" (vs 19-22). That is, it comes out of the Jews, because Jesus was a Jew. That doesn't mean we follow Judaism. All you have to do is read the Gospels and understand how Jesus condemned it.

Verse 23: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; 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).

How can you take something that is not true and have that accepted as worship to God?

  • apply that to Sunday
  • apply that to Christmas
  • apply that to Easter
  • apply that to all of the pagan holidays

—which are lies! How can you worship God in Spirit and in Truth if you accept a lie? Let's take this one step further: How can you worship God in Truth and in Spirit if you reject His commandments? It's impossible! It's like saying 'go to sleep this night while it's afternoon.' You've 'slipped a gear' someplace! Stand in a shower while it's running and dry yourself. Turn out the light so we can see. Incongruity! Doesn't work!

Let's review just a little bit what we covered in part 3 of Assaults Against the Church. Barnabas was a Levite. Barnabas was sent:

Acts 4:36: "And Joses, who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles (which is, being interpreted, 'son of consolation'), a Levite, born in the country of Cyprus." He was a Levite living in a Gentile country where there was obviously a synagogue there in Cyprus and he was obviously teaching in the synagogue—a Levite. He was sent to take care of the Gentile brethren in the Church in Antioch.

Now, if someone wants to get really technical, they say that you should only tithe to a Levite, which is not dogmatically true after Heb. 7, and since Barnabas was a Levite, could they tithe to him? Sure they could! What does this do? This tells you very clearly that it knocks into a total 'cocked hat' where they say the New Testament Church could not collect tithes!

Acts 6:7—right in Jerusalem: "And the Word of God spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem was multiplied exceedingly, and a great multitude of the priests were obedient to the faith." Any question that they could tithe to them? None whatsoever!

In Acts 13 there was a riot in the synagogue and they met the next Sabbath. Let's see how these things went. Let's understand what was going on. So far, up through Acts 14, we found not one question about the Holy Days; not one question about the Sabbath—none whatsoever!

Acts 14:1: "Now, it came to pass in Iconium that they went together into the synagogue of the Jews…" Any question about Sabbath-keeping? No! Any question about Holy Day keeping? No!

"…and spoke so powerfully that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed…. [Where were the Greeks? In the synagogue!] …But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren" (vs 1-2). So, they escaped that. They were going to stone them (v 5).

Verse 6: "They became aware of it;so they fled to Lyconia, into the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region. And there they preached the Gospel. Now, in Lystra, a certain man was sitting who had never walked; he was impotent in the feet, having been crippled from his mother's womb. This man heard Paul speaking; who, after looking intently at him, and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and walked. And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in Lyconian, saying, 'The gods have become like men and have come down to us.' And Barnabas they called Zeus; and Paul, Hermes, because he was the principal speaker" (vs 6-12).

This is important that Luke put this in this section here, because now we are dealing with just purely with Gentiles in this particular case; purely those who were pagan, in this particular case. If Paul was going to amalgamate some of the pagan teachings into the Christian religion and rename them 'Christian,' here was his first and best and most opportune time to do it. But he didn't!

Notice what happened, v 13: 'Then the priest of Zeus [Jupiter], who officiated before their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, desiring to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard this, they ripped their own garments in disbelief, and rushed into the multitude, shouting out and saying, 'Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, with the same nature as you, and we have been preaching the Gospel to you, so that you will turn from these vanities to the living God, Who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all the things in them'" (vs 13-15).

So, now what do we have? This article on Zoroastrianism right here in San Jose!—which is worshiping fire. They say, 'Oh, we're not fire-worshipers, but we express our worship to God through fire.' Well, God is going to express His worship to you through fire; it's called the Lake of Fire!

Think for a minute: If God sent the Jews and the Israelites off into captivity, and punished for their sins for worshiping the sun and the moon and the stars and the host of heaven, and all of those pagan things, you can't have the lie that those things are now accepted by God. That's why this is put here by Luke, to show that, no, it didn't happen that way. They turned them to God!

Verse 16: "Who in the past generations allowed all peoples to go in their own ways; though, indeed, He did not leave Himself without witness, in doing good to us from heaven by giving rain and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.' And even by saying these things, they could hardly keep the multitudes from sacrificing to them…. [after they left there]: …Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and after persuading the multitudes, they stoned Paul…" (vs 16-19). Notice the wildness of this crowd; they all went out there ready to sacrifice, praising these men as sent from gods. The Jews came in and said, 'No, no, no they're not,' and they turned to stoning them!

"…and dragged him outside the city, supposing that he was dead" (v 19). Then you know what happened, he got up from there and exhorted the disciples. They thought he was dead, they took him out and he came back to life and went on preaching. I tell you what, as a minister—any minister—you need to think:

  • Are you willing to do that for God?
  • Are you willing to take anything that comes along, regardless of what happens, to remain faithful to God?
  • Whether you're nearly stoned to death or whatever may happen?

That's the question we all have to ask ourselves in relationship to God—not just the ministers.

We're going to spend a little time in Acts 15 understanding this. So far, up to this point, there is no question concerning the Sabbath or Holy Days—none whatsoever!

  • they taught the laws and commandments of God
  • they taught the sacrifice of Christ
  • they taught salvation by faith

Nowhere does it say that they were allowed to changed the Sabbath or the Holy Days. In fact, we find just the opposite. That's why when we understand that the New Testament was written from 52A.D. until approximately 68A.D.—which had everything but the Gospel of John, 1st 2nd 3rd John and Revelation. The Bible was finished up to that point. In that 15 or 16-year period, the whole New Testament was compiled and put together—first by Paul and Mark and then by Peter and Mark; then it was passed on to John the apostle at the city of Ephesus, and they finished it before the death of John.

God's Word could not be trusted to any of these renegade people out there. That's why it was almost done in a hurry, because God knew what He was doing. James the brother of Jesus was killed in 62A.D.; all hell, figuratively, broke loose, leading up into the destruction of the temple and the total abolition of the temple service.

When we come here to Acts 15, we do have a couple of 'difficult Scriptures.' We'll cover them to start with.

Acts 15:1: "Now certain men who had come down from Judea were teaching the brethren, saying, 'Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'…. [impossible to be saved] …Therefore, after a great deal of strife and arguing with them by Paul and Barnabas…" (vs 1-2). They came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, and that became the main Gentile church. It was at Antioch that Peter dissimulated with those that came down from James at a later date and separated himself from the Gentiles and didn't eat with them.

It was not a question ever, brethren, of keeping the Holy Days or the Sabbath. The question was: Should the Gentiles be circumcised in the flesh? and Should they be compelled to follow the laws of ritual, including sacrifice, when they came to Jerusalem?

"…the brethren appointed Paul and Barnabas, and certain others from among them, to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this question. So then, after being sent on their way by the Church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, where they reported the conversion of the Gentiles. And they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church…" (vs 2-4)—the whole congregation of brethren.

"…and the apostles… [whoever was there: James, Peter, John, etc.] …and the elders… [the older aged persons in the Church who probably represented different counsels in the Church] …and they declared all the things that God had done with them. But there stood up certain of those who believed… [they believe that Jesus was the Christ] …who were of the sect of the Pharisees… [not all Pharisees] …saying, 'It is obligatory to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.'" (vs 4-5). This phrase cannot mean the first five books of the Bible. And it does not mean that! It means the sacrificial rituals and that of circumcision!That's what it means.

I will call your attention to the book that is called Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin. If you do not understand the Jewish point of view concerning their rituals, concerning their laws, you will never, never,never understand about the New Testament. If you approach this from the point of view of a Protestant, you are dead in the water and full of confusion because you are believing a lie which comes from the minds of men to throw away the Law of God—because the 'carnal mind is enmity against God and not subject to His laws and neither, indeed, can be!' I will make the statement that this has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments; has nothing to do with the Holy Days; and we will prove that!

Verse 6: "Then the apostles and the elders gathered together to see about this matter. And after much discussion had taken place…" (vs 6-7)—not a dictatorship over doctrine. They were disputing—talking back and forth—and this Greek word means heated discussion

"…Peter stood up and said to them…" (v 7). Peter must have really had some pangs of conscious when Paul convicted him in Gal. 2. Who was sent to Cornelius? Peter!

"…Peter stood up and said to them, 'Men, brethren, you know that from the early days, God made the choice among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the Word of the Gospel, and believe. And God, Who knows the heart, bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did to us, and made no difference between us and them, and has purified their hearts through the faith'" (vs 7-9). What are we talking about? Purification laws! We are talking about justification by works vs justification by faith.

Verse 10: "Now therefore, why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" If you ever read the book Code of Jewish Law you will understand why they are 'grievous to bear.'
Verse 11: "'But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe we shall be saved in the same manner as they also.' Then all the multitude kept silence and heard Barnabas and Paul relate what signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. And after they were silent, James answered and said…" (vs 11-13).

Here comes the judgment in the situation, "…'Men, brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, "After these things, I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen; and its ruins I will build again, and will set it up; so that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things." Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Therefore, my judgment is that we do not trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God; but that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled and from blood'" (vs 13-20).

Is that all they were required to do? If you read v 20 just alone, as a Protestant, you would conclude that is all they were required to do. But what is one of the first rules of Bible study? Study the context!

Verse 21: "For from the generations of old, Moses… [Where did they get their authority? From the book of Moses!] …has had in every city those who proclaim him in the synagogues, being read every Sabbath Day." These were brethren, Gentiles attending synagogue:

  • Did they keep the Ten Commandments? Yes!
  • Did they keep the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Did they keep the Holy Days at the synagogue? Yes!
  • Do they keep the Holy Days at the synagogue to this day? Yes!

If you go back and literally take this: "…abstain from pollutions of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled and from blood" (v 20):

  • there's no requirement to assemble on any day
  • there's no requirement to not take the name of God in vain
  • there's no requirement, you can go right on down the line
  • Do you think that these people were free to murder? Doesn't mention murder!
  • Do you think they were free to steal? Doesn't mention you should not steal!
  • Do you think they were free to lust and covet? Doesn't mention 'shall not covet'!

Why then were only these categories mentioned?

  • Pollution from idols?Because all of those religions wherein they lived in past times had idols everywhere!
  • From fornication?Because sexual immorality was a way of life with these people from puberty upward!
  • From things strangled?Because they didn't kill the animals properly! They would strangle them and let the blood fuse into the meat, which then can contaminate the meat!

(go to the next track)

Is eating meat one of the Ten Commandments? No! This even had to do with the dietary laws—didn't it? Not only part of the Ten Commandments with idolatry and fornication, but some of the dietary laws concerning strangulation and from eating blood. There are societies that still do that today. They milk the cow and then stab it in the neck and mix the blood and the milk and drink it.

Verse 21: "For from the generations of old, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him in the synagogues, being read every Sabbath Day." Rather than this being a place in the Bible that does away with the Sabbath, this is a place in the New Testament that reinforces the Sabbath! What did we see (#3 Assaults on the Church) when Paul was preaching to Gentiles? He preached to them the next Sabbath!

Verse 22: "Then it pleased the apostles and the elders, together with the whole Church, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; and they chose leading men from among the brethren: Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas. And they wrote letters by their hand, as follows: 'The apostles and the elders and the brethren, to those brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Greetings! Inasmuch as we have heard that certain ones among us who went to you have troubled your souls with words, saying, "You are obligated to be circumcised and to keep the law" (to whom we gave no such command)'" (vs 22-24).

Which we can add there: Not all the laws of God but the laws of ritual, and the law of circumcision. Remember, anything that has been replaced has been superseded with a higher standard. If you do away with the 'letter of the law' and replace it with the spirit of the law, you have a higher standard (Matt. 5, 6, 7).
"…(to whom we gave no such command)…" (v 24). That sounds interesting—doesn't it? Someone walks into the church and says, 'I am from Jerusalem, James is my pastor, the brother of the Lord. I have new revelation from Him. We're going to have a circumcision party out back after church.' Furthermore, we're not going to eat with you dirty Gentiles anymore. We are too righteous! We cannot pollute ourselves by being in the presence of dogs.' That's what was happening, brethren! So, obviously, they needed to straighten this out.

Verse 25: "It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord…"—after much heated debate. Notice who, in the debate, was excluded. The Pharisees! Who gathered together? The apostles and the church and the elders! Those troublemaking Pharisees were excluded!

"…to send to you chosen men with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have dedicated their lives to proclaim the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, who shall themselves also tell you by word of mouth the same things that we have written. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things: To abstain from things sacrificed to idols… [which was adjusted slightly by Paul (1-Cor. 8)] …and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality; if you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell'" (vs 25-29).

Nothing to do with abolishing the Holy Days! Nothing to do with the excluding of other commandments! These were the commandments that needed to have particular emphasis at that particular time, because they were transiting out of circumcision and out of rituals and out of sacrifice—though there was the overlap from the death of Jesus until the destruction of the temple, and we will see that that created some problems. I hope you see how clear that that is. Nowhere did they go against Christ. Who is the Lord of the Sabbath? Jesus is! (Mark 2:27-28).That's what He said! He is the Lord of the Sabbath; that is the Lord's day.

All the way through here we have no indication whatsoever that the Holy Days were done away; that the Sabbath was done away. They took the decrees; they went through the Churches; Paul and his company were going to try and go to Bithynia to preach, but the spirit wouldn't let them, so the vision came (Acts 16:9) to go over to Macedonia (v 10).

Acts 16:12: "And from there wewent to Philippi, which is the primary city in that part of Macedonia, and a colony. And we stayed in this city for a number of days." What does it say? 'On Sunday, since we're in this pagan city—and this is the sun-god worship city—we went into the pagan temple and we converted them.' Doesn't say that at all! But that is the sum-result of Catholicism, and that is the sum-result of Protestantism, who insist on observing the days of Catholicism.

It says, v 13: "Then on the day of the weeks…" In the Greek that is 'ton sabbaton' which is on the day of the Sabbaths—which had to be Pentecost. This Sabbath had to be Pentecost! Did they keep it when there wasn't a synagogue there? Yes, they did! There weren't many Jews in Philippi. There was no synagogue to go to. Where did they go? There was a place down by the river, outside the city, where prayers was known to be made.

"…we went outside the city by a river, where it was customary for prayer to be made; and after sitting down, we spoke to the women who were gathered together there" (v 13). So there it is—on a Holy Day, keeping the Holy Day!

Acts 17:1: "And after journeying through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And as was the custom with Paul, he went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, expounding and demonstrating that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and testifying, 'This Jesus, Whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Christ.' Now some of them were convinced, and joined themselves to Paul and Silas, including a great multitude of devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few" (vs 1-4). Again, Greeks attending the synagogue!

Verse 5: "But the unbelieving Jews became envious and took to them certain evil men of the baser sort; and when they had gathered a huge crowd, they set the city in an uproar…" (v 5). They're still up to that today, causing riots to get their own way. We know what happened there, they turned the world upside down (v 6), so they had to leave that city.

Verse 10: "Then the brethren immediately sent away by night to Berea both Paul and Silas, who, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica…" (vs 10-11). Why? They were willing to listen; they didn't stir up a riot!

"…for they received the Word with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (v 11). There's an example of how to study; search the Scriptures daily.

Verse 12: "As a result, a great number of them believed, including not a few of the honorable Greek women and men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the Word of God in Berea also, they came there to stir up the multitude" (vs 12-13). They had to leave and get away again!

Then Paul went on down to Athens. What did he do down in Athens? He came and said, 'Let's walk up to the temple at Athenia and we're going to rename this Mary's Cathedral. We'll go over here to the temple of Zeus and we will say this is the Church of the Holy Father. We will rename this disc idol over here of the sun and we will say this is the son of righteousness.' NO!

He went in and was grieved and said, 'When I came into your city I saw this placard which said to the unknown God.' Did they know the true God? No, of course not! So he said, 'I'm going to preach Him to you.' Then he preached Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. (Read all of Acts 18)

Paul stayed there 18 months preaching every Sabbath. They again had a riot in the synagogue because of those who believed and didn't believe. The next Sabbath they went to the ruler of the synagogue who believed—went to his house, which was right next to the synagogue. You talk about a division. Here the Jews all mad and angry over here in the synagogue and here is Paul and all the believing Greeks and Jews over here right next to it in Jason's—the ruler of the synagogue—house.

Acts 18:18: "And after Paul had remained there many days, he took leave of the brethren and sailed away to Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. Now Paul had shorn his head in Cenchrea because he had made a vow."

He was going back to Jerusalem and he was going to show these things are meaningless, these are harmless but 'I'm not going to offend you, I will go ahead and shave my head.' Why? Because Paul said to the Jew, 'I became as a Jew.' But those things were meaningless! He was doing it because the temple still stood, he was going to Jerusalem, and it was a good thing he did because there were people out to get him.

Verse 21: "But took leave of them, saying, 'I must by all means keep the Feast that is coming at Jerusalem…'" Ah ha! Someone is going to say 'see, you can only keep the Feast in Jerusalem,' but what did Jesus say? John, the fourth chapter: 'The hour is coming and now is when you shall worship neither in Jerusalem nor yet in this mountain.' This does not mean they didn't keep the Feast in the local synagogues. This does not mean that they didn't keep them in the separate congregations of God that were driven out of the synagogues.

"'…but I will return again to you, God willing.' And he sailed from Ephesus. And after landing at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and visited the Church; then he went down to Antioch" (vs 21-22).

We come to Acts 19—the raising up of the Church in Ephesus; had a rebaptism because they didn't have the Holy Spirit. Acts 19:8[transcriber's correction]: "Then he entered into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God." No question about the Holy Days—none whatsoever! No question about the Sabbath.

It's amazing! If people would just really read what the Bible really says, what the New Testament really says, there would never be any question. People are driven by 'every wind of doctrine' and the false lies of Protestantism, and people who pervert and twist grace and say you don't have to keep anything. They're all wrong! You cannot worship the God of Truth with a lie! Just remember that.

So, he was "…persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and refused to believe, speaking evil of the way before the multitude, he departed from them and separated the disciples; and he disputed these things daily in the school of a certain Tyrannus. And this took place for two years, so that all those who inhabited Asia heard the message of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (vs 8-10)..

  • No hint of Sunday-worship!
  • No hint of doing away with the Sabbath!
  • No hint of doing away with any of the Holy Days!
  • None whatsoever!

In the two years that he was there:

  • Do you not think that Paul kept the Passover?
  • Do you not think that Paul kept the Days of Unleavened Bread?
  • Do you not think that he kept Pentecost?
  • Do you not think that he kept the Feast of Tabernacles?

He surely did! We'll show it here:

Acts 20:1: "When the tumult was over, Paul called the disciples to him and embraced them; then he left to go into Macedonia." Everywhere Paul went it ended in a riot! Surely you would think the man of God, a man of peace, should cause peace. NO! Because the Truth is worth a riot!

Verse 2: "And after passing through those parts and exhorting them with much speaking, he came to Greece. Now after he had been there for three months, he was going to sail to Syria. But when he learned that the Jews were lying in wait for him, he decided to return through Macedonia. And these accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater, a Berean; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and of Derbe, Gaius and Timothy; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on ahead and waited for us in Troas. But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread…" (vs 2-6).

Why? Because they were keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread!And he wanted to be there with the Church during the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. So, they left after the Days of Unleavened Bread. There would be no need to mention this if they weren't keeping it. If they were keeping Easter, they would have said, 'after Easter.' If they were keeping Christmas they would have said, 'after Christmas.' But it was such an ingrained part of what they were doing there was no need to mention it. Church brethren keep the Passover, keep the Holy Days, etc. That was understood. That was part of the Word of God.

"…and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days…. [a whole week] …Now, on the first day of the weeks…" (vs 6-7). 'Ah ha, we have the first day of the week here, Fred.' Yes, we do!

"…when the disciples had assembled to break bread…" (v 7). Aha! We have a 'Lord's Supper.' That, brethren, is the heart and core of the Protestant teaching of it—right here—and this is where they get it. Why was he preaching on the first day of the week? Not because it was Sunday-worship, but because he was ready to go! They probably wouldn't see him again. What did he do? He preached and preached, and'breaking bread' means to eat a meal.

"…Paul preached to them; and because he was going to leave in the morning, he continued speaking until midnight. And there were many lamps in the upper room where they were assembled. And there sat in the window a certain youth named Eutychus, who was overpowered by deep sleep after Paul had been speaking for a long time; and he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and laid himself on him, and embraced him, and said, 'Do not be anxious, for his life is in him.' And after he got up again, and had broken bread and eaten…" (vs 7-11).

Did he take the 'Lord's Supper' at one time, in one day, and then after midnight take it again? No! It means he got up and ate again after preaching all that time. Probably everyone was saying 'Hoorah! Hallelujah!' You know how it would be. They were hungry, so they ate again!

"…and talked for a long time, even until daybreak, and thus, he departed" (v 11). Have you ever been with brethren and fellowshipped all night until the morning? I have on a couple of occasions. But those were special occasions like this, when I wouldn't see them again for a long time. That's what was going on here.

Verse 12: "And they brought in the boy alive, and were greatly comforted." He was probably still kind of seeing stars and hard breathing and all this sort of thing. You fall down 15-feet. Good thing he was asleep so he landed in just a hump or a big bundle.

Then he left there, v 16: "For Paul had decided to sail by Ephesus, because he did not want to spend time in Asia; for he hastened in order to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, if possible." Rather than be in Ephesus! Why? Because that's probably where he would have kept it! He said, 'I'm not going to, I'm going to Jerusalem.' We find that they kept the Days of Unleavened Bread. We know they kept the Passover. We know they kept Pentecost.

Paul gets up there to Jerusalem and guess what awaits him? Trouble in 'River City'! Acts 21:18: "And on the following day, Paul went with us to see James; and all the elders were assembled. And after greeting them, he reported one by one the things that God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard this, they glorified the Lord. Then they said to him, 'Brother, you see how many thousands of Jews there are who believe, and they are all zealous of the law of rituals'" (vs 18-20). Why? Because they asked Paul to do a 'ritual law' to show that he was not against that!

Later on, when we get into 2-Peter, we will see that part of the heresy of 2-Peter was that these Jews rejected Christ for the law, after James was killed. These were the zealots, when you read in the book of Josephus that raised such havoc and death-dealing things when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies. By the force of power and shear numbers they were going to force God not to destroy the temple—so they thought! God had determined that He was going to destroy it.

Here at this point, before it developed to that, v 21: "But they have been informed that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to apostatize from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, nor to walk in the customs [rituals]. What then is going to happen? A multitude is going to assemble, for they will hear that you have come" (vs 21-22). This was done kind of as a self-protecting devise for Paul.

Verse 23: "Therefore, do this that we tell you: there are four men with us who have a vow on themselves; take these and be purified with them, and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads; and everyone will know that what they have been informed about you is nothing, and that you yourself also are walking orderly and keeping the law of rituals" (vs 21-24).

Well, Paul would accommodate them, because he knew that it was going to be destroyed and he knew it was nothing anyway. If he could keep the Jews believing in Christ, that was the main object of it.

  • Did the scheme work? No!
  • Was it a good thing to do? Probably not!
  • What does this show? That those at Jerusalem were subject a little bit too much to public opinion!

Not wanting to disturb the brethren, hoping that in time they would understand, this was devised. It backfired on them. Paul was arrested. Paul had to be rescued and he was sent down to Cesarea and was down there for several years. Then during one of his trials (Acts 24:14) Paul, in his defense says this.

  • Is there any place in here that says we shouldn't keep the Holy Days?
  • Is there any place in here that authorizes Sunday-keeping?
  • Is there any place here that says we should not keep the Sabbath?

You will find that the answer is no, no, no! Because the 'law of Moses' we're talking about here is not the first five books but only those 'ritual laws' which the Jews did, such as: the washing of hands and pots and pans and different things like this, the circumcision and the sacrifices. That's what they were talking about.

Paul sums it up here in Acts 24:14: "But I confess to you that according to the way which they call heresy… [worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.] …so I serve the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and the Prophets; having hope in God, which they themselves also acknowledge, thatthere will be a resurrection of the dead—both the just and the unjust." (vs 14-15). If anyone wants to know is there more than one resurrection, yes there is, there's more than one resurrection in the Bible.

Acts 26:17: "I [Jesus Christ] am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me." (vs 17-18).

Verse 24—after Paul told about Christ's resurrection and everything: "And while he was uttering these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, 'You are out of your mind, Paul; much learning has turned you to madness.' But he said, 'I am not mad, most noble Festus, but I utter true and rational words. For the king, to whom I speak with boldness, is informed of these things. For I am convinced that none of these things are hidden from him; for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.' Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Will you persuade me to become a Christian in such a little time?'" (vs 24-28). That's why I did the sermon, Almost Persuaded some years ago.

Now, nowhere, nowhere,nowhere do we see that the Holy Days are done away!

Acts 27:9—this is when Paul was on the ship going on the way to his Roman imprisonment and appeal.

  • Did they keep the Day of Atonement away from Jerusalem? Yes, they did!
  • Did they keep it even while they were traveling? Yes, they did!
  • Why? Because of the commandment concerning the Day of Atonement: 'The soul that be that does not fast, I will cut them off from among My people.'

Acts 27:9: "And after much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because the annual fast day had already passed…" If you have a marginal reference, it'll probably key you back to Leviticus, showing the Day of Atonement. That was called 'the fast.'

  • Was it being kept? Yes!
  • Were they weak because of it? Yes!
  • Did it make sailing dangerous? Yes!
  • Were they in a storm? Yes!
  • Is the Day of Atonement binding on Christians to keep? Yes! Even if you're on a journey; even if you're in chains; even if you're on a ship which is ready to crash on the shoals!
  • Is that binding? Yes!
  • How many people ever thought of it that way? Not many!

Everyone wants to get out of doing what God says.

1-Corinthians 16:7: "For at this time I will not stop to see you, but I hope at some future time to stay with you, if the Lord permits. But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost" (vs 7-8). Here we have that Paul kept Pentecost at Ephesus.

  • Pentecost was kept outside of Jerusalem.
  • The Day of Atonement was kept outside of Jerusalem.
  • The Days of Unleavened Bread were kept outside of Jerusalem.

The reason I mention it this way is because there are people come along and say, 'The only place in the world you can ever keep the Feast is at Jerusalem.' Nonsense! Jesus said, 'The hour is coming and now is when you shall not worship neither in this mountain nor yet in Jerusalem. You shall worship Him in Spirit and Truth'—wherever you are! The Gospel is preached in the all the world.

{1 Cor. 11 & 5:7-8—talks about the Days of Unleavened Bread—very clear; shows us that.

Hebrews 11:24: "By faith Moses, after becoming a great leader, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of sin" (vs 24-25).

I tell you what, brethren—those of us who are Christians—we suffer! There are things we go through. We haven't been beaten, we haven't been stoned, but we suffer. We're living in a world where Satan just about has total control of the whole world. He's got his clutches into our families, to our relatives, and so forth; and we're going to suffer! There are going to be difficult times. The times ahead are not going to be much better. We all want to avoid suffering. I don't want suffering; you don't want suffering. But when it comes we don't give up on God! Neither did Moses!

Verse 25: "Choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of sin; for he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking intently to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king…" (vs 25-27).

We have to forsake the world: 'come out of her, My people.' Come out of great Babylon. Egypt came from Babylon, by the way. And we're not fearing the wrath of the king who is either the governor or Satan either one.

"…for he persevered, as if he were seeing the one Whois invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not slay them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea…" (vs 27-29). So, you have Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread upheld as a means of faith to be kept—not to do away!

Note Rev. 2 & 3,which have the seven churches. We've covered this time and time again. And I'll mention in principle: Obviously, from the seven churches there will be varying degrees of faithfulness to God all the way from being totally faithful, keeping all the Word of God to the ones who are so dead that Jesus said just strengthen a couple of things that are left. You have those who are zealous for God; those who are killed and persecuted for God; you have those who compromise their belief with the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel and so forth.

At what point those people repented and came back to God I can't tell you, but this shows there will be varying degrees of faithfulness to God. Those who are not faithful will be punished to a certain point. Those who are faithful will be tried to a certain point. But nowhere in any of those places do we find that we can do away with the Sabbath or the Holy Days whatsoever.

In order to enter into the Kingdom of God, Hebrews 4:9: "There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping ['Sabbatismos'] for the people of God."

Lev. 23 starts out with the Sabbath! Then the Passover!Then all the Holy Days, and they fall in that order. Not only in order of importance, but also in order of sequence through the year.

Even those who don't believe in keeping the Holy Days today, will have to admit that when Jesus Christ returns that they're going to keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days, they're going to keep the New Moons, they're going to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Pray-tell, if God is going to enforce it when He returns, what makes you think that we shouldn't keep it today?

Zechariah 14:16: "And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."

Jeremiah 7:22: "For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you'" (vs 22-23). It's the whole purpose of everything that God did.

Jeremiah 8:1: "'At that time,' says the LORD, 'they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its rulers, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem, out of their graves. And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of the heavens, whom they have loved and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked… [and that, brethren, is Catholicism! Not only is the pagan sun-worship, but it's Catholicism incarnate today.] …and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be as dung on the face of the earth'" (vs 1-2).

Jeremiah 5:19: "'And it will be, when they shall ask, "Why does the LORD our God do all these things to us?" Then you shall answer them, "Just as you have forsaken Me and served strange gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours."…. [Did this happen to the Jews? Yes, is to this very day!] …Declare this in the house of Jacob, and cry it in Judah, saying, "Now hear this, O foolish people and without understanding; who have eyes and see not; who have ears and hear not; do you not fear Me?"' says the LORD. 'Will you not tremble at My presence, even I Who have placed the sand for the boundary of the sea by a never-ending decree, so that it cannot pass it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot pass over it. But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and are departed from Me. And they do not say in their heart, "Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He reserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest." Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you"'"(vs 19-25).

  • if God sent away His people for worshiping the host of heaven and all these things
  • if He sent them away for breaking the Holy Days and breaking the Sabbath and destroying His laws
    • Do you think that under the grace of the name of Lord Jesus Christ that we can have any such thing as Sunday-worship?
    • Do you think for one minute that under the name of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that God is going to allow all of these abominable, heathen things to be kept?

For people to stand before God and say,

  • God, I don't have to keep Your Sabbath
  • God, I don't have to keep Your Holy Days
  • God, I don't have to keep Your Word
  • but You better well give me salvation!

I say to anyone who says that, you're going to be mighty disappointed, because you aren't going to have salvation, because:

  • you don't believe in Christ
  • you don't believe in His Word
  • you don't believe in the Word of God
  • you don't love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being

If you loved God with all your heart, mind, soul and being:

  • Are you going to argue against God?
  • Are you going to tell God what to do?
  • Are you going to judge the Law of God?
  • Are you going to judge the commandments of God?
  • Woe to those ministers that preach that!
  • Woe to those people who have been in the Church a long time and have overthrown these things!

Maybe out of weakness, maybe out of discouragement some have overthrown it. But, I tell you what, you better recover yourself and pray to God so that you're not going to be stuck in a bind and find yourself left out.

Jude 1—the other brother of Jesus Christ: "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to the called saints, sanctified by God the Father and kept in Jesus Christ: Mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to ferventlyfight for the faith, which once for all time has been delivered to the saints. For certain men have stealthily crept in, those who long ago have been written about, condemning them to thisjudgment. They are ungodly men, who are perverting the grace of our God, turning it into licentiousness, and are personally denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 1-4).

Brethren, this assault against the Church is a desperate and a deadly thing! And it is, just like the hurricane that we talked about in part 3, upsetting many of the brethren's lives and their relationship with God. Our whole desire and our whole purpose is not to attack those people that do it, but expose them for what they are doing because it is wrong and hope that they repent.

Our whole purpose in this is to teach people to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and being and put Him first! And to keep the commandments of God in a way that's going to be wonderful for them, be a blessing for them, that they can make it into the Kingdom of God.

This is not just a little twiterpating over some little doctrinal dispute of nothing. This is anguishing over the salvation of people that God has called! I'm very concerned about a lot of people just running off hither, thither and yon, having 'itching ears' wanting to hear something. I pray they don't end up in some jungle someplace drinking 'Kool-Aid' with a Jimmy Jones reincarnate. But there may be some who are of that mind. I pray not. But know for sure that:

  • the Holy Days of God are to be kept
  • the laws of God are to be kept
  • we're to keep them in Spirit and in Truth
  • Jesus Christ is our Lord and our Master and our Savior

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  1. James 4:11-12
  2. Luke 16:16-17
  3. Matthew 16:1, 4, 6-7, 12-17, 24-28
  4. Matthew 17:1-3, 9
  5. John 4:19-24
  6. Acts 4:36
  7. Acts 6:7
  8. Acts 14:1-2, 6-19
  9. Acts 15:1-21, 20-29
  10. Acts 16:12-13
  11. Acts 17:1-5, 19-13
  12. Acts 18:18, 21-22
  13. Acts 19:8-10
  14. Acts 20:1-12, 16
  15. Acts 21:18-24
  16. Acts 24:14-15
  17. Acts 26:17-18, 24-28
  18. Acts 27:9
  19. 1 Corinthians 16:7-8
  20. Hebrews 11:24-29
  21. Hebrews 4:9
  22. Zechariah 14:16
  23. Jeremiah 7:22-23
  24. Jeremiah 8:1-2
  25. Jeremiah 6:19-25
  26. Jude 1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 5; 6; 7; 16:18
  • Revelation 1:14-16
  • Hebrews 7
  • Acts 13; 14:5
  • Galatians 2
  • 1 Corinthians 8
  • Mark 2:27-28
  • Acts 16:9-10; 17:6
  • 1 Corinthians 11; 5:7-8
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Leviticus 23

Also referenced:

  • Sermons:
  • Assaults Against the Church #3
  • Almost Persuaded
  • Books:
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin
  • Josephus

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4-4-10
Reformatted: 3/2014

 

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