The Apple Of God's Eye

November 6, 2009

What Is Satan's Ultimate Fate?

tasaweer.wordpress.comThere are many false doctrines circulating in modern “Churchianity” about Satan the devil. Some believe he is merely the embodiment of all that is evil, and therefore not a real being, but just a bad “idea” in the minds of men. Others believe Satan appears as a red, dancing monster with wings like a bat, horns, a tail and a pitchfork. 

But What Is the Truth?

The Bible reveals that Satan is the god of this present world. Paul expressly says: “In whom the god of this world (Greek “aion”, or “age”) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4).

In trying to overthrow Christ, Satan boasted, “All this power will I give thee (all the kingdoms of the world), and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:6).

Had Satan made this statement falsely, Christ would certainly have refuted it! And yet, Christ said not one word to contradict Satan’s presumptuous remarks about the kingdoms of this world. Jesus did, however, rebuke the devil for tempting Him by means of the kingdoms of this world.

Jesus warned His disciples that the majority would be deceived, and going in the broad, wide, easy way — the way of following that which seems right to a man — to destruction! (Matt. 7:13.)

The deceiver is called the “prince of the power of the air” in Eph. 2:2. John’s vision plainly showed Satan as the deceiver of the whole world, who was cast down with his angels, who are now called demons (Rev. 12:9).

Satan’s Work

www.darkstar1.co.ukScripture shows that fully one third of all the multiplied millions of the angels followed Lucifer in his rebellion, and were cast down to the earth with him! (Compare Rev. 12:4 with Rev. 1:20.) These fallen angels, remember, are spirit beings! To accomplish his work of deception, with the ultimate goal of destroying human beings, Satan utilizes these millions of disobedient spirits! He is called the princes of demons (Matt. 12:24).

Satan began — by trying to destroy Adam and Eve — the very first humans on the earth. Again, when God sent His own Son, Satan tried to have Him killed — to thwart His every purpose! Finally, when it was time according to God purpose to allow Christ to be killed, Satan the devil was a direct instrument in executing Christ. He entered personally into Judas! (John 13:27.)

What About the Everlasting Fire?

At this present time, God is directly allowing Satan to be used as His instrument in blinding the world, so the lesson of mankind will be so firmly and completely etched in its own blood that there will never again be a society existing in total rebellion against God’s government! God is the One who has “concluded (shut up) them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32). He says He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should finally come to repentance! (II Peter 3:9.)

At the beginning of Christ’s millennial rule over the nations, Satan is to be bound, and cast into an abyss (Rev. 20:1-3). This condition of restraint will last during the thousand years, and then the devil will be momentarily allowed freedom to deceive the nations again (verse 3)! But consider what occurs next!

Jesus said He is going to cast unrepentant, carnal-minded humans into “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). This parable of the sheep and the goats is another example of a parable of Christ that makes no special reference to the time element, but is showing a spiritual lesson and principle to be learned! The separation described in verse 32 takes place over a period of 1,100 years! — to the end of the 100-year period after the Millennium.

This everlasting fire is not the conventional hell preached about by mainstream Christianity. Fire is a physical, chemical thing! It is the combustion of physical objects with oxygen which changes the physical objects into ashes and gaseous vapour!

Notice that the wicked (the same ones Christ referred to) are to be ashes under the feet of the righteous! (Mal. 4:3.) Therefore, this fire Christ spoke of in Matthew 25 is a fire that consumes human beings! But Satan is a SPIRIT being not affected by fire!

The “Age-Lasting” Fire

www.soulmanna.netNext, let’s notice carefully some significant facts about the fire Christ will use to destroy His enemies! When Jesus returns to this earth as KING, His first act will be to destroy, not all the wicked, but that “wicked ONE.”

Next, turn to Revelation 20:10. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet (were).” There is no verb “are” in the original Greek, as the King James revisers have added in italics! See an interlinear or any concordance!

Notice that the devil will be cast into the (not just “a,” but the definite article “the” is in the Greek) lake of fire where the Beast and the False Prophet were cast!

This is the same fire. It was burning at the precise beginning of the millennium when the Beast and False Prophet were thrown into its flames; it will be burning at the end of the millennium, when Satan is thrown into the same fire! That’s why it is called an age lasting fire in Matthew 25:41 because it does, literally, last for an age — the millennial age!

What About the Demons?

Christ said the fire was being prepared for the devil and his angels! So they, too, are to be thrown into the lake of fire!

A commonly misunderstood explanation of this is found in I Peter 3:19-20. People have assumed, because they base their religious philosophies on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, that Christ was busy preaching to some supposed “souls” of men in hell!

Your Bible plainly states the time element in these verses. Christ did the preaching, not during the three days and nights when He was dead in the tomb (I Cor. 15:3 and 20) but “WHEN once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing …” (I Peter 3:20).

But notice to whom Christ witnessed about the flood. “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison”! (Verse 19.) Who were these “spirits”? Certainly not men — nor the “souls” of men, since men do not have immortal souls!

II Peter 2:4 says: “For if God spared not the angels (spirits) that sinned, but cast them down to hell (prison — “hell” is a mistranslation from the Greek “tartaroo” which means a “condition or position of restraint,” as an “imprisonment”), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”

The “spirits in prison” are the sinning angels, or the demons that have perverted their ways and followed Satan, and are bound to the earth — imprisoned here by the power of God until their day of judgment.

The Lake of Fire

This tremendous conflagration will be so intense, so white-hot, that the surface of the whole earth will literally melt with the fervour of the flames! Peter describes this awesome time as a melting of the very elements, a time when all the works on the earth are burned up — dissolved! (II Peter 3:10-11.)

Christ shows this time occurs after the final Great White Throne Judgment when God’s plan is complete. After this final judgment, even death and the grave are destroyed (Rev. 20:13-15). The surface of the earth will become for a time just as if it were the blazing surface of the sun! This is the great Gehenna fire that Christ talked of, that will destroy the wicked. It is into this vast, seething lake of fire that Satan and his angels will have been cast.

But remember! This fire is physical! It consumes the bodies of the wicked, but spirit is not combustible!

How a Spirit Can Suffer

God created our bodies with a type of “safety device” against too much pain! When the physical human body is subjected to extreme pain, it will reach a certain point and then lapse into unconsciousness! The mind does not continue to register the pain — even though the body continues to suffer!

A disembodied spirit — one that cannot any longer physically manifest itself — is an uncomfortable, miserable spirit! Jesus described this condition of mental torment when He said, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out”. (Luke 11:24).

This is further illustrated by the account of Christ’s experience with the many demons who had entered the man in the country of the Gadarenes. Jesus commanded the spirits to come out of the man, and they “besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country” (Mark 5:10). “And all the devils (demons) besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them” (verse 12).

When Philip was performing miracles at Samaria, he cast out many demons, who came out of people “crying with loud voice” (Acts 8:7) showing their frustration and anger at being deprived of their dwelling place! (Luke 8:28.)

God says the demons know of His power — they are aware of the great authority of God! We are told that willful sinners are going to be left with a certain fearful looking for of judgment (Heb. 10:26-27) and that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! (Verse 31.)

James said, “Thou believest that there is one God? Thou doest well: the devils (demons) also believe, and tremble”! (James 2:19.)

Satan Will Not Be Destroyed!

Satan is NOT ultimately destroyed. Turn again to Revelation 20, and verse 10. Notice that the devil is cast into the lake of fire where the Beast and False Prophet were cast, And Satan and his demons shall be tormented day and night forever and ever!

This expressly states Satan will be tormented for the ages of the ages! (See “International Critical Commentary”, an interlinear or other such Bible helps. ) This expression in the Greek means for all eternity — for time everlasting!

But notice carefully the verse states Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and tormented forever! It does not say that he will remain in the fire forever! The fire is on this earth! The fire is an age-lasting fire, which will not be burning after God’s new heaven and new earth are established! Since Satan is to be tormented forever, and the fire is to finally consume the physical objects it is burning until it burns out, Satan does not remain in this lake of fire forever! Satan is a spirit! Fire cannot consume spirit — and a spirit cannot die! Jesus Christ said so!

For a clinching proof, turn to Luke 20:34, Christ begins to explain to the hypocritical Sadducees about the resurrection.

“… The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (age), and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die anymore, for they are equal unto the angels …” (verses 34-36).

Jesus tells us the angels cannot die! Satan is a fallen angel! Therefore Satan cannot die! So what happens to him and the angels?

The lake of fire will end when the new heavens and new earth are established, and Satan is to be tormented unto the ages of the ages! It also shows his torment while in that fire is going to be mental, at seeing all he has strived toward, worked for, plotted for, burned up.

Christ preached to the spirits on this earth during the time of the flood as a witness to them! The flood was a type of the yet future destruction of the earth — this time by fire! Christ was warning them of the impending destruction of all their works — and their everlasting banishment from this earth! The exact nature of their punishment is yet to be decided!

Jude gave a slight indication of the possibility of the nature of that punishment when he used the demons as a type in warning Christians about false teachers who had crept in unawares.

Verse 11 shows these errors are exactly that of the sinning angels in that they too tried to usurp authority! This, as shown in the example of Korah (Numbers 16), does not sit well with God.

Jude continues, “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars (see Rev. 1:20, where stars are symbols of angels) to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever! (Verse 13.)

Which blackness of darkness is this? Rev. 20:1-2 describes a bottomless pit in which Satan and His demons are thrown for a thousand years, only to be loosed again at the end of the Millennium for a short while to try man a final time. It is no great stretch of the imagination to believe that this will then also be his final place of abode after this time, never to again bother man. It is the ultimate bottomless pit – dark, empty and void of anything except these creatures. Now they can never again interact with anyone – for eternity.

June 21, 2009

Reincarnation: Myth Or Fact?

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Reincarnation is a concept which is common to many religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Those who believe in this theory teach that after death a person’s “soul” is reborn in a new body, which is sometimes referred to as the “transmigration of the soul” or metempsychosis.

The abundance of reincarnation myths around the world finds appeal in the idea that a fundamental part of themselves will live on after death, even though their bodies may decay.

The immortality of the soul doctrine (especially prevalent in the West) is basic to the belief in reincarnation. But, that doctrine is false! The classic inquiry “Who am I?” is being replaced by the puzzling question “Who was I?”. The Bible plainly shows that one’s soul is NOT immortal. Notice Genesis 3:19:

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust [not another body] shalt thou return.”

Also notice Ecclesiastes 3:19-20:

“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast …. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”

Psalm 146:4 states that when a man dies “his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts
perish.”

We can further this concept for those who say the body is irrelevant to the concept of reincarnation by quoting Heb. 9:27, which states that  a man “is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. In other words, he is NOT reborn to die over and over again.

So if this belief is not biblical, how did it start?

What is reincarnation?

“Reincarnation, literally “to be made flesh again”, is a doctrine or metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. This essential part is often referred to as the spirit or soul, the “higher” or “true” self, “divine spark”, or “I”. According to such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each life in the physical world, but some part of the self remains constant throughout the successive lives.” [wikipedia]

Answers.com terms reincarnation as rebirth of the soul in another body. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia terms it as the doctrine of the rebirth of the soul in one or more existences. Oxford University Press expresses it as existence of a soul that is periodically reincarnated in a body. And Columbia Encyclopedia references it as occupation by the soul of a new body after the death of the earlier body.

The teaching of reincarnation (a religion of the east) is making heavy inroads into Western society today. However, it is important to understand that it is in no way a scientific or religious truth.

Reincarnation in Hindu art

Reincarnation in Hindu art

The concept of this belief can be stated as follows: after death, the human soul leaves the body and passes into either 1) a plant body, an animal body, another human body, or even an extra-terrestrial body.

Belief in reincarnation has ancient roots. This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism (including Yoga, Vaishnavism, and Shaivism).

It also appears in Jainism and Sikhism, two faiths that grew out of Hinduism and are still practiced in India. Jainism shares with Hinduism a belief in many gods. Sikhism, a monotheistic religion, combines some elements of Islam with Hinduism.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all began in India, where the idea of rebirth first appears in texts dating from about 700 B.C. They share a belief in samsara—the wheel of birth and rebirth—and karma—the idea that an individual’s future incarnation depends on the way he or she lived. People who have done good deeds and led moral lives are reborn into higher social classes; those who have not are doomed to return as members of the lower classes or as animals. Only by achieving the highest state of spiritual development can a person escape samsara altogether. (Mythencyclopedia)

The idea was further entertained by some ancient Greek philosophers, the Egyptians and Greeks,  among the Celts and Druids, and in various “mystery religions” of the Near East. It spread somewhat among the Hebrews, before the time of Christ, and has survived among various Hasidic groups in the world today.

Many modern Neopagans also believe in it, as do some New Age movements, along with followers of Spiritism, practitioners of certain African traditions, and students of esoteric philosophies such as Kabbalah, and Gnostic and Esoteric Christianity. The Buddhist concept of Rebirth although often referred to as reincarnation differs significantly from the Hindu-based traditions and New Age movements in that there is no unchanging “soul” (or eternal self) to reincarnate.

People apart from ancient Israel had no concept of a personal God,  so  reincarnation took hold as a way of explaining many of the mysteries of this life. The perpetual state of karma (as a primitive form of retribution) supposedly helps to  “expiate’ the sins of previous incarnations.

Does the Bible mention reincarnation?

While the Bible does not mention the term reincarnation, it does condemn it in context in speaking of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John, Christ is asked about a blind man: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind? In other words, he must have done something wrong in a previous life, or he wouldn’t have been born with blindness. To which the Savior replied: Neither he nor his parents sinned…but that the works of God might be manifest in him (John 9:2-3r).Jesus Christ here clearly refuted the idea that the existence of evil can be explained by reincarnation. Why? Because reincarnation undercuts the gospel message in three ways.

  1. First, it assumes that God is impersonal and is therefore unknowable.
  2. Second, reincarnation denigrates the Atonement of Christ.
  3. Third, it denies the fact that Jesus physically resurrected from the dead.

You see, the law of karma is entirely incompatible with the teachings of the Bible. There is no mechanistic “wheel of re-birth” (as taught by Hindus, Buddhists, and their Western equivalents). Those who are now in the grave will NOT go to heaven, as “no one has gone up into Heaven, except He having come down out of Heaven, the Son of Man…., and neither will their consciousness leave the grave:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)

Esoteric foolishness

Still, many tell of crackpot esoteric experiences which seems real to them, but they conveniently throw out the Scriptures to go with their own impressions and subjective opinions. Such people are attracted by superficial and grandiose nonsense about hallucinatory “memories” of previous lifetimes-often gained through “regressive hypnosis.” That might make for some exciting storytelling, and if good enough, maybe even land them an appearance on Oprah and guaranteed a few book sales. But it doesn’t make for good reality.

...according to the idea of reincarnation, if one is “saved” at all it is only after many lifetimes of working out the consequences of one’s sins. This is the cold and dreary legalism of the pagan religions which was totally abolished by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. (Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose): The Soul After Death)

The term “Christian” has been rendered nearly meaningless now with people of every bizarre belief and teaching claiming that their views can comport with Christianity. Ignoring the word of God and therefore avoiding being moved by the Spirit of God, such people circumvent the entire process of Christian growth. There is no spiritual maturity, because there is no growing where there is no knowing (II Pet. 3:18).

Christ told us that the way was narrow that leads to eternal life. Anyone who denies the clear teachings of Scripture about the afterlife denies Christ by his rejection of the Word of God.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The real nature of man is something few understand. The teaching of the immortality of the  soul is simply un-biblical and cannot be substantiated by scripture. Those who try do so with limited understanding or false pretenses.

June 17, 2009

What Are Prayers For The Dead?

Prayers on behalf of the dead have no meaning, and the Bible is clear on this subject. God’s Word shows that those who have died no longer have any physical or mental activity (Ps. 146:4; Eccl. 9:5, 10). Each person who dies sleeps in his grave in unconsciousness until the resurrection (John 5:28-29; Dan. 12:2; Job 19:25-26; 14:12-14). Clearly, prayers should be for the LIVING, not the dead.

Prayers for the dead are based on the false teaching that man possesses an immortal soul. Some believe that at death a wicked person’s “immortal” soul is tormented in hell. Friends and relatives then pray that the departed “soul” be spared some of its suffering. But the Bible says that the soul itself can die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; also, compare the last parts of verses 7 and 17 of Genesis 2). There are absolutely no biblical grounds for the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.

God promises to resurrect those who have died and offer them salvation at a later time as most of humanity has not yet had any opportunity to be saved.

May 18, 2009

Does Eternal Punishing Differ From Eternal Punishment?

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socrates58.blogspot.com

Many people today preach about an eternal hell fire and eternal punishment. First, here’s the terse and brief summation of this popular belief, which I quote from the Encyclopedia Americana:

“… As generally understood, hell is the abode of evil spirits; the infernal regions…whither lost and condemned souls go after death to suffer indescribable torments and eternal punishment… Some have thought of it as the place created by the Deity, where He punishes with inconceivable severity, and through all eternity, the souls of those who through unbelief or through the worship of false gods have angered Him. It is the place of divine revenge, untempered, never ending.”

Now where, and how, did this popular belief about hell originate? The Encyclopedia Americana states further:

“The main features of hell as conceived by Hindu, Persian, Egyptian, Grecian and Christian theologians are essentially the same.” The Western religious leaders from Roman times through the Middle Ages borrowed the doctrine of eternal torture from the pagan philosophers. Certain writers of the Middle Ages had such tremendous influence on the Christian-professing world, that their writings and teachings came to be generally accepted and believed, until it became the doctrine of the Christian-professing world. Among these influential writers were Augustine and Dante Alighieri.”

An interesting book titled Dante, and His Inferno summs up the history of the Christian-professing doctrine of hell. This factual history is rather amazing! Dante lived A.D. 1265 to 1321. Dante, remember, wrote a tremendously popular book, titled Divine Comedy, in three parts – “Hell,” “Purgatory” and “Paradise.”

This from the aforementioned book of history:

“Of all poets of modern times, Dante Alighieri was, perhaps, the greatest educator. He possibly had a greater influence on the course of civilization than any other man since his day… He wrote, in incomprehensible verse, an imaginative and lurid account of a dismal hell – a long poem containing certain phrases which have caught the attention of the world, such as, ‘all hope abandon… ye, who enter here!’ This had a tremendous impression and influence on the popular Christian thought and teaching. His Inferno was based on Virgil and Plato.”

Dante is reported to have been so fascinated and enraptured by the ideas and philosophies of Plato and Virgil, pagan philosophers, that he believed they were divinely inspired.

Here is an article on Virgil, from the Americana: “VIRGIL, pagan Roman poet, 70-19 B.C. Belonged to the national school of pagan Roman thought, influenced by the Greek writers. Christians of the Middle Ages, including Dante, believed he had received some measure of divine inspiration.”

Plato was a pagan Greek philosopher, born in Athens, 427 B.C., a student of Socrates. He wrote the famous book Phaedo, on the immortality of the soul, and this book is the real origin of the modern belief in the immortality of the soul. In it, he acknowledges . .. three kinds of gods: superior, inferior, and intermediate.”

There is the general statement of the popular belief about hell, and where that belief came from – actually from the imaginations of pagans who DID NOT not God!

What about the billions of non-Christians?

Before we examine the common idea about hell to see whether it is true, consider one or two facts. On this earth are some 6,790,062,216 people (US Census Bureau). The most populous lands are China, India and other parts of Asia. In spite of missionaries from the West, actually more than half of air the people on this earth have never so much as heard the only name by which men may be saved – the name of Jesus Christ! Now is there some other way by which men may be saved? The Bible says there is not!

That means that thousands of millions of people on this earth have lived, and died, without ever having known anything about Christian salvation – without saving knowledge – never having heard the ONLY name by which men may be saved! Now think what that means! IF all unsaved go immediately to hell at death – the hell commonly believed in – then more than HALF of the people who have lived on this earth have been consigned there – and they are there, now, without ever having been given so much as a CHANCE to escape it!

Ask yourselves candidly, do you believe THAT is the plan by which an all-wise, all-merciful, loving GOD is working out his purpose here below?

Now what is the TRUTH?

We face this alternative: Either the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God, by which the Creator reveals the truth on the subject, or else we must fling up our hands and confess we just don’t know – we are ignorant on the question – because no one has ever come back from such an ever-burning hell to tell us about it, and science knows nothing about it. We must believe what the Bible says, or we can believe nothing, if we are rational and honest!

Source: The Plain Truth, a955, Herbert W Armstrong

So why does Math. 25:41 quote an everlasting fire?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…”

The word translated “everlasting” in verse 41 is “aionion” in the Greek. This word comes from the root “aion,” which can mean “eternal” but often means “age.” In verse 41, the correct translation into English should be “age-lasting” fire.

During the Millennium — the “age” of Christ’s rule with the saints on the earth — the valley of Hinnom will be kept perpetually burning. The incorrigibly wicked, those who set their wills in persistent rebellion against God’s laws, will be thrown into that fire as a stern witness to the rest of the world (Isa. 66:24).

Gehenna was a place of destruction and death – not a place of living torture. Jesus was talking to Jews who understood all about this Gehenna or Valley of Hinnom. Utter destruction by fire was complete. Nothing was left, but ashes!  Every text in the Bible translated from this Greek word gehenna means complete destruction – not living torture – not eternal life in torment! The Bible says, in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is DEATH” – not eternal life in torture. The punishment revealed in the Bible is death – the cessation of life. Eternal life is the gift of God!

Then why have we been believing that punishment is eternal life in fire? And why have we been believing we already have eternal life and don’t need to come to God through Christ to receive it as His gift?

When Jesus spoke of being cast into “gehenna fire,” he was using this expression as an illustration of the “lake of fire.” This everlasting punishment spoken of in Matthew 25:46 is what the Bible elsewhere calls the “second death” (Rev. 20:14; 21:3). Death for all eternity is eternal punishMENT. The Bible nowhere teaches eternal punishING. The wicked will be burned up and will become ashes under the feet of the righteous (Mal. 4:3).

That fire will be much hotter than Dante’s imaginary hell!

March 28, 2009

Pagan Holidays Or God’s Holy Days – Which?

Editors Note: This article is the introduction to the above mentioned booklet. I will keep sections short, for brevity, and include other parts of the booklet in different articles and subjects.

—————————————–

From The Booklet: Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days— Which?
by Herbert W. Armstrong

Does it make any difference which days we observe or whether we keep them? Does the Bible establish whether we are to keep certain days holy to God? Were these days given to ancient Israel only? Are they binding today only on the Jewish people, while Christians are commanded to keep holidays such as Christmas?

In the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel is an amazing prophecy picturing, for twenty-five hundred years into future, from the day it was written, the course of the Gentile kingdoms. Starting with the ancient Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, this prophecy foretells the successive world rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander’s Greco-Macedonian kingdom with its four divisions, and finally, of the mighty Roman Empire.

Out of the original Roman Empire, symbolized by “horns” growing out of the head of a “beast,” are pictured the ten resurrections of the Roman Empire that have continued since its fall to the present, and are scheduled to continue until the coming of Christ.

Among these ten kingdoms, which have ruled in the Western world since the fall of Rome to the present, appeared another “little horn,” whose “look was more stout than fellows.” In other words, another government, actually smaller, yet dominating over all the others. Students of prophecy recognize this “little horn” as a great religious hierarchy. And in the 25th verse of this prophecy, it is stated that this hierarchy shall “think to change times and laws.”

How Time Was Changed

This same power is mentioned again in the 17th chapter of Revelation, here pictured as ruling over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, persecuting the true saints.

In every possible manner, this power has changed TIME.

  1. God begins the days at sunset, but “the little horn” has changed it so the world now begins the day in the middle of the night by a man-made watch.
  2. God begins the week with the ending of the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, but the world begins the working week in the middle of the night, the second day of the week.
  3. God begins the months with the new moons, but this “little horn” has induced the world to begin the months according to a clumsy man-made calendar of heathen origin.
  4. God begins the year in the early spring, when new life is budding in nature everywhere, but ancient heathen Rome caused the world to begin the year in the middle of dead winter.
  5. God gave His children a true rest day, designed to keep them continually in the knowledge and true worship of the true God, a memorial of God’s Creation, the seventh day of the week. But the “little horn” has fastened upon a deluded world the observance of the days on which the pagans worshipped the Sun, the first day of the week, called SUNday.

Pagan Origins

Ancient Rome’s pagan holidays have been chained upon a heedless and deceived world. These include certain annual holidays Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, as well as many more, every one a pagan day, every one used to stimulate the sale of merchandise in the commercial markets. Upon honest investigation, the earnest seeker-after-truth learns that these days are all of heathen origin and pagan significance. He learns that he can have no part in them.

But is the Christian of today left without any annual holy days? Did God never give to His people annual holy days, as well as the weekly Sabbath? Are not ancient Rome’s annual holidays mere counterfeits of God’s true holy days, exactly as Sunday is a counterfeit of the true Sabbath?

Banishing Prejudice

We are told to study, not argue, not to refute, but to show ourselves approved unto God to learn God’s will. We are commanded, as Christians, to grow in knowledge as well as in grace (II Peter 3:18). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable to correct and to reprove us, where we have, through assumption, false teaching, or prejudice, been in error.

Most people have supposed that all the annual Sabbaths and feast days of Israel were done away. And yet Church history shows that the early true Church did, for more than four hundred long years at least, perhaps much longer after Christ’s resurrection, continued to keep and observe these annual holy days given by God!

And just as the Sunday observer is inclined to look, at first, upon any argument for the weekly Sabbath with prejudice, as a heresy, and to examine every argument only in an attitude of attempting to refute it— so it will be only human, only natural for us, if we are not on our guard against it, to look upon any presentation of these annual Sabbaths in the same spirit of prejudice. But remember that, “he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13).

Study This Twice

Certain objections will be sure to come to the mind all of which, will be dealt with and explained later on. But unless the reader is careful to guard against it, the mere presence of this objection in his mind will, to him, overthrow each point as it’s presented— and then, when the objections are later explained, the points made will not come back to the mind, unless the whole exposition of the subject is carefully studied again from the first.

And in each case, the objection will be one of the very arguments used by Sunday preachers in attempting to overthrow the truth of the weekly Sabbath! For the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths stand or fall together. The arguments used against the annual Sabbaths will be the identical arguments used to overthrow the Sabbath and if these arguments could hold, then they would abolish the weekly Sabbath!

Such arguments as “the annual Sabbaths are part of the law of Moses,” or “they offered sacrifices on the annual Sabbaths,” or “Colossians 2:16 does away with the annual Sabbaths,” are not scriptural.

For the annual Sabbaths were not part of the law of Moses, but were observed before the ritualistic ordinances contained in the law of Moses were given. Sacrifices were offered on the weekly Sabbath, but this does not do away with the Sabbath. In fact, sacrifices were offered on every day of the year (Numbers 28:3).

Colossians 2:16 refers, not alone to the annual Sabbaths, but to the annual days, the monthly new moons, and the weekly Sabbath. Whenever the Bible uses the expression “Sabbath days,” with new moons and holy days, it is referring to the weekly Sabbath days, the new moons and the annual holy days or feast days. The “Sabbath days” of Colossians 2:16 refers to the weekly Sabbath. Compare I Chronicles 23:31 with II Chronicles 2:4; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Nehemiah 10:33; Ezekiel 46:3. If Colossians does away with the one, it also abolishes the other.

The Old Testament Church

When did the true Church begin? In Acts 7:38 we learn that the congregation of Israel was called the church in the wilderness, in the days of Moses. The English word “congregation” used throughout the Old Testament is only another rendering, having the same identical meaning, as the word “church” in the New Testament. The word translated “congregation” in the Old Testament is ekklesia in the Septuagint the same identical Greek word that is always translated CHURCH in the New Testament.

Israel was both church and state. As a kingdom, it was for years ruled by a system of judges, over 50s, 100s, thousands, etc., later having a king. But as a congregation, or church, Israel was organized with a leader Moses, Joshua, etc. and the priests of the tribe of Levi. The law of Moses contained those ritualistic or ceremonial laws which were ADDED, because of transgressions, to the Old Covenant— added until Christ— to teach and instill into them the habit of obedience. These consisted of meat and drink offerings, various washings, and physical ordinances. Also they had the sacrifices, as a substitute for the sacrifice of Christ.

Prior to the Law of Moses

In the 12th chapter of Exodus, while the Children of Israel were still in Egypt, long before any of the Law of Moses had been given, prior to the time when God revealed to Moses and the Israelites He would make the Old Covenant with them, we find God’s annual holy days being observed. And in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we find a summary of these annual holy days or set feasts.

Now when God made the Sabbath for man, He gave man a rest day carrying great significance and purpose. To His Church in the wilderness, God said that the Sabbath was a covenant sign between Him and His people. A sign is a supernatural proof of identity. It is the sign by which we know that He is God. How does it prove that to us? “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested.” It is a memorial of creation.

And creation is the proof of the existence of God. Creation identifies God. The Sabbath is a weekly memorial of creation. A weekly reminder of God’s power to create. Therefore it identifies God to us, keeps us in the true memory and true worship of the true God. No other day, but the seventh day of the week, could have that great significance and meaning. It was designed to keep us in the true worship of God.

The Purpose of Holy Days

Now in like manner, when God gave His Church seven annual Sabbaths, God, in His wisdom, had a great purpose. These days, too, were given to keep God’s children in the true memory and worship of God, by keeping us constantly in the understanding of God’s great plan of redemption. For these annual days picture the different epochs in the plan of spiritual creation, mark the dispensations, and picture their meaning.

The whole story of spiritual regeneration was, in these feast days, to be reenacted year after year continually. They have vitally important symbolism and meaning.

It is an historic fact that any nation which ever profaned God’s holy Sabbath (weekly), has lost contact with and knowledge of the true God, and gone into idolatry. The only nation which ever did keep God’s Sabbath is the only one that was kept in the true memory and worship of the true God— and only when they kept the Sabbath. When ancient Israel began to profane God’s Sabbath, they began to worship idols!

And in the same way, when in these New Testament times we have failed to observe God’s annual Sabbaths we, as a nation and people, are without knowledge of God’s true plan of reproducing Himself.

The so-called Christian churches today do not understand or teach what sin is— they do not teach that sin must be put away— they do not understand what man is, the purpose of life, the meaning of being born again, and of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit— they do not understand that God’s Church, today, is not to convert the world, but to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom as a witness— to live a life of overcoming sin, enduring unto the end, and that the over-comers shall reign with Christ, being kings, and priests, in His Kingdom.

They do not understand that Christ is coming again, and those who preach the second coming fail to understand its meaning and purpose. They have no knowledge or conception of the good news of the coming Kingdom of God— the only true New Testament Bible gospel.

Not understanding these vital steps in the true plan of regeneration, the Christian churches teach that the Law is abolished. They teach the pagan doctrine of the immortality of the soul, going immediately to heaven or hell at death and they teach that death is only life.

And all is confusion!

God’s feasts, or holy days, or Sabbaths, were commanded to be kept year after year, and forever! Thus God purposed to impress the truths these “high” Sabbaths picture upon all the minds of His children through all time, keeping His Church in the true understanding of His plan!

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