The Annual Feasts
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
“The council had, on that occasion, decided that the converts from the Jewish church might observe the ordinances of the Mosaic law if they chose, while those ordinances should not be made obligatory upon converts from the Gentiles. The opposing class now took advantage of this, to urge a distinction between the observers of the ceremonial law and those who did not observe it, holding that the latter were farther from God than the former.”
PDF download – Testimony of a Former Feast-Keeper. Download this pdf and find out why this person left the movement, as have others.
PDF download – Feast Days & the Present Truth by Nader Mansour.
PDF download – The Cross and It’s Shadow by Stephen Haskell
PDF download – The Feasts, New Moons and Sabbaths of the Hebrews by J. N. Andrews
Enumeration of the Hebrew festivals – The passover – The pentecost – The feast of tabernacles – The new moons – The first and second annual sabbaths – The third – The fourth – The fifth – The sixth and seventh – The sabbath of the land – The jubilee – None of these festivals in force until the Hebrews entered their own land – The contrast between the Sabbath of the Lord and the sabbaths of the Hebrews – Testimony of Isaiah – Of Hosea – Of Jeremiah – Final cessation of these festivals.
PDF download – The Law and the Covenants by Ellen G. White
Adam and Eve, at their creation, had a knowledge of the law of God; they were acquainted with its claims upon them; its precepts were written upon their hearts. When man fell by transgression the law was not changed, but a remedial system was established to bring him back to obedience. The promise of a Saviour was given, and sacrificial offerings pointing forward to the death of Christ as the great sin offering were established. But had the law of God never been transgressed, there would have been no death, and no need of a Saviour; consequently there would have been no need of sacrifices.
“The interviews between Jesus and his disciples were usually seasons of calm joy, highly prized by all of them. The passover suppers had been scenes of special interest; but upon this occasion Jesus was troubled in spirit, and his disciples sympathized with his grief although they knew not its cause. This was virtually the last passover that was ever to be celebrated; for type was to meet antitype in the slaying of the Lamb of God for the sins of the world. Christ was soon to receive his full baptism of suffering; but the few quiet hours between him and Gethsemane were to be spent for the benefit of his disciples.”
“There is a law which was abolished, which Christ “took out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Paul calls it “the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” This ceremonial law, given by God through Moses, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be binding upon the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings and services were to be abolished. Paul and the other apostles laboured to show this, and resolutely withstood those Judaizing teachers who declared that Christians ought to observe the ceremonial law.”
“The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man’s creation, and will endure as long as God’s throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of his law in order to save man; for the law is the foundation of his government. It is unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal.” — Review and Herald, April 22, 1902 par. 17
“There is no shadow in the precepts of the decalogue. The ten commandments are not a type. God gave his law, and in the fourth precept of the decalogue is his Sabbath, the very day on which we have turned aside from worldly business in order to observe it as a memorial of the creation of the heaven and the earth; and just as long as heaven and earth shall remain, just so long will this law be binding upon those who are living upon the earth.” — Review and Herald, July 15, 1890 par. 5
“On every side we hear discussion of the subjects presented at the camp-meeting. One day as Elder Corliss stepped out of a train, the guard [conductor] stopped him with the request that he explain Colossians 2:16. They stopped, and as the crowd rushed by, the explanation was given, and from Leviticus 23:37, 38 it was shown that there were sabbaths besides the Sabbath of the Lord.” — Review and Herald, January 7, 1896 par. 14
“A line of truth extending from that time  to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.” — Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 206.4 • Ellen G. White
Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; …”
“The death of Jesus Christ for the redemption of man lifts the veil and reflects a flood of light back hundreds of years, upon the whole institution of the Jewish system of religion. Without the death of Christ all this system was meaningless. The Jews reject Christ, and therefore their whole system of religion is to them indefinite, unexplainable, and uncertain. They attach as much importance to shadowy ceremonies of types which have met their antitype as they do to the law of the ten commandments, which was not a shadow, but a reality as enduring as the throne of Jehovah. The death of Christ elevates the Jewish system of types and ordinances, showing that they were of divine appointment, and for the purpose of keeping faith alive in the hearts of His people (RH May 6, 1875).” – EGW
“The Saviour had been obedient to the Jewish law, and observed all its divinely appointed ordinances. He had just identified himself with the paschal lamb as its great antitype, by connecting the Lord’s supper with the passover.” — 3SP 128.1 – EGW
“In their [the Jewish leaders] blindness they did not see that Christ was the real Passover lamb, and that since they had rejected Him, this great feast had for them lost its meaning.”— SJ 123.3 – EGW
“Type had reached antitype in Christ, but the one prefigured in all their sacrificial services, He who alone could make atonement for their sins, was among them [unacknowledged].” — ST, July 21, 1898 par. 9 – EGW
“The Jews had faith of a similar character to that of many professed Christians today. They believed the prophecies predicting the advent of Messiah; but their faith was not of that spiritual nature which discerned in the Son of God the Saviour of their expectations. They could not accept the work of God for their time, and they rejected the truth because their faith did not see the relation of the shadow to the substance. They clung tenaciously to the offering of their sacrifices, to the rites of the church and the traditions of the fathers; but they refused the Lamb of God, the great antitype of all the services of the past. They were very zealous for the observance of form, and claimed to trust in Moses and the prophets; but he who had inspired the words of the Scriptures, and whose life was the fulfillment of their prophecies, was a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. He did not meet their ideal of what the coming One should be. They had imagined a Messiah whose power and majesty would gratify the pride of their carnal hearts, and exalt them to a position of supreme power among the nations. When Jesus unfolded to them the character of his kingdom, and what his disciples must possess in order to be elect, and favored of God, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?”” — ST, March 30, 1888 par. 10 – EGW
“Christ was the foundation and life of that temple. His crucifixion would virtually destroy it, because its services were typical of the future sacrifice of the Son of God. They pointed to the great antitype, which was Christ himself. When the Jews should accomplish their wicked purpose, and do unto him what they listed, from that day forth sacrificial offerings, and the services connected with them, would be valueless in the sight of God, for type would have met antitype in the perfect offering of the Son of God.” — 2SP 122.2 – EGW
*All emphasis (bold, italic, and underline] added by Theos Institute.
SHOULD WE KEEP THE FEAST DAYS? IS THE CEREMONIAL LAW STILL BINDING? HAVE THE TYPES AND SHADOWS BEEN FULFILLED?
Hosea 2:11, “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.”
QUESTION: Why is the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy not enough for God’s people today?
There are no legitimate grounds for keeping the feasts of the ceremonial law. Christ is the fulfillment of the types. We dishonor Him by refusing to let go. Like the Jews, we, in essence, replace Christ with ceremonies and forms.
“On the fourteenth day of the month, at even, the Passover was celebrated, its solemn, impressive ceremonies commemorating the deliverance from bondage in Egypt, and pointing forward to the sacrifice that should deliver from the bondage of sin. When the Saviour yielded up His life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type.” — Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 539.3 – EGW
“The Jewish ceremonial law has passed away. The temple is in ruins. Jerusalem was given up to be destroyed. But the law of the ten commandments lives, and will live through the eternal ages. The need for the service of sacrifices and offerings ceased when type met anti-type in the death of Christ. In him the shadow reached the substance. The Lamb of God was a complete and perfect offering. Types and shadows, offerings and sacrifices, had no virtue after Christ’s death on the cross; but God’s law was not crucified with the Saviour. Had it been, Satan would have gained all that he attempted to gain in heaven. For this attempt he was expelled from the heavenly courts, and today he is deceiving human beings in regard to the law of God. But this law will maintain its exalted character as long as the throne of Jehovah endures. Christ came to live this law, and he declared, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.”” — RH, October 10, 1899 par. 9 – EGW
“John gives us the definition of sin. “Whosoever committeth sin,” he says, “transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” And this was after the crucifixion of Christ, when, we are told, the law was abolished. When type met antitype in the death of Christ, the sacrificial offerings ceased. The ceremonial law was done away. But by the crucifixion the law of ten commandments was established. The gospel has not abrogated the law, nor detracted one tittle from its claims. It still demands holiness in every part. It is the echo of God’s own voice, giving to every soul the invitation, Come up higher. Be holy, holier still. This just and holy law is the standard by which all will be judged in the last day. We need to ask ourselves the question, Are we making void the law of God, or are we standing in vindication of it? We should carefully examine our thoughts and words.” — RH, June 26, 1900 par. 8 – EGW
“Christ came to earth to maintain and exalt the divine law, by himself suffering the penalty of sin, and to thereby evidence that God will in no wise clear the guilty. Many claim that the law of God is done away with; but Christ said: “Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” The ceremonial law of sacrificial offerings, pointing to Christ, ceased at the death of Christ, but his mission to earth was to vindicate the supreme law of God, not to annul it. If this latter could have been done, the Son of God need not have died to redeem sinful man. But because the law of God was as changeless as his character, it was necessary in order to preserve the authority of the universal Sovereign, and at the same time save man from the consequences of his transgression, that Jesus Christ should die, a sinless offering for a sinful world. The death of Christ therefore testifies to the immutability of God’s law.” — ST, March 7, 1878 par. 16 – EGW
“It is by grace that the sinner is saved, being justified freely by the blood of Christ. But Christ did not die to save the sinner in his sins. The whole world is condemned as guilty before God, for they are transgressors of his holy law; and they will certainly perish unless they repent, turn from their disobedience, and through faith in Christ claim the merits of his precious blood. The sin of Adam and Eve lost holy Eden for themselves and their posterity, and those who continue to live in the transgression of God’s law will never regain the lost paradise. But through the grace of Christ man may render acceptable obedience, and gain a home in the beautiful Eden restored. ¶ There are some who do not understand the plan of redemption, but make the death of Christ an argument to prove that the law of God is abolished. Men who claim to be teachers of the people blind the eyes of the ignorant by blending the moral law with the ceremonial, and using the texts which speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished. This is a perversion of the Scriptures. There are two distinct laws brought to view. One is the law of types and shadows, which reached to the time of Christ, and ceased when type met antitype in his death. The other is the law of Jehovah, and is as abiding and changeless as his eternal throne. After the crucifixion, it was a denial of Christ for the Jews to continue to offer the burnt offerings and sacrifices which were typical of his death. It was saying to the world that they looked for a Redeemer to come, and had no faith in Him who had given his life for the sins of the world. Hence the ceremonial law ceased to be of force at the death of Christ. ¶ The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in Heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption. The rites and ceremonies of the law were given by Christ himself, who, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, was the leader of the hosts of Israel; and this law should be treated with great respect, for it is sacred. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. That which was to be done away was glorious, but it was not the law instituted by God for the government of his family in Heaven and on earth; for as long as the heavens shall remain, so long shall the law of the Lord endure. ¶ Christ came to teach men the way of salvation; and we might expect that when the shadowy service was no longer of any value, if the law of ten commandments were no longer binding, he would declare its abrogation. If the Old-Testament Scriptures were no longer to be regarded as a guide for Christians, he would make known the fact. But this was not the work of Him who came to seek and to save that which was lost. In his memorable sermon on the mount, in which he announced to his followers the object of his mission, he expressly declared the perpetuity of the moral law His solemn warnings to the neglecters and despisers of the law of God, echo down even to our time in the words: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven.” — ST, July 29, 1886 par. 3-6 — EGW
“These false teachers were mingling Jewish traditions with the truths of the gospel. Ignoring the decision of the general council at Jerusalem, they urged upon the Gentile converts the observance of the ceremonial law.” — Acts of the Apostles, p. 383.1 — EGW
“Paul did not bind himself nor his converts to the ceremonies and customs of the Jews, with their varied forms, types, and sacrifices; for he recognized that the perfect and final offering had been made in the death of the Son of God. The age of clearer light and knowledge had now come. And although the early education of Paul had blinded his eyes to this light, and led him to bitterly oppose the work of God, yet the revelation of Christ to him while on his way to Damascus had changed the whole current of his life. His character and works had now become a remarkable illustration of those of his divine Lord. His teaching led the mind to a more active spiritual life, that carried the believer above mere ceremonies. “For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it. Thou delightest not in burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”” — 3SP 411.1 — EGW
“The Jews had always prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services, and many of those who had been converted to the faith of Christ still felt that since God had once clearly outlined the Hebrew manner of worship, it was improbable that He would ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They insisted that the Jewish laws and ceremonies should be incorporated into the rites of the Christian religion. They were slow to discern that all the sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type met antitype, and after which the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation were no longer binding.” — Acts of the Apostles, p. 189.3 — EGW
“In this ordinance *[foot-washing and Lord’s supper], Christ discharged His disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue; for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all Jewish ordinances that pointed to Him as the great and only efficacious offering for the sins of the world. He gave this simple ordinance that it might be a special season when He Himself would always be present, to lead all participating in it to feel the pulse of their own conscience, to awaken them to an understanding of the lessons symbolized, to revive their memory, to convict of sin, and to receive their penitential repentance. He would teach them that brother is not to exalt himself above brother, that the dangers of disunion and strife shall be seen and appreciated; for the health and holy activity of the soul are involved. ¶ This ordinance does not speak so largely to man’s intellectual capacity as to his heart. His moral and spiritual nature needs it. If His disciples had not needed this, it would not have been left for them as Christ’s last established ordinance in connection with, and including, the last supper. It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed–that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah. Eating of the body, and drinking of the blood, of Christ, not merely at the sacramental service, but daily partaking of the bread of life to satisfy the soul’s hunger, would be in receiving His Word and doing His will.” — Review & Herald, June 14, 1898, par. 15-16 — EGW *bracketed comment added.
“The Jews were not generally prepared to move as fast as the providence of God opened the way. It was evident to them from the result of the apostles’ labors among the Gentiles, that the converts among the latter people would far exceed the Jewish converts; and that if the restrictions and ceremonies of the Jewish law were not made obligatory upon their accepting the faith of Christ, the national peculiarities of the Jews, which kept them distinct from all other people, would finally disappear from among those who embraced the gospel truths. ¶ The Jews had prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services; and they concluded that as God once specified the Hebrew manner of worship, it was impossible that he should ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They decided that Christianity must connect itself with the Jewish laws and ceremonies. They were slow to discern to the end of that which had been abolished by the death of Christ, and to perceive that all their sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type had met its antitype rendering valueless the divinely appointed ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish religion. ¶ Paul had prided himself upon his Pharisaical strictness; but after the revelation of Christ to him on the road to Damascus, the mission of the Saviour, and his own work in the conversion of the Gentiles, were plain to his mind; and he fully comprehended the difference between a living faith and a dead formalism. Paul still claimed to be one of the children of Abraham, and kept the ten commandments in letter and in spirit as faithfully as he had ever done before his conversion to Christianity. But he knew that the typical ceremonies must soon altogether cease, since that which they had shadowed forth had come to pass, and the light of the gospel was shedding its glory upon the Jewish religion, giving a new significance to its ancient rites.” — Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 64, 65 — EGW
“Arguments drawn from the Old-Testament types also pointed to the autumn as the time when the event represented by the “cleansing of the sanctuary” must take place. This was made very clear as attention was given to the manner in which the types relating to the first advent of Christ had been fulfilled. ¶ The slaying of the passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ. Says Paul, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” [1 Corinthians 5:7.] The sheaf of first-fruits, which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking of the resurrection of the Lord, and of all his people, “Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” [1 Corinthians 15:23.] Like the wave-sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest, Christ is the first-fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into the garner of God. ¶ These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which, for fifteen long centuries, the passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the passover with his disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate his own death as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” That same night he was taken by wicked hands, to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave-sheaf, our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, “the first-fruits of them that slept,” [1 Corinthians 15:20.] a sample of all the resurrected just, whose “vile body” shall be changed, and “fashioned like unto his glorious body.” [Philippians 3:21.] ¶ In like manner, the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. Under the Mosaic system, the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great day of atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month, [Leviticus 16:29-34.] when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless his waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great day of atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the 22nd of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible.” — GC88 398.4 – 399.3 – EGW
On this point Mr. Miller uses the following language: “Only one kind of Sabbath was given to Adam, and one only remains for us. See Hosea 2:11. `I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.’ All the Jewish sabbaths did cease when Christ nailed them to his cross. Col.2:14-17. These were properly called Jewish sabbaths. Hosea says, `her sabbaths.’ But the Sabbath of which we are speaking, God calls `my Sabbath.’ Here is a clear distinction between the creation Sabbath and the ceremonial. The one is perpetual; the others were merely shadows of good things to come.” – Life and Views, pp. 161, 162. — William Miller
“At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety—the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.” — Great Controversy, p. 30.2 • Ellen G. White
“The symbols of the Lord’s house are simple and plainly understood, and the truths represented by them are of the deepest significance to us. In instituting the sacramental service to take the place of the Passover, Christ left for his church a memorial of his great sacrifice for man. “This do,” he said, “in remembrance of me.” This was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. The one was to close forever; the other, which he had just established, was to take its place, and to continue through all time as the memorial of his death.” — Review and Herald, May 31, 1898, par. 2 • Ellen G. White
“The Sabbath is of divine appointment. It stands in the center of a list of divine requirements. What right has man to drop out one of these rules of life? Who has authorized the blotting out of the fourth any more than the second or the eighth? If the fourth commandment is not binding upon man, how then can the law of murder be binding? The moral law is not exclusively Jewish. The ceremonial, the social, and the political laws delivered to Moses when he was in secret council with God on the mount were for Israel; but the moral law, spoken in awful grandeur from the smoking mount, in the hearing of all the people, and written on the tables of stone, was for all men who should live upon the earth till the close of time.”
“Christ is the substance or body which cast its shadow back into former dispensations. And when Christ died the shadow ceased. The transgression of the moral code made the shadowy system necessary. And at the death of Christ, which event had been shadowed forth by the blood of beasts from the time of Adam, these offerings, and not the law of God, the violation of which had made them necessary, was abolished.”
“Here let it be clearly understood that the services connected with the two atonements of the law, were an ‘example and shadow of heavenly things,’ that is, the heavenly things, or priesthood of Jesus Christ, the substance or body, cast its shadow back into the Jewish age.” — ND, James White, PARA 15.2
“The first covenant which had ‘ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,’ was a shadow of the second, and better covenant. The law was the shadow, and the Gospel is the body, that cast the shadow; and as all shadows reach to their body, and no farther, it is very clear that the sacrifices and oblations, new-moons, feast days, and Sabbaths of the Jewish law ceased, when the precious body and blood of the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross. This is what Paul calls ‘nailing it to his cross.'” — James White, The Present Truth, August 1849
“All the Jewish sabbaths did cease, when Christ nailed them to his cross. Colossians 2:14-17. ‘Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.’ These were properly called Jewish sabbaths. Hosea says, ‘her sabbaths.’ But the Sabbath of which we are speaking, God calls ‘my Sabbath.’ Here is clear distinction between the creation Sabbath and the ceremonial. The one is perpetual; the others were merely shadows of good things to come, and are limited in Christ.” — Quoted by James White in Life Incidents, pp. 284-286