Verily I say unto you, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of Yahweh as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15)
Holy Days Vs. Holiday
Yahweh’s Days Vs. Man’s Days
A common question asked by new believers in the faith is, “What about the holidays we grew up with? Can we continue to observe them?” This is a guide to assist you, the new believer. We are all to work out our own salvation. Philippians 2:12, So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. That being said, we are also to assist our brothers and sisters in their walk, as well (Matthew 18:15).
When it comes to celebrating days, especially those with a religious meaning, shouldn’t they be based upon scripture? Now, if they are NOT based upon scripture, what are they based upon?
Deuteronomy 12:29-31, When YAHWEH your Elohim cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?” You shall not behave thus toward YAHWEH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YAHWEH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
That sounds like your Heavenly Father does NOT want you to use the nations’ ways of honoring their mighty ones to worship Him; that’s WHY they were dispossessed. Yahweh has stated very specific times for us to honor Him. Two places they are listed are Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16. The very first of His special days is the weekly Sabbath. Leviticus 23:1-3, YAHWEH spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘YAHWEH'S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations--My appointed times are these: For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to YAHWEH in all your dwellings.’” You should take some time right now and read both Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16.
Aside from the weekly Sabbath, Yahweh has appointed seven “special” or “high” days annually. They are the first and seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (which occurs in the spring—the first of Yahweh’s year); the Feast of Weeks (commonly called “Pentecost” meaning “fiftieth” and occurs closer to the summer); the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day (all four occurring in the fall, the seventh month of His year). There are two weeks within these special days—the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles—where many people try to go away and meet with others of like beliefs for the entire Feast.
Here in Rocheport, like other assemblies, we host the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of Tabernacles and have many scriptural events the whole week. It is a blessed time to share. If you have never attended one of these Feast times, you should consider joining us.
Now if Yahweh has prescribed His special days, where do the ones come from that most of the world celebrates? Below we will list some very basic information and would strongly urge you to research these for yourself as your salvation truly may depend upon what you are doing, which indicates where your heart is. Let’s start at the very beginning of the secular calendar year (which even of itself has pagan origins).
January 1, commonly called “New Year’s Day”: Yahweh specifically says His year starts in the spring—see Exodus 12:1-20. Much of the celebration of this day is part of the festivities commencing in mid to late December. On New Year's, people look forward and back, as did the two-headed Roman god Janus (where “January” comes from).
February 14 is commonly called “St. Valentine’s Day.” You may have been taught the observance of this day was to commemorate the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death or burial (probably around 270 A.D.). Isn’t it coincidental that the pagan festival Lupercalia occurred at the precise time?
“Easter” always occurs on a Sunday in early spring, but the specific date changes. This is one of two “major” Christian “holi-days.” There is quite a history of this one and you can easily research “Ishtar” (from where “Easter” came), the pagan goddess of fertility. We have several publications that delve into this period of time in much greater detail. We will mention that the Easter celebration includes a “sun-rise” service to depict the supposed Messiah’s resurrection. However, scripture says that after the Sabbath (sunset Saturday) was over, when Miriam went to the tomb, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week, our Messiah Yahshua, was already gone! This was long before sunrise Sunday morning! (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-7). Yahweh said that it was an abomination to see His people with their backs toward the Temple, worshipping the “rising of the sun” (Ezekiel 8:16-17). Then, to top that off, the world teaches a Friday death and Sunday resurrection when Yahshua said, For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).
May 1, commonly called “May Day,” is celebrated in many schools and cultures by dancing around the May pole. According to Wikipedia, the earliest May Day celebrations appeared in the pre-Christian era with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane.
October 31, commonly called “Halloween,” has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. It is also known as “All Saints’ Day” which is a Roman Catholic holiday to honor all saints, known and unknown. There are numerous verses in scripture which teach us to avoid demons and such, yet this one day, people dress up and have their children dress up as witches, demons and other characters. “Trick or Treat”? It is a take-off from “souling” where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for cakes. When you die, you merely go to sleep. Why would anyone say prayers for the dead? John 11:12-13 The disciples then said to Him, “Master, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Yahshua had spoken of His death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
The fourth Thursday in November is commonly called “Thanksgiving,” and has mixed origins, though it is a day proclaimed as a national day of prayer by various presidents over the years, and some trace it to when the Plymouth colonists had a successful harvest.
Now we get to the biggest “holi-day” celebration of the year—in the world! December 25, is commonly called “Christ mass,” but is remarkably similar to celebrations called “Saturnalia” and “Bacchanalia.” Most ministers will actually admit the Messiah was not born on December 25, yet they continue to celebrate it. Common nativity scenes show the wise men at the manger when Matthew 2:11 says, After coming into the house, they saw the Child with Miriam His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Most traditions associated with this time of year also have their origins in pagan Roman cultures. One item pertaining to this time of year actually IS in scripture. Jeremiah 10:2-5, Thus says YAHWEH, “Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them; for the customs of the peoples are delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.”
Did you catch the “DO NOT”? (Check to see how the rate of crime goes up in December in the area where you reside, and the rate of divorces in January, when the bills start coming due).
Food for thought: Shouldn’t it be enough to know that a day’s origin is not in Scripture?
We encourage you to research items on your own; however we will help as much as we can. If you would like information on a topic, please contact us, we have pamphlets, books and articles to aid your studies. May our Heavenly Father guide you as you walk towards Him!