The purpose of the Festivals of God has been frustrated by today’s Ekklesia, because they misuse God’s Festivals.
First they refuse to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for God’s commanded full seven days, second they keep the Fall Feast of Tabernacles for the seven days but they do so improperly, then they pollute the High Holy Days and weekly Sabbaths, and finally they keep these festivals on dates other than the dates which God has commanded.
These Festivals of God were intended to be occasions when people could gather to hear the priesthood/ministry teach the Word of God, which is what we claim to do today, but do we really?
Today each family neglects the seven day Festival of Unleavened Bread by not meeting together with the ministry for the full seven days of that Feast; and later each family goes up to meet with the ministry at the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days.
God hates our Festivals because of what we do on them and how we keep them. Today most families regard the Feast time as vacation time and spend a very large amount of time in carnal pursuits. Then when services are held the ministry present talks on how wonderful it will be after the resurrection in the Kingdom and on various topics like family with the subliminal message that we will receive this fantastic reward of we are loyal to HWA or to some modern corporate church entity or leader.
Is this really how we are supposed to be keeping the Feasts of the LORD: By focusing on the reward and rejoicing while engaging in the pleasures of the flesh, instead of focusing on learning how to become godly and receive the reward of godliness? What do the scriptures tell us by both instruction and example concerning how the Festivals of God should be properly kept?
There are two seven day Festivals commanded by God. No work of any kind including cooking and buying of food or drink may be done on the High Holy Days and the weekly Sabbath.
God commanded that after Israel had left Egypt the Passover was to be sacrificed ONLY at the place where God chose to place his presence. In other words the Passover [and all other sacrifices] were to be made in the presence of God at the place where God had placed his name [presence].
Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:
Here we find the word “even” or “evening” clearly defined as sunset.
16:6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
After the covenant was made in the wilderness at Mount Sinai, God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle and God placed his name [his presence, represented by the Ark of the Covenant] in that tabernacle. From that time the ark was moved with the tabernacle wherever God led Israel to move, but the Ark and tabernacle were always in Israel [except for a brief period when the Ark was in Gaza].
During the time of David, God chose Jerusalem, and Solomon built a temple to God and the Ark of God was placed inside the temple at Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be .there;
And from that time forward all sacrifices including the Passover, were to be made at the temple in Jerusalem.
From the dedication of the temple and as long as the temple stood, whenever God said to go to the place God had chosen, we are to go to the temple at Jerusalem.
Exodus 23:17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God
Three pilgrim Feasts are commanded in which the people were to present themselves before the LORD at Jerusalem [once the temple was built].
Exodus 23:14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.
23:15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours [Pentecost], which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering [Tabernacles], which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles were both to be observed for a full seven days at Jerusalem.
After God moved his Holy Spirit from the physical temple to dwell in his New Covenant people and the physical temple was destroyed, we are to assemble together wherever we can and are not confined to a single location, because God now dwells in His faithful; we are the New Covenant Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
While God permitted the preparing of food on that one time emergency occasion when Israel was marching out of Egypt; here we see the commandment to do NO WORK on these Holy Days. No WORK includes food preparation which is to be done on the previous day, the preparation day; as mentioned by John.
Jesus was killed on Passover day, which is the preparation day for the first High Day of the Feast of Unleavened and the Jews along with the followers of Christ understood that they must complete preparations before sunset ending Passover day since no work was to be done on the Holy Day.
The sanctity and no work command regarding the Holy Day, being why the disciple put him in the tomb Wednesday afternoon without further preparation, purchased the spices on Friday after the High Holy Day and returned to anoint the body on Sunday.
John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation [day], that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away
Deuteronomy 16:8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.
16:9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn [grain; The Sunday during Unleavened Bread of the Wave Offering] .
Pentecost is on the fiftieth day after the Wave Offering which was made on the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread; Pentecost being the next day after the completion of a seven week count.
16:10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost
16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. 16:12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
The Feast of Tabernacles
16:13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn [grain] and thy wine:
16:14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
Thus far we see that:
God has commanded his males to journey to appear together before him for the Passover and the complete seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles and for the Day of Pentecost. There is no specific command that the women appear because of the women’s issues of pregnancy, very young children etc, but it is clearly intended that all women who were able were to also appear before God with their families.
Both the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles are seven days long and both have certain High Holy Days and a Weekly Sabbath
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.
At sunset beginning the 15th day, Israel marched out of Egypt
23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [work of ANY KIND] therein.
23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [work of ANY KIND] therein.
Leviticus 23:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 3:35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [work of ANY KIND] therein.
We know that on the Sabbath and High Holy Days no work of any kind including buying food and drink, cooking and anything else is permitted. ONLY the work specifically commanded by God is to be done on the Sabbath and Holy Days and acts of mercy may be done.
The intermediate Non Sabbath Festival Days
We are to appear before God, which means that we are to assemble before God to learn of Him and to rejoice together over his wonders.
The intermediate days are still a part of the Feasts. They are Appointed Times and not High Holy Days, and work may be done, but regular work was left at home when they journeyed to keep the Feasts of God.
By commanding journeys to keep the Festivals at group sites, it is clear that God intended that only work which is directly related to keeping the Feast, like procuring, preparing and cooking food, washing clothes and necessities should be done during those intermediate Feast days.
Today the Ekklesia should be setting up sites for both the Spring and Fall Festivals but most of our brethren are very widely spread making the establishment of Festival sites almost impossible.
After Christ comes there will be Festival sites in both the first and the seventh months for all people to keep both Festivals for the full seven days.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is for a full seven days and on the intermediate days we are to have assemblies each day. Otherwise these days should be kept as FEAST DAYS especially with spiritual activities like Bible Studies and discussions with family and friends, fellowshipping in the Lord.
The purpose of the seven days of the two Festivals besides the prophetic allegories
The purpose is to present ourselves before the LORD in sincere repentance and rejoicing over our deliverance from bondage to sin; and to assemble every day to hear God’s servants teach us about God, and to glorify God with study, praise, prayer, with music and with song.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread and the Festival of Ingathering are like two seven day Bible Studies; learning the things of God, learning the Word of God, so that we might go forward to live by EVERY WORD of GOD forever more!
What are we to do during each and every day of the seven days of these two Festivals? We are to spend the time learning how to live by EVERY WORD of GOD!
Even the physical eating is an allegory that we are to be spending the time in Spiritual Feasting on the whole Word of God!
Let us look at a scriptural example of what God wants us to do every day of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.
God’s Festivals are to be times when the people present themselves before God and God’s priesthood/ministry to learn of God and the way to godliness!
They are not vacation times to do our own thing after presenting ourselves for a two hour service with a dissertation of about 75 minutes on how great we are and how great we will be when God’s Kingdom comes.
The Festivals are intended to be occasions when the priesthood/ministry teach the people about the way to become Holy as God is Holy.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify [set yourselves apart from sin] yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. 20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
For decades today’s elders have fumbled around at God’s Feasts teaching whatever they thought was right by their own reasoning’s and they have not taught what God has commanded to be taught nor have they followed the examples given to us in the scriptures concerning what should be taught at God’s Festivals.
It is the duty and function of all religious leaders and teachers to teach the Word of God. See our Ecclesiastical Authority book. How is this done? By reading and expounding the Word of God line by line.
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread the books of Exodus, Proverbs and the Song of Songs are to be read and expounded, as are the many Psalms applicable to the Passover and repentance.. The entire New Testament which is instruction about the meaning of the Passover and the way to godliness and the salvation of eternal life in God’s Kingdom is to be read and expounded during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That is more than can be done in the seven day Spring Festival and would need to be done year by year through a seven year cycle.
At the Fall Festival of Tabernacles, Moses commanded as inspired by God:
Deuteronomy 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 31:11 When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law [Deuteronomy] before all Israel in their hearing.
Because some say that they do not know when the land Sabbath [the year of release] is today, they then ignore this command of Holy Scripture.
During the great revival before the coming of Christ in the first century, God’s servant Ezra commanded that the book of Ecclesiastes should be read and expounded at the Feast of Tabernacles and this was solemnized by Christ through his acceptance of this during his physical lifetime.
Every seventh year the entire book of Deuteronomy is COMMANDED to be read and expounded during the Feast of Tabernacles; and during other years the books of Ecclesiastes and Job are to be read and expounded, as well as all of the other books of the Bible not read at the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
God’s Sabbath services were designed to read and expound, to teach the brethren every Word of God, through a seven year cycle. This has NOT been done!
God’s two seven day Festivals exist for the purpose of giving the priesthood/ministry the opportunity to teach the people EVERY WORD OF GOD through the course of a seven year cycle! This has NOT been done!
Biblical Examples of How to Keep the Feasts
2 Chronicles 30
Hezekiah invites all Israel to come and keep the Passover at the rededicated Temple in the second month as the law allows.
2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh [In Israel], that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
This was because the temple was being cleansed and rededicated in the first month.
30:3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
Because the temple was in disrepair; neither Judah nor Israel had been keeping the Passover at Jerusalem as the commandment requires.
30:5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king [of Judah], saying,
The invitation of Hezekiah to ALL Israel:
. . . Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked [stubborn and self willed], as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
Let us also keep the full seven days of the Festivals in sincerity and truth on the dates that God commands and in the way which God commands, and let us turn from our idolatry of men to rededicate ourselves to the Mighty One of Moses and Abraham.
30:10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
Most of Israel rejected the invitation to keep the full seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread, as many of the Ekklesia do today; yet a few did turn to the Eternal in sincere repentance and went up to keep the Passover.
30:11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD. 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
Let us destroy all idolatry of men out of our spiritual temple, and turn to the Eternal to have the sacrifice of the Lamb of God applied to us.
Brethren, it is time to put away our corporate idols and idols of men, in a Hezekiah revival in the Ekklesia!
30:14 And they arose and took away the [pagan] altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
Then the priests and Levites who were still wavering were ashamed that the people were more zealous than they were and they sanctified themselves.
30:15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. 30:16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
The Levites also killed the Passover for the unprepared and unclean of Israel who had decided to turn to the Eternal too late to be properly cleansed.
30:17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD. 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written.
But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one 30:19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
Brethren, Oh if only we would turn to the Eternal with all our hearts and sincerely repent of departing from Him; He would forgive and accept us in his matchless and tender mercy for his beloved called out!
30:21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. 30:22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession [studying God’s Word and sincerely repenting] to the LORD God of their fathers.
As we see the terrible events unfolding towards the burning correction of the proud and lukewarm, let every person return to an enthusiastic zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God. Let us all return to that first passionate joy of discovery that we had at the beginning of our calling; when we thirsted after the knowledge of truth, and rejoiced at each new discovery!
These folks kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for fourteen days to learn the things of God.
30:23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness. 30:24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
If we rejoice to embrace the knowledge and truth of God, to extirpate all idolatry of men and the sin of spiritual laxity: and turn to our Mighty One with all our hearts; if we continue in overcoming: Then we will be given an eternal life of the same godliness and have a part in the collective bride with the might godly men of old! Oh the rejoicing on that day will be great!
30:25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 30:26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
30:27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their [Levites voice] voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.
Brethren, every Sabbath, New Moon, Holy Day, Appointed Time and all seven days of the Festivals are to be spent learning to live by EVERY WORD of GOD, and in sincere repentance, spiritual revival and rejoicing before God for his deliverance!
The law and the whole Word of God are to be taught every day of these seven day Festivals.
Nehemiah 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day [the New Moon Feast of Trumpets] of the seventh month. . .
The Feast of Trumpets only comes on a New Moon by the Biblical Calendar and does not do so in today’s Rabbinic Calendar [unless there is a postponement]. Ezra read the Book aloud before Judah, as the LORD had commanded to Israel.
8:2 . . . And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day [The New Moon Feast of Trumpets] of the seventh month.
8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
First Ezra stood upon a height behind a pulpit and opened the Book, then praise and prayer was made to God and then a portion of the Book was read to all those old enough to hear. Then the Levites expounded on the reading to give the people a good understanding.
8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit [platform or stage] of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
8:5 And Ezra [the priest] opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people on his platform;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
From this comes the concept of a teacher being elevated so that all the people could see and hear, and also the tradition of the people standing for prayer. Ezra read in the morning and the elders taught the meaning in the afternoon.
8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
The people began to be sorrowful for their past wickedness and Ezra and Nehemiah told the people that the day was holy and to rejoice before their God.
8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha [Governor], and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. 8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
Here they turned the Feast of the seventh New Moon [the Feast of Trumpets] into a two day Feast out of eagerness to hear the scriptures.
8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
And in their reading they found the command to keep the Feast of Booths [Tabernacles] for seven days, and not yet understanding that they might dwell in any temporary structure and were to rejoice with the branches they built the booths out of the branches.
This was a good thing and in no wise unlawful.
8:14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:
8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
8:17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
8:18 Also day by day, from the first day [of the Feast of Tabernacles] unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.
It was after this that Ezra understood that we are to rejoice with the branches and need not build our booths out of branches; and instituted that into the religion. See the “Branches and Booths” and the “Ezra Restoration” studies.
On the second day after the Feast of The Eighth Day there was a great repentance and mourning over sin, because of the words of the law that were read to the people during the Feast.
Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
Today we are desperate for this kind of Ekklesia wide repentance and zealous turning to the commandments and Word of God.
9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day [If this refers to daylight then three hours, otherwise six hours]; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
Then the leaders led the people in sincere repentance and praising God.
9:4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said,
The prayer of sincere repentance; which we all need to sincerely repeat today.
First the glory and power of God is proclaimed and extolled.
9:6 Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Then a history of Israel’s relationship with God is presented.
9:7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
9:8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
Christ delivered Israel out from physical Egypt, and he will deliver us out of spiritual Egypt and bondage to sin if only we will follow him.
9:9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
9:10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh [A type of Satan], and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
If we will only follow him and live by Every Word of God; we shall also be raised up out of the Red Sea, Red symbolic of Blood and the Grave.
9:11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
9:12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
If we zealously passionately learn and keep our covenant of espousal to Christ to keep his words, then we shall enter into a full marriage of one spirit at the wedding of the Lamb.
9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
We are also this day full of pride like the ancients, and have turned from our zeal for keeping the Word of God and following Christ; to exalt our idols of men and corporate organizations, and to exalt our own ways and false traditions, above the Word of God.
9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
9:18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
9:19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
9:22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
9:23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
IF we are fully faithful and endure and overcome, conquering all sin through the power of our High Tower of Strength; we shall enter the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life.
9:24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
9:25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
If we are disobedient, and today WE ARE disobedient to God; we shall surely find that our God has turned away from us and corrected us, for all our wickedness against any zeal to love God and keep his Word.
9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
9:27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
Jesus Christ has been very patient with the New Covenant called out of Spiritual Israel, and now the time for our correction is at hand.
9:30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
9:31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
The people sincerely repent and seek the favour and aid of the Eternal. WE must do likewise to see the salvation of the Eternal.
9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
9:33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
9:35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
IF we sincerely repent; then the Great God of Many Tender Mercies, will forgive and accept us; indeed he is standing at the door knocking for admittance into our lives! (Rev 3:15).
9:36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
9:38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
Where to Keep the Festivals Today
Jesus knowing that the temple would be destroyed and the brethren scattered said:
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Therefore we may worship God by gathering together wherever we can today, and he will build the Ezekiel temple and instruct us from there when he comes. However with no physical temple no physical sacrifices may be made today.
God has commanded that we should observe three yearly pilgrim Feasts before Him. These are called Pilgrim Feasts because the called out of Egypt Mosaic Covenant people were commanded to journey to the place that God dwells and to appear before God on these three annual occasions.
God commanded these observances as allegories to teach us about His plan for humanity and it is incumbent on us to observe these Festivals to understand the spiritual truths that they are intended to teach us.
Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty:
While the Feast of Pentecost is one day it was to be observed at Jerusalem [or after the destruction of the temple, wherever the converted gathered together to appear before God] as we see in the book of Acts.
The Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed for a full seven days capped by the Feast of the Eighth Day; while the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed for a full seven days preceded by the Appointed Time of Passover.
The First Day of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day, and the first and Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread are Holy Days; on which [like the weekly Sabbath] no work of any kind may be done [including buying food and drink, or cooking].
The intermediate days are semi holy days or Appointed Times for worship; like the Passover, the Wave Offering Sunday and the New Moons, on which work may be done as long as we also assemble before God on each one of these Appointed Times, including the intermediate days of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles.
For many years I have personally taught to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the full seven days just like Tabernacles, as Almighty God has commanded. The First and Seventh days of Unleavened Bread are High Holy Days on which no work of any kind [except what God commands for keeping those days] may be done; and the middle intermediate days are Appointed Times on which work may be done but assemblies are also to be held.
Because we do things our own way and not God’s way, we shall soon be cast into great tribulation.
Warning: It is necessary to present this very powerful message from God to today’s Ekklesia.
Why God hates our Feasts today
When we come to feast and rejoice before God and we delude ourselves into thinking that we are righteous because we keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths; although without sincere repentance and a consummate dedication to live by every Word of God; God hates our feasts of self delusion.
Through the studies into the Spring and Fall Festivals and the various Appointed Times we learn that God has provided us with practical instructional allegories to teach us about his plan of Salvation for humanity. As we celebrate these Festivals and Appointed times year by year we grow in our understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation and God’s purpose in creating mankind.
Once we begin to truly understand these things we can begin to understand why they such times of incredible rejoicing. Once we realize that all those who rejected godliness and persecuted those who seek to live by every Word of God will have the veil of sin which blinds their eyes from spiritual things removed, and all mankind will have a good opportunity to also enter the family of God; we can rejoice with overflowing love for our LORD bursting forth from our innermost beings.
It is written: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Every Word of God is Holy and Righteous and True and all the things that happened to Israel were examples for our instruction, and all of the Festival commandments that God gave to physical Israel were physical allegories for the instruction of Spiritual Israel.
1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat [the Word of God]; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
All of physical Israel was called to God to live by every Word of God and entered a Covenant with God through their calling out of physical Egypt [a type of sin] having the blood of the physical lamb applied to them as a type of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and were figuratively baptized in the Red Sea; then at Mt Sinai they committed themselves to live by every Word of God.
Yet, many fell away from their commitment to live by every Word of God; this too is an instructional allegory that many who are called out to the spiritual New Covenant before the resurrection of the first fruits, will also fall away from their calling to become a people of God. Jesus himself warning us that:
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
1 Corinthians 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased : for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters [anyone who lets any man or thing (including a corporate church organization) come between then and God is an idolater], as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication [spiritually fornication is being disloyal to our espoused Husband Jesus Christ by departing form living by every Word of God], as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ [by blaming God for our troubles to rebel against Him, instead of seeking his deliverance], as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10:10 Neither murmur ye [do not complain against God but run to Him fro deliverance from Satan and sin which are the source of our trials], as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Everything that happened to physical Israel in the exodus account was an example for us and every command of God including the Festivals and Appointed Times was an instruction for Spiritual Israel.
10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
These things being the case and God being a loving God: Why did he command us to do the things which He HATES?
For it is written: Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
In the past many have said that this refers to the unscriptural festivals of this society; we know this cannot be true because the scriptures say that all scripture is for the Ekklesia, especially today’s latter day Ekklesia. We also know it cannot be true because God is saying this to physical Judah, who were keeping God’s Festivals just before their correction in ancient times, which is an allegorical type of Spiritual Judah and especially today’s spiritual Ekklesia which has become fully Laodicean.
The answer to this problem will be found in studying the context and seeing the reason that God hated the Festivals which he had commanded them [and us] to keep. We can then examine ourselves to see if God has similar issues with us in how we keep God’s Festivals.
The context in which God condemns our keeping of God’s Feasts and Sabbaths is Isaiah 1:1-14.
“YHVH is salvation” was a prophet who lived in the 8th-century BC Kingdom of Judah.
Isaiah rebukes sin and prophesies correction for a sinful Judah and for all the nations of the world that oppose God; this is in type, a pre-tribulation warning for the latter day, as ALL scripture is written for OUR instructions,
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all [godly] good works [which is the keeping of all the teachings and commandments of Christ].
Today we are to take all the writings of the biblical prophets and apply them to ourselves personally and to our groups.
Isaiah prophesied of our correction and the reasons for that correction, the coming of Messiah and the restoration of the nation of Israel and repentance in God’s glorious future kingdom.
Isaiah give Judah and today’s Ekklesia, the reasons for their and OUR coming correction.
Isaiah tells US why God hates our Feasts and why both the nations and the wayward lukewarm COG, are going to fall into the correction of great tribulation for one last time.
I warn our readers that the major prophets very powerfully condemn the sins of Judah, Israel and the latter day called out Ekklesia as well as the wickedness of all humanity.
Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
YHWH [the one who gave up his God-Hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ] speaks to Isaiah saying that he has cared for Judah like a godly father cares for his children and the children are rebellious against Him.
This applies to physical Judah of that day and the spiritual Judah of the New Covenant of today; it certainly applies to those spiritually called out by God the Father to Christ, who have become spiritually lukewarm and rebellious against the Word of God; just like today’s spiritual Ekklesia which stands on their own ways and false traditions contrary to the Word of God.
1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
This is the complaint that God has against us: We rebel and refuse to live by every Word of God, we have forgotten our God in that we have replaced God with idols of men and corporate entities to obey them above the Word of God.
We exalt the false teachings and traditions of men above the Word of men, making our idols of men sovereign and God’s Word subject to the whims of such men for we say that they sit in authority over Almighty God to bind and loose whatever they want and we must then obey the men and not the Word of God. Why do we think this way, because they have lied to us and told us that they are the servants of God and must be obeyed just as if God is to be obeyed, then then turn us away from God to follow their own pernicious ways.
The dumb ox knows its owner, but today’s spiritual Ekklesia has become separated from Christ by their spiritual adulteries in exalting men, organizations and traditions above their espoused husband and God the Father.
1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Today corporate organizations of the spiritual Ekklesia have forsaken the Word of God for their own ways and false traditions; and made idols out of men, false traditions and organizations; so that they are fallen away from the Eternal who ONLY can save us.
1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
We are spiritually sick having separated ourselves from our Deliverer, to stand on our own false ways; and for this cause we are spiritually weak and far away from our God.
1:5 Why should ye be stricken [warned patiently to repent] any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Today’s corporate Ekklesia are corrupted with all manner of error and sin; and will not accept and teach the truth because of our false traditions.
1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
Our spiritual wealth of understanding has been dissipated by our sins; we even allow strange [false] doctrine in our midst which makes our groups spiritually desolate.
1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
The few true faithful zealous brethren are left standing alone and persecuted among us like a besieged city
1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left [the faithful are left standing alone] as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
Christ would have utterly destroyed the lukewarm and rebellious church of God, but because the zealous loved God and their brethren, they pray often that their brethren be not totally destroyed as Moses prayed for the people.
1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Our called out religious leaders and elders are like Sodom and Gomorrah in their rebellion against our Maker: Return to the Law, Word and Commandments of our Mighty God!
1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
Yes like ancient Judah today’s Ekklesia is full of the pride of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49) and God is sick of our offerings and false repentance and our lukewarmness for HIM; he is sick of us exalting our idols of men, organizations and traditions above his Word, teachings and commandments.
Almighty God has become revolted and repulsed by our making offerings and partaking of the Passover of Christ, only to rush to continue in our sins.
1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Those who appear before God on His Sabbath, or Holy Days, or even in some cases on the New Moons; and DO NOT keep the commandments and teachings of every Word of God but stand on their own ways, idolizing and exalting men, false traditions and organizations, while tolerating sin and false doctrine; make God disgusted with our Feasts and Sabbaths.
It is a sin and a disgusting abomination to appear before God without sincere repentance from idolizing false traditions and tolerating false teachings and sin!
God cannot endure the assembling of unrepentant sinners at his Feasts any longer; we have made HIS assemblies into meetings of following men and false traditions instead of assemblies to follow and learn of the teachings and commandments of God.
1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 1:13 Bring no more vain [meaningless offerings] oblations; incense [your prayers] is an abomination unto me; [your continual sins make] the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot [accept them,] away with [H3201 means God rejects the assemblies of the unrepentant idolaters of men: “Away with them, God cannot endure them any longer”]; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Jesus Christ hates the Feasts because we keep them without repentance and without any zeal to live by every Word of God! We keep God’s assemblies in our own ways instead of in the ways that God has commanded.
Today we do not even keep the annual Sabbaths on the days that God has commanded, and we call God’s Sabbaths HOLY and then openly declare ourselves justified in polluting them!
1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
God will not hear our prayers because they are from insincere people who will not obey him.
1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands [in prayer], I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood [sin].
God hates the weekly and annual Sabbaths that He has commanded us to observe because we use them as a cloak for our sins! How is that? We come before God in His Sabbaths and Festivals and then we go home feeling good about ourselves, and justified thinking ourselves righteous for doing so; without repenting of our many sins.
Indeed most of us sin by actually daring to pollute God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths with work, and suborning others to work on the Sabbath by buying from them. We reject God’s commanded Biblical calendar system to follow men in place of God’s Word and we also refuse to keep God’s commanded annual Festivals on the days God has commanded, and instead delay them for our own convenience.
For further study on the Sovereignty of God and The biblical Sabbath and Calendar download our “Ecclesiastical Authority” book from the Literature page.
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is full of pride and self-righteousness and reject any part of scripture which we do not want to accept.
When these things happened in physical Judah they were corrected with a great correction an even stronger correction is coming to them and to the Laodicean New Covenant Ekklesia in our day.
Will Almighty God do any less to His spiritual Judah who are supposed to have His Holy Spirit and are supposed to know better when we commit the same sins?
Let us sincerely repent of our transgressions and turn to live by every Word of God with Christ-like wholehearted zeal.
Let us exalt the Father and the Son and every Word of God above all else, let us root out and destroy every false way as individuals and as groups; before we are rejected by God into great correction like ancient Judah!
The Reason Why God Hates our Feasts and Sabbaths: God hates our Sabbaths and our Feasts which he has commanded us to keep, because in making a pretense of keeping them, we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we are truly righteous while we continue in our many sins!
To Laodicea Jesus identifies himself as the faithful and true witness of what they are truly like. They think themselves spiritually rich and have no idea what Jesus Christ really thinks of them. Jesus here tells them their problems straight out, but they are proud and willfully blind to reality.
Laodicea means the people will be judged and corrected.
Lao: the people:
Dike: judged [condemned by the law and punished]
Definition: diké: right (as self-evident), justice (the principle, a decision or its execution)
Original Word: d???, ??, ?
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (dee’-kay)
Short Definition: justice, judicial hearing, punishment
Definition: (a) (originally: custom, usage) right, justice, (b) process of law, judicial hearing, (c) execution of sentence, punishment, penalty, (d) justice, vengeance. Cognate: 1349 díke – properly, right, especially a judicial verdict which declares someone approved or disapproved; a judgment (just finding) that regards someone (something) as “guilty” or “innocent.” See 1343 (dikaiosyne).
[1349 (díke) is used in classical Greek for a legal decision – a recompense (based on justice). In the LXX, dike is used nine times to translate rî, the Hebrew term for “law-suit.”]
STRONGS NT 1349:
1. custom, usage, (cf. Schmidt, chapter 18, 4 cf. 3).
2. right, justice.
3. a suit at law.
4. a judicial hearing, judicial decision, especially a sentence of condemnation; so in Acts 25:15 (L T Tr WH ?atad????).
5. execution of the sentence, punishment, (Wis. 18:11; 2 Macc. 8:11): d???? ?p??e??, Jude 1:7; d???? (Sophocles El. 298; Aj. 113; Euripides, Or. 7), to suffer punishment, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.
6. the goddess Justice, avenging justice: Acts 28:4, as in Greek writings often from Hesiod theog. 902 on; (of the avenging justice of God, personified, Wis. 1:8, etc.; cf. Grimm at the passage and commentary on 4 Macc., p. 318, (he cites 4 Macc. 4:13, 21; 8:13, 21; 9:9; 11:3; 12:12; 18:22; Philo adv. Flacc. § 18; Eusebius, h. e. 2, 6, 8)).
suffer, weep, ache, lament, sorrow, bewail
Probably from deiknuo; right (as self-evident), i.e. Justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution) — judgment, punish, vengeance.
see GREEK deiknuo
Emphasizing that his message to Laodicea is true and is coming out of Christ’s faithful love for them in the hope that they might repent and be saved.
Jesus also calls himself the “beginning of the creation of God;” clearly meaning that Christ is the Creator who began the creation of all things. See Revelation 1:8. 1:11, 21:6, 22:13 I am the Alpha [Beginning]
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Laodicea is spiritually lukewarm, professing godliness while keeping the commandments according to their own imaginations instead of keeping them the way that God commands.
Today we pay lip service to godliness without any zeal to learn and keep the Word of God. Our zeal is for our own ways and what we think, for our own past false traditions and our idols of men and not for what God says. We stand on tour false past traditions and proudly think we know it all; refusing any spiritual growth we are stagnant or even falling backward in our spiritual condition.
Today we are hot for our own traditions, and for the teachings of our idols of men about the Word of God, and cold for zealously keeping the whole Word as God, as God has commanded us. This mixture of hot for our idols of men and corporate entities, and a cold, lack of zeal to keep the Word of God, makes us lukewarm and revolting to Christ.
We are idolaters of men and tradition; proud, thinking that we know it all spiritually and therefore we refuse correction from God or man; we reject the Word of God for our own ways and we reject any growth in truth and refuse to turn from error.
This is a clear, obvious, indisputable and precise explanation of the overwhelming majority in the Ekklesia today!
Because these folks have rejected Jesus Christ, to follow him above our idols of men; we will be rejected by Christ into the correction of great tribulation, in the hope that through the correction of the flesh the spirit may be saved.
3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Those who have this pharisaic attitude will be rejected by Christ into severe correction.
Proud and self-willed, they think they are spiritually rich and know it all, having need of no spiritual growth, and they reject the increase in spiritual knowledge and understanding promised for the last days, Daniel 12.
They reject any part of scripture which they do not want to follow, saying it is for others; and they are so proud and arrogant they have no idea how spiritually wretched, miserable and poor they really are.
They are willfully blind to their own condition and to the things of God that disprove their own false ways; They lack the garments of righteousness and are naked of any righteousness before God, their many sins exposed to Him; beginning with the sins of pride and self-justification and self-approval.
3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich [spiritually], and increased with goods [spiritual knowledge], and have need of nothing [Today no one not even Christ (the Word of God) can tell us anything.]; and knowest not that thou art [spiritually] wretched, and miserable, and [spiritually] poor [We know almost nothing of God as we ought to know it.], and blind [willfully blind to our wretched spiritual state], and naked [naked of any true godly righteousness, not being zealous to keep the Word of God]:
Jesus Christ counsels those with the Laodicean attitude [which is today’s Church of God Assemblies] to buy spiritual gold in the fire of tribulation; that they may become spiritually rich.
We are bidden to sincerely repent of our prideful sins so that the nakedness of our wickedness may be covered by the application of the sacrifice of Christ; and so that we may receive God’s Holy Spirit and the white raiment of the righteousness of the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God.
We are commanded to anoint our eyes to see themselves as God sees us, and to sincerely repent from our pride and false ways and to turn away from our idols of men and false traditions to follow the Spirit of God into all truth; rejecting all error and sin to embrace godly truth so that we might be saved.
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me [spiritual] gold tried in the fire [during the period of our correction in the fire of tribulation], that thou mayest be [become spiritually rich] rich; and white raiment [the righteousness of zealously keeping the whole Word of God], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness [that our sins might be covered by the righteousness of God] do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, [acquire the Holy Spirit through sincere repentance] that thou mayest see [open our eyes to see ourselves as God sees us, to see ourselves as we really are, so that we can repent and be saved].
Jesus reminds these folks that he rebukes them only because he truly loves them and is not willing that they should perish. They are rejected only because they first rejected Christ, refusing to keep the whole Word of God, refusing to follow Christ and refusing to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal.
Jesus Christ tells those with the Laodicean attitude; which is the overwhelming attitude throughout the Ekklesia today; to REPENT of their pride and self- righteousness. and to REPENT of trusting in our idols of men and false traditions.
Jesus Christ tells us to turn to him; and to turn to a zeal for the whole Word of God, to learn it and to keep it; to turn from our false idols and false traditions and to become zealous to remove error and embrace the truth of God!
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Jesus is warning and calling each one of his straying sheep; He wants us to open up to him, to reject idols of men and false traditions and to follow him, to be zealous to remove sin and to embrace God’s righteous truth, to internalize the solid meat of the Word of God in fellowship with Christ and God the Father.
Today we have an open invitation from Jesus Christ who is gladly willing to accept us, if we would only open up our eyes and turn to Him!
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup [eat; internalize the Word of God] with him, and he with me.
Only those who overcome this Laodicean attitude of pride and self-will will be resurrected to spirit. Those who sincerely repent of the sins of Laodicea will be in the resurrection to eternal life and will have a place in the eternal government of God.
3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
As the seventh and last church addressed, Laodicea has all of the problems of the other six churches.
That is because pride is the chief cause of most of the various problems. Today all the major COG groups and most of the smaller ones are full of pride and idolatry of men, rejecting any biblical thing they do not agree with and claiming it applies only to others.
They think of themselves as the repository of all wisdom and truth, and refuse any zeal to keep the whole Word of God, in order to follow their corporate idols, idols of men and there own false traditions.
They call the Sabbath and High Days, “Holy;” and then walk all over them, while claiming that the commandments not to cook or buy food on God’s Sabbath somehow does not apply to us. They insist on following the apostate Rabbinic Calendar and refuse to keep the Biblical Calendar of God; even though the proofs are now overwhelming.
They have almost no understanding of the Festivals, rejecting the true meanings of the Festivals; even still claiming that the seven day Feast of Tabernacles somehow represents only one thousand years. They reject any zeal for keeping the Word of God, and insist on a zeal for the corporate idols, idols of men and past false traditions, insisting that people should obey them, above the Word of God.
The Mosaic Pharisees were a type of Laodicea
The Laodicean attitude is an exact replica of the primary attitude of the Mosaic Pharisees during the physical ministry of Christ.
Contrary to popular belief the Mosaic Pharisees were NOT zealous for the law, rather they made the law of God of no effect by their own false traditions just as today’s modern Ekklesia does!
In Matthew 15:9 Jesus said of the Mosaic Pharisees; and this is a very precise description of the Ekklesia today:
Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 23 describes the attitude during the physical ministry of Jesus Christ; and it also accurately describes the church of God groups right before Christ comes to rule: today!
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
At that time the Scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses seat; that changed with the death and resurrection of Christ who then became our High Priest forever.
We are to obey men when they speak the truth of God, and are NOT to obey them when they depart from the Word of God!
23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Today’s corporate churches also bind heavy burdens on the brethren, mainly financial.
23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
With the death of the Husband of Israel; the marriage between physical Mosaic Israel and Christ ended, and so did the authority of the Mosaic Priesthood and the Pharisees!
When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and was accepted by God the Father as a sacrifice for us; He became our High Priest and the King of the world in waiting; the Mosaic priesthood was superseded by a reestablishment of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek.
From that time on; neither Levi, nor the Jews; have any lawful spiritual authority. they have rejected the only lawful authority in existence at this time and forever more; which is the authority of our eternal High Priest Jesus Christ.
The true and only existing Priesthood of God today is that of our High Priest Jesus Christ, and the called out have the potential to become priests of Christ forever in the coming Kingdom of God. All of us are in training to become priests forever in that spiritual priesthood of Jesus Christ [Melchizedek].
We are not to rely on apostate Christ rejecting, true priesthood rejecting, Rabbins; for our religion! We are to rely on the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole body of scriptures that were inspired by HIM!
Sadly, today many would be like those Pharisees; and many do indeed bind heavy burdens on the brethren that they would not lift a finger to bear themselves. This varies in intensity by each group as do all these other condemnations.
23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Sound familiar? Just substitute the word “Mr”. or “Pope” or “father” or “padre” etc for Rabbi!
Oh how we love titles and the chief seats today. Oh how many elders love to be greeted with fawning subservience and called by some title!
23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi [our religious master]: for one is your [religious master] Master, even Christ; and all ye [everyone in the Ekklesia are brothers including elders etc] are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father [as a religious title] upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
This is a condemnation of the love of position and titles!
It was always customary to call everyone brothers and sisters, including elders. Elders were introduced as elder ******, or brother ******; until Constantine and the Popes introduced layers of authority between the people and themselves; with the Pope between all others and God; with his Roman Catholic pyramid system, that Christ says he hates.
This Babylonian Mystery Nicolaitane system has been introduced into the Ekklesia; which had until the 1930’s called its elders “Brother “name.”
God’s government is NOT a pyramid; it is family; Father, Son, Bride!
God’s governmental system is Family, with God the Father as the HEAD, and the firstborn son Jesus Christ as the second Head under God the Father, and then the Husbands over their own families.
Offices of ecclesiastical authority exist as helps to keep us focused on God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Their authority comes from the Word of God and the truth that they teach, and once they depart from the Word of God they lose all moral authority!
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The Nicolaitane idea of a pyramidal structure of layers of human authority between men and God is an abomination to God. It is the job of ALL elders to focus all people on the Father and Christ: NEVER to COME BETWEEN the people and God; but to act as facilitators in helping men to focus DIRECTLY on their Father through their ONLY High Priest and Mediator; Jesus Christ!
We are to prove the words of ALL men, by the Word of Almighty God! We are NOT to interpret God’s Word by the words of men; but to prove the words of men by the Word of Almighty God!
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
We are all to desire to humbly and passionately serve our God and not to exalt ourselves. God will exalt or abase as HE sees fit.
23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
How? By paying lip-service to the law while making it of no effect by the traditions of men; and through compromise in its practical application; By making corporate idols and idols of men instead of faithfully putting God and God’s Word above all men, no matter what titles they claim.
23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Demanding money of poor widows and then making a show of flowery prayer.
23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
How? By teaching them to obey men, organizations and false traditions, instead of focusing them on repentance and a diligent passionate obedience to all of God’s words.
23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
Today’s corporate Ekklesia exalts mammon and numbers, above repentance, faith and obedience to every Word of God.
23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
The important thing is NOT the numbers of responses, but the quality of the message!
The important thing is not the building [the organization] but serving and obeying the Eternal God sitting on his throne in absolute authority over all our deeds and very thoughts, and serving the God who shall most certainly judge us by our works; whether of faithful uncompromising obedience; or of compromising with HIS Word!
23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Demanding every last cent that can be demanded or extorted, while ignoring and not rebuking sin, nor teaching repentance from evil doing, and expounding and exhorting faith, mercy and sound judgment founded on the basics of God’s word and commandments.
We are to be merciful to the poor in their needs; we are to be merciful to the repentant instead of condemning them for being over righteous!
We are to preach a message of warning and repentance and the mercy of God [the Father] or the sincerely repentant; who gave his only begotten son that sinners might be reconciled to Him [the Father].
23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
This is a figure of speech that simply means that we strain at the little unimportant things like money and numbers; and neglect the really important things like zeal for our God.
23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
We have no business reaching out to the world with tainted messages, while we are full of sin inside ourselves and our organizations.
We need to clean up our own spiritual lives and get right with God. We need to rekindle our passionate zeal for God and his commandments; we need to get rid of those traditions not consistent with scripture; we need to start practicing what we preach, and to start setting a godly example instead of acting so shamefully.
We need to stop exalting men and organizations above God; we need to STOP equating loyalty to men, as being equal to loyalty to God. We need to repent and turn to our God with passionate enthusiastic consummate zeal; and then we need to begin to preach the Gospel of warning and repentance that Christ has commanded us to preach.
23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
We honour the prophets and ancient men of God, while persecuting those who are today filled with a similar zeal: Showing ourselves that we are no better than those who persecuted the saints of old.
23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Today the COG groups persecute the zealous for God just as the ancients persecuted the prophets and holy men, and as the Pharisees persecuted Christ and his true faithful disciples.
23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Those who do such things are likened to vipers who hide along the path waiting to strike the unwary. When a person goes to them with questions, they reason with them that they should not be zealous like the Mighty Men of God, but should be lukewarm like themselves, then make a note to persecute such zeal by calling the zealous Pharisaical, when it is they themselves who are Pharisaical; filled with zeal for their own groups and traditions, while being lukewarm and compromising with the Word of God.
Since Cain slew Abel, it has ever been thus; that the faithless and compromised; have always persecuted the faithful and zealous. Those who exalt the Lord their God; will face resistance from outside and from inside these organizations,
Such Philadelphian pillars should REJOICE at the persecution from Laodicea, because they have been given an opportunity to set an example, that their persecutors will later remember and be convicted by.
These pillars persecuted by Laodicea should REJOICE, for they are being tempered and tested to become pillars in the Temple of The Great God for all eternity.
They that stand unshakable on the foundation of the Word of Almighty God; without turning, no matter what the stress; will be made fit by God to stand on that sure foundation of the Word of God as pillars, helping to hold up the entire family of God for all eternity!
23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
These persecutions did come upon the saints by the religious establishment of that day, and have continued to this day. They are now being fulfilled in today’s Laodicean COG Groups.
23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
This is about the city, Jerusalem which persecuted the godly through history and is figuratively about the faithless who persecute the faithful today. Jesus Christ would have saved them, if only they would accept his deliverance and turn to him away from sin and compromise with the Father’s law.
Both Jerusalem and today’s faithless Ekklesia, will be made desolate in the tribulation; it is then that they will sincerely repent and turn to the ONLY one that can truly save!
23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
When you see Christ come, Jerusalem, and all those who persecuted the saints; will be in a humbled and repentant attitude, and will no longer reject Christ and the teachings of the whole Word of God; instead they shall Shout for Joy at his appearance; crying out “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”!
Philadelphia and Laodicea
Jesus illustrated the difference between a Philadelphian and a Laodicean the difference between a holy attitude and a profane and unacceptable attitude in this parable.
These prayers are not just words, they reveal the attitude of the person praying, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee [Laodicean], and the other a publican [Philadelphian].
18:11 The Pharisee [Laodicean] stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
18:13 And the publican [Sincerely repentant sinner; Philadelphian], standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Today the true Philadelphian pillars are scattered throughout the Ekklesia, which are overwhelmingly Laodicea.
Oh, how we Laodiceans exalt ourselves to live by our own false traditions and reject any true humble passion for our Mighty One who could deliver us! Proud and thinking ourselves rich in spiritual things, thinking we know it all: We have become spiritually dead, apostate from our Master.
The various church attitudes may have dominated at various historical tines, but the seven churches also each existed at the same time in the first century and each one is an instructional example for us in that all of these problems and strengths will also exist at the same time in these last days.
Today like Ephesus, we have lost the passionate zeal of our first love for truth and godliness and the whole Word of God.
Today like Smyrna, there are some who are faithful to God and God’s Word and suffer much persecution.
Today like Pergamos, there are some who have not denied the authority of God and the scriptures and yet tolerate Nicolaitane bullying.
Today like Thyatira, there are those who are full of good works, but in their zeal to do good to their neighbor have lost sight of their obligations to God. Do NOT mistake love of man; for love of God!
As a bride is to be faithful to her husband, our first duty is to our spiritual Husband and all good works to others are secondary. Many unconverted people are also full of good works towards humanity and do not obey God; how are we different from them if we are also full of good works for humanity and forget our LORD?
We should be filled with good works towards men; while not forgetting to put our LORD first in our lives!
What say you? If a bride put her personal charitable works ahead of her love and obedience to her husband, will the husband think that she loves her own works more than she loves him? It is a very good thing to do good works for people, but such good works should not overtake our zeal for our LORD!
Today, like Sardis, the overwhelming attitude in the Ekklesia is largely spiritually dead, having no fire of zeal to live by every Word of our LORD.
Today like Philadelphia, there are some faithful standing on the foundation of the whole Word of God; who are scattered like pillars throughout the various assemblies and standing alone. In a very short time now God’s two servants will call for the faithful to gather together and leave for the place which God has prepared; the faithful pillars will respond to God’s call while the others will not, thus separating out the faithful from the others.
Today like ancient Judah and Laodicea, the Ekklesia is overwhelmingly proud, arrogant and unteachable by God. They reject large parts of God’s Word and very much truth, to follow their idols of men and false traditions.
They will not respond positively to God’s warnings and the only way to save them from certain eternal death is to afflict the flesh to humble them so that the spirit might be saved.