Holidays can be a very special time of the year. I
remember growing up celebrating Christmas and Easter with
great joy. The family bonding and family memories are
ingrained in me forever, and I will always cherish them.
Considering this, I understand how hard it would be to even
consider replacing current holidays with God's Holydays, but
doing so does not mean these memories will be gone.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that God gave
us Holydays that we are to practice and should still practice
today. In fact, God also commanded us to stop
practicing pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter.
Please read the article with an open mind and remember,
God's Holydays can be just as special, if not more, than any
other holiday that man has created. This article will
be divided into two parts; Why we should practice God's
Holydays, and Why we should not practice current holidays,
but first some background regarding God's Holydays and where
current holidays most people practice came from.
There are many misconceptions regarding the
Holydays of the scripture. Most think that
feast days such as Passover, Feast of Weeks, and
Tabernacles are Jewish holidays, but this is not
entirely true. We need to remember who the
Jews are. The Hebrew word for Jew is
yehûdı̂y which means "a descendant of Jehudah
that is, Judah" (Strong's Concordance H3064).
The Greek word for Jew is Ioudaios which
means "belonging to Jehudah, or Judah"
Concordance G2453). A Jew is simply a
descendant of Judah and only one tribe out of twelve
tribes of Israel. With this understanding a
more accurate description would be that the feasts
of the scripture are Israelite feasts, but even this
is not entirely true. The scripture declares numerous times that these are
"the feasts of the
LORD" (Lev. 23:2, Lev. 23:44, 2 Chr. 2:4, Ezr. 3:5,
etc.). The Holydays of the scripture are God's
Holydays, not the Jews or any man's Holydays.
They belong to the LORD. In fact, many
Gentiles of the scripture practiced God's Holydays
with God's blessing. In Deuteronomy 16:13-14,
God declares that even the "stranger" should
practice His feast of Tabernacles. God also
declares that His Law is for Israel and "the
stranger that sojourneth among [them]" (Ex. 12:49,
Lev. 24:22, Num. 15:16;29, Deut. 31:12, John 12:20).
These feasts were for Israelite and Gentile alike
and were practiced by Israel for much of history,
In Daniel 7:25, a prophecy is written regarding
God's time keeping system. The fourth beast of
Daniel's vision had 10 horns (kings - Dan 7:24). One of
these kings will "change times and laws." The
question to ask is, who is this fourth beast and
when did he "change times and laws?"
The Bible defines these beasts as kingdoms (Dan.
7:23) and history
clearly identifies these kingdoms as; Babylon, Medo
Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. This fourth
kingdom called Rome will "change times and laws," in
fact, they already have. Rome, and it's religion (Roman Catholic Church), have
already changed God's times and laws.
Constantine did so in 325 AD at the Council of
Nicaea. Here are
a few examples of how Rome has changed God's "times
God's calendar starts in spring with the greening of
the first crops, which is why the first month is
called Abib ('âbı̂yb - to be tender green, that
is a young ear of grain - Strong's Concordance
H24). In 325 AD at the Council of Nicaea,
Rome changed God's calendar to the Julian
calendar, which is the precursor to our current
Gregorian calendar. Now our calendar
starts on January first.
Changing to the Julian calendar removed Holydays
such as Passover, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles and
instituted holidays such as Christmas, Easter,
and New Years.
Rome has also subverted God's Law the Ten
Commandments (what we currently call the Common
Law) in place of the current Roman
Civil Law, which we simply call the Civil Law
Rome changed the start of the day as well.
Today we start our days at midnight, but God
clearly starts His days at the evening (Gen.
1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
Rome changed God's Sabbath from the seventh day
of Saturday to the first day of Sunday (Council
of Laodicea, A.D. 336).
The Roman Catholic Church also changed God's Ten
Commandments (see picture
This might be hard to believe, but even the Catholic
church does not argue the point, but rather embraces
it. Patrick Madrid, a conservative catholic
scholar, stated "[The] calendar that we follow . . .
is not only a calendar that was devised by the
Catholic Church, but also it is a calendar that’s
based upon the solar year, not the lunar year.
And the Jewish calendar that was observed in the
time of Christ . . . follows a lunar calendar, which
is several days short of the solar year" (retrieved
www.worldslastchance.com, Patrick Madrid,
comments on “Open Line,” EWTN, Global Catholic Radio
Network, January 5, 2006). There are many,
many quotes from the catholic church boasting of
their ability to change God's laws and Holydays.
The point is that it is clear that they admit doing
so and continue in that tradition. This begs
the question, if Rome changed God's "times and
laws," should we follow in that same direction?
Why we should practice God's Holydays:
There are many reason's why we should practice God's
Holydays. The first is obvious, they are God's
Holydays, and not our Holydays
(Lev. 23:2, Lev. 23:44, 2 Chr. 2:4, Ezr. 3:5, etc.).
We need to remember that these Holydays were
invented and designed by God Himself and He
commanded us to practice them. In fact, when
God instituted His Holydays He said to practice them
"forever" (Ex. 12:14-17, Ex. 12:24, Ex.
31:16-17, Lev. 16:29-31, Lev. 23:21, Lev. 23:31,
Lev. 24:8, 2 Chron. 2:4, and many, many more).
The last time I checked, forever is not up yet.
Although God said to do them forever, many claim
that God only intended them for the Jews, or
Israelites. However, as we have seen earlier,
these Holydays were for Israelite and Gentile alike
(Deut. 16:13-14, Ex. 12:49, Lev. 24:22, Num.
15:16;29, Deut. 31:12, John 12:20). If we are
to follow the God of Israel, we need to practice His
The second reason is that the Messiah Himself
practiced God's Holydays and He is our "example" to
follow after (1 Pet. 2:21). We know that the
Messiah practiced the Feast of Passover (Luke
2:41-42) and the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:6-10).
We can reasonably assume, though not expressly
stated in the Gospels, that the Messiah also
practiced the other feast days as well. If He
is to be our example to follow after, we should
practice these feasts as well. After all, the
Apostles followed in the Messiah's example
throughout the book of Acts. Peter and the
other Apostles kept the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2:1).
The Apostle Paul kept the Feast of Passover (Acts
18:21) and all the feasts (Acts 28:17). In
fact, the Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian
Church, a Gentile Church, to keep the feast of
Passover (1 Cor. 5:8). You will see, through
careful study, that the New Testament in no way
endorses abandoning God's feasts, but rather, it
assumes we would follow them. In fact, the
early church practiced God's Holydays for centuries.
It wasn't until Constantine and the Council of
Nicaea that this changed, and even then, it took a
couple more centuries until holidays such as
Christmas and Easter became mainstream in the
The third reason is that God has a purpose for His
Holydays. They are designed for our
instruction and learning. As the Apostle Paul
states, they are a, "shadow of things to come" (Col.
2:17, Heb. 8:5, Heb. 10:1). These feasts
proclaim the future of God's plan. I have come
across many people who love to study prophecy and
end time events, but they have no interest in God's
Holydays. To study the scripture like this
would be an error. The scripture clearly
teaches that these feasts foreshadow "things to
come." We need to start with the feasts, which
provide a great outline of God's plan, then fill in
the details with the rest of scripture. If we
study end time events without an understanding of
God's Holydays we are destined for errors in our
doctrines. I contend that you cannot even
properly understand what the Holydays teach without
practicing them yourself. The more you
practice God's Holydays, the better the
understanding you will have, which will lead to a
greater understanding of God's ultimate plan.
Why we should not practice current holidays:
This part is simple. We should avoid
practicing current holidays because God said so.
God has His Holydays that we should practice.
It is an insult to Him when we choose not to.
The flip side to this is when we practice holidays
that are not His instead. This simply adds
insult to injury, which is what God states clearly
throughout the Old Testament. The prophet
Isaiah spoke of a rebellious people who did not
follow the LORD (Is. 1:2-3). How were they
rebellious? God answers this question by saying,
"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul
hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to
bear them" (Is. 1:14).
Obviously, God would not say this regarding His own
feasts. Apparently, ancient Israel
was practicing feasts that were not of God.
God then tells them to, "Wash [and] make you clean;
put away the evil of your doings from before mine
eyes; cease to do evil" (Is. 1:16). The feasts
that Israel was practicing God called "evil," but
what were these feasts that Israel was practicing?
Fortunately, another prophet rose up later and
answered this question. The prophet Jeremiah
clearly warns Israel about following pagan customs.
He states, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer.
10:2). He goes on to describe one of these
customs, "For the customs of the people are vain:
for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work
of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten
it with nails and with hammers, that it move not"
(Jer. 10:3-4). Though this passage is not
specifically speaking to the Christmas Tree, but
rather an idol (Jer. 10:14), it is forbidden in
scripture to use any object, including God's
creation, as an image (Ex. 20:4). The
Christmas Tree definitely fits this description.
None of God's Holydays require a graven image of any
sort, but Christmas does. Jeremiah also
warns us regarding the practice of Easter.
Jeremiah writes, "As for the word that thou hast
spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not
hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do
whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth,
to burn incense unto the queen of heaven" (Jer.
44:16-17). The reference to the "queen of
heaven" is clearly the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.
The Babylonians believed Ishtar was the
queen of heaven and the goddess of fertility.
The Babylonians made "cakes to worship her" and her
sign, as the goddess of fertility, was the moon egg.
These eggs became known as "Ishtar Eggs." The
name Ishtar, which was originally pronounced Easter,
is where the current holiday comes from. The
tradition to bake hot cross buns (cakes) and hide
Easter/Ishtar eggs is of Babylonian origin, of which
the God of heaven is greatly offended by.
might seem hard to believe that God would not want
us to practice Christmas and Easter. After
all, these holidays seem harmless. In fact,
many today celebrate them as a tribute in honor of
the Messiah. We need to keep in mind, however,
that these holidays have not always been celebrated
in this light. They originally came from pagan
customs. To put things in God's perspective,
it would be like someone today saying, "I will
celebrate Islam's Ramadan, but I will do it in Jesus
name." Most believers would be greatly
offended by this, but this is exactly what the early
church did with Christmas and Easter. They
took entirely pagan holidays, modified them in some
ways, and called them God's holidays. Just because we are centuries after
the fact and Christmas and Easter are now mainstream
holidays in the church, does not mean God now
The truth of the matter is this, America used to
believe Christmas and Easter were pagan holidays.
In fact, it was illegal for Christmas to be
celebrated and there was even a fine in place for
doing so. Here is a statute from Massachusetts
which says, ". . . To the great dishonor of God
and offense of others: It is therefore ordered by
this court and the authority thereof that whosoever
shall be found observing any such day as Christmas
or the like, either by forbearing of labor,
feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as
aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay
for every such offence five shilling as a fine to
the county" (From the records of the General
Court, Massachusetts Bay Colony, May 11, 1659).
In fact, Christmas was not even allowed to be
celebrated until the 1800s. Alabama was the
first State to do so in 1836 and Louisiana and
Arkansas followed in 1838. Apparently, our
founding fathers understood where Christmas came
In conclusion, the God of heaven clearly seems to
want us to practice His Holydays, and avoid our own
holidays. About five years ago I came to the
conclusion that, why should I care which
holidays/holydays I practice? If God wants me
to practice His, shouldn't I do so? His feasts
are great parties to be enjoyed and celebrated.
They can be as pleasant, if not more so, than any
pagan holiday we can invent. Instead of
practicing Easter, why not practice the Passover?
Instead of practicing Christmas, why not practice
the Feast of Tabernacles? Instead of
practicing New Years, why not practice the Feast of
Weeks? In doing so, we will still have a great
feast and holiday/holyday to celebrate, but we also
just might learn something about God's plan.