This is the first post in a series featuring our book “The Biblical Festivals Volume 1: The Biblical Sabbath and Festival Calendar”.
Everything written in the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation was written as examples of right and wrong, good and evil, for our instruction. The WHOLE Word of God is full of instructional examples for the good of humanity.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
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, throughly furnished unto all good works
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; 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.
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, 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, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
All of recorded scripture from Genesis to Revelation is the complete Word of God and is intended as instructional examples for humanity, to teach us to loath wickedness and to love and embrace the righteousness of godliness, which brings us the peace and secure prosperity that mankind longs for.
Jesus [Hebrew: Yeshua] taught that men are to live by every Word of God
Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter [Satan] came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Which God did Jesus know and refer to? The very King of the universe, God the Father in heaven!
4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Most religious people would agree that we should follow and obey God our Father in heaven, but this belief is complicated by the questions of the Covenants and the concept that men have the authority to bind and loose the Word of God.
This claimed binding and loosing authority of men over God’s Word, is further complicated by the claim that what a “man of God” binds or looses has been inspired by the Holy Spirit of God and therefore must be accepted and obeyed.
This book will study into these questions directly from the scriptures themselves; with the intent to demonstrate from the Word of God the answer to Peter’s question:
Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
The Ultimate Moral Authority
Since the beginning of recorded history the annals of humanity have been written in blood.
Since the day that Cain slew Abel people have striven against each other and as nations arose, nation has striven against nation. The strong have dominated and pillaged the weak and the oppressed have attempted to rise up and throw off their yoke, while the strong saw the possession of the weak as their right and fought one another to maintain their “possessions”.
Violence has not been limited to nations and every society on the earth has been filled with murders, robbery and the abuse of people by others.
Man has also done great violence to the very earth itself, creating deserts out of lush grasslands and in more recent times poisoning the air, water and soil in the selfish pursuit of perceived immediate personal gain.
North Africa a vast rich grassland and the breadbasket of Europe before the first century, has been devastated and turned into the ever expanding Sahara desert, today growing southward at the rate of miles each year.
Today the world suffers from mainly man created famines and drought, while millions suffer from environmental diseases like cancer and diabetes due to the poisoning of the water and air of the earth, and the greedy production of massively, sugar, salt and chemical laden food and drink.
Humanity is now at the precipice of catastrophe – with the very seas themselves dying – after vast numbers of human beings have died at the hands of their fellow man over the nightmare of past millennia.
Throughout human history various leaders have tried to solve these problems by establishing empires to try and force peace on the nations: for their own advantage of course. One example is the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire which brought a semblance of peace to Europe through Rome.
From the very beginning all attempted empires had to deal with the unhappiness and tendency to rebel of subject peoples. A subject people will from time to time produce a few who will regard even death as preferable to the situation they are in, and who will rise up in an attempt to throw off their oppressors. This leaves empires rushing from place to place putting out the political fires of resistance.
The solution as Babylon discovered and Rome discovered after her, was religion.
A subject people might not fear physical death, but if they could be made to believe that they were rebelling against a god – who had power over eternity to give eternal joy and pleasure or eternal death or pain – they would be willing to endure anything and would never rise up for fear of eternal death or suffering.
Convincing people to sincerely and deeply believe that rejecting the authority of a man was rejecting God and brought damnation; was REAL POWER indeed!
To gain this supposed authority of a god, from Babel to Paul many emperors simply declared themselves to be gods. This was easy because after all, every nation had many gods and the emperor would be just one more god among many.
Then along came Paul to the Roman world and turned that world upside down, teaching that there was only ONE God and that the emperor was NOT a god at all!
It was many years later that these folks found a way to subvert this teaching about God, by admitting that the emperor was not God, but then claiming that the emperor was God’s choice to rule the empire and because he was God’s anointed, rebellion against him was the same as rebellion against God; and the Holy Roman Empire began.
This system worked by using a religious leader claiming to be God’s representative on earth and “God’s decider on the earth in the absence of God’s presence in the earth”, with Ultimate Moral Authority over the lives of the people and the moral authority behind the emperor. To rebel against the emperor was to rebel against the pope, and to rebel against the pope was to rebel against God.
Today, many religious leaders have also adopted this error by claiming that they are ultimate moral authorities over their various corporate Ekklesia organizations and demanding that they be obeyed as if they were God, by claiming to be the agents of God
The big problem arises when the religious leaders decide right and wrong for themselves and do not live by every Word of God, but exalt themselves to accept or reject parts of God’s Word according to their own judgment.
Most will also take small pieces of truth out of their proper context and spin them to appear to mean something far different from what they really meant in their proper context, in an effort to support their own preconceived ideas; this includes taking one scripture and ignoring other scriptures on the same subject.
When the empire or corporate church demands that the human leader be followed without question, claiming that he is an agent of God; that organization may be united in following the man, but they have fallen into idolatry of exalting the man, the system and the organization above the Word of God and they are in rebellion against God.
As long as nations, groups of people or even individuals, do what they decide for themselves is right instead of living by the Word and Way that truly brings peace, the earth will be filled with violence; and eventually humanity and life on this planet is doomed to complete destruction.
To have world peace: Humanity NEEDS a single Ultimate Moral Authority – a Father Figure – a God – who will be universally accepted, looked to and obeyed by all people; and humanity NEEDS a change in the selfish nature of mankind.
However not just any moral authority or god will do; This Ultimate Moral Authority – Father Figure – God; must have a Wisdom surpassing all the wisdom of men, He must have a totally selfless love for ALL people and exercise His power; Honestly and Justly for the good of all!
The Creator God made mankind and because the Creator God is the Father of all humanity He has the right to rule all humanity; by right of Creator-ship and Fatherhood. God also has the further right to rule as the Ultimate Moral Authority of humanity by virtue of vastly superior experience, knowledge, intellect, power and wisdom.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God [Hebrew: Elohim (plural meaning Mighty Ones)] created the heaven and the earth.
We know that before God created the physical universe, God had created the angels composed of spirit; because no man had yet been created at the beginning of the universe and yet the Son’s of God shouted for joy at that event.
Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 38:7 When the morning stars [angels] sang together, and all the sons of God [angels] shouted for joy?
First, God created spiritual beings and then God directed billions of spirit beings in the creation of the physical universe.
Consider the experience level and wisdom of a God who has lived for countless eons, and the Intellect, Wisdom and Knowledge of a being that could create spirit beings much greater than man and then create the entire physical universe. Consider the Management Skills of a God who could oversee billions of angels.
Consider the wisdom of a being who could make all things as we know them on this planet and in the universe.
Then consider the marvelous wonder that is mankind, with his thinking and creative capacity and the simple fact that the Creator of all these awesome things – which man does not yet understand – is far greater than that which He created.
God the Father as the Executive Creating Authority of the universe and therefore owns the entire universe; God the Father is King of the Universe by right of creation! God the Son, who gave up his God-hood to become Jesus Christ, was the Implementing Creator of all things, fulfilling the plan and will of God the Father.
God the Father has trillions of years more experience, vastly more knowledge and infinitely more wisdom than any man or all men put together.
While man tries to figure out the universe, Almighty God understood its workings and actually created it.
Can man even take proper care of this earth to dress it and keep it as God commanded us? Can men even get along together? Human history gives us the answer! Which is a resounding NO!
What is the wisdom of man compared to the Wisdom of God? Man needs God as a babe needs its parents!
The Test in the Garden
In Genesis 3 God gave a command to test the man and the woman to see if they would be faithful to their Maker or if they will follow another or decide right and wrong for themselves.
Satan the Adversary of God is allowed to appear on the scene to test the human couple and begins to entice the woman by bringing up the subject of the forbidden fruit.
Notice very carefully here: God did not say that the fruit would kill; he said that the act of eating the fruit would kill; for the wages of sin [living contrary to the way that brings life] is death.
The nature of this fruit had nothing to do with the issue.
Which issue is: Will we live by and keep the Word of God our Father, or will we decide for ourselves what is good or evil, without the knowledge, experience and wisdom of God?
Since that day, mankind has rejected living by the Word of God for millennia. The “wisdom” of man has destroyed the planet and brought endless bloodshed, pain and misery on humanity and all other creatures.
WE NEED GOD! Like any young child needs its parents!
Like a little child we may think that we are able, but we simply lack the experience, the wisdom, and the ability to take care of ourselves and properly care for this good earth which God has given to us.
WE NEED A FATHER to lead and guide us and teach us how to live and how to get along with each other.
Eve and Adam thought that they could decide things for themselves and so rejected their Father Creator.
All history since then has been a bloody and graphic demonstration of how wrong they were. Mankind cannot find the way to peace or life eternal.
We cannot discern between right and wrong on our own, we need HELP, we need someone to show us the way. Only when all peoples realize this and are ready to humble themselves before their Creator will they begin to follow His instructions leading to peace.
Any departure from what God has commanded us is a rejection of the wisdom of God
Eating a fruit that God forbade them to eat, was not simply about the fruit itself; it was about rejecting obedience to God, by not doing what God has said.
In the garden Eve and then Adam turned away from obeying their Creator to decide right and wrong for themselves, rejecting the Word of their Creator!
Ever since that time, the vast majority have rejected the Word of God to remain faithful to their idols of men and their false contrary to scripture traditions! Even those who pay lip-service to the Word of God take lines out of context and twist them to fit their own misguided opinions.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Then Satan told the woman the lie that she would not die if she rejected the Word of God, to decide right and wrong for herself!
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
God said; listen to me and do what I say, for I made you and love you; and Satan said, decide for yourself and do whatever you want to do.
Deciding for ourselves always looks good to those who have no love for the Word of God. Most love self, more than they love God, and because of this self-love and self-exaltation and pride, we are led away from our zeal to live by every Word of God as Eve was.
Then Eve and Adam chose to reject the instructions of their Creator and to decide right and wrong for themselves.
This issue was a TEST of obedience and had nothing to do with the kind of fruit being referred to.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise [thinking it was wise to decide the matter for herself instead of obeying God], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Then instead of running to God in sincere repentance, they tried to cover up for themselves.
The following is literal and is also figurative, for they knew that they were physically and spiritually naked; no longer clothed with the righteousness of obeying God.
Eve and Adam were not ashamed of seeing each other naked; most men and women are comfortable seeing the nakedness of their spouse. They were already one flesh and “knew” one another fully.
This nakedness was not about any shame of being naked in front of one another; it was about being ashamed of themselves and being naked – and naked of righteousness – before God.
Adam and Eve were afraid of being seen by God, for they knew that they had sinned and disobeyed him. They were moved to try and hide their physical and spiritual nakedness by making clothing and hiding in the bush.
3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The Creator came to see his creation; and they hid from him, because their sin had separated them from God. They had rebelled and decided for themselves what would be right or wrong in their own eyes; in place of obeying their Creator.
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Consider, when we were all little children, didn’t most of us at some time do something that we knew our parents had forbidden or taught us was wrong? Were we afraid that our parents would find out and correct us?
Adam and Eve, although fully adult were full of that same fear of correction, because they knew that they had acted against the Word of their Creator.
3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Adam knew that he was naked of faithfulness to keep the Word of God and did not have on the garments of the righteousness of God. He feared the anger of his Creator because of his sin.
3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Such is human nature. Adam blamed his wife instead of taking responsibility for his own actions.
There are very many out there who will feel safe in justifying themselves with the Nazi excuse that “I was only following orders” or blaming some organization, or religion, or its elders for their own sins, like Eve did in blaming Satan and Adam did in blaming Eve. “I was only following this person” they will say.
Brethren, this Nazi excuse that we were only following others; WILL NOT WORK WITH Almighty God! Each and every human being is completely responsible for their OWN conduct; regardless of what others say or do.
It did not work for Adam, and it will not work for anyone else: We shall each be accepted into or denied entry into the paradise of eternal life based on our OWN personal conduct.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their [own] works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their [own] works.
Adam admitted that he had sinned and disobeyed God and blamed another.
Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Eve admitted that she had sinned and disobeyed God and blamed Satan and it is true that Satan tempted her, but she was still responsible to obey God regardless of the temptation. Both the woman and the man were personally responsible for listening to the temptation and deciding for themselves to disobey the Word of God.
So it is with us today, when people fall to the temptation to follow idols of men and turn away from living by every Word of God; they are still personally responsible before God!
3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Every person is responsible for their own conduct, yet there is also a very heavy responsibility of guilt for the original deceiver as well. Because of this Satan was cursed and our elders and leaders who teach people to follow themselves and to turn away from any zeal to live by every Word of God are facing a most severe correction.
Because they use their office to deceive and have not fulfilled their responsibility to teach zeal to live by every Word of God, they will be rejected from being shepherds of God’s flock; and they will be rejected from the resurrection to eternal life, unless they quickly repent. (Ezek 34, Jer 25, Isaiah 56:11)
3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
The spiritual serpent [dragon] shall bruise a man [Satan would crucify Christ] and then Satan shall be destroyed by the Son of a woman, even Jesus Christ, after the Millennium.
3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head [A son of a woman (Messiah the Christ) shall destroy Satan after the millennium, but first Satan shall temporarily bruise Messiah the woman’s seed, by killing Christ who will not remain dead], and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Because of her sin the woman was given the monthly cycle and pain in childbirth which no animal has, and Christ here set the man to rule [to learn to rule responsibly and lovingly] over his wife.
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Adam is judged for letting the woman lead him away from keeping the Word of God; and we shall all be judged for listening to anyone other than our Mighty God!
3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:
Because the man and woman listened to and followed others, rather than the Eternal God, the man and woman were then cast out of paradise and made to struggle against all manner of adversity, that they might learn to keep the whole Word of God.
Adam and his descendants are being forced to learn the difference between godliness, which brings peace and life: and deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, which self-will brings all manner of adversity, suffering, decay and finally death.
Satan lied saying that man could become God, simply by deciding right and wrong for himself.