Articles

Christ’s Coming to Fulfill the Promise

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“Christ’s Coming to Fulfill the Promise”

A good prerequisite for this study is the one prior:  The Is, Was and Is to Come “Coming” of the Lord

Christ returning to His people is His coming to fulfill the promise of God and bring us the power unto salvation.  We are commanded to wait in His Body, known as Spiritual Jerusalem for His power to come upon us which begins our day of the Lord and our baptism of fire.

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 

 Act 1:4  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Act 1:5  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

We should always be thinking first and foremost about the inward application of the word of God and which is our focus in following Him.  For God’s plan to save all mankind to be fulfilled, certain events must occur outwardly or corporately [across all of mankind]. Those chosen of God to be saved in the second harvest, known as the Elect in this age, become the living Christ beginning at Pentecost and perform a big role in administering God’s plans.

Joh 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

The Lord’s coming is His appearing within us, the Holy Temple in which He dwells.  This coming is the fulfillment of the New Covenant promise to every man in their appointed time.  The Lord is working in His kingdom which is on the inside of His Body from where true righteousness will come forth.

 Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Heb 8:9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Those being saved in this age and every generation within this age, comprise the second harvest.  The Body of Christ is being used now to save others and in the dispensation of time when the Lord gathers all men to Himself, the entirety of the second harvest will become the instruments of saving those in the third harvest [Oba 1:21, Mic 4:2, Mat 19:28, 1Co 6:2-3]

1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Those being judged now are being saved now and will be first to live every word and thereby fulfill the Word of God [Col 1:25, Mat 5:18].  All of which is the free gift of faith that turns our trust from flesh to the Lord.

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

The Lord is gathering all things to Himself by His second coming within every man when He comes [is revealed] in our inward heaven and earth.  This is the plan of salvation for every man and how all will give God the glory [our obedience] as we wait for Him to finish His work in us.  It’s the same one way for both harvests of men.

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh [His people – Eph 5:30] the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [via the cross, the lake of fire]

Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Christ has come, is come and will continuing coming and appearing in His kingdom within every man.  We learn patience waiting for Him to come and finish His work within us and save us from our sins.

Jas 5:7  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

Jas 5:8  You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 

After the Lord finished His earthly ministry, He died a physical death on the cross and was raised from the dead and soon ascended into heaven via the clouds to be seen no more in the flesh.  The Lord speaks in parables in all the Scriptures and even the events and acts themselves are done in parables [Hos 12:10, Mat 13:10] to hide the meaning until He comes to open our understanding after having first made us blind to the truth.

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables

 The ascension of Christ is such a parable. Those that know Christ in the flesh still look out there to see Him coming.

Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Act 1:10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Act 1:11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

This prophecy and ascension of Christ continues to be fulfilled every time Christ is revealed [appears] inwardly in the heavens of a brother or sister.  As men are given faith and eyes to see, Christ has been appearing in the heavens [the mind] of the chosen few [Mt 22:14, Rom 11:7] in every generation since Pentecost.  The living Body of Christ is the cloud and temple in every generation in which the Lord dwells.   Christ is come back because He lives and abides in His people, which is the Body of Christ.  When people see us, Lord willing, they are seeing Jesus Christ whether they know it or not.

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Ever since the first Pentecost [Acts 2] and the birth of the NT church, Christ has been appearing and coming into His Kingdom in every generation.  He has been seen coming out of the clouds which is where He went beginning at Pentecost.

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Like the first disciples, we first know Christ in the flesh [via a carnal mind].   The first half of our ministry, the 1,000 year reign of death [carnal mindedness] ends and we are called up hither into heaven in a cloud to be with the Lord.

Rev 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

This is when we are transformed into true worshippers in spirit and in truth and no longer know Him or see Him again in the flesh.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 

Christ must go away in the flesh and return in the Spirit for us to receive the blessings promised of the Father.

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Joh 16:8  And when he is come, [Holy Spirit] he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

When Christ comes the second time without sin for salvation [Heb 9:28], He is coming to His temple and throne, where the Lord who is His word and those words are Spirit [like God His Father] sits and rules in our hearts and minds.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

When the Lord comes to save His people, that work is not completed instantly.  There is a process of our “being saved” in the “day of the Lord” as the new man Christ grows and matures and our old man is being decreased [Joh 3:30]. When Christ is come, our focus and attention is turned inwardly and the things above as we wait and hasten unto the fullness [completion] of His coming.

Php 3:20  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, [called up hither] seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Every man will see Christ return in the spiritual cloud that is His Body in whatever age and harvest one is being saved.  The brightness of His coming reveals our sins and guilt in hating and crucifying our Lord in Spirit.

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Every spiritual eye will see the Lord coming but that coming is not all at the same time for every man.  When one is blessed to be given grace [judged] and endure the destruction of our old life, we will see Christ in the clouds and thereafter testify that He dwells in His people and His promises are true.  All men will see the living Christ operating through His people who are doing the greater works now and, in the age, to come.  We are promised to see the great work of God being performed by the Lord’s angels which is His Body.

Joh 1:50  Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things [the greater works of “the Christ – Jon 14:12] than these. 

Joh 1:51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man [Christ, the cloud of many witnesses]

The clouds that are Christ, bring judgment to the old man in those that can hear those words which we speak and meditate on.  Judgment, which is the blessing of God [Psa 19:9, Rev 20:5] is what brings forth the new man and comes in the form of spiritual rain, fire from heaven, whirlwind, and storms [trials] which all fit the symbolism of clouds [Rom 1:20].

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes [all mankind] of Israel.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth [His Body] goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Those that see spiritually, see God’s angels ascending and descending from Christ who is this cloud. This is where His Power unto salvation is placed and through whom judgment is delivered in due time.

Gen 9:13  I do set my bow [my power, my Word] in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

The cloud is Christ who leads us on our journey to the promised land [Exo 13:21] to possess it with sanctification and honor.  We all have shared truth with those the Lord has blinded, and by doing so learned that this same cloud in which Christ dwells is both a bright light and sheer darkness depending on one’s perspective.  To those without eyes to see the cloud is dark, but to those given spiritual eyes [Pro 20:12], it becomes a very bright and guiding light.

Exo 14:20  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

Christ came and continues to come to all men in the appointed time to do the will of His Father.  That will is to save sinners and bring salvation to all.

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

A day has been appointed for all men to hear His voice and rise from their spiritual sleep and darkness in which they abide. Then judgment has come on the house of God and they will be saved and made new in the same way all men [Ecc 9:2] receive the same prize.

Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Joh 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The Is, Was and Is to Come, coming of the Lord is within us and without us as we think corporately on God’s plan to save all flesh in three harvests.  The harvests are likened unto feasts [Barley, Wheat and Grapes] also and were hidden in deep OT types and shadows in the law of Moses that was given to flesh Israel.

Exo 23:14  Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

Exo 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:)

Exo 23:16  And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

The kingdom of God that is within every man will all be delivered to God when death [carnal mindedness – Rom 8:6] is destroyed at His second coming within us that results in the judgment of the old man.  When that process is completed, every man receives the one prize and the exceedingly great reward having been remade into the image of God having the mind of Christ.  God’s simple three harvest plan to save all is the heart of the good news gospel the Lord is working within His creation.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming

1Co 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power…

The Bible has very little to say about the details of how the transition between the second and third harvests comes about.  We must wait on the Lord to reveal a greater understanding to us and not go above what is written.  Men continue to build followings by going above what is written and we are to follow no one but the Lord and what He reveals to us.

1Co 4:6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Ecc 8:17  Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Articles

Observing Days, Times and Years

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Keeping of Days, Months, Times and Years

The keeping of days and years is a gigantic custom and tradition of the world.  It is only by looking behind ourselves once we have come out of day keeping that we can truly appreciate just how wide and deep is that bondage that has captured the whole world.  We start out in bondage but are delivered as we mature in the faith.

Gal 4:3 Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 

The Lord made all things, even the lights and celestial objects in the physical heavens for the purposes cited early on in Genesis.

Gen 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 

Yet the keeping of days, times and seasons is for the world.  The world’s [spiritual Gentiles] attraction of day and timekeeping was given to them to worship awaiting the appearance of Christ to them.

Deu 4:19  NLT And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The LORD your God gave them to all the peoples of the earth. 

The little flock that is the Israel of God is commanded to not partake of these days and worship any of the world’s gods which include days, months, times and seasons.

Deu 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Exo 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

Exo 23:33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

The Lord changes not and His commandments include our separation from all the things the world loves as the Lord is separating a people unto Himself.

Jas 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you

It is seemingly little matters like keeping of days that truly separate the people of God from those still in the world.  Paul rebukes the Galatians sharply for their acceptance of false gospels and their broadening of the narrow way commanded.

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 

Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 

Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 

As ambassadors for Christ, we are strangers in a foreign land.  Yet ambassadors cannot do their job if they become entangled in the affairs of the land they have been sent to minister.   We are not winning people to Christ by partaking of the world’s traditions and customs.

2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Anyone keeping days, months, times and years is either 1) not in the faith and of the world or 2) they are weak in the faith and need time and admonitions to grow and mature.  The absolute sovereignty of God is solid established doctrine so we know everyone is exactly where the Lord has placed them so we are not to condemn anyone for their disobedience in this regard or any work of the Lord.  We all have kept days, months, times and seasons and it is only by the mercy we received that we are able to now correct others in mercy, patience, and long-suffering.

Days, Months, Times and Seasons are Everywhere

Partaking of worldly times keeps us focused on the world and our hearts and minds, not on the treasures in heaven and the cross that we are now carrying daily to our death with Christ.

Luk 9:22  Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Consider just how vast the designation of special days has become in the world today.

Religious holy days:  Nothing holy about any of them be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim or otherwise.  They all represent flesh and not those called of the true living God.

Patriotic Days:  Each country has its own growing set of days.  Shunning them will make people hate you instantly and speak all manner of evil about you.

Special Days: Men and clever marketers have invented numerous days to honor and bring recognition to certain people, groups of people, roles and sexes. This list is endless …Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s day, Arbor Day, Flag day,  Earth Day, Ground Hog Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Civil Rights Day, Emancipation Day, National Day of Prayer,  Grandparents Day, Boss’s Day, ….. with no end ….

Birthdays: This is a big one and one of the harder ones to give up as it is so ingrained into every society. Yet the scriptures are clear and the only examples of birthdays we have resulted in death. Here is great teaching by Victor on the spiritual significance of Birthdays and their pagan origins. Click here for Victor’s study on the Spiritual Significance of Birthdays

Anniversaries: Marking anniversaries has waxed far beyond just wedding days to include all kinds of markings of annual remembrances.

Standing in the Truth Brings Persecution

The world hates Christ.  You can be sure when one makes a stand on days and times, persecution will come from those we interact with in the world including our families.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

People will naturally begin to separate from you when you make a stand for Christ on days.  This is a good thing as the church truly is the “Ekklesia” or the called out ones.

Luk 6:22  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luk 6:23  Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

People will naturally want to know why you do not keep their days and despise their traditions.  You can be sure that when that stand is made against the keeping of days and times,  most will reject and hate (seek to kill you spiritually) for having the audacity to not keep their worldly traditions and to call yourself the son of God. We will then be in very good company in following our Lord.

Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath [did not keep their precious days], but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 

When I made a firm stand on all days, months, times and seasons, it marked the beginning of my abiding in true fiery trials.  I lost nearly all my relationships with physical family over their vehement opposition to any cessation of keeping days and times.  Yet it’s a small price to pay to be Lord willing be found worthy of His Name.  We must count the costs of following Him and know it will cost us our old way of life.

Luk 9:25  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Luk 9:26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Being rejected of men and your own household is truly a trial of our faith, but one we must be made able to endure if we are to move on to maturity and be prepared for even greater fiery trials in the Lake of Fire.  Not conforming with the world starts with our rejection of the world’s customs on keeping of days, months, times and years.

Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Judging Others and Bearing the Weak

While day keeping is wrong for the people of God, how we deal with others is also part of the narrow way and what the Lord is teaching us in raising us up as Kings and Priests.  Being separated from the world also means we do not judge the world and those in it.  That is for a time and age to come in the future when the world will begin to hear the word of the Lord and are given faith (Joh 12:47).   Those in the faith are not to judge those in the world, our focus is to be on those within the fellowship of faith.

1Co 5:12  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 

1Co 5:13  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 

Those within include all in the faith and yet there are different measures of faith and varying degrees of maturity.  All first struggle in understanding God’s requirements of not keeping days and in discovering practical ways of being obedient while not coming across as a clanging gong (1Co 13:1) or ramming our spiritual meat down those not yet prepared to receive it.

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

It is the mature in the faith who learn mercy and longsuffering by tolerating the weak in the faith who still keep days and times.

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations

Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 

Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

The weak are not allowed to bring in disputes about established doctrines but we need to trust the Lord and let Him work His work in our brothers and sisters that He has already ordained.

Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

We should always be ready to answer and teach the truth of the mature and more excellent way of the Lord.  Yet we are learning patience in waiting for others to be brought along by the Lord.

When we understand that the love of God is our obedience and that is what AGAPE or LOVE truly means, then we begin to understand that our obedience on days, times, months and years is actually loving our families that reject Christ at this stage.  Our stand for the truth will be a witness to them in due time.  Our disobedience only serves to keep them in darkness to the Lord’s truth and make it harder for them to see the separation the Lord requires of His people from the world’s ways.  Bottom line we are in this world but not to be of it.

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

When we go along with the world, we lead people astray from the truth of God’s word.  We are teaching them by example that it is okay to serve our God in the same way the world serves its gods.  That is not “love” the way God defines it and neither is it loving our neighbor.

Joh 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [We love by obeying God]

Joh 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Practical Lessons

The fact we are in this world means we will be continually exposed to these customs and traditions.  This will be especially true for gatherings with our physical families and also in our places of work.  One simply cannot totally escape this exposure, it’s pervasive in our world and society.  We learn the narrow way by making mistakes and then adjusting our approach to stand firm for Christ.

Telling your family you beliefs:  It will take time for your family and relatives that you have contact with to stop communicating with you over days the way the world does.  The happy birthday’s wishes, the cards, the gifts for Christmas and salutations and phone calls for all the other holidays will continue until they learn you are standing firm.  The sooner you make that stand and stick to it, the sooner you will bear the reproach of Christ and also begin to teach them you no longer live by the world’s customs.  You can then start counting it all joy to suffer for His sake.  Your family will not understand at first and will think evil of you for not acknowledging the birthdays, the holidays, the anniversaries that are so precious to the carnally minded.  It is particularly difficult where one spouse believes and the other does not and even more when children are in the house.

Family gatherings over the holidays or around a significant birthday:  These can be tricky yet in some cases, our appearance may be mandated and could give the appearance we are partaking in a holiday or a birthday party.  For example, some visit families around the big holidays because that is the only chance they have to see family.  A narrow way might be for example coming over on Thanksgiving break but not partaking of the big meal which is the biggest part of the worldly custom.  In another example, one may need to go to a gathering of a family where a birthday celebration could be part of the broader overall plan.  If the visit could not be avoided, then one should bear no gifts and leave the gathering temporarily when the festivities of the cake/gifts and the song occur.  We are not under the law and our careful treading is not for our sakes but for the sake of our unbelieving family to not create a stumbling block for them to come to Christ in the future.  The longer we stand on truth the less likely it becomes we will find ourselves in a tricky spot again.

Office birthday parties:  I was not in truth when I worked in office buildings with lots of people.  But nearly half the days there was always a card for someone being circulated or a meeting to have cake and sing the song.  What do you do?  We would have to tell our workers that we do not partake of birthdays and to please do not ask us to sign the cards or come to these ceremonies.  It’s called making a stand and it could cost us our friendships in the world.  Lord willing anyone’s job would not be imperiled yet we can hold nothing back in seeking to obey God.

Any that still struggle with these issues should seek counsel from a more mature brother and sister in navigating the narrow way.  All in Christ have been there and has had to learn to deal with day keeping and our avoidance of it.  We are all here to be helpers of your joy in obeying the Lord.