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.
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.
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.