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Keeping of Days, Months, 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.

FAQS

Sects in the New Testament

Note:  This is an addendum to a prior post on Cult Accusations Against the Body of Christ. That post can be found here:  Cult Accusations Against Christ

Sects in the NT

 The Pharisees were considered a sect in the NT and so were the Sadducees:

Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

Paul was a Pharisee [Acts 26:5] in his youth and was also called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Christ was called a Nazarene, from the city, Nazareth [Matt 2:23]. Paul was a follower of Christ, thus called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Act 24:5  For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Whilst in Rome as a prisoner, the Jews that came to Paul’s lodging, said this about the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Act 28:22  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.

But Paul also was under the Nazarite vow. Let us now briefly consider being under the vow of the Nazarites as given by the Lord through Moses [Num 6:1-2], seeing that Paul took the vow of a Nazarite, coming out from under this vow as he was maturing in Christ. We know that Paul in his earlier walk was keeping the feasts [Acts 18:21] and purifying himself signifying the accomplishment of the days of purification [Acts 21:26]. He was under the vow of the Nazarites, separating himself unto God.

Act 18:18  And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

This typifies us, as babes in Christ [1Co 3:1-4]. The Nazarite vow typifies the immature carnal zeal which is typical of carnal babes in Christ. A Nazarite makes his zeal known to all, by separating himself through a vow [Num 6:2]. He wants everybody to know that he is not like other men looking down on the publican [Luk 18:11]. We notice the three requirements of this vow [shadow] and what this is spiritually representing to us, Christ’s sons.

1] The Nazarite was forbidden to drink wine or strong drink or touching anything made of the fruit of the vine.

Num 6:3  He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

This sounds so special. Here is the NT witness or parallel to this exclusiveness:

1Co 1:4  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

1Co 1:5  That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

But is this holiness really so glorious or is there something that excels?

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

As spiritual Nazarites at the beginning of our walk, we too, do many wonderful works under this vow [type] [Matt 7:22-23] while we spiritually walk this out in our immaturity. We are blind as bats, as Samson, the lifelong Nazarite [Judges 13:5], whose eyes were put out [Judges 16:21] to then see, being made blind first [John 9:39-41, NT parallel]. Paul was three days without sight [Acts 9:9]. The symbolism of not being permitted to drink, eat or touch anything concerned with the vine tree or the fruit of the vine, is the symbol of Christ and His Words [Matt 26:26-29].

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

After the days of our separation [type and shadow], we now partake of the fruit of the vine. We are now mature enough to partake of Christ, eat His meat and drink His blood [John 6:53].

2] The Nazarite could not cut the locks of his hair [Num 6:5] which symbolizes his own self-righteous works.

We know we have to exceed the righteousness of the law.

Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 What is the spiritual reality for us, after our vow [type] is fulfilled [when we mature in Christ]? We can cut our hair and live by a much more mature law. The symbolism of not being permitted to cut one’s hair, short hair being the symbol of the man who is the head of the woman, means in the spiritual language that Christ’s Spirit in us is ruling over our souls. This only comes as we are maturing through much sorrow of having fiery trials.

 1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1Co 11:4  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

 1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

 3] The Nazarite could not touch a dead body until the days of his vow was fulfilled.

Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.

Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

 As spiritual Nazarites in type and shadow, we, are not able to eat all things or esteem every day alike at the beginning [Rom 14]. But as maturing sons, we reckon ourselves dead with Christ, dying daily [1Co 15:31] [Gal 2:20] and make ourselves unclean for Christ’s Body [type and shadow] filling up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ.

Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church

 Paul, as a Nazarite, in the beginning, did not understand that the Lord is making Himself one new man and only whilst in Rome, not being under this vow anymore, now declares these Words:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; ………. Eph 2:19   

 Coming out from under the Nazarite vow, all spiritual Nazarites Lord willing, will get past the need for any vows [type and shadow, when our separation is fulfilled] and will be made able and ready to follow Christ who says this concerning any vows:

Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 Summary

We, as the sons of God, members of the many membered body of Christ, only have the Truth and His Spirit to ward off the fiery darts of our enemies. The Words of Christ never puts us to shame. Christ’s Words are Life [John 6:63]. The carnal world does not understand the Truths we hold and cherish [Joh 12:38].

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

We, as the true Bride of Christ, are not members of a cult, but reformers as is Christ because as He is, so are we [1 John 4:17]. We rest in Him because He is our Sabbath.