The world is filled with counterfeits. Money is often counterfeited for the sake of quick material gain. Goods are often counterfeited in order to play on unsuspecting consumers’ greed to get something popular for a low price. In the end, though, the counterfeit is still a counterfeit. It is not the real deal.
It is also almost always cheaper than the real deal. By that, I don’t mean cheap as in “cost less” but in “shabby workmanship”. Often, counterfeit goods end up smearing, ripping, having glued on items fall off or other undesirable quality problems.
People get hurt from counterfeits. Cheap toys may contain lead paint. Counterfeit batteries may explode unexpectedly. Whomever gets caught with the counterfeit bill is out that amount of money. There may be additional civil or legal problems as well.
Christians are supposed to be virtuous. Christians are supposed to be honest. Christians are suppose to stand for the truth. So, why do some of them promote counterfeit holy days?
God laid out a series of festivals in Leviticus 23 that He said were “the feasts of the LORD”. He did not say they were the feasts of Israel. He did not say they were the feasts of the Jews. No, He even emphasized it by saying, “even these are my feasts.” So why do so many so-called Christian churches not keeping these days?
For everything God ordained, Satan, the archenemy, has created a counterfeit. God has a system of holy days, and Satan has an entire system of holidays. Over time, various heresies entered the Church, and by the time Emperor Constantine came along, the heretics outnumbered the true believers! They had already succeeded in counterfeiting many basic doctrines of the church and, with Constantine’s help, came to power and were able to enforce those heresies.
Most of the “Christian” holidays today aren’t Christian in origin at all! They were “Christianized” in order to water down doctrine and make conversion to “Christianity” more palatable. That’s why so many symbols in these holidays can be traced back to pagan fertility rites and symbols.
What does a bunny laying eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ? What does decorating a tree have to do with the birth of the Savior? Why would Bethlehem even been so filled during midwinter that Joseph and Mary could not find anywhere comfortable to stay? Why does a holiday named after a Catholic saint have Cupid, a figure from mythology, as one of its main symbols? Was “Saint Patrick” even really a Catholic saint, or did they get that (intentionally?) wrong as well?
Have you ever also wondered why the year starts in the middle of winter? Did you ever notice that God told Moses, just days before the Passover, which occurs in the spring, that it was the beginning of the year?
All of these are counterfeits that the enemy uses to obscure what God is doing on this earth. God’s days, however, show that He is working in different phases in order to give everyone, past, present and future, the glorious opportunity to be in His family! That means that even the person on a faraway tropical island who never heard of Jesus has an opportunity to be saved! However, you would not know that from Satan’s counterfeits!
The real question, though, is why would anyone want the counterfeits over the real deal? If a Christian loves God, wouldn’t he or she want to keep the days God says to keep? Worse, why choose days that honor other gods?
Who is the person you like least in the world? What if your mother or father decided to hold your birthday party on the birthday of that person instead of your own? Would you feel honored? What if they held the celebration with that person’s favorite flavor of cake and ice cream instead of your own? Wouldn’t you protest even if a little? “But,” they might answer, “we’re doing it to honor you.” Well, are they really?
That is probably an understatement of how God feels about disobedient children willingly embracing the days that honor pagan gods rather than Him. After all, many people have done terrible things in the names of these other gods. No, it would be more akin to telling a Jew that you are giving them a birthday party on Hitler’s birth date rather than their own. Seriously.
Check out the articles in the Holidays section of “Holidays or Holy Days?” You might be surprised to learn just how counterfeit many of these holidays really are!
Wow — excellent analogies John. Not sure I’ve ever heard them so succinctly and logically articulated — not saying I haven’t, but after all the years one can just kind of take for granted some of these basic truths. That’s one of the great things about God’s Word — there is always more to learn. Thanks for your part in adding to that.
Hi, Ed. You’ve probably heard something similar over the years, but I took an old analogy and expanded upon it. Over the years, I’ve begun to realize that if it really is all about honoring God, then we have to take into account His feelings on the matter. It isn’t like He doesn’t tell us what His feelings are, either. Trying to honor someone with something that is offensive to them is contradictory, at best.
Very well said, John. Most of religion is about how it makes the “believer” feel and has little, to nothing, to do with how it makes God feel. And that can even apply to “true” believers as well. Why do we really do what we do… why do we show up for services on the 7th day Sabbath… why do we really keep these other “strange” (by the world’s standards) Holy Days… why do we do x, y, or z? Is it because it makes us feel good about ourselves because we have some special understanding that the rest of the world doesn’t have, or is it because we truly love our Father with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?
Again, what stood out the most for me, in how you articulated this post, was the simple logic — really simple enough that a nine or ten year old could read that and say, “duh!”
John, in regards to, “He did not say they were the feasts of the Jews”. Two times in John, the apostle writes “feast of the Jews” in 5:1,6:4 and once it’s referred to as “Jew’s feast” in 7:2. NKJV
What do you make of that?
@Norbert: I believe there are two possible explanations.
The first is that the Book of John was written later than the other three Gospel accounts. It may have even been written after 70 AD, and John, writing perhaps to either Hellenized Jews or non-Jewish converts in Asia Minor, might have been emphasizing the pilgrimage feasts which took place when the Temple stood.
However, a more likely explanation is that there is precedent in the OT of God hating “your” feasts. He states this because of their iniquity before Him, even in the manner of how they offer their sacrifices.
In vv 10-13 and 16, we see the reason is because their iniquity was like Sodom and Gomorrah, and He pleads with them to “cease to do evil”.
Also, Amos wrote:
Why? Part of the answer is in v 26, where it is evident that they committed idolatry.
It is evident from Jesus’ exchanges with the religious leaders that they did not follow the Law. Were they any different than the audience that Amos and Isaiah addressed? I don’t think so.
So, which of these is it? Why can’t it be both? Are they really any different? Jesus warned them that if they did not repent, they would “likewise perish” (Lk 13:1-5). It was because of the hardness of their hearts that He warned them, but instead they killed Him. Had they true respect for God and His Law, then the Temple might not have been destroyed.
The odd thing I find about how people react to “of the Jews” is:
Many Christians are comfortable with “salvation is of the Jews” (Jn 4:22) and profess to others they have faith in, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Jn 19:22). While at the same time they believe the “feast of the Jews” (Jn 5:1,6:4) has nothing to do with their Lord and what He said about those days.
“The feasts of the Lord, which you [1st century Jews included] shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” (Lev 23:1)
@Norbert: That’s a good point, but it is also ironic due to the fact that some throughout the history of Christendom have used John’s “of the Jews” statements, particularly about the feasts, to imply an anti-Semitic bias and/or justify their own.
However, as Paul wrote in Ro 1:16 (NIV): “… God … brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
When Jesus preached, it was first done in Judea. When the Holy Spirit came, it was first in Judea.
Of the two nations, the northern and the southern kingdoms, which group returned to Israel after their captivity?
I submit to you, then, that John was pointing out the customs of the Jews prior to the fall of Jerusalem, not as an example of how to keep God’s feasts but as an example that they were kept until then. I submit as well that we are to become spiritual Jews: “28 For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly… 29 On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal…” Ro 2:28-30 (CJB).
There is no room within the COG for derogatory slander against the Jews, for we are supposed to become spiritual Jews! In effect, we become slanderers against ourselves!
At the same time, most of mainstream Christianity knows we are supposed to be spiritual Jews, or at least they pay lip service to it. If that be the case, then why don’t they practice what they preach and keep the days God gave to all of Israel, including the Jews?