Monday, October 30, 2023

Was Paul Condoning Pagan Holidays in Colossians 2:16?

By Maria Merola אריאל 
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, August 2002-2023

Christians love to use Colossians 2:16 as an excuse to observe pagan holidays, but is that what Paul was telling the Colossians? 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. 

In Colossians 2:16, context is key! 

Sha’ul (Paul) was telling the Colossians not to allow anyone to judge them for keeping the weekly and annual Sabbaths, according to Leviticus 23. 

He was telling them not to allow anyone to judge them for observing the new moons according to Scripture (Deuteronomy 16:1), and for obeying the commandment to eat lamb for Passover in remembrance of Messiah (Exodus 12:8-9; Luke 22:19; 1st Corinthians 11:24-25).

You see, Paul was addressing the Essenes (who are to this day, into Gnosticism). For a more detailed explanation about Gnosticism, please see my other blog: What Was Blotted Out in Colossians 2?

The Essenes have many unbiblical practices such as ultra-strict ways of observing the Sabbath. To learn more about who these people are, see my other blogs:

The Essenes were also known for not rescuing their animal if it falls into a ditch on the Sabbath days. However, our Messiah corrected that practice, by telling us that keeping the 7th day holy should always be accompanied by saving life and doing good (Mark 3:4 & Luke 6:9). 

The Essenes are still (to this day) into worshiping angels, and they do not believe in eating meat. 

*Disclaimer: If you are a vegetarian or a vegan for health reasons, this is fine, but it should not be forced upon others as a doctrine leading to holiness, or to earn salvation. However, we are commanded to eat lamb for Passover once per year.

The Essenes also judged the Yahuwdiym (Jews) for drinking wine on Passover, (as our Messiah did to demonstrate his covenant meal). They also judged the Yahuwdiym (Jews) for eating lamb for Passover, because they are strict Vegetarians. 

They believed in keeping a Vegan Passover (which is not biblical). This reminds me of Cain, who was unwilling to offer up lambs to YaHuWaH, (like his brother Abel). Cain would only offer up vegetables, which was not an acceptable offering. Now, I know what many of you are thinking. You are saying to yourselves "But our Messiah was the ultimate sacrifice, therefore, we should not have to sacrifice lambs any longer."

What many fail to understand, is that the blood of bulls and goats NEVER TOOK AWAY SINS IN THE FIRST PLACE!

We do not sacrifice lambs for Passover because we think this must be done to atone for our sins. Our Messiah has always been in eternity “The lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

Yahuwshuwa commanded us to keep the Passover IN REMEMBRANCE” of him----not as a means to having our sins atoned for!


Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME. 

Qorintiym Aleph (1st Corinthians) 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: THIS DO IN REMEMRANCE OF ME. 

Qorintiym Aleph (1st Corinthians) 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the Renewed Covenant in my blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

The Essenes do not believe in observing biblical new moons (according to Deuteronomy 16:1 2nd Chronicles 23:31; Ezra 3:5; Nehemiah 10:33). 

Their new moons are to this day observed on a full moon, rather than at the first sliver. 

This is because of a misunderstanding in Psalm 81:3. To learn more about how to observe a biblical New Moon, see my other blog: What Constitutes a Biblical New Moon?

Here is the break-down of what Colossians chapter 2 is telling us:

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Messiah. 

*Explanation: The word “IS” is in italics in Colossians 2:17, therefore, it was not there, in the original text. It was added by the English translators. 

Paul is saying “Let no man judge you......but the body of Messiah.” 

In other words, only those who are obeying our Messiah are allowed to judge you in these matters, not the Essenes. 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

*Explanation: The Gnostic Essenes are into worshiping to angels, praying to the dead, and worshiping deceased saints (like Roman Catholicism). 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of Elohiym. 

*Explanation: Basically, the Essenes are not under the “headship” or authority of Messiah, as they had dismembered themselves from the body of Messiah. 

They did not believe in following the Temple ordinances of that day, and they kept to themselves, making up their own rules (which were often against the Laws of Yah). 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:20 Wherefore if you be dead with Messiah from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances...

*Explanation: Sha’ul (Paul) uses the Greek word for “ordinances,” which is “dogmatizo.” This word means to follow man-made rituals and ordinances, rather than the commandments of Yah.

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 

*Explanation: The Gnostic Essenes were practicing “DOCTRINES & COMMANDMENTS OF MEN!” 

They were not practicing the commandments of YaHuWaH properly, and even to this day, the Essenes hold to a lot of pagan mixture, man-made rules and regulations. 

Sha’ul was explaining the practice of the Essenes when he says “Do not touch, do not handle, do not taste meat or wine” (which are man-made restrictions). 

We are allowed to drink wine in small amounts during the Feasts of YaHuWaH, without getting drunk. 

Sha’ul also addresses these restrictions in 1st Timothy 4:1-4, calling them “Doctrines of Devils.” The doctrines of the Essenes are very much like Roman Catholicism, which forces abstinence from meat on certain Catholic holidays such as “Good Friday.” Few people realize that this custom originates with the worship of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14). To learn more, see these other blogs:

Roman Catholicism (like the Essenes) also enforces abstinence from marriage for nuns and priests, which violates the commandment in Genesis 1:22-28 to “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth.”
The Essenes also force abstinence from biblically allowable meat (from clean animals). Paul used the Greek word “broma” in 1st Timothy 4:3, which literally means “Foods allowed under the Mosaic Law.” He is telling us that we are allowed to eat meat from animals that are acceptable as food in Leviticus 11.

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 

*Explanation: The Essenes are like Roman Catholic Monks in Monasteries who believe that they are more holy if they abstain from meat, and flagellate themselves (whip themselves with leather straps). 

They deceive themselves into believing that they are displaying humility, but they are actually satisfying their flesh, by appearing to be holy outwardly for a show. 

Sha’ul (Paul) addresses pagan holidays again in his letter to the Galatians.

Galatiym (Galatians) 4:

8 Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohiym, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 

9 But now, after that you have known Elohiym, or rather are known of Elohiym, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? 

10 You observe days, and months, and times, and years. 

When Sha’ul uses the phrase “weak and beggarly elements,”  this is referring to occult practices, such as witchcraft, and worshiping the elements within creation. The elements of the Zodiac and Alchemy or Witchcraft are as follows: fire, earth, metal, water, wood.

Let me paraphrase of what Sha’ul is saying:

When you did not know the Creator, of heaven and earth, the Almighty Elohiym of Abraham, Yitzchaq (Isaac) & Ya’aqob (Jacob), (and you were pagans), you served other gods by worshipping the created things in nature. 

However, now that you know the Elohiym of Yisra’el, why are you turning again to the weak elements of nature, such as holidays patterned after the zodiac signs?

Why do you desire to be in bondage again to paganism? You observe pagan pagan sun-god worshiping holidays patterned after the zodiac signs; you follow your astrological forecast, by observing times and years etc. 

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 forbids us from using the Zodiac signs for fortune-telling purposes, as this is called An abomination to YaHuWaH.” 

To learn more, see my other blog: Is There a Difference Between Astronomy & Astrology?

Contrary to what some are falsely teaching, the crescent moon (the sliver) is NOT a Babylonian tradition. As a matter of fact, we are told repeatedly that YaHuWaH has appointed the new moons for keeping the appointed times & seasons. 

The Hebrew word for “times and seasons” is “mowediym,” which are the annual festivals. The Hebrew word for “moon” is “yareach,” whereas a renewed lunar cycle is called “chodesh.” Because of this, some argue that a chodesh simply means a “month,” and that no sighting of the moon is needed to establish a new month.

Tehilliym (Psalm) 89:37 It shall be established forever as the moon [yareach], and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. 

Tehilliym (Psalm) 104:19 He appointed the moon [yareach] for seasons: the sun knows his going down. 

Yirmeyahuw (Jeremiah) 31:35-36 Thus says YHWH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon [yareach] and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; YHWH of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says YHWH, then the seed of Yisrael also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.

The first sliver of the moon is the biblical Renewed Moon, according to Deuteronomy 16:1. 

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 16:1 Observe [shamar] the month [chodesh] of Abib, and keep the Passover unto YHWH your Elohiym: for in the month of Abib YHWH your Elohiym brought you forth out of Mitzrayim (Egypt) by night. 

In Hebrew, the word “observe” is “shamar,” which means “To watch narrowly for.” There is no need “To watch narrowly for” a full moon, because it has been waxing for two weeks by the time it’s at its fullest. 

There is also no need to “To watch narrowly” for a dark moon, because a dark moon can be visible for up to 2-3 nights in a row, therefore, which of the 2 or 3 dark moons do you reckon as the New Moon? See my other blog: What Constitutes a Biblical New Moon? 

Also, since a dark moon can be invisible for 2-3 nights, it is not necessary to “watch narrowly” for it. The only phase that requires “watching narrowly for” is the sliver! 

The full moon is not the new moon! 

The notion of the full moon being the new moon comes from a misunderstanding of Psalm 81:3. There are three Pilgrimage Feasts out of the seven feasts, and three of them fall on the 15th day of the month, which means they land on a full moon. 

These three feasts are as follows: 

1.) Unleavened Bread. 
2.) Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). 
3.) Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). 

YaHuWaH knew that all Yisraelite men would be traveling three times in the year to keep the Pilgrimage Feasts in Jerusalem, so he gave them “greater light” (a full moon) to travel by on the 15th day of the month. 

The other 4 feasts are not Pilgrimage Feasts, (and do not require traveling to Jerusalem), therefore, greater light was not needed on these other feasts. The Feast of Trumpets is not a Pilgrimage Feast, and it falls on the 1st day of the 7th Hebrew month of Ethaniym (also called Tishri). 

In Revelation 12:1-5, we have the Astronomical Record showing us that on the Feast of Trumpets in 3 B.C., our Messiah was born, and the constellation of Bethulah (the Virgin) had the first sliver of the new moon underneath her feet! 

We also know from the Astronomical Record, that this was on the 1st day of the 7th Hebrew month, which is the Feast of Trumpets! 

The reason why the Feast of Trumpets is prophetically called “The Day that No Man Knows,” is because it is the only feast that cannot begin, until the Watchmen in Jerusalem sighted the first visible sliver of the moon! 

If the New Moon was the full moon, there would be no reason to refer to the Feast of Trumpets as “The Day that No Man Knows!” 

The reason why so many are now falsely claiming that the New Moon is the Full Moon, is because they misunderstand Psalm 81:3. Psalm 81:3 is better understood, by consulting the entire counsel of Scripture. 

From the following passages, we understand that there are three Pilgrimage Feasts in the year. Therefore, Psalm 81:3 delineates three separate and distinct purposes for blowing the shofar. 

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, [and] in the time appointed, [and] on our solemn feast day. 

1.) Blow the shofar at every new moon (twelve months in the year). 2.) Blow the shofar at the three appointed times or Pilgrimage Feasts (three times in the year). 
 3.) Blow the shofar on the other non-Pilgrimage Feasts (weekly and annual Sabbaths). 

Another corroborating witness in Scripture (which helps us understand Psalm 81:3) is when King Solomon offered up burnt offerings on the altar: 

Dibrey ha’Yamiym Shaniy (2nd Chronicles) 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Mosheh (Moses), ON THE SABBATHS, and ON THE NEW MOONS, and ON THE SOLEMN FEASTS, THREE TIMES IN THE YEAR, even in THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, and in THE FEAST OF WEEKS, and in THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. 

Once again, there are three separate, and distinct times for offering up burnt offerings in the Temple: 

1.) On the weekly and annual sabbaths. 
2.) On the new moons. 
3.) On the three Pilgrimage Feasts (Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Tabernacles). 

Shemoth (Exodus) 23:14 Three times you shall keep a feast unto me in the year. 

Shemoth (Exodus) 23:17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before YHWH Elohiym. 

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 16:16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before YHWH your Elohiym in the place which he shall choose; in THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, and in THE FEAST OF WEEKS, and in THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES: and they shall not appear before YHWH empty: 

Malakiym Rishown (1st Kings) 9:25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto YHWH, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before YHWH. So he finished the house. 

No comments:

Post a Comment