Review of "The Sacred Seasons" with Ron du Preez

Questions and conversation about religious beliefs, Scripture, the Spirit of Prophecy, and Creation 7th Day Adventism
David Aguilar
Posts: 63
Joined: May 28th, 2012, 4:28 pm

Review of "The Sacred Seasons" with Ron du Preez

Postby David Aguilar » September 28th, 2013, 10:39 pm

Section 1: Introduction

One of the more visible differences between Creation Seventh Day Adventists and any other form of Seventh-day Adventism is our understanding of the Biblical feasts. This is not to say that other SDA groups do not observe the feasts, but Adventists in general are either on one extreme or the other; that is, either they say that they are unnecessary, or that we must keep these annual appointed times as a matter of salvation.

One of the more visible differences between Creation Seventh Day Adventists and just about any other religion on earth is our understanding, in particular, of the New Moon. We have written extensively about its timing, and its intention, and the vital service and blessing it provides for us as we (as the Bride of Christ) prepare for the divine marriage. Links that deal with this issue specifically may be found here:
Article: The Cycle of The Moon
Article: Conjunction

It should be expected that, since Biblically there is only ONE Bride of Christ, she is going to have some distinguishing characteristics, which – in a Church – translate to unique aspects of faith and practice. It would be foolish, of course, to claim that “because” we have beliefs no one else seems to hold, this proves we are the Bride of Christ. No, no... what “proves” that the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church is the Bride of Christ is that it teaches the Gospel of Christ without dilution or adulteration, declaring firmly, and with personal, individual testimonies that “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” As Adventists who respect the writings of Ellen G. White, we concur with her observation that, “When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God.” [Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, page 146, paragraph 3]

And yet, because the CSDA Church is committed to doctrines and teachings that kill sin in the heart, and purify the soul from defilement, and because our testimony has produced fruit unto holiness, our beliefs and practices will naturally differ from those who are not.

Creation Seventh Day Adventists keep the feasts of Yahweh, not as a matter of salvation, but for their intended New Testament purpose: to point to Christ Yahshua, not only what He has already done, but what He will also do (as revealed in the Book of Revelation), and because they are of benefit to us in the purification of our souls from defilement. Adventists, who have struggled with this issue, have had a variety of voices speaking into their ears, and we, as a Church, have certainly dealt with this issue on numerous occasions in the past.

Just recently I wrote a letter (which unfortunately has yet to receive a response) to David Clayton, who publishes the Open Face newsletter. In one publication he attempted to show the irrelevance, and even danger, of feast-keeping for the Christian, and in so doing he fell into a trap that seems to universally ensnare Adventist apologists that approach this issue; that is, the chronic inability to separate the concepts of “times” and “events.” I will discuss this again here, but for those who wish to read that letter, it is found on this forum at the location below:

Reply to David Clayton’s “The Problem With Feastkeeping”

As the issue of the importance of feasts and New Moons (the latter of which CSDAs DO keep as a vital practice for salvation) has come into question again through the research of one of our members, I approached this matter with prayer, and with specific individuals in mind. Just because we have “dealt with this before” is no reason to become careless in our replies. Yahweh has something to teach His children in every exchange, and Yahweh’s Spirit is ever and always seeking unity among those who claim to be followers of the Son.

In other words, we must see these opportunities as appeals from the Spirit of God to draw closer together – never farther apart – in the pursuit of the Truth as it is in Yahshua. If our goal is unity, then we have already made progress toward the goal of sanctification, even before we delve into a study of the Word.

Unfortunately, there will always be some who are susceptible to distractions, to those “winds of doctrines” that will turn them away to errors, and my desire is for those with whom we speak to come to know the Savior in such a way that we are secure in His love, in our knowledge of His character, and to be appreciative of the gifts that He has given us to learn more and more perfectly of His matchless Person. We must be so settled into the truth that we cannot be moved, and then we shall have great confidence in the Judgment.

Now, recently, I watched an interview on YouTube. It was an interview first broadcast on the Adventist channel 3ABN, and its subjects were the feasts and the appointed times of the Bible. The interviewee was an individual named Ron du Preez, who was presented as an expert on the subject, and who claims to have made a lengthy, in-depth study of the issue of the feast days. It may be found here:

YouTube Video: Sacred Seasons (Complete)

But how can one sum up such a large issue as the feasts of Yahweh in only two hours? As the interview rightly indicates, what takes place during that period of time is only a part of a much larger and involved study. Can we therefore do justice to it by giving a review of this brief window into the subject?

I believe that, in this case at least, we can. The purpose of a summary of this nature is to present the “foundation” for the argument, to give those who are interested a secure start for their own examination from which they can follow up and obtain the bigger picture. We can, then, reasonably examine these foundations, and see how secure they actually are. We can evaluate the “rock” upon which the teachings are built, and see that, if the basic premises are unsound, the entire belief system must be considered improper.

Now, there are two issues at hand here, at least from the CSDA perspective. Since we do not consider the feasts and the New Moons to be identical in either purpose or importance, they should be examined separately in light of what the interview revealed. What I will do, therefore, is look at the main points raised with regard to the general idea of the feast days, and the (much fewer, as it turned out) statements about the New Moons.

Section 2: Regarding the Feast Days in General

As another observer of this video has pointed out, the focus of the interview appears to lean toward a rebuttal of those who teach that feast-keeping is a matter of salvation. This is not quite what CSDAs believe and teach; therefore, some of this interview is actually correct in its approach, and not contrary to our particular set of doctrines. CSDAs teach that we do learn from the feasts, and of course any blessing from our Father is important. None who are truly converted, and filled with the Holy Spirit, would lightly miss out on the opportunity for fellowship and meetings of praise, for these things are all badly needed (especially in this most wicked generation) for the perfection of the Character of Christ. As Adventist writers have pointed out, “If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!” [Testimonies for the Church Volume Six, page 39, paragraphs 3, 4; page 40, paragraph 2]

A lot of the problem, as I have pointed out earlier, is the apparent inability of Adventist apologists (and others as well, no doubt) to separate the feast days themselves, which are appointed times, from the articles of the Mosaic covenant that were established under the Ceremonial Law and were therefore, to state the obvious, Ceremonial.

For example, the Passover is often connected to, but not the same as, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It does not help that even some of the Biblical authors use these terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. The Passover (as the interviewee correctly indicates) refers to the sacrificial lamb, which was killed and eaten, and also the day on which this sacrifice took place. However, the Feast of Unleavened Bread that followed is heavy with symbolic meaning that continues well into the New Testament, and in fact the apostles give a clear reason for their ongoing observance of this appointed time. (e.g., 1Cor 5:8)

It has ever been Yahweh’s approach to add continuing and deeper significance to already-existing institutions. Christ Yahshua’s sacrifice AS our Passover took place ON the Passover day. Before this, yes, the Passover event was tied to Israel, and specifically to the “circumcised,” but thereafter the true and broader meaning was revealed, that Christ’s sacrifices were for all mankind, and through Him salvation had come to the fallen race.

Because of this, and only because of this, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (still sometimes called the Feast of Passover) has great significance to those who “beware the leaven,” and live to emulate the Master.

Much is made in the interview of the fact that the specifics of the Ceremonial law pointed to Christ’s sacrifice, and were therefore only applicable until that time, and to the people (Israel) who were awaiting the first Advent. None of this, of course, explains why – after the crucifixion – Paul went on to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the Philippi congregation (Acts 20:6, where it was specifically identified as the “days of unleavened bread” and not “the killing of the Passover lamb”).

While the Bible is not always perfectly precise about the terminology (Passover vs. Unleavened Bread) it is never imprecise about the events that took place. Paul is clear that Christ, our Passover, was once and forever sacrificed for us, and any attempt to require a “sacrifice” after this would certainly be a rejection of, at least, the scope of the Cross. Nevertheless, the apostles saw no conflict (nor do CSDAs) between accepting wholeheartedly the life of Christ as a substitute for our own, and the honoring of our Father’s appointed times during which we celebrate these things as both a shadow of things to come (more on that shortly) and present blessings because of what has already been done for us.

Mr. du Preez makes that disappointingly common mistake of convoluting the appointed times with the ceremonial activities that were associated with them under the Mosaic Covenant. Furthermore, the vicious fiction continues to be circulated that those who accept the appointed times have “denied that Christ was the Messiah,” because they honor sacrifices on those days. I may not know as many feast-keeping groups as Mr. du Preez indicates he has met, but none of the ones that I know kill and eat a Passover sacrifice as a substitute for their sins! This aspect of Israelite Ceremonialism (what Ellen White called the “Jewish Economy”) has certainly passed away; but those New Testament figures who readily acknowledged this continued on to keep the feasts. Historically, we can show that this practice persisted for several hundred years. We have, for instance, the testimony of Polycrates during the “Quartodeciman Controversy” as recorded by Bishop Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (Chapter XXIV, pp. 376-377); therefore, the argument cannot be legitimately made (although it is advanced during the interview!) that the apostles eventually learned that the feasts were not to be kept by Christians. This is demonstrably false.

In any event, the argument that those who keep the feasts (because they were once associated with the sacrifices instituted under Moses) deny the Messianic nature of Christ is akin to that made by those who say that Sabbath-keepers deny the principle of worshipping Christ “every day” simply because we accept that one of them was “sanctified” or set aside uniquely for the sake of righteousness.

Let us be clear about what the Word of Yahweh says. The Feasts became associated with sacrifices, and sacrifices were done to acknowledge the need for salvation by sinners. And yet, this is not what the feast days were originally for, nor of what they entirely consisted during Moses’ time.

Mr. du Preez points out that the feast days were kept “to” (for the purpose of) offering sacrifices. That is true to an extent, but they were not entirely for that purpose alone! Merely reading the Old Testament description of these feast days shows us, for example, “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days; on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before Yahweh your God seven days.” (Lev 23:39-40)

The interview entirely fails to mention the full purpose and importance of the feasts to Israel. The impression could easily be given that the Israelites gathered at the temple, killed a bunch of animals, and then turned around and made the pilgrimage back home. This is incomplete and inaccurate. The sacrifices were necessary, before Christ, to purify the people so that they could keep the feasts properly: to rejoice before Yahweh. While they were considered sinful, they could not legitimately do this. As we read from Isaiah, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Isa 1:13-15)

The rest of that chapter tells us that if we will “wash” and be made “clean,” then our Father will rejoice with us in our appointed times. The sacrifices, if offered in faith and sincerity, allowed this before the Cross. In this generation, only the spiritually circumcised, only those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb and made clean, only they can truly benefit from the feast days. What has changed? Only the method of purification. Have the days changed, or the true intent of the feasts? Not one jot or tittle has been altered with regard to Yahweh’s purpose toward mankind, that is as everlasting and eternal as His love for His children. This has nothing (now) to do with Israel after the flesh, and everything to do with Israel in Spirit and in Truth.

Now, this should not be taken to mean that we have no sacrifice to bring to the feasts. The interviewee means to tell us that after Christ, no sacrifice is necessary; therefore, the feasts, being inextricably linked to sacrifices, have no meaning without them (just as a pressure cooker with no lid is just a pot, was the comparison used). But even if this were true, that the feasts require sacrifices to be valid, is the point fairly made? After all, do we not still sacrifice? We are told that we still have offerings to bring to the Almighty. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)

And related to that idea, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Cor 5:7, 8)

Notice, Christ our Passover is (already) sacrificed for us. No further sacrifice of blood or death is required. And yet, it is because of this that we “therefore” keep the feast, not with the flesh of lambs, and in fact, not even (in spirit and in truth) with unleavened bread. We may partake of the Last Supper with literal bread and new wine; but that is merely to point out the truth, that we rejoice before Yahweh with the “unleavened bread” of hearts and hands washed and made clean, just as Isaiah said – for this is the true keeping of the feast. The day continues to hold significance; Paul here is speaking to a specific people about a specific occasion, but the Jewish Economy, the “rites,” the sacrifices, the actual Passover, these have become obsolete by the Cross. If only our scholars could make the same distinction that the apostles did... how much clearer the Word would become.

This is, in fact, illustrated at the very first occasion OF the Last Supper. Where was the sacrifice during the Last Supper? There was bread representing the flesh, and wine representing the blood – but even though the “ceremonial” elements were being replaced by the imminent sacrifice of Yahshua, the day was significant, and the events were certainly significant. Clearly, for the apostles, the feasts were tied to neither the animal sacrifices nor the temple in Jerusalem (another point advanced in the interview) in order to have their proper meaning.

As mentioned, the sacrifices and temple-specific ceremonies of the Mosaic system were added to already-existing institutions. Anyone who has made a “deep study” of ancient Israelite culture will immediately recognize the verses in Leviticus as hailing back to the agricultural nature of Hebrew society from the very earliest days (Gen 4:2). As long as they kept crops, as long as they tilled the ground, the “seasons” were important considerations. After the flood of Noah, when the expressions “seedtime and harvest” are first introduced, it became even more critical, since there were some environmental changes to the earth following the great cataclysm.

In Genesis 1:14, the word mo’edim of course refers to seasons and not to sacrifices (which were added thousands of years later), but Yahweh tied the Mosaic specifications TO those times of rejoicing, of crop-gathering, of ecological changes, because these things represent elements of the plan of salvation just as clearly as does the slaying and consumption of the lamb.

Another point raised is that, since the sacred seasons point to Christ through Moses and the Prophets, this must mean that His sacrifice causes the significance to either pass away or become entirely spiritual. So far as the basic idea here goes, this is true to an extent; but then, so does the Sabbath. Although the weekly Sabbath is not a “feast,” in that it is not tied to the seasons or any agricultural considerations, it was nevertheless marked in much the same way – with sacrifices. And merely because it was both associated with sacrifices, and points to Christ (who is our “rest,” and who is the Lord of the Sabbath) does not mean that the cross invalidates it. What we have here is merely the Sunday-keeper’s argument, taken to its logical extreme, but qualified (by SDAs anyway) in order to “preserve” the weekly Sabbath, which Adventists accept as being everlasting. Of course, the Sabbath day and the feast days are not the same thing; yet the Sabbath during the time of ancient Israel was marked with the very events that are being used to prove the temporary nature of the annual convocations. This is not an acceptable line of reasoning.

The Sabbath, since it also points forward to our everlasting rest, did not pass away at the cross merely because it also pointed to Christ. The seventh-day Sabbath has a significance of greater scope within the plan of salvation. Similarly, the feast days ALSO have a spiritual and symbolic significance beyond the cross. The Feast of Unleavened Bread (as Paul explains in 1 Cor 5) is about sanctification. The Feast of Tabernacles (as Revelation makes abundantly clear) is about the harvest of the believers at the end of the world. Clearly, these antitypes (primary fulfillments) have not yet arrived, and I will mention this again when I discuss the issue of Colossians 2.

Unfortunately, the interview lays the implication on thickly that those who have studied the feasts and come to accept and observe them have somehow taken their focus off of a Christ-centered approach to the Bible. At the very least, the presenters suggest diplomatically, feast-keepers are in “danger” of doing so. As they constantly need to remind us, they are not there to speak badly of anyone’s beliefs...

This is the works-based theology accusation, which of course is what Sunday-keepers have been saying about Sabbath-keepers for generations. It CAN be true, certainly, that feast-keepers will focus too much on this aspect of practice and take their eyes off the Gospel message. The same may be said of anti-Trinitarianism, Sabbath-keeping, and any other proper teaching. If taken as a test of fellowship, it is even likely to be true that the feasts have become a distraction rather than a tool for sanctification; but again, the Bride of Christ will have unique doctrines, and unique (balanced) light on existing doctrines. This is to be expected, since the other Women, the other pretenders-to-the-marriage, are false, and spiritually skewed.

Mr. du Preez makes a statement that Paul, in an effort to be all things to all men, that he might win some, kept the feasts – at least initially – to “fit in” with the culture of early believers. As I have mentioned, this does not explain the record of Acts 20, during which he kept it with Gentile believers. But, it might be thought that perhaps these Gentiles were “accidentally” taught feast-keeping, just as (the interview accurately points out) circumcision was still an issue for many years after Christ’s death and resurrection.

But it does not seem that Paul’s keeping of the feasts had much to do with cultural concessions. He once departed from a group of believers in Ephesus, “saying, ‘I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem, but I will return again unto you, if God will.’” (Acts 18:21) In this, Paul appears to perfectly reflect the CSDA approach to feast-keeping. He did not compel the Ephesians to go with him to Jerusalem, but he was eager to attend himself, and to fellowship with the brethren that were there. Are we to accept that the apostle learned “better” than this holy and sanctifying desire, the principles of which were endorsed all the way through the Scriptures?

There is absolutely no evidence that Paul's eagerness to attend the Jerusalem feast was anything but a faithful acceptance of the call to unity and worship. There is certainly not a word to indicate that it was merely considered a cultural and evangelical tool that the apostles would soon begin to phase out.

Ultimately, our understanding of who Yahweh IS will color our view of this matter. Creation Seventh Day Adventists have adopted the position that while the sacrifices and the rituals associated with the temple were “against us,” in the sense that they were associated with sin, the appointed times never were. They were intended to be a blessing for us, and to guide us into ever-purer forms of worship.

During his examination of Colossians 2 that follows, Mr. du Preez (somewhat strangely) states that the elements mentioned by Paul (food, drink, New Moons, and other appointed times) pointed back to Christ, despite the fact that the apostle says they are a shadow of things “to come.” He is changing the author's tense (without justification) to have Paul setting his own statement in the past, to a point at which Yahshua’s death was yet to take place. In an attempt to show that this is acceptable, he mentioned a statement by Christ in Mat 11:14, speaking of Elijah “which was for (yet) to come,” although John the Baptist (the subject of His statement) had already been born. However, Mr. du Preez acknowledges that this is phrased in such a way because the Messiah is quoting, or at least referencing, text from the Old Testament book of Malachi. So... who is Paul quoting or referencing in Colossians 2?

The answer is: nobody. Paul is making a doctrinal statement, not repeating any previously-recorded doctrine. He is commenting about the current situation affecting the believers as Colossi, and the practices that continue to have value for the Christian believer.

As he says, it is true that the Bible will occasionally play “loosely” with tenses, but this is where context becomes so very important. Did the feasts exist only to point to the cross? NO, they did not.

The sacrifices on the feast days pointed to the sacrifice of Christ, this much is true, but Paul’s set of practices reference upcoming events. As I have said, using Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles as two examples, these point to the ongoing sanctification of believers, and the ultimate harvest of the earth. The symbolism in the Book Revelation points to fulfillment of Feast of Tabernacles at the end of human history, and with global import. (Rev 14:14, 15) Clearly this is NOT (only) for Israelites, and NOT fulfilled at the cross!

The question of whether or not the feasts are still important is actually quite a simple one, and requires no great theological study. It comes down to a simple “Yes” or “No” question: Have the appointed times served their purpose, and thus met their antitype?

What honest scholar, knowing that the feasts are not only for sacrifices, but also for harvesting, rejoicing, and worship before the Lord, will say anything except, “Not yet!”

However else Colossians 2’s “difficult” verses are translated, those things that Paul says are shadows of things to come continue to point forward to important, prophesied events. However else those verses are interpreted, Paul’s meaning becomes clear, if we have respect to the context of his letter. Has the Passover event met its fulfillment? Certainly, yes. Has the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Certainly no... for are the lives of all believers without any leaven? Are the converted instantly made perfect?

And what about the Feast of Tabernacles? This one is even clearer. Has the Harvest taken place? If we see that it has not, if we agree that it has not, then we continue to anticipate this feast’s fulfillment. It continues to be a shadow of things yet to come. “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Cor 5:8)

And what about the New Moon? Do the scholars who doubt its importance for the New Testament believers even know what the New Moon was for? If so, I have never heard one of them say so. But has the New Moon met its antitype? Has all light been given and received, so we can reflect it as the moon reflects the light of the sun? Have we been purged of all iniquity? Have the believers learned perfect humility? Until such things come to pass, the New Moon will continue to be a most vital observance for those who desire the perfection of Yahshua’s righteousness.

Section 3: Regarding the New Moon

To be honest, there wasn’t much in the interview that specifically targeted the New Moon. It was mistakenly lumped in with the annual appointed times, and discussed as if they were all part and parcel of the same idea.

There were, however, a few things worth discussing.

1) The idea is presented that, since New Moons were not established until the entrance of sin, they are therefore not going to continue into eternity. Isaiah 66, however, specifically mentions that New Moons, along with Sabbaths, are going to be a part of the everlasting kingdom. Mr. du Preez does provide an attempted explanation for that passage, and I will cover it below, but first, we need to demonstrate that such a thing is even possible.

Does the fact that an object, being, or institution, has a definite beginning in time mean that it cannot continue on into eternity? If that were the case, then human beings could not receive everlasting life. Everyone that has been born a human being was born into sin, and yet we are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and receive an everlasting inheritance.

Consider also the fact that while the origin of humanity is within a garden, its final destiny is a city – a concept that was not introduced until well after sin, and in fact by Cain himself (Gen 4:17). Crowns and kingdoms did not enter the human experience until after sin. Clothing was specifically introduced AT the entrance of sin, and yet for eternity we will be clothed in “white robes” that represent the righteousness of our Redeemer. (Rev 7:14)

The idea, then, that something which was introduced after sin cannot continue on into the everlasting kingdom is simply untrue.

2) With regard to the passage from Isaiah, Mr. du Preez states his position that the passage in question (Isa 66:23, 24) means that we will gather to worship before the throne of the Almighty “from one month to another, and from one Sabbath to another.” In other words, we will still gather on the weekly Sabbath (acknowledged to be everlasting), but the phrase “one New Moon to another” is only used as a way to say “periodically,” and on a regular basis, without indicating a particular day.

There are a number of problems with this.

First, Sabbaths are already a measure of time. We will gather, “from week to week,” and ON the Sabbaths. If Isaiah wished to indicate that all Sabbaths will be celebrated before the Throne of the Almighty, this alone is sufficient to indicate both frequency and consistency without mentioning another period of time that has no direct connection to the meetings themselves. It makes no sense to delineate the meetings the way they are written if there isn’t a specific monthly time on which we will also meet.

Indeed, it would be just like saying, “I will keep my wedding anniversary/birthday/etc. from decade to decade.” While that may be a technically correct sentence, the phrasing itself serves no purpose since the annual event is already specified, and these events do not come to pass only once every ten years, just as the Sabbath does not occur only once every four weeks. In other words, we will NOT gather “from one Sabbath to another” before Yahweh monthly – that statement is meaningless to the point of actually being false. We will gather “from one Sabbath to another” before Yahweh weekly, and the fact that we also gather on the New Moons is simply another event that Isaiah describes (as he has been describing from his very first chapter!) and that indeed takes place once a month.

Second, the Hebrew does not read “from one New Moon to another,” as if marking time in durations, but it literally reads, (this can be confirmed using a Tanakh – the Hebrew/English translation of the Old Testament produced by the Jewish Publication Society) “And New Moon after New Moon, and Sabbath after Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship me – said the Lord.” The days themselves are markers of the time, not in a loose way, but as indicated by the events that take place ON those gatherings to worship Yahweh. If we truly gather “monthly” before our Father, will it be on some random day, or does He already have a monthly time established in the pages of Scripture?

Again, it does not read “from” one to another, as if the time between them was important. The verse says that we will meet with Him on New Moon after New Moon. This is a very specific phrasing.

It is true that the Septuagint, and some of the more modern Bible versions use the phrase “monthly” in this passage, but that reading is actually not consistent with the term “monthly” that does appear in the writings of Isaiah.

In Isaiah 47:13 the word “monthly” appears (at least in the KJV and NKJV – some others actually render this as “New Moon” as well). It that passage, the English term “monthly prognosticators” is translated from the Hebrew, “seers of stars by months.” Interestingly enough, the Jewish Publication Society renders the single word “months” as “month by month,” which demonstrates clearly that the context is to be understood as a measure of time (in Isaiah 47), rather than a series of events – “New Moon after New Moon” – in chapter 66.

By the repetition of chodesh (New Moon) in Isaiah 66, paralleled with the mention of the word for the Sabbath day (the same phrasing is used for both), there is absolutely no question that the days themselves are indicated, not merely the time that passes between them.

If any further evidence is required that Yahweh attaches significance to the New Moon days themselves, and not the period of time, consider these verses:

“And David said unto Jonathan, ‘Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. [...]Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.’” (1Sam 20:5, 18)

“And [the wives of one of the prophets studying under Elisha] called unto her husband, and said, ‘Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.’ And he said, ‘Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? It is neither new moon, nor Sabbath.’ And she said, ‘It shall be well.’” (2Kings 4:22, 23)

There was clearly a tradition of the king hosting a meal for special guests on New Moons, as it also seemed to be the customary time to seek wisdom from Yahweh’s prophets. This raises the question, then, of what exactly the New Moons are for. If the very purpose of the New Moon is not discussed (as it was not during this interview) then what is the relevance of even asking whether or not it should be kept?

Our Father does not arbitrarily indicate some days as special and others as common. We are not to worship these days, no “day” has a value automatically; but we know that Yah has given His particular blessing to certain appointed times for particular reasons.

In his prophecies, Isaiah is clearly making reference to spiritual activities that represent things “on earth” as they are “in Heaven.” The parallel between this and the chapter of 2Kings where the prophets were customarily visited on New Moons and Sabbaths should be apparent. When we read, in particular, of how the New Moon was regarded in Israel, the symbols become rich with the promise of appearing before the King of Creation to receive the blessings of His everlasting wisdom. The Prophet Isaiah, showing a parallel to ongoing Israelite customs, is indicating a time when ALL flesh, the entire world, will participate in these blessed events, and for the purpose – not of sacrificing to – but of worshipping Yahweh in spirit and in truth, of coming before Him to sit at His table, and to receive the benefits of His infinite wisdom.

Mr. du Preeze attempts to show that “monthly” is the correct reading by mentioning Revelation 22, in which it is stated that the Tree of Life will bear fruit on a monthly basis for the healing of nations. There is no doubt that “monthly” is a contextually sound reading of this passage. In fact, it would even be perfectly accurate within the language to read Isaiah 66 as “monthly.” This, however, does not change the meaning in the slightest.

Simply stating that an event takes place “monthly” does not invalidate the fact that the first day of month was used consistently as a special time. This is generally true as well: consider, someone might say, “I celebrate my wedding anniversary annually.” Does this mean that any arbitrary day can be chosen once a year? Those who know our Father understand that nothing about the Ancient of Days is arbitrary. No, there is a special time intended FOR all things that occur. We might just as easily say we celebrate the Sabbath “week after week,” or “weekly.” The statement is perfectly true. Does this mean that the day itself that marks this duration has no significance? Certainly not, and this idea is never once addressed in the study.

What we discover, if we truly approach Isaiah 66 with an open mind and a willing heart, is that the wording, the context, the intent, the parallel verses in which the meaning is echoed, and the very purpose of the New Moon in the Israelite religion – these all correspond to let us know with perfect clarity exactly what the prophet wished to express: that from one New Moon to another (yes, monthly) and from one Sabbath to another (yes, weekly) we will see the spiritual fulfillment of what is shown us in symbol by the Scriptures. We will sit at the King’s table, and rejoice in His gifts to us.

3) As I mentioned, the spiritual significance of the New Moon is never once brought up in the video presentation. This is worth repeating.

Both the interviewer and interviewee seem to agree that the purpose of the New Moon was merely to indicate to the Israelites when a new month had begun. While it did hold this purpose, that was only one of its several functions. The two verses above from 1 Samuel and 2 Kings indicate this clearly, and the New Moon (sometimes rendered as the “first day of the month”) is commonly associated with spiritual experiences that hold great importance in a prophetic sense. Gen 8:5, 13; Exo 40:2; Num 1:1, 18; Num 33:38; Deu 1:3; 2Ch 29:17; etc., etc., etc.


Even though this two-hour presentation is only a part of a much larger study, it would nevertheless be impractical to attempt to cover every detail mentioned in a reasonably-sized article. It should be clear, however, from what I have reviewed, that the interviewee’s knowledge of these matters is very far from complete. Mr. du Preez admits that he has things yet to learn, but the fact of the matter is, until and unless he can release the preconceived notions that he brings to the scholar’s table (the inability to separate ritual from appointed time, the idea that accepting the feasts means rejecting Christ’s sacrifice, the idea that the New Moon was merely an ancient time-keeping device, an improper understanding of Paul’s use of past and future tenses in his epistles) I do not know what progress he can make.

What we do know, and what we trust from our knowledge of our Father, is that His grace is sufficient for us. Those who are thirsty will find drink. Those who are hungry will find food. Those who love the Word of Yahweh will understand it, for the proud will be cast down, and the humble will be lifted up. Let us pray that those who are still caught in the snares of the Enemy of Souls, whether they are yet in the corrupted SDA Church, in some nominal form of Christianity, or joined to no Church at all... that they will find their way to the true, unique, and faithful Bride of Christ. Let us pray that those who hear our words will accept those gifts that the Father has given His children for their good, for their purification, for their preparation for the Bridegroom.

Last edited by David Aguilar on January 18th, 2014, 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixing link after forum move

User avatar
Pastor Chick
Posts: 80
Joined: May 28th, 2012, 3:03 pm
Location: Kisoro - Uganda

Re: Review of "The Sacred Seasons" with Ron du Preez

Postby Pastor Chick » September 30th, 2013, 12:11 am

At the beginning of our CSDA movement, we were relying on our own studies and revelations, along with the scholarship of reputable Adventist sources. One significant article that supported our findings and conclusions was this one from Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi.
Scanned section of relevance:
Original source (complete):

I am including a link to Dr. Sam's online article defending the Sabbath, wherein he speaks further to the application of Col. 2:14-17.

Dr. Sam has published two volumes that take up a "scholarly" treatment of the feast days which can be easily found online. He also gives a testimony of his reversal on this topic:

You may ask why I bring an additional "SDA scholar" into this discussion? I think it is reasonable to counter-balance du Preez's interpretations with the findings of another reputable "SDA scholar," since some may not be prone to hear our CSDA position without supporting material.

Before I leave off, I want to share a little from my favorite "more-than-a-scholar"-- Ellen G. White.

“And he spake also a parable unto them: No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, The old is better.”

At the time Jesus uttered this parable, the old typical service was soon to pass away, and the temple courts were to be left desolate. Christ, the great Antitype, both Sacrifice and High Priest, clothed in his own spotless righteousness, was soon to be slain as a lamb without blemish, for the sins of the world. But both his disciples and the disciples of John misapprehended the relation of his teaching to the doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees. The disciples of John had sought to unite the teaching of the reformer with the doctrines held by the Jewish leaders; but the teaching of scribes and Pharisees was fast hastening to decay, and to unite the truth with their jargon of tradition would make confusion worse confounded.

The principles presented by Christ, the manner of observing feasts, of praying to God, could not be properly united to the forms and ceremonies of Phariseeism. Instead of closing up the breach that had been made by the teachings of John, the teachings of Christ would make the separation between the old system and the new more distinct, and to attempt to unite the two would only result in making the breach wider. Jesus illustrated this fact, saying, “No man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.” The bottles to which he refers in his illustration were made of skins, and, after once being used as vessels in which to place the new wine, they were worthless to serve the same purpose again. In this familiar illustration Jesus presented the impossibility of making those who are satisfied with a legal religion the depositaries of the living truth of heaven. (ST 09-19-92)

In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world.

With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance upon these holy convocations. The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn away from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.

If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! (6T 39)

When Israel marched out of Egypt, they made their first encampment under the shelter of green boughs at Succoth. And for more than fifteen hundred years the Hebrew nation by the command of God left their houses, and dwelt one whole week in tabernacles of green boughs, to commemorate the encampment of their fathers under the palm branches of Succoth. These seasons of sacred recreation were fraught with both physical and spiritual blessings to Israel. God’s people still need seasons of quiet and reflection—seasons in which the soul may undisturbed commune with its Maker. (ST 02-02-82)

Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided that they may become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to God. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast. (2T 575)

Well would it be for us to have a feast of tabernacles, a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to us as a people. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God wrought for their fathers, and his miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt to the promised land, so should the people of God at the present time gratefully call to mind the various ways he has devised to bring them out from the world, out from the darkness of error, into the precious light of truth. We should often bring to remembrance the dependence upon God of those who first led out in this work. We should gratefully regard the old way-marks, and refresh our souls with memories of the loving-kindness of our gracious Benefactor. (ST 10-17-85)

So, with the Apostle Paul, I say, "...let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Cor. 5:8)

Posts: 463
Joined: May 29th, 2012, 8:41 pm

Re: Review of "The Sacred Seasons" with Ron du Preez

Postby Adriel » October 13th, 2013, 5:45 pm


Posts: 39
Joined: May 28th, 2012, 10:50 pm

Re: Review of "The Sacred Seasons" with Ron du Preez

Postby Elyna » October 16th, 2013, 2:45 pm


Return to “Doctrine and Theology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest