|Volume 22 Number 3 March 2020||
Louis Rushmore, Editor
“Please can you kindly explain the significance of biblical festivals,” someone asked. The Jewish festivals were weekly, monthly and annual worship events. Worship of Almighty God in His own prescribed way is sufficient significance for the Jewish festivals, but some of them had additional meaning, too.
These biblical worship events are described in Leviticus 23 as well as in Numbers 28-29. Maybe not a festival, the Israelites were to make daily sacrifices (Exodus 29:38-46), which were inaugurated at Mt. Sinai (Numbers 28:6). The Sabbath sacrifices were weekly festivals (Numbers 28:9-10), but there were also monthly sacrifices (Numbers 28:11-15). Annually, the Israelites were to observe the Passover (Numbers 28:16-25), the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Numbers 28:26-31), the Feast of Trumpets (Numbers 29:1-6), the Day of Atonement (Numbers 29:7-11) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:12-40).
Of course, the Passover celebrated the last plague upon the Egyptians that finally led to the release of Israel from Egyptian captivity. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost coincided with the wheat harvest. The Feast of Tabernacles commemorated Israel living in tents following their exodus from Egypt and as they traveled in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula (Leviticus 23:43). The Day of Atonement recognized man’s sin and his inability to compensate God because of it. The Jewish festivals wove together the civil and the religious fabric of a special people who relied on Jehovah.
Judaism, Christianity & Islam
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Someone asked, “What is the relationship of Judaism, Christianity and Islam?” God authored three religious systems in sequence, beginning with the creation of mankind. Patriarchy is the first period of religious history, extending from Adam and Eve through possibly Acts 10 (except for the Israelites) with the conversion of Cornelius’s household. After about 2,500 years following creation, God instituted Judaism (on Mt. Sinai) for the Israelites. Approximately 1,500 years later, God brought about Christianity through the ministry of Jesus Christ—culminating with His death, burial, resurrection, ascension back to Heaven and coronation. At that time, Judaism ended (as far as God was concerned) for the Jews, but Gentiles may have been amenable to Patriarchy a few years more until the Gospel was preached to them. In any case, by now, all men now living are obligated to practice Christianity.
Christianity is nearly 2,000 years old, having begun in the first century—about A.D. 33. Islam, though, began around A.D. 600—600 years after the beginning of Christianity. Whereas Patriarchy, Judaism and Christianity were each authored by God in sequence, God did not author Islam, and therefore, it is not related to Patriarchy, Judaism or Christianity. The only direct connection between Judaism, Christianity and Islam is that the proponents of each of those religions revered the city of Jerusalem.