Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins ...
( Isaiah 58:1 )

The Sin of Jeroboam ... The Catastrophic Blunder of The Christian Church !

The Sin of Jeroboam ...
The Catastrophic Blunder of The Christian Church !

After the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin ( and some Levites ) stayed loyal to Solomon's son Rehoboam and formed the Kingdom of Judah. The other tribes broke away under a man called Jeroboam the son of Nebat. They retained the title the Kingdom of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was in Judah and its crowning glory was the Temple, which Solomon had built. Three times a year all Israelite males were commanded by God to go up to Jerusalem: at the Passover, at Pentecost and at the Feast of Tabernacles ( Exodus 23:17, Deut. 16:16 ). Israel's new king, Jeroboam, feared that his rebellion against Rehoboam would collapse if his people went up year-by-year to Judah for the sacred feast of the LORD. He was extremely worried. At all costs, he must prevent the men of Israel from going to Jerusalem for the Feasts of Yahweh. And this is the record of what he said.
1 Kings 12: 27: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
28: Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt.
29: And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan.
30: And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31: And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not the sons of Levi.
32: And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made.
33: So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eight month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, the burnt incense.
Believe it or not, that seemingly insignificant act of worshipping two metal idols on unsanctified feast days was the most catastrophic blunder ancient Israel made. It is a sin so grievous that over and over again the wickedness of succeeding kings was measured against it. Repeatedly these words appear: 1 Kings 15:34, 16:2&26, 2 Kings 3:2-3 "And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin".

Why was Jeroboam's sin so grievous? Because by it, with one master-stoke, he allowed Satan to sever the nation's main spiritual link with Yahweh's appointed Sabbaths and form of worship. The sacred Feasts were times for spiritual instruction and revival, when the men and families of Israel gathered in Jerusalem to learn of the Almighty and His requirements ( Exodus 34:23 ). Jeroboam's bogus festivals and substitute form of worship at Bethel broke that spiritual link and like a rudderless ship the nation of Israel began to drift away from the Creator.

The results were appalling, for very soon millions of Israelites completely lost their spiritual bearings and adopted the basest forms of paganism. The modern day Christian church is just as bad if not worse. Many were the calls to repentance, but the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat ( the sin of using substitute forms of worship on unsanctified festivals ) was not given up. As a result the Almighty carried out His predicted threats given through His servants the prophets and handed the people of Israel over to their enemies. After a series of devastating defeats they were deported from the Promised Land and sold like cattle in the markets of the Middle East.

2 Kings 17: 20: And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
21: For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.
22: For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
23: Until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

The action of Jeroboam, apparently trivial as it may seem, was obviously a most grievous sin. It was spiritual adultery at its worst; the act of mixing and diluting truth with error. In essence it consisted of merging the laws of the Almighty with human tradition and trying to worship Him on bogus festivals and sabbaths which were nothing but unauthorized imitations of Yahweh's appointed feasts.

Hundreds of years earlier the prophet Moses had foretold Israel's scattering and deportation if they forsook the commandments of God and here it was happening exactly as foretold.

Deuteronomy 28: 64: And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

Strange as it may seem, that selfsame sin of adulterating truth with error, of introducing bogus religious festivals into true worship has been repeated on a world scale by the Christian Church. Yes, it is true, the mighty congregations of Christendom have done - and are still doing - what ancient Israel did under king Jeroboam. Over the centuries truth has been diluted with error and the introduction and acceptance of unsanctified sabbaths and festival days such as ...

All these bogus religious festivals are now so widespread that comparatively few believers are even aware of the deception. This may sound like a shocking statement, but it is absolutely true; and if the reader IS NOT AFRAID of the TRUTH he/she must read on, for proof of this fact will follow in abundance.

At this very moment the whole of Christendom is steadily - yea, almost imperceptibly - splitting into two distinct camps:

  1. Those who respect the laws of LORD God of Israel and add to their faith obedience, especially that form of obedience which manifests itself in keeping the Bible Sabbaths.
  2. And those who look upon obedience almost as though it were a competitor of faith.
    This persuasion, surprisingly, sees little amiss in clinging to the popular but unsanctified festivals of Christendom and the bogus sabbath of Sunday.
    Like Israel of old these believers are, in the main, refusing to keep the Almighty's feasts; but like Jeroboam of old, they worship on man-made festivals which have no divine authority whatsoever.

God's law tells us what actions are right and acceptable and what actions are wrong and unacceptable - to Him. If the Ten Commandments are not taught in the schools and churches, then men, women and children will have absolutely no idea how to behave. Nor will they feel guilty when they sin. They will do as they please and the rule of the jungle will take over. Is it any wonder that there is so much evil in the world, so much violence and vice, so much sexual immorality and sin? It is because the knowledge of righteousness, which God's law alone imparts, is fading from the earth. Comparatively few people know anything about the Almighty's standard of morals. His commandments are not being taught any more; so evil is taking over. As for the weekly and annual Sabbaths of the LORD, they are despised and rejected. In their place we find an array of human traditions and pagan celebrations clearly clarified — free of confusion identified earlier in this article — which are all abhorrent to the Most High.

Sooner or later all those who classify themselves as believers in the Creator will move into one or other of these two camps.

The Feast Days in the New Covenant

"Just a moment," someone will say, "are not these Feasts all part of the old covenant? And as such, they have been fulfilled by Jesus and nailed to the cross at Calvary. They are, therefore, obsolete and it is no longer necessary for believers to observe them. Besides, are they not Jewish?" Doubtless, some of you may have heard these and similar statements. But are you sure they have the backing of Scripture? Have you examined the evidence to see if that is what the Bible says? Have you looked into the New Testament record to see what the early church did after the Saviour's resurrection? Have you read the prophecies concerning the new covenant and the Feasts of Yahweh, prophecies identifying who the new covenant is made with and what's new about it? Prophecies which tell of the coming millennium ( the 1000 year Reign of Peace ) when all the nations of the earth will obediently keep the Feasts? Have you considered that weighty Scripture which tells of the Sabbaths of Yahweh being observed for all eternity on the New Earth?

Or are you believing what you want to believe because you are secretly afraid of the truth, incorrectly supposing it will somehow ruin your life if you accept it? Always bear in mind facts do not cease to exist because people refuse to accept them. Facts are stubborn things, and the only effective way to deal with them is to examine them and then act upon them.

In view of this, I would advise before you make any lasting judgement one way or the other, before you settle your mind in a fixed position which you may well find impossible to abandon, examine what the Scriptures have to say about the new covenant and the Sabbaths of the Most High under it.

New Covenant Basics

Consider these four eye-opening facts about the new covenant mentioned in the Scriptures:
Jeremiah 31: 31: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL, and with the house of Judah:
32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Hebrews 8: 7: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8: For finding fault with THEM, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL and with the house of Judah:
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

These four facts mean if any believer wishes to be party to the new covenant, he/she must agree to be grafted into the Olive of Israel and then have Yahweh's law written on his/her mind. Those who stumble at this prospect have absolutely no place or function in the new covenant! For more information see Sacred Covenants.

The Saviour's Advice

Matthew 24: 20: But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

We now ask, for the sake of all the respect and honest analysis this subject deserves, what was the point of the Master giving this kind of advice to His predominantly Jewish followers, who all kept the seventh day Sabbath ( Saturday ) if the Sabbath commandment was going to be abolished at the cross? Why advise them to keep a commandment, and even pray to God He would arrange circumstances to facilitate its keeping, if the Sabbath command would supposedly be obsolete at the time of Jerusalem's fall?

The answers are perfectly obvious. The Master knew that the Sabbath commandment would still be valid long after his resurrection and he wanted his followers to keep it. He knew very well at the approaching fall of Jerusalem they would be in danger of breaking the Sabbath command; so he advised them to pray to the Father to make it possible for them to be obedient. And this unequivocal fact - He advised His followers to pray about Sabbath observance some 40 years after the crucifixion - proves the Sabbath commandment was not abolished at the cross. Historical records tell us that the early church fled from Jerusalem in the middle of the week when the Roman armies mysteriously withdrew their forces from the besieged city. This indicates those early believers followed the Master's advice and prayed to the Father about Sabbath observance and the Almighty in His great mercy answered their prayers and made it possible for them to keep the Sabbath amidst all the confusion that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem. Do remember these events took place in the new covenant era - some 40 years after the Messiah's death on the cross.

Paul's Example

According to the Scriptures, the Apostle Paul and his companions were keeping the seventh day Sabbath and the Feast days of the Almighty many years after the Saviour's resurrection. Here is proof:

Acts 17: 2: And Paul, as his manner was, went in into them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,
Acts 18: 20: When they desired him ( Paul ) to tarry a longer time with them, he consented not;
21. But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: ...

Acts 20: 16: For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
Acts 13: 14: But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.
42: And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43: Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44: And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Acts 18: 4: And he ( Paul ) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
1 Corinthians 5: 7: 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:
8: 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.

The above verses prove that Paul observed Yahweh's Sabbath law and went to great lengths to dispel any doubts the early church may have had that he was abandoning God's law given through the patriarch Moses. Spend a little time reading Acts 21:17-24 and there you will see to what extraordinary lengths Paul went so "all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and KEEPEST THE LAW!"

In Hebrews 4:9 we read:

According to Strong's dictionary the Greek word translated rest is sabbatismos, #4520. Sabbatismos means:
1) keeping sabbath:
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians.

In other words, here we have proof in the New Testament that not only did the weekly rest day ( the Sabbath ) remain; but the true worshippers of God and true Christians were still looking forward to the Sabbath's fulfilment in the age to come.

Once again, we must remember these events and observations were recorded some 30 years after the Messiah's death on the cross. They tell of the early church - including converted Gentiles - keeping the Almighty's Sabbath days; and also of how Paul went out of his way to prove he still kept the law of God!

The Feast Days in the Millennium

When the Messiah returns to earth and begins his millennial reign over all nations, the Feasts of Yahweh will be observed by every soul on earth. Consider this astonishing passage.

Zechariah 14: 1: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, ...
3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5: ... and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
12: And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
17: And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
19: This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.

Can anything be clearer than that? Does this amazing prophecy - which has obviously still to find fulfilment - give the impression the Feast of Tabernacles has been done away with? Oh no, dear friend. The presence of this prophecy alone demolishes forever the delusion Yahweh's Feasts are obsolete or that they are only to be observed by the nation of Israel. Anyone with spiritual eyes will plainly see this prophecy teaches that in the millennium Yahweh's Feasts will be observed by all the nations of the world!

If you have an open mind, if you are not afraid of the truth, if you have 'eyes to see, and ears to hear', then you will see and hear and understand this unmistakable fact that Yahweh's Feasts have not been done away with at all; and what is more, they will be observed by all nations of the earth during the Millennium.

That Is What The Scriptures Teach !

Yahweh's Sabbath on the New Earth

After the millennium, ( the 1000 year Reign of Peace ) Yahweh will re- create the universe.

Revelation 21: 1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Will Yahweh's Sabbath be observed on the New Earth? Yes, they will, and here is the proof.

Isaiah 66: 22: For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23: And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

Here we have another plain prediction about the future age when the redeemed of all mankind will come Sabbath by Sabbath to worship the Almighty God of Israel.

What of those "new moons", are they significant? Certainly they are. Abib's new moon is New Year's Day in the sacred calendar ( Exodus 12:1-2 & 18, Exodus 13:4 ) and Ethanim's ( Tishri's ) new moon determines the Feast of Trumpets ( Leviticus 23:24 ). Indeed, in the sacred calendar, every month begins on the day of the new moon. Indeed, the Almighty's church, the woman in Revelation 12, is seen standing on the moon; which means she takes her stand on the Sacred Calendar of the Most High and the Sabbath days and years in it.

Isaiah's prophecy highlights several important points about the Sabbaths of the Eternal. Here are two of them:

Now we can plainly see why the Almighty used those everlasting tones when He commanded His Feasts were to endure from "generation unto generation," from "age unto age," - "for all time". He meant just that - FOR ALL ETERNITY. No other sensible conclusion is possible. What's your choice going to be ?

In The Son's Name For The Father's Glory

Elder:   Max W. Mader