Davidians’ Problem With God’s Festivals, Part-1

Tonight (October 5th, 2016) I worshiped with my Davidian brethren at Bashan Hill, and the topic presented was a recording of a former Bashan Teacher turned “free SDA” Pastor, Patrick Herbert.  His presentation title was “Keeping The Feast Days.” [] Patrick broke ranks with Bashan back in the early 1980’s and became a teacher/minister for the Gilead Association, headed by fellow Trinidadian leader turned “King David,” or antitypical David, Mervin T. Jordan, in Sprucedale Canada.  Currently, Herbert is the founder and Pastor of the Tucker-Norcross-Gilead Free SDA Church.  This is an organ of the Gilead Institute of America, Headquartered in the State of Georgia.  Their primary function today, is to use the Health Message as an evangelistic arm for proclaiming the Gilead Doctrines as espoused by Brethren Herbert and Walters.  The name “Gilead” in the church’s name should be sufficient to validate the fact that theirs is a strain from the Gilead Association, which holds to many of their former roots, when they were good Bashanites.

Please click on the link below to listen to this voice recording of a study presented to the Bashan Davidian leaders, and how they treat the veracity of the Bible in relation to God’s Festivals.  You be the judge as to whether or not the facts of the Bible, Scripture, history and the Shepherd’s Rod message support the existence of all God’s feast days during the Christian era: [https://fccdl.in/M8B6qVD2l]

While living in New York, I met Brother Patrick, over 30 years ago, back in 1983, when he was freshly commissioned by Jordan, along with Brother K. Walters to teach the “truth” of the Gilead Pasture.   These two men were actively teaching the pre-Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that the fountain of Gilead was initiated for just such a moment as this.  At that time, they were teaching that new believers were being baptized in the name of their “fountain” and “king,” M.T. Jordan, because the Hebrew word for “fountain” means “bubbling over.” This background is necessary because whereas M.T. Jordan currently recognizes the festivals as being relevant for Christians today, the US Chapter, which eventually broke away and established the Gilead Institute of America in Georgia, does not.  This is one of the defining differences between the two.  But a visit to their webpage http://www.gilead.net/  will quickly orientate the reader as to the ultimate doctrinal motivations of Pastor Herbert.

So, in the Wednesday night meeting presented by Pastor Herbert, he left us with a most striking passage from the pen of Ellen G. White, which he reasoned over and concluded that it presents compelling evidence that the feasts are done away with.  Let’s visit that quotation first:

Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,” said Jesus, “then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out.” Luke 21:20, 21. After the Romans under Cestus had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But God’s merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Savior’s warning. Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestus, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city. At this time the country also had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavored to intercept them. At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety–the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.  {GC 30.2}

In explaining this passage, the Pastor remarked that “logical thinkers and sound reasoners are few,” and went on to decipher the statement along these lines: In Bible Times God promised to protect the property of His people who went up from year to year to Jerusalem to keep the feasts, principally Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.  For the Romans to now come in and wage war against the Jews during this holy festival of Tabernacles, would appear that He no longer recognized this time as significant, else He would have delayed the enemies of His people from invading their camp during the solemn festival.  This sounds logical, at least to the untrained eye and ear, who listens more to the rhetoric of men, rather than to the reasoning of Truth.  Here for example is what The Shepherd’s Rod message teaches of Tabernacles, and why it points forward to a time when God’s people will be fleeing from their enemies and obtaining deliverance, even though dwell in the munitions of rocks:

Plainly, therefore, since the first and the second fruits of the literal harvest and its attendant rites foreshadowed a spiritual harvest of first and second fruits, they are to be climaxed by the antitypical Feast of Tabernacles.

“I saw the saints,” says the servant of the Lord in describing this celebration, “leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst.” — Early Writings, p. 282[1].

Thus ancient Israel’s dwelling in booths typifies modern Israel’s eventually dwelling in the woods. Irrefutably, therefore, the harvest of Matthew 13 precedes the close of probation, and is the time of the ingathering of the first and second fruits — the 144,000 and the “great multitude,” — all the saints who are to be translated. —V.T. Houteff, 1934, The Judgment and the Harvest, Tract 3, p. 82.

From this clear statement from the pen of Inspiration, we see that there is no disagreement with the historical realities of the Hebrews during the invasion by Festus’ army, as recorded in The Great Controversy, and that of Tract #3!  Indeed, the statement from EW p. 282 was a carry-over from the earlier more expanded treatment on the subject, first presented on p. 34 of the same book.

In the time of trouble we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with a sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell as powerless as a straw. Then we all cried day and night for deliverance, and the cry came up before God.” E.G. White, 1851, Early Writings, p. 34.
the-ceremonial-harvest-rod-chartThe accompanying chart (picture) clearly demonstrates that the antitypical Feast of Tabernacles (FOT) will be celebrated at the close of probation, first for the Church and then for the world.  In Laodicea it will be before the close of our probation, and with Babylon, it will in like manner be before the close of her probation.  Hence in both instances FOT is celebrated as a redemptive act of divine deliverance from bondage to freedom.  The chart also provides additional references to sustain the truth that EW. pp. 34 and 282 are fulfilled simultaneously, during the divinely appointed Feast of Tabernacles and prior to the kingdom, an event which is yet future to our times.  Again, this should reinforce the truth that the annual rehearsals today are heaven’s means of awakening us from slumber to girt our loins for the fight and the flight.

When, as a people, we realize that the Feast of Tabernacles was to be celebrated in the “woods”— “the wilderness,” the great outdoors, and not in a cramped up City, we will then better appreciate that the great God of Creation had foreordained a plan of safety, an escape hatch, for His true worshipers, many thousands of years in advance.  It was this escape hatch that they utilized while the Jews were cramped up on the city of Jerusalem, hemmed in on every side by the invading Roman soldiers!  How differently might things have been for them had they (the Jews) known the season and the time of their visitation!  This was the Christians’ advantage.  They were not ignoring the redemptive significance of the holy solemnity of Tabernacles, rather, they were keeping it in its most practical sense.  We too, if alive, will also need to know the hour of our visitation and understand the divinely appointed seasons and times, lest we, like the unbelieving Jews in 70 AD, be caught unprepared at our “unholy feast,” while we ignore YHWH’s appointed times—His Holy Feast.  Tabernacles is directed to be kept in the fields, in the outdoors, in a quasi nomadic form, and not in the cities and comforts our our homes homes and regular dwelling places!  Let’s take a biblical review of this point:

39Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. 40And 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 the LORD your God seven days. 41And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths43That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Lev. 23: 39-43.

Our loving Saviour was teaching His people how to survive in the wilderness during times of trouble when He steps with a mighty hand and stretched out arm and fury poured out against our enemies, and so with this rehearsal of Tabernacles in their view, it was not difficult for the early Christians to take their flight during this season, because for this time they had prepared during the annual commemorative, with believers of like mind.  All who appreciate the truth of the Scriptures will know that the Jews and Christians were at loggerheads at this time, and did not share joint worship, as the Jews were fierce persecutors of those believers who followed the teachings of the Nazarine–the Crucified One, Jesus Christ.

Immediately after the exiles had returned from Babylon-Persian captivity, the prophet Nehemiah penned a slice of their history for our generations to see and reflect on divine deliverance offered to the true worshipers of YHWH:

15And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.” Neh. 8: 15, 16.

Now, “booths” are temporary dwelling places which are hastily constructed.  Not a palace or a house, but a booth in the fields, were they to dwell in.  All of this was a trial run for the real event!  In short, it can be seen even by those who struggle with the festivals, that the ancient rite was a preparation for that which befell the Church trapped behind the impregnable walls of Jerusalem.  Just as YHWH had “made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when [He] brought them out of the land of Egypt (Lev. 23: 43), as they were fleeing Egypt during their time of Trouble, even while Pharaoh’s marauding army was hotly pursuing on their heels, similarly, our God during the Destruction of Jerusalem caused His people to dwell in booths as they fled Jerusalem for Pella—a place where they did not have hotels awaiting them—but whence they received divine favor and protection as they traversed the dangerous journey, and were compelled by circumstances to make their homes among the fields of their newly discovered city of refuge!  The Spirit of Truth declares of them, “Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestus, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 30:2.

In this experience was perfectly fulfilled the very promise given Israel when they should leave their homes and go up to keep the appointed feasts at Jerusalem: “23Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.” Ex. 34: 23, 24.

This inspired treatment on the Feast of Tabernacles and the redemptive acts which it foreshadows, cannot be ignored by well-meaning Rod believers without bringing the message in disrepute with the Bible and sacred history.  Further, since Judah has by 34 AD completely “judged” herself “unworthy of everlasting life” (Acts. 13: 46), our God was no longer respecting their new moons, feast days, and Sabbaths, and as such had by then withdrawn His agents of protection over the doomed City that bore His Name.  So, not only were they left defenseless by the “keeper of Israel,” but they were also hopeless, as they had rejected God’s free gift of His dear Son.

Regarding the earliest origins of these sacred festivals, let’s hear what the Rod of God says to us today:

The Hebrews were forever to keep holy, (1) not a seventh, but the seventh, day of each week, the Sabbath; (2) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of the first month, the Passover week; (3) the fiftieth day after the sheaf of the first fruits was offered, the Pentecost; (4) the tenth day of the seventh month, the Atonement; (5) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of the same month, the Feast of Tabernacles; and (6) the feasts of the new moons. Thus the All-knowing One, He who created the heavenly bodies and knows the very moment He set them in motion to govern the day, the month, and the year, decreed that the holy feasts be observed in the very month and on the very day on which they were first ordained.” V.T. Houteff, The Answerer, Book 3, pp. 9, 10.

We see that even before the creation of Man, yea, even before the Earth observed her first Sabbath, the holy feasts were “first ordained” when the Creator “set in motion” the heavenly bodies—sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day.  We are not at liberty to interpret the word “forever” which is already interpreted, as though we are interpreting the Bible.  The Rod contains the inspired interpretation of the Scriptures, and as such we are not at liberty to further reinterpret them through a secondary interpretation, such as the usage of “forever” or “eternal,” found in Jude 7 and other parts of the Scriptures.

Some have hastily turned to this passage to weaken the meaning of “forever” with the feasts, and have turned many from obedience to God’s explicit commandments: “6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1: 6, 7.

This verse provides an excellent demonstration of a carry-over doctrine from decadent Adventism, for to the untrained eye, the “eternal fire” to which the Apostle referred were the terminal fires of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah!  This is not what the Scriptures are teaching!  Jude is comparing the demise of the early Sodomites with the finality of the “eternal fire” of the second death, and not that the fires of ancient Sodom were themselves burning eternally!  Indeed, even when Jude wrote these verses the flames of Sodom had long been extinguished for over two millennia!

So, for Adventists today, who are opposed to God’s appointed times, to try and make a power move out of these verses in a vain attempt to overthrow confidence in God’s appointed times, is to grasp at straws. For whereas the Bible clearly demonstrates that the fires of Sodom have been extinguished long before the birth of Ishmael,  yet it has never made such a suggestion about His appointed times.  A simple look at Isa. 66: 23, and 24 should be convincing enough to demonstrate that even in eternity to come, that the saints will come up and worship YHWH “from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another.”  The “new moons” regulate the annual festival Sabbaths, so to recognize the  “new moons” is to recognize the feasts!  Read Leviticus 23 again and see that all these feasts occur on or after a “day of the new moon (month).”

Finally, I will urge each and every present truth believer to grapple with this thought that each of the calls on the Eleventh-Hour Chart, has occurred on a Feast day.  What is more evident, too, is that 80% of those calls were made during the Christian dispensation, the New Testament era—the times when these festivals were allegedly done away with for they were summarily “nailed to the Cross,” based on current SDA and DSDA erroneous theology.

“There are only five calls in the parable; First, those who were called early — Israel out of Egypt Second, those who went to labor in the vineyard at the third hour — the early Christian church Third, the sixth hour call — William Miller and his co-workers; Fourth, the ninth hour call — the Third angel in his first cry after 1844; Fifth, the 11th hour call — the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message.”[2]

  1. Early Morning—Israel Leaves Egypt—Passover and Law given at Sinai on Pentecost
    • “Therefore, it was Israel that went to labor in the vineyard after they departed from Egypt. “According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.” (Haggai 2:5.) … Therefore, the householder’s early hour call for laborers in His vineyard, applies to the call of Israel out of Egypt.  Why is it called “early in the morning?”  At that time Moses was writing the Bible, which is the light of the world.  Therefore, very “early,” for the Scriptures had just begun to be written.”[3]
  2. 3rd Hour Labourers —Apostles and early Christians—Passover and at Pentecost
    • “Therefore, the call of the Apostles, and the Gentiles, is represented by the “third hour call.”[4]
  3. 6th Hour Labourers—1st Day Adventists, or Millerites—Day of Atonement
    • “Just such a message was presented to the world after A.D. 1798 and prior to A.D. 1844 in the preaching by William Miller of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. Therefore, the message by Miller was represented by the company hired at the “sixth hour.”[5]
  4. 9th Hour Labourers—7th Day Adventists—Day of Atonement
    • “Therefore, the ninth hour call must come after Miller’s work came to an end. It was the Sanctuary truth, and the investigative judgment preached since 1844, bound in the first, second and third angel’s messages of Revelation 14:6-11.[6]
    • “Note that these words closely associate “the sixth and ninth hour” calls, while the other calls are separated. The significance is that these two messages represented by the “sixth and ninth hour,” are to be closely joined to each other.  Therefore, the ninth hour call must come after Miller’s work came to an end.  It was the Sanctuary truth, and the investigative judgment preached since 1844, bound in the first, second and third angel’s messages of Revelation 14:6-11.  Therefore, the Three Angel’s Messages constituted that call in 1844.”[7]
  5. 11th Hour Labourers—Davidian 7th -Day Adventists or the 144,000 Evangelists—Passover
    • “As the “Passover” and the slaughter of the “first-born (first fruits) who had not the blood on the “door posts,” released God’s ancient people from the bondage of Egypt, so shall the antitypical Passover (Ezek. 9:4; Isa. 66:16) free the first fruits, the 144,000, His first-born now, from the bondage of sin and sinners today.”[8]
    • When will this come to pass? — The type unquestionably reveals the time through the fact that only the first-born were then in danger. Accordingly, the antitypical Passover will take place in the time of the firstfruit harvest — the sealing of the 144,000, the firstfruits, the first to go to antitypical Jerusalem, the first to stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb, the first-born by the Spirit. – The Shepherd’s Rod Tract 1, p. 55, 56
    • What is the message? The eleventh hour message is none other than Revelation 18 — the loud cry of the Third Angel.  Quoting “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 59: “This same message [The Third Angel’s] is to be proclaimed the second time.”[9]
    • “The message swells to a Loud Cry by virtue of an “addition” which gives it “power and force.”–Early Writings, p. 277. The only conclusion admissible, therefore, is that since the church has never accepted an additional message, and since there has never come one (other than that in The Shepherd’s Rod publications) that would give “power and force” to the old message, the Loud Cry could not have begun at any time previous to this.”[10]
    • “How do I know that the great day of the Lord is almost here? — I know it because the announcement of it is here already, and because the message of the marking that is foretold in Ezekiel’s chapter nine, the work of the Judgment, is already making its way throughout the Adventist world. I know it also because the material for the glory that follows immediately thereafter (the material that is to lighten the earth with the glory of the angel, the Loud Cry — Rev. 18:1) is all ready and waiting.”[11]

The truth of God’s appointed times (feast days) is inescapably clear from a correct analysis of the Bible and The Shepherd’s Rod message. Let not your personal prejudices, or even a group’s ingrained teachings against these statutes deny you from being fitted to meet your king.

One of the prophetic names given the SDA Church during her Laodicean period is “Judah.”

“Your obeying “all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments” of the moral law of Moses, you see, is your evidence that you have been born again, that you have been endowed with power from above, that you are enabled to choose the good and to refuse the evil, that you are the children of God. Keeping the commandments and the statutes in the Lord, then is the light and shield of your life. It is the outward sign that by the life of Christ you have overcome the Enemy of your soul and body. This system of worship, therefore, is truly the Righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ in the people of God. Let us now with ears wide open hear the crier’s bell:

“Isa. 52:1, 7 — “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean…. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

“Nah. 1:15 — “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that PUBLISHETH peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the WICKED shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly CUT OFF.”

“Here the prophetic Word of God plainly declares by both Isaiah and Nahum the prophets that when we see these good tidings published by him whose feet are seen upon the mountains (and this is now taking place for the first time since the prophets wrote), it is to be a sign that the wicked, the violators of the laws of Moses, are soon to be cut off from among God’s people.  And now, since you are privileged to hear all these things, “happy are ye,” says the Lord, “if ye do them.” Job 13:17. Timely Greetings, (Vol. 2, No. 37: 24,25).

From this and a lot more to come, one can readily see the folly of uninspired men striving to repeal from the divine Statutes, God’s appointed times, which were declared holy even before the first week of earth was completed.  Hence, before Adam’s and Eve’s creation, a divine calendar for their appointments with the King was devised for them, and from them the rest of the human race of true worshipers would eventually learn.  These events were not simply historical but eschatological, not merely typical but antitypical, not merely shadows of things to come but the very redemptive realities of those events which they foreshadowed, both in types, prototypes and antitypes.Ω

Author: Garrick Augustus, October 6, 2016

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[1] Note carefully this page, for the sub-heading is “The Time of Trouble,” and to this subject the inspired prophetess wrote.

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