Traversing the Ceremonial to Moral Dividing Line in Adventist History

Posted Nov 18, 2015 by Adrian Ebens in The Covenants Hits: 1,412

Many people have puzzled over Ellen White’s letter to her daughter in-law Mary White in 1882

Mary, if you can get me a good box of herrings, fresh ones, please do so. These last ones that Willie got are bitter and old. If you can buy cans, say a half dozen cans of good tomatoes, please do so. We shall need them. If you can get a few cans of good oysters, get them. (Letter 16, 1882, dated May 31, 1882, from Healdsburg, California).

How could Ellen White desire Oysters as late as 1882 when today we know them to be unclean? it might also come as quite a surprise to learn that Ellen White did not dispense of meat completely until 1894.

Since the camp meeting at Brighton [January, 1894] I have absolutely banished meat from my table. It is an understanding that whether I am at home or abroad, nothing of this kind is to be used in my family, or come upon my table. I have had much representation before my mind in the night season on this subject.  Letter 76, 1894; in Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 488

It is important to understand that Adventists came from Protestant America and held firmly that the Old Testament Laws regarding health were part of the ceremonial law and were not applicable to the gospel dispensation. It will come as a surpise to many Adventists to learn that James White defended the eating of pork in 1850 in the following way:

Some of our good brethren are troubled in regard to eating swine's flesh, and a very few abstain from it, thinking that the Bible forbids its use. We do not object to abstinence from the use of swine's flesh, if it is done on the right grounds. We think that too free and abundant use of it, and other animal food, of which many, and even some of our brethren in the present truth are not guiltless, is a sin; for it clogs and stupefies the mind, and in many cases impairs the constitution; but we do not, by any means, believe that the Bible teaches that its proper use, in the gospel dispensation, is sinful. James White, Present Truth Nov 4, 1850

James White follows the typical Protestant defence on pork using the vision of Peter in Acts 10.

But the New Testament so far from teaching that the use of swine's flesh is wrong, that it affords good testimony that it is not forbidden. First, take the case of the Apostle Peter, when God was about to send him to preach to the Gentiles. His Jewish views and feelings in relation to common and unclean beasts that did not part the hoof and chew the cud, see Lev.xi, must first be removed before he could see that God was no respecter of persons. Present Truth Nov 4, 1850.

James White attributes Peter’s aversion to eating unclean animals to his Jewish views and feelings. James continues a little later in the article.

Certainly, swine were there. The sudden appearance of these beasts no doubt aroused Peter's Jewish feelings and prejudices for he considered many of them "UNCLEAN." At this point "there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter, kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or UNCLEAN." This vision, and the connected circumstances, rid the Apostle of his exclusive feelings, and opened the way for him to preach to, and eat with the Gentiles. Present Truth Nov 4, 1850.

In conclusion James White states emphatically:

Some of our good brethren have added "swine's flesh" to the catalogue of things forbidden by the Holy Ghost, and the apostles and elders assembled at Jerusalem. But we feel called upon to protest against such a course, as being contrary to the plain teaching of the holy scriptures. Shall we lay a greater "burden" on the disciples than seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and the holy apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ? God forbid. Their decision, being right, settled the question with them, and was a cause of rejoicing among the churches, and it should forever settle the question with us. Present Truth Nov 4, 1850.

Thankfully, James White’s use of the moral and ceremonial law divide to forever settle the question of eating pork would be questioned. Eight years later Ellen White, while cautioning a brother who was making the pork question a test of fellowship, also expressed the possibility that there could be light in abstaining from pork but that it would be discovered to more than one person.

I saw that your views concerning swine's would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test, [207] and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires His people to abstain from swine's flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine's flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His church their duty. 1T 206,207

When you read this testimony from Ellen White in Volume One of the testimonies you will discover this note from James White which was inserted after 1863.

This remarkable testimony was written October 21, 1858, nearly five years before the great vision of 1863, in which the light upon health reform was given. When the right time came, the subject was given in a manner to move all our people. How wonderful are the wisdom and goodness of god! It might be as wrong to crowd the milk, salt, and sugar question now, as the pork question in 1858.-- J.W., note to second edition. Footnote on page 206 of Testimonies volume one.

After Ellen White’s 1863 vision about health, Adventists started to look at the pork question differently. Some began to connect the health laws in the law of Moses to moral principles rather than ceremonial obligations that ceased at the cross.

Dr. Adam Clarke once said that if he were to offer a burnt-offering to the devil, he should choose a pig stuffed with tobacco. And when invited to ask the blessing at the table, he used these words: " Lord, bless this bread, these vegetables and this fruit; and if thou canst bless under the gospel what thou didst curse under the law, bless this swine's flesh." God said of the flesh of swine in the days of Moses : " It is unclean unto you." What change can have taken place to make it clean, and a proper article of food for Christians? Has God changed his mind on the subject? Has man so changed that what was unclean as an article of food for the Hebrews has become clean to Christians? Or, has the change taken place in the nature of the pork? Has the change from the Jewish dispensation improved the nature of hogs? Did the death of the Son of God sanctify the swine? And does the freedom of the world-wide proclamation of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ give liberty to Christians to eat those things which were an abomination if eaten by the Hebrews? James White, The Heath Reformer January 1, 1872

We see in the statement above that James White has moved the question of eating pork across the dividing line between the ceremonial and the moral law. It is no longer a ceremonial badge to distinguish the Jew from the Gentile but it was now seen as a moral principle of health that did not cease at the cross. In the previous article of the same issue of the Health Reformer there is a connection made to the distinction of clean and unclean in the days of Noah.

And God, in infinite forbearance and pity, lest they should destroy themselves in their murmurings, and in their rebellion, permitted them to use as food the lesss injurious of his living creatures. These he called " clean;" and in love and wisdom infinite, he forbade the use of the more injurious. These are called " unclean." And let it be remembered that this distinction between clean and unclean beasts is not Jewish. It was recognized in the days of the patriarch Noah, Gen. 7 : 2, nearly one thousand years before Moses. James White, The Heath Reformer January 1, 1872

This was a brave step for a Protestant to take. Here we see a clear recognition of moral principles in the law of Moses. Of course it took quite some time for habits to change and to know exactly what items were included, hence Ellen White is still using Oysters in 1882. Yet there continued to be a lack of clarity on this question due to the underlying confusion in regard to the two covenants. Protestants typically see the era of the New Testament as a separate and distinct time period freed from the Law of Moses which is perceived as a yoke of bondage. The Old Covenant that existed up to the time of the cross is a type of the New Testament after it. This pattern of thinking prevented many Adventists from seeing many blessings in the law of Moses.

The vision of Ellen White in 1863 combined with the health convictions of men like Joseph Bates and Stephen Haskell helped shift perceptions of the law of Moses regarding clean and unclean meat to a moral rather than a ceremonial question.

There were some Adventist pioneers, however, who perceived the implications of accepting the Levitical laws of Moses as a moral principle and cautioned the Adventist people.

We believe there is better ground on which to rest [the prohibition on pork] than the ceremonial law of the former dispensation, for if we take the position that that law is still binding, we must accept it all, and then we shall have more on our hands than we can easily dispose of.  Uriah Smith, "Meats Clean and Unclean," Review and Herald, July 3, 1883

If the law of Moses was appealed to as a reason why we should not eat pork then naturally there could be others things in the law of Moses that also could be appealed to as having a moral rather than a ceremonial basis. Uriah Smith was content to argue against eating pork by describing the health benefits but he did not want to open himself to the natural progression of accepting that the law of Moses had moral principles that applied today.

Coming from a seemingly unrelated angle, E.J. Waggoner began to enthusiastically proclaim in 1888 that the gospel promises made to Abraham are the same as those made to us.

At 9 a.m. Elder Waggoner continues his lessons on the law and the gospel. The Scriptures considered were the fifteenth chapter of Acts and the second and third of Galatians, compared with Romans 4 and other passages in Romans. His purpose was to show that the point of the controversy was justification by faith in Christ, which faith is reckoned to us as to Abraham, for righteousness. The covenant and promises to Abraham are the covenant and promises to us. “Third Days’ proceedings,” General Conference Daily Bulletin (Oct 21, 1888)

To suggest that the promises made to Abraham are the same as that made to us shook the foundations of the Protestant Adventist thinking concerning the covenants. Instead of the Old Covenant simply being a type pointing forward to the New Covenant in the Time of Christ, Waggoner was saying that the New Covenant actually existed and operated in the Old Testament. He began to teach that the Old and New covenants were heart experiences that existed both before and after the cross.

The old and the new covenants understood as a heart experience was a nuance that had been overlooked by the early pioneers. These two covenant experiences were two parallel dispensations which had manifested themselves concurrently both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The old covenant and the new covenant were two separate experiences which, as it were, ran on two parallel tracks from the time of Cain and Abel until the mark of the beast and the seal of God as spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Paul Penno, Calvary at Sinai, 2003, page 6

This new emphasis by Waggoner caused some Adventists to go back into the Old Testament and see an everlasting Gospel revealing God’s everlasting and consistent love. This emphasis began to be reflected in the writings of Ellen White. When the new 1890 book Patriarchs and Prophets came out she said the following regarding unclean meat.

The angel's prohibition included "every unclean thing." The distinction between articles of food as clean and unclean was not a merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles. To the observance of this distinction may be traced, in a great degree, the marvelous vitality which for thousands of years has distinguished the Jewish people. The principles of temperance must be carried further than the mere use of spirituous liquors. The use of stimulating and indigestible food is often equally injurious to health, and in many cases sows the seeds of drunkenness. True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. PP 563.

The Teachings of Waggoner caused Ellen White and others to look differently at the principles that existed in the Old Testament. If the New Covenant existed and operated in the Old Testament then could it be possible that many of the principles of the law of Moses were actually in the New Covenant? Ellen makes this amazing statement in the same volume of Patriarchs and Prophets

He did not even then trust His precepts to the memory of a people who were prone to forget His requirements, but wrote them upon tables of stone. He would remove from Israel all possibility of mingling heathen traditions with His holy precepts, or of confounding His requirements with human ordinances or customs. But He did not stop with giving them the precepts of the Decalogue. The people had shown themselves so easily led astray that He would leave no door of temptation unguarded. Moses was commanded to write, as God should bid him, judgments and laws giving minute instruction as to what was required. These directions relating to the duty of the people to God, to one another, and to the stranger were only the principles of the Ten Commandments amplified and given in a specific manner, that none need err. They were designed to guard the sacredness of the ten precepts engraved on the tables of stone.  {PP 364.1} 

To suggest that the writings of Moses with his minute instructions were only the Ten commandments amplified was a jaw dropping departure from centuries of Protestant thought. Yet it was the light coming from the 1888 message concerning the covenants that was driving this revolution.

This certainly was placing men like Uriah Smith in a position where they had more on their hands than they could deal with. Rather than come into the light of truth and accept that God’s everlasting Gospel has existed from the foundation of the world, he, Butler and others braced themselves against the light that would allow them to keep all the commandments of God by the faith of Jesus.

In 1890 Ellen White received a heavenly visitor to clarify the matter for her about the covenants as taught by Waggoner. She wrote to Uriah Smith soon after:

Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, [Smith] Brother B, Brother C, and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has presented. Letter 59, 1890, p. 6. (To Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890.)  

It was the reaction of the church leaders to Waggoner’s message that caused Ellen White to realise that the church had taken a wrong position on the Law as was manifested in the dispute over this subject in Galatians.

By failing to cherish the Spirit of Christ, by taking wrong positions in the controversy over the law in Galatians—a question that many have not fully understood before taking a wrong position—the church has sustained a sad loss. E. G. White, Diary Entry, February 27, 1891. EGW 1888, p. 894. Emphasis added.

Was it this clarity on the covenants and the law that helped Ellen White to finally dispense with meat products in 1894 more than 30 years after the great vision on the subject of health? The timing is certainly interesting.

With this new post 1888 understanding of the New Covenant existing in the Old Testament, Ellen White continued to make amazing statements.

The words of Moses to Israel, concerning the statutes and judgments of the Lord, are also the word of God to us; he says: "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. ST March 21, 1895.

Ellen White is quoting Deut 4:6 and tells us we should study these things and obey them. It is impossible to embrace these statements in the typical protestant understanding of the covenants. They make no sense at all and that is why the Adventist Church faltered and stopped in its walk towards keeping all the commandments of God by the faith of Jesus.

Continuing in this theme of the Law of Moses containing many precious principles for us she wrote in 1905.

  The closing words of Malachi are a prophecy regarding the work that should be done preparatory to the first and the second advent of Christ. This prophecy is introduced with the admonition, "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.  {SW, March 21, 1905 par. 1} 

In the light of the 1888 message of the covenants what other principles in the Law of Moses can come across the ceremonial and moral law dividing line created by the fallen Christian churches? If the prohibition against pork can make this journey into a moral blessing instead of a ceremonial restriction what other gems that God gave to Israel could hold blessings for us? Obviously the principle of tithing found in the law of Moses also managed to cross this dividing line for Adventists. Note this statement from Ellen White about its journey across into the Christian age:

The moral law enjoined the observance of the Sabbath, which was not a burden except when that law was transgressed and they were bound by the penalties involved in breaking it. The tithing system was no burden to those who did not depart from the plan. The system enjoined upon the Hebrews has not been repealed or relaxed by the One who originated it. Instead of being of no force now, it was to be more fully carried out and more extended, as salvation through Christ alone should be more fully brought to light in the Christian age. 3T 392 (1872-1875)

What is significant about both clean and unclean meat is that there is no evidence of these principles existing before sin. We learn about clean and unclean in the time of Noah and we learn about tithing in the time of Abraham but nothing about it before sin. This raises the important question about whether Bible commandments that come into existence after the entrance of sin still have a place after the death of Christ on the Cross? If both health laws and tithing laws came into existence after sin then what about a principle that existed before sin that then was expanded and amplified after sin entered?

In the same manner that James White defended the eating of Pork in 1850, he also spoke against the statutes concerning the feasts of the Lord. In the very first publication of James White that nobly defended the truth of the Sabbath we discover a pattern of thinking that would later hinder the progress of the people of God and that was addressed by E.J Waggoner in 1888 but was sadly rejected by the church as a whole till this day.

There is a clear distinction between the law of Moses, and the law of God in the Holy Scriptures. The law of Moses, was a law of carnal ceremonies, written by the HAND of Moses in a BOOK. The law of God, is the ten commandments, written by the FINGER of GOD on TWO TABLES OF STONE One is called the BOOK of the COVENANT, the other, the TABLES of the COVENANT. The law of Moses, was a law of shadows, which were abolished when the new, second, and better covenant came. James White, Present Truth, July 1849.  

There is indeed a distinction between the Law of God written on stone and the law of Moses written in a book. The problem for James White is that his pre-1888 understanding of the covenants caused him to see the law of Moses only as shadows. Instead of only the sacrificial system being classed as shadows that would cease, all the law of Moses was classed as shadows that cease at the cross. It was after this time that Adventists began to embrace tithing and health laws drawn from the Law of Moses and this created a tension in the subject of the covenants that Waggoner was sent to correct, but he was rejected and Christ was very disappointed that the church refused to accept the faith of Jesus that is manifested in its obedience to all the commandments of God.

Again note the contrast between the words of James White before 1888 and the words of Ellen White after 1888 concerning the relationship between the Ten Commandments and the Book of the law.

Pre-1888 understanding by James White

The law of Moses, was a law of shadows, which were abolished when the new, second, and better covenant came. Its "carnal rites," "burnt offerings and sacrifices," "meats and drinks, and divers washings," were all "nailed to the cross" when the Lamb of God shed his most precious blood. {July 1849 JWe, PTJW 3}

Post 1888 understanding by Ellen White

Moses was commanded to write, as God should bid him, judgments and laws giving minute instruction as to what was required. These directions relating to the duty of the people to God, to one another, and to the stranger were only the principles of the Ten Commandments amplified and given in a specific manner, that none need err. PP 364

Note that James did speak to the part of the Law of Moses that he had under consideration as shadows. It was the sacrifices and offerings. Yet his statement “The law of Moses was a law of shadows” was unqualified and gives the suggestion that the whole of the law of Moses was a shadow of things to come. This was the standard protestant understanding which of course for most of them included the Sabbath. For Adventists to accept the Sabbath they began to come up against the whole covenant question, but this would take many years.

It would be natural for James White in the light of his understanding the covenants to make the following statement in the second 1849 Present Truth article.

The hand-writing of ordinances that was nailed to the cross at the crucifixion of the Messiah, was the typical, ceremonial law of Moses, which was written by the hand of Moses in a book. The crucifixion was the dividing line between the two dispensations. "In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Dan.ix:27. The first covenant which had "ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary," was a shadow of the second, and better covenant. The law was the shadow, and the Gospel is the body, that cast the shadow; and as all shadows reach to their body, and no farther, it is very clear that the sacrifices and oblations, new-moons, feast days, and Sabbaths of the Jewish law ceased, when the precious body and blood of the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross. This is what Paul calls "nailing it to his cross." "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new-moon, or of the Sabbath-days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." James White, Present Truth, August 1849.

It is clear to see that James White concludes that the feasts and new moons are nailed to the cross because of this clear dividing line between what he understood was the first and second covenant. What James White was teaching was standard Protestant theology regarding the covenants and that is the old covenant is a type of the new and is therefore replaced by the new. Waggoner’s message in 1888 challenged this idea of a clear dividing line that placed all of the Law of Moses as shadows and only the New Testament as reality.

It is important to note that the KJV translation of Colossians 2:14-17 was interpreted with this covenant perspective. It requires a number of supplied words to squash it in and make it fit. If you take the supplied words out and look closely at the passage in context you will discover something different. See the article Showing Respect for Col 2:16,17 to get more detail on this.

So is there a moral blessing available in the feasts of the Lord? It is true that the feasts point out the work of Christ from the Cross forwards, but can we say that the feasts are only ceremonial like James White did in 1849 or can we progress in the light of the 1888 message and see there is a moral blessing for God’s people in these appointments?

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.  Gen 2:3

We see that God blessed the Sabbath in the very beginning and the 1888 messages teaches us that this blessing is the very presence of God Himself

For what purpose was all this done? Why was the sabbath made? [Congregation: "For man."] It was made for man. Well then, God rested and put His spiritual rest upon the day for man, did He? [Congregation: "Yes."] God's refreshing, His rejoicing in that day was for man. The blessing with which He blessed it was for man. The holiness which His presence brought to it and which His presence gave to it, was for man. His presence sanctifying it was for man. Well then was it not that man through the Sabbath might be a partaker of His presence and be made acquainted by living experience with the spiritual rest of God, the spiritual blessing, the holiness, the presence of God to make holy, the presence of God to sanctify him? Is not that what God intended the Sabbath to bring to man? Well, the man who gets all that in the Sabbath is the man who is a Sabbath-keeper. And he knows it too. He knows it and he is delighted to know it. A.T Jones, GCB, Sermon 20 March 2, 1893

The Sabbath has in it God's sanctification; because he not only blessed the seventh day, but sanctified it,—set it apart unto the holy use and service of the Lord,—that his presence might dwell therein; for it is not merely the transient presence, but the abiding presence, the dwelling of God in a place, which sanctifies; for it is written: "Israel shall be sanctified by my glory;" for "I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God." Ex. 29:43 (margin), 45 Thus connected with the Sabbath, there is the creative power of God, the rest of God, the blessing of God, the presence of God which makes holy, and the continuing, dwelling, presence of God, which sanctifies. A.T. Jones, RH June 6, 1899   

The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is beyond estimate. Whatever of ours God claims from us, He returns again, enriched, transfigured, with His own glory. The tithe that He claimed from Israel was devoted to preserving among men, in its glorious beauty, the pattern of His temple in the heavens, the token of His presence on the earth. So the portion of our time which He claims is given again to us, bearing His name and seal. "It is a sign," He says, "between Me and you; . . . that ye may know that I am the Lord;" because "in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 31:13; 20:11. The Sabbath is a sign of creative and redeeming power; it points to God as the source of life and knowledge; it recalls man's primeval glory, and thus witnesses to God's purpose to re-create us in His own image.  Ed 250 (1903)

The Sabbath clearly is a gift of the presence of God through Christ in a special manner. Where-ever the Sabbath is named there that precious gift of His presence is manifested. Jesus spoke of the reality of the Sabbath experience when he taught:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28

The word in the Greek for rest is anapausis. The Greek Old Testament or LXX uses this same word in Ex 31:15.

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest [anapausis], holy to the LORD: Ex 31:15

In the Hebrew this word is shabbaton which is the Strongs number 7677. This rest experience that comes from the Spirit of Christ takes place on the Shabbat or Sabbath day which is 7676 in the Strongs. So when and wherever the Sabbath comes to God’s people, the rest of our Lord Jesus is manifested in a special manner that sanctifies and seals us. This same rest experience is found in the Law of Moses also. It is found in the feasts of the seventh month.

The Feast of Trumpets

Lev 23:24  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath,[7677]  a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

The Day of Atonement

Lev 23:32  It shall be unto you a sabbath [7676] of rest, [7677] and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Feast of Tabernacles

Lev 23:39  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 the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, [7677] and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. [7677]

All of these feasts carry the signature of the Sabbath. At these times come the sweet Spirit of Christ with His sanctifying influence.

Like tithing and health laws that appeared after the fall of man, these feasts of the Lord also appeared after the fall of man. I say appeared because we have no Bible evidence they existed or did not exist before the fall. If the tithing and health laws could find their way across the dividing line erected by the fallen churches then why cannot the sweet Spirit of Jesus break through this confusing dividing line and give to God’s people special seasons of refreshing? If the Seventh day Sabbath is a moral blessing and if the Feasts take the name of the Sabbath upon them then do they not inherit this blessing also? As Christ inherits the full blessing of His Father then do not the feasts inherit the full blessing of the Sabbath? As the Son of God is the brightness of the Father’s glory then are not the feasts the brightness of the Sabbath’s glory? Is this not the Sabbath more fully?

Notice the moral connection that Ellen White makes regarding the feasts of the Lord.

Again the people were reminded of the sacred obligation of the Sabbath. Yearly feasts were appointed, at which all the men of the nation were to assemble before the Lord, bringing to Him their offerings of gratitude and the first fruits of His bounties. The object of all these regulations was stated: they proceeded from no exercise of mere arbitrary sovereignty; all were given for the good of Israel. PP 311

How were the people reminded of the sacred [moral] obligation of the Sabbath? Yearly feasts were appointed. Why were they appointed? So that God’s people could bring [moral] offerings of praise and for the [moral] good of Israel? In order for the feasts to be a sacred reminder of the moral principle of the Sabbath would they not need to have that same sweet Spirit of Christ flowing through them to be truly called a Sabbath? Is it possible to have a feast of the Lord without the Lord of the Feast especially present?

It is true that sacrifices were offered during the times of the feasts, but these offerings were offered every Sabbath as well.

Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch,  (13)  Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.  2 Chron 8:12-13 

The removal of the sacrificial system from the Law did not remove the sweet Spirit of Jesus from the Sabbath? Do we truly believe that the death of Jesus actually reduced the power of the Sabbath in the places it was manifest? If the feasts were taken away then this means fewer times where the power of the Sabbath was sent to sanctify and seal God’s people.

It is my belief that just as tithing and health laws could break through the dividing line erected by the fallen churches concerning the covenants, that at this present time, the feasts of the Lord are now free to break through this dividing line. When the true understanding of the covenants is realised, the Sabbath as magnified in the feasts of the Lord, reveals that the Sabbath Spirit will come to us if we open our hearts to it in faith.

It is true that E.J Waggoner never made the connection between the covenants and the feasts but so also William Miller never made the connection between the First Angel’s message and the Sabbath. He laid the foundation for others to discover. So also E.J Waggoner laid the foundation for others to joyfully discover.

Why did Jesus utter these words on the last great day of the feast?

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. John 7:37 

Could it be in part because the last great day of Tabernacles is a Shabbaton when the presence of Christ comes in magnification of the Sabbath?

Why did Jesus wait until the day of Pentecost to pour out the sweet presence of His Spirit in great measure? When Jesus rose should He not immediately give all of it? Why wait for the feast day of Pentecost? Is it because these are the appointed times for greater blessings to be poured out?

Can you see that the gate of the Sanctuary in heaven is wide open on the Sabbath so that greater blessings can fall at this time and all the times that inherit the word Sabbath.

Eze 46:1  Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

And notice the gate of the Sanctuary is open at the time of the New Moon? Is there healing for God’s people from the tree of life that comes each new month?

Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

God’s people obviously expected blessings from God at these times to be enlightened and refreshed. God’s people would often go to see the prophets at these times to receive a word from heaven.

And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him [the prophet] today? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. 2 Kings 4:23 

I invite you to taste and see that the Lord is good at these special times. Do not be afraid of those who tell you that you must not do these things to be saved. That is legalism. There are many who say:

Touch not; taste not; handle not; [the feasts] Col 2:21

Yet as Paul says these are the doctrines and commandments of men. Do not listen to the scoffers and those who remain stuck in an understanding of the covenants before 1888. Come into the light and enjoy the freedom of Sabbath in its fullness. Can you navigate across the dividing line of the fallen Churches and those who stubbornly refused the light in 1888? Can you hear the call to remember the law of Moses with the statutes and the judgements without fear? The Spirit and the Bride say come, taste and see that the Lord is good. It is a goodly land and we are well able to go up and possess it.