The Church of God claims that Christ Ahnsahnghong is Jesus who came a second time because He restored the Passover. However, the Worldwide Church of God, which was established by Herbert W. Armstrong in the late 1930s, keeps all the festivals of the Old Testament as well as the Passover. Therefore, if we follow the logic of the Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong should be the Second Coming Jesus, not Ahnsahnghong.
3. The contradiction in Armstrong’s claim about the Feast of Unleavened Bread
1) Armstrong did not even realize that the prophecies of the feasts were fulfilled by Jesus.
In order to restore God’s feasts, he must at least know whose works the feasts are based on, and through whose works the prophecies of the feasts were fulfilled. However, Armstrong did not realize these things.
The feasts of the Old Testament were set up through Moses’ works done during the one-year period of time from the time of the Exodus. The feasts were given as a prophecy which was going to be fulfilled by Jesus who would come as the prophet like Moses (Ac 3:22; Heb 3:5). So, the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, too, must be explained through the works of Jesus.
However, Armstrong was unable to relate the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the works of Jesus. Armstrong held that Jesus’ suffering on the cross took place on the 14th day according to the sunset theory, and he related Jesus’ suffering with the Passover. Automatically, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15th day) became something completely irrelevant with the suffering on the cross. For this reason, he was unable to reveal the reality of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but he only said that we must keep it as a feast to remove our sins just as yeast was removed. In other words, he was unable to relate it to any of the works of Christ. This clearly shows that he did not even know the basics of the feasts. The feasts in the Old Testament times, which were set up through the works of Moses, were the prophecies of the works which would be done by Jesus in the New Testament times. So, the Feast of ?Unleavened Bread must be fulfilled through the works of Jesus. However, Armstrong did not even know this fact. How could that kind of man restore the feasts?
2) The Feast of Unleavened Bread without Jesus’ suffering on the cross is not the true Feast of Unleavened Bread
Even considered in terms of date, Jesus’ suffering on the cross took place on the 15th day ? on the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread ? not on the afternoon of the 14th day as Armstrong argues. (Refer to the explanation on the sunset theory above). So, the true fulfillment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15th day) is Jesus’ suffering on the cross, and this is the most important reason we should keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, Armstrong excluded Jesus’ suffering on the cross from this feast. Therefore, the Feast of Unleavened Bread of Armstrong is meaningless, and it cannot become the true Feast of Unleavened Bread of the new covenant.
3) Armstrong was also ignorant about fasting during the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Jesus commanded that we should fast on the day when the bridegroom is taken away. In other words, he commanded us to commemorate the suffering He went through from the time He was captured until the time He died on the cross, by fasting. This is the Feast of Unleavened Bread of the new covenant. However, Armstrong did not know anything about this, and in his argument there is no mention of fasting either on the day of Passover or on the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This shows that Armstrong has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus.
- Mk 2:19-20 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.”
4) Armstrong claimed that the Feast of Unleavened Bread must be kept for seven days according to the customs of the Old Testament
Armstrong did not know the relationship between the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the works of Jesus Christ, so he insisted that we should keep the feast for seven days just as the Israelites did in the time of the Old Testament, and he also insisted that we should have services on the 15th day and the 21st day. However, let us think of the origin of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the fulfillment of the prophecy. In the time of the Old Testament, Moses and the Israelites went through many sufferings from the time when they came out from Egypt until the time when they crossed the Red Sea. So, they commemorated the sufferings of that time, generation after generation, by eating the unleavened bread which was called “the bread of affliction” (Dt 16:3) and bitter herbs. This is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and this was a shadow for the things to come. The reality can be found in Jesus’ suffering on the cross on the 15th day, the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, the Feast of Unleavened Bread of the new covenant is the feast to commemorate Jesus’ suffering on the cross, and we must keep it on the 15th day according to the works of Jesus. It is because we are to commemorate the works of Jesus which is the reality, not the works of Moses which is the shadow.
The works of Moses was just a copy and shadow which showed the works of Jesus, and there is no reason for us who are under the Law of Christ to keep the regulations of the Old Testament literally. So, the Bible clearly forbids us to keep the feast according to the regulations of the Old Testament apart from Christ. For this reason, Armstrong who insisted on keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread according to the Old Testament, without knowing the reality of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, can never be called the one who restored the feasts. Those who slander the Church of God on the basis of the insistence of Armstrong are wrong.
- Col 2:16-17 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.