16. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, Colossians 2.16-18
Many people misunderstand these verses because they look at them in isolation. It is a major mistake to examine any verse of scripture out of CONTEXT.
First off it is necessary to understand the Colossians were Gentiles, they had been estranged from God, and had converted upon hearing the gospel. (Colossians 1.21; 2.11; 3.11)
Paul tells them they can be "reconciled" to the LORD if they remain steadfast in the faith they had heard (Colossians 1.23), to understand the gospel Paul taught we can go to other places in the Bible to read the message he preached.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.Romans 3.31
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?Romans 6.1+2
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.Romans 6.14-17
Sin is the transgression of God's Law.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 john 3.4
and Paul never taught the people that sin was OK - to the contrary he consistently taught that sin was to be overcome, "sin shall not have dominion over you", and that sin can prevent entry into the Kingdom of God:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6.9+10
In Colossians 2.16 the situation is that these converts had forsaken their idolatrous ways and were holding fast to God's Commandments, but they were coming under pressure to forsake the way of the LORD and go back to their pagan customs, from family, friends, and false prophets who trying to "beguile" them of their reward by leading them into "a voluntary humility" and the worship of angels.
And this is exactly what the Catholics and Protestants are doing by observing Lent - a voluntary humility (touch not, taste not, handle not - Colossians 2.21).
It is true there is one thing in the world that those who serve LORD are not to touch, and that is swine.
And it is true that those who serve the LORD are not to eat unclean foods, but Paul was an expert on the Old Testament, and I doubt he would use an expression that is never used in scripture "taste not", if he was speaking of the LORD's Dietary Laws.
Paul made it clear he was not speaking of the LORD's Commands - he was warning of "the commandments and doctrines of men".
He was speaking of the worship of angels.
Obeying God's Commandments is not serving angels.
Paul is speaking of the gods the gentiles served.
And all that the pagans made sacrifices to are demons - this includes their Ishtar / Easter springtime goddess, and her consort Baal, who demands Sunday worship.
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 1 Corinthians 10.20-21
But these beguilers were attempting to deceive the people into man made doctrines and restrictions:
(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Colossians 2.21-22
God's Law is not the "commandments of men", it is the "will of the Father" (Matthew 7.23).
These "commandments of men" were pagan restrictions that Paul said were coming:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4.1-3
Who has forbidden church officials to marry (the subject at hand 1 Timothy 3.1-7) and commanded abstinence from clean meats?
The Catholic Church - that's who - they have beguiled their followers and her daughters the Protestants into worshipping angels by their observance of Sunday, Xmas, Easter, Lent and the rest of their pagan customs which trace back to Babylon. It is idolatry.
And just which of the Commandments are we to let man judge us for respecting?
It does not say let no one judged for disrespecting Holy Days.
God is the Judge, and He has told us where He stands on this issue - the saints are those who hold fast to God's Law and have the faith of Jesus, not those who obey flesh and follow the commandments of the Pope who commands sin (2 Thessalonians 2.3):
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14.12
This counts out the Catholics and the Protestants who do not even claim to be obeying God's Commandments.
The Sabbath and Holy Days are a shadow of the future - they act out God's plan for mankind, but Sunday, Xmas, Easter, Lent, etc. are not shadows of the future - they are pagan traditions rooted in demon worship. And when the LORD is ruling the Earth it will be forbidden to even say these words much less practise these idolatrous abominations.
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. Zechariah 13.2
8. Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. 9. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. Zephaniah 3.8+9
But there will always be unlearned workers of iniquity who misunderstand Paul's writings, just as we were warned by Peter:
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3.15-18
The error of the wicked is their steadfast refusal to work God Law in their lives.
Bottom line - Paul was telling the Church in Colossae to hold fast to God's Holy Days and not be deceived into the pagan traditions of man, which are in reality the worship of angels = demons.