Should we work on keeping the Sabbath?

In Leviticus 23 we find what are mistakenly called the seven “Feasts of the Lord”;  the only problem is, there are not seven Feasts, but eight.   The chapter begins like this:

“The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:

‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings.”

The chapter continues describing the traditional seven Feasts, but we forget that the first Feast (actually the word is ‘appointed time’) is the weekly Sabbath, then comes the other seven. What is significant about these Feasts? Do we still keep them?  What do they communicate?  How were they actually fulfilled, at least the first four (or is it five?)

Those of us interested in End Times topics know the significance of the first four Feasts:  Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Shavu’ot – these speak of Yeshua’s  sacrificial death, sinlessness, resurrection and pouring out of the Spirit on Pentecost. Many of us believe too that just as Yeshua fulfilled each of these Feasts on their very day in the same year, Yeshua will do likewise for the last three when he returns–perhaps returning on Trumpets, separating the Sheep and Goats on Yom Kippur and inaugurating the Millennial kingdom on Sukkot.  As Christians we are not compelled to keep these Feasts (they are “a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ”, per Col 2:17).

But what is the Sabbath doing in this list of Feasts of Yeshua’s accomplishments in Lev 23, at the very head of the list, no less?   Are we being reminded to keep the Law of God before we even get to the Feasts?  No!   The Sabbath belongs in this group because, more than anything, Yeshua is our Sabbath rest.   We don’t have to keep the Law, Yeshua did, and so consequentially we do, because we are “hidden in Christ”:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (Eph 2:4-5)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  (Eph 2:10)

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  (Eph 2:13)

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)

Yeshua perfectly kept the Law, fulfilling it:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (Mt 5:17)

After doing so, Yeshua was the Passover lamb on our behalf, and died a substitutionary death in our place.  But beyond that, he has abolished the Law for those in Christ – the Law is what separated God from Man (it was the enmity).  But now for Christians, those “in Christ”, the Law has been “put to death”, not according to me, but the Word of God:

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.  (Eph 2:14-16)

So back to our review of the Leviticus 23 “Feasts of the Lord” – This is the meaning of the EIGHTH Feast of the Lord, the SabbathYeshua is our Sabbath rest:

Hebrews 4:2-4, 9-11,  “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.  For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,

“ As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”

although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “ And God rested on the seventh day from all His works…

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest…

Don’t work on keeping the Sabbath, receive by faith the Sabbath rest that Yeshua won for you by His obedience to God and His death on the cross.  Enjoy the Sabbath of complete rest, not on this day or that, but in Yeshua the Messiah.

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15 Responses to Should we work on keeping the Sabbath?

  1. FX says:

    Bonjour ICA,

    For the sake (et pour l’amour !) of Truth, let’s dive deeper into this particular issue (ie: should believers keep the Lord’s Sabbath & Feast Days). This is an important subject and very à propos ! In essence, this very issue touches at our own foundational beliefs. What is interesting about it, is that if we are Truth seekers, then the Holy Spirit will guide us in the right direction and reveal His Truth to us.

    In a certain way, we can make a comparison here with the end of time paradigm issue. I presume, ICA, that a lot of people who visit your website used to believe, or still believe that the forthcoming end of time beast will come from the European shores. The majority of people still believe with all their hearts that the enemy is the RCC. They may be sincere in their beliefs, but as you and I know, they are sincerely wrong.

    If you are like me, you belong to the group of people who use to believe in the European end of time paradigm, but praise Yah, the Holy Spirit has clearly shown us otherwise. He has guided us along His Scriptures to reveal us the Truth and the real identity of the end of time beast (Islam). We now believe with all our hearts this is clearly what the Bible teaches (and it is!). We have decided to defend the Truth, showing people what the Holy Spirit has revealed us, pointing them in the right direction, for them to see and understand what the Bible actually has to reveal regarding the end of time. And for them to be better equipped to fight against ha satan and his hordes in the days and years to come.

    The Bereans among us will look for themselves in the Word, pray about it and ask our Father for confirmation. We know God reveals His Truth to the humble hearts who are seeking it and who are open to change their understanding in order to adapt it to the Word of God. Those who are willing to make a paradigm shift when they realise the one they used to hold on to is not in line with the Scriptures.

    Believe it or not, it’s the exact same thing with “the keeping or not keeping Torah” issue!

    Just like the “old paradigm” tells us the RCC is the end of time beast, it also tells us Torah has been done away with and is no longer relevant for believers.
    Just like the Truth tells us Islam is the end of time beast, it also tells us Torah has not been done away with and it is relevant for believers (let me be quick to add: not for salvation, but for sanctification).

    [i]The Sabbath, likewise, has itself been completed in the work of Christ. Just as the Feast of Passover and offering a sacrificial lamb no longer need to be kept “throughout your generations” and are now fulfilled in the substance of our Savior, let no one judge you “for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality” (Col 2:16-17).[/i]

    One of the arguments you put forward to defend your position, ICA, is the above verses from Colossians chapter 2. Question: in these verses, does Paul tell the Colossians that they should not let themselves be judged for keeping God’s commandments or for not keeping God’s commandments (Lord’s Sabbath & Feast Days)?

    There is a difference. We require context to know. If the Holy Spirit puts on your heart to find our more about the exact context of this passage, then read on with an open and teachable heart…And prepare to be challenged!

    Were the Colossians being compelled by false teachers to not keep the Lord’s Sabbath and Feast days or compelling the Colossians to keep them?

    If we answer that, then we can answer the first question. We require context to know.

    Were the Colossians being taught commandments of men and ways of the world or God’s commandments? And that is the context we require to answer all questions.

    All of these questions are designed to force us, as readers, to answer what is called context. What is the context surrounding this verse?

    Col2:16: [i] 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.[/i]

    If we cite just one verse, such as Colossians 2:16, isolated from its surrounding context then we can not even answer the first question: Does Paul tell the Colossians that they should not let themselves be judged for keeping God’s commandments or not keeping God’s commandments (Lord’s Sabbath & Feast Days)?

    That is the question we need to answer, and to answer such a question we need to understand if the context is “commandments of men” or “commandments of God.” Again, there is a difference. Men are not God. Men have their own commandments and ways and God has His own commandments and ways (i.e. Mark 7:1-13). We need to know exactly what the false teachers were teaching to understand exactly what Paul is correcting.

    To know exactly what the false teachers were teaching we need to read, understand, and apply the context and also know the doctrine of the false teachers. Doesn’t that make sense? It should. Colossians is obviously a letter, with a beginning and end, serving a specific focus, and full of context.

    Remember, the Colossians know full well the context and the debate at hand. They are living in it. We have to pull in clues to construct the context and the debate at hand, and certainly refrain from inserting context of our own bias. We do not want to make the common error of verse plucking scripture out of context and forcing a paradigm on it (which, by the way is exactly what the tenants of the European/RCC end of time paradigm do!!). We have to work on understanding this letter slightly more than those receiving it.

    Chapter 1 of Colossinas sets the context. Paul basically spends the first part of the chapter explaining the simplicity of the gospel, rescuing the Colossians (and us) from our alienation from God through faith. Paul is interested in the Colossians better understanding God’s will and wisdom which will yield good works, patience, knowledge, etc. He also focuses on the redemptive power of Christ’s blood (verse 14). That becomes important later.

    The fact that Paul builds the foundation of his letter on the simplicity of the gospel and the wisdom of God to yield good works is important to note.

    1) It appears that the false teachers that have engaged the Colossians make the gospel more complicated than reality (“secret knowledge”).

    2) It appears that the false teachers have also changed God’s wisdom and will (from God) which of course would yield different works and knowledge (from men).

    It should be noted that God’s law is the beginning of all wisdom: Psalm 119:9-10 He has commanded His covenant forever: [i] Holy and awesome is His name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.[/i]

    Thus the false teachers are changing God’s law and commandments to their own commandments to suit their own doctrine and theology.

    3) It also appears that the false teachers struggle with the redemptive power of the Messiah’s blood (verse 14).

    Paul is doing all of this for a foundational reason, which is revealed in detail in Chapter 2. In Chapter 2, verse 8, Paul begins to issue his warnings to the Colossians. Paul advises to stay in Him
    (Christ, which is the living example of God’s Word). He gives clear and adamant warning against the principles of the world and worldly traditions, which can take us captive (enslave us). He is simply stating to stay in the example of the Word (Word made flesh = Jesus/Yeshua) and stay out of the world’s example.

    This is the focus of debate. Paul is against principles of the world and worldly traditions. This is very important to note as Paul is stating this for a reason, and we will come back to that.

    In verse 13-15, Paul expands into more detail about those who had influence in the first century that forced their traditions and regulations on people. The Gnostics sect had theirs, so did the Pharisees sect
    (Talmud/oral law), as well as other many sects of Judaism. It is always important to understand which false sect of Judaism Paul is battling against so we can then understand the debate and context at hand, and then apply it. We will use the clues offered to us to discover which Jewish sect is causing the doctrinal misguidance.

    When Jesus came, the majority of His ministry was in opposition to these man made traditions that opposed God’s laws (ie: Mark 7:8-9). Paul, like Jesus, is simply teaching the same. Paul, as in
    all of his letters, is protecting his converts from the teachings and doctrines of men that pollute the gospel and God’s law.

    There are several common sects of Judaism that often set the context and debate at hand in Paul’s writings. We are going to use the scripture to answer which ones we are dealing with in the letter to
    the Colossians. The reason we need to do this should be simple to understand. We can not understand the context unless we understand the debate. It is difficult to understand the debate if we do not know the denominational sects and doctrines involved.

    Jesus walked and modelled before us the perfect interpretation of God’s law. Yeshua (Jesus) proved that He was of God and through our faith we have stated to believe, commit, and trust in His ways and
    teaching. Paul is simply stating that there is no reason why we should allow anyone to compel or teach us do anything different than what Jesus taught and practised.

    In verse 13 Paul expands on the process of salvation by stating that we are “dead in our sin” and our “sin has been forgiven.” This is important because it sets the context for the very next verse which is often misunderstood.

    On the cross, Yeshua took the “handwriting of ordinances” (verse 14) that were against us, and erased them. In Paul’s day, “the handwriting of ordinances” was the list of offences one made against the
    law, it is obviously not the law itself. When the debt to the law is paid, the handwriting of ordinances against the offender is ripped up and destroyed. Obviously, the law is not against man, but man by nature is against the law of God (sin). The curse of the law (Deut. 11:26-29) is what is against us, which is the “law of sin and death.” That is what Jesus took to the cross. He paid our debt to God’s law in full. Paul explains much of this in detail in Romans (Romans 6-8) and what it means to be “under the law of sin and death.”

    The “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2) was the record of offences (sin) we have made against God’s law which of course leads to the curse (second death). It is this record against us that is abolished. As Paul details in Romans, there is a difference between the “law of God” and the “law of sin and death.” The “law of God” is for us when we obey it (blessings) and the “law of sin and death” (curse) is against us when we break the “law of God.” This should be quite simple.

    The same concept applies today in our own domestic laws. If the President pardons a criminal (sinner), he pardons the offence, not the law. He cancels what was against him, the charges written against him (handwriting of ordinances). The charges state that the criminal deserves to be punished. Likewise, once we are pardoned through Christ, we are no longer under (the curse/sin/death) of the law
    (Galatians 3:10-13), but under grace (Romans 6:14). We are freed from this curse (law of sin and death)(Romans 8:1-2). However, this does not mean that because of our faith affording us the gift of grace,
    that the law is canceled-just the punishment for breaking it (Romans 3:31). But just because our punishment is taken away, does that mean we should ignore the law and continue sinning so grace
    abounds? No, not at all (Romans 6:1). Paul made himself very clear for those willing to understand him.

    However, for those ignorant and unstable in God’s Word (which was the Old Testament in the first century) then Paul is very difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16). Paul can even be so misunderstood that
    one might conclude that God’s law has been abolished in whole or in part, thus making the error of lawless men (2 Peter 3:17).

    Many teach that the “handwritings of ordinances that were against us” was actually God’s law. Obviously that interpretation does not even compute on many levels. We will review the top three:

    1) For one, scripture clearly states that Jesus took care of our sin on the cross, not the means to define sin (law)(1 John 3:4). That is failure number one.

    2) Two, the law was never against us, but called freedom, perfect, truth, light, the way, and the life in the OT and the NT. Instead, it is man’s sinful nature is against the law of God (Romans 7:22-
    23), not the other way around. It is the “law of sin and death” that was against us (Romans 8:2). It is the “curse of the law” (Deut. 11:26-29) that is removed, not the law of God (Gal. 3:10-13). That is failure
    number 2.

    3) And lastly, the law was never “in our way.” Man’s sin and false doctrines were in the way (Mark 7). Simply reading Psalm 119 is a testimony of what the law should mean to a believer that is filled with God’s wisdom and knowledge. That is failure number 3.

    So what was the problem?

    Verses 5 & 22 sets the context and problems of Colossians 2 to be directly related to errors of the commandments of men, not the perfect, just, holy, freedom giving, commandments of God (same issue in Eph. 2:15).

    Where does it state that the problem was the law and the solution was to erase it?

    Nowhere does it state that the “law of God” was a problem anywhere in the totality of scripture. We invented the idea that the law was a problem, we then take verses out of context (preferably Paul-2 Peter
    3:15-17), decide to write books about it, confuse everyone and then actually celebrate God abolishing His law.

    The whole point of the new covenant is for God to write His law on our heart (Jer. 31:31-33), not to abolish it. The whole problem was with us (our heart) in relation to God’s law. In Romans 7:12,14, 22 Paul discusses the two natures again, it is written: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandments holy, and just and good … For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin … For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”

    What we needed was the Spirit and a heart transplant. In Ezekiel 11:19-20 it is written:

    [i] And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine
    ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. [/i]

    Also, in Ezk 36:26-27 it is written:

    [i] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. [i]

    So if God’s law is not the problem, then what was the problem? Ezekiel implies that the problem is with us and our stony heart. The writer of Hebrews agrees:

    Hb 8:8 [i] For finding fault with them (fault with them, not the “law of God”), 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[/i]

    So what is the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant?

    1. The Holy Spirit is a witness that the Newer Covenant = Law written upon our heart (Jeremiah 31:31, 33, Hebrews 10:15-16)

    2. The Holy Spirit was sent into the earth to teach us the TRUTH of God (John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, John 16:13)

    3. What is the TRUTH? God’s Law/Word of God IS TRUTH. (not WAS truth) (Psalm 119:142, John 17:17)

    4. God wanted to write His law (all, not some) upon our heart and teach us His law which is called “TRUTH” (Psalm 119:142) through His Holy Spirit who is called “THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH” (John 14:16-
    17,26, 15:26, 16:13)

    5. We need God’s Spirit within us for the following reasons:
    a) Have the power to overcome the sin nature inherited by Adam
    b) To bear spiritual fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-25)
    c) To understand, grow, and have a revelation of God’s Torah/Word

    The law was already perfect (i.e. Ps 19:7). God is not in the business of fixing what is not broken. We shouldn’t be in that business either, lest we be accused of adding to or subtracting from God’s Word (Deut.4:2)

    In verse 15, Paul mentions another central purpose Jesus accomplished, which was making a public spectacle of the dominant leadership of the day. He proved their falsehood (their man-made
    traditions, commandments of men, and principles of the world) and triumphed over them (Pharisees/Sadducees/etc)(Mark 7; Matthew 23). That was the whole point of His ministry, to fully preach
    and explain God’s already existing law, not destroy it or put and end to it (Matthew 5:17-19).

    If the handwritings of ordinances are God’s law and nailed to the cross then we have at least three serious problems that we can not scripturally explain.

    1) It would force God’s law to be against us and contrary to us. The reality is actually the opposite. Our man made doctrines, teachings, and fleshy ways are against God’s law. God offered His law as freedom (i.e.Psalm 119:45) and as a means to blessings (Deut. 11:26-29). It is difficult to conclude how freedom and blessings are against us. If freedom and blessings are not against us then Paul must have meant something else in reference to the “handwritings of ordinances.”
    It is our record of sin (breaking God’s law) that is against us and results in the curse (Deut. 11:28-29). Did Y’shua take away or our sin on the cross or the means to define sin (1 John 3:4)(Law of God)? If Yeshua abolished God’s law then defining sin is impossible since sin is defined as breaking God’s law.

    2) Jesus made a public spectacle of these ordinances and triumphed over them. Since when does God have to triumph and make a public spectacle of His own law and does that even make sense? Is God going to give His people His perfect, holy, just, freedom giving law and then intentionally make a public mockery of it?
    I am fairly certain God does not offer us instructions, call them perfect, and then publically mock them as He nails them to the cross. According to Mark 7, the commandments and traditions of men that are contrary to what was written by Moses (“law of God”) is sin. Since the “commandments of men (not God)” are root cause of the doctrinal issues of the Colossians Paul chooses to mention that Yeshua abolished all of these things on the cross by proving them false. Paul was in the habit of testing everything to scripture and taught others the same. How many have considered that the only scripture they had to test against was the Old Testament. That puts things into a whole new perspective doesn’t it?

    3) The context of Colossians 2 is focuses on problems rooted in “commandments of men (22)” and “traditions and rudiments of the world (5).” If it is the commandments and traditions of men that Paul is
    clearly stating as the problem then why would Paul teach us that Jesus took away the “law of God” as a solution? That is very awkward as it does not even logically follow.

    Clearly the context is retained and this theme continues through the end of the chapter. This leads us to some other verses often struggled with, verses 16-17.

    Col2:16-17 16: [i]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. 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. [/i]

    Paul states that the Colossians should not let themselves be judged for their observation of the Feast days or Sabbath day in respect to “food and drink.” Food and drink? What does food and drink have to do with anything? We will discuss that in a moment.

    Why should we conclude that Paul is teaching that they should continue keeping God’s commandments?

    One reason that Paul gives is because all of these have prophetic teaching value (17). God ordained these days for a specific reason, which was to help us understand God and His ways better, what He did and what is to come. Paul states that the Sabbath (Hebrews 4) and Feast days (Fall feasts) are still a shadow of things to come (17). The Spring Feasts help us remember what He did on the cross, and the Fall Feasts remind us that He is coming back.
    This is just one valuable component of God’s law Paul notes so that we do not abolish God’s Sabbath and Feast Days. We are to keep the Lord’s feast days as both Paul and Jesus did as our examples (1 Cor. 11:1). So let’s do some detective work.

    What group of false teachers were telling the Colossians to not keep the Lord’s Sabbath and Feast days?

    Remember, the context of these false teachings is the traditions of men, the influence of false religious practices, and the principles of the world. Verse 18 gives it away:

    Col.2:18: [i] Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind [/i]

    The Gnostic Judaism sect believed in the worshipping of angels. They were a massive problem in the first century. They believed they had special knowledge which granted them salvation (“things he has not seen.”) They had false humility and would boast about converting others to their doctrine. And lastly, as it relates to Paul’s letter, they did not believe that Jesus came in the flesh, which cancels His
    redemptive power of His blood. This is why John even calls them antichrists. This is why Paul focused so much on the gospel in chapter 1, and even His redemptive blood (Col 1:14) to set his foundation for his arguments in chapter 2. In fact, in verse 1:14 he stresses the importance of the redemptive power of Christ for this reason.

    Now, about the “food and drink.” Why does Paul specifically mention “food and drink” in relations to God’s Holy days?

    The known doctrine of the Jewish Gnostics mocked the feasts, as they spiritualized nearly every physical part of the law away because they were against “food and drink.” Absurd right? Who would be against food and drink? Well, they were against marriage as well and Paul even speaks of them in 1 Timothy 4.

    As stated earlier, this group was a big problem in their first century. Their supposed “secret knowledge” appealed to the pride of men. The Gnostics were judging the Colossians for keeping the Sabbaths and Feast Days in respect to matters of food and drink (verse 16). This why Paul states the Sabbath and Feast days still have prophetic value. This is why in chapter 1 Paul focuses on wisdom for good works (God’s commandments, not commandments of men).

    Nowhere in Scripture does God speak negatively about food or drink (unclean animals are not considered food-broma). Paul also makes a point to mention that God is the head of all creation, as the Gnostics raise angels above God. In verse 2:18, we learn that the group that is corrupting the Colossians worships angels, another dead giveaway that the problem at hand is Gnostic doctrine. There are several other clues, but those are the most blatant ones that most credible scholar’s point out.

    Why does Paul speak to the significance and value of the Feasts and how they all relate to Christ after he stated to not let ourselves be judged? Good question right? Perhaps it is because Paul is building a case for keeping the feast by appealing to their ongoing prophetic value. The reason Paul states that they still have prophetic value and are types of Christ is because the fall feasts (Trumpets, Atonement, & Tabernacles) are yet to be fulfilled as foreshadowed. Paul is explaining, to those who will listen, that the feasts are there to teach us in the way that God asked us to practice them.

    Shouldn’t Paul have said the feasts are of no value anymore? Or perhaps, God is done with those, so we should not observe them anymore? Why in the world would he state that they are still a shadow of things to come and that Christ is the reality of them if we are to no longer be practising them?

    Appealing to the current value of them is the last thing Paul should be doing. Yet that is what mainstream Biblical commentary must be proposing. For many reasons we know that the false teachers were the Jewish sect of the Gnostics, not Jewish Pharisees. The popular NIV Life Application Study Bible even agrees in its commentary that this is the Gnostic sect that is the root cause of doctrinal problems to the Colossians. So this understanding is nothing that is not already well understood and taught by some Biblical scholars.

    Why is this important?

    The Gnostic doctrine is full of “principles of the world,” and “commandments and teachings of men.” The Gnostics would not be commanding the Colossians to keep God’s feasts by any stretch. They would be teaching them not to, that they are just “spiritual”, and have no value. Sound familiar as any doctrine today?

    Because the feasts and Sabbath involve “food and drink” the Gnostics would consider God’s Feasts and Sabbath as actually evil. This is why the Gnostics considered the God of the Old Testament (as though God could change) as evil and the God of the New Testament as not evil (again, sound familiar?)

    What most do not consider is that there is a spiritual and physical application for every one of God’s commandments, and one does not override or trump the other. The physical teaches the spiritual. The inward produces the outward. Jesus taught us that in His first parable.

    So that is WHY Paul said YES, the Feasts still have value, and they ARE prophetic foreshadowing of what is TO COME (verse 17). In other words, don’t listen to the corrupted Gnostics and throw the Lord’s Feasts and Sabbaths out the window. They (the Gnostics) do not know that they are in serious error and certainly do not let them judge you with their supposed “special knowledge” of “things not seen.” Therefore, keep the Feasts and do not let anyone judge you for keeping them.

    See how context defines the verse for us?

    Col 2:20-23 – [i] Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not
    handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.[/i]

    Paul again makes it clear that in Christ we died against the “principles of the world” and “human regulations.” So far, Paul has said nothing against the “law of God.” In fact, THE WORD LAW IS NOT MENTIONED IN THE WHOLE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS. Consider reading that again.

    Amazing but true, yet teachers will try to convince you at every opportunity that the letter to the Colossians is all about abolishing God’s law instead of about abolishing commandments and doctrines from men. Many mainstream teachers place “God’s law” as the subject of Colossians 2 and the word law is not even mentioned once. You would expect it to be in there somewhere, but embarrassingly enough it is not. That is because Paul is teaching against false doctrines and commandments of the world/men, not teaching that any component of the “law of God” has been made void. In fact, if Paul was doing this, he would be contradicting himself and Yeshua (Ro. 3:31;7:22-23;Mat. 5:17-19)

    According to the obvious context, the Gnostics came in and started polluting the doctrine of the Colossians. The Gnostics directed the Colossians away from what Paul originally taught and practised (Law of God -Bible things in Bible ways). They even began imposing Gnostic ascetic beliefs and man-made commands that had to do with bodily sensory pleasures, neglecting the body, etc. (Do not handle, touch, etc.,) The Lord’s Feast days are a big problem for the Gnostics because these days are all about eating. That is why they are called feasts.

    The bottom line is this; Paul was railing the whole time against the Gnostics and their traditions. These traditions were clearly contrary to God’s law and to what Christ did on the cross in nearly every possible way. Paul even states that these are commandments and doctrines originating from men, not God. That is a dead give away that this is not about God’s law, but men’s ridiculous religious traditions.

    If we are to believe what mainstream Christianity teaches, we have to conclude several things:

    1) God’s laws are “principles of the world” and “human traditions” instead of spiritual (Check Romans 7:14). This is certainly and error that we do not want to make.

    2) God’s laws are “commandments and doctrines of men” instead of from God (Check Roman’s 7:22). Men are not God. There happens to be a difference between commandments of men and commandments of God. We need to apply that difference in our study.

    3) We would have to conclude that the Gnostics were compelling the Colossians to keep the feasts of God. We would also have to believe that even though Paul stated that even though the Feasts have prophetic value and God commanded us to keep them FOREVER, we should still not do them. Even though Paul, as written in Acts, kept the Feasts, such as Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Day of Atonement, as well as keeping the Sabbaths. He also stated that he kept and taught the Law of Moses and proved it (Acts 21). If we were to believe the Gnostics were compelling the Colossians to keep God’s feast this would contrary to everything we know about the Gnostics. If Paul was telling the Colossians to not keep God’s feasts then Paul would also be teaching against what he stated he believes, teaches, and practices.

    4) Paul states that we should keep the Feasts (Check 1 Cor. 5:8), yet here Paul is supposedly abolishing them.

    Obviously, 1-4 are not even remotely possible once one realizes that Paul was providing evidence against the Gnostics and their worldly traditions. Once again, the context (instead of verse plucking) provides us with the meaning and valid interpretations.

    The question must be asked however, what is the greater tragedy, destroying a faulty theological paradigm or destroying God’s Holy Word? It might be more politically and socially convenient now to abolish God’s law, but in the end, that might not be the most brilliant idea.

    Here are the points that need to be scripturally reconciled if someone is teaching that Paul teaches in Colossians 2 that God’s feasts, Sabbaths, and dietary instructions have been abolished.

    1) (2:8) Since when are God’s commandments considered to be “vain and empty deceit?”
    What scripture can be cited to support that understanding?

    2) (2:8) Since when are God’s commandments from “human tradition?”
    What scripture can be cited to support that understanding?

    3) (2:8) Since when are God’s commandments from “elemental spirits of the universe, and not of Christ” (Who is God)?
    What scripture can be cited to support that understanding? (Ex16, 20; Lev 23; Deu16)

    4) (2:13-14) If verses 13-14 speak of God nailing God’s commandments to the cross and doing away with them then why does Paul precede verse 13 with the context of us being forgiven from our sin?
    What does “nailing the handwriting of ordinances that were against us” have to do with our sin being forgiven if it is taking “God’s commandments” out of the way, or blotting them out?
    Are we suggesting that verse 13 had nothing to do with the context of verse 14?

    5) Where in scripture is it stated that God’s commandments are “against us”, instead of being called perfect, holy, just, fair, liberty, light to our path, truth, the way, and freedom?
    Is it not the opposite that is true, that man’s nature is against God’s law and not the other way around?
    What scripture can we cite to support that God’s law was against man and therefore needed to be removed? Where do we find support for the idea in Scripture that God’s commandments are against us?

    6) How is nailing God’s law to the cross “disarming principalities and powers?” How does God disarm His own power? What scripture can we cite to support this?

    7) Why would Jesus make a “public spectacle” of God’s own law, and through that, how does He triumph over them ?

    8) (2:13) If verse 13 really describes God’s commandments being nailed to the cross, how do we reconcile that with Romans 8:1-3 that states we are free from (6:14 – no longer under) the “law of sin and death” because of what Jesus did on the cross instead of being free from God’s commandments?

    9) It is clear that the group Paul was opposing (Gnostics) involved teaching strict ascetic regulations (2:21-23). This is the OPPOSITE of feasting. You don’t promote asceticism by encouraging the observance of feast days. Instead, you elevate asceticism by criticizing the way someone is keeping a feast, or by condemning the fact that they are celebrating a feast at all. How do we reconcile this contradiction when the Feast days and Sabbaths were all about eating and drinking (Deut. 14:23-26, Neh. 8:10,12)?

    10) The Gnostics considered everything that is physical as being evil, which is why they spiritualized away all physical commandments, including the observances of feast days. Why would the Gnostics be
    compelling the Colossians to be keeping the Feast days when it was against everything they believed in?
    How do we make that work?

    11) Why does Paul appeal to the value of the Feasts if he is arguing against keeping the feasts?

    12) (2:18-19) Why does verses 18-19 distinguish between the worship of angels, and knowledge of things not seen verses not holding to the things from God? Are the Feast days, dietary instructions, and Sabbaths not from God? Are they knowledge of things not seen? Are they not written in scripture to be seen? Are they not practised in plain sight by Paul himself in scripture?

    13) (2:20) Since when are God’s commandments “elementary principles from the world” and what Scripture can be cited to support this?

    14) (2:20) Why would observing God’s commandments be acting like one “still belonged to the world?” If keeping the Sabbaths and Feast days was “acting” like one still belonged to the world, why are there
    numerous instances in which Paul kept the Sabbaths and Feast days?
    Scripture clearly states that it is the Sabbath and Feast days that set us apart from the world. In addition, if Paul kept the feasts and was also acting like he still “belonged to the world,” why would he criticize the Colossians for observing them as well?

    15) (2:20) Since when are God’s commandments “regulations of the world” and what Scripture can be cited to support this?

    16) (2:21) How is keeping God’s Feasts the same as “do not handle, do not taste, and do not touch” in matters of food and drink? The Feast days were all about handling, tasting, and eating food and drink. Why does Paul even mention this? (Perhaps it is because this is exactly what Gnostic doctrine taught)

    17) (2:22) Since when are God’s commandments “human precepts and regulations” and what scripture can be cited to support this? Did humans create the “law of God” or did God create the “law of God?”

    18) (2:23) Since when are God’s commandments “lacking wisdom”, and what scripture can be cited to support this? What do we do with all of the Scripture that states that the “law of God” is the beginning of all wisdom?

    19) (2:23) Since when are God’s commandments “self made religion”, and what scripture can be cited to support this?

    20) (2:23) Since when are God’s commandments “self abasement” and “severity to the body”, and what scripture can be cited to support this?

    21) (2:23) If the opposing group is arguing for the Colossians to keep the feasts, how is that consistent with “self abasement,” “severity to the body,” and “avoiding fleshy indulgences,” such as perhaps…feasting and drinking on Feast days and Sabbaths?

    22) The Gnostics considered the “God of the OT” as evil and so they worshipped angels. The Gnostics did not keep Sabbaths and Feast days of a God they considered evil, thus they would have been telling the Colossians to not keep the Sabbaths and Feast days.

    All of the above is easily reconciled and Scripture makes complete sense when one realizes that the Gnostics would never subscribe to Feasts comprised of excess eating and drinking. Paul was stating to keep the feasts and avoid the ascetic practices of the Gnostics. The Gnostics practices as much abstinence from anything physical as they could, as anything physical and for the flesh was evil. They believed the more things for the flesh that was avoided that the closer to God you became. The keeping of the Feasts was the exact opposite of their beliefs!

    The Colossians were not being judged by the Gnostics for not keeping God’s Feasts. The Gnostics were judging the Colossians for their obedience in keeping of God’s Feasts. We should be careful not to add or subtract from God’s commandments, and certainly be careful not to accuse Paul, and especially God of doing so (Deut. 12:32).

    How can we conclude that Paul is teaching against the “law of God” in the midst of so much contrary evidence?

    Test everything I have said to scripture. Never take a man’s word for Truth, but test it to the only established Truth we have, God’s Word. This is what we are accountable to at the end of the race. Show
    yourself approved, and study the scriptures. Contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Seek out His ways and His path. Test your heart and ensure that it desires God’s ways and not the ways of the world, doctrines of men, or traditions of our fathers. As Jesus stated, we can do many things in God’s name, but if we were not doing it out of pure love and obedience to Him, then it matters not. In fact, our heart can still be so far from Him, that He could state, “Depart from me. I never knew you, you who works lawlessness”.

    It is our faith in Jesus that matters, but if there is no evidence of faith in your life that is demonstrated by a sincere interest in the keeping of God’s commandments, then begin asking yourself why you do not trust God’s ways, but instead rely on man’s ways and your ways. We need to humble ourselves and see Truth in the place where Truth is written. We can not pretend to invent Truth, but only have it delivered to us through His Word.

    I pray that this study has blessed you. I also pray that as you test the above to scripture, that you bring to my attention any part that might be in error as defined by scripture. Do not allow me to reside in any understanding that could be false, but reach out to me in love and discuss God’s Holy Word with me, and I will make every attempt to do the same with you. In the end, only the Truth matters. In the end, only Truth can end the division in His body and restore unity.

    True worshippers worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23)

    Ask yourself the hard questions. Ask others. Ask the Word. Test your faith. Challenge yourself. Test everything.

    Blessing dear bro,

    FX

    PS: the above comes from a teaching on Col 2 taken from 119 Ministries http://www.TestEverything.net

    • Kurt J. says:

      FX,

      Kurt here – you’ve responded to a post I wrote on Prophesite, not to ICA on Midnight Watcher. He is aware you have posted this very long reply, but he’s concerned we are just at loggerheads and thinks that neither side is making any headway, that each should be “fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom 14:5) about which day to worship, which is exactly the point of that verse. However, though I can’t respond point by point to everything you’ve discussed, there are one or two questions I want to ask you and something I want to say about Eph 2:15, which I included in my blog post.

      First off, are you a native French speaker? Because your command of English is excellent. Europeans and their ability to speak multiple languages blow me away. God has definitely created a powerful human mind.

      I want to ask you a couple of questions, and I want to assure you that the point is not to entrap you, but I am sincerely curious, how do you divide, if indeed you do, the 10 commandments from all the other commands of God? What about the food laws, the sex laws, the cleanliness laws…there are hundreds. How can you say that “Torah” (instruction) now only means the 10 commandments and not the 5 Mosaic books as Jews do?

      It seems rather arbitrary to me to say that when Paul said “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God” (Gal 2:19) he meant everything other than the 10 commandments.

      I don’t think you who think we are still under the Law fully appreciate passages like this one:

      Romans 7: 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound [Paul is not only talking about the Mosaic Law here, but the 10 Commandments; we know that because look at the command that he uses as an example in the next verse], so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “ You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

      Paul acknowledges that the commandment is “holy, righteous and good”, but its deadly at the same time. In fact, we have died to it. It killed us. We don’t serve according to a commandment anymore, but “in the newness of the Spirit”. Its all right there. There are many verses along these lines, particularly in Galatians. Here’s a few:

      Jesus Christ ends the need of the Law:

      “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)

      The Law was given to condemn us and imprison us:

      “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions.” (Gal 3:19)

      “The Scripture has shut up everyone under sin.” (Gal 3:22)

      “Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law.”
      (Gal 3:23)

      The Law was given to lead us to Christ, and we are no longer under the Law:

      “The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal 3:24, 25)

      Once we are redeemed from the Law we receive adoption as sons:

      “…so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we migh/t receive the adoption as sons.” (Gal 4:5)

      Once you are a son that knows God (Abba Father), don’t turn back again to the Law/legalistic observances:

      “But now that you have come to know God…how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years.” (Gal 4:9, 10)

      The slave and the free woman contrast the Law/Flesh vs. the Promise/Spirit:

      “Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.” (Gal 4:22)

      “These women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.” (Gal 4:24)

      “Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem.” (Gal 4:25)

      “But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.” (Gal 4:26)

      “We are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.” (Gal 4:31)

      Don’t fall back into slavery; stand firm in Christ:

      “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)

      We sever ourselves from grace and Christ the moment we seek to keep the Law (Remember Galatians 2:19, 2:21, etc.!):

      “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4)

      The Law is contrary to the message of the cross; although preaching the Law will result in LESS persecution!

      “If I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.” (Gal 5:11)

      The Law is fulfilled by Love—ultimately Christ’s love:

      The whole Law is fulfilled in… the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Gal 5:14)

      Christians are not under the Law:

      “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Gal 5:18)

      “Deeds of the flesh” vs. “Fruit of the Spirit” contrasted in Galatians 5:19-26: In the flesh our acts are unrighteous, whereas walking in the Spirit results in fruit produced by the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

      The law of Christ is to love:

      “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)

      The Law results in boasting in our flesh, since it is our own obedience that is earning our favor:

      “Those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.” (Gal 6:13)

      Last comment: I found something a little disingenuous in one analysis of Eph 2:15 by one Christian who believes we ought to be under the law (see here: http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/col2_14.html ). He focused on the word ordinance (“dogma” in Greek) and said it only referred to man-made rules in both the NT and Septuagint. That may be, but also in that verse is the word “Law” (nomos) and “Commandments” (entole), both of which are used throughout the NT and Septuagint to refer to the Law/Torah. Paul says these are called “THE ENMITY” that Christ both abolished and put to death, perfectly in keeping with everything else he wrote about the Law.

      We are dead to the Law. We now walk by and in the Spirit, not by a list of written commands.

      Last, last comment: Consider this… on Shavu’ot, the Law was given and 3,000 people died because they did not obey God’s word. On the exact same holiday, after Yeshua resurrected and ascended, the Spirit was poured out and 3,000 people were saved. The OT predicted that a new covenant was coming, one that would give us soft hearts of obedience. We please God when we “keep in step with the Spirit”, not in a law that was destined to pass away.

  2. JJJHS says:

    I am going to have to cut n’ paste FX’s comment, e-novel? Just kidding. There is so much to be said in these comments. I agree as FX opened that we should seek truth in our study of the word. A lot of times I see recliner faith. (I am not perfect, not anywhere close but, this is what’s going on)

    Recliner faith is taking what is told to you at face value and accepting it as truth sans Berean-like verification and studying other issues out for yourself. When I became Christian it was not in a church nor lead by any members. I read and read because of a major ordeal that was spiritual in nature, a very evil one, I needed the real deal God. I asked God to show me the truth over and over again and one day He answered. That day was the peak of existence.

    As on ICA’s site, I do not agree with pre-trib, never have. Not because I am argumentative but that Yeshua the Christ did not say that. When I went to churches hearing this, I always felt bothered, maybe dirty for sitting there since by sitting there I am virtually agreeing to the doctrines in that place wholesale.

    The point FX made about truth is valid. If we are about seeking it as God has told us, why do we avoid these subjects with others for the sake of getting along? Could part of the end time deception be in the church? YUP. The church has been infiltrated for a very long time. With infiltration comes (nefarious) influencing, obfuscation, pride and doubt.

    I do not belong to a church at this time. Ya know, a 5 million dollar building (and congregants are hurting), a surface level love, avoidance of important issues, a place where the Old (Covenant) Testament is rarely read except for guilt sermons on tithing (although God’s promises of tithe are not to be overlooked, the manipulation though I will not buy into).

    KJ, I at this time do have very little. I believe God is going to bless me in the future based on a few things I cannot elaborate on here. Do you or ICA know of or have a solid teaching on tithe? Do you think that tithe should model the early church (members/body of Christ) instead of squandering it on a TBN style Hollywood move set? I’m sorry to the Lord if I am wrong or being too harsh but the level of circus production encourages my stomach in to peristalsis.

    God bless the KJ, ICA and my brothers everyday.

  3. JJJHS says:

    Oh yeah btw, I have been pondering this subject of Sabbath for a long time. I am bombarded by a few cults, Mormons, SDA’s, JW’s, Calvary Chapels and so on in this area. They all claim to hold the trophy of biblical truth. (errrrmm) In my own studies I cannot agree with a lot of or some of their doctrines or I’d be disloyal to the Lord.

    For real KJ, I have another question about Sabbath. If we were to follow it, whose version do we follow. The Old Covenant Sabbath was a covenant made to a specific people. Do we try to do as the rabbis interpreted, as in the Halachic way, which they have added to for a very long time? Do we follow Christ’s example? Do we heed Isaiah 58 which talks about what God wants more than calendar Sabbaths but to do according to the heart of the Father? If we heed Isaiah 58 then we are to not do our own desire on the Sabbath day but to enjoy it, make it our delight and do the things prescribed as the Father’s words explain. Am I to be fully convinced in my own mind?

    Just a few questions I have had, unleashed in the Kurt-ster. If you have some insight into this feel free to email me or leave it here. Thanks guys. AMeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

    • Kurt J. says:

      We do what the Spirit of God leads us to do:

      “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Gal 5:18)

      The Spirit will not lead you into sin. And to be clear, I am not telling anyone not to obey the 10 commandments, or any command of God’s Spirit. The commands are still “good”, but we don’t walk by them. “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

      We are not under the Law, period. Well, we are under one Law, Christ’s Law:

      “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

      Read the long response I made to FX.

      John Jacob, you are special to God and known by Him. Rest, rest, rest in Him. He has blessed you greatly with a sharp intellect. Fellowship with and encourage your brothers, somehow. I know you’re disillusioned, but remember, we’re all a work in progress. You know the old saw: “There’s no perfect church, and if there was, what would it be when you showed up?” Ha! Take care, Kurt.

    • FX says:

      Bonjour JJJHS,

      “I have another question about Sabbath. If we were to follow it, whose version do we follow.”

      What about our Father’s version?! That’s the only one we are asked to follow!! 😉

      “Do we try to do as the rabbis interpreted, as in the Halachic way, which they have added to for a very long time?”

      By all means, we are to avoid traditions and commandments of men. In regards to the Shabbat, Judaism has added tons of dos and don’ts which have taken away from Shabbat it’s purpose and freedom.

      “Do we follow Christ’s example?”

      Yes, by all means! We are to do good on Shabbat!

      “The Old Covenant Sabbath was a covenant made to a specific people”

      This is what replacement theology teaches, but is not true. The whole Bible is made for the men of God, whereas saints from the Old Testament or saints from the New One. This group of people is called Israel. Believers in Jesus are the Israel of God.

      Like Paul says: “Every scripture is divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, fully fitted to every good work”.

      And remember, the only Scriptures Paul add was the “Old Testament”!

      “Am I to be fully convinced in my own mind?”

      Absolument ! 😉

      Blessings,

      FX

      • JJJHS aka AKA says:

        Hey FX, thanks for the reply.

        In a “not at all” kind of way I mentioned the Halachah as a choice but it was actually a type of limit within the questions which were all part of a single statement comprising a question.

        Jesus warned (all of us) about the traditions of men, rituals, and trying to making up for one’s sins, spiritual blemishes and imperfections by our own attempts and having ther heart in the wrong place. I have done some studies in the extensive additions to the Bible and the endless commentary on the Law and it goes 180 degrees away from biblical truth. So inserting the rabbi’s view was the only somewhat insincere but necessary question – I was throwing out a far fetched one to hopefully create a sort of parameter to what the Sabbath actions may be taken.

        I do not believe in replacement theology at all. Even without Romans 11, and us knowing our place from it, God would promise Israel (and Judah) and, and, and) things that were irrevocable since ‘God is not a man that He should lie”.

        The reason I asked about Christ’s example is maybe in my own mind to contrast the ridiculous amount of extrabiblical rules one must attempt during a Sabbath in the modern day. It is not a joy to those that are observant. It is even a day that they try to trick God by getting out of their own certain restrictions. You ever heard of Sabbath elevators and so on? Jesus was about His Father’s business on Sabbath; so not doing our own will, but the will of the Father is acceptable, right? So can we do on Sabbath as long as it is what the Father would have us do or are the rules about movement up to a certain distance, not starting a fire and so on, apllied?

        So weird to some that to not celebrate a Sabbath is an offense, yet before Jesus was born, and he was accused of breaking Sabbath, yet Isaiah wrote God’s words in Isaiah 58, and God said I don’t want your Sabbaths, your this, your that. God went on to describe what he wanted, then described he wanted the Sabbth to be a delight and to make God your joy on this day.

        Isaiah 58 is very deep to me and important. Jesus touched on Isa 58 in Matthew 24 and a few other places. BUT THEY ALL MATCH! ummmm… cool.

        I’ll get back to this question, gotta make some calls now. Blessings

  4. FX says:

    Bonjour JJHS,

    Désolé for the e-novel!!! 😉

    Funny cause I came to the Lord the same way as you did! Outside mainstream Chruch, and asking our Abba to show me a sign, which He did. Praise Him. My life has not been the same ever since!

    I’ll try to answer some of your questions later on..

    Blessings from France,

    FX

  5. FX says:

    Dear Kurt, bonjour !

    Thank you for your feedback. Please give me some time to address your questions.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. My post was addressed to ICA’s last response on the Shabbat issue on his blog, but since he redirected the discussion on your blog, I posted it here.

    Grace, mercy and peace mon cher frère !

    FX

    PS: [i]are you a native French speaker?[/i]

    Yes Sir! 100%!! 😉

  6. FX says:

    Re-bonjour Kurt !

    Allow me to address some of the points you raise.

    [i] [ICA] is aware you have posted this very long reply, but he’s concerned we are just at loggerheads and thinks that neither side is making any headway, that each should be “fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom 14:5) about which day to worship, which is exactly the point of that verse [/i]

    At first sight, it may seem so, but is it exactly the point of Rom 14:5? Is Paul really talking about the 4th commandment in Romans 14?

    Actually, when we look at the full context of this chapter, the issue is not Shabbat at all! Paul is talking about eating/food (verses 2, 3, 15, 20, 21, 23) and fasting (verse 6)!!!

    [i] One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. [/i]

    The right context can only be the following: One man esteemeth one day above another to fast or to eat certain food: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Why?

    1- Because nowhere in Rom 14 Paul is talking about Shabbat. The issue is clearly food, what people decide to eat or not to eat, and when

    2- Because Paul would never tell people to disobey the Torah!

    The mistake we often make is to take a verse out of its context and interpret it with our own Greco-Roman mindset. When we do so our conclusions can only be bias. Such is the case if we conclude that in Rom 14.5, Paul teaches us that we can do what we want in regards to Shabbat.

    Let us not forget that Paul was 100% immersed in the Tanach (what we call the “Old Testament”), the only Scriptures available at the time. All of Paul’s teachings are based on it. And the Tanach cannot be clearer when it comes to the Law: God wants His children to walk according to His Instructions!

    Since the writings of the New testament clearly tell us that Paul “walked orderly, and kept the law” (Acts 21.24), and that Paul himself tells us “the keeping of the commandments of God” is the most important of things (1 Cor 7.19), it would contradict the Scriptures to actually conclude that Paul was teaching against Torah, telling people it’s OK not to observe Shabbat.

    [i] I want to ask you a couple of questions, and I want to ensure you that the point is not to entrap you, but I am sincerely curious, how do you divide, if indeed you do, the 10 commandments from all the other commands of God? [/i]

    First, thank you for your kind spirit. The aim of this discussion we’re having on the Law/Torah issue is for edification purposes and I appreciate your spirit and curiosity. I will try to do my best to answer the points you raise.

    As far as I understand, the 10 commandments sum up the whole Instructions of God (I would rather call the Torah instructions, since it is a better translation than the word “law”).

    These 10 commandments bear the essence of all the other commandments. In Matthew 22.37-39, Jesus sums-up these 10 commandments in two main ones:

    1- Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (this seems to be a summary of the 5 first commandments, which show us how to love God).

    2- Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (this seems to be a summary of the 5 last commandments, which show us how to love our neighbours).

    I guess we could sum-up those two commandments by the word Love, since Yahweh is love.

    [i] What about the food laws, the sex laws, the cleanliness laws…there are hundreds. [/i]

    Knowing that the statutes and ordinances of Torah (like the sex laws, the cleanliness laws etc.) were addressed to specific groups of people (sometimes only to the priests) operating in a specific environment (when the presence/glory of God was physically dwelling on earth in the midst of the people of Israel, either in Tabernacle or later in the Temple), some cannot be applied today. Actually, most of the statutes and ordinances of Torah are not applicable by believers today.

    Besides the 10 commandments which sum up all the Instructions of God, and are all observable today, I guess the question we should ask ourselves is the following: what of the status and ordinances are still observable today?

    You mention the food laws, I believe with all my heart they are still valid and should be observed by believers today (the usual verses from the New Testament put forwards by those who think these food laws are no longer valid, can be arguments otherwise).

    All the ordinances that were only applicable when the Tabernacle or the Temple was present (with the Glory of God on this earth) cannot be applied today since there is no Temple (these would include all the cleanliness laws, for instance. And besides, we are cleansed and washed by the blood and Word of Yeshua).

    [i] How can you say that “Torah” (instruction) now only means the 10 commandments and not the 5 Mosaic books as Jews do? [/i]

    There is a broad and a narrow definition of the word Torah. It can mean the 5 books of Moses (as they are the ones who introduce and defines what Torah is), it can also mean the whole Bible since Torah is the Word of God (and we know the Word of God include all the books between Genesis and Revelation), but it can also mean the 10 commandments.

    Regarding the Scriptures you mention from Paul, including Gal 2:19, Romans 7, can I ask you a question?

    What do you think Paul meant when he said we are not under the law?

    Does Paul mean by that we do not have to walk according to God’s instructions? I personally understand that Paul meant that now we are in Christ, we are no longer under the condemnation of the Torah.

    Rom 6:23 tells us [i] “For the wages of sin is death” [/i] and [i] “sin is the transgression of the law” [/i] 1Jn 3:4).

    Unless Paul was a schizophrenic, he could not have meant that we do not have to follow the law anymore. On the contrary, he explains to us the amazing thing God has done to us through the death of His Son. In Chris, we are no longer condemned by the Torah (because Yeshua paid the penalty price for us). We now have the liberty to walk in it thanks to the help of the Holy Spirit (whose main job is to help us walk according to the Torah! See Ez 11.19-20).

    [i] Paul acknowledges that the commandment is “holy, righteous and good”, but its deadly at the same time. In fact, we have died to it. It killed us. We don’t serve according to a commandment anymore, but “in the newness of the Spirit”. Its all right there. There are many verses along these lines, particularly in Galatians. [/i]

    How can something which is “holy, righteous and good” can be deadly at the same time?

    This does not make sense!! Unless we interpret it the way it was meant to: we are now dead to the penalty of the law (which defines what sin is), which is death. Satan and death do not have any power over us anymore. Even if we die, we know for sure we have eternal life. Praise Yah!!!

    [i] Jesus Christ ends the need of the Law:
    “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4) [/i]

    The word “end” above “telos” in Greek is to be understood as goal. Indeed Christ is the goal of the Law!

    [i] The Law was given to condemn us and imprison us:
    “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions.”(Gal 3:19)
    “The Scripture has shut up everyone under sin.” (Gal 3:22)

    “Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law.”(Gal 3:23) [/i]

    That is if you interpret the above verses with a Greco-Roman mindset! In the Hebrew mindset (which was Paul’s), the Torah is perfect and is liberty. Why? Because this is exactly what the Scriptures tell us!

    Psa 19:7 : [i] The law of the LORD is perfect [/i]

    James tells us the very same: Jas 1:25 [i] But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. [/i]

    Jas 2:12 [i] So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. [/i]

    Psa 119:45 [i] And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. [/i]

    The above Scriptures speak for themselves, don’t they? They show us that the “legalistic observances” and “slavery” you mention, quoting several verses from Galatians, cannot refer to the Torah of God, in Paul’s mouth. From the above verses, we see this is impossibility.

    Paul must then be speaking of something different. Could he be speaking about the oral law of men (we see today in Judaism)? I definitely think so! Because, indeed, the oral law is bondage!

    [i] We sever ourselves from grace and Christ the moment we seek to keep the Law (Remember Galatians 2:19, 2:21, etc.!):
    “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4) [/i]

    Put back into its context, we see Paul was facing people who taught that IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, one had to be circumcised. This is false; hence this is why Paul fights against such heresy.

    [i] The Law results in boasting in our flesh, since it is our own obedience that is earning our favour:
    “Those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.” (Gal 6:13) [/i]

    Once again, the context here is shall we follow Torah to be saved? The answer is NO!!!

    [i] The Law is fulfilled by Love—ultimately Christ’s love:
    The whole Law is fulfilled in… the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Gal 5:14) [/i]

    How can we love our neighbour like ourselves? Who defines what love is? Men or God?

    We saw earlier that the last 5 commandments are the ones which show us what loving our neighbours is. The way our Creator wants us to love our neighbours is defined in His Instructions.

    If we follow your interpretation where the law has been done away with and is no longer relevant for believers today, how can we possibly love our neighbours as ourselves? You make the very standards set by God disappear!!! 

    What is love according to God?

    1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    Once again, could things be clearer?

    The only way to love God and follow His commandments is when we have been saved and washed by the blood of Yeshua. What has happened to us is something so incredible and so overwhelming than out of pure love for our Redeemer, we want to please Him with all our hearts. This is the very reason we want to follow His Instructions. Jesus says:

    “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14.15). He then adds somewhere else that His commandments are not grievous! And they are not, indeed!

    Do you have any kids, Kurt?

    If yes, I’m sure you love them. Because you do and you want to protect them and bless them, when they were under your roof, you had a set of instructions for them to follow. What if they looked in your face and said: “you know what daddy, we love you, but the bunch of instructions here we will not follow them”. Would you be pleased by such behaviour? Well, it’s the same thing with our Heavenly Abba.

    As father, don’t we expect our kids to obey us?

    [i] “The OT predicted that a new covenant was coming, one that would give us soft hearts of obedience. We please God when we “keep in step with the Spirit”, not in a law that was destined to pass away”. [/i]

    If your understanding were correct and the law is destined to pass away, why then during the Millennium people will go to Jerusalem to hear the Torah?

    Isa 2:3 [i] And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. [/i]

    Could it be because unlike what you think the law is NOT destined to pass away? Actually Yeshua Himself clearly says that it won’t pass away until heaven and hearth -pass away! (Mat 5.18-19)

    Could it be because once saved, the Law is the way?
    Please double-check the following Scriptures for yourself: (Ex 18:20)(Deut 10:12)(Josh 22:5)(1 King 2:3)(Ps 119:1)(Prov 6:23)(Is 2:3)(Mal 2:8)(Mark 12:14)

    Could it be because once saved, the Law is the truth?
    (Ps 119:142)(Mal 2:6)(Ro 2:20)(Gal 5:7)(Ps 43:2-4)(Jo 8:31-32)

    Could it be because once saved, the Law is life?
    (Job 33:30)(Ps 36:9)(Prov 6:23)(Rev 22:14)

    Could it be because once saved, the Law is light?
    (Job 24:13)(Job 29:3)(Ps 36:9)(Ps 43:2-4)(Ps 119:105)(Prov 6:23)(Is 2:5) (Is 8:20)(Is 51:4)(2 Cor 6:14)(1 John 1:7)

    Could it be because once saved, the Law is God’s instructions on how to love Him, how to love others, and how to not love yourself.
    Please double-check the following Scriptures for yourself:(Ex 20:6)(Deut 5:10)(Deut 7:10)(Deut 11:13)(Deut 11:22)(Deut 30:16)(Deut 6:5)(Lev 19:18)(Neh1:5)(Dan 9:4)(Mat 22:35-37)(Matthew 10:39)(Mat 16:25)(Jo 14:15)(Jo 14:21)(Ro 13:9)(1 Jo 5:2-3)(2 Jo 1:6).

    Hoping the above will raise your curiosity and coax you to dive deeper into this issue.

    Blessings from France, dear bro,

    FX

    PS: I will need more time to look into Eph 2:15.

  7. FX says:

    Bonjour Kurt,

    Sorry for this late reply regarding Ephesians 2.14-16.

    You write:

    “But beyond that, he has abolished the Law for those in Christ – the Law is what separated God from Man (it was the enmity). But now for Christians, those “in Christ”, the Law has been “put to death”, not according to me, but the Word of God:

    For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to Godthrough the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. (Eph 2:14-16)”

    Question: was it the actual Torah (=Instructions & teachings of God) that separated God from Man or was it the curse of the Law that did?

    I submit to you it was the curse, which Paul calls the enmity.

    According to God, sin equals disobeying His commandments (1Jn 3:6 makes this very very plain).
    Paul tells us “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23 ). This is the curse/enmity Paul is referring about. This is what separates God from men. Not His Holy Instructions!

    Unless the Bible contradicts itself, this is the only possible interpretation.

    Would you agree with me Yeshua is the Word of God?

    The the word of God, that is Yeshua, says in Psalm 9:

    “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psa 19:7-8)

    Why on earth would God change His mind, and abolish Instructions He calls perfect, sure, making wise, right, pure and enlightening? This does not make sense AT ALL!

    “But now for Christians, those “in Christ”, the Law has been “put to death”

    Your understanding is not correct my dear bro! It’s not the Torah, but the enmity/curse that has been put to death by the dearh of our Saviour! He has redeemed us indeed from the curse of the Torah (= sin = death when we sin)! Praise Yah!

    Gal 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”

    Richards Rives recently asked a very good question for all of us to ponder:

    “As believers, are we subject to the law of God?”

    He ten goes on to explain:

    “Scripture defines sin as the ‘transgression of the law;’ yet most of today’s Christian theologians, preachers and teachers would persuade us that we have no responsibility to the laws of our Creator – that as believers we are free from the law. They way they attempt to accomplish that is by taking scripture out of context – picking and choosing the parts they like and disregarding the rest.

    While it is true that the apostle Paul said Christ Jesus has made us free from the law, those who want to define their own version of Christianity leave out the part that tells us which law – the law of sin and death, not the commandments of our Creator.

    The New Testament tells us that the wages of sin is death – you sin – you die – that’s the law of sin and death. Our Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for believers who walk not after the flesh. He condemned sin in the flesh. He did not make a way for us to break His Commandments.

    God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Are you subject to the law of God? »

    Grace, mercy, love and shalom.

    FX

    • Kurt J. says:

      FX:

      Are you subject to the law of God?

      I can only go with what scripture says:

      “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Gal 5:18)

      “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound” (Romans 7:6)

      “The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Gal 3:24, 25)

  8. FX says:

    Bonjour Kurt,

    “I can only go with what scripture says:”

    The question to ponder then is the following: what does the Scripture mean when it says “we are no longer under the Law”

    Does it means that we now have a license to sin?

    This is exactly what Christianity teaches. Are we dealing here with traditions of men or with the Torah of Yahweh?

    One decides for himself!

    Blessing, love & Shabbat Shalom !!

    FX

    • Kurt J. says:

      Romans 7:

      24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

      The conclusion of Chapter 7 is, we want to do God’s law, but we can’t – our flesh is weak and in bondage to sin. To try to “do” the law always results in sin, due to our flesh.

      Romans 8:

      1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

      Jesus set us free from “the law of sin and of death”. This does not mean the law is bad, on the contrary, it is good. But our efforts to walk by or keep the law always result in death. What then is the solution? The Spirit of God:

      4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

      How is the law fulfilled in us? By walking according to the Spirit, the new Jerusalem, not the old Mt. Sinai (see Galatians).

      5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

      The flesh = the law = death = displeasing to God

      Faith = the Spirit = life = pleasing to God

      We do not please God by walking in the old covenant; he promised and gave a new covenant. When we walk in the Spirit we automatically do the things that are pleasing to God. It is not a “law awareness” but a “Spirit awareness”. The law is fulfilled in me because I accept what Jesus has done and walk in the Spirit, not because with the Spirit’s strength I try to keep the Law.

      Very important:

      9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

  9. Kurt J. says:

    Use whatever you want. You can use the ‘reblog’ tool to add the article to your website.

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