Archive for the ‘Apostacy’ Category

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Choose Passover…not Easter

March 5, 2010

Why should a Christian celebrate Passover?

In Luke 22:19 Yeshua (Jesus) says “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” While many may associate these words with what is commonly referred to as “communion”… that is not at all what the Master had in mind. He was not instituting something new…He was instead observing thePassover as instructed by His Father in the Law of Moses and teaching us to keep it as a “memorial” to Him.  In Luke 22:15 Yeshua says “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” Paul too reminds us to keep this feast in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 when he says “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.  For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Today when a family who loves Messiah keeps the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, they are doing more than simply obeying God. They are living out God’s Word, experiencing His redemptive plan in a real way and teaching their children that Jesus (Yeshua) was that spotless Lamb of God who became our Passover sacrifice.  They are teaching their children that by applying His blood to our hearts, we too are “passed over” from death to eternal life. By recalling the deliverance from slavery to Egypt, they remember and give thanks for the fact that as followers of Messiah we have been delivered from the bondage of sin!  By observing the instruction to remove leaven and eat unleavened bread for seven days His followers are reminded that Jesus was without sin…without leaven… He is the Bread of Life!  We learn that while redemption has come…we still need to work at getting the “sin” (1John 3:4)) out of our lives. Trying to clean our houses of every last bread crumb paints quite a picture for the Believer. It’s not easy.

Now the hard part… Why do Christians celebrate Easter?  Speaking for myself I can say it was ignorance.  I had no idea that I was following after the traditions of the Catholic Church. With a little research you will find that years ago the Roman church…in an attempt to distance themselves from anything Jewish…declared that the pagan celebration known as Easter should be “Christianized” and be observed in place of Passover. Mixing things of pagan origins in with the worship of God, or “syncretism” is strictly forbidden inDeuteronomy 12, but that is exactly what they did.  It was also declared by these so called “church fathers”… and is currently accepted and practiced throughout Christianity… that Jesus was crucified on “good Friday” and rose again on “Easter” Sunday morning. Question…is that what Scripture teaches? No, and in fact we were given a sign to watch for concerning this very issue to help us recognize false messiahs and false teachings.  In Matthew 12:40 Yeshua says “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”  While even children can see that you can not fit three days and three nights in between Friday and Sunday, the sign continues to be ignored.

In summary, Passover is commanded of God and is to be kept as a memorial to remind us of what our Messiah did as the perfect Passover sacrifice…Easter originated with pagan worship of fertility gods and is an abomination to God. Passover is the feast that Jesus and Paul instructed Disciples of Messiah to keep…Easter is the feast that the Pope instructs his followers to keep. Our Master said the sign would be three days and three nights in the grave…–Easter fails the test…I pray that I have not offended and ask you to play the Berean.

John 4:23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  Acts 17:30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,”

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Genesis 3:1 …No More Excuses

January 26, 2009

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  Genesis 3:1

 

Our enemy loves it when we question the Living God at His Word.  In the Bible, we are given good instructions from The Holy One in everything from the holidays we should observe to the foods we should eat.  He has defined sexual immorality and shown us how to treat one another as we walk out our lives in plain view of the God of creation.  He gives instructions concerning the widow and the orphan along with how we are to worship Him. Everything it takes for us to live a holy and blessed life before Him has been shown to us in His Torah. Yet, it seems that our enemy continues to have success in convincing many Christians that God does not really mean what He says, that His Commandments have been changed, or somehow done away with.  How can this be? Is Ha Satan really that good at smooth talking Christianity into forsaking God’s Word?  Are we that slow to learn the lessons from the garden?  I for one am no longer willing to place all the blame at Ha Satan’s feet.  Neither will I label Christians as slow learners thus somehow justifying our disobedience to God’s Word.  I believe the truth hurts a bit more than that.

 

The truth is, we really have no excuse for sin, which is transgression of God’s Law. (1 John 3:4) Even deception cannot be called upon to justify disobedience to God’s instructions. Now, many might say “wait a minute Tim, Eve was deceived while Adam transgressed”.  And while this is true, I submit to you that it is not the whole truth. In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul says “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression”.  Notice that yes, Eve was deceived.  But also notice that it led to transgression resulting in death for Eve as well as for Adam.  Both were guilty in the end.  Neither path was a good one. As Believers we are warned, if not commanded repeatedly, not to be deceived.  In Galatians 6:7 Paul admonishes us “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life”. Deuteronomy 11:16 gives further proof that being deceived will not let us off the hook. It says “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you…”  Need some more proof?  Paul says in Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

 

In the end, our success or failure to walk uprightly before the Lord comes down to a simple choice with no excuses for choosing wrongly.  Notice I did not say easy choice…I said simple choice. There is a big difference.  You and I have the simple choice of taking God at His Word or walking according to our own fleshly desires while trying to justify it with differing sorts of ear tickling cop-outs.  As we have seen, even deception fails to excuse us.  Each day we are given the simple choice of choosing the blessing or the curse…life or death.  The Master reminds us that we are not to just read every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, but that we are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) Again, there is a big difference. Living by God’s Word means actual physical obedience to God’s Word with our very lives, even if it costs us something.  And it will cost you something.  As His Disciples however, we were to have already counted that cost and considered it worth the paying.

 

From this day forward, may each of us purpose in our hearts to walk according to the Spirit, in total obedience to His Word. Let us stop being deceived by articulate words spoken by those who value traditions of men over the Commandments of God and begin to obey God’s instructions, simply embracing them with every ounce of strength we have.  No more excuses.

 

Deuteronomy 30:19 says “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  

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Christians voting for Obama…a Sign of the Times

November 16, 2008

“The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.  That’s the first thing that I’d do.”  — Senator Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007

 

 

 

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”  Matthew 24:12-13

 

Have you ever been witness to something that caused you to just stop…and wonder at what you were seeing?  In chapter 17 of Revelation we see this happen to the writer John as he is allowed a glimpse into the last of the last days.   He is shown a woman who sits on a scarlet beast, “full of names of blasphemy”.  It describes her as having in her hand a “cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication”.  The Scripture says that upon seeing her, John “marveled with great amazement”.  Why is he so amazed? Is it what he saw or perhaps could it be…who he saw being represented as this woman riding the beast?

 

Friends, you and I are living in the last of the last days. And those who have eyes to see have been given a front row seat to a spectacle that may for a moment at least, cause us to “marvel with amazement” as did John.  In this latest election for example, we have witnessed with our own eyes many people whom we love, who claim to believe the Bible to be the Word of God and whom profess to be followers of Jesus Christ… actually running to fall into line behind the pied piper named Barry Hussein Obama.  They seem to be truly proud of the fact that they were able to play a part in the election of a socialist President who unashamedly stands for the murdering of babies. Perhaps they can debate against the war in Iraq…perhaps they can attempt to explain to me the merits of stealing from one person and giving it to another in the name of “fairness”…perhaps they can in ignorance actually believe this man can bring peace by negotiating with terrorists thus somehow saving our children from having to ever fight a war against those who wish them dead. Perhaps they can overlook Obama’s twenty year relationship with a “pastor” who spews forth hatred for this nation.  Perhaps…but may God have mercy on them for trying to justify voting for a man who supports infanticide.

 

Now I am not surprised that Obama won.  I expected those of this world to support this man.  As a friend of mine has said “you should expect a duck to quack like a duck”.  Yet one would also expect a true follower of Christ to stand for the things which Christ stood for… and to vehemently stand against those things which He would stand opposed…NO MATTER THE COST!  Can any of you professing Christians out there who voted for Obama honestly look me in the eyes and tell me you believe Jesus would be pleased with your decision?  Yet professing Christians support for a man who does not recognize the sanctity of human life is but a symptom giving hint to something spoken of long ago in the Bible.  It’s called… apostasy.  In 2 Thessalonians Paul spoke of a falling away that would come just before the “man of sin” is revealed and before Messiah’s return.  As people in these last days slide into lawlessness, Paul warned us that “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness”.   In fact, Paul mentions that even in his day the “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work.  As you should know by now, when the Bible speaks of lawlessness it does not mean anything other than the forsaking of His Torah. 

 

Today it becomes increasingly evident that we are in the midst of this great falling away spoken of in Scripture.  While many profess Christ with their mouths, their actions are telling.  Paul described them as ones who “profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Sadly, Jesus spoke of a “lukewarm assembly” of people whom he would “vomit” out of His mouth.  Jude spoke of men who would creep into our folds, men who would “turn the grace of our God into lewdness”. In short, while it breaks our hearts, it should come as no surprise to the student of Scripture that there will be many who will indeed fall away.

 

As John beheld the woman in the Revelation he heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.  For her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities.”

Today you and I still have time to repent and turn back to His Torah.  We still have time to distance ourselves from all evil and stand opposed to those things our Master would oppose.  We still have time to consider the terrifying words spoken by Jesus when He said in Matthew 7 that “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!  But time is running out.

 

Friends, it is not my place to judge who the true Christians are.  It is my place however to share with you what Scripture says concerning these last days and the importance of clinging to Messiah and His Torah with all of your heart.  It is your very life.  (Matthew 4:4)  Since we know beforehand that lawlessness will increase in this world and that many will fall away, it should behoove us to constantly check our hearts…always seeking to line our lives up with Scripture, no matter how unpopular…no matter the cost.   Peter told us to “beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.” (2Peter 3:17)  

 

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”.  Luke 21:28

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Numbers 16:21-26…Get Away!

April 11, 2008

So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” Numbers 16:23-24…And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” Numbers 16:26 

As we have learned, the uprising of Korah and his followers was more than just a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. It was in actuality, a rebellion against the Holy One of Israel.  It was He who chose Aaron to be High Priest…it was He who chose Moses to be the prophet to whom which He spoke face to face… and it was He who had chosen Moses as the leader of Israel. Yet, Korah had somehow convinced 250 “leaders of the congregation…”men of renown”… to actually stand against God and His spoken Word.  How foolish you might say.  Couldn’t these “leaders” of the congregation see what was happening and speak out against Korah before it was too late?  Had they not promised to do “all that the Lord our God says” as spoken thru Moses? How could they be so deceived and turned around?

Again, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that these events were written down as a warning for us in these last days, that we might avoid making the mistakes of our forefathers.  Question…Have we learned the lesson?  Could we ever be deceived into taking a stand with our words or our lives that is in complete opposition to God’s Holy Word? Are we able to recognize “Korah” and the need to “get away”? I believe these questions are relevant for today. 

(The following is spoken in love. For many years I myself was caught up in the rebellion of Korah.  I was able to get away in time only because of God’s grace in my life, only because someone had the guts to challenge me with Scripture and I had the guts to check them out.  I would like to do for you what someone once did for me. I encourage you to praise God for his grace poured out thru His Son Jesus, (Yeshua). He is our Salvation.  I also encourage you ask yourself the hard question…Is it possible that I and some of those around me have strayed from God’s Word?  Are we really living as we should be as “sons of Abraham”? It’s an important question)

In the book of Jude we are warned about men who in our time would “turn the grace of our God into lewdness” and “perish in the rebellion of Korah”. Despite this clear warning, very few who call themselves bible believing Christians even know who Korah was. This does not bode well when you consider that the Master Himself, quoting from the Torah said in Matthew 4:4 that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  Take heed, for out here in this final wilderness, Korah is both alive and well in the camp. In the spirit of Korah, many “leaders” of the congregation, “men of renown” are once again standing against God and His Word. Contrary to the words of Jesus (Yeshua) (Matthew 5:17-19) Paul (2 Timothy 3:16) and John (1John 5:3) there are actually some pastors and leaders today, who declare boldly that the Word of God as given thru Moses is no longer valid for instruction in righteousness.  Instead, they teach that Torah has been “done away with” or “nailed to the cross”, and that God’s people are now “free in Christ” to live contrary to some of the very Scriptures our Master lived out and taught from.  Eating the detestable and ignoring God’s Sabbath’s and Appointed Times are now fully permissible according to those taking part in this rebellion.  Using things of pagan origins to worship God is acceptable as well (christmas trees and easter eggs) as long as it’s done in the name of Jesus. Instead of relying on Scripture to define sin, (1John 3:4) they teach people to “follow their hearts” and to repent only upon “feeling convicted”.  Friends, anyone teaching you that sin can be defined by something less than the “transgression of Torah” as given thru Moses, stands contrary to God’s Word just as Korah did.

As you must know, the Lord God has always called His people to be separate and distinct…to be holy as He is holy.  (Leviticus 11:44-47, 1 Peter 1:13-15)  From Genesis to Revelation, He makes it clear that we must line our definition of sin up with His Word and repent if needed.  The rebellion of Korah continues to this day…as does the warning from God to separate ourselves from this sin before it is too late… 

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

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Chuck Missler’s Sabbath Teaching…An Open Refutation by Tim C. Terry

March 17, 2008

(The following is an open refutation of Chuck Missler’s teaching on the 7th day Sabbath by myself, Tim C. Terry.  Chuck’s teaching is complete with footnotes etc.  I have just added my comments in blue.  While it is my hope that Chuck will reconsider some of his statements in light of Scripture my greater goal is to get you the reader into the Scriptures to see if God was serious when He gave the 4th Commandment. I believe He was.  God bless, Tim)

THE SEVENTH DAY By Chuck Missler

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

God set the pattern from the beginning…literally. There is but one day recognized in Scripture as the weekly Sabbath…the 7th day.

 Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.   –  Exodus 20:8

Many Christians still remain uncomfortable over the issue of the Sabbath day.  Observing Sunday as a memorial of the resurrection of our Lord is our traditional day of worship, and yet many are disturbed over this issue. 

Notice that Chuck Missler correctly states that Sunday is ourtraditional” day of worship.  Whose tradition again? It is a tradition of men.   In fact, with some honest research into the subject you will find (as Chuck alludes to later) that it is a catholic tradition which most of Christianity has latched onto. .  Jesus said “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.  Mark 7:9  Now Chuck says “many” are disturbed over this issue. Why are they disturbed?  Perhaps because “many” know that as Christians we profess to be Bible believers…people who are to line up our very lives with the Word of God.  “If God said it…that settles it”. We proudly tell the world this…yet here… on this issue of Sabbath we stumble backwards into hypocrisy.   That is why many are uncomfortable…it’s because we should repent and won’t.  This always makes someone who is a Believer uncomfortable.  It’s called conviction.  

 (Anyone who thinks this is a simple issue to resolve hasn’t studied it very carefully!)  

 Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. John 14:15 Don’t be led into thinking this is a complex subject of which only the most learned bible Scholars are able to understand.  Remember…we can always ask WWJD.   Jesus kept the Sabbath…and we are His disciples.  It is really just a simple issue of choosing obedience or disobedience to Scripture.

A number of key questions still remain unresolved for some:o Did God institute the Sabbath just for Israel?

While this may be a key question for some…it is not difficult to resolve.

A mixed multitude went up with them also…Exodus 12:38

“One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” Exodus 12:49  

“But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.  In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” Exodus 20:10

“And it shall be, if they (the nations) will learn carefully the ways of My people, (Israel) to swear by My name, “As the LORD lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people.  But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation” says the LORD. Jeremiah 12:16-17

“ Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—Everyone who keep from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”. Isaiah 56:6-7

Finally…is not the question irrelevant anyway?  Are we not grafted into Israel thru faith in our Jewish Messiah according to Paul? In fact he says in Galatians 3:29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Perhaps this is why he tells the Gentiles to quit living as Gentiles in Ephesians 4:17!!

 Is a Christian supposed to keep the Ten Commandments?

Isn’t it sad to think this question is even asked within Christianity?  I would like to think that Chuck’s answer to his question is a resounding yes.  Sadly…his answer in this teaching seems to be no.  As you will see he will claim that all of God’s Commandments were done away with by Jesus, having been “nailed to the cross.”

o Does a Christian have to keep the Sabbath? 

Does a Christian have to honor their father and mother? It goes back to whether you believe you should obey God’s Commandments or not.

o When did Sunday replace Saturday as “the holy day”?

Sunday never has replaced Saturday as the day God “set apart” as the Sabbath.  As you will see later…even Chuck agrees with this.

Noah’s Animals?

 First, how many of each animal did Noah take into the ark?  Often overlooked is the fact that Noah was to take seven of the “clean” and only two of the “unclean.”1      But how did Noah know which were “clean” and which were “unclean?”  These are ecclesiastical definitions.

This is a good point Chuck makes.  Noah was not “Jewish”.  (Although neither was Abraham or even Moses) Yet it seems that Noah understood quite well the difference between clean and unclean.  It would seem that God Himself set the pattern at creation…long before Sinai just as He did with Sabbath.

It seems that many concepts which were later codified in the Law under Moses had previously been ordained in Eden.2

I agree 100% with Chuck.  In fact, God spoke to Isaac of his father Abraham saying…”because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” (Gen 26:5)  As you know, this of course was hundreds of years before Sinai.  Take note of the fact that father Abraham took obedience to God’s commands seriously according to Scripture.

(Notice, too, that Noah was not circumcised and still was able to observe these “Levitical” distinctions.  Abraham, too, was declared righteous prior to his circumcision in Genesis 15:6; circumcision was established in Genesis 17:10ff.  Note also that the priestly instructions linked these concepts with the Sabbath.3 )

Noah was not circumcised because God had not commanded it of him. Also…the instructions given concerning the definition of food…or the Sabbath are not “Levitical distinctions”.  Don’t let Chuck get you off track. As he already said…they were given long before Sinai…long before Levi was ever born.  Circumcision by the way was the sign of the covenant given to Abraham and his descendants. (Genesis 17)  Now, Chuck’s point about Abraham is a good one.  Circumcision never saved anyone and it never will.  But notice…we are talking here about obedience…not justification. I will say it again…our topic is focused on the question of obedience to one of God’s commands…not on how we are declared righteous before the Living God.  This will be important for you to understand as Chuck seems to confuse the two as he attempts to justify his position. Again…keeping Sabbath will not save you…only by the blood of The Lamb, thru faith in Messiah will you be saved. Abraham was circumcised in obedience to God…as Chuck said, he was already saved.  Likewise…at the very least, we as Christians should be obedient to God’s commands out of love for what He has already done for us.  Amen?

The Origin of the Sabbath

Jesus emphasized that:  The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath .  –  Mark 2:27His words point back before the Ten Commandments, to the original purpose and will of God.  The Sabbath came into being when man came into being.  It was set apart and blessed-as a divine example-for the use and benefit of man, at the Creation (Genesis 2:1-3).4

I agree.

First Mention

The first mention of the “Sabbath” (from the Hebrew verb shabbat , meaning “to rest from labor”; the day of rest) is in Exodus 16:23, regarding the gathering of manna:And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning .  – Exodus 16:23Notice that this is four chapters before the Law was given at Mt. Sinai.  They were to gather twice as much on the sixth day in anticipation of a day they were apparently already observing.5    It is clear that the Sabbath had been instituted long before the giving of the Law at Sinai:  it was ordained in Eden. 

Good points…

The Decalogue

 And, of course, the Sabbath was included in the Ten Commandments:6    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.That the Sabbath had been ordained prior to Sinai is even accounted for in the very wording of Exodus 20:8: “Remember…”7 The Sabbath was part of the covenant which God made with Israel at Sinai.8   

 Applicable to All People?

This ordination of the Seventh Day acknowledges the moral duty of man to worship his Creator.9     It also recognizes the basic need of man for a weekly day of rest.  The physical necessities of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from ordinary labor.  The failure to set aside the seventh day may account for the toll of stress in our modern society.  (It has been reported that an 8% increase/decrease in traffic accidents surround the changes to/from “daylight savings time.”)God even established Himself as the ultimate example.  How can we ignore this day?  If you love God, you need to spend time with Him.  (In contrast to our hectic pace as double-income families, etc.)

While what Chuck has just said might be true…and further builds a good case for keeping the Sabbath…a better reason is that God commanded it. As His children we are to “trust and obey”.  If we love God…we should keep His Commandments according to Jesus.

In Mosaic Legislation

Under the Mosaic law, strict regulations were laid down regarding its observance.10     These were peculiar to that dispensation. 

 Just as a reminder…the Mosaic Law was not something Moses just made up. The Mosaic Law is God’s Law… It’s His Word…His Torah…His instructions as given thru the prophet Moses. It’s the foundation of our Bible.  And…it’s eternal.  According to Scripture…the specific instructions given concerning the Sabbath are eternal as well. Exodus 31:16-17 says “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.  It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever They are not “peculiar to that dispensation” as Chuck says, and he offers no Scriptural evidence to support his position that they were.  In fact, Chuck himself has already pointed out, that the Sabbath was observed before Sinai… it was observed after Sinai and during the Days of Jesus…it was observed after His death and Resurrection….and…it will be observed in the future according to the prophets. (Isaiah 66:23, Ezekiel 46)  That’s a pretty long dispensation.   Also, and this is very important, the Mosaic Law is what defines sin according to 1John 3:4.  The Mosaic Law is what David referred to as a “Lamp unto my feet… a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105)   We who believe that Jesus is God…must understand then…that Jesus wrote the Torah and He is the Living Torah. He told us concerning His Word in Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away”. This definitely includes the 4th Commandment. 

 In the subsequent history of the Jews, frequent references are made to the sanctity of the Sabbath.11   The kindling of a fire on the Sabbath was forbidden.12   The penalty for profaning the Sabbath by doing any work on it was death.13   And yet, the priests still carried on their duties about the Tabernacle.14   The Temple was full of activities.15   The rite of circumcision was performed on the Sabbath if it was the eighth day after the child’s birth.16

Doing good works on the Sabbath is exampled by Jesus in Matthew 12:10-12.  Preserving life…and walking according to Torah is exactly what Jesus did.  It’s what the priests were doing as they carried out God’s instructions concerning the temple and the sacrificial system. They had been commanded of God. It’s what parents were doing by circumcising their sons on the 8th day following birth. These good works neither conflict with nor abrogate the Sabbath Command. In other words it’s okay to obey God on the Sabbath.

In later times they perverted the Sabbath by their traditions.  Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of the worshipers in his day.17   He defined true Sabbath-keeping as turning from one’s own ways and own pleasures and taking delight in the Lord.18

Chuck makes a good point here…but perhaps not the one he wanted. Consider that Isaiah was not arguing against the validity of the Sabbath Command.  Isaiah was telling people to repent and start honoring the Sabbath as instructed in the Torah.  God’s people had strayed from the Word and so God was calling them back to the Torah thru the prophet Isaiah.  I wonder…what would Isaiah say today about our “Sabbath keeping” or lack thereof?  What would he say about how we have “perverted the Sabbath” by our traditions? “Oh that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river” Isaiah 48:18

Other prophets also raised their protests against the abuse of the Sabbath.19   They regarded the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews as due-at least in part-to their desecration of the Sabbath.20   Their 70-year exile in Babylon was directly linked to the Sabbath instructions.21 God clearly takes His instructions for the Sabbath, and Sabbatical years, seriously.

I agree with Chuck here 100%.  God always has…and always will view our transgression of His law as sin. (1John 3:4). Including as Chuck just said…His Sabbath’s. Has God changed?  Not according to Scripture. (Malachi 3:6) 

You can’t legislate devotion.  Even today, in Israel‘s secular state, a visitor is confronted with Sabbath elevators (stopping at every floor during the Sabbath); and other travel inconveniences quite removed from the real intent of the Sabbath observance.

Again…I agree.  Obviously Chuck is right because although God has “legislated” the 7th day Sabbath quite clearly in Scripture for all to keep…most of Christianity has chosen to ignore it as well as actually teach against the need to obey it.     

The New Testament Period

As time passed, the true meaning of the Sabbath had been obscured by the multitude of restrictions laid upon its observance; it had become largely external and formal.  And, of course, as the rules surrounding the observance of the Sabbath multiplied, so did the fanciful and far-fetched rituals to circumvent them.22

Chuck is correct to a point.  There were many “fences” added to protect the sanctity of the Sabbath.   However…what Chuck refers to here is of course “man made traditions.”  Again…don’t get sidetracked.  Keeping the Sabbath is a Commandment of God…not a tradition of men.

It was Jesus’ custom to attend the synagogue on the Sabbath.23     It was inevitable that Jesus would come into conflict with the Jewish leadership over the Sabbath.

The point Chuck just made should be a wake up call for Christianity.  Namely…that it was the custom of Jesus to attend the synagogue “on the Sabbath” (Luke 4:16) Again…as His disciples…we should seek to imitate Him. Amen?  Also…please remember that Jesus had problems with traditions of men which conflicted with the Sabbath Command…not the Sabbath itself.  He was Messiah…He was without sin…which meant He never broke the 4th Commandment.

In His teaching He upheld the authority and validity of the Mosaic Law.24   His emphasis, however, was not on the external observance of the law, but on a spontaneous performance of the will of God which underlaid the law.25   

 I agree of course that Jesus upheld the authority and validity of the Mosaic Law.  It was in fact…His Fathers law…and, it was His Law as God in flesh.  And, according to His Law (Deuteronomy 13) if He taught against Torah…He was to be considered a false prophet and could not in fact have been Messiah.  Now…concerning Chuck’s comment when he says  His emphasis, however, was not on the external observance of the law, but on a spontaneous performance of the will of God which underlaid the law”.  I wish that my walk was always just a “spontaneous performance of the will of God” but truth be known it isn’t.   Sometimes I have to make a willing choice to obey God externally when my flesh would rather not.  While I agree that God is after our hearts…I believe that a good place for us to start is with an “external observance of the law”.  Without that first step…you will never make it to “spontaneous performance”.  Scriptures are filled with accounts of God’s people making the choice to obey even when they did not want to. In fact…I don’t think that the cross was a “spontaneous performance” by Jesus…I believe it was a choice He made out of love for His Father’s will…and out of love for us. His should be our example always. 

In regards to the Sabbath, He clarified the true meaning by showing the original purpose for its institution: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath .  – Mark 2:27

True…and this does not nullify the Command to keep it.  

Six Conflicts

Jesus asserted His lordship over the Sabbath.26   He defended His disciples for plucking grain on the Sabbath by alluding to the time when David and his men ate the bread of the Presence.27  In so doing, Jesus placed the Sabbath commandment in the same class as the ceremonial law.  Human need had precedence over the ceremonial requirements.  He also reminded His critics that the priests in the Temple profaned the Sabbath and were held guiltless.28   He referred to the circumcision of a male on the Sabbath Day.29       Jesus expressed anger over those at Capernaum who showed more concern for the punctilious observance of the Sabbath than for a human being who was deprived of the use of a hand.30   Likewise, he was angered by the ruler of the synagogue who became indignant when Jesus healed a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years.31 There were seven healings on the Sabbath.32   (However, there were also healings on other non-Sabbath days.33 )  In all of these instances, Jesus showed that He placed human need above mere external ceremonial observance of the Sabbath.  He never did or said anything to suggest that He intended to take away from man the privileges afforded by such a day of rest.

Most of this was addressed earlier.  God wants us to obey Him and do good works every day.  I would point out that Chuck ends by saying Jesus never did anything to suggest He would take away the Sabbath.  I agree.  Remember however that while the Sabbath is an awesome gift and “privilege” as Chuck says here…it is also a Commandment from the King of the Universe. 

The Early Christians

The early Christians were loyal Jews; they worshiped daily in the Temple at Jerusalem;34  they attended services in the synagogue;35  they revered the law of Moses.36 

Notice that Paul did not try to persuade them to drop the Sabbath and start meeting on Sunday.

  The dispute over the requirements of a Gentile Christian were resolved at the Council at Jerusalem.37

Here Chuck throws out a quick statement referring to Acts 15 in an attempt I assume, to say that only the Jews need obey Torah commands such as Sabbath.  Is this really what the disciples taught?  Many bible teachers make the mistake of stopping one verse short of fully understanding Acts 15. I believe this includes Chuck Missler…but you be the judge. The following is taken from a teaching I wrote called “Seven Filter’s” and should address Chuck’s comment above as it addresses Acts 15…   

 In the book of Acts.  (Acts 15:19-21) we see an interesting decision made by the disciples concerning non-Jews who have turned to the God of Israel. They send instructions for these new believers to “abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, (which can only be defined in the Torah) from things strangled, and from blood”.  Is this all that is required  for “new testament” Believers?  Are these the only instructions we need to abide by as Christians today?  Of course not.  In fact we don’t even find a prohibition of murder listed in these instructions from James.  So what’s going on? The answer lies in the very next verse… “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”  Did you catch it? The Disciples are rightly expecting these new Believers, although they have the Holy Spirit to guide them,  to study, learn and apply the Torah, God’s instructions to their lives. In time, they would learn how to live as children of the God of Israel. They would learn about clean and unclean, they would learn God’s definition of food and to abstain from eating the abominable.  They would learn about His Sabbath’s and appointed times.  They would learn to treat others, as they themselves would want to be treated. They would learn Torah, the instructions of a loving Father, given to His children.

 The Dangers of Legalism

Obedience to God is not legalism. It would appear that Chuck is playing the “bait and switch” game.  I have never heard anyone teach that “you must keep Sabbath to be saved”.  Again…we are talking about simple obedience to God’s Commands.   Is there danger in Legalism by my saying “A Christian should not commit adultery”?

Paul emphasized that the law was a yoke of bondage from which the Christian had been set free.38   Paul made no distinction between moral and ceremonial law.  It was all part of that old covenant which was done away in Christ.39   It was “nailed to the cross.”40     This is the central teaching of the New Testament. 

The preceding statements by Chuck are used in an attempt to bury those who would teach obedience to God’s Commands under a mountain of false theological assumptions. I am sure you have heard these statements before…they are echoed from pulpit to pulpit in these last days. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult for you and I to dig out from under if… we apply some proper context, and recall some warnings from Scripture. Let’s take them one at a time…

“yoke of bondage”… Paul emphasized that we as Christians had been set free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)  No longer were we bound to sin…and no longer were we under the condemnation, the death sentence that it brought. We were free…saved by grace.  Paul asked a good question for Chuck to consider in Romans 3:31…”Do we then make void the law through faith?  Certainly not! On the contrary we establish the law.  In Romans 6:1 Paul said “ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Also, Paul says in Romans 7:12 that “Therefore the law is holy and commandment holy and just and good.”  Does it sound like Paul was teaching people they were free to disobey or ignore God’s Commandments?  Of course not, otherwise Paul would have been a false prophet.  Being instructed to honor one’s mother and father is not a “yoke of bondage”. Paul tells us in Acts 24 14 that he believes “all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets”.  This would include the 4th Commandment. 

Moral and ceremonial law”I agree with Chuck here. Paul understood that any instruction given by the God of the universe is a “Moral Command”. Which means if the Sabbath was nailed to the cross…so were prohibitions against murder…bestiality…etc. 

   Done away with”…”Nailed to the cross…Chuck seems to teach that Jesus did away with the Torah (Law of Moses) when He went to the cross.  Thankfully…Jesus went out of His way to make sure you know different.  In fact He gave commandment saying “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18   At this point I always encourage people to note that heaven and earth are still here…and that not all prophecy has been fulfilled.  Now, Jesus went on and issued a very interesting warning to all of us, to which bible teachers should take special note.   He said Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. I am not sure exactly what “least in the kingdom” means…but the point should be clear.  Telling people that all of God’s law was “done away with” or “nailed to the cross” is not wise according to Scripture.   

Central teaching of the New Testament”…Chuck says that the “central teaching” of the “New” testament is that God’s Commandments are no longer valid.  Is it any wonder that within some congregations today we have arguments over whether homosexuality is sin?    

There are no grounds for imposing the Sabbath on the Christian, who is free from the burden of the law’s demands.    The Spirit of Christ enables him to fulfill God’s will apart from the external observances of the law.

free from the burden of the law’s demands”… Actually, Scripture teaches that we have been set free from sin (Romans 6:18,22)…not free to sin by breaking God’s law. God’s will is for us to obey Him out of a heart of love.  And to say that because I now have the Spirit of God in me…I am somehow “enabled” to obey God while not obeying Him is quite frankly nonsense.

Burden of the laws demands”…The law is not a burden according to Scripture.  David delighted in God’s Torah. I would encourage all to read Psalm 119 and then consider 1John 5:2 which says “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.”

The Spirit of Christ”…Here is what the Scripture says about “walking in the Spirit…”  “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  (WHY??? Listen closely to Paul’s answer…) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8) Friends, Paul makes it clear that to live according to the Spirit is to subject oneself to God’s law.  Thus we can be assured if we are being “enabled” to disobey any of God’s Commandments…it is not by the Spirit of God. 

The Sabbath is mentioned along with the festivals and new moons, all of which are declared to be “only a shadow of what is to come.”41   To “observe days, and months, and seasons, and years” is deemed to be slaves to “the weak and beggarly elemental spirits.”42   The ritual observance of days is a characteristic of “the man who is weak in faith.”43

Interestingly enough, Peter warned us about men who would not understand the words of Paul and told us to be on guard lest we be led away in serious error.  Concerning Paul and his writings Peter says that there are in them “some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  You therefore, beloved since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; (2 Peter 3:16-17)

weak and beggarly elements”…If you really believe Paul would refer to God’s Appointed Times….His Sabbath’s as “weak and beggarly” then by all means have nothing to do with any of them. If however you struggle with that notion…take heart.  In Galatians 4 Paul is talking to former pagans (Gal 4:8) and shows great concern that they are returning to some of their former practices. (Gal 4:9) In verse 10 Paul says “You observe days and months and seasons and years.  I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.” Nowhere does Paul refer to the Sabbath in this letter. And after all, how could former pagans “turn again” to keeping the Sabbath, something which they had never done before.

“The ritual observance of days is a characteristic of the man who is weak in faith”   *****(Interestingly Chuck himself has already pointed out that it was the custom of Jesus to observe the Sabbath…)***** We in fact know from Scripture that Jesus kept all of God’s Appointed Times.  The Gospel of Luke tells us very plainly that it was a “characteristic” of Jesus to observe the Sabbath. (Luke 4:16)  Let’s read it just for fun…”And as His custom was He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.” As a matter of fact, Scripture makes it clear that He kept all of God’s Appointed Times as outlined in Leviticus chapter 23.  What about Paul?  Was he “weak in faith”? Acts 17:2 says “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures”.  What about Isaiah? What about Daniel? Being labeled as weak in faith from a “religious leader” really does not surprise me in these last days.  Revelation speaks about the persecution of those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17) Interestingly, it was always the “religious leaders” who were persecuting Jesus and his followers.

The writer of Hebrews emphasizes that the Sabbath is also a type of “God’s rest” which is an inheritance of all the people of God.44     We are urged, in a larger sense, to “strive to enter that rest.”

I agree 100%.  Notice here…Chuck makes the point that Sabbath is for “all the people of God” and that we should “strive to enter that rest”.  Curiously…Chuck just got thru saying that those who observe such things are “slaves to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits” and “weak in faith”.  Am I missing something?

The Sunday “Sabbath”

The first day of the week is now widely observed as the Sabbath.  But where has God expressly authorized this change?

  Not to be found.

 After His resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared to His disciples on four occasions which were on a Sunday.45     This becomes a major part of the basis of the veneration of Sunday as the “Lord’s Day,” ostensibly replacing the traditional Sabbath.

There you have it.  Chuck has correctly given you the Scriptural justification that Christianity uses to nullify one of God’s Ten Commandments.  Talk about flawed hermeneutics.   Notice that Chuck admits that “This becomes a major part of the basis of the veneration of Sunday as the “Lord’s Day,” ostensibly replacing the traditional Sabbath.” Are you willing to go along with changing one of God’s Commands based upon this line of reasoning? Jesus never said or did anything to suggest any change of the 4th Commandment. 

  Pentecost, the birth of the church, was also, by definition, on a Sunday.46  They did meet on a Sunday night,47  but that would actually be Monday in Jewish reckoning. 

No comment…

 While these are suggestive, they are far from a conclusive teaching.48    (The oft-quoted 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2  is also unclear: “…that there be no gatherings when I come.”?) 

They are not even suggestive.  In the wildest stretch of the imagination they never suggest altering or abolishing the 4th Commandment. 

 The Hebrew Sabbath, has, of course, continued to be observed by non-Christian Jews to the present time.  During the first century some Jewish Christians also continued the practice of observing the seventh day of the week, as well as the assembly for worship on the first day of the week, but their influence on Christianity, discernible for several centuries, dwindled rapidly.  It has been suggested that with the rise of anti-Semitism in the early centuries, Sunday worship was a convenient means of excluding the Jewish believers.

 Chuck hits on something very important here…anti-Semitism in the Roman church.  It has much to do with this issue…

Caveats About the “Early Church”

The writings of a number of the early church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries support the tradition of Sunday worship.  However, the views of the early church after the book of Acts is, in some views, an unreliable basis to establish doctrine.

Count me in the ranks of those “some” who Chuck mentions. To establish any doctrine that contradicts the foundation of Scripture is wrong.  Paul says that all Scripture is useful for “doctrine”. Early teachings of the catholic church are not.

When Jesus sent His Seven Letters to Seven Churches (Revelation Chapters 2 and 3), each was surprised by their report card.  Those that thought they were doing well weren’t.  Those that thought they were not doing well, were.  Even by the late 90s the church was already substantially deviant from the Lord’s desires.

Now…add another 2000 years… 

Also, eschatological errors (i.e., Amillennialism, et al.) were rampant, as well as errors due to the Gnostic influences, etc.  Furthermore, the rising anti-Semitism in the early church, along with the allegorical hermeneutics promoted by Origen and later by Augustine, makes their views regarding the Sabbath rather suspect. 

 Some good points…

These anti-Semitical tendencies subsequently rose to include the emergence of “blood libel” and other abuses that were reflected in the Crusades and other medieval horrors.  Most of us as Gentiles have little appreciation for the abuses suffered by the Jews-under the banner of “Christ”-unless we have undertaken a careful study of the bloody history of the church.49

 I would suggest reading “The Popes Against the Jews” written by David I. Kertzer.  It can be purchased online from Amazon or such.  It is very well written and documented. 

The “Christian Sabbath” Views

 There are, of course, many diverse views regarding Sunday as the “Christian” Sabbath, and there are those who strongly adhere to the traditional Saturday as the Sabbath.  Many of us may have encountered the legalistic zeal of the Seventh-Day Adventists over this “Seventh Day” issue; however, it is not the Seventh Day which emerges as the critical theological issue – it is the role of the law, and our liberty in Christ, that is really the fundamental issue.

Having failed to show from Scripture where the Sabbath was changed or done away with…Chuck will now make another attempt at doing away with all of God’s law in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5.  I am not a Seventh Day Adventist by the way…

The Epistles to the Galatians, Colossians, and Romans far overshadow any particular cultural customs and ritual observances, and clearly emphasize our freedom from all external rules as the key to the entire New Testament Gospel.  That, indeed, is the “Good News.”

For the sake of truth please consider…the 4th Commandment is not a cultural custom or ritual observance.  It is a instruction from the King of the Universe.  And again…we have never been given permission or “freedom” to decide what is right and what is wrong.  Chuck’s assertion that the “Good News” is freedom from “all external rules” and “key to entire New Testament Gospel” is quite troubling. The Gospel message that Jesus brought is clear from the beginning of Matthew and continues thru the book of Revelation…   From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  (Matthew 4:17)   Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14)   My salvation rests 100% on what Jesus did for me on the cross…but that does not give me permission to break God’s Commandments.  

Concerning the Epistles to the Galatians, Colossians, and Romans…the following is taken from my “Seven Filters” teaching concerning the proper context of Paul’s writings…    

We know that Paul loved the Lord, and we know that Paul devoted his life to serving his Master. He was a bondservant of  Messiah. We also know, and this is the important part…that Paul would never teach people to disobey the God of Israel, buthe did come against anyone who tried to add to what Jesus had done on the cross. This is what we see happening in the book of Galatians for example.  In Galatians 5:4 Paul says “You have become estranged from Messiah, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”.  Remember, Paul was not against the law. His own words bear witness to this. So, what was he against?  He was against those who would teach the law as a means for salvation.  Do you see the difference? Most Bible teachers have missed the context of Paul’s writings, substituting obedience for justification.  Paul was not teaching us to ignore God’s commandments when he said “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondagePaul was warning us not to listen to those who would seek to put conditions on God’s unconditional love.  Rest assured that Paul does not teach us to ignore the instructions of the Living God. In fact, if he did, then he was a false prophet as according to Deuteronomy 13 and deserving of death by stoning.  Speaking of stoning, do you know why Stephen was stoned to death?  If you remember he too was falsely accused of something.  You can find the answer in Acts 6:11-14.  Hold on to your hat and check it out!! And remember, this is after Jesus went to the cross!!

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days :  –  Colossians 2:16

 I do not mean to be offensive, but please consider.  If Chuck Missler is using this verse in proper context then I would assume it would be perfectly acceptable for me to get drunk every day…feast on bloody batwings and of course ignore one of the Ten commandments… namely the 4th.  Of course…we know this is not what Paul was advocating.   Approaching Colossians 2 with proper hermeneutics will yield the student a much clearer view of Paul’s point.  I will let you do the homework this time.  Search Colossians chapter two for context…  Hint…keep your ears open for words and phrases such as “deception”…“persuasive words”…“philosophy”… “empty deceit”…“traditions of men” along with “basic principles of the world” and ask yourself whether Paul’s concern is with those who are wanting to obey God’s Commandments.

 It is interesting that Paul emphasizes that it is the “weaker” ones in faith that burden themselves with such things (Cf. Romans 14:1-6).

Because Chuck brings this up for the second time…I will speak very direct. It bothers me to hear someone in a position of leadership or authority attempt to intimidate others into quiet subjection to their point of view by denigration or “labeling.”  It especially troubles me when it is done by taking Scripture out of context.  Let us remember that Paul considered the Berean’s to be of a more “noble character” because they would not just take him at his word, but would “search the Scriptures” to see if what he said was true.  (Acts 17:11) Paul did not consider them “weak in the faith” for being burdened with a heart for truth.  Paul himself tells us to “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess 5:21) 

Prophetic Implications

 From the standpoint of Bible prophecy, however, there are some provocative enigmas which also emerge from the Seventh Day issue.  The Sabbath is an intrinsic part of the creation, specifically for man.50     It isn’t intrinsically limited to the Mosaic Covenant.  Sabbaths will continue as a basis for worship in the Millennium: For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 66:22, 23

A very good point…one that conflicts of course with Chuck’s earlier assertion that the Sabbath instructions were only for a certain “dispensation”.

The Sabbath will also be honored in Ezekiel’s Temple: the gate to inner court will be closed six days and only opened on the Sabbath and on the day of the new moon.51

Very true…

Since the Sabbath apparently survives the church period,52 this seems to cloud the view that Sunday replaced the Sabbath. 

Conclusions

The veneration of the first day as a memorial of the Resurrection is certainly appropriate, although its historical role as a replacement day of worship is arguable.  Its formal institution appears to have been an expedient exploited by Emperor Constantine and following.53 The Sabbath is intended as a time of devotion, not a subjection to burdensome rules.  It is for the benefit of man, to be taken advantage of.  As a demonstration of God’s love, and a partaking of His blessing, the seventh day apparently has not been permanently set aside. 

Our God is Jewish.  “Salvation is of the Jews.”54   All of our benefits are derivative from the Abrahamic covenant.  We are grafted in the true olive tree, from the root of Abrahamic covenant (Romans 11).  We should not forget that we serve the King of the Jews.  We are members of a church founded by Jewish leaders; our highest authority is a Jewish Bible. 

While we have been freed from the law, we still can  enjoy the benefits of Creation.In our culture, we enjoy two free days each week, in any case.  The first-day worship is thus available to us as an opportunity.  The seventh-day Sabbath is also still available to us as an opportunity,  yet not under the law:One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.   –  Romans 14:5

While we may not know the exact issue Paul addresses in Romans 14:5…we can be sure it is not the issue of whether or not to honor the 7th day Sabbath Command.  Paul begins Romans 14 by saying not to dispute “doubtful things”.   Did Paul have any doubts about whether or not to obey the 4th Commandment?  Does Chuck really think Paul taught everyone to just “follow the dictates of their hearts”?

 So the question is, Can we enjoy the benefits of the Sabbath without “coming under the law?” [We adopt other Jewish practices to our benefit without incurring the burdens of the law: circumcision (for hygienic reasons), some of the dietary practices, etc.]It is clear to me that Adam, Cain, Enoch, Noah, et al., all had instruction on the seventh day of rest.  It was the pattern in Exodus 16 before the manna was given and was memorialized in the Decalogue.  In addition, it was observed by Christ ceremonially.The error we can easily fall into, however, is legalism and its deprivations of the fundamental blessings of our redemption.  (Study Paul’s definitive teaching in Romans.)

Romans 3:20 “therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight…

Romans 3:31Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not!  On the contrary, we establish the law. 

 Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

Romans 6:15  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!  Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Scriptural definition of sin…”Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1John 3:4

Our Personal Resolution

Nan and I, personally, have resolved-in the absence of travel or other logistic or scheduling constraints-to “remember the Sabbath Day” by adopting the following procedure:1. From Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, we “set aside” the time for study, meditation, and as a departure from our normal routines.2. We have resolved to do whatever we do deliberately and together.3. There are no other “rules.”We don’t make it a “burden”: we simply attempt to avail ourselves of His intended blessing.  We attempt – in an informal but deliberate way – to study and reflect on His Word and find ways to praise Him.(Our schedule usually has us traveling or speaking on weekends.  If we were ever to organize our own local fellowship, we would prefer to meet Friday evenings, and leave the weekend free for family time.)

I am encouraged that the Misslers seek to honor the Sabbath day, even if it’s only when convenient.  I have tried to clearly address the issues in his teaching that I believe to be contrary to the whole of Scripture.  Chuck’s assertion that obedience to God’s Commandments is somehow optional with no real consequences for disobedience is wrong. Teaching that the Spirit of God somehow enables one to obey God without actually obeying His Commandments is nonsense in my view. Teaching that Messiah came and did away with His own Torah is most definitely wrong according to Messiah Himself.  And his teaching that those concerned with obeying one of God’s Commandments somehow demonstrates a “weakness in faith” is most certainly wrong.  I am hoping that Chuck will now “play the Berean” and correct or clarify these points and others in his teaching as needed.            

*  *  *This article was excerpted from our Briefing Package, The Seventh Day .  A subsequent article will review some of the historical events surrounding the institution of Sunday as the traditional day of worship.This article was originally published in the
May 2000 Personal Update NewsJournal.
This article was excerpted from our Briefing Package, The Seventh Day .  A subsequent article will review some of the historical events surrounding the institution of Sunday as the traditional day of worship.
This article was originally published in the
May 2000 Personal Update NewsJournal.

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**NOTES**


1.      Genesis 7:2. 2.      The plan of redemption was being taught in Genesis  3:21: not by their own efforts, but by the shedding of innocent blood they would be covered. 3.      Ezekiel 44:23, 24. 4.      It is significant that there are no “evenings” and “mornings” connected to the seventh  day.  The Hebrew terms erev and boker, connoting “evening” and “morning,” may have had deeper implications in the staging of entropy reductions; see Stretching the Heavens . 5.      Exodus 16:22-28. 6.      Exodus 20:8-11. 7.      The six “days” of creation are clarified in Exodus 20:11.  Any problem with “24-hour days” isn’t in Genesis 1; it is here. 8.      Exodus 20:2; Deuternomy 4:13; 5:2-21. 9.      Who was his Creator?  John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16, 17. 10.  Exodus 35:2,3 Leviticus 23:3 26:34. 11.  Isaiah 56:2,4,6,7 58:13,14; Jeremiah 17:20-22. (Cf. Nehemiah 13:19.)  12.  Exodus 25:3. 13.  Exodus 31:14-17. 14.  Leviticus 24:8; Numbers 28:9, 10. 15.  1 Chronicles 9:32; 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; 23:4; 31:3. 16.  Leviticus 12:3; John 7:22. 17.  Isaiah 1:12, 13. 18.  Isaiah 58:13,14. 19.  Jeremiah 17:21, 22; Ezekiel 22:8; Amos 8:4. 20.  Jeremiah 17:27; Exodus 20:23, 24. 21.  2 Chronicles 36:20, 21. 22.  A. Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Volume II, p.777. 23.  Luke 4:16; Mark 1:21; 3:1; Luke 13:10. 24.  Matthew 5:17-20; 15:1-6; 19:16-19; 22:35-40; Luke 16:17. 25.  Matt hew 5:21-48;19:3-9. 26.  Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5. 27.  Matthew 12:1-4; Mark 2:23-26; Luke 6:1-4. 28.  Matthew 12:5. 29.  Leviticus 12:3; John 7:22, 23. 30.  Mark 3:1-5; Matthew 12:8-14. 31.  Luke 13:10-17. 32.  Mark 1:21-27; Mark 1:29-31; John 5:1-9; Mark 3:1-6 (and  Matthew 12:8-14); Luke 13:10-17; Luke 14:1-6; John 9:1-14. 33.  Mark 1:32. 34.  Acts 2:46; 5:42. 35.  Acts 9:20; 13:14; 14:1; 17:1, 2, 10; 18:4. 36.  Acts 21:20. 37.  Acts 15. 38.  Galatians 3:2, 3; 5:1; et al. 39.  2 Corinthians 3:14. 40.  Colossians  2:14. 41.  Colossians 2:16, 17. 42.  Galatians 4:9, 10; Cf. Colossians 2:20. 43.  Romans 14:1-6. 44.  Hebrews 4:1-11. 45.  Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1. 46.  Acts 2:1. 47.  Acts 20:7. 48.  The assertion that “we never see Christ meeting with his disciples on any other day” appears to be contradicted by John 20:26, “… after eight days again…” 49.  See our briefing package, The Kingdom of Blood for a shocking survey and its prophetic implications. 50.  Genesis 2:2, 3. 51.  Ezekiel 46:1ff. 52.  Matthew 24:20; Isaiah 66:22, 23; Ezekiel 46:1ff. 53.  We will review this in a follow-up article in next month’s Personal UPDATE. 54.  John 4:22.

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Genesis 1:1-2:3 — Back to the Future

June 11, 2007

   In a prayer of Moses from Psalms 90:4 we hear “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past…” Some believe that God’s literal six day creation and His seventh day Sabbath foreshadow a literal seven thousand year period of time for mankind on earth.  Could they be wrong?  Sure. But it is interesting to note that when speaking of the end times Peter gave us an intriguing word of advice saying…“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2Peter 3:8)  Sojust for fun let’s look at each day and compare it to the corresponding thousand year period of earth history. 

First Day –“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”  (Genesis 1:4) 

During the first “day” (thousand years) we see sin enter the world thru Adam. Because of this sin, God removes Adam and Eve from the garden along with access to the tree of life. It would seem that during this first “day” God indeed had to separate light from darkness.  It is also interesting to note that Adam was told in Genesis 2:17 that “in the day” he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die, yet we know that Adam lived to be 930 years old. (Gen 5:5)  However if we heed Peter’s words…we find that indeed Adam did die in the “day” in which he ate from the forbidden tree. 

Second Day–Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  Genesis 1:6   

The second day is all about waters being separated. Evidently, before God created this “firmament” called heaven, the waters of heaven were mingled together with the waters of earth.  Curiously, the most notable event during the second 1000 year “day” of earth history, involved Noah and the flood.  The Bible teaches that the flood occurred when God broke up the fountains of the great deep and opened the “windows of heaven.” (Genesis 7:11) Once again we find the waters of heaven and the waters of earth all in one place and once again, only God can separate them bringing an end to the flood which He does. “The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.” Genesis 8:2 

Third Day—“Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth;” Genesis 1:11

 In the third “day” of earth we see Abraham take center stage. God tells Abraham in Genesis 17:6I will make you exceedingly fruitful…” As well, He says of Abraham in Genesis 22:18 that “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”  

Fourth Day—“Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens…God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night” Genesis 1:14-17   

The moon and stars shine their light down onto a dark world making it possible for us to see even in the middle of the night.  So too, the prophets were sent to shine the light of truth into a dark world.  They not only exposed the sins of the people…they illuminated the way back to God thru repentance and a return to His Torah.  

 Fifth Day—“Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures”. Genesis 1:20  

How fitting it is that the fifth day of creation is all about water and life. During this same “day” Messiah would come to earth offering life to all who are thirsty.  In John 7::37 we hear Yeshua cry out to all at the Feast of Tabernacles “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”.  Praise Him! 

Sixth Day—“Let Us make man in Our image…Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it…”Genesis 1:26-28  

During this sixth “day” it is obvious that indeed mankind has been fruitful. The last thousand years have seen a population explosion that can easily be described as “filling the earth”. Daniel by the way, was shown that “many” would run to and fro and that knowledge would increase in last days. (Daniel 12:4)  

 Seventh Day—And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2:2 

 The day we long for! We read in the book of the Revelation that when Messiah returns He will bind up Satan, establish His Kingdom here on earth for a thousand years  ruling and reigning, bringing a “day” of rest. (Revelation 20:1-6) Are you ready for this Sabbath rest? Have you entered into the rest that can only be found in Messiah Yeshua?   

The Eighth day—What then? What about after the thousand year reign of Messiah? 

In the Bible the number eight is usually thought to point to a “new beginning.” or “cleansing.”  For example we know that there were eight people in the ark when God destroyed the earth with the flood to begin again with Noah. With that in mind listen to John describe our future immediately following the seven “days” or seven thousand years of earth history. Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea…And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” “Behold I make all things new.”  Revelation 21:1, 4, 5    

Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done,” Isaiah 46:9-10

Tim’s Torah Take –Seeds of Restoration            www.seedsofrestoration.wordpress.com     

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Christians…Check your Filter!!

April 3, 2007

As a boy growing up in our public school system, I was taught the “theory” of evolution as “fact”.  It was explained to me that over billions of years, everything  had somehow “evolved” from nothing.  I was given periodic tests to make sure I understood the “truth” of what I was hearing.  I passed with flying colors. Everything went along okay until that day  I read in the Bible where The Holy One said He created everything in 6 days!  Uh oh… Now what?….

I wish I could tell you that because I was a very wise young man, I immediately took The Living God at His word and pitched the theory of evolution.  However, I would be lying. Sadly, evolution, had become a “filter of interpretation” thru which, I would screen any and all information as it pertained to the world around me.  Instead of questioning this “filter of interpretation,” namely that “everything evolved,” I would simply interpret 6 days to really mean billions of years… even though, the Bible clearly says 6 days. In this manner, I would make things “line up” or “fit” within my comfort zone of understanding.  And, after all, how could my preacher…sorry, I meant teacher…with his or her degrees, ever be wrong about what he or she is teaching?    And so it is…..

Today, each of us have various “filters of interpretationthru which, our understanding of Scripture flows.  If we have the correct “filter”, we will be able to learn and grow in Messiah, while “filtering out” deception and false teachings.  If however, our filter is “flawed” or “plugged,”  certain truths of God’s Word may not make it thru to us.  Why? Because when we view Scripture after it has passed thru one of these “flawed filters”,  we may see a distorted picture of what God is actually saying.  Often times, it forces us, as it did in my case with evolution, to “add to” or “take away”  from His Word, so that things “fit” within our belief system.  So, what should we do about this?

First, it’s important for us to recognize that each of us do have some flawed filters of interpretation”.  Even Paul admitted that he “saw thru a mirror dimly”.  Knowing that,  we should heed Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians when he said “Test all things; hold fast what is good” Let me ask a question. Have you done that? Have you “checked your filter” lately?

In this teaching of “Seeds of Restoration”, we will “test” or examine seven common “filters of interpretation” that are found within Christianity.  Perhaps you have come to view Scripture after it has passed thru one or more of these “filters”.  If so, I challenge you to prayerfully check out what I say, and let me know if you think my filter is “plugged”.  Here we go….. 

Filter No. 1—Jesus came to do away with the Law of Moses, or change them.

There are many people who love the Lord today, who honestly and with a pure heart believe Jesus came and did away with the “Torah”, God’s “instructions” for His people. Scripture however, very plainly teaches just the opposite, both by the life our Messiah lived and by the words that He spoke. Consider this…we know that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God, (John 1:29) He was without sin, (2 Cor 5:21) which means, He kept the instructions of God, the Torah, perfectly. (1John 3:4) He was the Living Torah. (John 1:1) On these points I believe all Christians would agree.  However, many never consider what this means to those who would be called His disciples… those who would desire to imitate and pattern their life after Messiah.  Jesus honored the Sabbath. (Luke 4:16)  He kept the appointed Feasts of God. (John 2:23, 10:22)  He taught obedience to the Torah as given thru Moses (Mark 7:6-13).  In short, Jesus lived out His Father’s instructions perfectly while saying “follow Me”. 

Now, Jesus told us very plainly not to think He would abolish any of His Father’s instructions. (Matthew 5:17)  In fact, He said until heaven and earth pass away, not one stroke would pass away from the Law or the Prophets until all is fulfilled. That’s about as plain spoken as it gets.  Heaven and earth both are still here and many prophecies have yet to be fulfilled. I guarantee you that Jesus meant what He said. He even warns us of a terrible day when He would have to tell many who practice lawlessness to depart from Him. (Matthew 7:21-23) And, He warns all of us as Believers, that breaking and teaching others to break, even the least of the commandments will cause us to be “least in the Kingdom of Heaven”. (Mathew 5:19) Jesus would not have said these things if the Law as given thru Moses would be “done away with”.  

Friends, these are plain and simple teachings from our Master.  How is it that some don’t believe Him?  Perhaps He gave us an answer in John 5:46… “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” In Malachi, the last book of the Prophets, just three verses before the book of Matthew, we see these words from The Holy One.  Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.”  How quickly we can forget when we turn the page and begin reading from Matthew. 

As you know, Jesus came to pay the price for our sins. He took away all of the condemnation that was against us.  However, He did not give us permission to sin against God by rejecting His Torah… His instructions.  In fact, in Matthew chapter 4, Jesus who is quoting from Moses, (Deut 8:3) warns us that God’s Word is a matter of life for us. He says… ”It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” He said this of course, before the “New testament” was written.  Also, notice that Jesus said “Man shall not live…” This statement is made to all men. He did not address this statement to just “Men of Israel   I point that out as an introduction to our next “filter of interpretation”.

Filter No. 2—The Commandments were given to Israel and do not apply to the modern day church.

  Another “clogged filter” restricting the understanding of many of God’s people is basically this…God gave the Commandments to Israel, not the modern day church.  Believe it or not…I agree!!   Paul says in Romans 9:4-5 that Israel is “to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen”.  As we can see from Scripture, God did give the law to Israel. However, He also gave the covenants, the promises, the adoption and the glory to Israel! So, where does that leave the so called “Gentile” Church? Let’s take a look at the “truth of the matter”.

Thankfully, God has always made provision for all who would want to follow after Him, but on His terms, not ours. Even in the Great Exodus it was a mixed multitude (Exodus 13:38) that came out of Egypt.  Paul tells us in Romans 11 that Gentiles are grafted into the “Olive Tree” by faith and become one in Messiah.   Paul makes it clear that by faith in Messiah we are children of the promise and are counted as the seed of Abraham. We must remember that the idea of the “church” (ecclesia—the assembly, the called out ones) being something other than God’s chosen people is a concept completely foreign to Scripture.  In Ephesians 2:8, Paul tells us an awesome thing. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Praise the Lord for that verse… now notice verse 11.  Therefore remember that you once Gentiles in the flesh-who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ  He then goes on to say that “we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”  Praise God. Want some more?

Consider this. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Praise the Lord! 

Now, considering what we just learned from Scripture, let’s reexamine the question. Do we in the modern day church consider ourselves as part of the commonwealth of Israel to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants the giving of the law and so on?   I believe the answer must be a resounding yes.  If not, and the teachings of Moses are not meant for our instruction, which Scriptures do we use to live by?  After all, in the Apostolic Scriptures we find the Book of James addressed… “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”.   The book of Hebrews is written to…well… the Hebrews! It becomes obvious that we as Christians must either accept the Bible in its entirety or throw it away and live each according to his own desires. It’s the same life defining choice Elijah gave to Israel years ago. “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him… I submit to you that we are part of  God’s people, Israel.  Not because of any bloodline, but by the blood of Yeshua, our Messiah.   And, as His people, we are not to subtract from His Word. (Deut 4:2) 

It comes down to this…we have rejected much of God’s Word just because we didn’t stand at the mountain.  We should find that ironic and quite sad. After all, we made a deal with God at that mountain, promising to do all that Moses would tell us. We were scared of God’s voice and asked Moses to “hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.  (Deuteronomy 5:27)   

Filter No. 3—The Division of God’s Law (Ceremonial, Moral, and Civil).

An often repeated, yet completely unscripturalfilter of interpretation” that many have added to their “vehicle of understanding” goes something like this: The Commandments of God can be divided into three different categories: 1) Moral laws, 2) Ceremonial laws, and 3) Civil laws. We as modern day believers should abide only, by those instructions considered to be “moral commandments” The “ceremonial and civil commandments” were for a different people in a different time and thus no longer apply. 

While this “teaching” might have a good ring to it and stand in unison with most Bible commentaries, it has no Scriptural support. None. Time and again throughout the Scriptures, the Lord tells us to keep all of His commandments so that it might go well for us.  We need to understand that every command from the God of Israel is a “moral” commandment, given from a loving Father to His children. He defines right and wrong, we trust and obey.  At a time before there was a “New” Testament, Paul told Timothy that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2Tim 3:16-17)  Paul evidently did not read many Bible commentaries.  Also, look up Leviticus 19:3…in it God says “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God”.  How would we divide that one? 

 

 Filter No. 4—The Church was given a New covenant which did away with the Law of Moses.

The next “flawed filter” that is often used, but never “tested” against the Word of God tells us that… “we in the church are under a  new covenant, so we don’t have to obey the Commandments of God”.  Many believe that God for some reason changed His mind concerning His Torah, and made a deal with the “church” that allows for us to forget about keeping His commandments. So, with a hearts desire to know the “truth of the matter”, let’s take a fresh look at Scripture, laying aside what we think we know and ask the questions… Who is the new covenant given to and does it do away with the Law as given thru Moses? Remember, we are talking about the new covenant that most in the Church claim as their own.  Here goes…

Hebrews 8:8Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”

Houston, we have several problems!  1)The “new covenant” is clearly given to Israel.   2) He calls them “My people” and 3) The law will still not be done away with!  Once again, we find it problematic to adhere to any form of replacement theology which does not recognize the “church” as part of the redeemed of Israel.  And once again, Scripture teaches obedience to Torah.  Even in the “New” covenant! Notice, nowhere in Scripture do we ever find permission to come up with out own set of commandments.

Filter No. 5—Paul was against us keeping the Law of Moses.

In Acts 21, Paul is informed of a rumor being spread that he has been teaching the Jews to forsake the teachings of Moses.  So, Paul is asked to pay for and participate in taking a “Nazirite” vow  along with four other men, which actually included offering an animal sacrifice at the Temple.  Now remember, this is after Jesus went to the cross. Did you know that Paul actually went thru with it? Why?  Scripture makes it clear… So that “all (that includes you and me) may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you (Paul) are nothing, but that you (Paul) yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. (Acts 21:24) It is so ironic that today we see the same thing happening again. Many people are being told from the pulpit even, that Paul is against us keeping God’s instructions as given thru Moses. Let’s see if we can once again put this rumor to rest by seeing what Paul has to say, in his own words.  We do believe Paul right?

In Romans 3:31 Paul said this…”Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not!  On the contrary, we establish the law.”   In Acts 24:14 Paul says “…so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.   In Hebrews 10:28 he says “Anyone who has rejected Moses law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” As plain spoken as Paul is concerning his view of the Law and the Prophets, many still honestly believe Paul is anti-Torah. How can that be?

It turns out that Peter gives us an interesting warning in 2 Peter 3:15-16 concerning the writings of Paul. He says this…” our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures”.  Peter then goes on to warn us not to be led away by their error.  Sadly, many people including Bible teachers and many pastors, are untaught and unstable when it comes to understanding who Paul really was and the context from which he taught.  So, what is the proper context? Listen up, and then check me out…

We know that Paul loved the Lord, and we know that Paul devoted his life to serving his Master. He was a bondservant of  Messiah. We also know, and this is the important part…that Paul would never teach people to disobey the God of Israel, buthe did come against anyone who tried to add to what Jesus had done on the cross. This is what we see happening in the book of Galatians for example.  In Galatians 5:4 Paul says “You have become estranged from Messiah, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”.  Remember, Paul was not against the law. His own words bear witness to this. So, what was he against?  He was against those who would teach the law as a means for salvation.  Do you see the difference? Most Bible teachers have missed the context of Paul’s writings, substituting obedience for justification.  Paul was not teaching us to ignore God’s commandments when he said “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondagePaul was warning us not to listen to those who would seek to put conditions on God’s unconditional love. 

Rest assured that Paul does not teach us to ignore the instructions of the Living God. In fact, if he did, then he was a false prophet as according to Deuteronomy 13 and deserving of death by stoning.  Speaking of stoning, do you know why Stephen was stoned to death?  If you remember he too was falsely accused of something.  You can find the answer in Acts 6:11-14.  Hold on to your hat and check it out!

Filter No. 6— Jesus said the only commandments we had to keep were to love God and people. 

  In Matthew 22:37-40 Our Lord is asked by a lawyer “which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus says this…”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

 Now, this response from Jesus has been understood by many to mean that we are free to ignore much of the Torah, as long as we love God and people.  Now, this does tickle the ears a bit.  However, let’s take note of a couple of key points many overlook.  First, notice that the response by Jesus does not do away with or change the Law of Moses.  In fact, He is actually teaching the Law of Moses! Check out Deut:22:37and Leviticus 19:18 to see if our Messiah is making up a new set of commandments.   Also notice, that once again Jesus affirms all of the Law and the Prophets, just as He did in Matthew 5:17.  He says “on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets”.  Jesus is telling us very plainly that if we truly love the God of Israel, and His people, we will not want to break His commandments.  He tells us this very thing again in John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Here is another, perhaps easier way of “unplugging” this same filter…  Jesus did tell us to love God and people.  The question is …what is the Scriptural definition of love for God and love for His people?  Some of you might want to sit down for this one…1John 5:2-3 says “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.     

 Filter No.7- We now have the Holy Spirit…we don’t need the Law of Moses.

Once again, let’s look to Scripture to see if we need a filter change! In the book of Acts.  (Acts 15:19-21) we see an interesting decision made by the disciples concerning non-Jews who have turned to the God of Israel. They send instructions for these new believers to “abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, (which can only be defined in the Torah) from things strangled, and from blood”.  Is this all that is required  for “new testament” Believers?  Are these the only instructions we need to abide by as Christians today?  Of course not.  In fact we don’t even find a prohibition of murder listed in these instructions from James.  So what’s going on? The answer lies in the very next verse… “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”  Did you catch it? The Disciples are rightly expecting these new Believers, although they have the Holy Spirit to guide them,  to study, learn and apply the Torah, God’s instructions to their lives. In time, they would learn how to live as children of the God of Israel. They would learn about clean and unclean, they would learn God’s definition of food and to abstain from eating the abominable.  They would learn about His Sabbath’s and appointed times.  They would learn to treat others, as they themselves would want to be treated. They would learn Torah, the instructions of a loving Father, given to His children. What about us? Has anything changed? Are we under a “new” “new testament” teaching of some kind, or might the words of James still apply to us?   Friends, the Holy Spirit authored the Law of Moses!   May all the redeemed of Israel, return to the ancient paths and once again walk according to His Word, His Torah.    I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables”.  2 Timothy, 4:1-4 

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