Posts Tagged ‘Church’

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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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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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Sabbath…A Gift He won’t Take Back!

April 11, 2008

Exodus 20:8-11 says “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.  In it your shall do no work….For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it“. You have probably read this command from God before.  Now check out an awesome promise from our Father, one that our enemy does not want you to hear and take to heart.

 

 

 

   Isaiah 58:13-14 says “ If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 

 

 

   That sounds great, but is it true for us today?  Is the Sabbath command really a commandment, or just a suggestion? After all, we are often taught that the Sabbath was given for the Jews, or that it was changed to Sunday or, that it’s just no longer valid.  In this issue we will search the Scriptures to find out if there is any support for these teachings. Friends, what if… just what if, our enemy has once again tripped us up with ”Has God indeed said..” as he did in the garden of Eden.  

 

 WARNING>>>WARNING>>>WARNING>>>POTENTIAL MISUNDERSTANDING ALERT>>> This issue is not about trashing Sunday worship.  No way. I hope that each of us worship the Holy One each and every day.  No, this issue will specifically address one question…Does the “New Testament” change or do away with God’s command to keep and honor the 7th day as the Sabbath of the Lord.   Remember, God’s Word trumps man’s tradition every time… right?? Repeat that last line and then hold on!! Here we go….

 

 

     Let’s start by checking out Mark 2:27…”The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”  Notice, Jesus tells us that the Sabbath was made for man.  All men!  He does not say it has been done away with or changed.  In fact, we know that in Matthew 5:17-19 our Lord says that He would never abolish any of the Law or the Prophets.  And, he warns us (in verse 19) about teaching men to break any commandments. That would definitely include the Sabbath command.  Now, let’s answer the question “WWJD” concerning the Sabbath, or rather, “What Did Jesus Do”.  Luke 4:16 tells us “And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read”.  Remember, as His disciples, we are to be conformed to His likeness as it says in Romans 8:29.    

 

    So, we learned from Luke, that Jesus kept the Sabbath during His earthly ministry.  What about after He went to the cross? Did that change the Sabbath command?  First of all, keep Matthew 5:17 in mind, but also notice what He says in Matthew 24:20; “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath”.  In this passage, He is clearly referring to the last days, and yet speaks of the Sabbath!! It’s still there!! To go along with that, check out some other millennial passages in Isaiah 56:1-8, and Isaiah 66:22-23. Does it sound like the Sabbath has been abolished or nailed to the cross?

 

 

 

     Now, some teach that because Jesus did not repeat the Sabbath commandment in the “New Testament”, He thus rendered it null and void. Does that make any sense to you considering the fact that He created the Sabbath, (Colossians 1:15-17), He lived it, (Luke 4:16), He taught it, (Matthew 12:1-12) and God says it will be kept by all living in the future! (Isaiah 66:22-23) How many times should God (Yahweh) have to tell man something in order for us to listen? (In my case it has been way too many times).  By the way, bestiality is prohibited in Exodus 22:19, but not repeated in the “New” Testament. Surely, that does not make it okay. You know, Luke 6:5 tells us that Jesus (Yeshua) is Lord of the Sabbath, not you or me or the Pope. We have no authority to change or abolish the most often repeated commandment in the Bible!!  We can reject it, but that is not a good idea according to Hebrews 10:28; and Matthew 7:21-23.  Besides, if we truly love our Master, we will obey Him.  He tells us that plainly in John 14:20-21

 

 

 

     Finally, check out Matthew 15:3-6 and Mark 7:7, 9, 13 and you will notice something. Jesus did not have much time for “traditions of men” when they contradicted the “Commandments of God”.  With that in mind, let me ask you a question. When we call Sunday (the 1st day of the week) the Sabbath, (which is the 7th day according to Scripture) or, ignore the Sabbath command, are we following the Commandments of God (Yahweh), or traditions of men? In Acts 5:29, Peter and the apostles make it clear what we should do.

 

 

 

     Now, let’s spend some time with Paul to see if he taught anything different about the Sabbath.  Paul in his day was falsely accused of teaching against the Law of Moses, (check out Acts 21:20-26) as was Stephen (Acts 6:9-15).  Not much has changed. To this day many still accuse Paul of being anti-Torah.  In fact, I was one of his accusers until recently when I began to check things out. For instance, notice that in 1Corinthians 11:1 Paul says “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”. So what did Paul do? Let’s find out. Take a look at the following Scriptures: Acts 17:2, 18:4, 13:14, 13:42, 13:44, and 16:13.  It seems to me that Paul had ample opportunity to make a point about the Sabbath being changed or abolished, but he never did.  Did you know that Peter warns us about Paul’s writings being misunderstood?  In 2Peter 3:14-18 he tells us that “untaught and unstable people twist Paul’s writings to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures”.  For example, let’s look carefully, in context, at two of Paul’s writings often used to justify ignoring God’s commands.

 

 

 

     Check out Colossians 2:16. Did you read it? At first glance it sounds like Paul just blew out of the water everything I have shared with you about the Sabbath does it not?  But let’s go back and read Colossians 2:1-23 and search for context as we read.  Notice in verse 4 Paul is concerned about deception by persuasive words.  Then in verse 8 we see he mentions philosophy, empty deceit, traditions of men, principles of the world and not according to Christ!! Did you catch that? If not read it again. So, is the writer talking about God’s Holy Commandments? His Torah?  Let’s go on. In verses 13-14 Paul encourages us in that we are forgiven, made alive in Jesus, with the all the condemnation that was against us nailed to the cross!! Praise the Lord! Then verse 16 warns us not to worry about what the world thinks of us observing His Sabbath commands (Leviticus 23:3), His dietary laws, (Leviticus 11) or His festivals (Leviticus 23).  Finally, in verse 22, Paul once again shows us that his concerns are about us following after doctrines of men instead of Yeshua!!

Check me out and let me know what you find. 

 

     Now, let’s do the same thing with another section of Scripture often used to falsely accuse Paul, Galatians 4:9-11.  Now I know that a lot of well known teachers say that Paul is referring to the Commandments in those verses.  But remember, context!! Go back and check out verse 8. In it, Paul let’s us know that these people were pagans, idol worshipers before they knew God. Now, read verse 9 and let me ask you two questions… Would Paul, a Pharisee, call what God  had commanded, “weak and beggarly elements”? Also, how could pagans “turn again” to something (the Mosaic Law) that they had never followed? Now read verses 10-11 again. It becomes clear that Paul is talking about pagan holidays like many observe today, not God’s Holy days!!

 

 

 

      Now this may be a little off the subject, but for some hints to understanding Paul’s letter to the Galatians, check out the following verses. Galatians (1:6), (2:16), (2:17), (2:21), (3:2), (5:4). Notice, Paul never teaches against the Law of Moses. But he does slam the door on any futile attempt to be “justified” or “saved” by keeping the law.  Paul tells us that we are saved by grace thru faith (Ephesians 2:8) but what does he say in Romans 6:1? Check it out and don’t forget what the definition for sin is. You can find it in 1John 3:4.  Also remember, Yahweh first saved His people from Egypt, with the blood of a lamb, and then gave His Commandments at the mountain.  

 

 

     Finally, what about the changing of the day from the 7th day to the 1st? Let’s check it out. First of all, “Sunday” does not appear in the Bible. But, the words “first day of the week” can be found in the “New” testament 8 times. I will point you to each verse with a short commentary, and then you check them out to see if you can find any authority to change what our Father has commanded. Remember, these are the verses that many teachers and Bible commentators use to justify “changing” the Sabbath Command. Here we go

(ONE)Matthew 28:1–This verse actually proves that three days after all was “done away with and nailed to the cross” the Sabbath is still the day before the first day of the week!! 

 

 (TWO)Mark 16:1-2Tells us the same thing as Matthew 28:1.

 

 

 

(THREE)Mark 16:9–Nothing here says anything about changing the Sabbath

(FOUR)Luke 24:1–Check this one out very carefully.  You will notice that the women brought the spices on “the first day of the week” which tells me that this is a common work day. If you have any doubts, take special note of the verse just before, Luke 23:56.  Remember, the Holy Spirit inspired this statement 30 years or so after these events. Does it sound like the commandment was changed or abolished? …

 

 

 

(FIVE)John 20:1–Nothing new here.

(SIX) John 20:19–Many point to this verse for establishing Sunday as Sabbath to celebrate the resurrection.  But here’s the problem… they were not gathered for celebration.  They were gathered for “fear of the Jews“.  In fact they did not even believe in the resurrection! (Mark 16:14) Finally, they were together in the “upper room” because that is where they lived according to Acts 1:13.  Do you see anything here to set Sunday apart as a holy day or change the Sabbath command? 

 

(SEVEN)Acts 20:7–You check it out, but all I see from Scripture is the disciples gathering to eat (Luke 24:30; Acts 2:46; Acts 27:35) and then Paul talking all night because, he was going to “depart the next day”. Once again, I see nothing that changes the Sabbath command. Do you? 

 

(EIGHT) 1Corinthians 16:2–Paul asks them to gather and store up a collection of food for the saints in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:25-28).  Again, the 1st day of the week seems to be a work day, not a day of rest, and nothing mentions changing the Sabbath day.  Are we missing something? Are these the 8 foundational verses from Scripture that we have used to “add to” and “take from” (Deut 4:2) His Word? Did you see anything that would authorize us to change the day that HE hallowed?

 

 

 

 

     Finally, some have said that the Sabbath command is for the Jews only. If that is true, then what about the command not to murder, or commit adultery?  No, the Sabbath command and blessings are for all of God’s people.  In fact, check out Isaiah 56:1-8 for something you don’t hear taught very often! It turns out that God commands the foreigners who turn to the God of Israel,  not to think that they have no part in His Sabbath.

 

 

    

    A few years ago, my wife Roxie asked me why we didn’t honor the 7th day Sabbath. At the time I did not know how to answer, so I just repeated what I had heard without checking it out, and then tried to ignore the uncomfortable feeling inside me.  Friends, the Sabbath has never changed. But I am afraid the stiff necked people of God have not changed either. (That’s us)  You know, Jesus gave us an awesome gift when He gave us the Sabbath.  He won’t take it back. Read Isaiah 58:13-14. Do you believe Him?

 

 

 

James 1:22—“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves

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From “Among the Gentiles…”

April 11, 2008

In teachings past (see “Check Your Filter…) I have shown from Scripture how that a person becomes part of Israel thru faith in Messiah Yeshua…period. Physical bloodline has nothing to do with it.  In short we have been “grafted in” according to Paul in Romans chapter eleven. He tells us in Ephesians chapter two that by the blood of Christ we lose our identity as “Gentiles” and become part of the “commonwealth of Israel”.  In Galatians 3:29 we learn that in Messiah, we ARE Abraham’s seed and “heirs according to the promise.”  Quite simply, the belief that the “church” in Scripture is something new, or something separate and distinct from the Israel of God is just not so.  In fact, the new covenant that Christianity claims as it’s own is made only with the two houses of Israel. (See Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:7-12)  In direct reference to Psalm 22:3, I have heard pastors and worship leaders say that God inhabits the praises of His people.  This is true…but the next time you are giving praise to the Lord consider that what Psalm 22:3 actually says is that God is “Enthroned in the praises of ISRAEL.”  Let me be clear, or rather listen to Paul as he makes it clear… “There 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.Galatians 3:28-29  For an interesting Bible study sometime, take a quick glance at a King James Version of Acts 7:38, compare it to other translations and follow up with a word study of the term church.” You will soon discover that the church in it’s proper historical and Hebraic context… is the congregation of Israel.   Never does the bible switch gears by creating something “new” called the “Christian Church”.  Peter was not the first pope….He was instead…like Paul…a Torah obedient follower of Messiah…but more on that later… 

Now, for the most part I meet very little resistance to this teaching until it comes to the issue of obedience to Torah. We love to grab hold of the promises made…the covenants given…the glory…the hope and blessings bestowed upon those of Israel…(Rom 9:4) But… some of us would rather not consider the fact that if indeed we are part of Israel, it only makes sense that we would obey the God of Israel and the instructions He gave to His people Israel in His Torah.  Instead, we are taught that the 4th commandment (7th day Sabbath)…the food laws, (Leviticus 11) tassels on garments (Numbers 15:37-41) and many other instructions… are either for a different “Israel”… (which as we have seen is not possible) or that they were simply done away with or changed contrary to the very words of Jesus. (Matthew 5:17-19)  Either way…many who believe themselves to be of  the Gentiles” but at the same time “grafted into Israel” have chosen it would seem for varying reasons, to follow a different set of rules than those which were given to Israel at Mt. Sinai thru Moses. I believe this to be a serious breach of the basic foundational theological understandings and principles found in Scripture, seemingly justified only by flawed hermeneutics. In other words…it’s messed up. Now, if we as Christians are indeed following a different set of commandments than those intended by God, or if we are ignoring some of them mistakenly thinking they do not apply to us, we obviously need to repent.  So, in this teaching I ask you to examine the Scriptural evidence and decide for yourselves whether or not “non-Israelites” referred to as the “Gentiles” or “nations” were ever expected to obey the “Law of Moses”…the instructions of Torah.  And if so…did these expectations ever change.   To begin, let’s go back to the time when Torah was given thru the prophet Moses … 

MOSES 

When the children of Israel were redeemed in the great exodus and brought up and out of Egypt…there came with them a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) who had chosen to join or attach themselves to Israel.  It may come as a surprise to many Christians that although they were not physical descendants of Abraham, these “Gentiles” or “non–Israelites” from the nations were still expected to obey the God of Abraham, the Holy One of Israel, and to keep His Commandments, His Torah.  Scripture teaches plainly “One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you” in Exodus 12:49. Following are a few clear examples where we see specific instructions in the Torah that were to apply not only to physical Israel…but also to the “sojourner” or “stranger”…those who have decided to follow the God of Israel.

Concerning the 7th day Sabbath we hear God say 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

Concerning the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread: And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. Exodus 12:48  For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.”  Exodus 12:19

Concerning Sacrifices: Also, you shall say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the LORD, that man shall be cut off from among his people.  Leviticus 17:8-9  And if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations, and would present an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD, just as you do, so shall he do. Numbers 15:14

Concerning the Feast of Tabernacles: “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.  And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless  and the widow, who are within your gates. Deuteronomy 16:13-14

Concerning the Feast of Weeks: Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your and, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you.  You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, your and your son and your daughter, your male servant an your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make his name abide. Deuteronomy 16:10-11

Concerning the Cities of Refuge:  These six cities shall be for refuge for the children of Israel, for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills a person accidentally may flee there.  Numbers 35:15

Concerning Eating of Blood: And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood’.  Leviticus 17:10-12

Concerning Unintentional Sin:  So the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the Lord, to make atonement for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them. Numbers 15:28-29

Concerning Intentional Sin:  But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Numbers 15:30

Concerning Blasphemy:  And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.  All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land.  When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:16

Concerning Justice:  Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death.  Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal.  If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him—fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him.  And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death.  You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 24:17-22 

In summary:  Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your god and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess.  Deuteronomy 31:12-13

As you can see, the common teaching that the law of Moses was only given to the physical descendants of Abraham is certainly not based upon Scripture.  “But Tim…” you might say…“you are only looking at the first five books of the Bible…what about the rest of Scripture?”  Good point.  Let’s continue… 

The Book of Ruth 

Let us consider the book of Ruth.  In this beautiful true story we witness the Torah instructions regarding a “kinsmen redeemer” lived out thru the lives of Boaz and Ruth.  Now Ruth of course was a Moabite… her people were not exactly friendly with Israel.  She was definitely what you would call “non-Jewish”. As you know, Boaz will pay the price for Ruth… redeeming her and taking as her as His own.  What a awesome picture of Messiah. All who consider themselves to be of the “nations” obviously love this story. Christian bible teachers use this story to make the point that in the same way Boaz redeems this Moabite, so Messiah redeems us.  This is true. But I have a question that pertains to our main question…Did Ruth continue to live as a Moabite… worshipping as a Moabite…or did she turn from the ways of the nations and worship the God of Israel as part of Israel?  Curiously, the Torah actually forbids a Moabite from joining up with Israel! (Deuteronomy 23:3) So what’s up? I think we find the answers in the words of Ruth herself.  She says “Your people (Israel) shall be my people, and Your God ( The God of Abraham) shall be my God.” Ruth 1:16  Ruth will no longer be a Moabite! What a beautiful example for those of us who love the Messiah of Israel. Our Master has paid the price to redeem us…to bring us into His family as one of His own…so that we might live as part of Israel…walking in Torah…thus proclaiming with our very lives…”Your people shall be my people, and Your God shall be my God.”

The Prophets 

Now let’s take a look at just a couple of the prophets and see if they have anything to say about those from “among the Gentiles” and how they should live.

 First we hear from the Lord thru Jeremiah…now listen closely and you just may hear echoes from the book of Ruth.  Jeremiah says “And it shall be, if they (speaking of 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  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

Listen to Isaiah concerning the Sabbath…”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 keeps from defiling the Sabbath, an holds fast My covenant—Even them I will bring to My holy mountains and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house (The Temple) shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.Isaiah 56:6-7

 

Finally, in the closing verses of Zechariah we hear something very interesting concerning the future.  And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”  Question…whose “feasts’ are Christians keeping today? Where did they originate? (Easter,Christ-mass,Lent, Sunday Sabbath, etc) What Feasts did Jesus keep?

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  But you have not so learned Messiah, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Yeshua: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24 

 

Yeshua (Jesus) 

If you consider what it truly means to be a disciple…one who patterns their life after that of the Master…and if you consider the Torah observant life our Master lived as the sinless Lamb of God…the “great commission” will suddenly take on a new meaning for many of us. Listen closely to what Jesus said…“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (gentiles)…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded youMatthew 28:19-20  What did Jesus teach and observe perfectly?  Torah.  He said in Matthew 4:4 (quoting from Torah) It is written ‘Man shall not live by bread alone buy by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Thus anyone desiring to be a disciple of Jesus has been given direct maching orders from the Master to teach all peoples to observe God’s Commandments…to walk in Torah just as He did.

The Apostle Paul  

Finally, we come to Paul. Too many Christians today believe that Paul taught people it was wrong to obey the Torah, or that it was perhaps optional. Especially, when it came to those from “among the Gentiles.” It is not true however.  What did Paul teach?  Paul taught that the Torah, was “holy and just and good.”  He taught that salvation came thru faith in Messiah…the same faith that Job professed when he said “For I know my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth” Paul taught that we are saved by grace thru faith in our Messiah…Jesus Christ…that we are cleansed only by His blood…the blood of the Lamb…PERIOD.  But Paul also taught that salvation was only the beginning for those who had truly counted the cost. He taught that we should learn and grow in Messiah.  He taught that one should “not be conformed to this world, but should “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Transformed to what you might ask?  Into the image of Messiah! Paul lived out a life of Torah observance just as his Master did.  And, Paul took the “great commission” to heart as he proclaimed to all in both word and deed imitate me as I imitate Messiah

As I conclude this teaching I want to leave you with the very words of Paul which did inspire me to share these things with you. I would ask that you open up your Bible and read the following for yourself and let me know…honestly… if you still believe Paul would put his stamp of approval on those who come from “among the Gentiles” continuing to live as Gentiles.  Or do you see how Paul may have actually been in line with the whole of Scripture after all!  Play the Berean and let me know…

 

May God bless you as you follow Him,

Tim     

“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

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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.