Feasts For All Times?

One argument from the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) that I have heard goes something like this: God does not change, therefore none of His laws will change, and therefore none of the feasts are abrogated. The problem with this kind of argument is two-fold. In one sense, none of the OT laws are abrogated: they still exist to teach us principles of godliness, and to point us to Jesus Christ (this I say in opposition to those who claim we are abrogating the OT law if we say that we do not follow the OT laws in the same way today). They are still written down in the Old Testament. Not one of those words will pass away, not a jot, nor a tittle. However, that does not mean, in and of itself, that the observation and application of those commandments can never change. They can if God says they do. But can God do that? If God doesn’t change, then can His laws change? Well, let’s look at some examples of God giving a commandment for a certain time and place that would not have universal applicability. God told Isaiah to walk around naked. That is a direct commandment from God that had an equally direct (and merciful!) expiration date of three years. This, of course, does not prove (in itself) that any of the Torah had an expiration date. But it does prove that God can give a command that does not last forever. God also told Hosea to take an adulterous wife. Now, scholars debate whether she was unfaithful before or only after marrying Hosea, but it doesn’t really matter. Hosea still knew that her character was an unfaithful character when he married her. This was a very specific commandment given in a particular time and place. Surely, we would not want to say that all prophets of God should marry wives of unfaithful character! There was a specific purpose in what God was doing with that commandment. Again, this does not prove that any particular law in the Torah is expired, but it does prove that God can give a commandment that has an expiration date on it. God has given commands in the past that have limited applicability.

Now the question is this: are there any limitations on the commandments given in the Torah? The Ten Commandments are universally binding moral law. This is the same law that is written on the human heart by God. I will not, at this point, argue the change of day of the Sabbath commandment. That is a subject for another post. But the Ten Commandments are universally binding for all people everywhere (not just for Israel). As that particular point is not really in dispute between the HRM and Reformed theology, I will move on to other areas of laws.

There do appear to be limitations set on other areas of commandments. Deuteronomy 4 is vitally important here. The redemptive-historical situation is that Moses is giving his last will and testament, if you will, to the Israelites before they enter the promised land. In the course of this, he makes a distinction between the Ten Commandments, on the one hand (4:13), and the “statues and ordinances” in 4:14, which are tied to the land: “At that time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to follow in the land you are about to cross into and possess” (emphasis added). The order of Ten Commandments first, followed by statutes and ordinances is then immediately followed in chapter 5 (the second giving of the Ten Commandments and its summary in chapter 6) and the statutes and ordinances that follow. It is revealing that only after the Ten Commandments are given does Moses give specific instructions concerning the holy warfare that is to come (chapter 7). This separation of the statutes and ordinances from the Ten Commandments by the commands concerning holy warfare underscore again the connection of the ordinances that follow with the ownership of the land, as well as the distinction within OT law between the moral, civil and ceremonial aspects of the law. Now, it is not quite as simple as this, since there are reiterations of the moral law scattered throughout Deuteronomy. This does not negate the point of the literary separation between the Ten Commandments and the civil and ceremonial law as a whole.

Now to the feasts in particular. Three feasts are limited to the place that God shall choose: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. Deuteronomy 16:16 is quite clear on this point: “All your males are to appear three times a year before the Lord your God in the place He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths” (emphasis added). That place that God would choose is, of course, Jerusalem. In other words, these feasts cannot be celebrated outside of Jerusalem. They must be celebrated in the place that God chose. There is no commandment later on telling the people that they can celebrate it anywhere else. There is no biblical example of the people of God celebrating those feasts anywhere other than Jerusalem. In fact, we have the exact opposite example in the case of the Exile. During the Exile, the people of God celebrated no feasts of God at all. Why? Because they were exiled from their land. There is no reproach laid on them for not celebrating the feasts while they were in exile. Those feasts are tied to the land of Israel, and in particular, Jerusalem. It is arbitrary to claim that we can celebrate them anywhere else, as long as we follow the specific instructions. Let us not forget either that these three Feasts required gifts to be given to God (Deuteronomy 16:17). We can conclude from this that these feasts had limitations of space set on them, at the very least.

From Isaiah, we learn that God gave a commandment bounded by time limitations. From our exegesis of Deuteronomy 16, we find that God can give a command that has a limitation of space put on it. Therefore, we can conclude from this that a law that is not of the moral law can have a built-in expiration date attached to it. This is not abrogation, as the HRM argue. Even the most die-hard dispensationalist could still agree that there is a relevance of even the most dated commands for God’s people. It is in that sense that not a jot or tittle shall pass away from the law until all is fulfilled. This should make it equally clear, by the way, that if our exegesis of Deuteronomy 16 (not to mention the example of Isaiah!) is correct, then Iesous’ (to use the Greek spelling of Jesus’ name used in the NT where the name Yeshua is NEVER used) words cannot mean what the HRM thinks it means. The HRM says that Iesous’ words mean that the application of the law can never change. It is the argument of the Reformed position that only God can change the application of His own law. No human tradition can do that. But it is also the Reformed position that Iesous Himself changed the application by His words in the NT. That is a subject for another post, however.

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26 Comments

  1. greenbaggins said,

    June 4, 2013 at 10:17 am

    By the way, since it has been mentioned that a Passover celebration was conducted at Lebanon Presbyterian Church, I should mention that there is a vast difference between doing a Passover in order to know what it is like and how it shows us the person and work of Jesus (which I have zero problem with) versus celebrating the Passover of the OT because of a belief that Jesus changed nothing in this regard. Paul explicitly tells us that Jesus IS our Passover lamb. The reason God passes over us in His wrath, is because of the interposed blood of Jesus that has been placed on the new doorposts and lintels (which, if you think carefully about it, are in the shape of a cross): the cross. The Passover shows us Jesus, and that is its relevance. To celebrate it now in the manner of the OT for a reason other than mere instruction and illustration, to my mind denies the once and for all character of Jesus’ death on the cross as our Passover lamb.

  2. Reed Here said,

    June 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Lane: amen! Instruction/illustration, not “God’s word is not abrogated; we’re still required to keep Passover.”

  3. didymusmartin said,

    June 4, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Bravo, the “Feasts” or “our appointments with God” is best understood when examined with both a microscope.and a telescope.

    The full understanding of the Ministry of Jesus Christ and what occurred from the last week of Jesus’ life [Passover/Easter} until Pentecost[ Shavot] cannot be understood without diligently studying the OT Feasts. and how Christ fullfilled the first 4 “appointments-feasts” [ the microscope]

    . Fnally how Christ will with His parousia fullfill the last three feasts [the telecscope].

  4. didymusmartin said,

    June 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    By studying the OT feast…Yom KIppur or The Day of Atonement….it allows one to see how the Doctrine of Grace would be better served by terms such as Limited Redemption or Limited Election and that the word atonement be applied more broadly to all of creation then just to man and thus a “sufficient” atonement. What say you?

  5. Pete Rambo said,

    June 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @ the post and Lane, #1.

    Lane, in your comment you say,
    “The Passover shows us Jesus, and that is its relevance. To celebrate it now in the manner of the OT for a reason other than mere instruction and illustration, to my mind denies the once and for all character of Jesus’ death on the cross as our Passover lamb.”
    The telling error is “to my mind…”

    What is Rabbi Shaul’s example and what does he say? I.e., what is his mind?

    Acts 20:6, ‘after the days of Unleavened’ hints at least of a stoppage in travels to celebrate. Certainly, as a pilgrim feast, his example is NOT being in Jerusalem.

    1 Cor. 16:2 speaks to Rav Shaul having them take up a collection to be taken to Jerusalem, a requirement for the pilgrim feasts, but interestingly, v. 8 indicates that he planned to be in Ephesus for Shavuot/Pentecost. He does however ask to have taken up the gift associated with the feast….

    Something changed in his plans… The Spirit moved him to press on for Jerusalem, exhibited by Acts 20:16 where Luke records that he ‘was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible ON the day of Pentecost.’

    These verses are particularly interesting in light of the fact that both letters are primarily at mixed, if not largely, Gentile readership. Why use an ‘outdated’ Hebrew calendar system that they didn’t need or wouldn’t be learning to associate Rav Shaul’s travel plans and patterns? Or maybe the readership was learning it…. (Acts 15:21!!)

    1 Cor. 5:7-8 says, ‘Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are unleavened. For Christ our Pascha (Passover) also has been sacrificed. Therefore, LET US CELEBRATE the feast, not with old leaven, nor with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.’

    What feast is he talking about?

    Based on 1 Cor. 16:8, it is safe to say that this letter is arriving at Corinth in close proximity to Passover and thus the strong connection to the feast in his teaching. Shaul expects them to be celebrating it, and he doesn’t seem to expect them to all travel to Jerusalem.

    You rightly say, ‘the Passover shows us Jesus…’ You fail to understand that just as they celebrated it in the wilderness looking forward to Jesus, we celebrate it looking back. As I previously stated, He is pre-eminent.

    Now, as to your tying the feasts to Jerusalem: Yes, while in the land the men were required to make the pilgrimage. You failed to mention the following quotes from Lev. 23:

    v.14. “…it is to be a perpetual statue throughout your generations in ALL your dwelling PLACES.”

    v. 21. “…it is to be a perpetual statue in ALL your dwelling PLACES throughout your generations.”

    v. 31. “…it is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in ALL your dwelling PLACES.”

    v. 41. “…it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations…”

    You rightly discern that Deuteronomy is giving more stringent requirements for the celebration while IN the land. V. 16 adds the requirement for all males to present themselves at the ‘place He chooses…’ Putting these passages all together leads us to understand how Rav Shaul could expect the Corinthians to ‘keep the feast,’ just as he did in Phillipi (Acts 20:6), while later deciding to hustle to get to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost. There are indeed, some requirements IN the land, but that does not deny ‘ALL your dwelling PLACES.’

    Shaul’s further example:

    ‘keeping the Law.’ Acts 21:24

    Member of a ‘sect’ ‘believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the prophets’ Acts 24:14

    Of FALSE witnesses he said he had ‘committed no offense against the Law of the Jews…’ Acts 25:8

    ‘anything worthy of death’… Teaching against Torah was worthy of death (Deu. 13) Acts 25:11

    Etc…

    [OH!! Halleluyah! Check this out: Acts 22:12-13! “Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law…” is the one Abba uses to give Shaul back his sight!!]

    Lane, I love you brother and I pray and grieve for you daily. I love Lebanon and pray daily for every one of the elders by name as well as many members. I pray that you might retain the testimony of Yeshua and be found keeping the commandments of God upon Messiah’s glorious return. (Rev. 12:17, 14:12; 15:3 and 20:4)

    Shalom.

  6. June 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Perhaps one needs to make a distinction between the outward form of a requirement and its essential meaning. Thus circumcision was to be for ever and I would argue that its essence though not its outward form continues in baptism and in both cases ultimately has its true meaning in ‘the circumcision not made with hands’

  7. Reed Here said,

    June 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Pete: I’d be interested in how you work around the point Lane makes about the three that cannot be celebrated outside Jerusalem.

  8. Reed Here said,

    June 5, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Also Pete, your insistence on using anglicized Hebrew is more than annoying. It is unhelpful to at least some readers who do not have the background to interpret what you mean.

    I’ll not ask you to bind your conscience (and I wii be gracious about the offense this practice give to my and other’s consciences), but I must insist you give respect to the readers by including parenthetically the English word for the anglicized Hebrew. e.g., list “Shaul” with “Paul” at least the first time in a response. Etc. for other words, such as book names.

    Thank you.

  9. greenbaggins said,

    June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Pete, there are a number of things in your comment I will address.

    The first point regards my use of the phrase “in my mind.” No doubt you will claim to be reading the text of Scripture with no biases whatsoever, and that your reading of the text comes with no presuppositions whatsoever. To put it mildly, this is not only impossible, but also naive. We all have presuppositions on which we base our reading of the text. I believe that I am reading the fair meaning of the text. I could be wrong in my reading. If I am wrong, though, it would be necessary to prove that my presuppositions are wrong, not just that my reading of individual texts are wrong. Here are my presuppositions: 1. The Bible is infallibly and inerrantly God’s Word; 2. God spoke to us in human language, thereby accommodating Himself to our level of understanding; 3. There are different genres of writing in Scripture which have different interpretive conventions attached to them. For instance, historical narrative reads differently than apocalyptic literature. Epistles read differently from poetry. This is normal human communication. We know that when the text of Scripture reads, “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,” that the next line does NOT read, “And we expect partly cloudy skies with a 50% chance of rain or thunderstorms.” Your presuppositions, which have come out in our conversations are different. You have a hermeneutic which insists on literalistic interpretation everywhere, and you insist that the OT has more interpretive authority than the NT. To put it mildly, you will wind up denying the Trinity with a hermeneutic like that. You can’t get the doctrine of the Trinity with a literalistic hermeneutic combined with a view that the OT controls the NT rather than the reverse. You interpret the clear passages by reference to your view of more vague passages, rather than interpreting the vague passages by means of the clear. Examples of this will be shown below.

    Regarding Acts 20:6 you are reading quite a lot into the text. All that can be safely gotten from that verse is a time marker. The sailing away from Philippi happened after the days of unleavened bread. That is all it says. It does not say that Paul celebrated the feast of unleavened bread.

    With regard to Paul’s name, don’t you think you ought to call him the name that he himself uses for himself? In all his letters, does he ever call himself Shaul? No, it is always Paulos. After Acts 13:9, the man is never again called Shaul. So, you are going against all of Paul’s letters by calling him Shaul. He called himself Paul, and you should too. The same ridiculousness exists regarding Jesus (which I have noticed you have not bothered to address in any of your comments) being called “Yeshua.” He is NEVER called that by name anywhere in the Bible, actually. Only typologically is He called that through the person and work of Joshua, Moses’ successor. In the NT, Jesus is ALWAYS called Iesous. If you wanted to use the Greek name that He is ALWAYS called in the NT, I could have no objection to it whatsoever. So, are you willing to say that the NT is wrong to call Jesus “Iesous”? Or are you going to argue on the basis of a non-existent Hebrew original of the NT, of which we have exactly zero manuscripts, compared with over 5000 Greek manuscripts (the original manuscripts of the NT are Greek, folks, NOT Hebrew or Aramaic)? It will not do to argue that the disciples spoke in Aramaic, and therefore we should say “Yeshua.” Because if you argue that way, then you are saying that the NT writers got it wrong when they called Him Iesous. This is an example of your using the OT to control the NT. Anything Greek seems to be something you will reject. You regard Hebrew as a better language than the Greek. But then why was the NT written in Greek?

    As to the Passover, we celebrate it in the Lord’s Supper, which is what Jesus Himself instituted in the Gospel accounts. He said that there was a NEW covenant in His blood. The only elements He singled out were the bread and the wine. If He said that there was such a thing as a new covenant that He was celebrating, then we ought not to assume that it retains everything from the old. There is continuity but also discontinuity among the various covenants of the Bible.

    I offered a different reading of 1 Corinthians 16 in my critique of your sons’ papers, but apparently you don’t think that argument worthy of a response. Disappointing, to say the least. First of all, there is NO mention of pilgrim feasts in the chapter. You are reading that into the text. Secondly, between verse 2 and verse 8 there is a significant delay in Paul’s travel plans (see verse 6 in particular). This breaks up the idea of there being some kind of pilgrim feast schedule to Paul’s travel plans.

    Pentecost’s significance lay in what happened in Acts 2. The significance of the gathering of the harvest pointed to that new harvest of souls, which is why Luke says in Acts 2:47 that the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. There is no mention in Acts 2 of the OT feast being celebrated. Instead, the entire tenor of the chapter is that an OT has now been given new anti-typical significance. So, when the text in Acts 20:16 says that Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost, there is no indication here that he wanted to celebrate the OT version of this, and not the NT version.

    In your quotations of Leviticus, you show your tendency to interpret the clearer passage (Deuteronomy 16) in the light of less clear passages in Leviticus. By the way, you haven’t answered my actual exegesis. Instead, you simply quoted other verses. This is not an answer but an evasion. But to show you that you are trying to escape the meaning of Scripture, let us look at the verses in Leviticus. Regarding verse 14, it is speaking of the fasting from bread, parched grain, and fresh grain. The reference to a “statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings” is not talking about eliminating the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Otherwise, you are setting the Leviticus passage AGAINST the Deuteronomy passage, which is not lawful hermeneutics. And even in the context, there is still a reference to the pilgrimage in the reference to bringing the sacrifice *to the priest* (verse 10). Therefore, the reference to the dwellings refers not to the offerings made to the priest, which have to happen where the priest is, presumably, but rather to the refraining from eating. Similarly in verse 21, the context tells us that the feast of weeks had some elements done in the person’s house, but other equally important and indispensable elements not done in the house. The offering was to be brought to Jerusalem. The offering is absolutely integral to the feast. Without it, there is no festival of weeks. Verse 31 speaks of the Day of Atonement, not the three feasts mentioned in Deuteronomy 6, so that verse is not even relevant. Verse 41 does not mention “in your dwellings” so I fail to see how that is even relevant to your argument, unless you are claiming that space and time are the same thing. So your interpretations of the texts are seriously lacking in contextual exegesis. What is more, you simply set them against the plain meaning of Deuteronomy 16, which is clear. What you are doing is not honest exegesis.

    The remaining verses are simply quoted without argument as to what they mean. I have already noted in past posts how the HRM lies about the Reformed position, saying that we believe the texts have been abrogated, when our position is that the application has changed. Saying that someone holds to the OT laws begs the question of what that looks like. I would claim without hesitation that I obey the OT laws *in Christ.* I do not obey them perfectly, and I do not obey them in the same form they took in the OT. But I deny that I am disobeying a single OT law.

  10. Pete Rambo said,

    June 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    @ Reed, # 8, then #7.

    The ‘anglicized’ Hebrew is more preference than anything. No bound conscience, however, it would seem the problem of readers not having a background to understand is one of our own making. We’ve been teaching an anglicized Scripture/Gospel for 1800 years and therein is the real issue.

    As I’m sure you recall, the subject of my paper that Lane liked so much is Antisemitism. And the purpose was to highlight the fact that we preach a message steeped in Hellenistic thought process and presupposition instead of learning and understanding the markedly different Eastern Hebrew root and context of all of Scripture.

    I will be happy to try and remember to add the related English word, but we would all do well to remember and even teach our congregants the original names and meanings of the words, etc… Those things are not fodder for sermon fill validating lingual education in seminary. Rather, they should be woven in every place until even our children understand and know the original names and meanings.

    Since beginning this trek, I have been appalled at how little I knew of the context and culture and I was in the pulpit for 10 years!! How much less did those under my care know who did not have the benefit of a similar education??

    On #7. I’m sorry if I did not make myself clear. I thought in my post I drew a connection between Rav Shaul’s (Rabbi Paul’s) practice and teaching as well as his insistence that he was not guilty of breaking the Law. I would understand that he drew a distinction between the practice IN the land versus how they were to be celebrated in the Diaspora.

    He, by his own testimony in multiple places, said he had never broken the Law.

    We clearly see him outside the land for the Days of Unleavened.

    We see him saying, ‘celebrate the feast (of Passover)….’ to the mixed fellowship @ Corinth.

    And, a point not previously made, his accusers, who had to resort to falsehood, did not challenge him on his practice. Surely they knew he was out of country for some of the feasts. Surely they knew he was teaching others to ‘celebrate the feast.’ (In fact, they had access to his oft misunderstood letter to the Galatians and they did not use it as evidence that he taught ‘against the Law.’ But that is a topic for another day.)

    It does appear from Zechariah 14:16-19 that attendance at the Feast of Booths IN Jerusalem will be imposed on all families of the earth, but I expect that after Yeshua (Jesus) returns and rules with a rod of Iron from Jerusalem with the Torah going forth from Zion. (Is. 2:2-3; Micah 4:1-3)

    How do you handle those passages, among others, that speak to Torah going forth from Zion and the Feast of Booths (Sukkot) again being celebrated without being dispensational in your approach to the feasts? I can’t do it.

    I hope this brings some clarity.

    Shalom.

  11. greenbaggins said,

    June 5, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Pete, you still know little of the context and culture of the Bible if you claim that the anglicization of the Bible has been going on for 1800 years! The Bible was not even fully translated into English until Wycliffe in the 14th century. That was the first complete English translation. Before that, all that existed was parts of the Bible translated into Old and Middle English (such as the Venerable Bede, and even he was 7th century).

  12. didymusmartin said,

    June 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Wycliff was an excellent Vulgate translation,,,,which of course brings its own set of tradtionalism steeped in Rome.

    Traditionalism whether rooted in the Christian Judaizers or the proponents of Apostolic Succession + Magesterium are just the tip of the apophatic traditions that have been derived from longstanding doctrine, practice, and pathos, and utimately helps individuals today to disinguish and possibly embrace the branch of Christian faith they choose to fellowship with whether kataphatic or apophatic.

  13. June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    It seems curious to me the premise of this article is “we can’t do this or that” so we basically shouldn’t, or even encourage others, to do so. Personally, isn’t the question supposed to be, “What does Abba want”? If that becomes the question, the next thing to determine is where can we find where Abba specifically says what Abba wants? It is, after all, His house.

    There seems to be a lot of reference to Leviticus concerning this discussion of the “Feasts of the Lord” but I would humbly submit, while Leviticus is a more specific definition, Exodus is where we first see the commandments to keep these feasts. In Exodus 23 we see several things in relation to this post. First of all in Exodus 23:10-11 we see the seventh year rest for the land. Why is the mention of this significant? It ties into the whole Babylonian captivity which seems to be at least in part, the crux of the “Why we can’t (or shouldn’t)” argument.. According to 2 Chronicles 36:21, Israel was given the term of 70 years because they had not rested the land according to His Law for a total of 490 (70 x 7, sound familiar?) years and the bondage would be one year for every one they hadn’t allowed to rest. It is the 7th year land Sabbath. Seems this “Sabbath” thing (in any of it’s forms) is really important, at least to the Father and should be to those of Israel. That being said, during this 490 years prior to the captivity, does one really think they were observing the Feast Days if they had abandoned one of His Sabbaths? One only has to look at Ezekiel 8th and 9th chapters to get a picture of what was going on leading up to their captivity. They were involved in full blown pagan idol observances in the temple itself, no less, with no apparent desire to observe the ways (of which Feast Days are only a part) of YHVH in the first place. Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah all were shouting to come back to the ways prescribed by the Father!! Israel did, however, during their captivity seem to be observing something, at least in the 5th and 7th months according to Zech. 7:4-7. According to the text it would seem there is some sort of observance going on and the mention of the 7th month is, at least, an interesting coincidence. It would also appear the implication from the people coming to Zechariah, they thought they were doing these observances to YHVH but He calls them on their true heart in 7:6 and they apparently making it all about them. From what I observe, they were so far removed they didn’t even know what to do in the first place. I would contend we have a very similar dynamic today with a gravitation to observances more familiar to a Catholic experience than that of those grafted into Israel. Notice in Zech 7:11-12 they hardened their hearts to the Torah or the “Words” spoken by the Spirit through the prophets? Are we not doing the same today?

    Also note, the passages in Exodus 21st, 22nd, & 23rd chapters are the working out of (the finer details) the 10 Commandments of which the Feast Days are an integral part of. They are, in fact a component of Loving YHVH according to His definition and our opinion is not even asked for.

    It seems odd to me that we (those who have received the spirit of adoption into YHVH’s family), after receiving the gift of salvation and being redeemed from a death we could not escape, are looking at reasons why we can’t be obedient to Him (as dear children) rather than asking the question, “How CAN we follow His prescription”? It is, after all, always recorded that those who, from a heart of love, follow His ways are seen as being rewarded with life. Those who choose their own means to fellowship with Him, quite the opposite. So, lest we fall into the trap warned of by Paul to Titus in Titus the 3rd. Chapter, let’s suspend this arguing about the Law thing and ask the real question that no one seems to be addressing and has been asked from the very beginning. Do we want to be obedient to the words breathed by YHVH Himself (as the men in Numbers 9:6-12 who wanted to do Passover) whether in Jerusalem on a journey (can anyone say diaspora?) abroad? Or do we, after the way of Cain want to approach YHVH on our own terms. That didn’t turn out so well as neither did it in many other places including the golden calf incident (Exodus 32:1-6). Do we really want to, while able to do so, follow His observances or reject them as archaic vestiges of an era long gone by and replace them with observances of our own design? Is history, once again, repeating itself? If so, maybe we should look at it to learn from it.

    Heb 4:11 Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief.
    Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

  14. greenbaggins said,

    June 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Apparently, you haven’t been listening, Travis. The question is not whether we will obey God’s Word, but *what form* that obedience will take. Until you acknowledge this quite different perspective on things, I don’t think it will be all that fruitful to continue the discussion.

  15. June 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Hello Lane,
    Thank you for your kind instruction. I believe the “form’ Abba says is acceptable to Him is plainly laid out in scripture. It’s called the words breathed by Him and pretty easy to find in the front of the book. The problem begins when we, whether because of our opinion, the way we were taught to think or our denomination/tradition is in conflict with His words. It continues when we are unwilling to be transformed to His ways and get’s spread when we teach others to do so as well. As I said, it seems history is repeating itself. Yesterday’s judiazers are today’s reform theologians. Either way, they were/are at odds with those who choose to follow what is plainly written in scripture with a heart to obey. Honestly, I really don’t see what the issue is. Are people in a cult because they choose obedience to what was breathed by YHVH and plainly recorded for all generations? Does the Father expect perfection or faithfulness? I believe grace would dictate the latter. Just as in Yeshua’s day, judaizers were complaining that Yeshua’s disciples didn’t wash their hands (which was not commanded in “the Law”). Today we have people who don’t even try to observe any appointed times according to YHVH’s instructions standing in judgement of those who do, demanding to know what they do looking for an infraction of some sort. Seems a bit hypocritical to me. I seem to remember Yeshua saying if we love Him we will do His commandments. His words are, after all, the words of the Father.

    Seem the Law is pretty important if we’re going to have fellowship with the Father and our prayers be heard as well:

    Pro 28:9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (ESV)

  16. Andrew McCallum said,

    June 6, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Lane said this: This is an example of your using the OT to control the NT. Anything Greek seems to be something you will reject.

    Lane,

    I ran into a group a few years ago that had spent considerable amount of time trying to critique curricula for homeschool and private schools that were using various classical models. They claimed to be utilizing a Hebrew model while the classical curricula were using a Greek paradigm. For them Hebrew = wholesome, biblical, family orientated while Greek = fragmented, pagan, and state orientated. The idea they were promoting was that we ought to teach our children to reorient one’s life to a Hebrew mindset and to develop a Hebrew worldview through which we interpreted Scripture and culture. It sounds like there is something similar going on with these HRM folks.

    And apparently some of the HRM groups really do believe that the NT was written in Hebrew! Quite amazing but I’ve found a few apologies for such an idea. But I suppose if Greek language and culture is suspect then there could be a strong bias for this thesis. Perhaps this is analogous to some of the Early Church Fathers who became so enamored with Neoplatonism or the Medieval Church that adopted an Aristotelian mindset through which to view history and culture. We Reformed reject the way in which such Greek models were used at various times in the history of the Church, but we don’t have issues with a gospel that was communicated through Greek language and mindset. We certainly need to understand something of the Hebrew way of looking at the world to understand the OT, but then we ought to have a good appreciation of Greek thought and culture to appreciate much of the NT.

    And I think you are right that you are not going to get anywhere with these folks. They obviously don’t care to listen.

  17. Bob S said,

    June 6, 2013 at 1:33 am

    16 Andrew
    “And I think you are right that you are not going to get anywhere with these folks. They obviously don’t care to listen.”

    Exactly.
    They’re judaizers plain and simple.
    Just like the example of Christ and the apostles means nothing to the 7th Day Adventists re. the change from the seventh to the first day of the week, that Christ has fulfilled the ceremonial law/feast days etc.(Bk. of Hebrews) and declared all food lawful in Act 10 to Peter does not compute.
    It just does not fit their ahem, paradigm.
    Of unbelief.
    According to Gal. 1:8,9.

  18. June 6, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Hello Bob,
    I have a couple questions for you. Were Yeshua and the apostles who wrote what was later cannonized as the NT Greek or Hebrew? Even a dishonest assesment of them would conclude the latter. As far as Acts 10 have you ever read as far as the 29th and 29th verse: I’ll post it here for your consideration to now this vision had nothing to do with food:

    Act 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
    Act 10:29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”

    If you choose to eat unclean things, you most definitely can. They will digest in your system. It’s just that YHVH said in Leviticus 11th chapter that they are not food for those who live by His instruction. Seems what you eat is also tied to the whole being holy as He is holy thing:

    Lev 11:44 For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground.
    Lev 11:45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
    Lev 11:46 This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground,
    Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.

    Also, isn’t it odd that Paul in Galatians 1:8,9 is invoking a provision of the very same Law many believe he taught was done away with found in Deut. 13:1-5? Seems Peter was right after all:

    2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
    2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
    2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
    2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    Wonder what he means by “lawless”? The Greek word is athesmos. Could it be those twisting Paul’s words are actually teaching against YHVH’s breathed words/instructions? The same words breathed that YHVH’s himself said we would live by (Deut. 8:3, Matt 4:4 and Luke 4:4)?

    Paul stated clearly that he did, in fact, believe everything in the Law and prophets. But then again, he was considered a heretic even in his day by those judiazers (false witnessed breaking Torah, NOT teaching it) who taught traditions of men INSTEAD OF Torah:

    Act 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,
    Act 24:15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
    Act 24:16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

    These folks you all lump into one “HRM” basket, for the most part. have simply made the choice to follow what is clearly written in scripture and abandon the traditions of their denominations. I understand what kind of threat that is to those who hold to their denominational lens of interpreting scripture. It’s a dangerous thing when one breaks free from tradition both in Yeshua’s time here and ever since then.

    Shalom

  19. didymusmartin said,

    June 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

    @travis

    When we goyim talk about kashrut, halakha, or kosher it seems that we argue more robustly about keeping dietary law then the original chosen. Data from the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) reported that 21% of American Jews keep kosher in the home and less then 10% keep kosher outside the home. This includes the vast majority of people who identify themselves as Orthodox, as well as many Conservative and Reconstructionist Jews and some Reform Jews. It seems that the Joes and Jews do not read Leviticus, Deuteronomy or the Talmud with orthodoxy or orthopraxis traditions and even less orthopathos.

    Shabbot Shalom

  20. didymusmartin said,

    June 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

    @ travis
    One more issue many of my Jews for Jesus friends think that laws of kashrut fall into the category of “chukkim,” laws for which there is no reason.

  21. Reed Here said,

    June 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I am surprised at the insistence of men like Pete and Travis who insist that we honor God by keeping ALL his words. Yet, when given evidence that they themselves DO NOT do this …

    Their silence is deafening, speaking all too clearly of their hypocrisy. They speak not for Abba but for Satan. Sorry Pete and Travis, but lengthy blathering does not hide the fact that you ignore every credible challenge to your position.

    I for one will apply Paul and John’s commands (Ti 3:10, 2Jo 1:10). I will plead for you to humble yourself and show even a bit of integrity in discussing your differences. Yet as long as you dissemble lies I will trust that God who warns in the strongest terms against your doctrines will indeed emasculate your ability to continue promoting heresy.

  22. didymusmartin said,

    June 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I find Titus 3 :9,…. ” But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. ”
    exceedingly apropos.

    Even more worthy for us is beginning with Titus 3:1-3, ” … to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.”

    And the promises of God is Yes and Amen.

  23. Bob S said,

    June 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    18 Travis,

    Not to pile on, but just what don’t we get about Colossians 2:16,17?

    Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. . . .

    All the HRM is about is jewish moralizing and a disrespect of and disbelief in Christ.

    IOW the original posts were right on, not withstanding all the long winded and irrelevant cavorting in the combox to the contrary.

  24. Reed Here said,

    June 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Thomas: second time you’ve admonished me. I heard you and I do not think it applies in this case. In the same letter Paul uses the hardest of terms against those who were Judaizers. Gentleness does not preclude hard words.

  25. Tom said,

    June 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Re: #1

    >To celebrate it now in the manner of the OT for a reason other than mere instruction and illustration, to my mind denies the once and for all character of Jesus’ death on the cross as our Passover lamb.

    Lane,

    Are you suggesting is OK to hold a “Passover” complete with animal sacrifice if the only purpose is illustration?

  26. June 10, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Robert, S.,
    Paul is simply stating to not allow the Judiazers to bully up on them concerning how they observe the things laid out in Scripture (they are, in fact in Colassae and not in Israel keeping the feasts and such). These are the same guys Yeshua dealt with in Mark 7th chapter and who taught their traditions (over-extension of the Law) as the Law itself. Notice in Mark 7:6-13 these guys were teaching traditions of men but Yeshua quotes from the Law (called the Law of Moses, a misnomer as it is the very words of YHVH Himself spoken by Moses) to expose their lie since, according to scripture, the Law is, in fact, truth (Psalm 119:142).

    What most don’t understand about Col. 2:16,17 is the fact that the Colossians are in fact observing the dietary instructions (meat and drink (remember in Mark 7 these judiazers say food is unclean if one doesn’t wash their hands), holy days (feast days), New moons (YHVH’s determination of the calendar) and Sabbaths (whether weekly or high). It is interesting to note, they were doing this outside Jerusalem as were the believers in Corinth of which Paul wrote to “keep” the feast (notice he used the word “we”) in 1 Cor. 5:7,8. The honest truth is, according to Torah we are commanded by YHVH Himself to keep the Feast wherever we are, at the appointed (by YHVH see Numbers 9:10) times. I believe long journey would include out of country.

    Now, you make this statement:

    “All the HRM is about is jewish moralizing and a disrespect of and disbelief in Christ.”

    With all due respect, How Dare You!!! From what do you make such a statement other than your own opinion or conversations among people who you agree with (see 2 Cor. 10:12)? What is your proof?!! I simply will not tolerate anyone who says I ( I do not consider myself to have any other label than in “The Way” but you lump me into the HRM) have a disbelief in Yeshua!! Are you serious?!! I understand your position since you believe the Law has been done away with and as such you are free to bear false witness (as did many in the first century against those who kept the commandments and had the faith of Yeshua, many of which were in fact judiazers) even in the face of the truth. But this is spoken about in Ephesians 4:25 and obviously was a problem in the first century as well. No one in the HRM movement rejects Yeshua in any way shape of form!! They, as do I, and I sincerely hope you as well, in fact believe Yeshua is YHVH in the flesh, our passover Lamb who paid in full, with His blood, the price of redemption to bring us back into fellowship with YHVH, that He rose from the dead three full days and nights as HE said and is seated at the right Hand of YHVH awaiting the word from YHVH to come back to rule on earth. Where we differ mainly in you is we believe we’ve been freed from the “curse” of the Law, not the Law(truth) itself and it is in fact the Torah (Law) that shows us how to love YHVH with everything and Love ones neighbor as oneself. We reject the traditions of men (Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc…) observed today in the modern church, all of which are of Roman Catholic in origin and not mentioned in scripture anywhere, also of which the early reformers flatly rejected. We choose to observe, to the best of our ability, all that we see commanded by the very breath of YHVH Himself, of which the Feast Days are only a part. Maybe our observance is, in your eyes, imperfect, but (as Paul told the believers in Colossae not to be worried about) I will not be bullied about by those who would judge me in such. At the end of the day, we will all be judged by our works according to scripture (Revelations 20:12,13) . If my charges are that I kept the Sabbath, observed the Feast Days, ate what YHVH said was food and was holy as He is holy, that I rejected the traditions of men and held fast to His spoken words even in the face of my accusers, that I gave all in the love of YHVH and loving my fellow man (please google my name to find out a bit about me) and that I built no other kingdom than His, so be it. Guilty as charged


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