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ReceivedText
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Joined: 2005/4/22
Posts: 257
Seattle, Washington, USA

 Sabbath or First Day? (And other Jewish Roots issues)

OK brethren, I think it's time to open this can of worms. Messianic and Jewish Roots congregations are popping up all over North America. Some of the same issues that were discussed at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 are being discussed today. Some groups are closer to Judaism than others, but Mosaic Law seems to be a common thread with all of them.

Here are some links from PFRS (not my site) that will provide a buffet of items to discuss. We can start with whatever specific issue goes first and get to the rest. This is an important issue for all of us to be able to address. Here are the links:

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr03.html]Sabbath or Sunday, the Biblical Evidence[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr02.html]Should Christians Celebrate Jewish Feasts?[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr04.html]Sunday and the Early Church[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr06.html]The Ten Commandments[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr07.html]The Law of Christ[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr08.html]Was the NT written in Hebrew?[/url]

[url=http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr09.html]Jesus or Zeus?[/url]

OK, let's discuss these issues. I agree with Warner that this is one of THE most important issues the church faces today.


Blessings,

RT

 2005/6/13 18:52Profile
rocklife
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Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
usa

 Re: Sabbath or First Day? (And other Jewish Roots issues)

My study has shown several different things: The catholic church has written in their books they changed the sabbath from saturday to sunday. That is just wrong, to change times. What I have been told about protestants is they worship on the day of Jesus' resurrection, but they didn't actually change sabbath days. And a note, Jews start their days at sun down, not early morning dawn, so the sabbath is officially begun Friday nights.

I do believe from the New Testament and my conscience, God means for us to enjoy sabbath rest in Him in spirit and truth, in true love. We can rest in Him, work when He needs us to work, and rest when its good to rest (I need rest too, amen!)


_________________
Jina

 2005/6/14 3:27Profile









 Re: RT

This subject has been beat to a mulch in other threads and forums. Here is a short synopsis of what I can see, from the position of an unlearned person in jewish culture and religion.
The article that you gave link to has some inconsistencies as I see it. For example:

Quote:
Col 2:16-17 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:



This does not say that it is speaking specifically about 7th day sabbaths. There were other sabbaths besides the 7th day sabbath as I'm sure you are well aware. Furthermore, Paul is not discounting the observance of the sabbath day. He said that one man holds sabbaths sacred while another holds every day the same.

We are often tempted to read into scripture what others tell us it means. In my humble opinion, this is not a good practice.

Quote:
The practice of meeting for worship on Sunday comes from the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disciples met on two consecutive Sundays, beginning with the day of the resurrection.



Two consecutive Sundays he says. Now watch this. He goes on to quote scripture to support his claim.

Quote:
John 20:19-29 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."



The evening of the first day of the week would be Saturday night or Jewish Sunday. Correct? Now the scripture plainly says that

Quote:
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"



The jews did not count the "first day" when reckoning time. So count 8 days from there. Do you get "Sunday" out of that? How is it that these are both Sundays?

Paul was a jew. The early church at the beginning were Jewish. It is not difficult to understand that they came together on the first day of the week because they had spent the 7th day resting and fellowshipping with God.

Now I have no problem with believers coming together to worship on Sunday. But that does not change the commandment of God to rest on the Seventh day. This has been the "weekend" observance for centuries. Work Monday through Friday, rest on Saturday, and worship on Sunday. Greed and lust have brought us to a place of no rest, just pursuit of pleasure on these two days. There is little respect for them at all in our modern day culture, in and out of the church.

Your writer goes on to talk about the meeting of Jesus on the road to Emmaus being on a Sunday, and then 7 weeks later the Holy Spirit falls on Pentecost. This does not add up either. Your writer says that Pentecost is 7 weeks from Passover, plus one day. Passover is on a Wednesday, Jesus being the passover Lamb of God. 7 weeks from Thursday plus one day would be Friday as I understand it. Again, your writer seems to not be able to add. Or am I missing something here?

 2005/6/14 8:50
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Sabbath or First Day? (And other Jewish Roots issues)

Hi RT,

When it comes to guarding ourselves against what certain of the Messianics are doing it would probably serve the people more to first expose the Pagan origins of many of the days that we observe. The Messianics are usually reacting against the removal of feast days from expression of faith and the insertion of other days that were originally hellenistic reactions to hatred of the Jews. Pull out Pentecost and insert Easter? I can sympathize with you in your concern- but we have been toting this other leaven around for centuries. The one is a reaction against the other.

Being in setting when these issues were hotly discussed I go away in total Christian liberty knowing that I have the liberty to celebrate Easter if I wish or not if I wish. And likewise I can celebrate passover and sabbath if I wish- or not if I wish. We are not to judge one another [u]either way[/u]. The days in of themselves are nothing and one man may celebrate as an expression of his faith- while another may [i]not[/i] as an expression of his faith. What says the scripture?

Let no man judge you in meat and in drink or of the new moon or the Sabbath days. Judgment comes down either way between the believing Jews and believing non-Jews. If I want to celebrate as to the Lord- that is my liberty. If I do not- that is my liberty. One is no greater if he does or does not. Ane one is not to condemn or set at nought the one if he does or does not.

Where I have trouble is when one condemns me for celebrating Shavout or Sabbath and then goes to Easter service on Sunday. Where I also have trouble is when I'm with the Messianics and they condemn my Christmas lights on my house and the fact I dont meet with them when 2 or 3 stars appear Friday night.

STAND FAST in the liberty with which Christ hath made you free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. It is a two edged sword viewed from two sides. having seen them both- I frankly don't like the reaction of either. they both condemn each other and it is not biblical nor does it please God.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/6/14 9:09Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Quote:
Being in setting when these issues were hotly discussed I go away in total Christian liberty knowing that I have the liberty to celebrate Easter if I wish or not if I wish.

Would you feel the same liberty to 'celebrate' circumcision or yom kippur? Just asking? Is there a point at which to 'celebrate' your liberty here could be a cause of stumblng to others?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/6/14 9:45Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
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 Re:

Quote:
Would you feel the same liberty to 'celebrate' circumcision or yom kippur? Just asking? Is there a point at which to 'celebrate' your liberty here could be a cause of stumblng to others?



Yes it could. This is why I do not believe that people should be taught legalisticly either way. I suppose also it is why I feel so compelled to keep going to church every Sunday and Tuesday like clock work so that I don't leave a 'weak' brother or sister believing that it is 'OK' to cease from fellowship. It is also why I never told the Messianics I had a Christmas Tree. It is a liberty I don't get to exercise much I suppose. I just keep having it to myself and before God. Liberty incognito. Although I will tell folk that I have the right to rest uninhibited on Saturday if I wish (that is when the compel me to do things). there are a lot of things I feel liberty to do- but it has been preached against so much that it may cause someone to stumble to see me do. So I keep on being a... well not really. But close.

It was only years later that I recall I even told the congregation that I attended a first century passover service. It was always a cause for concern for me and the elders at our church. It is an odd thing that I spent those years studying things that I can't even discuss for one reason or another. You know how it is. Some things just don't edify and its not that important anyhow. It is one of the reasons I wrote the article "Identity and Expression of Faith." Everyone seems to think they have the market cornered on how to express their relationship with God. So much in radical pentecostal circles is a mix of mysticism and Asceticism. Where is the life in that?

At the end of the day I don't care how one expresses their faith as long as it is biblical and God is manifest in the expression. I think we are sometimes more particular than God is. It is something I have observed seeing God move in all different types of settings. I know you have seen many cultures in your ministry.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/6/14 10:15Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
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 Re: Oh, why not? Feet first!

Quote:
Now I have no problem with believers coming together to worship on Sunday. But that does not change the commandment of God to rest on the Seventh day. This has been the "weekend" observance for centuries. Work Monday through Friday, rest on Saturday, and worship on Sunday. Greed and lust have brought us to a place of no rest, just pursuit of pleasure on these two days. There is little respect for them at all in our modern day culture, in and out of the church.



Lahry, what about?:

Exo 35:2 [b]Six days[/b] shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

From the onset, "tone", soooo important! Just want to head this off at the pass as this develops. That we may keep the spirit of unity in all these things, discussion certainly... been enough that has gotten bogged down by misunderstanding of intent and motive in these kinds of issues so... love one another ;-)

May very well bow out of this at any moment, have been busy writing a love letter to the devil while fighting off his henchmen, it's keeping me quite occupied...

Edit: Figured it best to clarify a bit and pardon the interupt, but this is what I had in mind and it dawned on me that Dr. Tozer had spoken somewhere to it: [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5926&forum=23]I Talk Back to the Devil![/url]... Whew! That was close...


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Mike Balog

 2005/6/14 10:16Profile
5nva
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Joined: 2003/8/15
Posts: 179


 Re:

I thought this article was in line with this discussion. It may be of interest to some and perhaps give another perspective on the discussion. It is from Art Katz's web site.

~Mike

Some Thoughts on "Keeping the Law" or "Torah Observance"

By Reggie Kelly


Certainly for Paul, keeping the commandments in a true and living way was the equivalent of a new creation (in the sense of its sure and necessary evidence). This is clearly seen when 1 Cor 7:19 and Gal 6:15 are compared in juxtaposition. But the ‘keeping of the commandments’ is never the cause, but the sure and certain ‘result’ of “a new creation” (defined as vital regeneration, the resurrection life of Christ in every living believer). To ‘get the cart before the horse’ in this matter constitutes ‘another gospel.’

However, Paul just as clearly declared himself (not only gentiles as in Acts 15:10-29) ‘free’ (except for expedience sake) from certain regulations of the law (1Cor 6:12; 9:19-21). In some instances, however, these ‘regulations’ were not merely rabbinic custom but divine commandment. How can this be? Since Paul never releases even gentile believers from the keeping of the essential commandments of God (far from it!), what has changed? Why is anyone at any time released from circumcision or any other commandment of the law?

Though not stated so explicitly (or where would be the controversy, and hence the divinely intended crisis?), there is a certain ‘kind’ of commandment that the apostle calls ‘carnal’ (Heb 7:16 and 9:10). Which commandments come under this designation?

The evidence suggests to me that such a distinction has in view those particular commandments given specifically to Israel that are ‘physical’ and outward, the performance of which lies within the reach of the natural man, and do not require for their fulfillment the miracle of regeneration. It is not so with the perfect holiness required by the law. By divine intent, this requirement is necessarily beyond natural ability, and possible only to God through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, “the power of an endless (or indestructible) life.” It is these physical ordinances in particular that formed part of Israel’s unique stewardship “under the law” that stood between Jew and gentile. But now, since “the time of reformation” (Heb 9:10), these particular kinds of commandments are no longer permitted to divide between members of the eschatological ‘one new man.’ God is jealous that this issue of divine contention not be compromised by well meaning believers as did Peter in the episode that Paul records in Gal 2:11.

Paul is clear that to rest in any form of “works” (anything possible to man) for justification is ultimately fatal, but what of the question of observing such humanly doable ordinances strictly for the sake of witness or a presumed ‘higher sanctification’? In my view, this is to surrender something that is critical to the heart of the divine purpose for this dispensation. It misses entirely God’s very point in removing the temple and sacrifice and in giving the Spirit to gentiles “in order to provoke” the ‘observant’ Jew to jealousy [Paul argues that such fastidious ‘observance’ apart from the Spirit falls fatally short of true “commandment keeping”].

It is to miss entirely the very cause and nature of the believer’s distinctive stewardship (calling/trust/responsibility) ordained for this present time while the Jew is under the particular form of judgment decreed for this dispensation. To return ‘at this time’ to these particular kinds of ‘dispensationally conditioned’ ordinances is to give back the very ground that Paul rebukes Peter for yielding to the men that came from James (Gal 2:12-18). It is to build again what was destroyed (I ask, what was “destroyed”?), and makes the one returning to the old (something is “old”) standard of division a transgressor. Furthermore, it removes from God the very leverage of appeal that is intended to demonstrate to the Jew that “righteousness does not come by the law” (Gal 2:21; 3:11; Heb 10:8) which in Pauline usage means that perverse “confidence in the flesh” that imagines that the holiness of the law can be approached by man as man. Regardless of time or dispensation, the law is fulfilled only by the power of the Spirit, perfectly and flawlessly in Christ, but substantially and visibly in every ‘living’ believer.

Many of the laws first given at Mt. Sinai are provisional for a theocratic nation ‘in the land’. They are not eternal. Abraham was no less a commandment-keeping man of the Spirit, as are all his true born progeny (see John 8:39), yet he knew nothing of many of the laws first instituted at Mt. Sinai. These were distinctive and restrictive in their intention for the new theocratic nation. However, the righteousness embodied, articulated and required in that distinctive covenant is indeed eternal. The law requires nothing less than the perfect righteousness of God Himself and cuts off all else. This righteousness perfectly fulfilled only in Messiah’s flawless humanity (Lev 18:5; Mt 3:15; Gal 3:12), is in substantial measure fulfilled also in the believer by nothing less than a comparable incarnation of the Spirit (new creation) mediated through a regenerating miracle of divine revelation that issues in true repentance and saving faith. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, and is fundamentally axiomatic for any time or dispensation (the new birth is not peculiar to the New Testament “Are you a master in Israel …?”).

So the law instituted with the Sinaitic covenant is a divine trust given uniquely to the priestly nation, but it also functions as a test and witness to the reality of that nation’s true heart condition, i.e. its fidelity to God; it was a provisional stewardship for Israel in particular, conditioned in some respects on endurance in the Land, and never intended to reach beyond its purpose to bring in a new creation of completed perfection; it was therefore in that sense regarded by the apostles as a temporary dispensation (Heb 9:10). This is in no way contradicted by the recognition that certain elements belonging to that earlier dispensation will again be in force in the coming millennium when the kingdom is restored to Israel. But according to the mystery hid in other ages, the Church of this dispensation is revealed as the eschatological first-fruits, not only of Israel’s millennial salvation, but of something even more ultimate than millennial Israel, namely, the “one new man” of the new creation, the heavenly Zion, the completed assembly, the final tabernacle of God (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22; 11:40; Rev 21:3). Thus, the mystery of the Body of Messiah reveals the Church in its essential nature as a kind of ‘eighth day’ phenomenon. In its invisible essence, the Church is the present realization of that new creation that is beyond even the millennial dispensation. This is not only the destiny, but the now present heavenly position of every true born child of God. Our citizenship is in heaven. And though no less true of all of the ‘living’ from every age (Mt 12:26-27), this, as so much else, has only come to full light through the revelation of gospel.

Though often confused and improperly differentiated, these important distinctions take absolutely nothing away from the unique role and special stewardship that Israel MUST fulfill throughout the millennium for the sake of ‘that’ necessary and public vindication of covenant faithfulness on God’s part (“This is my covenant with them…”). Rather, it is only to distinguish that the stewardship and calling of the Church of this age is unique to this age, though this is not the last age. The Church is a mystery organism, a phenomenon of divine revelation set ‘between the times’ as a witness to “the powers of the age to come.” Although the “powers” of the coming age have come in unexpected advance of the salvation of the ‘last day’ (Old Testament ‘Day of the Lord’) in the person and work of the Messiah and in the Spirit poured out upon the Church, the age itself is still future.

During this present age and dispensation (the time that Israel is under temporary divine hardening), the Church is to show forth the life, power, and freedom of that new order of existence “apart from the works of the law.” At the same time, through the eschatological gift of the Spirit, the believer (most remarkably the ‘gentile’ believer, Col 1:27) is able now to fulfill in real measure the very righteousness required by the law, which is nothing less than the righteousness of God Himself. The Church (when it is the Church) should be distinguished by those miraculous and inimitable fruits of the Spirit “against which there is no law,” and thus move Israel to jealousy, NOT because it is observant of those outward ordinances that are possible to unaided human performance, but because it manifests the power of the promise of the new age by the gift of faith in Christ’s imputed righteousness to the glory of God alone, and ALL most purposefully and emphatically “apart from the law!” (Ro 3:21). This is God’s method of removing all ground of boasting. This is the very point of divine contention. Shall we surrender it?

In my view, it is not only inconsistent, but a serious defection for the gentile believer to take on the yoke of Sabbaths, feasts and other physical ordinances of like kind, and thus remove from God the very thing that He has appointed to make His case against Israel’s greatest historic tendency and fatal presumption (Ro 9:32), namely, the lie of humanism, the presumption that in man is anything good. It is only as the Church comes into its appointed eschatological fullness that Israel will be made jealous. Israel will NOT be made jealous by an accommodating zeal for sanctification through Sabbatarian and kosher observance. On the contrary, such a presumption, though perhaps unconsciously, reveals the same inherent humanism that only retards the Church’s calling and hinders the fullness that Israel and the end of the age waits. It is by divine design that the Holy Spirit promised to the surviving remnant of Israel at the Day of the Lord should now be seen resting upon unqualified non-observant non-kosher gentiles! This is God’s very point; it is His contention with Israel. We must draw the line where an inspired and inerrant New Testament has drawn it. The offense must continue; it is divinely intended. Israel will come forth from its grave because God insists on being known as “the God that raises the dead,” not because we made them jealous through kosher observance or any other “carnal ordinance” (apostolically so-called; Heb 9:10). There is a place where the believer is obliged to not ‘give place … no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal 2:5). This is where Paul who could otherwise “become all things to all men” was obliged to draw the line.

I am aware that there is much more to this issue that requires consideration, but these few points are offered as a safeguard against the mounting threat of a Judaizing spirit that still stalks the Church, though not always in its original Jewish form. I believe we can expect to see this crisis escalate with an unequaled subtlety towards the end. There is good reason to expect that the Church’s greatest test will not be the Antichrist, but a deception of a more subtle kind, so that “if it were possible, they (the false anointed ones) shall deceive the very elect.” Signs and wonders are not fatal except as they lend support to a lie, and I believe it will be the lie of works righteousness. Licentious antinomianism is not subtle enough to threaten the very elect. However, works righteousness is subtle beyond imagination, as it only takes the least amount of that leaven to spoil the whole.

In trembling contention for the non-negotiable offense of the gospel.


_________________
Mike

 2005/6/14 15:27Profile









 Re: This is getting off subject...

...and so I will bow out. Thanks to all for your comments and input. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered, in Jesus' Holy Name.

 2005/6/14 20:30
ReceivedText
Member



Joined: 2005/4/22
Posts: 257
Seattle, Washington, USA

 Re:

5nva,

Thanks for the article. I think it contributes well to the discussion.

Quote:
In my view, it is not only inconsistent, but a serious defection for the gentile believer to take on the yoke of Sabbaths, feasts and other physical ordinances of like kind, and thus remove from God the very thing that He has appointed to make His case against Israel’s greatest historic tendency and fatal presumption (Ro 9:32), namely, the lie of humanism, the presumption that in man is anything good.



This is quite a statement dealing with works salvation.

Quote:
In trembling contention for the non-negotiable offense of the gospel.



He mentions the offense of the gospel and the cross issue more than once here. He speaks of its offense to the Jews. But it also has offense to the Greek. In Christ we can know both the wisdom and the power of God.

RT

 2005/6/15 4:49Profile





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