Created Wed, Sept. 18, 2002 - updated Oct 23, 2010
The New Covenant of God
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Why We Don't Observe the Law!
The Real Deal
Early Christians Writers Speak Out:
Do you observe the Sabbath? Do you think you should?
Do you think it is necessary to get circumcised or get your baby circumcised?
Do you observe the festivals of the Old Testament?
Do you tithe to your church leader or religion, giving them a tenth of your income?
Do you have priests in your religion?
Do you believe the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem someday and the temple worship started again in fulfillment of prophecy of God?
Do you believe the Jews are still God's chosen people or will be again?
These are some of the many things that some Christian religions still believe or do. But if you do, I believe you should have reason for concern. I do not believe that you should believe or observe any of them. Did you know that the early Christians did not do them or subscribe to them? Many wonder why the Sabbath is observed on Sunday, rather than Saturday, as it was among the Jews and in Israel in Jesus' day. What if I told you Christians were not observing the Sabbath when they met on Sunday?
We are a very mixed up, confused lot. We don't really understand some basic principles very well. So I wrote this article to help clear all things up. I am going to start with a list of basic assertions that I then go on to prove from the Bible. The following is a summary of which proofs will be supplied in the articles that appear after it.
Therefore, as a result of all these declarations, it should be understood by all that Christians do not observe the old law covenant given to Israel. So they do not observe the Sabbath, circumcision, nor avoid certain foods, attend to temple worship and sacrifices; they have no priests, they do not tithe since they have no priests or temple. After all, these signs were to foreshadow the real thing, namely Jesus and the heavenly things. Since those are fulfilled, what more good would be served by continuing to observe the old figures/rituals. We have new things to observe and keep.
The Christians are a spiritual temple of God. Jesus is the high priest and until Christians go to heaven, the only priest. Then on the last day, they shall rise to heaven as spirits to join Jesus as his brothers and as fellow kings and priests with him in God's Kingdom over the rest of mankind that is to remain on earth. And there will be those who remain on earth to live forever in paradise as God had originally planned for man and earth in Genesis 1.
We meet on Sundays as a result of the Apostles commanding the first believers to observe the day of the Lord's resurrection, which was the first day of the week, which was Sunday. This was also said to symbolize light entering the world on the 1st day of the creation week of Genesis 1. It also represents Christ ascending to heaven on the 1st day of the week, on Pentacost, to offer his sacrifice in heaven and the pouring out of the spirit on the Christian on that very same day. All Catholic and Orthodox churches have continued to observe this command/ritual ever since right up to the present day. We do not, nor ever have, observed the Last day of the Week Sabbath since Pentecost. This is a matter of historical record among early post Apostolic Christian writers as well as the Biblical record and the tradition that I already mentioned as being observed by all non-protestant old orthodox churches right up to the present day. The independent "Churches of Christ" (a specific denomination in America at least) also observe this. There are some other independent movements in the USA that also observe this.
We do not worship in any temple or offer any sacrifices nor have any priests. We worship in spirit and truth as Jesus had spoken of. As a result, we do not tithe to support things we do not have, such as an earthly priesthood and temple. We do support those who labor fulltime in our behalf if we want them to be fulltime in our behalf. The worker is worthy of his wages. But there is no set amount that is required. It is voluntary and up to personal judgment and ability to contribute. This is sanctioned from the Bible and was the obvious set up found in the writings of the earliest post-Apostolic writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD who came before Constantine and the Nicene convention.
Our sacrifices are spiritual ones of humility, love, mercy, caring, sharing, and forgiveness when it is asked. We fulfill the law by loving God and man.
We do not get circumcised for salvation. It is not required. We have new requirements for salvation now such as baptism and observing the Lord's last supper and his resurrection on the 1st day of the week.
We do not observe the feasts and festivals and other days of observance of the law covenant. They were only commanded to Israel to foreshadow the real deal, the new deal.
We do not avoid certain foods as commanded by law.
We observe the real covenant of God, made by Christ, of commands to love and obey God.
Jesus referred to the drastic change of the New Covenant in pointing out that new wine must be put into new wineskins.
The New Covenant would have to be very different as it served a much different situation than the Old covenant did.
Here are at least 7 things that made it a whole new ball game, so to speak.
God's people would no longer maintain a priesthood to facilitate animal sacrifices for Jesus was the better intended sacrifice from the beginning.
God's people would no longer have their own nation to maintain and defend but would live in amongst all the other peoples and nations.
God's people would serve God each and every day and not just one day a week. The "law," so to speak, would be written on their hearts and kept constantly.
The old emblems, symbols, and rituals would be replaced by new emblems, symbols, and rituals representing far more and far better.
God's people now had a great mission to carry out, one of keeping and spreading the message of the gospel to the world, rather than tending to a now lame temple.
The new needs would require a new game plan, a new strategy and direction. New institutions would be required to carry it all out.
God's people would be made up of, and administer to, many different languages and nations, who all needed to be united in the same religion.
Having accomplished the proofs of all those things in other articles I have here on this page further below, we will see that people and religions who command us to observe the Sabbath, or avoid certain foods, or tithe to the religion; we know they do not know what they are talking about. Either that, or they would just like to have your money. But there is a real need in Christianity to understand how we were freed from the law and the curse that came with the law.
The goal of this article from here on in will be to give support and proof to those things which I have asserted here above. I will deal with all the many prophecies that showed the abolition of the law and the blessings that would be given to the nations/ Gentiles.
I have also supplied essays from two early Christian writers, most of Justin's 2nd Apology, which deals with the Law, the Jews, and the new covenant as does Tertullian's "An Answer to the Jews." Justin's work is the finest and most thorough of all the works of the early centuries, in my opinion. I believe you will benefit tremendously from reading it. Tertullian's work was translated into archaic English so it is a bit challenging to read, but most wording has been updated by me with the exception of a few words here or there. The word order is a little archaic and makes reading a little slower, but it is excellent stuff very much worth making an effort to read.
I have also added a collection of quotes from a number of other early Christian writers who also comment on this topic and are very helpful. At the very least, we will be able to see that this was a unanimous and well understood opinion in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. I will also be adding a number of quotes to show where all the early Christian observances came from and what they meant such as meeting on Sunday, the first day of the week in remembrance of the Lord's resurrection.
In regards to these early Christian writers who came not long after the Apostles and what they had to say about many scriptures and prophecies, I offer this. John said in the very last verse of his gospel, "25 And there are also many things, whatever Jesus did, which if they were written singly, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books having been written. Amen." If this could be said of Jesus, how much more so the Apostles who Jesus said would do works greater than his? So there must be volumes worth of stuff that never got into the Bible about either Jesus or his Apostles.
In that case, we are likely given things by early Christians writers that happened among the Apostles or were taught by the Apostles and never made it into the Bible. They will sometimes mention that such and such a thing was taught or spoken by a certain apostle or by the Apostles in general. So I will be passing such things along when they seem to make sense and are in harmony with the rest of the scriptures, which often they are.
All Holidays are
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Have you ever looked carefully at the word "holiday?" Watch this! Holi-day; Holy-day; Holi vs Holy. They are the very same word. Holidays are Holy Days, special days of observance. That is how we phrase it in English. In the Bible, they were always religious and ordained by God. But we use the word in the USA to denote any celebration of deemed importance such as some birthdays, or Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, etc.
Sabbath was a term in the Bible that basically meant a Holy Day, an observance. The weekly Sabbath, treated like all other holy observances, was called a Low Sabbath by the time of Jesus, whereas Passover, Pentecost, and the like were High Sabbaths. Weekly Sabbaths were routine, common, "low." On the other hand, Yearly Sabbaths were much less common or routine and standout in comparison to the Weekly Sabbath. So these are called High Sabbaths.
Even we reserve Sunday and have since the days of the Apostles in observance of the resurrection on the 1st day of the week, the opposite of the weekly end of the week - last day - 7th day Sabbath of the Mosaic law. Also, Pentecost falls on the first day of the week (Sunday), after the Saturday Sabbath. And every 50th Jubilee year also follows the regular 7 year Sabbath Jubilee cycle. So the 1st day after a Sabbath is also a very common symbol, even in the law as a foreshadowing of what was to come.
I want to point out that we have not been able to keep the High Sabbaths for we no longer have the priesthood or temple, nor do they have any meaning left since the real sacrifice and priest, namely Jesus, has fulfilled the symbols with real atoning blood and as a real priest to appear before the real throne of God in Heaven. I stress the word real, as opposed to symbols and tokens of what was to come, so that it would be recognized, in theory, when it arrived. But they missed it anyway for their hearts were not prepared to receive their king and messiah when he came.
Those High Sabbaths were required to be kept forever. But the English "forever" does not convey the meaning of the Hebrew word we get forever from. In addition, the word must be understood within the context, and if the temple and priesthood are not around, and God has abolished and rejected the old symbols, rituals and ceremonies, and replaced them with new, then it can not be that God intended forever when He deliberately destroyed and discontinued those things Himself. Either He is contradicting Himself, which is unthinkable, or we are misunderstanding Him, which is almost certainly the case. But I present a far greater argument on this in the next section which I provide an in depth article to explain.
But my main point here is that the 1st-day-of-the-week rising of Christ is also a holiday, a sabbath. Its not the 7th day sabbath, but a sabbath nonetheless. Early Christians even called it a sabbath. but as time went on, they even forgot why they observed Sunday rather than Saturday. When some looked at the sabbath of the Mosaic Law, they noticed it was kept on the last day, Saturday, as the Romans called it. But the sabbath of the new covenant was kept on the 1st day in honor of Jesus rising on the first day and also of his ascension to heaven on Pentecost, also on Sunday, the 1st day. On this day, they would partake of the bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus, as he asked his disciples to do on Nisan 14, just before his death. In Acts, it was known as the breaking of the bread. It is known as Communion among Catholics today.
Ceremonial Purity vs Everyday Living
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Ceremonial purity or cleanliness is not very well understood among Christians. In fact, it was never well understood by Israel, for that matter. So there is a need to get this straight right now. Jesus tried very hard to get through to Israel and to those who accepted him as the son of God. But he had limited success, due to the hardness of hearts. His disciples were left to make it clear but even then, it did not seem to penetrate far. After the deaths of the apostles, Christians quickly lost sight of good sense.
So I want to point out another consideration when it comes to ritual-ceremonial Law as opposed to every day living and status in the eyes of God. God sees both our relative status, due to being ransomed and saved by the sacrifice of Jesus; as well as our absolute status. What I mean by that is that while we are all saved by virtue of our sins being paid for with the son of God's blood, we are still imperfect sinners who fall short of the glory of God and are defective in eyes at present, but yet paid for so that our condition is not held against us, knowing that after all matters of dispute are settled with the devil and God's case has been prove out to be true and finished, then we shall be brought back to perfection so that we will then be both relatively and absolutely and completely perfect always, in the eyes of God, at all times, without any need for rituals or ceremony.
When Jehovah, the God of Israel and Moses, created a nation of Israel and made a set of regulatory laws, He also created a vast number of ceremonial-ritual laws to help Israel understand how God viewed them in the present, before Jesus had ever come along to buy them back with his innocent blood. Israel and all humans on earth were fallen, sinful humans who could do nothing good or bring about anything good on their own and their own power and ability.
So God used ritual purity or actually, lack of it, to help humans understand that they were unclean in God's eyes at all times. But God also created a context through ritual sacrifice and ritual purity, whereby man could achieve a relative spiritual cleanliness and purity in the eyes of God.
So when man could achieve a relative and limited form of purity and cleanliness, by following ritual purity laws and refraining from things that overtly made it clear that one was not clean or spiritually sound and free of sin, then he was granted a status of being clean-pure-holy before God, in a relative way until Christ should come pay the ransom that would make us fully and legitimately clean by wiping out the guilt of Adam's actions that affected his seed-offspring.
So God says to Israel, through Moses, that we are ceremonially clean when we refrain from anything ritually impure-unclean-defiled, and have cleansed ourselves to a degree that makes us acceptable to God to approach Him in worship and sacrifice. This purity and cleanliness was symbolic only. We still had sin and still needed ransomed. But if we obeyed God's ritual laws, then it made us worthy of being bought back as soon as the ransom was paid for about 1500 years after God gave the law to Israel. Obedience to ritual law was a sign of faith that the ransom would come.
So when someone wanted to appear before God as represented by the temple and priesthood, they made sure they were ceremonially clean (relatively) in the eyes of God. God wanted them to understand that in every day living, they were not clean, by any means, in the eyes of God. So the rituals and ceremony were created to enable us to become clean in a limited relative sense in the eyes of God, due to our obedience and faith.
But after having appeared before the symbolic presence of God in His temple and offering sacrifice, symbolic sacrifice, relative sacrifice, and not the ultimate real and true sacrifice, then the people would go home, where it was not required to be ritually clean to the same degree. This symbolic purity was only required when coming before God. When we left the temple and came home, then we resumed our "filth" and imperfection-sin; that is, our imperfection.
This is best illustrated by observing what makes people unclean under the ritual law of Moses. Sexual relations with your mate made us unclean, for in breeding, we passed on nothing good or perfect. We passed on sin to kids we conceived and gave birth to. Any male emission of semen was unclean and made us unclean. Any menstrual flow of a woman was also a symbol of that impurity-defilement that reflected that we had sin and were defiled (thanks to Adam) in the eyes of God. God made many things which represented sin, defilement, impurity, filth, or perhaps even debauchery, or disgusting behavior.
Sex was something we carried on, by command of God, no less, but we passed on nothing truly good when we bred through sex. We were allowed these in normal everyday life but not when coming before God at His temple. There were also ritual laws that had to be kept at all times to reflect being clean decent people, but the breaking of some of the ritual laws could not be avoided and those had to be ritually cleaned or otherwise atoned for, in some sacrifice or offering at the temple.
By distinguishing things that we could not avoid or control, such as sexual breeding, we were allowed to pass on our sin, but if coming before God, we had to temporarily refrain from sex. We did not refrain all the time but only when coming before God.
So ordinary everyday regular life allowed certain types of impurity to be continue, knowing we could not change what we were, due to Adam. We had to wait for Jesus to rescue us with his blood sacrifice. He allowed himself to be sacrificed. he did have 12 legions of angels if he had wanted to back out, but then the devil would have won his point. Then there were the ones that made sure that "sacrifice" was carried out, whether it pleased God or not.
Now this same concept, to some degree, applied to the Levites, who served at the temple for 2 weeks, twice a year, by divisions. When they were at home, they lived ordinary lives that allowed sex and whatever else. But when priests came to serve at the temple, they had to live in a state of extraordinary purity all the time they were at the temple. They had nothing else to do so that they could give the special attention to the rules of ritual purity. After all, they were serving the most high and glorious God of, not only Israel, but of the whole world and the universe. As such, they had to be exceptionally pure-clean in order to be acceptable to God in their services to Him.
God wanted us at all times to be aware of how God saw us and what He expected of us. The ritual ceremonial law made it clear to us how we often fell short of the glory and purity of God. It made it blatantly obvious how bad we were. We couldn't miss it.
But now we have come to the point where everyone gets mixed up and confused. People do not separate or distinguish between everyday normal life and the exceptional status of ritual purity we have to observe by performing rituals before we appear before God.
Many have come believe that we must keep all the laws of ritual purity at all times in our life. God never intended for us to do that and in fact, it would be impossible if we tried to do that. For one, we would never be able to have sex and breed. But there is plenty more that we could not live up to as well. Israelites lived normal lives unless at the temple. There were still some things observed in ritual law while at home (dietary laws for example), but far fewer than if you had to go to the temple.
But by Christ having had his blood shed unjustly, he was able to obtain a balancing of the scales of justice by having the wrong committed against his innocent blood corrected by releasing the sin and guilt that Adam incurred with his sin which did deserve what it got, sin and death, but not only to himself but all his offspring as well. The offspring of Adam could now be accepted as the offspring of Jesus (its called adoption), provided that they have the sin removed from them that was given to them by Adam. So in order for Jesus to have his good and perfect offspring, he accepted us in exchange. This thereby obligated God to accept us without our guilt from Adam, provided we obeyed our re-purchaser, Jesus, and accepted his and his Father's terms. Now, any human alive ever, could accept those terms and get his sins healed when the time came for that.
So life and pleasing God now has become far more easier, for in God's eyes now, we are no longer under the sin of Adam and are under the sinless purity of the very innocent and righteous Jesus. What a relief that is. Now we don't have to concern ourselves so much with ritual purity. Now we can concentrate on the more important things in the eyes of God, such as goodness, kindness, mercy, compassion, love, and the like. We have a different set of priorities now.
So now I am going to show some of what Jesus preached to show how he, even in his days of preaching on earth, tried to show Israel (and us), how they did not understand the law correctly back then at that time, nor now in our day, either. He gave many examples of what he saw as logic and good reason but Israel did not like good sound reasoning and logic for their hearts were far removed from God and His righteousness. It is the same with Christianity today, as well. Many of them insist on observing the ritual laws of purity rather than works of love and righteousness.
They have failed to understand what Jesus bought with his shed blood. They have turned his sacrifice into something meaningless and worthless, yes, in vain. They have denied their savior and made him and his actions of no account. God will not take this lightly, I assure you. So let us take another look at what Jesus preached in his days on earth nearly 2000 years ago.
1 At that time on the sabbath, Jesus went through the grain fields. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
2 But seeing, the Pharisees said to Him, Behold, your disciples are doing what it is not lawful to do on the sabbath.
3 But He said to them, Have you not read what David did, when he and those with him hungered?
4 How he entered into the house of God, and he ate the Bread of Arrangement, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests only?
5 Or have you not read in the Law that on the sabbaths the priests in the temple profane the sabbath and are guiltless?
6 But I say to you, One greater than the temple is here.
7 But if you had known what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," you would not have condemned the guiltless. [Hosea 6:6 quoted]
8 For the Son of man is also Lord of the sabbath.
>> Jesus tried to draw attention to the fact that David "appeared" to be violating the law when you read what it says about who can eat the showbread (Bread of Arrangement) in the temple. Yet the priest served David and his men as if it was OK. It was OK. The priest understood the law's intent, though it did not spell everything out. In our legalistic society to day, we would not accept that. We would be like the Pharisees and lawyers. So why did priests understand in the days of David and yet not in the days of Jesus? Because they had ventured far off the beaten path of righteousness and got hung up on the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Same problem today as well.
Jesus also pointed out that the priests in the temple do work and do not observe the sabbath at all on the last day of the week, Saturday. Though not specifically stated, when one was serving a holy purpose, such as Levites and priests serving God at the temple, then they were not violating the sabbath. The laws of the sabbath did not allow ordinary, what some might call mundane or profane, work. But holy work to God was still allowable. In fact, the reason for people not being allowed to do regular non-religious work was so they could give attention to Godly things, like study and discussion of Godly and religious things. So regardless of how you do it, serving holy religious interests of God was always allowable, especially on the sabbath or in the temple . . . or outside of it or on any day of the week. See how much understanding we have been lacking?
Jesus then makes a big point about the law. That the real point of the law was mercy, not sacrifice or letter of the law. It was the spirit it was supposed to create in us. The law was symbolic and made to help man, not burden him or make life difficult, or worse, to prevent goodness and mercy as it had with the interpretation of the sabbath when Jesus was preaching. Yet, sadly, I find few among Christians or Jews that understand the law of Moses as it was intended, and, for a little while, at least in the days of David., it was understood. But it soon got lost.
And by the way, the "work" of plucking grains on the sabbath was OK because their activity was preaching the word of God to the people, which was exactly why the sabbath was created and why people went to synagogues. See how lost the Pharisees and others were? And As Jesus pointed out in verse 8, he was the one who created the sabbath back in Genesis and he ought to know what he is talking about. Exactly!!! Now Matthew's account continues. <<
Mark's account of this same incident words it this way:
Mark 2: 27 And He said to them, The sabbath came into being for man’s sake, not man for the sabbath’s sake.
9 And moving from there, He came into their synagogue.
10 And, behold, a man having a withered hand was there. And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbaths? (that they might accuse Him).
11 But He said to them, What man of you will be who will have one sheep, and if this one fall into a pit on the sabbaths, will he not lay hold of it and raise it up?
12 How much more, then, does a man excel a sheep! So that it is lawful to do well on the sabbaths.
13 Then He said to the man, Stretch out your hand! And he stretched out. And it was restored sound as the other.
14 But as they were leaving, the Pharisees took up a council against Him, how they might destroy Him.
15 But knowing, Jesus withdrew from there. And great crowds followed Him, and He healed them all
>> Jesus ran into this problem all the time. By their interpretation, the Pharisees made it illegal to do good or show mercy on the sabbath, the very thing the law tried to encourage to do. It was all about mercy, kindness, goodness. The Pharisees did not know God or the law any longer. In fact, they wanted to kill Jesus for preaching kindness and mercy. They were pure evil and not a shred of decency was left in their cold dark hearts. Jesus pointed out how stupid and hypocritical it was to rescue a lamb on the sabbath but not rescue or heal a human being. So the Pharisees wanted him dead for making them look bad. Hey, the truth hurts, doesn't it? Are you all getting this, yet? <<
Mark's account of the same incident makes this
4 And He said to them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbaths? Or to do evil? To save a soul? Or to kill? But they were silent.
5 And having looked around on them with anger, being greatly grieved over the hardness of their heart, He said to the man,
Stretch out your hand! And he stretched out, and his hand was restored sound as the other.
6 And going out, the Pharisees at once took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
>> The Pharisees really were heartless SOBs! Sorry bout that! ;-) Same might be said for the Herodians, possibly another name for the Sadducees or those of the priesthood who were sympathetic to Herod and appointed by him. Or it could have been that the Herodians were simply politicians of Herod who the Pharisees sought out, figuring they would not like Jesus too much, either. And it was the Roman government of Herod that had the political power and right to execute by law so if they wanted Jesus dead, they would need the cooperation of the "law" of Rome. <<
I wanted to add Luke's account just so you can see how
the witnesses vary, not by saying anything contradictory but simply focusing on
a different way of phrasing it or focusing on a different aspect.
7 And the scribes and the Pharisees kept close by Him, to see if He would heal on the sabbath,
so that they might find a charge against Him.
8 But He knew their reasonings. And He said to the man having the withered hand,
Rise up and stand in the middle! And rising up, he stood.
>> Luke simply lets us know that Jesus understood what was inside the Pharisees. Nothing but heartless lack of compassion and lots of evil. Jesus was no fool. But Jesus also rubbed it in their face. They were asked a question and would not answer. They did not want to say its wrong to do good on the sabbbath. That would look stupid. So Jesus healed the man in defiance of their authority and lack of approval. To hell with them.
Now Luke was a physician by trade ( hey, he was a Jew, wasn't he? Oh, just kidding with ya! ) Luke was among the 70 sent out to preach, which fact only appears on Luke's account, verifying what is later said by later post-Apostolic writers about Luke. Luke's next account is quite revealing, with his details about the woman's infirmity. <<
10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on one of the sabbaths.
11 And, behold, there was a woman having a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent together
and was not able to be completely erect.
12 And seeing her, Jesus called her near and said to her, Woman, you have been freed from your infirmity.
13 And He laid hands on her. And instantly she was made erect and glorified God.
14 But answering, being angry that Jesus healed on the sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the crowd,
There are six days in which it is right to work. Therefore, coming in these, be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 Then the Lord answered him and said, Hypocrite! Each one of you on the sabbath,
does he not untie his ox or ass from the manger, and leading it away, give it drink?
16 And this one being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, eighteen years,
ought she not to be freed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And on His saying these things, all who were opposed to Him were ashamed.
And all the crowd rejoiced over all the glorious things taking place by Him.
>> Jesus seemed to go looking for trouble. But he had a point to make. Mercy and kindness had been outlawed on the sabbath and Jesus saw that as a real problem that needed direct bold confrontation in order to change things, if they were to be changed at all. This woman had truly been suffering considerably and for 18 years, no less. Yet, despite this, the @#$%head who ruled the synagogue basically declares that Jesus is a vile evil man for caring nothing for the laws of God. Jesus calls him a hypocrite for this same man would thoroughly approve of taking an animal to water to drink on the sabbath. So the guy cared more about an animal than a human being suffering.
So not only was it now wrong to do good and show mercy on the sabbath, but OK to do so for an animal so that animals now receive far better treatment than humans. Amazing, indeed. But note that while this brilliant ruler and any on his side felt ashamed, as they ought to have, the crowd rejoiced and thought Jesus was great. Note how the crowd in general was much more well disposed to Jesus than were the prominent and the leaders among the Jews.
It is a sad fact of life that evil always seeks power to dominate the good and rise over them and use them. So when looking for evil, you only have to look for who is in power, for evil always seeks power and power attracts evil. There does seem to be some resentment on the part of the people toward their leaders and teachers. But Jesus made his point. The sabbath was a day to do good and show mercy, which were the ultimate goals of the law in the first place and who ought to know that better than Jesus, since he was the one who the Father had create the earth and all that was in it, once upon a time. It was Jesus who gave the law to Moses and knew what he gave it to Moses and Israel.
The sabbath was a day to seek the understanding of God
and the spirit of God; one of mercy, goodness, and kindness to one's fellow man.
The leaders of the Jews did not grasp this anymore in Jesus' day. but worse, now
many Christians have followed the same stupid path and have tried to drag us
back to the law and forgetting the purpose of the law. Some things never change.
Christian leaders are as useless as were the Jewish ones 2000 years ago. In
fact, if Jesus were to appear in the flesh today, these Christian leaders would
be ahead of the Jews in crucifying Jesus yet again. You just can't win, huh? I
guess history does repeat itself.
John's Gospel also reveals some important things. John actually gives much different information, often focusing far more, if not the only one to do so, on the pre-heavenly relationship of the son and that he was the son of God. <<
5:1 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 And at Jerusalem is a pool at the Sheep Gate which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these was a great multitude of the infirm lying, blind ones, lame ones, withered ones, awaiting the stirring of the water.
4 For an angel from time to time descended in the pool and agitated the water. Then the one first entering after the agitation
of the water became well, whatever disease he was held by.
5 But a certain man was there, being in infirmity thirty eight years.
6 Seeing him lying, and knowing that he had already spent much time, Jesus said to him, Do you desire to become well?
7 The infirm one answered Him, Lord, I do not have a man, that when the water is agitated he may throw me into the pool;
but while I am coming, another goes down before me.
8 Jesus said to him, Rise up, Take up your cot and walk!
9 And instantly the man became well, and took up his cot and walked. And it was a sabbath that day.
10 Then the Jews said to the one having been healed, It is a sabbath. It is not lawful for you to lift up the cot.
11 He answered them, The One making me well, that One said to me, Lift up your cot and walk.
12 Then they asked him, Who is the man who told you, Lift up your cot and walk?
13 But he did not know the One who cured him, for a crowd being in that place, Jesus had withdrawn.
14 After these things, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, Behold, you have become well,
sin no more that a worse thing not happen to you.
15 The man went away and told the Jews that Jesus is the One making him well.
16 And because of this, the Jews persecuted Jesus and lusted to kill Him, because He did these things on a sabbath.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work.
18 Because of this, therefore, the Jews lusted the more to kill Him, for not only did He break the sabbath,
but also called God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.
19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son is not able to do anything from Himself,
except what He may see the Father doing; for whatever that One does, these things also the Son does the same way.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows to Him all things which He does. And He will show Him greater works
than these in order that you may marvel.
21 For even as the Father raises the dead, and gives life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wills.
22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
23 so that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one not honoring the Son
does not honor the Father who has sent Him.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes the One who has sent Me, has everlasting life,
and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
>> Same cruel attitude of the Jews of power, prominence, and influence among the many. They were angry with Jesus violating the sabbath. Of course, Jesus was not violating the sabbath and who would better know that than Jesus, the son of God and former resident in heaven with the Father. But realistically, the real problem they had with Jesus was that he was making them look bad and Jesus had lots of critical things to say about them. The leading Jews, Pharisees being prominent among them, had devised so many rules about what was work on the sabbath that they had also made it a sin to help or save people on the sabbath. I will address this more in this section shortly.
Now lets be quite clear here. Jesus was making a very big brag in saying he had been in heaven with the Father and that he was the son of the heavenly Father. Had Jesus done no miraculous works, they would have been perfectly right in demanding to see some. They could have said, Moses did great works. Lets see you do some if you are from God and are His son. But Jesus did do many impressive works often. In fact, wherever he went, he drew crowds and was known everywhere. Even Pilate and Herod knew all about him. So the leading Jews had no right to doubt Jesus when he said: "I am the son of God and I know the Father intimately."
And given that Jesus could heal people and even raise the dead, the leading Jews should have believed every word Jesus said without a shred of doubt. but given that they hated Jesus since he made them look bad, they looked for an excuse to hate and kill him so they used the pretense his "breaking the sabbath" to find fault. He refuted that but they also ignored that. They did not care about solid reasoning. They just wanted him dead by any means or excuse they could think up. Israel had really gone to hell by this time.
John 7 is also fascinating and I want to focus
here on Jesus pointing out a certain priority of laws. Some had more
importance and priority than others. Watch!<<
21 Jesus answered and said to them, I did one work, and you all marvel.
22 Because of this Moses has given you circumcision; (not that it is of Moses, but of the Father's);
and on a sabbath, you circumcise a man.
23 If a man receives circumcision on a sabbath, that the Law of Moses is not broken, are you angry with Me
because I made a man entirely sound on a sabbath?
24 Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment.
25 Then some of the Jerusalemites said, Is this not the one they are seeking to kill?
26 And, behold, He speaks publicly, and they say nothing to him. Perhaps the rulers truly knew that this is indeed the Christ?
27 But we know this one, from where he is. But when the Christ comes, no one knows from where He is.
28 Then teaching, Jesus cried out in the temple, even saying, You both know Me, and you know from where I am.
And I have not come from Myself, but He sending Me is true, whom you do not know.
29 But I know Him, because I am from Him; and He sent Me.
30 Then they sought to seize Him; yet no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
31 But many of the crowd believed into Him, and said, The Christ, when He comes will He do
more miracles than these which this One did?
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things about Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers, that they might seize Him.
>> We saw this earlier when Jesus asked if doing good on the sabbath was wrong. He pointed out that the priests did not observe the sabbath while serving at the temple and David and his men received the holy showbread from the High Priest. His point was that there were some laws the took precedence over others, that some were more important than others. Priests serving in the temple had a higher duty than the sabbath and were exempt from the sabbath while serving. Likewise, here in John 7, Jesus points out that performing a circumcision takes priority over the sabbath. Even Jews knew and practiced this, so they should have easily understood the principle of Priorities and Precedence. Their arguments were without excuse.
But you will note that many of the common
people believed Jesus was the messiah. They recognized that due
to his many miracles, he must be the messiah. As they put it, if
there is another who is to be the messiah, is he going to be able to
top what this guy is doing? And could this guy lie and still be able to
do these miracles? So there was no excuse for the Pharisees and chief
priests, who are supposed to be so smart and knowledgeable of the law
of Moses and the prophets. <<
14 And it was a sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
15 Then also the Pharisees again asked him how he received sight. And he said to them,
He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.
16 Then some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because He does not keep the sabbath.
Others said, How can a man, a sinner, do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
17 They said to the blind one again, What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes? And he said,
He is a prophet.
18 Then the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he was blind and received sight, until they called the parents
of him having received sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, whom you say that he was born blind? Then how does he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind.
21 But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age, ask him.
He will speak about himself.
22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone
should confess Him as Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue.
23 Because of this, his parents said, He is of age, ask him.
24 Then a second time they called the man who was blind, and they said to him, Give glory to God.
We know that this man is a sinner.
25 Then he answered and said, Whether he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know; that being blind, now I see.
26 And they said to him again, What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?
27 He answered them, I told you already, and you did not hear. Why do you wish to hear again?
Do you also desire to become disciples of Him?
28 Then they reviled him and said, You are a disciple of that one, but we are disciples of Moses.
29 We know that God has spoken by Moses, but this one, we do not know from where he is.
30 The man answered and said to them, For there is a marvel in this, that you do not know from where He is,
and He opened my eyes.
31 But we know that God does not hear sinful ones, but if anyone is God fearing, and does His will, He hears that one.
32 From the beginning of the age it was never heard that anyone opened the eyes of one having been born blind.
33 If this One was not from God, He could not do anything.
34 They answered and said to him, You were born wholly in sins, and do you teach us? And they threw him outside.
>> This former blind man made a great defense in behalf of Jesus. But he was excommunicated and cast out for saying it. Worse, they, the Pharisees, said that they knew that God spoke by Moses. Moses did miracles and wonders. so they should have known Jesus, too, but they said they did not know where he was from or is. The former blind man marveled at this. How could they not tell where Jesus was from. It was total BS and the man knew it. He blasted them. I am going back to regular black text now. <<
As we have seen, sometimes one law appears to contradict or violate another. But God can not contradict Himself. He is consistent and smart enough to know and recognize if one law conflicts with another. He intended that some take precedence and priority over another. So now I give you, the reader, a test. If a man is inured and rapidly in danger of dying due to loss of blood, or maybe drowning or unconscious in a street where he might get run over; is there any law that requires us to ignore him in order to carry out some law such as the sabbath?
I hope the answer was, no! Suffering and injury were not neglected ever, for sake of the sabbath or just about any other law. Now to balance this, if our lives were threatened if we did not disobey God, then we would have to give up our lives rather than compromise the laws of God. An example would be if an authority said, worship this image/idol or die, then we would have to accept death. Or if they said, have sex with us or die, you would have to die or be raped. you could not give in willingly. Many Christians have been persecuted and killed for not compromising. We will yet be asked to worship the beast of Revelation or possibly die.
But otherwise, if someone is in dire need of help, the sabbath does
not prevent that from happening. The sabbath does not require us to
ignore basic human kindness, mercy, and dignity. Jesus tried hard to
get this across, but yet even today, most Christians have failed to
really grasp this to its full. Many have gone back to the law and
brought back the sabbath Jesus eliminated/changed. So I want to address
this subject more next.
I am going to cover here in this linked article just above, something that may end most arguments that insist on the Sabbath. It is the analysis of the word "for ever" and similar words which occur in reference to keeping the Sabbath. This is an extensive study of the original Hebrew and Greek words. Forever and everlasting are wrongful translations of Hebrew and Greek words that do not necessarily signify an eternity as you shall see. You'll love it! You'd better, if you do not want to anger the Father! ;-)
The Ultimate Danger of the Law
New - Nov. 10, 2010
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Why do I harp on the law and discourage observing the ritual and ceremonial law? Because it is part of the ultimate deception being put over on Jews and Christians alike. Many have been told and are of the opinion that there are 2 paths to God, one for Jews and the other for Christians. This is a complete lie. There is only one path for both, and it is accepting Jesus as the Christ/Messiah and son of God, who is the real and true sacrificial lamb who blood redeems us in the eyes of God and justice. To go back to observing the ritual and ceremonial law is to reject Jesus and all he stands for.
This lie is going to set up an even more wicked lie. For the Bible prophecies predict a lying imposter who will claim to be Jesus, himself. You must not fall for this ultimate lie, for anyone who does will be removed from the book of life. This imposter is best known to many as the antichrist. He will sit in a rebuilt temple with a priesthood and sacrifices, as if we needed those again or as if Christ's blood did not work anymore. And this false Christ will ask us to worship and obey him. This "spirit" that goes forth and has been going forth since the early days of Christianity, has sought to bring us right back to the law of rituals, rather than the spirit of Christ, eventually leading us to accepting a false prophet/messiah.
This "spirit" that has been lingering around and promoted with great energy since Christ died and Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. It was a big problem in Paul's writings and in Acts. And it continued to be the biggest problem plaguing Christianity throughout its existence. In its early days of Christianity, it was known as Judaizing, trying to drag people back into the law, the ceremonial law in particular. It got so bad, that Councils were convened to declare, confirm and make it clear that Sunday, the 1st day of the week, was the day of observance, and not the last day sabbath on Saturday. This was declared at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD, along with this statement: "Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day. "
But it would continue to be a point of confusion, as people did not bother to learn their religion well, and why they did what they did. So they would become confused between the sabbath of the Mosaic Law and the 1st day observance (sabbath, if you like) of the rise of Christ and his ascendance to heaven on Pentecost, when spirit was poured out on the whole congregation of Christians gathered there. Powerful signs and wonders would continue to reinforce this by means of the Apostles.
But less observed in a review of history was the fact that Jews and former Jews were the instigators of trying to make Christians observe the ritual laws such as circumcision, dietary habits, keeping the sabbath and festivals, now empty observances. For the law and the prophets were until John (the Baptist), says Jesus. Do you believe him? Jews in general in those early times hated this new Christian movement, anyway. But as time went on, a new spirit started to become manifest.
It became extraordinarily prominent as the Middle Ages began and kicked off with the arrival of the Knights Templar and the religious "Crusades." Their goal? To take over Jerusalem, for the sake of "Christian" pilgrimages. But my suspicion is that they also had plans to rebuild the temple but they could not hold onto Jerusalem long enough to accomplish that. But they did a lot of excavating under the original foundation of the temple area, with lots of tunnels and supporting arches here and there. They had great ambitions for it all. I suspect that they would have even had a false messiah come along had things worked out more to their liking. But God was possibly against it at that time, or at least circumstance was.
But since that time, not only has Judaizing continued unabated, but Zionizing has also grown very much in popularity. Many Jews have hoped for such a thing. But more odd is that many Christian denominations also seem to support this and worse, believe it is what the Bible foretells and promotes. It does sort of between the lines infer the temple will be built again since the antichrist/man of sin is going to sit down in it, but it is not from God and it rejects the sacrifice of God's son and all that goes with that.
Now let me make it clear that rebuilding the temple, were it only to serve as a museum piece, for instance, and not infringe on others' rights and worship, and was done with approval of all and objections of none, this would not be a problem. But if it is rebuilt so that worship of God by means of this temple be reestablished and promoted as a legitimate path to pleasing God, then this is an abomination and sacrilege, and is basically the equivalent of devil worship, since it is outright rebellion against God's provision of His son as the real temple sacrifice, offered once for all time to all, if they would accept.
This Zionizing is reaching epic proportions now. And the Christian preachers supporting this Satanic plot! I say this because not only does it renounce the sacrifice of Jesus, but the goal is also to introduce us to a false phony Christ, an imposter and pretender who lies and deceives. This is what the Bible has fully revealed in mysterious prophetic symbols, all by about 96 AD, when Revelation was published by John. That is over 1900 years ago. Very impressive! The counterfeit Christ has not arrived yet. In fact, the temple has not been rebuilt yet. But the Bible implies it will be, before its all over.
These are the great deceptions being planned, launched, promoted, and designed to mislead all the earth into accepting and going along with this supposed "Jesus." Its been going on now for sometime. It began in earnest with the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It moved a step closer with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. It will likely involve a war to subdue the Mid-East so that the temple can be rebuilt. It will culminate with the temple being rebuilt, the priesthood being reinstalled, and the Antichrist arriving as "Jesus." Its a sure thing.
But I suspect that a huge war will be used to gain enough control of the general Mid-East area so that none may oppose a rebuilding of the temple. Either that, or a big war will erupt and then antichrist will arrive with his extremely advanced technology via UFOs and other such things thought not to exist right now, though in truth, existing in secret among the military weapons and hiding places. These are also of those lying signs and wonders to fool and trick the people into accepting the antichrist as being who he says he is. He will use this advanced technology to stop the war and bring peace, but only for a very short time, and then once everyone has accepted, except for real Christians, then those who go along with this charade, will soon die in huge numbers never seen before or though possible.
I cover this subject in far more detail in my articles on What Are the Lying Signs and Wonders and The Antichrist.
In this link above, I will quote many scriptures from the Law and the Prophets as the Old Testament was called by the Jews.
These scriptures will show how Moses performed powerful works by means of God working through him so as to believe the law covenant given to Israel was from God.
The covenant was given to them because of the wonderful and faithful example of Abraham obeying all that God asked of him. So it was through the seed of Abraham, that all mankind would be saved from the sin of Adam. By God's choice and not because anyone deserved it or earned it.
Israel did nothing to deserve their covenant with God and they did everything to reject it time and again.
Israel as a whole was rejected and cursed by God. Only a small remnant of Israel would remain faithful and accept the Messiah, God's son, and the new covenant he brought to them.
Most of Israel would reject the Messiah, and most their descendants would never reconcile, with only a very small number of them accepting Jesus as the Son of God and savior.
The Nations, also called Gentiles, would inherit the blessings intended for all Israel. Numerous scriptures will prove this.
The combined remnant of Israel and the nations would also be called Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and other figurative names in prophecy.
There would be a new covenant established by the Messiah, which would focus on worshipping with their hearts, minds, and spirits, in spirit and truth.
So it will be plain from this article that all things that
happened under Jesus and the Apostles were foretold in the Old
The New Testament shows us the exact point in time and circumstance when the new covenant began to be preached, when it was installed at Pentacost with the wonderful outpouring of God's spirit on the Christians as well as the withdrawl of it from Israel as prophecy had foretold.
It shows us the time and circumstance of the nations being welcomed into the new covenant first offered to any of Israel who would except it.
The writings of the Apostles will then declare to us how the Old Testament, known as the Law and Prophets to the Jews, had always foretold the things occurring among them such as:
The old covenant would necessarily become obsolete when the new one came along. The new one was always the ultimate goal to begin with. The old one was only in place until the new one should arrive. The old one was designed to foreshadow the new one.
That many things in the Law and Prophets were revealed in figures, parables, and mysteries which were hidden to the rebellious Jews but revealed to those who love God and have His spirit.
That observances of the law, the rituals, rites, the temple and priesthood, were no longer required of God's people such as the Sabbath, circumcision, festivals, dietary laws, the temple and priesthood and anything related to those.
Christians were now required to worship in spirit and truth, with love for God and man.
That Christians were given new observances by Jesus and the Apostles. These were baptism, the Lord's last supper, meeting together on the first day of the week (Sunday) which began the evening before.
That the law killed and offered no hope. It was meant to typify and foreshadow the coming better things, the spiritual heavenly things of God.
That Christians looked forward to inheriting a priesthood and
kingship in heaven with Jesus, as his brothers. This is the heavenly
temple and new reward for obedience to God.
This above is a combination of what early Christians writers of the 2nd to 3rd centuries record about early church observances, and what the Bible has to say on such matters. We find the following:
That baptism is an essential ritual observance, symbolizing our death and resurrection into Christ, by being plunged into the water and then raised from it.
That Christians never observed the Sabbath, and met on Sunday, the first day of the week, in great contrast to the Sabbath observed on the last day of the week. The first day observance was the command of the Apostles to observe the resurrection of Christ, not the Sabbath. It has a general way of being carried out, most parts of which can be reasonably confirmed by the scriptures quoted.
The Lord's last supper or passover is to be observed as acceptance of the new covenant established by Jesus with his disciples on his last night with them.
That the Apostles kept heretics in check but with their deaths and subsequent absence of their presence and that of the Holy Spirit, both innocent errors and deliberate lies both flourished, and Christianity became corrupted as foretold by Jesus and the Apostles.
That overseers and deacons were appointed by the Apostles with instructions that after the Apostles died and their appointments died, the people of the church should with the cooperation of the previous overseer before he died, appoint a successor to conduct the affairs of the church. Warnings were issued by the Apostles about how such positions would be fought over and corrupted.
An overseer was appointed for life unless he seriously sinned. His
office was not to be disputed otherwise, though it was foretold they
Part 4: Early Christianity: Against Keeping the Law
Part 4 will show what I have stated using only the Bible previously. An excellent collection of a variety of 2nd & 3rd century Christian writers, all offering the same opinion, that the observance of the Law (the rituals and ceremonies) is not required. We live by faith in Christ.
Part 5: Justin's 2nd Apology: Against Trypho (most of it).
An excellent work, maybe even the best of its kind, covering everything considered in this 6 part topic on the law.
Part 6: Tertullian's "An Answer to the Jews"
A work perhaps nearly as good as Justin's, except that due to the archaic English translation, it is a little harder and slower to read, but worth it. It also covers all things considered in this 6 part series refuting the law.
Part 7: Cyprian: Against the Jews
Despite errors of his own as well as Christianity in general, Cyprian properly faults observing the law. It is the one thing that seems to remain when so many other things were lost. It was clearly an on going problem. But who was behind it and why? The struggle has never abated. Whose side are you on, on this matter?
Part 8: on the way eventually
If you have read all 6 parts of this, you will have a thorough comprehensive understanding of this matter. And you will see that we no longer have to observe the rituals, rites and observances of the law such as the Sabbath, circumcision, dietary laws, feasts and festivals, worshipping at the temple, or maintaining a priesthood. We now worship with spirit and truth, observing a few new rituals and observances which have new meanings.
Be sure to consider the Related Articles below as well.
Why We Don't Observe the Law!
Law is Vital!
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