Why dont we have to keep the Feasts?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Ben W, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Greetings all, I am hoping you might be able to help me put together a good answer for this.

    Let me point out that I do not believe in keeping the Old Testament Feasts. Paul teaches that the only Jewish laws that Gentiles are to keep are to abstain from blood, from things strangled and from immorality, Acts 15:20.

    Yet what I am trying to do is share this with a lady who is in the United Church of God, the modern equivalent of the Old Worldwide Church of God.

    Her answer is that the Law is not for the Jews, but was given for all people. I dont see that as the case, is it able to be proven that that is the case in scripture one way or the other?

    My other point is that all the feasts have animal sacrifice as a part of them, the feasts in the Old Testament are given by the Levites. Naturally the UCC dont do animal sacrifice, this leads me to the point that they have already changed the feast, and there is no dispensation in scripture for anyone other than a Levite to officiate at a feast, so they have changed that also to make it fit. The Temple and Levites are gone, the feasts likewise are gone.

    Can anyone give me some tips as to how I can show this clearly in Scripture so that they can not just dismiss it as speculation?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, read teh OT and you will see that the Law was given only to the Jews. Out of all the nations on the earth at that time, the Law was given to none of them. Then you read the NT where Paul says we are not under the Law (Rom 10) and where required feast observance is forbidden (Col 2).
     
  3. Ben W

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    Agreed Ps Larry, but knowing exactly how the UCG people hedge around in an argument, is there a Scripture in the O.T that cleary points out that the Law was for the Jews and not for the other people of the world?

    By the way I had another look at Romans 10 and see what you mean, it has been to long scince I read that chapter.
     
  4. Alcott

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    If there's no better reason, then let's say it's because a lot of us are already too fat.

    Seriously, regarding the UCG, I have argued with some of them before. Like most, maybe all, "successful" cults, they have stock answers covered for when someone presents biblical problems which cut at their key doctrines. The best scriptural answer to this group is Colossians 2:16-17, which declares to let no one act as your judge in relation to days, fests, new moons, or sabbaths (keeping the 7th day is an even greater priority tenet of theirs). But you will find their stock answer is this passage forbids anyone judging others for keeping the feasts and the sabbath; thus, they turn a passage that disproves their doctrine into one they perceive as forbidding an attack by those who do not keep the days.
     
  5. Australian Baptist Student

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    Hi there,
    we dont have to keep the feasts because we are saved by grace, not by keeping feasts. If we have to keep feasts, if we will go to hell if we dont, then we are saved by feasts. This is utterly un Scriptural.

    Having said that, I personally find the feasts great to keep (when I get round to it). I dont do it out of fear or legalism, but because I find them spiritually benificial. Take the feast of Tabernacles. When we lived in Israel, everyone basically camped out for the week, in a makeshift tent. It had a two-fold focus, looking back, one remembered how God had led our fathers in the wilderness, and of his faithfulness there. It also loked forward. Having seen how God was faithful in the past, when we had nothing, we still have computers, TVs etc now, but by moving out into a tent, we were saying, "God, you were faithful when I had nothing, and if you wish, I will leave all that I have and follow you again into the wilderness - look, ive already left the house and computer, and am ready to go". As ex-missionaries, who now have a house and a credit card, it is a wonderful thing to do. I would also add that the feasts are real fun for children, and great places to teach about our faith. Passover is always deeply meaningful, and a good way to teach about the sacrifice of Jesus.

    They dont affect my salvation, but I do find them helpful, a blessing.
    Hope this helps, Colin
     
  6. g220

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    I recall watching a video series regarding Passover and Christ. I believe it was a Zola Levitt production. I found it very moving.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    The very words of Exodus 19 where the Law begins shows that it was given to Israel only. There is absolutely no indication from the OT that any one other than Israel was included. Every single reference is to the nation of Israel alone.
     
  8. wopik

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    Jesus gave a New Testament meaning to the Passover.

    Jesus is now the Lamb that was sacrificed (Jn 1:29).

    Jesus instituted the NT Passover - "....I shall eat the Passover with my disciples" (Lk 22: 11, 15).

    "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:" (Lk 22:15).

    It is something we should remember year after year, and never forget. We should imitate Jesus and take the cup and bread, yearly ---- to commemorate this sacred event. This bread (body) and wine (blood) constitutes the NT Passover ---- "this do, in remembrance of Me" (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

    "For this (wine) is my blood of the New Testament...." (Matt 26: 28).

    *******************************

    Jesus' initial followers kept Pentecost (Acts 2). It lost its OT meaning when the Holy Spirit was given to the NT Church, on Pentecost.

    "....wait for the promise of the Father....you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:4-5).

    Jesus did NOT tell them to avoid the upcoming day of Pentecost; Jesus COMMANDED them to wait in Jerusalem FOR the day of Pentecost.

    Jesus COMMANDED His followers to keep Pentecost.

    Jesus "COMMANDED them that they should not depart from Jerusalem" (Acts 1:4)-- but wait for the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
     
  9. wopik

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    God had His "holy days" / "appointed times" from the very beginning. In Genesis 1:14, the word "seasons" is the same Hebrew word for "feasts" in Leviticus 23. If you like, check it out --- http://bible.crosswalk.com/InterlinearBible/


    The holidays of the Bible are all about Christ. That should shed a whole new meaning on them for Christians.
    http://www.cemnetwork.com/church/ - click on the people on the beach. Thank you.
     
  10. DHK

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    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:
    17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    These feast, including the sabbaths, were but a shadow. A shadow is not the real thing. It is just a picture, even as your shadow is an outline or vague imitation of you. That is all that the feasts of the Old Testament were. They were such a vague shadow or imitation that the Jews did not fully understand what they represented. We don't need the shadow any more. We have the real thing. We have Christ. He is the real thing. The shadow is passed away. Christ fulfilled the law. He came; the shadow has disappeared. He in his brilliance has dispelled all the darkness away. No shadow could ever stand before him now. The shadows are gone. He has done away with them at the cross.
    DHK
     
  11. wopik

    wopik
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    -- Ben W


    Acts 15:21 is a very interesting scripture, albeit, perhaps, somewhat enigmatic. James does not make a big issue about what he is saying; apparently, he does not have to. He is simply explaining why this major conference would only rule on a few things for the Gentile Christians to abstain from: "pollution of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood" (Acts 15:20).

    Obviously, there were other things Christians had to abstain from, such as dishonoring parents, killing, lying, etc., but James is simply saying that all these other responsibilities of Christians were well known since God's laws were read every Sabbath in the synagogue.

    As far as circumcision was concerned, a specific Church ruling was made, in accordance with the binding and loosing authority given by God (Mt. 16:19), not to require it for Gentile Christians.

    The traditional anti-Sabbath rejoinder to Acts 15 asks how the requirement for Sabbath observance can be left in while at the same time the requirement for circumcision is ruled out? Or phrased another way, why would not the abrogation of the Sabbath commandment be included within the abrogation of circumcision which symbolized the Sinai covenant?

    The answer is almost fully contained in the question itself. Circumcision of the flesh indeed symbolized the Sinaitic covenant which had now been superseded by the terms of the New Covenant.

    But the Sabbath far transcended the covenant at Sinai in both directions: it was instituted at Creation, long before Sinai; and it also foreshadows the future millennial rest in the Kingdom of God. The Sabbath, in fact, shall be observed following the return of Christ when the fullness of the New Covenant shall spread over all the earth (Is. 66:23).
     
  12. DHK

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    Exodus 31:12-18 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
    14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
    15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
    16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
    17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
    18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

    The Sabbath was a sign to the children of Israel, and only the children of Israel. It was never to be kept by the New Testament beiliever. It is emphasized over and over again here how it is a sign to Israel and her generations forever. That does not include believing gentiles.
    DHK
     
  13. wopik

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    Paul is telling these Christians not to accept criticism for keeping the holydays, new moons and sabbath days for they are a shadow of things to come; but the reality of all this is Christ.

    If the holydays of the Bible are done away with, so is eating and drinking, for they are listed there, too.

    Where is the statement that says we shouldn't keep these days? Colossians 2:16 assumes they are keeping the holydays,etc., and says don't let anyone judge you for it. This is 'rock solid' proof that the mostly gentile Colossian church was keeping these days.

    Here is my question? What is there about being 'a shadow' that means you don't do it? And if it is a shadow of things to come, then it hasn't been fulfilled yet --- and if it hasn't been fulfilled yet, why would anyone assume it's been done away with?
     
  14. Alcott

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    Only a rock solid head would conclude that. There are plenty of NT admonitions to refrain from murder, theft, adultery, alongside to believe, be baptized and engatge in worshpip... none to observe the sabbath or feasts.


    That is not the definition of the word shadow.
     
  15. wopik

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    Acts 2 - the NT Christians were keeping Pentecost.

    1 Cor. 5: 7-8 - Paul tells the Corinthian Church that Jesus is our(NT) Passover, and that we should "keep the feast".

    These are two examples of Christians keeping the "appointed times" of the LORD.

    You listed some of the Ten Commandments, the "perfect law of Liberty" (James 1:25; 2:8-12); why would the fourth one be omitted? If one of the Ten Commandments is just for Jews, then they all are.
     
  16. Old Timer

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    Ah wopik you are on to something. Prepare yourself for the standard; "same yesterday and today" nonsense mant here spue when they find they do not have an answer.
    The feasts, sabbaths, holy days will be broght back to observance.
    Very clearly stated in the verse you mentioned.
    Better understanding may be found in Ez., Is., Dan., Psalms.
    Even the book of Revelation mentions much about it.
    How sad that many refuse to see it.
     
  17. superdave

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    Getting doctrine and practice from a historical book? Hmmm...do you also condone special revelation and tongues, after all, we see those in acts as well

    If you really study the historical context of Colossians and the Colossian Heresy, this is a ridiculous assertion. Paul was fighting a heresy that included elements of gnosticism and those who were requiring circumcision and other elements of OT Judaism. Paul's stance against any type of works requirements are pretty clear in multiple letters to many different churches. His whole point in Colossians is to devalue the outward trappings of religion in favor of true faith. In context why would the Judaizers and others be condemning the Colossians from keeping feasts rather than the other way 'round.
     
  18. wopik

    wopik
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    superdave

    You seem surprised that Christians should search the Holy Bible to hear the Word of God and to understand His Doctrine.

    People were astonished at Jesus' doctrine (Matt 7: 28) -- His teaching.

    So you don't believe the Holy Bible is to be used for understanding doctrine?

    Are you a Baptist? The Baptists I know believe the Bible is FOR doctrine.

    We believe Paul, when he says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God , and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:" (2 Tim 3: 15-16).

    Christians are to live a RIGHTEOUS life inorder to please God, and follow His doctrine.

    for correction; We are to be corrected by the Word of God -- not correct the Word of God.
     
  19. superdave

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    Don't dodge the question and attack my doctrine, which is solid on the point of Biblical authority.

    How do you interpret scripture. By your extrapolation from Acts, you have me worried.

    When you examine the scripture you have to use its literal historical context to determine first what actually was said. The Bible cannot mean what it never meant, its not an allegory, and it does not all apply directly to our time and culture without distillation of principle.

    You also have to examine the Genre. There is plenty of behavior that is described in the NT that we do not condone, yet we see examples of it happening. Just because something was done in Acts a certain way, does not mean it is a command, or even the way the early church practiced, you have to look at the teachings of Paul, and the entirety of the NT revelation regarding the practice of the early church. We see a more regular practice of the Lord's supper than annual passover celebration. I do not believe Jesus was merely continuing the tradition of the passover rituals in his upper room statements. We see Paul's teaching in Corinthians as much broader than that. You have to interpret Acts in light of 2 primary things. First, it is historical in nature, like the history books in the OT. It records what actually happenned. We see four different progressions of Holy Spirit baptism in Acts, it was a transitional book, not every area of practice is consistent in Acts. It must be interpreted in light of the teachings of Paul, who was explaining to the early church, what all this meant, and how to practice their faith. That is where the best and most clear teaaching regarding church structure and practice is found.

    So I ask you again, and try to answer this time rather than simply attacking me on an unrelated issue.

     

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