Sunday, January 10, 2016

On the Jewish Feasts and Saturday Sabbath, Chapter 21

A friend and reader of the "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today" sent me an email regarding some of the comments she is hearing on the topic of the Jewish Feasts and the Saturday Sabbath. It seems that the issue is getting bigger, and the Church needs to address it -- unfortunately.

I cover that issue partly in Chapter 21 of my book, but will be expanding on the apologetics of it in subsequent blogs. Below is my reply to the email that was originally sent.

Dear S.:

Your friend is quite versed and mature in her faith, but unfortunately quite sidetracked with this false doctrine, like many others are.  As I already mentioned, it is a tough position to tackle. One has to counter every scripture used for the argument which is the only way, rather than just opinion exchange, but that takes time to put together.

I will address that further on subsequent blogs (and in the next book). I also have another person friend of mine who is into the same belief system.  The fact is that the "eternal" keeping of the feasts was given to the Jewish people.

The Sabbath is a day of rest for man to rest and worship one day a week, that is every 7th day.  Jewish people hold it on Saturday, Christians on Sunday -- God doesn't mind the latter. The Pharisees tried to catch Jesus on this subject matter constantly, and He kept rebuking them that He was even the Lord of the Sabbath and that this day was made for man not the other way around.

It is not "wrong" for Christians to keep Feasts or Saturday Sabbaths but it is certainly not required for Salvation.  And we need to know about what they represent, just like we need to know about the Old Testament in order to undrstand the New.

Christians need to be careful about these new propaganda because they confuse the unsaved world, wasting energy that could be used to reach the lost. We need to stick to the central Church Doctrines of the New Testament which is the new Covenant made by the precious Blood of God the Creator and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as concerning the Redemption of mankind.

It is good to read the whole of Chapter 15:1-32 to get the feel of the context:

Acts 15:1-32

"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:

31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them."

(P.S.: I always quote from the King James because some translations have changed words to mean what they believe.) /DMH

Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.
Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
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