Loutzenhiser's picture

Chat about Nehemiah topics that are off thread here

John Johnson's picture

Apologetic for one Sabbath.

This offering is to address some of the traditional ecclesiastical concerns shared with some accompanying comments under the Nehemiah thread.

I would ask the reader to consider the broader context and far better established truths before considering what is meant by the "Lord's day". The real question is only what is the Lord's day? There really is no question of which day is regarded by G-D as the Sabbath, this is revealed in scripture directly and is beyond reasonable doubt. Nowhere is there any scriptural evidence of a Gentile Sabbath being established, anymore than a gentile Hanukah (Christmas) or a gentile Passover (Easter).

The Sabbath is not only the seventh day but a day that that starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday according to numerous clear scriptural statements.

Remember the Jew has only been blinded "in part" regarding the identity of the Messiah. If we lined up all the rabbis and Christian scholars to provide us an interpretation and definition of what the literal text of the scripture defines the Sabbath as being, those holding the view of a gentile Sabbath would be lost in the crowd even if they were the only ones jumping and waving their arms .

Today, and increasingly into the future, those Christians' returning to their contextual Jewish roots (a good instructional use of Nehemiah) are being used to provoke the Jew to jealousy and are laying the ground work for the eventual Jewish' invitation for the return of the Messiah Yeshua to Jerusalem.

The traditional church as it currently is structured and operated will never provoke the Jew to Jealousy. The traditional Jewish rabbinate happily lets the church operate as it does because they know that there is not one Jew who will ever find comfort or familiarity from a gospel polluted with the establishment of foreign unscriptural practices and idolatry . A visit to the Christian and Armenian quarters in the Old City of Jerusalem will reveal, to even a casual observer, houses of religious idolatry lacking any power in structure or appearance that the true G-D of righteousness would intend or would claim.

If one wants to see the rage of Jewish Jealousy you need to familiarize yourself with the daily interactions between the Messianic and Traditional Jewish communities who's only real point of departure is the identification of the Messiah (a sufficient difference in itself). It is the Messianic Church that is having an ever increasing Jewish revival of conversion to the truths of the gospel.

Let us not forget the character of Him who has made promises to both the Jew and Gentile:

G-D is incapable of lying. (The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked.)

G-D changes not and is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Man is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.)

G-D does not tempt any man. (Satan is a tempter of man and man is both the tempted and himself a tempter.)

G-D is love and expresses His love toward man through the grace and mercy of the gospel. (Man is lacking in his qualification, performance and even the understanding of his need.)

In the light of these truths there are also the direct and simple facts of history surrounding the time of Yeshua, the disciples and the spread of the gospel: Firstly, the TaNaKh (old testament) was the primary foundation on top of which all discipleship training in Yeshua were accomplished. Secondly, the religious Jewish calendar (given by G-D) required activity primarily on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (Philip Schaff's Apostolic Christianity A.D. 1-100), so an observant Jewish believer would only have had Sunday and Wednesday to attend to other refined teachings regarding the implications and scriptural apologetic of Yeshua HaMashiach.

It is also abundantly clear from the interactions of Paul and the Gentile church that he started with both proselytes to Judaism and converted Jewish believers and in just a few weeks of becoming organized the members of these congregations were operating at extremely advanced levels of understanding. The primary subjects requiring the apostles attention related mostly to highly detailed aspects of eschatology, matters of sexual purity, idolatry, and false teachers.

In fact, what stands out is a rather contentious rebuke of the Jewish believer by Paul that they still needed the milk. Read the following reprimand of Paul and you will see the subject Paul had intended to fruitfully discuss with them.

Hebrews 5:10-14 (King James Version)

10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Many Christians rely on statements like "G-D has written the law on our hearts." to discount the relevance and immutable character of G-D and His word. What they are really saying is I am free to do whatever I want and believe whatever seems correct to me because I will without effort or G-D's provision and plan know what is pleasing to G-D. That person will suffer the same consequence of all those who hold sincerely held wrong beliefs about anything. Persons who claim to love Yeshua but fail to do all He has commanded may be as sincere as they imagine themselves without the desired effect.

I do not intend to pass over the importance of what G-D has indeed written on our hearts, but what He has spiritually written is the sincere desire or volition to follow His ways, obey His commands and do His will. All our failures to meet the requirement of the letter which normally brought death is now covered by the spirit of obedience facilitated and delivered by promise through Yeshua/Jesus. The content of our heart's inscription however is still His spoken or written word, at least, until it also is inscribed on our heart and owned by faith.

The simple answer to the Lord's day question is that every day is the Lord's day and we should "rejoice and be glad in it" and try not to mess it up.

The Jerusalem council provided a list of three prohibitions, being uncircumcised was not among them, however the source and content of teaching and discipleship continued to be the TaNaKh (old testament) (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In fact Timothy was a gentile and Paul had him circumcised prior to his accompaniment of Paul on a mission trip which occurred after the Jerusalem councils concluding resolution.

All rebuking references to the law dealt with the heretical practices of some Jewish believers who were placing gentile believers under the requirements of the law (Colossians) as a means or adjunct to a saving faith. The law has been removed as a task master, but remained as a tutor/servant (Galatians).

The bottom line is that the law is good and meant to be a blessing to all who would call on the true G-D out of a sincere heart. The penalty for all our sin regarding unrighteousness has been paid in full. There however is no law against righteousness.

Salvation is of the Jew and the good news is to the Jew first and also the Greek. What gentile gospel is to be received other than the one witnessed by Jews, delivered by Jews, preached by Jews, planted by Jews, begun and concluded by Jews.

The real questions to be asked are: Why was the Jewish foundations ever removed from the practices of the church and why were the dates, times, seasons and ordinances instituted by G-D replaced with heathen and pagan Roman practices and mythologies? Where are the inspired scriptures that command the current practices of the church and the replacements made by the church?

The answer to all these final questions can be found in the letters to the seven churches in The Revelation to John. Those who sincerely want the answers will do an in depth study of the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation.

I did mistakenly leave off the concluding 8th verse of Isaiah 56(verses 1-8) section addressing the union of Jews and Gentiles under one Sabbath and one covenant to be observance by both Jew and Gentile. Here is that verse:

Isaiah 56:8 (King James Version)

8The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

This verse provides us context, place and time: Which is NOW.

Lets not even talk about the three prohibitions of the Jerusalem Council regarding gentiles unless we are all ready to weep and mourn and repent as a church. Most churches do not even recognize that all three prohibitions are being practiced in the church today. It seems the understanding of these prohibitions have been sent the way of the Sabbath.


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