Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2

In the previous postings we have seen that man had to be reminded to his own choice to be without God as their Commander and because off that choice got a reminder of their mortality.

We by know should see the significance of the introduction of the Sabbath commands being associated with the provision of manna.

For many people Mosaic law in the Bible can be confusing and often also in Judaic groups we can find lots of debates about certain laws to be followed in what sort of way. Many Christians do not like to talk so much about those laws and which ones we have to follow.

Critics of Christendom and Christianity and non-believers often question how there can exist such a god who is so demanding.  Some even find that Judaism, Christendom and the Muslim world do have a very cruel and petty god.

In many religious groups the question is posed which laws we still do have to follow.

According to some

” There are definitely some bizarre statutes, such as not being allowed to mix two kinds of fabric, or not cooking a goat in its mothers milk. There are also all the dietary restrictions of not being allowed to eat certain “unclean” animals such as pigs, not to mention all the sacrificial laws to atone for sin. These things seem drastic and at the very least, unnecessary. Now obviously most Christians don’t follow any of these. So what are we supposed to do with it? We know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So what has changed? {What are we gonna do with this Torah?}

The fall of man
The fall of man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous postings we have shown that all relates to mankind’s decision to take a certain attitude to God. We need to understand that because of sin we were not able to relate to God as he intended it. By man’s own choice he became separated from his own Creator. For this reason god made a structure so that they could often enough be reminded of Him Divine Creator.

In the previous writings you could see that God provided physical and spiritual food for man and gave them rules to follow so that they could have an easier life. He also demanded from them to respect Him as the Only One True God and not to make any graven images of Him.

We also could see how God provided already from the beginning of the fall of man, a solution in the person of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the sent one from God who could bring salvation by showing the world a man was able not to do his own will but to rightly follow the Will of God.

Before the placed one on earth

Before the only begotten son of God was placed on the earth, all believers where still in a situation to be compared with God’s people in Egypt. But now we do have Jesus, God’s faithful Son who is called out of Egypt, filling up what was lacking in the first faithless son, Israel.

First Israel, God’s son, broke the covenant and deserved God’s wrath. Like at the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God‘s promise brings the one and only working solution for mankind. It is not by doing certain works that the liberation shall come over us. It is by the Gift of Grace that we receive freedom, but that would not liberate us from following certain orders made by God.

Galatians 4:3-5 NHEBJE  So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world.  (4)  But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,  (5)  that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.

Completion of Israel’s designation

God his only begotten Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:17), whom God loves and with him God is well pleased, is the one who came to complete all that Israel was designed to perform. Some Jews got to see that, but also some non-Jews. Therefore the Jews started wondering if those new converts also had to fulfil all the requirements of the Jewish or Judaic and Mosaic Laws.

Those Jews who had chosen to follow their Masterteacher Jeshua as the Messiah had also some who came to compare the old Jews and the new ‘Jews’ or converted goyim, people from all nations and all sorts other religions. The news of the conversion of the Gentiles is received with joy (Acts 15:12). They could see how many thousands of Yehuḏim there had come to be ardent for the Torah.

Torah and morality for man to follow

For generations since Moses the Jews had their preachers in every town, and it was been read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath how to conduct oneself. As such it was questioned what the new converts had to avoid. Had they to worry about anything that has been contaminated by idols, immorality, the meat of strangled animals, and the tasting of blood?

The Jews had their Mosaic Law as a great bulwark of morality, and there was excuse for wondering whether pagans could keep its moral precepts, without observing it entirely. So this party, which did not represent the church at Jerusalem, (Acts 15:13 ff.), came to Antioch and insisted that circumcision and the Law were necessary for those who wished to enter the Messianic kingdom on earth, and be saved. The Judaizing party had evidently little following outside Jerusalem.

Gentiles, Judaizing Christians and Jews

In Jerusalem many thought that Paul was teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. Therefore they requested the assembly to meet. Concerning the Gentiles who believe, the apostles have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.

Acts 21:17-26 NHEBJE  When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.  (18)  The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.  (19)  When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry.  (20)  They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Judeans of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law.  (21)  They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs.  (22)  What then? They will certainly hear that you have come.  (23)  Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.  (24)  Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the Law.  (25)  But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”  (26)  Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.

An elaborate list of “do” and “don’t” items

A turn was made in history of man when the sent one of God had proven that man could do the Will of God and presented himself as an offering for all sinners. Jesus himself also knew that said that the Sabbath was made for man. (Mark 2:27).

Mark 2:23-28 NHEBJE  It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain.  (24)  The Pharisees said to him, “Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”  (25)  He said to them, “Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungryhe, and those who were with him?  (26)  How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?”  (27)  He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  (28)  Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Fall of Man
The Fall of Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus reminded the Pharisees about their attitude concerning observing religious rituals; like they declared that joy was more important than observing religious rituals, but could not see how on the Sabbath certain things could be done. The gleaning on the fields by the apostles was not considered stealing according to Deuteronomy 23:2, but the rabbis were more concerned about the day on which it happened and felt it belonged to an act of their elaborate list of “not to do”  items relevant to the Sabbath. For them it was a serious violation of one of the items on this list.
When the disciples began to pluck the heads of grain, in the eyes of the religious leaders they were guilty of 4 faults: reaping, threshing, winnowing, preparing food.

At this time, Rabbis filled Judaism with elaborate rituals related to the Sabbath and observance of other laws. Ancient Rabbis taught that on the Sabbath, a man could not carry something in his right hand or in his left hand, across his chest or on his shoulder. But you could carry something with the back of your hand, with your foot, with your elbow, or in your ear, your hair, or in the hem of your shirt, or in your shoe or sandal. Or, on the Sabbath, you were forbidden to tie a knot – except a woman could tie a knot in her girdle. So, if a bucket of water had to be raised from a well, you could not tie a rope to the bucket, but a woman could tie her girdle to the bucket!
{Guzik commentary on the Gospel of Mark}

What they did not understand is that Jeshua never violated the mitzvah or God’s commands in any way. He took time to study God’s Word and did everything to live according to it. Jeshua with his disciples went to different places and wherever they came they took time to worship God and to observe the Sabbath.

For this sent one from God, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he himself was God, like some think)would not have approved of his disciples violating God’s commands to observe the Sabbath. But for him there was a big difference between the laws of God and the laws made by man. He could see that by time man added rules had come in the Jewish tradition, which had more to do with man made legalistic ways than with God His Ways.

Human need more important than religious ritual

A very often overlooked issue is the one of the needs of man and of the regulations for man in this time of age.

We do live in a world where man can reign, but where man has also many needs. People do have to eat and to be taken care for, every day and not just one day of the week not. When people would not be treated one day in the week it could well be that they would die that day, because of not having had the right treatment. But not only for life matters it was important to recognise that man could and should be able to do certain things which he would or would not do on the other days of the week. It could be for relaxation, for entertainment, or for making himself wiser, etc..

Also people had to take care for others, and our of love should also sometimes do things which would demand work.

Can you imagine those who do believe in God and do find we do have to keep Sabbath, but take a taxi or public transport, watch television, want to have shops open for getting what they want, want to go to the theatre and have people working for them, so you could say they are not concerned that those people then would do something against the Will of God and would loose their life? This would be very unloving and very selfish.

Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset

Those who say Christians do have to keep to the Sabbath Law should then keep Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and should abstain of any form of work but also of any relaxation which would have others working, like watching television, going on the internet, wanting medical care, etc.

Those who say the Sabbath is Sunday should look at Jeshua which day he kept. That was the Jewish Sabbath and not what they call the Lord’s Day. God’s Day of rest was from what we now call Friday-night until the time sun goes down on Saturday and not when the clock strikes 12 on Saturday night until Sunday 12 pm..

It is not by days that we can be separated from God, but by our acts of doing wrong. It is sin which alienates us from God not the keeping of one or an other day in a different way than the other days.

To remind our position in the universe of God

God had given the Law to Moses so that people could be reminded of their Creator and of their position in the creation. God’s law shows us that we are not able to attain righteousness through laws, but by making our own right choices like the sent one from God made the right choices from his own, not pushed by any other person.

The first Adam did not keep to God His Wishes and his descendants were not better. Though the descendant of the tribe of David, showed he also had could reason to be a beloved son of God. As the second Adam he also could not attain righteousness through the law. He like any man could sin, something only God can not, but he always made the right choices, following not his own will but the Will of God.

Because of being infected by the fall of man we are unable to be without spot. For us week human beings it is difficult to keep to God’s standards. His ordinances may be set apart from the human rules, but that does not yet mean that we can’t be able to become set-apart our selves (being holy).

Fulfiller of Law

By only doing God’s Will and not the one of his own, Jesus proofed to God and to mankind that man is able to keep to God’s Will. By his way of living and giving himself for mankind he opened the way for a restored relationship between God and mankind.

For centuries man had tried to live according to God’s regulations, but did not seem to succeed. Now there was this Nazarene man who succeeded. By doing so he fulfilled the law and liberated all others from the Old Ordinances bringing them under a New Covenant, a New Regulation. By the sealing of his death a start was given to a New World.

Jesus died as a perfect payment for all the past, present, and future sins of all people. Though now people do have to recognise that sacrificial offering and have to come to see that Jesus is the Way to God now.

Matthew 5:17 NHEBJE  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

In a certain way do we not need the Mosaic Law any more, when we accept Jesus as our new law giver. God gave him authority to teach the world and to judge the world. We are by Christ Jesus Justified by faith. So it is up to people to follow Jesus or either to ignore him like many ignore Jesus his heavenly Father, the Only One God.

Through Christ Jesus righteousness is granted to us, and not any more by the Mosaic Law. He nailed the law and its consequences unto the stake. Through Jesus the sacrificial laws have been nullified and the temple curtain has been torn to allow all who know God to come to him, unrestricted, through the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2:8-16 NHEBJE  (8)  for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  (9)  not of works, that no one would boast.  (10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.  (11)  Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision,” (in the flesh, made by hands);  (12)  that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  (13)  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.  (14)  For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,  (15)  having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace;  (16)  and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby.

Ordering works and ways of living

From the Jews there were ordered works of Torah, but those who came to Christianity should have to see that Jesus nailed the Old Covenant to the stake and as such did not have to keep to certain laws of food and customs.

Paul had also come to see that certain Jews did more live like gentiles and therefore questioned a.o. Cephas how he who lived not like a Jew, could force the Gentiles to live like Jews.
The Jews by birth who followed Jeshua understood that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. Jeshua’s followers believed in the Nazarene man to be the Messiah, the promised sent one from God. They were convinced that by works of the law no one will be justified.

From the 1° Adam onwards all man had been with sin except Christ Jesus. Jeshua did not become a servant of sin. Those converts to the teachings of Jeshua died to the Mosaic Law so that they might live to God. They should walk and live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us all.

Galatians 2:14-21 NHEBJE  (14)  But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live as the Gentiles do, and not as the Jews do, how can you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews do?  (15)  “We, being Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners,  (16)  yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.  (17)  But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not!  (18)  For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a law-breaker.  (19)  For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.  (20)  I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.  (21)  I do not make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”

False teachings unsettling minds and burdens

In the early times of Christianity already false teachers could be found and people who disturbed others by their teaching and unsettled others their minds. The assembled meeting of Jewish brethren unanimously resolved to select representatives and send them to the ecclesiae so that they could hear how the view was made under the direction of the Holy Spirit after prayer and wise consult. By word of mouth the message was given to the other ecclesia.  They agreed that it was for the Holy Spirit and their meeting that had decided not to lay upon others any burden but this indispensable one,  that they had to avoid whatever has been sacrificed to idols, the tasting of blood and of the meat of animals that have been strangled, and immorality. They in first instance had to keep themselves free from these things.

Acts 15:24-29 NHEBJE  Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, to whom we gave no commandment;  (25)  it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,  (26)  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (27)  We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.  (28)  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:  (29)  that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”

As such old customs like bringing certain offers, tithing, were not necessary any more, because even by the Jews there were ones who did not like it and tried to escape from it.

From several parables and sayings form Jeshua, Jesus Christ, we do know that it is much more important to live according to the spirit of the Law, be it Mosaic or any other law, than to the letter.

End of the law

Those people who say they are Christian should follow the teachings of the master-teacher, rabbi Jeshua, and should accept his words about himself, his heavenly Father and about how we do have to live.

He also gave a golden rule which should guide us through our life and be our goal to love God and God His creation, like Jesus loved us we should love ourself and one another.

John 13:34-35 NHEBJE  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  (35)  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12-13 NHEBJE  “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.  (13)  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 14:21 NHEBJE  One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”

Romans 10:4 NHEBJE  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Colossians 2:6-17 NHEBJE  (6)  As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,  (7)  rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.  (8)  Be careful that you do not let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.  (9)  For in him all the fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily,  (10)  and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;  (11)  in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;  (12)  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  (13)  You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (14)  wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;  (15)  having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  (16)  Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,  (17)  which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s.

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Preceding articles:

Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1

Genesis – Story of creation 6 Genesis 3:13-24 Enmity and curse

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading

  1. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  2. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  3. Holy Sabbath
  4. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  5. Are Christians required to keep the seventh day Sabbath?
  6. The Sabbath: Is it a special day for Christians?
  7. Sunday and the Sabbath (Pdf doc)
  8. We’re allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  9. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  10. Communion and day of worship
  11. More looking for similarities
  12. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  13. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  14. Promise given in Garden of Eden
  15. The one who set the standard
  16. Mediator
  17. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  18. Atonement and the race been bought
  19. Running the battle
  20. Glory of God appearing in our character
  21. Get Your Wonderful Disease-proof Human Body

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Further reading:

  • Did Jesus teach the Law of the Old Testament to the Jews?
  • What are we gonna do with this Torah?
  • A Case For Sabbath Observance
  • Keeping the Old Testament Law
  • You Are Judged According to Your Beliefs
  • Tithing
  • Shabbat Nachamu (thejc.com)
    The Shabbat after Tishah b’Av is called Shabbat Nachamu, meaning the Shabbat of comfort. It is named after the first words of the haftarah from Isaiah 40, “Comfort, comfort my people”.
    After the deepening mourning of the three weeks for the Temples’ destruction leading up to Tishah b’Av, (culminating in not eating meat or bathing in the days preceding the fast), this Shabbat brings comfort and relief.
  • Parsha Emor: Is There A Shabbat In Other Realms? (jewishpress.com)
    In our Torah reading for holidays, we not only recite the laws of holidays, we include Shabbat, and oddest of all, some laws about sacrificing animals. What do all these laws have to do with one another? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman makes a fascinating argument about how Shabbat works and shows that there are shabbatot in different realms.
  • Shabbat Chol Hamo’ed Pesach (thejc.com)
    In general, it is fair to characterise the Torah commentators of the Middle Ages such as Rashi, Avraham ibn Ezra or Ramban as looking to provide the real meaning of the text.
    This contrasts with the Chasidic writers of the last 300 years, who often afford themselves considerable latitude and allow the words of the Torah to soar and lead us to a truth and meaning well beyond the original context. Such interpretations may not obviously explain the literal meaning of the words but can be powerful insights into our spiritual lives.
  • The Early Christians of Philippi (catholicexchange.com)
    Lydia was a business woman who dealt in purple cloth – she is therefore sometimes referred to as “Lydia Purpuraria” – Lydia the Purple-Seller.  She evidently had roots in Asia Minor (Turkey) for she was said to be of Thyatira … an ancient city there (in a region curiously called “Lydia”).  After being baptized, Lydia generously let her home in Philippi be
  • Note on the Physical Land of Israel: Who Inherits the Land of Israel – Christian or Jew? (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    This irrevocable promise to the seed of Abraham has been expanded.  It is no longer bound to the land of Palestine.  In Romans 4:13, we find that Paul states that Abraham is the “heir of the world.”  This is also stated in Psalms 25:13: “His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth” (Cf. Psalm 37:9, 11, 27).   Thus, it would seem that the promise of the land has extended to the entire world.
    This is not merely a Pauline distinctive.  We also find this idea in Jewish intertestamental writings.

Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1

Man living in Garden of Eden in Days of God

At a certain time in history of the universe the Divine Creator made “from the dust of the ground” a human being. Just with dust man would be nothing so there had to be a spark or something special to bring the material to live. The “essence” of the being for man came  from God Who is the “Supreme Being” Itself.

Michelangelo's painting of the sin of Adam and...
Michelangelo’s painting of the sin of Adam and Eve (the Fall of Man) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eternal Spirit Who Is Who He is the Being in Itself made man in His own image by His Voice and by “a spark”, or particle, scintillated from His Divine Nature, giving the being life, having intelligent faculty and existence independently of the substantial organism with which it is associated.

Man felt lonely and got a partner, a mannin or woman, called Eve. Together they could sojourn freely in the Garden of Eden. In essence they where good and had the free will to stay good, by keeping to the ordinances of their heavenly Father.

Seventh day Day of rest for God

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Merneptah_Israel_Stele_Cairo.JPG/300px-Merneptah_Israel_Stele_Cairo.JPG
The Merneptah stele. While alternative translations exist, the majority of biblical archaeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as “Israel“, representing the first instance of the name Israel in the historical record.

They too came to understand the days of God and how they should honour Him and respect His creation. For them the seventh day was also a day of rest where they could show how much they loved their Creator. We do not know whether the earth’s first population organised themselves by means of a seven day week. Whereas other periods of time or various calender units based on the time the earth takes to revolve once around the sun (the day, month and year) are based upon observable movements of stars and planets, the seven day week has no such basis-that can be found only in the explanation in Genesis. As the time passed days, month and years got names. A Rosh Chodashim (head of the months) came to exist next to a month of the salvation or Chodesh ha Yeshuah,  a month of redemption or Chodesh hageulah, a year of recompense and many others.

From beginning the stars, planets and man’s being may have been very complex and not understandable for man. Darkness and light made a difference for him giving him an idea of a time element. But the things man did not know seemed to worry them. Also the matter that That Holy Spirit they could not be seen made their mind weary. They started wondering how This Spirit could order days and demand them to take rest or have  period of inactivity, relaxation, or sleep, on a certain day and not to eat from a certain fruit-tree, calling it the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was going to bring life and death over man.

Organisation of days and food provision

In case man had decided to organise his living according to periods of seven days nowhere can we find proof that God said they would be punished for not resting on the seventh day. They had total freedom of choice about this. In fact, God gave no instructions about how the seventh day should be spent until after the nation of Israel had been brought out of Egypt (the Shemoth) and led miraculously through the Red Sea into the wilderness of Sinai. Being a large community, they needed a good and regular supply of food and water, but in desert conditions these were very scarce. The people soon complained, and wished they were back in Egypt. A further miracle brought them their food. Each morning around their camp

“there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as the hoarfrost on the ground” (Exodus 16:14).

The food was called “manna“, and could be collected for six days each week.

This was literally food which could be eaten. On the first five days each week any manna not eaten that day, but kept overnight “bred worms, and became foul”.
On the sixth day, if a double portion was collected, it would keep fresh for use on the seventh day when no manna was available. Moses asked them to eat that manna that day for that seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah God. Therefore they could not find any manna in the field. Take attention that Moshe or Moses says it was a ‘day of rest for Jehovah’ and not ‘day of rest for man’.
In this way the pattern of work and rest was enforced for the nation of Israel:

Exodus 16:25-26 NHEBJE  Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Jehovah. Today you shall not find it in the field.  (26)  Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath. In it there shall be none.”

Six days of gathering and one day of rest: God’s activity in Creation thus became the example for His nation. For the first time in the Bible, the word “Sabbath” is used. It means simply ‘to cease‘ ( to bring or come to an end), and is used to describe the day when the manna discontinued falling down from heaven and the Israelites rested from their labours, as God had from His.

Laws to control the activity of the nation

In those days of Moses and his people shortly after the manna was first provided, it also was the moment in time that God gave through Moses laws to control the activity of the nation. Today those written rules are mostly known as the Ten Commandments by which people where told to have only One True Eternal Spirit God of Whom no graven images where to be made. Of the people was also demanded in the fourth commandment to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy or sanctified, which means to have it been kept apart, not being it the same as other days. Also it was told they could work six days but the seventh day they should take a Sabbath to the Lord their God. In it they had not to do any work .

Exodus 20:8-12 NHEBJE  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  (9)  You shall labor six days, and do all your work,  (10)  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;  (11)  for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.  (12)  “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Jehovah your God gives you.

As for the manna, so for all of Israel’s activities the pattern would be six days of labour followed by one day of rest. We may not forget for man to be able to stay alive he had to work hard. Everything had to be done by hand. Labour was at first not a  physical toil done for wages, but was a necessary act for providing food. In the early days in the Garden of Eden there did not exist a difficult or arduous work or effort. they had not to strive or work hard for something, but when then opposed God, Adam and Eve had been disobedient to God‘s commandments, Jehovah sentenced them and their descendants to hard toil in order to produce their necessary food.

We also can find the Psalmist referring to such work which was done until the evening (Psalm 104:23). From the fall of man onwards the daily work he had to do became a constant reminder of his mortality; the certainty that he is “dust, and to dust (he) shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Significance of introduction of Sabbath commands

God’s people experienced many wonders by God and by them they could survive. God freely provided their daily food, but they had to work to gather it, except on the seventh day. The difficulty of walking through the dessert and gathering food was to make them conscience of the punishments brought upon the world as a result of Adam‘s disobedience.

The day they had not to gather the food from heaven, they had to remember what they had received the previous days. That day of not to provide for their food they could contemplate and take more time to think about God. That day of rest, on the Sabbath, would give man time to meditate on God’s works and to let him identify himself with God, and with the completion of His creation, when He was able to review

“everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Measures to bring man back to God

Though man could see all the wonders of God and they had received brains to create things themselves as well, they wanted more. God had given their mind to think and to make their own decisions. At one point in time they choose to go their own way, against the Will of God, and throughout history many times they went astray, but God always came back to them to help them out.

It was from that moment when Adam and Eve had revolted against their Maker that God had to take measures to bring them back to their senses and back to Almighty God, the Most High.

When Adam and Eve where expelled from the Garden of Eden and had created a family, their descendants also could not always follow the Way of God, wherefore the Elohim gave them more rules and regulations so that they could keep themselves on the safe path.

Man choose to create their own regulations and wanted to create their own calendars and wanted to say what to do what they ever wanted on whatever day. But for God not all actions of man were acceptable. He clearly told them what would be appropriate for man to do and what would be an abomination in the eyes of God.

Showing willingness to come to God

Throughout the ages lots went wrong and often God came back into the picture to guide His people back onto the right track. Already from the beginning of the fall of man God provided a solution for their sin, but first they also had to show they where willing to come to God again. Every individual has now the own choice to choose either to be for God or against Him, to follow His ordinances or to refuse the right to God to demand certain things from man.

In later writings we shall come to see how the promises of God for the solution against the fall of man became a reality which took away the many chains the people had gotten over them by the years.

In subsequent readings you shall, hopefully, come to see how a Nazarene man, called Jeshua, today better known as Jesus became the man who brought salvation and who is the embodiment of Israel. Those who follow that Nazarene man and call themselves Christian should know who that man is and what his teachings are, but also keep to his teachings, so that they can be part of the Body of Christ and be part of the (new or renewed) true and faithful Israel.

Finding difficulties to keep to God’s Laws

It took many centuries but God’s people Israel bounded to the Mosaic Laws often found it a burden, therefore the loving God foresaw also an abrogation of many laws. Jesus namely was to come to install the New Covenant between God and man, which would do away with, or annul, especially by authority given to Christ Jesus, several Judaic Laws.

Those who would embrace the faith of Abraham could make their choice for God sealed, not by worldly proofs, but by spiritual proofs. They would not have to have a real body circumcision but should be circumcised by putting on Christ in baptism, thus partaking imputatively of the literal circumcision of which Christ was subject under the law, becoming the children of Abraham, and heirs of the promises made to him.

Bartolomeo Montagna - Saint Paul - Google Art Project.jpg
Saul of Tarsus was called by Christ and became an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ and founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe in the first-century world of the common era.

The Jew Saul of Tarsus took some time to come to understand God’s new ordinances but by the new light having come he made a testimony that we can face a world where there is neither Jew (believing descendant from Abraham’s tribe) nor Greek, Roman, or Goyim (gentile; a non-Jewish person or an unbeliever), but that all have the free choice to go their way. There would neither be a servant nor freeman, neither male nor female, or no distinction in the eyes of God, all being made equal and all having to make their own choice. And those baptised into Christ should all be one in Christ Jesus, liberated by him.

Galatians 3:27-29 NHEBJE  (27)  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  (28)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (29)  If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.

Children of promise made free

United in Christ Christians should not be barren any more having broken forth knowing they are brethren and sisters and as Isaac was, being children of promise.  Though still being born according to the flesh the mind we received can be used to come to knowledge and with the right insight making us to make the right choices. Those who choose to follow Christ Jesus are children of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

Galatians 4:27-31 NHEBJE  (27)  For it is written, “Rejoice, you barren who do not bear. Break forth and shout, you that do not travail. For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband.”  (28)  Now you, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise.  (29)  But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.  (30)  However what does the Scripture say? “Throw out the handmaid and her son, for the son of the handmaid will not inherit with the son of the free woman.”  (31)  So then, brothers, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the free woman.

Those liberated by Christ should not take up the old burdens but should face the Saviour Jesus who is the new Genesis (New World), by who’s life we can see the embodiment of the new Exodus.

We should come to see that Jesus is fulfilling Israel’s history and  bringing it to a climax.

 

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Preceding articles:

Genesis – Story of creation 6 Genesis 3:13-24 Enmity and curse

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading

  1. “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
  2. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  3. God giving signs and producing wonders
  4. What is life?
  5. Dying or not
  6. Possibility to live
  7. Blindness in the Christian world
  8. A learning process for each of us
  9. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  10. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  11. A prophet to restore
  12. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  13. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  14. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  15. Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh
  16. Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant
  17. Hosea Say What?
  18. Born to Shine not to fear!
  19. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  20. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  21. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  22. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  23. In case you find contradiction between Old and New Testament
  24. Together tasting a great promise
  25. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  26. Glory of God appearing in our character – The Face of Moses and Law on Tablets of stone
  27. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  28. The Law of Christ: Law of Love

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Further related reading:

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Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

All I need say in conclusion is, that if it be necessary to keep Sunday as the Jews were required to keep Saturday by the law of Moses, then those who make so much ado about sabbath-breaking are themselves as guilty as those they denounce for the unholy and profane.

“He that offendeth in one point is guilty of the whole.”

If they do not keep open shop, or perambulate the parks and fields, or take excursions, or go to places of public resort and amusement on the Lord’s day — yet, they light fires in the dwellings and meeting houses, they entertain their friends at comfortable warm dinners, drive to church in splendid equipages, annoy the sick and distract the sober-minded with noisy bells, bury the dead, speak their own words, etc. — all of which is a violation of the divine law which saith,

“Thou shalt not do any work, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle”;

and

“Thou shalt not speak thine own words”.

This would certainly put to silence nearly all the preachers of the day; whose “sermons”, when made by themselves, are emphatically their own in thoughts and words without dispute. It is not only ridiculous, but downright Pharisaism,* the fuss that is made about breaking the sabbath. Let the zealots** “first cast the beam out of their own eyes; and then will they see clearly to cast out the mote from the eyes of others”. If they would “keep the day to the Lord,” let them believe and obey the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus; and then “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”  on the “first day”; and cease from the works of sinful flesh (Galatians 5:19) every day of the week; and they will doubtless “delight in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob” in the Kingdom of God, as the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.

Acts 2:42 The Scriptures 1998+  (42)  And they were continuing steadfastly in the teaching of the emissaries, and in the fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.

Galatians 5:19-23 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery,1 whoring, uncleanness, indecency, Footnote: 1Only Textus Receptus contains adultery.  (20)  idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,  (21)  envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.1 Footnote: 11 Cor. 6:10.  (22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Torah.

Of the things then which have been written under this head this is the sum.

1. The six creation-days were each as long as the seventh, whose duration is defined by the Mosaic law; and consequently the geological notion of their being six several periods of many centuries each, falls to the ground as a mere conceit of infidel philosophy.
2. The Lord God ended His work on the seventh day,. “and was refreshed” by the songs of the Morning Stars, and the joyous shouts of the Sons of God.
3. To celebrate His rest, He constituted it holy and a day of blessing. Hence it was commemorative of the past, and “a shadow of things to come”.
4. The seventh day was observed by Adam and Eve as a day of delight before they became sinners. The immediate cause of their joyousness on the day of rest is not testified. It is certain it was not a burdensome day; for sin had not yet marred their enjoyments. It was probably because of the gracious interviews granted them by the Lord God on that day; and of the revelations made to them of the things contained in the blessing pronounced upon it when He “blessed and sanctified it”.
5. There is no record, or hint, of the existence of a penal statute for not observing the seventh day, from the sanctification of it till the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness of Egypt.
6. The observance of the seventh day by absolute rest from every kind of work and pleasure-taking, accompanied by a peculiar sacrifice on the brazen altar of the temple, and spiritual delight in its blessedness, was its Mosaic celebration enjoined upon the Israelites, and their dependants in Palestine, and upon them alone.
7. Its profanation by citizens of the commonwealth of Israel was punishable with death by stoning.
8. Israel was especially commanded to remember the seventh day and keep it as appointed by the law; because God in creating their world brought them out of Egypt, and rested from the work of its creation when He gave them a temporary and typical rest under Joshua in the land of Canaan.

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat ...
Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai synagogue wall in Jerusalem. Top row, right to left: Reuben, Judah, Dan, Asher Middle: Simeon, Issachar, Naphtali, Joseph Bottom: Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Benjamin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9. For an Israelite to remember the seventh day to keep it holy, spiritually as well as ceremonially, so as to obtain the blessing which it shadowed forth, he must have had an Abrahamic faith (Romans 4:12, 18–22. Read the whole chapter diligently)  in the promised blessing, and have ceased or rested from the works of “sinful flesh”.
10. The blessing promised to Israelites, who were Abraham’s sons by faith as well as by flesh descent, for a spiritual observance of the seventh day (and which, until “the handwriting”, or Mosaic law, was blotted out and nailed to the cross, could not be spiritually observed and ceremonially profaned) was, that they should “delight in the Lord, ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob their father”, when the time to fulfil the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should arrive.
11. The blessing pronounced on a national observance of the seventh day was the uninterrupted continuance of the throne of David, and great national prosperity. Its desecration to be punished by the breaking up of the commonwealth of Israel and desolation of their country.
12. The Mosaic observance of the seventh day was appointed as “a sign” between God and the twelve tribes of Israel. It was a holy day to them, and to be observed perpetually throughout their generations. (Matthew 1:17 — the forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ.)
13. It was lawful for Israelites to do good on the seventh day; but they were not permitted to be the judges of the good or evil. This was defined by the law. The priests profaned the sabbath by hard work in slaying and burning the seventh day sacrifices on the altar, yet they were blameless; because this was a good work which the Lord of the sabbath commanded them to do.
14. Having finished the work the Father had given him to do,a on the sixth day of the week, Jesus, while suspended on the accursed tree, cried with a loud voice, “It is finished!” (John 19:28–30) “All things were now accomplished”, so that the Mosaic handwriting was blotted out, being nailed with him to the cross, and taken out of the way as a rule of life. The Lord Jesus, “rested from his labours” on the seventh day in the silent tomb, and “his disciples rested according to the commandment”. (Luke 23:56)

Luke 23:56 The Scriptures 1998+  (56)  And having returned, they prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the command.

He abode in his place. and did not go out of it until the sabbath was at an end.

Mark 16:1 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And when the Sabbath was past, Miryam from Maḡdala, and Miryam the mother of Yaʽaqoḇ, and Shelomah bought spices, to go and anoint Him.

But on the eighth day, styled also the first day, God gave him liberty, (Matthew 28:2) he left the tomb, and “was refreshed”. Having “spoiled the principalities and the powers” constituted by the handwriting, he made the spoliation manifest, “triumphing over in himself” (ἐν αὐτῳ̂), that is, in his resurrection; thus, for ever delivering men from the bondage of the law, which, Peter says, “was a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear”. (Acts  of the apostles 15:10) With the abolition of the Mosaic handwriting the obligation to keep the seventh day as a rule of spiritual life was cancelled as a matter of course.

Acts 15:10 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  “Now then, why do you try Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

15. The apostles and Christians (Acts 21:20) of the Hebrew nation in Palestine continued a ceremonial observance of the Mosaic festivals (Acts 21:24–26.) (the annual atonement for sin excepted) and of the seventh day, until the destruction of the commonwealth by the Romans, on the same principle that New Testament Christians among the nations now observe Sunday and the laws; not as a means of justification before God, but as mere national customs for the regulation of society.

Acts 21:24-26 The Scriptures 1998+  (24)  “Take them and be cleansed with them, and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah.  (25)  “But concerning the gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should keep themselves from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring.”1 Footnote: 1See 15:20.  (26)  Then Sha’ul took the men on the next day, and having been cleansed with them, went into the Set-apart Place to announce the completion of the days of separation – until the offering should be presented for each one of them.

16. Hebrew Christians who proposed to blend the law of Moses with that of Jesus as a spiritual rule, or means of justification, and consequently to keep holy the seventh day, were severely reproved by the apostles, who stigmatised it as “Judaizing”(ʼΙουδαΐζειν).

Galatians 2:14-16: The Scriptures 1998+  (14)  But when I saw that they are not walking straight according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Kĕpha before them all, “If you, being a Yehuḏite, live as a gentile and not as the Yehuḏim, why do you compel gentiles to live as Yehuḏim?

(15) “We, Yehuḏim by nature, and not of the gentiles, sinners,
(16 ) knowing that a man is not declared right by works of Torah, but through belief in יהושע (Jeshua) Messiah, even we have believed in Messiah יהושע, in order to be declared right by belief in Messiah and not by works of Torah, because by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right.

17. The Judaizing Christians endeavoured to impose the observance of the law upon the Gentile converts, which would have compelled them to keep holy the seventh day. But the apostles and elders of the Christian community at Jerusalem positively forbade it, and wrote to them, saying,

“We have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words subverting your souls, saying, Be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment”.

On the contrary,

“it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 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.” (Acts 15:24–29)

18. Upon the first day of the week (or day after the seventh, and therefore sometimes styled the eighth day), the disciples of Christ assembled to show forth his death, and to celebrate his resurrection; which, with an enduring rest from the works of “sinful flesh”, was all the sabbatizing they practised.
19. There is no law in the scriptures requiring the nations to keep this day in any manner whatever during his absence at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. So long as they continue faithless and disobedient to the gospel of the kingdom, neither nations nor individuals can present an acceptable observance of the day before the Lord; on the principle that “Jehovah is far from the wicked, whose way and sacrifice are an abomination to the Lord”: (Proverbs 15:8, 9, 26–29) — and,
20. The “first day” was Judaized by Constantine, the manchild of sin, (Revelation of apostle John 12:2, 5) and his clergy. His present representative is the Italian high priest of Papal Christendom. When his power, and that of his kings, is finally destroyed in “the burning flame”; when Israel is engrafted into their own olive again, and the nations are subdued to the glorious sceptre of the king of saints — then will this day become the holy sabbath, “blessed and sanctified” of God instead of the shadowy seventh day, which was merely “a sign” of the things which will then have come to pass.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 24–27). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

*

Notes:

  • Pharisaism or Phariseeism: Hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit; sanctimoniousness.
  • The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought in the Holy Land during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism (the term ‘Judaism’ today almost always refers to Rabbinic Judaism).
  • Zealots (Judea): Jewish faction traced back to the revolt of the Maccabees (2d cent. BCE) and a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Judaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66-70). The name was first recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus as a designation for the groups called “fourth sect” or Jewish resistance fighters of the war of CE 66–73.
    The extended sense of zealot as a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals is recorded from the mid 17th century.

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Preceding articles:

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Related articles:

  1. Holy Sabbath
  2. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  3. Are Christians required to keep the seventh day Sabbath?
  4. The Sabbath: Is it a special day for Christians?
  5. Sunday and the Sabbath (Pdf doc)
  6. Blindness in the Christian world
  7. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  8. We’re allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  9. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  10. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  11. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  12. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  13. Was Jesus Religious
  14. Communion and day of worship
  15. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  16. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  17. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  18. Preparation for unity
  19. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  20. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  21. Hosea Say What?

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Further background articles:

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