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The Third (Honoring and Worshipping Yehovah - The Law)

I want to start this week's newsletter with a reminder that my only intention is to share what we have learned and believe, not to force our beliefs on others or judge others for what they believe.  The reason I say this is because some of the things I say in this email tend to become sensitive subjects to some, and I don't want the misunderstanding that if anyone doesn't agree with us we judge them for that.  Everyone needs to study and form their own beliefs, otherwise they're just words and are not what's in your heart.  And the only thing that matters when you get to the Judgment Seat is what's in your heart.

So what could be so controversial that I would say all that?  The subject may give it away to some.  I'm talking about the things we do for Yehovah to be good children and honor and worship Him like what day we worship, what holy days we observe, and what commandments we follow. 

First, let's talk about why some don't follow the Law of Moses (the Ten Commandments, the hundreds of other commandments, and the feasts of the Lord).  A couple reasons people don't follow the Law is 1) They believe because they are Gentiles (not Israelites) the Law doesn't apply to them, and 2) They believe Jesus' crucifixion fulfilled the Law and therefore it is no longer required to be followed. 

The first reason is usually based on Acts 15:1-29, where Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem with the question of whether Gentiles should be commanded to follow the Law of Moses.  In verses 7-10, Peter points out that God chose to send the gospel out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and in doing so believers received the Holy Ghost just the same.  He says this means there's no difference between them (the Jews) and the Gentiles.  God purified their hearts through faith as well, so why are they going to "tempt God" and put that yoke upon them when even their ancestors couldn't follow the commandments without stumbling (see all the times in the Old Testament that the Israelites turned from God).  By "tempt God" he meant that by calling on the Gentiles to follow the commandments they were distrusting God that the Gentiles were purified enough to receive the Holy Spirit and they instead needed the Law in order to be pure.  So instead, Peter says to write to the Gentiles and tell them some key things they should follow: no worshiping idols, no fornication, no eating things strangled and no eating/drinking blood.  And the next part is key, "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day," (vs 21).  This verse has two important things in it: 1) The Law of Moses is being preached in the synagogues anyway, so the Gentiles are hearing God's commandments, and 2) the Gentiles are hearing the Law of Moses because they're going to the synagogues and worshipping on the sabbath.  We'll get into more detail on these a bit later.

The second reason is usually based on Matthew 5:17,18, where Jesus says He came to fulfill the Law, and that "one jot or one tittle" won't pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.  They believe that since Jesus fulfilled the Law when He was crucified, the Law is now passed and no longer required to be followed.  What is being misinterpreted here is that Jesus' crucifixion is the fulfillment of the Law.  They're also missing the part that says "Till heaven and earth pass..."  This is clearly a reference to Revelation 21:1 where the first heaven and the first earth pass away, meaning the law is not passed until this occurs. 

So what exactly is, "The Law of Moses"?  Most people are aware of the Ten Commandments as being in the Law of Moses.  Some people are also aware that there are hundreds of other commandments in the Old Testament that are in the Law of Moses (>300 of them).  Not a lot of people are aware that holy days like Passover and Pentecost are also in the Law of Moses, under the category of the Feasts of the Lord.  When Jesus was saying that He came to fulfill the Law, the Feasts of the Lord is what He was referring to.  All being fulfilled means all the events of the world that are represented in the Feasts of the Lord are complete, and this will not occur until Jesus comes again to reign on earth.  Have you ever thought about why heaven and earth were created in seven days?  Why not three?  Why not ten?  And why a rest on the seventh?  God doesn't need rest.  Why did God tell the Israelites to observe the Feasts?  And why did He choose to make them do the things they did on those feasts?

I'm glad you asked!  To explain the representation of the Feasts in the events of the world, I'm going to start towards the middle of them since we more accurately know when Jesus was crucified than when He was born.  If you look closely at the events at Jesus' death, you'll find that Jesus died on the day of Passover (Luke 22:7 through 23:46), the same day that Yehovah required a spotless lamb to be sacrificed to cleanse the Israelites of their sins.  The day of His resurrection was firstfruits, where the priest takes the first of the ripe barley and presents it to God.  Jesus was the firstfruits of the saved (1 Cor 15:20,23), and presented himself on the day of firstfruits to God (John 20:17).  There's a lot of question about when Jesus was actually born (no, it wasn't December 25), and this site https://www.luziusschneider.com/Papers/JesusDateOfBirth.htm is a very detailed analysis that comes to the conclusion that it was during the Feast of Tabernacles (commemorating God dwelling with the Israelites and leading them through the wilderness for forty years).  This makes sense because the Feast of Tabernacles comes before Passover.  Following firstfruits comes Pentecost.  On the day of Pentecost, following Jesus' resurrection, the Holy Spirit came to dwell among men (Acts 2:1-4).  God gave us these Feasts to show us His plan for us.  Talk about a spoiler alert!  The next Feast is the Feast of Trumpets, corresponding to the trumpets of Revelation.  Following this is the Day of Atonement (or repentance), which is where we will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Then it starts over with the Feast of Tabernacles and Jesus dwells on earth to reign, and heaven and earth will then pass away!

Since this email is already getting on the long side, I'll save the reason for a seven day week for another time, and I'm going to kind of speed through this last part.  Nowhere does scripture say to stop following the Law or cease observing the feasts.  While we are Gentiles (that we know of.  There are descendents of the 10 tribes of Israel still in the world that don't even know they're Israelites), God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) meaning He doesn't see Jews or Gentiles as we are all His children.  As His children, Sara Gene and I believe in observing the Feasts and following the commandments (including remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it holy).  We also believe in not adding to what God has commanded (Deuteronomy 4:2) or learning/following the ways of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2, 2 Chronicles 36:14, 2 Chronicles 28:3, etc.).  Many of the celebrations Christians partake in have their roots in paganism, with some seriously disturbing rituals like sacrificing babies and children.  As a result, we no longer celebrate them.  This includes Christmas (Christmas trees are actually talked about in Jeremiah 10:3,4, the decision of celebrating it on December 25 was due to the festival of Saturnalia occurring at that time, and rituals included sacrificing babies and covering a boar's testicles with their blood-hence red ornaments on trees), Easter (which has its roots in the fertility goddess Ishtar), Lent (which has its roots in a ritual mourning the death of Ishtar's son, Tammuz), and Sunday worship (which has its roots in the worship of the Sun God).  The true origins of these events are too much for us to ignore.

Peter knew that hearing the Law on the Sabbath would cause the Gentiles to want to follow it, to please God as His children.  They would want to follow them from their heart, not from being commanded to.  That's how we feel.  We're still new on this walk, and we're learning every day.  But make no mistake, we know not everyone holds these beliefs, and we certainly don't judge anyone for not believing them (Rom 14:4,10). 

We love you, and God bless you!

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