This discussion has stemmed from the discussion regarding the rights of gays to marry. Some members have argued for the position, that the law is still to be followed in it’s literal instruction, while others have argued that it ended with Christ. A 3rd position has argued from a middle position - the law is to be followed but understood spiritually and morally.
My understanding of the Sabbath laws, using a literal hermeneutic is that there is to be absolutely no work done on the Sabbath with few exceptions. The few exceptions do not desecrate the day nor do they provide just cause to label the act “unlawful”. Thus I would ask why did Jesus call it “desecrate” and “unlawful” if in fact it was not?
In the Case of the priests of Leviticus 16, there were obvious provisions. But Jesus’ answer is an interesting one indeed. First he states that the priest desecrates the day. If I were a Pharisee, I would argue that the priest in fact did not desecrate the day. Then I would ask Jesus (just as I’ll ask you) from your above statement: where do you see necessary work in the OT being a provision? I see the work of the priest but never do I see “necessary” work. In fact this leads me to
my next point:
The problem I see with the alternative views is that Jesus is not meeting the provisions of the Sabbath. Not only this, but he also seems to ask others to do things for which could wait – healing, or carrying one’s mat home, possibly even leaving your sheep in a pit for the evening until the next day (provided you keep the sheep safe). Thus I would assume that one would have to argue that pulling a sheep out of a pit is within provision of the Sabbath. Please provide the scripture that states one can pull the sheep out of the pit. One can carry his mat home on the Sabbath, please provide the scriptures?
Yes we see the priests had certain duties that are outlined by God as permissible. But where is your evidence that “necessary work” is a provision? Are you reading into the text? I am arguing – WE ALL ARE, INCLUDING JESUS. The ones closest to not reading into the text were the Pharisees, for one to have legal grounds to pull your sheep out of a pit, one needs a provision from God that allows one to pull the sheep out of the pit on the Sabbath. But God does not give such a provision – he only gives the priests provisions – under a strict literal approach.
Was Jesus reading into the text? I think he was – and rightly so. To me Jesus is reading the law with SUBTEXT.
Jesus lays out a problem for us: Notice Jesus does not say “You can do vocational work”. Nor does Jesus argue “It’s ok to do necessary work”. His argument against the Pharisees is “You can do good work”. I would argue Jesus means ALL GOOD WORK is permissible on the Sabbath. – but where is he getting that from the OT?
Whether the good work is vocational OR unnecessary is irrelevant – which is why Jesus does not employ such an argument.
So let’s analyze this further: On what day of the week are we to do bad (evil) work? I think everyone will agree – on no day of the week can we conduct evil. So if God permits only good work on the Sabbath and only good work throughout the week then “rest” as we understand it – is not literal. For if rest is what God wants then why does he permit good work? The Pharisees understood it as in “NO WORK AT ALL” (primarily because that’s what the text says literally) - and that’s why I see Kelly in agreement with the Pharisees which is why I understand her response to me “That’s how I do it” to indicate that to her it’s unlawful to do “non-vocational” work on the Sabbath. But that is not entirely true. It’s unlawful to do BAD WORK on the Sabbath. It’s lawful to do GOOD WORK on the Sabbath (vocational or non-vocation; necessary or un-necessary). Therefore the rest is about doing what is right. To do evil is to live in unrest and weeping and gnashing of teeth. To live in righteousness (good) is to live in peace; the image of God, which according to Paul “is all that matters” – our rest resides in the peace of God, not in sitting our tushes on a sofa.
So Bob and I have asked this question:
What OT text do you cite to sustain “Thou shalt not do any unnecessary work”.
You asked, “Where is Peter’s rejection of Gentile behavior found?” I was thinkkng of Acts 10:28, “You are aware that it’s against the Law for a Jew to associate with Gentiles.” And Paul’s critique: “Peter, you make Gentiles follow Jewish customs… but through the Law I died to the Law” (Gal. 2:14,19). So Acts 15 explains his changed approach: “Some believers said that Gentiles must keep the Law of Moses… But Peter said, Why do you put on their necks a yoke that we have not been able to bear?” It thus appears to most that Peter’s approach to expecting the cleanliness laws to be followed was reversed after God confronted him about his rejection of Gentile behavior regarding it.
It’s been repeatedly stated that N.T. Christians remain under Mosaic Law’s requirements (e.g. by all 3 reformed writers in “Five Views of the Law”). If so, it would seem right to make “judgments” concerning their violation. But to me explanations of opposing texts that convinced Luther otherwise seem far fetched. So I ask:
When accused of breaking the law against any “work,” did Jesus insist, Yes, “I work” on the Sabbath?
Does Hebrews 8:7,13; 9:10; 10:1 then say, “If nothing had been wrong with that 1st (Mosaic) Covenant, no place would be sought for another… So God made it obsolete… It was a matter of food & drink… external regulations applying (only) until the time of the new order… For the law was only a shadow of the good things to come”?
Does Paul say, "The Law was in charge of us until Christ came… You’re not under the Law… We’ve been released from the Law… For Jesus brought the Law to an end (telos)?
So did the apostles then urge Christians not to follow even the Mosaic laws regarding circumcision?
My sense is that Luther had good reason to answer all four questions in the affirmative.
Howdy Bob! I just wanted to clarify that I have not stated that anyone should remain “under Mosaic law’s requirements”. I have stated that if we are saved by grace through faith because of our perfect sacrifice (Yeshua/Jesus) and if we carry within us the Holy Spirit, we should be reflecting righteousness outwardly, or being holy because He is Holy and He dwells in us, instead of resembling those who are still in sin and/or ignorant of God. Further, because we are no longer “under the law” but, are lending our will to God in His sanctifying process so that we are growing in righteousness, we encourage one another in it. Judging fruit is acceptable. Judging someone’s salvation is not because we are not yet who we are becoming nor, do we know another’s intentions or heart.
I am not a fan of Luther.
Luther’s other major works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies), and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ), both published in 1543, three years before his death. Luther argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people but “the devil’s people”: he referred to them with violent, vile language. Luther advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews’ property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these “poisonous envenomed worms” would be forced into labour or expelled “for all time”. In Robert Michael’s view, Luther’s words “We are at fault in not slaying them” amounted to a sanction for murder. Luther’s “recommendations” for how to treat the Jews was a clear reference to the “sharp mercy” of Deuteronomy 13, the punishments prescribed by Moses for those who led others to “false gods”.
Something to think about.
Could you let me know what scripture(s) are you speaking of here, Bob? I’m not sure what to address and I want to give a clear response.
What was wrong with the Mosaic Covenant?
1.)It was not an adequate way to obtain salvation/be justified.
2.)Animal sacrifice did not take away sin.
3.)The high priest was not without sin.
So, good things came, the shadow became real. The real (perfect) sacrifice for sin took away sin, as the animal sacrifice foreshadowed. The “real” High Priest, who was without sin and who is to the ages of the ages came and performed His duty as High Priest, as foreshadowed. The “law” was written on our hearts and minds and we now obey it from our hearts (love for God and neighbor) outwardly and with our minds inwardly (with knowledge) of the shadow filled by HIM in the “new order”. If this “new order” has come and the shadow is filled by Messiah and we are living this way inwardly, why should it not be a witness to others of His greatness? Not of external regulations but, as a outward sign of a changed of heart?
Circumcision was still an acceptable practice in the early church. However, Paul warned it was not sufficient for justification/salvation. If your inward man was circumcised (circumcision of the heart), outward circumcision was acceptable as a sign of the inward man. But, without “circumcision of the heart, outward circumcision was of no use to you.
Jesus said . . .
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
Paul said . . .
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Also, it is written . . .
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
I realize my comments may not be directly applicable to this particular conversation, but allow me a few personal observations…
It is possible to state the “law” in a much more positive manner (instead of don’t do x,y,z etc.) That is, when you see and respond appropriately to the True God, you wouldn’t dream of killing, or stealing, or coveting and so on. And of course you would worship only Him in Spirit and Truth and the thought of considering another God would be unthinkable. That day when our fallen condition necessitated God stating His positive ideals in a negative format (all the “don’ts) surely must have been a very sad one for Him… Or, stated slightly differently, when one becomes the creature God intended, he wouldn’t dream of acting against God…
Well, if those realities are in fact the actual basis for the law, why on earth would you want to do away with that law? You wouldn’t; but instead would want to fulfill the law. And a “law” which some have had the audacity to condense into the simple command to love; God and neighbor. So “the law” never really goes away or becomes irrelevant or unnecessary. The very same realities undergird “the law” that undergird everything that supposedly has replaced that “law”.
Enter then the Sabbath; a tangible symbol and weekly reality and reminder of all those truths which form the basis for both the law AND that more enlightened state that comes after the very specific witness of The Christ which we’ve taken to calling Grace.
Sabbath: Memorial of creation (ie our source, and origins; a reminder therefore of our worth and dignity) (that’s the Exodus 20 version and vision)
Sabbath: Memorial of our Redemption (Deut 5 vision: redeemed and rescued from slavery and bondage!)
Sabbath: Grand celebrations to be held regularly in the New Jerusalem (Is 66) when God’s Victory over sin is complete
So for me, I’ve come to see the Sabbath as a gift – not a rule. A gift which helps me focus on the grounds upon which God has ordered His Universe; a gift which underlines the realities that form the foundation of God’s actions… Namely God as source and creator and redeemer and savior and ultimate Victor. And there’s nothing we can do to alter ANY of those realities. So Sabbath is also an invitation to participate in those realities.
Thus the Sabbath “keeps” us much more than we keep the Sabbath. (Keep: look after, care for, take care of, mind, watch over; preserve, protect, keep safe, shield, shelter, safeguard, defend, guard.) And Sabbath is an invitation away from law towards grace and is an invitation to progress from doing the right things merely because we are told to do them, and maturing toward doing them because they are right. And they are right because they emanate from the very heart of God Himself.
I said that I do it that way because I can. But, when someone needs to be healed or raised from the dead, etc., I get my “tush” off the “sofa” and do what needs to be done. If I can take care of those things on another day I do that too.
The pharisee’s however, made other rules of their own which they felt were acceptable to add to the Torah, like ritual hand washing. Those are evil works (according to Torah).
Also, evil works would be akin to working for money, making financial profit and wealth more important than trusting God for provision (ie: taking the day to rest instead of work to get more material wealth).
The Sabbath is a sign of what God is doing in us and who He is to us. It is NOT about being “under the law” or following anyone else’s rules who added to it.
“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.”—Exodus 31:13.
“Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.”—Ezekiel 20:12.
“And hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.”—Ezekiel 20:20.
I want to obey God’s laws but, not as a legal requirement, as a true loving commitment. My reasons for obeying Torah is an outward working of the heart changes taking place inside of me and that it is a sign to others of who HE is and what HE is doing in HIS people.
Anyone can flap their jaws about being saved but, the proof is in the puddin’, so to speak. The real question is, can we just take the day to remember and thank Him for being our God and sanctifying us?
Most christians think its ok to just sit on their tushes on Sunday because somehow magically, the Sabbath moved to that day, whats the big beef if I do it on the day God calls the Sabbath?
Here is what Yehovah said about the eunuchs and sons of the strangers that keep his sabbath.
1 Thus said Jehovah: Keep ye judgment, and do righteousness, For near [is] My salvation to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. ‘2 O the happiness of a man who doth this, And of a son of man who keepeth hold on it, Keeping the sabbath from polluting it, And keeping his hand from doing any evil. 3 Nor speak let a son of the stranger, Who is joined unto Jehovah, saying: Jehovah doth certainly separate me from His people.’ Nor say let the eunuch, Lo, I am a tree dried up, ‘4 For thus said Jehovah of the eunuchs, Who do keep My sabbaths, And have fixed on that which I desired, And are keeping hold on My covenant: 5 I have given to them in My house, And within My walls a station and a name, Better than sons and than daughters, A name age- during I give to him That is not cut off. 6 And sons of the stranger, who are joined to Yehovah, To serve Him, and to love the name of Yehovah, To be to Him for servants, Every keeper of the sabbath from polluting it, And those keeping hold on My covenant. 7 I have brought them unto My holy mountain, And caused them to rejoice in My house of prayer, Their burnt- offerings and their sacrifices [Are] for a pleasing thing on Mine altar, For My house, A house of prayer,’ Is called for all the peoples. 8 An affirmation of the Lord Yehovah, Who is gathering the outcasts of Israel: Again I gather to him – to his gathered ones. ’
I appreciate you joining the discussion and you sharing your view of the sabbath. However, I see everyday as a gift. I’m not saying my view is better, only that I find discrepencies in the literalist approach to the law.
Reminders are only that, they in and of themselves hold nothing. In communion Cathlolics believe in transubstantiation (spelling) - even in my own church it’s as if people think taking communion is critical to being a Christian. I don’t read Jesus like that. I read Jesus saying do this to remember me. But if someone remembers him w/o the ritual then God is pleased. So to me the ceremonial act of communion is nothing magical.
As I stated, The sabbath laws according to Jesus is that it’s lawful to do good work. But if Jesus is not employing a liberal interpretation, then I believe others need to build his case for him (hence the name of Bob’s paper “A Case Against Jesus”). Here’s what I anticipate. Most people will allude to the provisions for the preists.
But here’s the rub TV, if you were in Jesus’ time w/o a new testament, and you employed literal interpretation - Do you think you would side with Jesus or with the Sanhedrin? I submit that most literalists would end up in the Sanhedrins corner.
Kelly as I understand her (and Mr. Shepherd) accept Jesus “good work on the sabbath” proclamation because Jesus said it. Now if I’m wrong I await the Old Testament text stating that it’s ok to light fires on the sabbath or to bake your goods on the sabbath.
Auggy, I think communion is one of those things we’ve gotten wrong also. Its not some ceremony, but sharing life with believers. Especially with food. We’ve been so trained to think we need to do something churchy to have fellowship, but thats babylon, not ecclesia.
Red, you’re singing my song. As a kid growing up I thought I had to treat the ceremony with some reverence like I was going to offend God if I didn’t follow protocol. Once God gave me courage I questioned it and found the early church was eating meals together and suddenly the community of believers (Christ in the world) made sense to me.
I can’t help but to question the rest as well; sabbath, food laws, fabrics, yeast, mold, a woman mensturating. I firmly believe everyone should question it.
I think one of the things I’ve been picking up here is that human intuition is worthless. That is, if I see no moral value in abstaining from pork or resting on a precise and particular day of the week then I don’t understand what’s good for me. But I’m with Tom Talbott on that score, God says TEST EVERYTHING and sabbath laws, food laws and so on are no exception. Until they make sense to me the way they do to Kelly, I ain’t following. Of course, I think Kelly’s right for doing the same. Until the other point of view makes sense to her, she should not follow. That what I love about this forum - we all get that!
I took a look at “communion” years ago and found that, just like the ET/UR debate, it was a wrong usage of the word. I remember the Greek word translated communion should have been translated as “fellowship”. Have you looked at that? We have continued to do the “wine and bread” thing along with fellowship and as a sort of “toast” if you will, to Yeshua. The appointed days are all about fellowship with God and each other, historically, biblically and presently
We tend to be both “spiritual” and in the body. We use both to glorify God.
Thanks, I realize that you too reject the unPauline language of being “under” the Torah. But doesn’t our real difference remain about judging and rejecting whatever actions violate what the Law calls for?
Luther did do hideous things!! So I too am not a “fan.” Only Scripture matters, and I’m simply agreeing with his exegesis of certain Pauline texts.
My key Jesus Sabbath text was John 5:17: “I am working” on the Sabbath. I.e. Jesus never defends actions said to “violate the Sabbath” as not being “work,” the precise term Torah disallows. He claims authority to affirm Sabbath work!
(We both like TV’s Sabbath priniciple as being a blessed “invitation away from law.” But when you ridicule Sunday worship and rest, it sounds like precisely what ‘law’ and its’ letter means to me.)
I agree with all that you explain on Hebrews and Covenant. But if the Law’s “external regulations” “no longer apply,” then it seems that keeping them should esp. not be said to be the “sign” of changed hearts.
You say that N.T. circumcision is “an acceptable practice,” while I see Paul finds it disastrous for Gentile believers!!! You cite texts on love and obedience that sound supportive of my understanding. And repeating texts (I’ve addressed before) where our actions must “fulfill” the Law just doesn’t answer the texts that directly address Gentile circumcision. Unless you can explain how these are declaring it “an acceptable practice,” a gulf remains between us.
Yes Kelly, fellowship is more correct. Paul does talk about eating and drinking together, and I believe there is something quite powerful (not magically or anything) about eating together. It is such a weaving together act. Eating a meal, and having a glass or two of wine with people will bring people together so much.
Look at the feasts aka the resurrections, they are to make the bread and wine for fellowship with the father.
I did a clinic abroad trip to Morocco, and you eat from a communal dish in the middle with your hands. This is/was the common way in much of the world. Talk about coming together, as you really share yourselves, it was a great experience, some people were turned off from it, but I loved it.
Spot on! A real disconnect for me is that Jesus states that the pharisees wash the outside of thier cups. Yet isn’t that precisely what everyone argues is the manifistation of the heart? If the heart is good, it shows. The difference then is not in whether one rests on the exact day God declares NOR even works at all. It’s a matter of doing what is right - the heart will show this.
Jesus assault on the pharisees was not for adding to the word of God for washing their hands, but rather for mistreating others. He raised the issue because they’re concerned about external things (like having clean hands after visiting the markets) yet they violate God’s law by mistreating their neighbor. This is exactly why I raised up the point that the pharisees did not charge the disciples with breaking the law of clean foods but rather they explicitly asked why they did not hold to the tradition of the elders, which are 2 different things. The context is clear about that point.
I read Kelly as stating if one washes the cup on the outside by resting on the sabbath, eating clean foods, wearing the right clothes and fabrics and cutting their hair the right way, then one’s heart must be good. I read Jesus as stating those things don’t have any value rather a contrite heart and spirit is what counts - to love justice and mercy - not worrying about if your meat was cooked properly.
You read me wrong. I say if the inside of the cup is clean than the outside will be also.
Yeah, as I have said, the pharisees had their own rules. They were not following Torah. I do not agree with that. So, moving into what I am really saying . . . It’s ok for christians to murder . . .steal . . .worship false gods . . .commit adultery, etc., because we don’t have to do what God says is holy? I believe God has actually left us a confirmation of what is right to do while still bound to this earth by flesh. Being super spiritual and heavenly minded is great but, if that witness is born out by doing what all of mankind know is wrong, its not much earthly good, IMBO. All shadows have fulfillment until the heaven and earth pass away. Further, the weightier matters of the law are justice, mercy and faith. What is wrong with doing what God says is right? Why do we feel we need to find another standard we like better?
That sounds awesome! We have done this with friends with the wine and bread. It was interesting. I don’t usually share cups with anyone except my husband and children. There really did seem to be a closer connection with them. Cool thoughts! Thank you!
Hi Bob. Yeah, I never have felt or said anyone was “under” the law for salvation.
Difference? Do you mean between you and I?
Could you point me to the Torah “law” where carrying the mat or healing was prohibited? I don’t ever recall seeing it in Torah.
My position is that we can get together on any day to fellowship. My intention was not to ridicule. I was questioning why one may think me “legalistic” for celebrating the Sabbath on the 7th day, while at the same time that same person “ritually” celebrates the sabbath on Sunday without it being “legalistic” according to man made traditions.
If the inside of the cup is clean the outside will be clean also.
Paul had Timothy circumcised after he was saved by grace through faith. The circumcision was not for salvation. He did however, “uphold the law”.
As I have stated, I am not a theologian. I don’t know everything. Even if I gave an excellent explanation, I can do nothing to “convince” anyone of anything. These are matters of the movement of the Spirit in revelation. If this leaves a gulf between us, I am not so worried about that. It is not my desire but, it is out of my control. If you believe me to be in sin in some way, I am more than open to correction and welcome it. I want to be more like Yeshua!