This does not surprise me as I am well aware of people’s aversion to change. I think the thing that bothers me most about this entire broo ha ha is that I have been accused of saying things I did not say. People hear what they want to hear even if it is not there. I can’t defend for or against the things I didn’t say.
So I think what I will do is start this letter over again and see if I and you can get it right. Or at least clear up the things I didn’t say. This time I will give you a little more detail. This way there is less of a chance for the words I don’t say to be used against me.
The scripture is a pretty good place start when writing a paper on Biblical topics. So, turn with me if you will, oops, sorry I almost thought I was preaching.
2Co 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
2Co 6:17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
2Co 6:18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.
The Corinthian society and culture was full of pagan ritual and customs. It was pervasive into every aspect of their lives. The city was full of temples and shrines to the gods, but the most prominent one was the temple to Aphrodite. Those who worshiped this goddess of love took full advantage of the 1000 free consecrated prostitutes. Corinth was a cosmopolitan center of commerce, entertainment and
pleasure seeking. The term “to act like a Corinthian” became a synonym for debauchery and prostitution. This was a problem for the early believers as the constant pull of pagan society weighed heavy against them. Rav Shaul warns them about this in his letter as he appeals to them to not get mixed up or
associate with any form of paganism.
Why should it be any different for us? If we know the origins of a practice or custom, if we understand the roots to be birthed in something other than the scripture why is it so hard for us to just separate ourselves from the practice and defer to the word of God. This is the problem first hand. We have allowed the Gospel to morph into something that is unrecognizable. We have taken the Gospel out of it’s roots. We no longer see the Gospel as a Jewish message. This is the true spirit of replacement theology. This is why Jewish people look upon “Christianity” as being the opposite of Judaism instead of the fulfillment. Once we take the truth of the Gospel out of its culture, language, history, idioms, we now have to find another filter in which to interpret the message.
This is when the message starts to morph, as it gets pulled out of context. Context does not just have to do with words, it also deals with all of the above mentioned factors.
We live in a different culture than they did when the Gospel was first preached. This means that to interpret the Gospel we must be very careful not to allow ours or any other culture to predominate our interpretation.
Not only is that the case but we must remember that it was God who chose/created the Jewish people for a specific task. That task was to bring the Messiah to the Gentiles. Gen 12:1-3.
Gen 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;
Gen 12:2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;
Gen 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
Their culture, customs, Holy days, were created by God for the express purpose of showing to the world that the Messiah was to come or He had already come. These were not just "make do, keep busy" items that God decided to impose upon the people of Israel. They were as the scripture calls them the Moedim, appointed times and seasons.
Lev 23:1 The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD'S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations--My appointed times are these:
Lev 23:3 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:4 'These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them.
Appointments that could only be kept by Yeshua. If we don’t celebrate them then we deny the importance of the appointment and the fulfillment. Passover specifically was one those Moedim that were to be kept as a perpetual ordinance forever.
Exo 12:14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
Exo 12:17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.
Exo 12:19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.
This event was not just for the Israelites it was for everyone, forever.
Exo 12:24 "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.
How is it that Passover is not only ignored by the “Church” it has been subverted, replaced, by Easter. Please forgive me for asking but what Biblical passage commands me to celebrate Easter? What is it that we do on that day that shows the prophesied and risen Messiah.
Once you take the death burial and resurrection out of the context of the Passover you can no longer show the resurrection of Yeshua as a fulfilled event. Because Ishtar the goddess of fertility just doesn’t pack the prophetic punch that Passover does. Ishtar was not appointed by God, it was appointed by Constantine. Who gave him the authority to declare God’s appointments null and void?
From the letter of the Emperor (Constantine) to all those not present at the council of Nicea. (Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib III 18-20)
When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord and in the same manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of festivals, to follow the customs (the calculation) of the Jews who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter; which we have observed from the time of the Saviour’s passion (according to the day of the week).
We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jew, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship following a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week: And consequently in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jew. For it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question, for in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements they frequently celebrate two Passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error.
How, then, could we follow these Jews who are most certainly blinded by error? For to celebrate a Passover twice in one year, is totally inadmissible.
But even if this were not so it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communication with such wicked people (the Jews). You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.
(Gleaned from Dr. Henry R. Percival’s “The Nicean and post Nicean Fathers”. Vol. XIV Grand Rapid: Erdmans pub. 1979,pgs. 54-55)
I find it rather presumptuous of Constantine to think that he had the right to disposes God’s chosen people and God’s appointed times from their eternal place.
As I have said in the past and so say again today God has not and will not replace His chosen people. For Him to do that would contradict His very own word.
Jer 31:35 Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:
Jer 31:36 "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever."
Jer 31:37 Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD.
It seems pretty conclusive to me that God will do away with the natural elements of the universe before He does away with Israel as a people.
So we have to ask ourselves, is our worship acceptable if it is from a pagan root, especially if we know the truth? This is not a matter of small importance. God was very specific in the creation of every holiday. Each had a reason and prophetic display of the Messiah to come. Why would we want a substitute that can’t stand up to the reality of what God has done?
So please as you celebrate this year ask yourself these questions. Don’t just do what you do because that’s what you were taught. Ask questions and research for yourself. If it is not Biblical make a stand and choose the prophetic over the pathetic.
One last thing, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am not judging anyones salvation or love for the Lord. What I am questioning is the practice or holiday of Easter and its legitimacy. I am and continue to be of the understanding thatSALVATION IS BY GRACE. Thank God for that or we would all be in trouble. I do however have to ask the tough questions. It is through this process that we grow.
May your celebration before the Lord be a blessing to you and your family. May your love for the risen Messiah be stronger than ever. May your Passover be rich with as you grow in your knowledge of the word and may Yeshua our Passover lamb be with you always.
Shalom uvracha b’Yeshua
Peace and blessings in Yeshua