How Is Galatianism Connected With Falling From Grace
In our modern day, these same kinds of lethal teachings that caused such havoc in the early church have once again become popular and Christians are getting deceived and troubled by them all over again.
Perhaps for some, the draw to such Jewish "Christian" groups has resulted because true Christians are recognizing how sadly lacking the typical churches are and desire to change. Hence, their sincerity is being exploited because of their lack of Scriptural understanding and the misleading arguments used by such teachers.
Also, at least some of these same groups in our day that magnify the Mosaic law seem to correctly reject the false doctrine of eternal security. Hence, people that are correctly leaving the Baptist and Calvinistic congregations to look for one that rejects eternal security sometimes fall prey to this different type of deception.
In our day such false groups might refer to themselves as Messianic Restoration, Sacred Name, Hebraic Root or some other similar description exalting Old Testament Jewish worship, holy days, customs, etc. They also seem to magnify the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and even sometimes ludicrously claim the New Testament was written in Hebrew.
One of their actual deceptive web sites that stresses the importance of the Torah for us today declared the following:
Since the Bible was written by Hebrews, it is critical to understand their ancient culture and to learn about the many unique Hebrew words, expressions, and idioms found in Scripture.
That is their distinctive which they present to set themselves apart and above others. They teach such Hebrew information is critical. If that is so, one must wonder why weren't the new Gentile Christians taught such by the Lord's disciples after they came to salvation in the New Testament?
The Messianic Jews, Hebraic Root, Sacred Name, Yeshua people also seem to undervalue the New Testament Scriptures, especially from Acts 10 on. They also commonly say Messiah's name is Yeshua (or Y'shua) and sometimes, for some of these groups, openly admit their ludicrous belief that the holy name of Jesus is pagan or blasphemy. Here is an email we received along these lines:
I had a discussion with a Messianic Jew that claimed that Jesus' name was/is a derivative of Zeus. They didn't give their source of where they got that information though. They did say you could ask anyone that knew Greek. I know Greek, and Jesus doesn't=Zeus. No matter how they construe it.
[Please know the Greek New Testament name of the Messiah, when transliterated into English is Jesus and, therefore, is not pagan. Also, some of those Yeshua, Sacred Name people fallaciously claim Jesus means son of Zeus.]
Moreover, they are similar to the Seventh Day Adventists regarding the Saturday being their Sabbath and attack Sunday as being a counterfeit replacement which began in the 4th century. (Please see the link at the very bottom about the Saturday Sabbath.) They teach one is to observe the Saturday Sabbath, but they themselves are not observing this command as given to Israel (just like the Seventh Day Adventists are not)!
Here is another email we received regarding this Jewish emphasis and a person getting deceived by them:
I have a friend and co-worker who has fallen in with the "sacred names" movement and now only refers to our saviour by the name of Yeshua. He and his family have begun observing Jewish holy days, dietary laws and other matters of the Law. I am glad that when I called on the name of ***JESUS*** I was saved.
These groups like to stress the fact that Jesus' disciples observed Sabbath rules and regulations such as stated in Luke 23:56, but will never declare the rest of the truth that Christianity was in a period of transition and change, which slowly started to reveal itself more and more especially from Acts 10 with Jewish Peter receiving a three-time message from heaven of correction about his fallacious view of the Gentiles:
He [Peter] became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven (Acts 10:10-16).
Peter accurately understood his vision to mean the following:
He [Peter] said to them: You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me
Peter learned something through those visions that he was not aware of before which led to people getting saved. The wonderful conversion of the Gentile, Cornelius, and his household caused criticism for Peter from those observing the law of Moses:
The apostles and the
brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the
word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had
happened: "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a
vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by
its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and
saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds
of the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and
eat.' I replied, 'Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever
entered my mouth.' The voice spoke from heaven a second time, 'Do not
call anything impure that God has made clean.' This happened three
times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. Right then three
men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I
was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with
them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's
house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say,
"Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a
message through which you and all your household will be saved.' As I
began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the
beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized
with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God
gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus
Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?" When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance
It took Peter's explanation and experience to bring those Hebrew people around to the truth that God has allowed the uncircumcised Gentiles to find salvation through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus.
The ignorance/prejudice of the early Jewish Christians at this point towards all non-Jews [Gentiles], was starting to change:
Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts (Acts 11:19-23).
Then we read of the explosive events leading up to the important council at Jerusalem:
Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the [Gentile Christian] brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question (Acts 15:1, 2).
Their dangerous false message about circumcision for salvation was taught to those already saved. They wanted the Gentile Christians to be circumcised, signifying obedience to the law of Moses, so they could be saved.
At the Jerusalem council, the false teachers were present and expressed their poisonous doctrine with these words:
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses." The apostles and elders met to consider this question (Acts 15:5,6).
Please note: The ones teaching the dangerous doctrines about the law of Moses were believers, that is, they accepted Jesus' sacrificial death, burial and resurrection, but had a dangerous and unscriptural emphasis on the law of Moses just like some people in our day.
Peter repeated at that council what happened to Cornelius and openly gave his conclusions about their false and dangerous message:
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are" (Acts 15:7-11).
Peter said their false teaching about Gentile disciples being required to obey the law of Moses was in effect testing God. He then went on to contrast such teaching with the grace that saves. Hence, Peter joins forces with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:1,2) to oppose such dangerous teachings for those already saved. After Peter finished presenting his case, Barnabas and Paul recounted their relevant experiences among the Gentiles. Then James, who presided over the council gave his decision:
It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath (Acts 15:19-21).
Please note: The only message the Gentile Christians needed to be concerned about was to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
In other words, the Hebrew Christians that were present and wrote the vast majority of the New Testament's 27 books (Peter, Paul and James) never said a single word about the necessity of the Gentile converts observing the Jewish feast days, the Saturday Sabbath, dietary laws, circumcision, etc. In fact, they actually opposed that concept by only issuing the aforementioned requirements. This is irrefutable evidence that the Holy Spirit leading and directing them is not the same guiding force behind the Jewish Messianic Restoration Movement (Hebraic Roots or Sacred Name) groups of our dark hour. The message of Acts 15 is critically and vitally different. In fact, it is a death blow to their theology.
Though the people of the Jewish Restoration Movement believe Jesus is the Savior, their adamant adherence to the false teachings that were discarded, especially in Acts 15 and the book of Galatians, is very dangerous. They must be steadfastly opposed in our day just as they were by the Lord's apostles in first-century Christianity.
I have read from one of those teachers in effect that salvation is a free gift and we are saved by grace, but after we get saved be must obey; and part of our obedience is observing the Jewish feast days, Saturday Sabbath, dietary laws, etc. If one doesn't obey these he will lose his salvation or show his faith is dead and not a saving faith at all.
While it is certainly true that a real Christian can lose his salvation, one will never find in the New Testament that it can occur because of failure to observe the Saturday Sabbath, Jewish feast days, dietary law, etc. Moreover, never in any of the New Testament lists of sins that will send one to hell are such cited. See Rev. 21:8; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5-7; Mk. 7:20-23; etc. Please remember that vital truth.
The shocking truth to all of this is some of the very ones that believed on Jesus in the past and were born again in Galatia were observing the law of Moses and trying to be justified in this manner. They had, therefore, fallen from grace and Christ was of no benefit at all to them:
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace (Gal. 5:2-4).
That is Paul's warning to the various Christian churches in the region of Galatia (Antioch, Lystra, Derbe, Iconium) that he personally introduced to salvation. Earlier Paul taught:
We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified (Gal. 2:15,16).
He also openly taught their message was a different gospel:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel__which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6,7).
The direct context of those stirring words was aimed at people back then who stressed observing special [Jewish] days and months and seasons and years (Gal. 4:10), Jewish customs (Gal. 2:14), the law (Gal. 2:16; 3:2-5; 3:10-12) and circumcision (Gal. 5:2-4). This is exactly like some of the Messianic Restoration, Messianic Jew, Hebraic Root, Yeshua people of our day. The same deceiving demons back then that caused all that trouble are still around today.
The dangerous false teachers declaring these things were the same type that Paul and Barnabas tangled with that resulted in the Council of Jerusalem. Those false teachers were Jews themselves and knew the truth about Hebrew customs, holy days, etc. and this is what was opposed by the Lord's followers.
In a different book, Paul wrote:
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day (Col. 2:16).
The dietary clean and unclean food laws that Moses wrote of were first discarded by the Lord himself:
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.''' After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods 'clean.') (Mark 7:14-19).
Also read 1 Corinthians 10 and Romans 14 to see that the early Christians were not under any Mosaic dietary law as some today want to place us back under. We aren't talking health-wise here, in our day of toxins in food, but religiously. According to Scripture, a Christian can now eat pork, lobster, shrimp, etc. This is indisputable fact, unlike it was in Moses day and recorded in the Torah. Such food now doesn't automatically defile or cause one to be unclean anymore.
There are two types of Jews in the Scriptures: (1) Those that believed on Jesus and (2) Those that didn't. The Jews that did repent and place their faith in Jesus were no better than the Gentiles that did the same:
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:6).
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Gal. 3:14).
As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile__the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:11-13).
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:28, 29).
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (Col. 3:11).
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body__whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free__and we were all given the one Spirit to drink (1 Cor. 12:13).
Hence, the Jew's natural birth now means nothing to God regarding who are his children and heirs according to the promise. Jews will still go to hell unless they receive heart circumcision by turning to Jesus, the Lord and Savior.
Furthermore, all Christ-rejecters are God-rejecters. In other words, the Christ-rejecting Jews do not have God even though they were special and God's chosen people in the Old Testament:
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also (1 John 2:23).
Furthermore, all who hate Jesus also hate the heavenly father. (The Jews hated Jesus so much they wanted him dead and successfully plotted this very thing):
He who hates me hates my Father as well (John 15:23).
While it is a fact that Christ-rejecting Jews do not have God, and even hate God, it is also fact that God's truth declares the Jews (just like all others) who reject Jesus' Lordship in their personal lives are on the road to hell and are children of the devil. In fact, Jesus bluntly told some Jewish people this very thing:
They [the Christ-rejecting Jews] answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father." "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does." " We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil and you want to carry out your father's desire (John 8:33-44).
The religious Jews by natural birth had the devil as their spiritual father, even though they thought God was their spiritual father. Their being of the natural ancestry from Abraham didn't make them special, honored or privileged, as far as being God's children. Regardless of one's ancestry, a person can only become God's child by repenting and extending a trusting-submitting and obeying faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus directed those straightforward words at the Jews. Again, the Lord Jesus never taught the Jews were children of God and special, as they were in the Old Testament, because they were natural descendants of Abraham (or were circumcised) and neither should we.
You must NOT sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you EXCEPT in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. THERE you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. (Deut. 16:5,6)
At the very beginning of the New Testament the false concept that the sin-embracing Jews were special in God's eyes, because they were descendants of Abraham, was fiercely opposed. John the Baptist was first to combat this faulty and deadly concept:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3:7-10).
John the Baptist was a Hebrew yet taught that stirring truth because it was God's truth.Paul wrote:
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).
Furthermore, Paul, just like John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus, contested the belief that being a Jew by natural birth had any value for individual salvation:
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God (Rom. 2:28, 29).
It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring (Rom. 9:6-8).
Dear friend, do you believe it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring?
The Jews magnified circumcision, but not the right kind—circumcision of the heart. All who receive circumcision of the heart are the real Jews and heirs of God's promise—not the natural children, unless they also received circumcision of the heart:
Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham (Gal. 3:7).
In the New Testament, unlike in the Old Testament, any person can be Abraham's child, without circumcision, and by faith in Christ Jesus. This vital Christian concept is not apparent in the Torah as it is in Paul's epistles. The Scriptural emphasis for Christians should, therefore, be in the New Testament where we will learn what the Lord and his apostles taught:
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Gal. 3:14).
The blessing given to Abraham comes to the non-Jews (Gentiles or Greeks) through faith in Christ Jesus. Natural ancestry doesn't help or hinder. It is by faith in Messiah Jesus that we receive the promise of the Spirit and become God's children. Do not be deceived by those that magnify Jewish feast days, ancestry, customs, the Saturday Sabbath and try to get you to observe the law of Moses. They might claim they are just like the early Christians but they are not as has already been proven.
The Apostle Paul also cited advantages the Jewish people had in the past:
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God (Rom. 3:1,2).
The people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen (Rom 9:4, 5).
But none of those advantages can change the aforementioned facts about salvation. Furthermore, in spite of all of those advantages the fact remains that the Jews still killed the Lord Jesus and are still enemies of the gospel because of their doctrines and unbelief:
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable (Rom. 11:28,29).
While it is certainly true that the Bible writers (perhaps with the exception of Luke) as well as the Messiah (Jesus) and his apostles were Jewish, it is also true (as just stated) that the Jews killed Jesus, God's prophets, apostles and Christians in general. They displeased God:
For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last (1 Thess. 2:14-16).
We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen (Acts 10:39,40).
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Acts 12:1-3).
The unbelieving Jews during the early Christian church were God-hating, Christ-rejecting, Christian-persecuting enemies of the gospel. They would sometimes travel many miles to persecute Paul and conspired to kill him on more than one occasion. What was Paul's crime that brought about such murderous desires? Paul obeyed God and faithfully spread the same message of salvation to both Jew and Gentile:
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. (Acts 26:20,21)
● The Levitical priesthood has been abolished (Heb. 7:18-27)
● All true Christians are part of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)
● The animal sacrifice system is abolished (1 Peter 1:18,19; Heb. 10:1-4)
● Jesus is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world and is the one-time-for-all sin sacrifice (John 1:29; Heb. 9:26; 10:10-14)
● Jesus is now our one and only high priest (Heb. 4:14; 6:20)
● The new covenant is superior to the old covenant and based on better promises. The old covenant is also obsolete (Heb. 8:6-13)
● Jesus is our Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
● Jesus expanded the meaning of adultery to include lusting in the heart (Mt. 5:28,29)
● Jesus declares an illegitimate marriage to be adultery (Mt. 5:32; Mark 10:11,12)
● Jesus taught we must forgive people who sin against us to have our own sins forgiven after initial salvation (Mt. 6:14,15; 18:23-35)
● Idolatry is expanded to now include greed (Eph. 5:5-7; Col. 3:5)
● Paul stated Godly women are not to wear gold, unlike in Old Testament times (1 Tim. 2:9 cf. Gen. 24:22; 24:30)
● In Old Testament days, those who would sin sexually with their step-mother were put to death, but now excommunication is taught instead (Lev. 20:11 cf. 1 Cor. 5:11-13)
● Hate is equal to murder, according to John (1 John 3:15)
● In the New Testament, we now have water baptism, which never existed in the Old Testament (Mt. 21:25,26; Acts 10:43-48)
● In the Old Testament, physical circumcision was extremely important and carefully practiced but now it is not and has no religious significance (Gen. 17:9-14 cf. Rom. 2:28,29)
● The house of God and temple of God in the Old Testament was in a man-made structure, but now it is the physical flesh and blood bodies of real present-tense Christians (Judges 18:31; 1 Chron. 6:48 cf. Heb. 3:6; 2 Cor. 6:16)
● In the Old Testament they took oaths and did swear, but swearing is now forbidden (1 Sam. 24:21,22 cf. Mt. 5:34-37; James 5:12)
● In the Old Testament certain foods were considered clean or unclean, but not anymore (Lev. 11:47 cf. Mark 7:15-19)
● In the Old Testament, one could become unclean by touching a dead body, but not anymore (Num. 11:19 cf. Mk. 7:20-23)
● In the Old Testament a false prophet was put to death, but not in our day (Deut. 18:20 cf. Mt. 24:10,11)
● In the Old Testament a blasphemer was stoned to death, but not in our day (Ex. 24:23)
● In the Old Testament a Saturday Sabbath breaker was stoned to death, but not in our day (Num. 15:32-36)
● In the Old Testament the whole assembly was to stone to death a Saturday Sabbath breaker, but not in our day (Num. 15:36; Joshua 7:25)
● In the Old Testament the Sabbath was Saturday and always the special week day of rest, but now we have a choice of a particular day to set aside to honor God (Dt. 5:12-15 cf. Rom. 14:5,6)
● In the Old Testament the Passover was carefully observed, but now God's children have no such regulations to follow (Ex. 12:14-20 cf. 1 Cor. 5:7)
Some of the lesser errors embraced by these people are:
● They say the New Testament was written in Hebrew. The truth is the New Testament was written in Greek not Hebrew.
● They say the God of the Old Testament and the heavenly Father is Yahweh. The truth is Jesus is actually the God of the Old Testament. Jesus is not the Father, but is a separate person from the Father.
● Ceremonial food has no value now:
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them (Heb. 13:9).
ANSWER: That passage declares that Jesus didn't come to overthrow or dissolve the law and prophets as some might have been thinking back then. Instead, he fulfilled them. This, however, doesn't mean we are under the law of Moses today as the teaching of the New Testament shows repeatedly. (Some of the very ones that declared we are not under the law of Moses in our day were Hebrews and probably heard Jesus in person speak the words recorded in Mt. 5:17-20.)
QUESTION 2. How can you explain Luke 23:56 referring to early Christians, if you reject the Jewish Sabbath?
Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
ANSWER: Christianity was in a state of change that started to unfold especially in Acts 10 and afterwards. Before that time, and even before Jesus died for the sins of every person who ever lived, the disciples did observe resting on the Saturday Sabbath. Some of the same Christians that must have done that very thing at that point later openly opposed this whole concept, as already shown.
QUESTION 3. Jesus was teaching about his return to his disciples in Mt. 24 and mentioned the Sabbath. Why, if we aren't under the OT Mosaic laws and regulations?
Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath (Matt. 24:20).
ANSWER: The whole context of that passage begins several verses sooner:
So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath (Matt. 24:15-20).
Please note the geographical location of that statement about praying that your flight won't be (in winter or) on the Sabbath is in Judea. Furthermore, there is nothing in that verse that requires a belief and practice in the Saturday Sabbath for Christians for it to be reasonable. We aren't given all the specific details about why they were to pray that way. Perhaps the unbelievers would persecute them more if it was on the Sabbath. We don't know! But this we do know, people are reading into that verse something that is not there to falsely support Saturday Sabbath keeping.
QUESTION 4. If Paul really opposed keeping the law of Moses, then why do we read the following:
When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law” (Acts 21:20-24).
ANSWER: Paul conducted himself in such a way as to win Gentiles when with the Gentiles and to win Jews when with the Jews. Regarding the latter, it appeared as though he was under the law like the Jews when he really wasn't:
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some (1 Cor. 9:20-22).
Peter was also a Jew that lived like a Gentile and not like a Jew:
When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” (Gal 2:14)
Paul was not under the law as the Jews were, but at times became like a Jew under the law to win the Jews. If Paul lived under the law of Moses himself he would have always lived like that and could never have changed even when he would be with the Gentiles (but that was not the case).
QUESTION 5. Isaiah 66:23 speaks of eternity and they are still observing new moons and Sabbaths then:
From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me, says the LORD.
ANSWER: That verse does not say they were observing the new moon and Sabbath regulations as given in the Torah. It simply mentions them to designate a period of time. Moreover, even if it did say the Sabbath, etc. was observed then, the context shows it is in the future and is not our period of time now. Hence, that Scripture is no support for Saturday Sabbath keeping at this time.
QUESTION 6. Paul said he agreed with all that is in the Law and that is written in the Prophets:
However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets (Acts 24:14).
Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar” (Acts 25:8).
When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans” (Acts 28:17).
Doesn't that prove that he apparently practiced the dietary laws, feast days, Saturday Sabbath, circumcision, etc.?
ANSWER: No it doesn't. If we consider other Scriptures, it becomes crystal clear that Paul didn't mean he still practiced the ceremonial laws, dietary laws, etc. as he did before his salvation and as given to Israel. His teachings and actions clearly deny that. He said he worships God as a follower of the Way, not as a Pharisee.
QUESTION 7. The Lord Jesus and Paul both went into the Synagogues to be with the Jews. They meant on Saturday. Isn't that proof?
ANSWER: No it is not. The reason the Lord went into the synagogues was not just to sit back and partake in the typical things that went on there. He would teach and heal there, which often got him in trouble.
Paul also went into the synagogues, but it was for the purpose of sharing God's truths about the Lord Jesus to those present. (In other words, he went there to evangelize.) He never went there either just to partake in Jewish worship.
The people magnifying and practicing the Law of Moses are claiming to reestablish the early church, but the truth is they are dangerously deceived and deceiving others by their teachings.
Sincere people who are trying to draw near to God need to desperately learn what God wants from us now. The only way they can know the up-to-date truths, commands and practices from God is to carefully read/study the entire New Testament for themselves. (Don't just trust another person to teach you the New Testament. Read it yourself and change accordingly.) The changes just cited are significant, but sadly many remain unaware of their existence.The Sacred Name, Yeshua, Messianic Jew and Hebraic Root Movement are not only lacking, but often spiritually wrong and dangerous. To be more precise, their emphasis on Old Testament practices has been detrimental to true Christians to the degree that certainly some have lost their salvation by trying to be justified by the law of Moses (Gal. 5:2-4). This same type of problem existed in first-century Christianity and is now present again with us. God bless you.
OTHER TOPICS:Evangelical Outreach