WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

In first Corinthians 5:7 when Paul says to keep the feast (Passover) it is a metaphor. The context deals with sin that was in the midst of the Corinthian church, namely fornication.

Under the Old Testament the Israelites were to put away leaven for seven days and to eat unleavened bread only. This was a type of the putting away of sin in exchange for purity.

According to the context of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul says nothing about the feast of Passover which was to be kept on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (the first month on the Jewish calendar). He does not make reference to a day as Passover, as the Old Testament did. (see Ex 12:6,14,18,19; Numbers 9:2; 28:16; Deuteronomy 16:1; Joshua 5:10; Ezekiel 45:21)

Leviticus 23:5 says, In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover.

Paul does not refer to Passover as a time on the calendar,  or a ceremonial festival when speaking to the Corinthians. On the contrary, Paul refers to Christ Jesus himself as our Passover.

Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Paul applies the object lesson which was contained in the shadowy type – the Passover given to Israel – and tells the Corinthians to walk in the reality of it. In other words, Paul says, Put away this sin from your midst and serve God, in Christ, with sincerity and truth, because Christ, who is our Passover, was sacrificed for you.

There is nothing wrong with dedicating the Passover season as a time for the Lord to focus on Christ’s death for us. In fact that is a very good practice. The error comes in when the festival becomes a law for Christians to observe as is becoming more of a common place within some of the modern day Messianic movements, such as the Hebrew Roots Movement.

The New Testament writers are the authoritative interpreters of the Old Testament scriptures and they gave us everything we need to know for godly and righteous living.

That which was foreshadowed in the feasts has become reality in Christ Jesus, and we can walk in the reality every day because the light has come and the shadow had been put away.

Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.  Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ.~ Colossians 2:16-17  Amplified Bible

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THE BLOOD OF THE PASSOVER LAMB

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/the-blood-of-the-passover-lamb/

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF PASSOVER IN CONTRAST TO HEBREW ROOTS TEACHINGS

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/the-biblical-doctrine-of-passover-in-contrast-to-hebrew-roots-teachings/

 

 

20 thoughts on “WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

  1. Paul did not teach the Corinthians to observe the feast of Passover according to the prescriptions given to Israel under the law. The observance of Passover under the law required the offering of animal sacrifices, which served as a type of Christ, who is the true lamb of God.

    The feasts given to Israel served as types and shadows under the first covenant until Christ came, and established the New Covenant.

    Paul says to the Corinthians “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” and he instructs the Corinthians to keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 

    Paul  is not referring to keeping the Jewish feast of Passover. He is referring to the purity by which the Corinthians should live now that they are the servants of Christ.

    Under the law, the Israelites were to observe passover by eating unleavened bread (natural, physical bread –  the kind of bread you eat with your mouth). Paul is not referring to this kind of unleavened bread. He is referring to that which the unleavened bread, eaten by the Jews, was symbolic of. It was symbolic of the putting away of sin. That is why he says in view of Christ being our Passover, “let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

    When Jesus was handed over to Pilate by the Jewish leaders they refused to enter the judgment hall because they did not want to ceremonially defile themselves (John 18:28). Yet they were already defiled by the malice and wickedness in their hearts towards Jesus. The gospels and the book of Acts reveal their antagonistic disposition towards Jesus.  

    They thought they were keeping the Passover by not going into the judgment hall, but the true Passover was being betrayed and condemned by them. 

    Jesus is the Passover that God has provided. He is the fulfilment of all that was foreshadowed under the law in the feasts given to Israel. Under the New Testament, we do not keep the Passover by eating a physical lamb, and natural bread, with no leaven in it. We keep the feast by living a Christ-like life in sincerity and truth. 

    If we will allow the context of 1 Corinthians 5 to speak for itself, there is no doubt that Paul is not referring to natural bread but to spiritual bread. He is not speaking of eating of a physical lamb, but partaking of Christ, who is our Passover.

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  2. Hi this is Jamel…

    Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ!

    In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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  3. Hi this is Jamel… Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ! In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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    • The word law has more than one connotation when it is used throughout the Bible. Sometimes it is used to refer to the 600 plus laws which governed ancient Israel as a nation. Sometimes it refers to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible),and at other times it refers to the entirety of the Old Testament. Sometimes it is a reference to the Ten Commandments, and at other times the Law of God in Christ to which the whole of the law pointed, and was a foreshadowing.

      The book of Hebrews tells us that the offering of animal sacrifices under the Old Testament was a carnal ordinance, imposed on the people until the time of reformation, meaning, until Christ came and fulfilled all that was written of him.

      Jesus is our Passover, and he has fulfilled what was foreshadowed in the Passover under the law. We no long observe the carnal feast that Israel observed BEFORE Christ. We keep the Passover daily by walking in truth and sincerity from the heart.

      Paul told the Colossians to not allow anyone to judge them regarding feast days as these were only a foreshadowing of Christ.

      Yes, sin is transgression of the law, but not the 600 plus laws that governed Israel under the Old Testament. Sin is transgression of God’s love, which is the law which is inscribed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit, through our faith in Christ.

      Much of the context of 1 John which tells us sin is transgression of the law, is dealing with the issue of love. John says, we know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.

      The commandments given to Israel were given as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. They were preparatory to bring us into the New Covenant where the law is fulfilled by love.

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  4. Don’t you think that when you have to have such long, convoluted commentary to explain Paul’s simple instruction…that maybe the easiest answer is that Paul meant what he said?

    On a similar note, why did Paul observe a Nazarite vow in Acts? Why did he purchase the sacrificial animals for himself and others? Or, were those perhaps metaphorical animals?

    Or, how do you explain away his very clear seemingly prophetic answer to your position in Romans 3:31? You do, of course, realize that he was fully prepared for this potentially wrong interpretation of his words (as Peter also warned about those who move toward lawlessness) and made this pre-emptive declaration about upholding Torah….or, that dreadful law, as you imply. Torah means instruction…instruction from your Creator. Why do you want to avoid your Creator’s instructions?

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    • Hi Jack! You are 100% right about G-d’s perfect instructions. But do know, that Gentiles ARE NOT obligated to the law. Meaning it is NOT a requirement. The Torah was given strictly to the nation of Israel. Yes through Yeshua Gentiles are graphed in, but they are not bound to the Torah. Now, if they want to celebrate and follow it that’s great. However, those who teach against it or “replacement theologies” or “dual covenants” etc, this is WRONG. G-d’s covenant is eternal, but unfortunately, many cannot understand Rav Sha’ul (Paul) and his Pharisitical mindset that he gained from Rabban Gamliel the Great! Many see the Apostles in the eyes of their own perspective of human beings and not them as being 100% Jewish and fully obeying the Torah the WAY it is supposed to be. So forgive the Gentiles and correct them, however, the teaching of the Torah is in the hands of the Jewish people and this is again acknowledged by Yeshua (Matt 23:1-3) and Sha’ul (Acts 15:21 & Romans 11). G-d Bless You

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    • How many people today have lamb/goat herds? Plus, is circumcision still a requirement for believers? What did Paul say about circumcision? Read the chapter of Exodus where the Hebrews were leaving Egypt to see that circumcision is a requirement of the literal Passover feast. But, didn’t Paul say circumcision was no longer a requirement for believers? So, if believers are no longer bound by circumcision and biblical rules apply to everyone, how exactly can everyone keep the Passover? This seems to make the literal Passover feast no longer a requirement. And, who has a sheep herds anymore?

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  5. what’s walking in sincerely and truth? truth is the father’s law in spirit and sincerely is the spirit in your heart according to the commandments. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Who can understand it? jeremiah 17:9 the spirit makes your heart sincere in the truth (father law in spirit) For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. john 6:38 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit (sincerely) and in truth.”(his law)Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. psalm 119:142

    “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my LAW in their minds and write it on their hearts.( heart means will and doer the right way in the spirit) and “your mind” means receive and belief. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33.. to the two houses of Israel, and then the gentile. the gentile also meaning the ten tribes that was dispense. who became gentiles. ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. Ezekiel 36:24. when the messiah comes back and put his people in the land.. he also said “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”( meaning seed of abraham.
    read the old testament to clarified. their is a order to this.. your right on the feast being a shadow but wrong on the day and time and the method on doing it. it’s a gathering of the true Israel.” James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings”. James 1:1

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  6. In response to the last two comments, I write the following:

    First, the feast of Passover was given to Israel under the Law, which was Israel’s covenant with God. 

    Gentiles were not allowed to partake of the Passover, only circumcised Jews, or those who had become part of Israel through circumcision (Exodus 12:43-44, 48). 

    To insist that Gentiles are to keep the Passover which Israel was given under the law, is to insist that physical circumcision is still relevant with regards to being in covenant with God. It is not. 

    Secondly, you cannot keep the Passover which Israel kept without animal sacrifices (Exodus 34:25. Leviticus 23:5-8, Numbers 9, Deuteronomy 16). Now that Jesus has died and been raised again, animal sacrifices are no longer accepted by God because they only served as a foreshadowing of Jesus until Christ came. Offering animal sacrifices now that Christ has died and risen again, would be apostate.

    Thirdly, after Israel entered the Promised land, the Passover was to be observed in the “place” within the boarders of Israel which the Lord chose.

    Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. ~ Deuteronomy 16:5-6 

    That place eventually became Jerusalem. 

    You cannot make up your own rules and think you are keeping the Passover given to Israel, when you are not observing it according to the instructions given Israel under the Law.  

    If you do not follow the instructions given to Israel, you are not keeping the Passover given to them. Instead, you are reinventing the Law, and in doing so, you are violating the law. The Law is fulfilled in Jesus, and he is our Passover. We keep the Passover under the New Covenant by faith in his blood and living a godly life. This is what God desires from his people: pure hearts and godly lives. 

    Under the Law the appointed feasts given to Israel, served as a foreshadowing of Christ. For example: Passover, Unleavened bread, and first-fruits foreshadowed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

    Passover was on the 14th day (at evening) of first month which was Nisan 14 (or Abib 14). The next day was the 15th day and the beginning of seven days of unleavened bread. This day was also a Sabbath, and the next Sabbath was not until seven days later. On the 16th day of Nisan or Abib was the feast of first-fruits. There was only one day between Passover and first-fruits and that was the Sabbath of unleavened bread.

    Jesus was crucified on Passover, the 14th day.  His body rested in the tomb on the Sabbath of unleavened bread (the 15th day), He was raised from the dead on the 16th day of the first month, fulfilling the first-fruits.

    In the same way that Paul describes Jesus as our Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7, he describes Jesus as the first-fruits of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. In Colossians 2, Paul tells us that the feast days were only shadows of Christ.

    Jesus is the one to whom the Passover under the Law, pointed. He is our Passover. 

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  7. Also I want to reply to the above comment about Paul and the nazarite vow.

    In Acts 21, Paul did not go to Jerusalem for the purpose of taking a Nazarite vow. Paul went to testify of Jesus.

    After his arrival, James insisted he do this in order to keep the Jews from rioting. Paul went along as his mission was to testify of Jesus in Jerusalem, and to show how Jesus had fulfilled that which was spoken of in the Law of Moses and the prophets.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul says,

    Therefore, though I am free regarding everyone, yet I have made myself slave unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those that are under the law; to those that are without law, as without law (being not without law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those that are without law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker together of it.

    The narrative in Acts reveals that no commands to follow Jewish customs of worship were given to the Gentiles who believed. James even address this in Acts 21.

    Paul being a Jew, and for the sake of the gospel, went along with James’s advice because Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews so that he could testify of Jesus.

    This is a long narrative, and later own, Paul reveals that he indeed worshiped God according to “the Way” which the religious Jews viewed as a cult. These were the same devote Jews who were zealous for the Law and Jewish customs.

    This is why James urged Paul to do this. Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews using their own Law. As the narrative unfolds, a riot erupted before any sacrifices were ever offered.

    Before Paul went to Jerusalem, he had been warned by multiple friends of the persecution he would face there (Acts 21:1-14) and it played out just as he had been warned, nevertheless Paul went to Jerusalem, by the will of God, to preach the gospel to the Jews.

    With that said, don’t try so hard to be prove your point that you miss the narrative of how Paul went to Jerusalem knowing persecution awaited him because of his faith and the gospel he preached. Paul carefully navigated through his time there facing the hostile Jews who wanted to put him to death.

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  8. Hi Michael,

    #1. There is a difference between Jews and Gentiles and the community of Corinth like all communities Paul went to, had a mix of both. The Jewish people through faith like Avraham, are to maintain and keep the covenant because it is eternal and G-d’s word is perfect. Nothing can override perfection. But to stick to Pesach/Passover, Exodus 12:14 specifically tells the Jewish people to “eternally” keep the Passover/Pesach and all the details that go with it.

    #2. Jesus himself (Matt 4:4, 5:17-19, 23:1-3) clearly tells the Jewish people that they are to fulfill the commandments of G-d and LISTEN to those who sit in the Seat of Moshe/Moses. Let alone that man should live by the Word of G-d, which is taken from Deuteronomy and the only word given at that point is the Torah. So if you think Paul or any Christian doctrine can override G-d’s PERFECT Torah, then that doctrine is either wrong, or you are misinterpreting what Paul is saying.

    #3. The Torah (the first 5 books) is much more than animal sacrifices. There are exactly 613 mitzvot/commandments for Jews to uphold, however without a Beit HaMikdash/Temple, many (more than 1/2) cannot be fulfilled. This is why you don’t see Jews offering sacrifices 3x a day in Synagogues as they were commanded to. Yeshua, however, teaches Jews how to PERFECTLY fulfill the Torah.

    #4. Gentiles by no means are obligated to the Torah. Both Paul and throughout the history of Judaism, (minus the heretics within Judaism or Judaizers) have pushed Gentiles AGAINST/AWAY from conversion. Judaism does not proselytize. Gentiles are not even obligated to anything more than the 7 Noachide Laws, which are the Laws given to all of MANKIND before the Torah. Acts 15:21, where the disciples actually repeat 3 of the 7 of them, and then another 3 are basic for any human in the 21st century to understand.

    #5. Remember Paul’s Mission. His mission was to reach the Gentiles, so of course, when you read Paul and you read the context correctly, he is “against” the law in regards to Gentiles. Again, never was there a righteous Jew who pushed conversion. BUT, to think Paul is against the PERFECTION of G-d, and even Yeshua, who followed not only the Written Torah but the Oral Torah too (i.e. Chanukah/Festival of Dedication, Sukkot and the Singing of Hallel, Reading the Haftarah during Shabbat, Circumcision overriding Shabbat if it lands on the 8th day, telling others to MAKE sacrifices, Redemption of the 1st Born, Anointing by Living Water and a Priest, etc.).

    #6. Please, listen to what Yeshua said, “Listen to the scribes and Pharisees who SIT in the Seat of Moshe, just do not do what they do”. Pharisees today (one of many sects in the 1st century), is the ONLY sect that survived that period of time and today they are Orthodox Rabbi’s. Why? Because they understood every JOT & TITTLE of the Torah that by Yeshua’s words, would never pass away, let alone G-d placing the ETERNAL STAMP on them throughout the Tanakh. What do you think King Solomon in the book of Proverbs teaches us by seeking wisdom? Why do you think Jews excel so well in life, yet they don’t even make up 1% of the population?

    #7. For Gentiles, they ARE NOT required to be obligated to the Torah, but certainly can LEARN from it. For all morality, principles, lessons on creation, existence, answers to all philosophies, technology and much more can be found inside the Torah. For one to simply narrow the Torah to animal sacrifices is a GRAVEN SIN. For G-d is PERFECT and He set the commands for a reason of AMAZING WISDOM…it is only human beings who only see “poor Billy the Goat”. You do not understand G-d if all you see is “poor billy the goat”.

    Fear of G-d is the beginning of Wisdom!

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  9. Every Jew that has lived from the 1st century knows that the Rabbi’s today come from the sect of the Pharisees. Sha’ul/Paul himself recognizes it and if you ever read the Talmud, you’ll learn not only to see the amazing similarities in written styles between the Brit Chadashah but how, unfortunately, Christian’s (Gentiles) butcher the Jewish interpretation of the NT. That is why the oracles, the Torah was given to the “Jewish” nation to gift “spiritual gifts” (Romans 11). But just because Jews give spiritual gifts, does not mean Gentiles who believe are “second class citizens”, it means that they are to do “physical gifts” and just like a few of the 12 tribes of Dan, they were not great scholars, but simple Jews who equally and financially supported them (additionally just like the reason everyone tithes to the Levites).

    Unfortunately, for many Christian leaders to admit, they are not willing to humble themselves and state outward “AFTER” making theological errors, that yes it is the Jew and the Jewish disciples who gave the halachic ruling (the how to’s) of the bible. Acts 15 is a perfect example and even then, many Christian teachers don’t teach the basic laws the disciples gave. Why?

    Finally…When G-d gave Noach the “new” covenant from Adam’s covenant, did Adam’s covenant get replaced? When Avraham or the Jews were given a “new” covenant, was the one Noach or Adam replaced? Since when did receive a “new” covenant”, “REPLACE” the ETERNAL ONES? Yes, Yeshua is the Torah, he is a walking Torah scroll, amongst many other things. Yeshua/Mashiach is written about in the Torah and Tanakh, so since when did you read that the coming of the Mashiach/Messiah = replaces Israel? Again, simply read Romans 11, and Paul himself gives his 2 cents about anyone who dares to think to “replace/boast” over Israel!

    As Gentiles or BELIEVERS…you are “graphed INTO Israel”. Are you not satisfied with such love and grace from G-d to do such an act THROUGH Yeshua? You need to now “replace” Israel?

    Like forget religious text for 1 minute, and observe Israel’s history from a historical level. Their survival AND SUCCESS…stumps even ATHEISTS! They are the #1 persecuted nation with a tiny population and YET they still flourish, they are incredibly spiritually strong, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LAND AFTER A HOLOCAUST…they survived COUNTLESS CHRISTIAN ATTACKS…and yet you think G-d has “left them” for what we call the “church”? What arrogance anyone has to even remotely think that, of the nation that “all shall be blessed by”, which was PROMISED to Avraham from G-d!…

    Please, repent and admit that you are off with your theology and it is severely damaging to anyone who reads it. Gentiles should be so happy and full of joy for such a gift!!! Not boastful and overriding, heaven forbid. This is why Jews for 2,000 (minus the time of Yeshua and his disciples) they REJECT Yeshua…not because of Yeshua himself, but because of his “followers”. “Thou shall not bear FALSE WITNESS…”

    I’ll be praying for you brother!

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    • First, the Talmud is not scripture, it is not inspired by God, and it speaks blasphemously against the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Secondly, throughout the Old and New Testaments, there is a distinction made between righteous Jew and unrighteous Jews. God, Christ, the prophets, and apostle all make this distinction. I have addressed this in my writings on my blog.

      Thirdly, the New Covenant absolutely replaced the Old.

      Paul says the following in 2 Corinthians as he contrasts the Old and New Covenants:

      Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

      The writer of Hebrews refers to the New Covenant replacing the Old when he cites the scriptures concerning Jesus. He says, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ~ Hebrews 10:9-10

      In chapter 8 the writer of Hebrews says the following concerning the New Covenant replacing the Old:

      But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. ~ Hebrews 8:6-13

      The covenant God gave to Israel under Moses bound them with a curse. Had that covenant not been abolished, Israel would still be under the curse.

      As it is, God in his mercy, has “cut off” from covenant relationship unbelieving Jews, counting them all as sinners so that he might show them all the same mercy that he has bestowed on the hopeless Gentiles who repent and believe the gospel.

      For as ye in times past have not believed God yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. ~ Romans 11:30-32

      Notice, that Paul declares that God is saving the Jews who will believe, not because they are Jews in the flesh, but by “the mercy” he has given to Gentiles who were lost in sin and had no covenant with God.

      God has only “one covenant family,” and that family is the blood washed church from every nation! And this was God’s plan of salvation all along, even before Israel existed.

      Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love… ~ Ephesians 1:3-4

      The salvation of the world was not an afterthought. It wasn’t plan-b. It has always been the plan hidden in Christ, and for this purpose God called the nation of Israel.

      Israel was chosen by God for redemptive purposes which have come to fruition in his Son: the true Israelite and the King of Israel, Jesus Christ!

      In Christ, God has accomplished what his people under the Law could not do. He raised up a Savior from among them by which he has redeemed to himself a family, a holy nation, a sanctified body who worships him and serves him – not after the Law, but after the Spirit – and this was his eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).

      Salvation through Jesus Christ comes to the Jew, not through the Law, but in the same way it has comes to the Gentiles – by God’s mercy!

      If God had not cut off the unbelieving Jews, destroyed their temple, and put an end to their system of worship, they would have never been redeemed. They would have continued under the curse of the law.

      Because of his mercy, God has cut off all unbelieving Jews and abolished the Mosaic covenant, so that he can have mercy on all Jews who will believe the gospel.

      And to this Paul declares:

      Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. ~ Romans 11:31-36

      Finally, Gentiles are not grafted into Ethnic Israel. Under the Old Covenant, Gentiles were grafted into the nation of Israel. When a Gentile under the New Covenant believes in Jesus Christ, he does not become an “ethnic Jew.” Nor does an ethnic Jew who has been “cut off” from covenant membership cease to be an ethnic Jew.

      Gentiles are grafted into the family of Abraham which is a household of faith!

      This is why Paul makes a distinction between Jews in the flesh and the remnant who were of faith in Romans 9-11.

      But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. ~ Romans 9:6-8

      Those who were righteous within the nation of Israel were the true children of Abraham, and those Jews who were not righteous were not the true children of Abraham.

      Jesus did not think the religious Jews of his day, those had opposed him, had any special privilege with God. When they claimed that Abraham was their Father, Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way 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 works of your own father”. ~ John 8

      They responded “We are not illegitimate children, the only Father we have is God himself. “To which Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God 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 desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” ~ See John 8

      Jesus told these ungodly Jews who were actual physical descendants of Abraham, “You belong to your father, the devil.”

      Jesus continues; “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God “. ~ John 8:45-47

      Abraham’s children are those who are of faith that lead to Christ and who practice righteousness, for God’s promise to Abraham was to make him the father of many nations!

      This is the family tree into which Gentiles are grafted through faith in Christ. They are grafted into Abraham’s family which God promised Abraham. This is a spiritual family (a household of faith) and not a physical one. Gentiles are not grafted into ethnic Israel. Ethnic Israel no longer has a covenant status with God. All unbelieving Jews are cut off from the covenant as Moses said they would be.

      Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ ~ Acts 3:22-23

      The spiritual heritage of every Jew is to be a person of faith, but not all Jews choose to trust God. Not all Jews choose to live godly. They are the branches who were cut off as described by Paul in Romans 11, and they were cut off because of “unbelief.” They were not cut off from their ethnicity, they were cut off from their spiritual heritage of being the children of God by faith, which is the promise that God made to Abraham “in Isaac!”

      Yet Paul declares, they will be grafted back in again if they no longer abide in unbelief for God is able to graft them in again. Their being grafted in is a “faith” issue and not an “ethnic” issue.

      A person’s ethnic status does not profit them in their standing before God. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus, who was a Jewish leader, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3 And, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” ~ John 3:5-7

      John the Baptist told the Jewish Pharisees, “do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” ~ Matthew 3:9

      The Jews who were “cut off”, were not cut off as ethnic Jews. They were cut off from the covenant because of unbelief, because the “promise” God made to Abraham was “spiritual” in its fulfilment and requires faith!

      The church has not replaced Israel, because true Israelites in the eyes of God have always been the church. The church of Jesus Christ began with the remnant of godly Jews, who through faith believed Jesus is the Messiah. It is into this body that Gentiles who believe in the Messiah have been baptized by conversion, and it is into this body, which is the true family of Abraham, which unbelieving Jews will be grafted back into if they will no longer abide in unbelief. This is Israel of God!

      Thanks for the prayers.

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      • Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being BROUGHT TO AN END. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:12-13

        NOTE ~ The KJV says “abolished” where the ESV (above) says, “brought to an end.”

        That which was being brought to an end, or abolished, was the covenant given to Israel in the flesh. The glory of that covenant radiated from the face of Moses after he had been in presence of God, and that glory has been surpassed by the glory of the New Covenant.

        Continuing with the scriptures,

        But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.v. 14-18

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  10. Hi Michael, In Galatians 23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

    26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    I believe we are not under the WRATH of the law (in custody), but now Yahweh has written His law on our hearts and in our minds. The first 4 feasts have been fulfilled but it is proper to learn and observe them vs the pagan Holidays and traditions we grew up with. Just like the Israelites and Gentiles had a hard time giving up Egyptian and Greek pagan practices, we too have a hard time when we discover the truth. A very hard time giving up our life long traditions. Now the last three Fall Feasts, day of Atonement, Trumpets, and Tabernacles, are yet to be fulfilled. We are not commanded to keep them with strict rules but out of willingness and truth of Yahweh’s Word, actually Jesus’ Word since He is the Word. Yeshua kept the Feasts and even Festival of Lights and we should too. We should Not keep the pagan Holidays with idols and symbols of pagan gods. Look at the Golden Calf event that stirred God’s anger and He wiped out 3000 Israelites. He doesn’t do that anymore because the wrath of breaking the law was nailed to the cross.

    I hope these humble words and laymen’s terms are adequate to explain the heartfelt desires of our Lord and the desires of His people to stay in the truth and the spirit of the new covenant with Jesus. Truth Matters per Jesus.

    Paula

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    • I’d like to address some of your points.

      All the feasts given to Israel have been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, the author of Hebrews expounds on Jesus’s fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.

      Much of Hebrews 9 and 10 is written with the Day of Atonement in view. By contrasting the temporary atonement of animal sacrifices with the eternal redemption in Christ, Hebrews 9-10  show how Jesus fulfilled the things foreshadowed in the Day of Atonement.

      The eternal value of the work of Christ is compared to temporary service which was only a foreshadowing of Christ (Hebrews 9:7-12).
      Cleansing for the conscience by the blood of Christ is compared with outward ritual cleansing in the flesh (Hebrews 9:12-12; 10:1-22).
      Jesus our Great High priest is compared with the fading ministry of the high priest and priests under the law (Hebrews 9:7-12; 21-24; 19-22).

      Whereas the Passover was symbolic of Christ as the Lamb of God and His death on the cross, the Day Atonement was symbolic of the entrance by Christ as our High Priest into the presence of God. The entrance of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies was representative of what Christ would do to bring us near to God (Hebrews 9:8-14; 23-28; 10:19 -22).

      Secondly, nowhere does the Bible teach that “the wrath of breaking the law was nailed to the cross”. The Bible teaches that the Law written in carnal commandments have been abolished by the death of Christ. Under the law, one could not be in covenant with God apart from becoming a citizen of Israel. Paul tells the Ephesians, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” ~ Ephesians 2:11-13.

      With regards to the law being written in our hearts, it is not the law given to Israel that is written in our hearts. Rather it is the righteousness of God, which comes through faith in Jesus Christ which is inscribed on our hearts. The law given to Israel, and the prophets sent to Israel bears witness to this righteousness. 

      Nowhere does the New Testament teach followers of Jesus to “keep the law”. Rather those who follow Jesus are commanded to fulfill the law.  The goal was never the command, but the purpose for which the command was given. The goal of “thou shalt not kill” was “love your neighbor.” The goal of thou shalt not covet or steal is “love your neighbor.”

      When Christ came, he did not come to abolish God’s law but to fulfill it by love. God’s law is fulfilled in those who live according to the power of Christ. This is why both Jesus and Paul tell us that love fulfills the law.

      The virtues of godliness such as kindness, self control, patience, peace, etc., are the very things to which the Law gave witness. The law (the written code) had no strength to free us from sin and empower us with righteousness. Nor did we have this strength in ourselves, for we had become servants to our own sins. Thus Paul says, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” ~ Romans 5:6

      Now that Christ has come, we have the strength to please God from our hearts and the law does not condemn us, for we are justified in Christ!

      God’s law has not been abolished, but the administration of it in written code has. God’s law is now made manifest through those who have the power of Christ ruling their lives. The goal of God’s law wasn’t to keep us from murdering our neighbor, it was to teach us to love them.

      In Romans 2 Paul speaks of the work of the Law in the heart and speaks of the same when he tells the Thessalonians, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. ” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9

      The Law of God is eternal, but the administration of his law has changed. No longer is it the ministration of death in written code. It is now inscribed on the hearts and minds of those who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. ~ See Hebrews 10:16-22

      Now it is administered as the commandment of love which only Christ can give, and properly know as “the law of Christ”!

      Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. ~ 1 John 2:7-8

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  11. This is a good post and very important to understand. Jesus clearly states that he didn’t not come to change the law and makes it clear that not until heaven and earth disappear should one letter be removed from the Law.

    Matthew 5:18
    For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    It’s was Paul, Peter and James, after a big debate, who voted to take the requirements from the law away for the Gentiles. You can see that James says “It is my judgment”.

    Acts 15:19-21 New International Version (NIV)
    19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 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. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

    A costly error that has kept the Jews and Gentiles separate till this day. Surely this can’t be the Lord’s plan. The Passover is important for all Christians and Jews because we are supposed to use the holiday to teach the younger generation the meaning and how God saves the people who OBEY his commands.

    Exodus 12:26-28 New International Version (NIV)
    And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.

    I make this all clear in this new website that I was inspired to create over the past 10 years. I finished it right before the Coronavirus appeared.

    Adon

    Isaiah 43:19
    See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

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    • You say, “I make this all clear in this new website that I was inspired to create over the past 10 years. I finished it right before the Coronavirus appeared.”

      You are implying that you have the truth which the apostles got wrong and at your “inspired” website you “make this all clear.” Fascinating!

      The link to your site has been removed and will not be permitted on my site.

      The conclusion reached by the Jerusalem counsel wasn’t James’s own personal judgement, nor was it a conclusion reached by the minds of men. In the letters that were sent to the Gentiles, they said, “it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” ~ Acts 15:28

      Throughout the book of of Acts, Luke documents the work of the Holy Spirit in the early years of the church. I would certainly trust the judgment of these men over that of yourself.  If their conclusion is unreliable, then the entire book of Acts would. be unreliable, and if Acts is unreliable then so is the gospel of Luke for Luke is the author of both Luke and Acts.

      In the mind of the first century Jew, covenant relationship with God was dependent on circumcision coming under the yoke of the Law of Moses. Meaning that Gentiles were to be converted as Jews. 

      However, God had done something so unexpectedly different and entirely new when he sent Peter to Cornelius’ house. He had called out a people from among the Gentiles for his Name and he had done it apart from the Law.

      In Acts 15: 7-11 Peter recounts his visit to Cornelius’ house (recorded in Acts 10). Peter along with the other Jews who accompanied him saw firsthand the salvation of Gentiles as Cornelius and his house were instantly filled with the Holy Spirit in similar fashion as the Jewish followers of Jesus had experienced in Acts 2.

      When Peter returned to Jerusalem he was confronted by the Jews for lodging at the home of Gentiles and eating with Gentiles.

      And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. (Acts 11:2-3)

      Peter then rehearsed to the Jews his experience from the beginning (Acts 11:4- 17). Notice the following from Peter’s explanation to Jews in verses 15-17:

      And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? (Acts 11:15-17)

      Then in verse 18, the scripture says:

      When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

      The evidence which convinced Peter and the Jewish believers at Jerusalem that the Gentiles had been accepted as the people of God, was the Holy Spirit. God had given to the Gentiles the same gift he had given to the Jews at Pentecost.

      The Holy Spirit had now become the new identity of the people of God replacing the old identity of physical circumcision. 

      This is the experience which Peter is recalling in Acts 15.

      After Peter gave his testimony, Barnabas and Paul testified of the miracles and wonders God had done among the Gentiles by their ministry. After Barnabas and Paul testified, James stood up and said the following:

      Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.  ~ Acts 15:14-18 

      The apostle James makes appeal to a prophecy given by Amos concerning the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, as the scriptural evidence that God would have a people apart from the Law of Moses.

      The tabernacle of David can either be a reference to the tent that David pitched for the ark of the covenant after the ark was recovered, or a reference to the Kingdom under David’s descendant who is to reign forever: the Messiah.  The latter seems to be the most likely as this theme appears multiple times throughout the book of Acts.

      In Acts 15:16 -17, the apostle James makes reference to this prophecy specifically and applies it to the Gentiles becoming the people of God apart from the Law.

      James goes on to say: Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

      It was therefore determined, based on the testimony of what God had done through the ministry of Peter, Paul, and Barnabas; along with James’ interpretation of the scriptures, that the Gentiles were not obligated to come under the yoke of the Law of Moses.

      Afterwards we read, “then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church…” ~ Acts 15:22

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