Escape from an apostate church through knowledge of Scriptures.
Christmas: Is It Permissible?
Christmas, though observed by Christians as the birthday of "Jesus," is a custom adopted directly from the first beast, Babylon. The Scriptures are curiously silent on any details of the exact date of the Messiah's birth, and long before Yahushua was born, pagans were celebrating the birthday of Tammuz, the grand-daddy of all sun-gods. According to legend, Tammuz was believed to be the reincarnated Nimrod, who was worshipped as the sun-god. All other sun-god characters, including Baal, Molech, Malkam, Dagon, Ra, Mithra, and others, branch from the story of Tammuz. Observing the birthday of the sun god on the winter solstice was a form of worship for the pagans, thus by adopting this practice, the forth beast Rome and all of its protesting variants have violated Yah's command regarding the immitation of pagan worship practices found in Deuteronomy chapter 12, which reads, "Guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too. Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it."
In effect, the forth beast Rome has caused the whole world to worship (or obey) the first beast Babylon, per John's prophesy in Revelation chapter 13, which reads, "I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast."
Just as Nadab and Abihu were consumed by the fire of Yah for bringing strange fire to Yah's altar, so those who worship the Most High in ways that immitate pagans will be consumed in the fire of Yah!
The following videos are great starting points for learning about the pagan origins of Christmas.
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:16 PM To: Flip Benham Subject: PUBLIC DEBATE CHALLENGE FOR FLIP BENHAM! Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Importance: High
WHEREAS: -Christmas is fraught with lies -Our Messiah was certainly not born on December 25 but a false messiah, Baal, certainly was -We are commanded in Scriptures to cling to truth rejecting all falsehood -Christmas trees are condemned in Scriptures -Our Messiah did not redeem abominations so as to make them acceptable -Christianity has generally embraced the lie called “Christmas” and has not repented thereof -Rev. Flip Benham, assuming the generally-held Christian position on the observance of Christmas, claims submission to the authority of Scriptures yet continues to observe Christmas in violation of Scriptural precepts -Rev. Benham has been entreated to repent of the lie called “Christmas” and has refused to repent The challenge is hereby issued to Rev. Flip Benham or his designee to debate the question in a public forum: Should Bible-believers participate in Christmas? The format, time and place of this public debate will be announced after this challenge has been accepted. This challenge, issued to Rev. Flip Benham, is in fact a challenge to all who claim to submit to the authority of Scriptures, the authority of our Messiah Yahushua yet continue in the abominable practice called “Christmas.” Baal, the pagan deity who “commands” the murder of innocent children, has been venerated by birthday celebrations on December 25th for thousands of years, and it is this observance that has been adopted by compromising “Christians” in violation of our Father’s commandments. It is time to thoroughly reject Baal-worship and all of its variants. It is time to worship only the living Creator YAH and His son Yahushua Messiah. All are invited and encouraged to attend this debate, as the history of this pagan holiday will be revealed in all of its irrefutable truth. Scriptures will be analyzed in depth to answer the question once and for all. Should Bible-believers participate in Christmas? The answer, for all who believe in Messiah Yahushua, must be a resounding, “No!”
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Sent: Friday, December 19, 2008 7:46 PM Cc: Flip Benham Subject: UPDATE: FLIP BENHAM REFUSES TO DEBATE THE QUESTION: Christmas: Should Believers Participate?
Yesterday, Rev. Flip Benham and I had an hour-long conversation about this question. Although he acknowledges that Christmas is adapted from Baal-worship, he asserts that “Jesus has redeemed” this abomination. After leveling a litany of slurs and insults at me personally – such as “cultist” and “judaizer” – Rev. Benham concluded that he would not debate this issue comparing himself to Nehemiah and me to Sanballat, a reference to Nehemiah 6:2-3. The comparison is incorrect for this reason: I am not requesting that Rev. Benham stop his work of pleading on behalf of the lives of the unborn, but I am entreating him to repent of the idolatrous, spiritually adulterous abomination known as Christmas. If Christmas is so good, why can it not be defended easily in a public forum? The truth is Christmas is from an evil seed. It is repackaged Baal-worship adopted by compromising Romans and tolerated by protestants until it took over our culture. Like most Christians today, Rev. Benham, does not see the relationship between the murderous act of abortion and the pagan god who commands it. This same pagan god is venerated at Christmas time with symbols such as wreaths and Christmas trees. Who is behind Baal but Satan himself? Baal, otherwise known as Satan, commands the murder of children. Baal and Satan are venerated at Christmas time even though Christians claim Christmas is the birthday of “Jesus.” This is a lie; Christmas is not the birthday of the Messiah Yahushua! Christmas is a lie, and no lie comes from our Father! Lies come from the father lies, which is the devil himself. If Christmas is a lie, then logically, Christmas is from the devil. That’s right, Christmas is Satan-worship, and it certainly is a salvation issue! It is spiritual adultery! Christians generally believe that “Jesus” has redeemed this abomination and made it acceptable practice for Christians today. However, our Messiah redeems PEOPLE and does not redeem abominations. We are commanded to reject abominations and not pretend to ourselves that abominations are redeemed. Since Flip Benham refuses to debate this question publicly, I hereby issue the challenge to any person who condones the observance of Christmas: can you defend it in a public debate from Scriptures in a controlled forum so that the merits of the arguments can be publicly considered without regard to the person making the arguments? The challenge us thus issued, and I await a reply. Christmas is Satan-worship, and those who observe it are in mortal danger! Refute this publicly if you can.
-----Original Message----- From:Douglas Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 11:41 PM To: Tim Cc: Huband, Doug; Flip Benham Subject: Re: Final Version - Christmas:Should Believers Participate? I thought the typos I just noticed might make my meaning harder to understand, so below is the corrected version. Thank you for your patience.
Huband, Doug wrote: Tim my friend, please hear me out...
In my humble opinion, you are coming to a completely wrong conclusion on this issue because, 1. The Bible says that the observing or not observing of holy days is not a “salvation issue”: Consider what the inspired apostle wrote…, Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. Why do you condemn others who esteem one day higher than you do? We are taught by the inspired apostle that the keeping or not keeping of specific days IS DEFINITELY NOT a "salvation issue". Even the devils knew and recognized the apostle’s authority. By what authority do you then contradict the apostle?: Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but WHO ARE YOU? Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ and we cannot deny his teachings on this or any other subject. This is because we, as living stones, Eph 2:20 … are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; The doctrine of Christ’s apostles therefore is foundational to our faith as believers in Jesus. Please consider therefore the following definitive teaching then: Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power… Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. To summarize: We have received Christ by faith, nothing more, nothing less. We are not made “more complete” by the keeping of ceremonial practices, nor are we made “less complete” by forgoing the same. Rather, we are already complete in Christ by faith. Therefore, the eating or not eating of “ceremonially unclean meats”, or the observing or not observing of “ceremonially holy days” does not affect our being complete or our complete acceptancein Him. We see then that an exacting observance of “holy days” is not required by God. This is absolutely settled by the Holy Ghost, who inspired the apostle. Since it is the Holy Ghost Who has made the final determination on this matter, we must submit to His will and stop judging ("condemning") others over which days they observe. 2. Attempting to discredit something by supposedly showing a “pagan origin” is biblically and historically inaccurate: Consider: you may or may not be aware that there are literally dozens of “false-christ” stories that pre-date our Lord’s coming to earth, and their stories share many similarities to that of our Lord’s. Many of these Greco-Roman-eastern false-christs were said to have been sired by God and born of virgin women around the time of the winter solstice. Some were said to have lived moral lives, died as martyrs, and some were even said to have been raised again from the dead. Using the same “pagan origin” reasoning that you have espoused, Christ’s enemies to this day continue to argue that the story of His coming in the Gospels originates from these pagan myths, because the myths supposedly came first; i.e. the “virgin birth” has a pagan origin; His martyr’s death has a pagan origin; His resurrection has a pagan origin. They say the Gospels are interpolated and false and that Jesus is therefore “just another myth”; i.e. He is just another false-christ. However, just because pagans first believed similar (though twisted) stories about their false-christs doesn’t change the truth about Jesus Christ! This misleading, (though easily believed) “pagan-origin” type of argument has been around a long time, but was ably answered by one of our “Roman” brothers (Justin Martyr) almost 19 centuries ago. His reasoned that:
Satan tried to “poison the well”; he early anticipated as much as possible of what he was able to understand of the prophesies of Christ,
and then unleashed as many twisted distorted versions of it upon mankind as he could,
in order to preempt, deceive, distract, confuse, and lead astray as many people as possible from seeing the true Christ when finally He did come.
: Specifically he wrote: “But those who hand down the myths which the poets have made,… we proceed to demonstrate that [these false-christ stories] have been uttered by the influence of the wicked demons, to deceive and lead astray the human race. For having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was to come, and that the ungodly among men were to be punished by fire, they put forward many to be called sons of Jupiter, under the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that the things which were said with regard to Christ were mere marvellous tales, like the things which were said by the poets. And these things were said both among the Greeks and among all nations where they [the demons] heard the prophets foretelling that Christ would specially be believed in; but that in hearing what was said by the prophets they did not accurately understand it, but imitated what was said of our Christ…” (Read Justin’s full argument here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.ii.liv.html) Furthermore, you imply that pagans first used December 25th as their holy day. You say that pagans worshiped Baal on this day, during this very darkest time in the year, (December 25th occurs very close to the winter-solstice.) So, the implication of such an argument is that Christians can have nothing to do with this day of the year. But I ask, what is the actual true origin of December 25th? How was this day used before the pagan’s tried to take it over? Was it not a part of the year, and of the seasons, and of the times that God had made “good” in the very beginning? Yes it was. Were not the beautiful evergreens and holly trees likewise a part of God’s good creation then too? Yes they were. But you may say “these things that God first made good were later taken by pagans and made evil.” Well, yes, that would be true, if one first denies the Lordship of God over all His creation. But denying His Lordship is unbiblical, and mere men cannot actually make anything evil. The closest thing they can do is change some of God’s creation into a false representation of god, an idol. But it is manifest that wreaths, and hollys, and trees are not idols, (just as cars, and houses, and furniture are not idols), unless they are worshiped as such. Likewise, consider my friend that God is the origin of all things; and of December 25th, as well as of every other day. How can you rather imagine that this day, or any of God’s days belong to mere pagans? Because we understand that it is God who originates and owns every day, we Christians dutifully: 1. Cut out the pagans, (since they neither “originated” nor “own” any day of the year), and then we, 2. Give God thanks alone as LORD of every day that He has made. Because today, as every day, Psa 118:24… is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Therefore, rather than ceding territory back to the devil, (as your view would require), we should reconsider our theories about the origin of Christmas. One could just as easily argue that some "Roman" Christians decided way-back-when to take this dark day back from Satan’s followers, and to celebrate the coming of the "Light of World into the darkness” on this day instead. Their apparent error in reckoning the exact day is perhaps lamentable, but as we have seen above, God does not require the practice of an exact day in order to be saved. After all, the true, biblical position is that Jesus owns every day;Baal gets nothing,and Satan (the supposed "god of this world") has already been beaten, owns nothing, and has no power, but what our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ allows him to have. And this same Jesus is the KING of kings and the LORD of all the earth,…
1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him! 3. “Christmas Trees” are not condemned in Scripture: Ashtaroth worship is.
Deu 16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. Since the physical temple and altar of God is no more, it would be impossible for us to literally transgress this commandment against worshiping the goddess Ashtaroth today, except perhaps in the sense of setting up a tree independently and actually worshiping it as some kind of idol. I don’t know of any people who do that, but I would be with you in condemning such practices if they were occurring. Barring literal worship of the tree, today Christians could only transgress the principle implied by this commandment against worshiping trees; which according to the teaching in the New Testament could perhaps be defined as: …that we should not put a tree, (nor anything else), ahead of our worship of God. Doing so would of course be spiritual idolatry. My house does not currently have a Christmas tree, but I still wouldn’t condemn the practice of another brother having one, so long as a decorated tree was not getting in the way of God in that brother’s heart and life. If on the other hand it was, then my view would be that “the tree needs to go.” 4. Attempting to use a ‘false-dilemma’ argument is a logical fallacy: You impose the false view that there are only two positions in this issue: celebrating Christmas or not celebrating Christmas. Actually, there is third way: celebrating Jesus Christ from the heartat Christmas time, while eschewing the secular junk that has nothing to do with Him. I would beg you to look not only on the outward appearances only, butrather also consider the hearts of Christ’s followers as well. Though you may disagree with them in some outward point, yet you may be surprised by the pious notions and sincere love of their hearts towards the Lord and towards His people…
5. One who erects walls of division between believers over non-essentials is a wicked abomination to Jesus: Pro 6:16,18 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:,… he that soweth discord among brethren. Consider also the wrath of the Great Shepherd against all those who would hurt and maim His precious sheep. As proven above, He has spoken on this issue and it is now settled. If you persist therefore in continuing to attack the body of Christ; if you continue to damn His people over something He Himself has deemed to be a non-essential, you will be making yourself an abomination in His sight. Please consider His judgment to come. Jesus “is even at the door.” Labor yourself therefore to “be found by Him in peace.” Set aside your misplaced attacks against Christ’s own body and judge your heart in the inspired light of Christ’s requirements: Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Col 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another… Thank you... ~ Douglas Huband
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2008 10:54 PM To: 'Douglas' Cc: 'Flip Benham' Subject: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to write a very thoughtful reply.
Like Flip, you have also imparted some knowledge to me in the past that has proven to be very edifying -- knowledge for which I am very thankful! For example, you correctly pointed out that the notion of a pre-tribulation rapture is, in fact, "Jesuit futurism" made popular by John Nelson Darby. This knowledge, once proven, was pivotal to understanding exactly what the mark of the beast is, which very germane to this discussion regarding Christmas. I am writing about the mark of the beast now and will send out an article on the topic soon.
All knowledge must be carefully scrutinized against the authority of Scripture, yet sadly, human tendencies sometimes reject knowledge because the knowledge is perceived as inconvenient. This perceiving of knowledge as inconvenient is called hardness of heart, and we see it all the time at the abortion mills as young moms refuse to acknowledge the truth that they are about to commit the heinous act of murder. Hardness of heart causes men to be blinded to the truth, and the fact is, Christmas has become so ensconced in to our culture that standing against it is very inconvenient.
Our exchange has been made very public by Flip's posting on his web site at http://www.operationsaveamerica.org/466.htm, which is a good thing. Many must see the dangers they are in! As a result though, this message is being sent to everybody on my email list as well to keep as many people as possible apprised of the conversation. It is important that people understand the fallacy in defending Christmas.
Let us go through your email point by point.
1. You wrote, 'observing or not observing the holy days is not a "salvation issue."'
You then site Romans, Acts, Ephesians, and Colossians, but please allow me to deal with your citations of Romans and Colossians, as they are more specifically pertinent to the question at hand. Keep in mind however that no scripture is of any private interpretation; therefore every interpretation and meaning that we apply to any piece of Scripture cannot contradict any other Scripture, and this is where many Christians – especially those who defend Christmas – stumble into error.
For example, we read in the Scriptures that refusing to keep the Sabbaths of the Most High was indeed a salvation issue. Consider for example the following from Ezekiel 20:23-26 (without verse breaks). "But I took a solemn oath against them while they were in the wilderness. I vowed I would scatter them among all the nations becausethey did not obey my laws. They scorned my instructions by violating my Sabbath daysand longing for the idols of their ancestors. I gave them over to worthless customs and laws that would not lead to life. And I defiled them by their own sacrificial offerings, as they passed all their first-born through the fire, so that I might devastate them and show them that I alone am יהוה." The words of YAH as spoken through Ezekiel indicate that this is a very serious matter, as the threat of being "devastated" by our Creator would constitute a salvation issue in my estimation. Therefore we must find in Paul’s writings the meaning that does not in any way contradict any other Scripture. The meaning that does not present a contradiction with any other Scripture and is supported by the context is the correct interpretation.
Paul cannot authorize what he has not been commissioned to authorize by law and the prophets otherwise he would be in error per Deuteronomy 13:1-5, which reads "When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. “And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and redeemed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst." Nobody -- including Paul -- is authorized to change our Creator's code of ethics as described in Scriptures, as doing so is the very definition of apostasy per the text. The fact is, I see no evidence that Paul is committing apostasy, but I do see plenty of evidence of men twisting Paul's writings to fit into a lawless agenda, and it is this twisting of Paul's writings – as well as other Scriptures – that constitute apostasy. For example, go back and very carefully re-read the citation you provided of Paul's epistle to the Colossians, and you will see that Paul is advising the Colossians not to become prey to the traditions of men. Chapter 2 verses 16 and 17 read, "Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah." This verse is specifically referring to none other than the commanded feast days codified in Leviticus 23, which are
the Festival of Unleavened Bread,
the Feast of First Fruits,
the Feast of Harvest,
the Festival of Trumpets,
the Day of Atonement,
the Feast of Tabernacles,
and the seventh-day Sabbath.
The last 4 festivals mentioned are not yet fulfilled and are certainly shadows of things to come. Without getting too far off topic, consider the meaning that is attached to the last 4 commanded feast days.
The seventh day Sabbath represents the seventh millennium, the kingdom of peace.
The Feast of Trumpets represents the day of the resurrection of the dead.
The Day of Atonement represents the Day of Judgment, when all the earth shall mourn.
The Feast of Tabernacles also represents the millennial kingdom.
Christmas and Easter are not shadows of things to come, as they have no prophetic meanings whatsoever according to Scriptures nor are they commanded nor were they observed by the Messiah or apostles. There is a specific and very beautifully prophetic meaning attached to each of the commanded Lev. 23 feast days. Paul is admonishing the Colossians not to be lured away by the traditions of men (Col 2:8) and the dogmas of men (Col 2:14), and certainly Christmas is a tradition and dogma of men. The feast days in Lev 23 however are not traditions or dogmas of men but are rather commanded by our Creator. Paul is herewith admonishing the Colossians to keep the commanded holy days found in Leviticus 23 because only these are truly shadows of what is to come. It saddens my heart to see so many who will not differentiate between what is commanded by men and what is commanded by YAH. We are to simply eschew commandments of men and obey the commandments of YAH. To do less or more is lawlessness.
Peter wrote this caution regarding Paul's writings in 2 Peter 2:14-18, "So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures. You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides. Amĕn." Paul's writings can be misinterpreted out of the context of the rest of Scriptures to condone lawlessness, and Peter saw this and thankfully warns us! Paul's writings are not easy to discern and must be interpreted within the context of the rest of Scriptures, and we must apply to Paul’s writings the meaning that does not contradict any other scripture.
Romans chapter 14 would appear to be the best defense for your position, but even Romans chapter 14 must be considered in light of the rest of Scripture and cannot be interpreted out of context. What meaning can be applied that is (1) supported by the context and (2) does not contradict the rest of Scriptures?
Two moral issues are addressed here by Paul: eating and observing a particular day. Now, I believe it is foolish to think that Paul herewith vacates all of our Creator's teachings regarding our diet, as our Creator knows best how to make us function. Paul indicates that the source of the contention on this topic comes from those advocating that we should eat only vegetables per verse 2, and Paul, being a Hebrew, would certainly have not included an abomination such as pig as food. Therefore the debate is between those who would eat all clean foods including clean animals and those who would eat only vegetables, but for the sake of staying on topic, let us deal with regarding the day. Could Paul have had in mind customary days that would not have violated the commandments not to follow the ways of the heathens? Paul was not specific about what observance was causing the dispute, so is it then right to assume that Paul is referring to the observance of any day? Absolutely not, as we are commanded to observe YAH's appointed times in Leviticus 23. Therefore, consider Deuteronomy 12:28-32, which reads "Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim. “When יהוה your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’1“Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it."
(Footnote: 1 See also Deut 18:9, Lev. 18:3, Jer.10:2, Ezek. 11:12 & 20:32, Eph. 4:17, and 1 Peter 4:3) Christmas is an example of how Baal-worshippers served their deity, therefore Christmas qualifies as an example of how the nations served their mighty ones.
What customary observances do not meet this criterion? We have two scriptural examples: Purim and Hanukah. Both of these days are not examples of how the nations served their mighty ones, yet they are not commanded holy days per Leviticus 23. They are however customary as they mark the anniversaries of (1) the victory over Haman's nefarious plans found in the book of Ester and (2) the rededication of the tabernacle at Jerusalem after the military revolt that overthrew the occupation of the villainous Greek general Antiochus Epiphanies (also interestingly born on December 25th) respectively. These two observances are customary and are traditions of men; they are not commanded. Purim and Hanukah are examples of observances that meet the Scriptural criteria of observances that Paul could have been addressing. Paul is not doing what he is not authorized to do. But to suggest that Paul is hereby nullifying the commanded feast days is a notion that is simply not supported by the text. Beyond this reasoning, I must say that staking out a theological position to support the nullifying of the Sabbath days and condoning distinctively pagan rituals with this vague reference by Paul in Romans chapter 14 seems to be not a firm, well supported platform -- supported by an abundance of Scripture, that is -- but rather a tenuous, rickety ledge overlooking a fiery pit reserved for all who have been led away by the delusion of lawlessness. Be assured that I will not stake my anchor on this misinterpretation!
Just a few years after writing to the Romans, Paul, while in a Roman prison, penned a letter to the Ephesians and said this about the topic (Ephesians 4:17-19). "So this I say, and witness in the Master, that you should no longer walk as the gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having been darkened in their understanding, having been estranged from the life of Elohim, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart, who, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecency, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Paul herewith reveals a diligent attention to what is profane from the ignorance of the gentiles. Christmas, because so much of it is false and untruthful, certainly falls into the category of what Paul is commanding us not to walk therein. Also in 1 Corinthians 12:2, Paul wrote the following. "You know that you were gentiles, led away to the dumb idols, even as you might be led." Paul again cautions against the "dumb idols" of the gentiles indicating that we are saved from such things. So, we see that Paul, by writing the 14th chapter of Romans would not be contradicting the rest of scriptures nor would he be contradicting himself by condoning distinctively pagan rituals such as Christmas nor would he be vacating the commanded feast days of YAH as described in Leviticus 23; quite the contrary, as we see evidence that Paul and his companions observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread as recorded in Acts 20:6. “And we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.” (The Feast of Unleavened Bread is particularly dear to my heart, as we are commanded to remove the thing that symbolizes the traditions of men from our houses, leaven. Leaven, according to the Scriptures, is a symbol of man's attempt to inflate the laws of Elohim through man's teachings, interpretations and traditions. As we rehearse this special feast day, we physically remove the leaven from our homes, a symbolic act of removing the traditions of men from our hearts and renewing our minds to obey only the voice of our Creator. This rich meaning is not found in man's traditional holidays such as Christmas.) In his first epistle, Peter also mentions the importance of differentiating ourselves, as believers, from the gentiles when he wrote in 1 Peter 4:1-5. “Therefore, since Messiah suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so that he no longer lives the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but according to the desire of Elohim. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the desire of the gentiles, having walked in indecencies, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties, and abominable idolatries, in which they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same flood of loose behaviour, blaspheming, who shall give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” Therefore, we must be cautious and discerning regarding our decisions to participate in “holidays” and thoroughly avoid those that have distinctively pagan origins. Certainly, Christmas is of distinctively pagan origin, and we can conclude, based on his writings, that Paul would not participate in such an observance. It is important to understand the simple truth of the matter: Christmas is not the truth, as our Messiah was not born on December 25. This fact alone, being an “untruth,” should be enough to cause us to steer clear, since we, as believers, desire to know and do only what is true. In his epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul describes clearly the fate that awaits those who do not love the truth but have pleasure in lies. As we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved. And for this reason Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood, in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness. John, the apostle of Messiah, had these words on this topic in his third epistle (3 John 3-8) For I rejoiced greatly when brothers came and witnessed of the truth in you, as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear of my children walking in truth. Beloved ones, you are acting trustworthily in whatever you do for the brothers and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the assembly. If you send them forward worthily of Elohim, you shall do well, because they went out for the sake of the Name, receiving naught from the gentiles. Therefore we ought to receive such, so that we become fellow workers for the truth. Notice here that John uses the word “truth” and does not use the word “half-truth.” John will receive nothing from the gentiles and encourages his beloved Gaius in the same. Certainly, Christmas is a half-truth at best given to us by the gentiles. 2. You assert, ‘Attempting to discredit something by supposedly showing a “pagan origin” is biblically and historically inaccurate.’ That Satan was able to use existing messianic prophesies at the time and formulate false-messiahs such as Mithra illustrates only that he is a deceiver of those whose are hearts are hard and who do not carefully consider what YAH has said, but this does not give us license to blatantly adopt pagan worship rituals as our own, in violation of our Creator’s instructions. Consider the following bit of rhetoric. I shall from henceforth observe Protestant Reformation Day on October 31, the anniversary of the nailing of the 95 thesis to the church door at Whitenburg by Martin Luther, by dressing as witch and going door to door begging for candy. The candy shall be referred to as the "fruits of the spirit." I shall also be adorned with a face carved into a pumpkin illuminated by a candle and shall tell everybody that it is the face of Jesus. The bat, which will represent the Holy Ghost, shall descend upon me to complete the ensemble. And the one advantage that I will have over Christians who observe Christmas is that the nailing of the 95 thesis actually happened on October 31. Practically every person on the planet realizes that Yahushua Messiah was not born on December 25. Just as you are shocked and appalled by this illustration, so is the Christmas observance for all who know the history of it. Just like Halloween, Christmas and all of its props are utter non-sense and abominations. 3. You wrote, “’Christmas Trees’ are not condemned in Scripture.” Neither do Scriptures condemn abortion, yet we know abortion is wrong because we are commanded not to murder. Similarly, we know Christmas trees are wrong because we are not supposed to learn worship practices from the gentiles. Furthermore, YAH condemns the practice as recorded Jeremiah 10:2-10. Thus said יהוה, “Do not learn the way of the gentiles, and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the gentiles are awed by them. For the prescribed customs of these peoples are worthless, for one cuts a tree from the forest, work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They adorn it with silver and gold, they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it does not topple. They are like a rounded post, and they do not speak. They have to be carried, because they do not walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they do no evil, nor is it in them to do any good. There is none like You, O יהוה. You are great, and great is Your Name in might. Who would not fear You, O Sovereign of the nations? For this is Your due, for among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their reigns, there is none like You. They are both brutish and foolish, an instruction of worthlessness is the tree. Silver is beaten into plates; it is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the smith; draped in blue and purple; all of them are the work of skilled ones. But יהוה is truly Elohim. He is the living Elohim and the everlasting Sovereign. At His wrath the earth shakes, and nations are unable to stand His displeasure. Christmas trees are a very old custom reserved specifically for the winter solstice celebrations, as they represent, according to legend, the life-giving blood of Tammuz, who was worshipped as Baal. When Tammuz was gored to death by a wild boar in a hunting accident, some of his blood, as the story goes, spilled onto an evergreen tree thus making the tree forever green, unchanging with the seasons. For this reason, evergreen trees were common symbols of Baal-worship, and Scriptures confirm this in many places. Deu 12:2 “Completely destroy all the places where the nations which you are dispossessing served their mighty ones, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 1 Kings 14:22-23 “And Yehudah did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Ashĕrim on every high hill and under every green tree.” 2 Kings 16:2-4 “Aḥaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Yerushalayim. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of יהוה his Elohim, as his father Dawiḏ had done. But he walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl, and he also made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the gentiles whom יהוה had dispossessed from before the children of Yisra’ĕl. And he slaughtered and burned incense on the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.” Isaiah 57:1-6 “The righteous one has perished, and no one takes it to heart. And kind men are taken away, while no one understands that the righteous one is taken away from the presence of evil, he enters into peace. They who walk in integrity rest on their beds. But come here, you sons of the sorceress, you offspring of the adulterer and the whore! Against whom are you sporting? Against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, offspring of falsehood, being inflamed with mighty ones under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion; they, they, are your lot! Also to them you have poured a drink offering, you have offered a grain offering. Am I comforted in these?” Jer 2:20 “For of old you have broken your yoke and tore of your bonds. And you said, ‘I am not serving You,’ when on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down, a whore.” And my personal favorite: Eze 6:11-13 "Thus said the Master יהוה, “Strike with your hand and stamp your feet, and say, ‘Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Yisra’ĕl who shall fall by sword, by scarcity of food, and by pestilence! ‘He who is far off shall die by pestilence, he who is near fall by the sword, and he who is left over and is besieged die by scarcity of food. And I shall complete My wrath upon them. ‘And you shall know that I am יהוה, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols." And there are plenty more examples of this in Scriptures. So, certainly ever-green trees were used for Baal worship and are held in great disdain by the author of Scriptures. Now, I understand perfectly that YAH made all of these ever-green trees, but to use them in such a way that so closely resembles the manner in which Baal-worshippers used them must truly grieve our Father’s heart. It really is simply inexcusable. 4. You affirm, “attempting to use a ‘false-dilemma’ argument is a logical fallacy.” A false dilemma is a logical fallacy, so you are correct in stating as such yet incorrect to assert that you can participate in this pagan ritual not be guilty, for the reasons stated above. Just a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the entire lump? Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Again, leaven is a symbol of men’s traditions and men’s commandments, and Paul is here admonishing the Corinthians to purge the teachings of men and do what they have been commanded by YAH and by Yahushua to do. Furthermore, to an earlier point, Paul is reminding the Corinthians to observe the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 5. You wrote “one who erects walls of division between believers over non-essentials is a wicked abomination to Jesus.” In principle, you are correct to point out that those who create strife are an abomination. Proverbs chapter 6 points out: “These six matters יהוה hates, And seven are an abomination to Him:  A proud look,  A lying tongue,  And hands shedding innocent blood,  A heart devising wicked schemes,  Feet quick to run to evil,  A false witness breathing out lies,  And one who causes strife among brothers.” Yet, I am not creating strife for the sake of strife but so that some of you might be saved. I reason and contend with you, as love demands no less. Consider what my end would be if I did not issue this warning. Am I not obligated for the sake of love to issue this warning? Ezekiel was commanded of such in this way as recorded in Ezekiel 3:17-21. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Yisra’ĕl. And you shall hear a word from My mouth, and shall warn them from Me. When I say to the wrong, ‘You shall certainly die,’ and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the wrong and he does not turn from his wrong, nor from his wrong way, he shall die in his crookedness, and you have delivered your being. And when a righteous one turns from his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, when I have put a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you did not warn him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done is not remembered, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the righteous one that the righteous should not sin, and he did not sin, he shall certainly live because he has been warned, and you have delivered your being.” Although you may perceive that this is merely an attempt on my part to be divisive, understand that I have no interest in being divisive for the sake of being divisive. This issue is profoundly important, and the need to address it is very urgent. Christmas is also under attack by atheists, I believe, because Christmas is simply an easy target. It is wrong and deep down everybody knows it. That it is condemned by Scriptures is not difficult to prove with a simple, cursory examination of the Word and history. Simply put, despite the emotional exuberance expressed by its adherents, Christmas makes Christians look ridiculous, as it is a blatant imitation of paganism. Christians are reluctant to give up Christmas because of the emotional baggage they attach to it, such as melodious Christmas carols, beautifully decorated homes, twinkling lights, generous gifts, the mouth-watering turkey roasting in the oven, memorable moments with loved ones and so on all done under the false pretense that it is “Jesus’ birthday”, and such is the stirring seductiveness of the serpent in his quest to cause you to forget what the Most High has commanded! “Hath Elohim said?” Our pilgrim forefathers knew this and outlawed observance of Christmas. For all who have the desire to diligently seek the heart of their Creator, there is only conclusion to make regarding Christmas: give it back to the devil. Yours in Yahushua Messiah, Tim
-----Original Message----- From:Douglas Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:49 AM To: Tim Cc: Flip Benham; Huband, Doug Subject: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued... Dear Tim,
Thank you for further explaining your views.
Based upon what you have written, I think the reason why we see things so differently is because you and I do not share the same scriptural foundation. Specifically, I believe that,
1. The N.T. teaches that Old Covenant rituals are not binding on New Covenant Christians.
We Christians affirm that Old Covenant rituals and ceremonies have nothing to do with New Covenant salvation. Christians, whether Jew or Gentile, now have peace with God simply through our faith in Jesus Christ, Who,
Eph 2:14 ...hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Eph 2:15 Havingabolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man...
The apostle teaches that the Old Covenant-required rituals and ceremonies that had so long separated Jew from Gentile have now been abolished by God. You say that they are binding on Christians and you imply that we Christians are lost because we take the apostle's teachings at face-value. By doing so, you have re-built a wall of separation between us, and this is an abomination to God.
We Christians firmly believe the inspired apostles when they teach that in no sense whatsoever are Old Covenant rituals necessary to observe in order to be saved. Rather, both Jews and Gentiles alike are saved by faith in Christ alone.
2. The N.T. teaches that Christ Himself is the fulfillment of the ritual and ceremonial observances of the Old Covenant.
I'll leave it to you to speculate about whether there is also some future prophetic fulfillment of the Old Covenant feast days. In the meantime however, we already know from Scripture that the coming of ChristHimself is the primary spiritual fulfillment.
Please consider again,
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
The reasoning of the apostle in this place is that:
These ritual and ceremonial observances were merely symbolic and transitory, like a shadow being cast on a wall by a man's approaching body.
They merely pointed to various aspects of Christ's salvation ministry, (which at the time was yet to come), but which He has now been completely won for us.
Since Christ has indeed already come and has succeeded spectacularly in "purchasing us with His own blood", we naturally set aside the unnecessary rituals that merely pointed to that, and fully embrace Him instead, just as we would naturally set aside our attention from a man's shadow, once the man himself comes into our view...
By faith alone we NOW have Christ and by faith alone we are NOW made COMPLETE in Him. Rituals and ceremonies that once pointed to him have been made obsolete. The writer of Hebrews says plainly that these ritual observances had come to end. They,
Heb 9:10 ...stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Thank God! We have now entered into a new and glorious time where God has not only freed us from these carnal ordinances but has also,
Col 1:13 ...delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Rom 14:17 ... kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The New Testament writings clearly affirm that there is a change in God's requirements concerning rituals and ceremonial observances, but if you will not hear the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps you will you hear the prophets of the LORD instead:
3. The O.T. teaches that God Himself would be the One to alter His Own Word. When Israel ignored the necessity of true heart-holiness, God Himself became sick of the appointed ceremonies and rituals:
Isa 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Isa 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
God found this fault to be so consistent with them as to be detestable. He later spoke through the prophet Jeremiah:
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
You confidently assert that God's "ethical" requirements can never be changed; that scripture in the New Testament can never contradict scripture in the Old Testament. You then quote verses to prove that men cannot change God's requirements. This is good and right and true, but who are you to say that HE Himself CANNOT change His Own requirements? Didn't you notice that "YAH" says in the text: "I will" make a change regarding my covenant with the House of Israel?
4. Consider further:
The Old Covenant (along with it's ritual and ceremonial observances), is has been replaced by the New Covenant, and it wasn't any mere man that did this, but GodHimself :
Heb 10:9 ...He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
How can you have set yourself up to be a "teacher in Israel" when you don't even know "YAH's" mind? How can you boast of being a "watchman over Israel" when you are so totally ignorant of His purposes?
God Himself has changed the nature of our covenant with Him. He has changed the requirements and He has revealed a truly "new and living way." And truly, "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!" Through Christ alone we have, Heb 10:19 ... boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Heb 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God; Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
The New Covenant is a "new way", but our knowledge of it is not new. It had already been heralded by the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, but its fulfillment has been fully explained by the apostles. Truly we are, Eph 2:20 ... built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets!
No, you are greatly mistaken Tim. The apostle Paul couldn't have been commanding Christians to "observe days, and months, and times, and years..." He couldn't have been commanding Christians to "touch not, taste not, handle not", as you would have us to believe.
Consequently rather, we Christians know with the fullest assurance that,
5. The Bible says that the observing or not observing of holy days is not a “salvation issue”:
We Christians can take the simple teachings of the apostles at face-value:
Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you.
Even so, Lord Jesus. Amen.
6. The Judgment to Come: Because you have arrogated to yourself the position of "teacher" and have taken it upon yourself to damn your fellow servants at will, you have already brought upon yourself an even more severe judgment to come:
Jas 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Please! Consider Christ your judge; set aside your misplaced attacks against His own body, and judge your own heart in the inspired light of His holy requirements. You make much of outward appearances, but don't you know that Christ says, Rev 2:23 ...I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
What then do you think is Jesus Christ's estimation of your heart in all that you have been doing to His Church?
Consider: When you perform your ritual of cleansing leaven from your house, you are merely "shadowing a good thing to come." That good thing comes in the New Covenant, where Christ begins to cleanse the leaven of sin from the heart, replacing it with His moral Law and holy character, (which is summed up by love.)
Tim my friend, I have known you for a few years now, and knowing you as I do, the most loving thing I can say to you now is this:
Shut your mouth; stop looking down at everyone else; plant your nose firmly in the dust where it belongs, and let Jesus begin to "clean house."
Then you will come to know the "better covenant with better promises."
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:01 AM To: 'Douglas' Cc: 'Flip Benham'; 'Huband, Doug' Subject: RE: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
Dear Doug, There is much to address here in your email but before we continue, let us address the point of dispute in Colossians chapter 2. I think that after we arrive at an agreement on this portion of Scripture, we will be in a better position to address the rest. Certain translations of Colossians 2:16, 17 reveal a rather fallacious and lawless agenda that is masquerading (apparently to make it palatable) as a veneration of Messiah Yahushua, I believe. Let us closely examine these two verses and see if we can come to an agreement regarding how they actually read from the original Greek and what they are actually clearly communicating. The NIV renders these verses as “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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” In contrast, the KJV renders these verses as “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Understand that the KJV renders inserted words in italics. Also please direct your attention to Colossians 1:24, which defines the body of Christ as the “church.” Now, let’s render the text of Colossians 2:16-17 from the KJV without the insertions so that it will be a truer rendering of the Greek. It now reads: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath which are a shadow of things to come but the body of Christ.” (For confirmation of this rendering, refer to http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Col&c=2&v=17&t=KJV#conc/17.) These verses now read much more clearly. Paul hereby commands the Colossians not to allow themselves to be judged for these things by anybody but those in the body of Messiah – the brethren. Although the insertion of the word is promotes an agenda, it is not true to the original text. Please prayerfully study this verse without respect for translations or interpretations, and tell me if you conclude the same. Yours in Messiah Yahushua, Tim
-----Original Message----- From:Douglas Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 4:28 AM To: Tim Cc: 'Flip Benham'; Huband, Doug Subject: Re: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
In my opinion, your interpretation of Colossians 2:16-17 is wrong.
1. Please consider that languages have different grammar and syntax rules:
I assume you have studied a foreign language in the past, or perhaps you know a foreign language already. If so, then you know that different languages not only have different words for the same meanings, but they also have different syntax and grammar rules as well. This means that one language may express a given meaning with few words, while another language would express the same meaning with many more words, due to the particular requirements of that language's grammar.
What makes for good Greek grammar doesn't usually make for good English grammar. Now if the grammar is bad in an attempted translation, then it is considered poor, and rightly so. Bad grammar affects the accuracy of meaning, which is the whole point of a translation in the first place.
2. Please consider that proper translation requires that words sometimes be supplied:
It is well-known that translators of all languages must supply words in their translations in order to actually translate a text. For example:
It is true that an original text has a meaning that is found in it's words. However, the meaning of those words are also affected by how the words are arranged. This is because the meaning of any given word in a language can be modified by how it is inflected (declension and conjugation), and how it is arranged in a sentence (syntax), which is all dictated according to the rules of that language's grammar.
Therefore: An original text is said to be translated when the original words, syntax, and grammar of the first language are replaced by the equivalent words, syntax, and grammar of another language. This usually means that more or less words are used in the translation then were in the original text.
The KJV, (as with all good, literal Bible translations), supplies words in the translation so that the English not only accurately reflects the underlying Greek text, but also makes sense as English, (i.e. it follows the rules of English grammar.)
Below is a sample list of New Testament verses where the word "is" is supplied by the translators. The supplied words have been removed in order to see if a "truer rendering of the Greek", automatically makes the verse "much more clear":
Rom 5:16 And not as it by one that sinned, sothe gift: for the judgment by one to condemnation, but the free giftof many offences unto justification. Rom 8:10 And if Christ in you, the bodydead because of sin; but the Spirit life because of righteousness. 2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency of God;
Doing so makes for choppy English and bad translations. It also highlights the inconsistent and arbitrary nature of your interpretation of Colossians 2:17.
3. Regarding Colossians.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is?] of Christ.
Removing "is" does not help your interpretation. Rather it makes poor English grammar. Forgetting that for now, it also makes nonsense of Paul's whole argument in the chapter. You would have him saying in effect:
We are complete in Christ, without the addition of anything, so... let no man judge you regarding the ritual and ceremonial practices of the Old Covenant,... but however, the men of the churchare allowed to condemn you for not following the ritual and ceremonial practices of the Old Covenant...
This doesn't make sense... Furthermore, 4. Hebrews 9-10 altogether disproves the view you have been defending.
Hebrews 9-10 is a much more detailed parallel to Colossians 2:
Heb 9:1 Then verily the FIRST Covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. Heb 9:8 [But] the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Heb 9:9 ...in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them UNTIL the time of reformation. Heb 9:11 But Christ BEING COME an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US.
Please notice: (the "Shadow"),
"Meats and drinks" and the other carnal ordinances were only imposed during the First/Old Covenant;
Please notice: (the "Substance"):
that is, they were imposed onlyuntil Christ ("the high priest of good things to come"), offered up his body as a bloody sacrifice for us all.
5. The amazing correlation continues into Hebrews 10:
Heb 10:1 For the law having a SHADOW of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he [Jesus Christ] cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but A BODY[!] hast thou prepared me: Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the First [Covenant], that he may establish the Second [Covenant].
by the coming of the "Substance" (the sacrificed BODY of Jesus CHRIST),
the "Shadow" (the Old Covenant rituals and ceremonies) was taken away and replaced by the New Covenant.
Now please read Colossians 2:16-17 one last time:
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the BODY is of CHRIST!!
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 2:12 AM To: 'Huband, Doug' Cc: 'Flip' Subject: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
Doug, It was nice to take a bit of a sabbatical from the debate, as these discussions can become – at least from my perspective – quite time-consuming. Regardless, it is time well spent and well invested! Just as before, this email is being copied my email list to keep everybody on the list apprised of the discussion. To jump right back into the debate, I assert that your interpretations of the texts, although not unorthodox from a Christian perspective, leave a wide-open door to tacit acceptance of contradiction. Please allow me to explain. The Colossians Question Pertaining to your points 1, 2, and 3, consider the work of a Greek scholar on the topic. I submit the opinion of Dr. Troy Martin of Saint Xavier University (see http://www.jstor.org/pss/3266938) who concludes:
Dr. Martin’s article is an expose of the common mistranslations of these verses in that the translators will relate “body of Christ” to “shadows of things to come,” which, in the mind of the reader, mirrors the concept being communicated in, for example, Hebrews that relate to two facets of the law – (1) the sacrifices for sin and the (2) priesthood – although certain lawless Christians would like to believe that this applies to the entire Sinai law as written by the hand of Moshe. Herein lies the great and insidious contraction that is tacitly accepted by Christians that subscribe to the interpretation that Paul, in the book of Colossians, relates “body of Christ” to the “shadow of things to come:” they errantly believe that, per the book of Hebrews, if the “shadow” can be related to the priesthood and the sacrifice for sins and the “shadow” can, per the book of Colossians, relate to the feast days as well, then (hocus pocus) “shadow” can relate to the entire Sinai law as written by the hand of Moshe, an interpretation that is certainly not supported by the text! This interpretation, in my opinion, supports a lawless agenda that attempts to persuade (and is more often than not successful at persuading) its hard-hearted subscriber to believe that our Creator’s code of ethics have been vacated in toto, an interpretation that, at the final judgment, will be greatly regretted!
My original translation asserts that only the body of Messiah, that is the assembly of believers (of which we are a part), should judge us for our eating and drinking or by our observance of feasts, new moon, Sabbaths -- an assertion that I, until proven wrong by the text and not by pretexts, will stand by. Yet Dr. Martin reveals that according to his interpretation the text goes a step further by suggesting that he believes the body of Messiah shall be known by all by their observances and dietary habits. Dr. Martin may define these dietary habits to the “Christian Eucharist;” however, in my opinion, the Scriptures themselves establish commandments in that should govern our eating and drinking, commandments that are detailed in Lev. chapter 11 and Deut chapter 14.
But importantly for our discussion, Troy Martin points out that the Greek text reveals no relationship between the two clauses containing "shadows" and "body" as is often represented in modern translations and commentaries but rather points out that believers are to be know by their feasts, new moons, Sabbaths, eating and drinking, practices that distinctively -- and in an outward way -- set them apart from pagans. Dr. Martin describes the problem with the interpreted relationship between these two clauses as follows:
Despite Dr. Martin’s obvious religious bias, his evaluation of the relationship of these clauses presents a good argument that the Greek text does not support an interpretation that these verses are suggesting that Messiah Yahushua himself is the body, or the substance, that is casting the shadow described here (although we do see this concept explicitly – explicitly as the concept relates to the shadows representing the sin offering and priesthood – in the book of Hebrews). I am therefore compelled to conclude that the translation of this verse is more accurately portrayed as earlier indicated:
“Paul hereby commands the Colossians not to allow themselves to be judged for these things by anybody but those in the body of Messiah – the brethren. Although the insertion of the word is [in the KJV] promotes an agenda, it is not true to the original [Greek] text.”
The exact meaning of the verse is easily understood if the admitted KJV insertion of the word is and any other italicized words are removed. It is easily understood even if the reader has no understanding of Greek.
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath which are a shadow of things to come but the body of Christ.”
In the mind of a reader who is well-versed on the Lev 23 commanded feast days who understands that these Sabbaths (especially the fall feasts) are rehearsals of future events, the connection between “an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath” and “which are a shadow of things to come” is readily and easily understood. First century believers obeyed these commanded feast days, so it stands to reason that they also would understand their prophetic meanings as rehearsals of future events.
The understood meaning “Let no man but the body of Christ therefore judge you…” is also consistent with Paul’s admonishment that believers should judge among themselves and not allow themselves to be under the judgment of unbelievers as we read in 1 Corinthians 6:1-6…
“Should any of you, holding a matter against another, go to be judged before the unrighteous, and not before the set-apart ones? Do you not know that the set-apart ones shall judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge messengers? How much more, matters of this life? If then you truly have judgments of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are least esteemed by the assembly? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise one among you, not even one, who shall be able to judge between his brothers? But brother against brother goes to be judged and that before unbelievers!”
Elsewhere in the article, Dr. Martin also rightly points out that first century Christians observed the feast days as commanded in Leviticus chapter 23. Why then should we not do the same? The Hebrews Question Regarding your points 4 and 5, I agree with you only in principle -- that is, the principle that there was a change per messianic prophesy -- but certainly not in scope, which is explicitly defined in the text. To clarify, Messiah Yahushua certainly did fulfill the laws that were pertaining to animal sacrifices for sin, but to say that the entire Sinai code as written by the hand of Moshe was vacated is truly a notion that the text simply does not support -- a notion that has become the hallmark for those who serve the beast (specifically the fourth beast, which is the Roman Catholic system and all of its variants, which will be described in detail in an upcoming article). Notice that the author ofthe book of Hebrews (who, by the way, remains unknown) points out exactly what is now changed. This change is consistent with messianic prophecy as found in Isaiah 53:5, which reads in reference to Messiah Yahushua: "But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our crookednesses. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. " Before Yahushua was pierced for our transgressions, sin offerings to atone for our transgressions were in the form of sheep, goats, calves, bulls, fine flour (Lev 5:10), wine (Numbers 15:24), and washings (Numbers 8:7) submitted only by the Levitical priesthood on our behalf. It was therefore prophesied that just as a sheep, goats, calves, bulls, fine flour, wine, washings -- the cardinal ordinances -- were used as sin offerings, Messiah Yahushua would become now our sacrifice for sin. We are reminded, via the text, of what has changed exactly – and the word “exactly” must be emphasized here strongly. It was not the entire Sinai code written by the hand of Moshe that was changed. According to the text, the change is limited to(1) what is now offered as a sin offering, which was Messiah Yahushua and (2) as a consequence, the priesthood, which is now Messiah Yahushua who is our advocate with the Father. Consider then the following from Hebrews 10:1 in its full context: For the Torah, having a shadow of the good matters to come, and not the image itself of the matters, was never able to make perfect those who draw near with the same slaughter offerings which they offer continually year by year. Notice that the text via the word “having” indicates that the Torah contains (as it contains the ordinances regarding sin-offerings) the shadow of good matters to come and does not say “for the Torah, being in its entirety a shadow of the good matters to come…” Again, the text reveals exactly what has changed in the Torah – (1) the sin offering and thus (2) the priesthood – per messianic prophesy. But to read into this that the Sabbaths or the dietary laws or any other aspect of the Sinai covenant as written by the hand of Moshe have changed is simply reading more into the text than is actually there, and it is this troubling twisting of the text that has been the hallmark of the beast for the passed approximately 1800 years and will brand its subscribers with the mark “lawless,” which will yield those damning words from our Judge, “depart from me. I never knew you,” per Matthew 7:23. Suffice to say, if the book of Hebrews does not confirm what the Law and the Prophets already say, we throw the book of Hebrews out as we would any other writing that offers such contradiction; however I see no evidence that the book of Hebrews contradicts the Law or the Prophets at any point. I do see plenty of Christians for the past approximately 1800 to 1900 years errantly interpreting these contradictions into the text however, which is indeed a troubling development. Falling into the Pauline Trap as Described by Peter The Orthodox Christian theological position regarding Paul’s epistles that vacates the entire Sinai code as written by the hand of Moshe, the position to which you are espoused, is precisely that trap that was described by Peter. By painting these interpretations with such an overly broad proverbial brush, Christians have assigned to the entire Sinai code as written by the hand of Moshe what only rightly belongs to the sin offering as prophesied and, as a consequence, the priesthood as explicitly defined in the text. In short, this interpretation is exactly the trap that Peter describes – the trap of lawlessness. I implore you with tears to again consider Peter’s stern warnings regarding Paul’s writings, the pitfall of which he also makes explicit, as we read in 2 Peter 3:14-17: "So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures. You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless." Conclusion This discussion regarding Colossians and Hebrews is necessary, as these books are commonly evoked by those who defend Christmas observance, yet as is explained above, the texts sited offer no such defense. In short, I stand by and fully affirm the position that per its entire history, which predates our Messiah, Christmas is, in fact, repackaged Baal-worship. Christmas was created by the first beast Babylon as a celebration of the birth of its false messiah Tammuz who was worshipped as the reincarnated “Sun-god” Baal – a birth that occurred according to tradition on December 25th; therefore Christmas must be, for those who wish to stand at the judgment absent of any markings of the beast, thoroughly rejected. Remaining yours in Messiah Yahushua, Tim
-----Original Message----- From:Douglas Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 5:17 AM To: Tim Hanline Jr. Cc: Huband, Doug; 'Flip Benham' Subject: Re: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
I understand that you may find it impossible for now to believe what I have been trying to get across to you, but it is true. Please carefully consider my response...
1. You found one person who agrees with your interpretation of Colossians 2:16-17?
He only partially agrees with you and only because he also has an agenda for throwing out the plain, simple reading of Colossians 2:17. In Colossians 2, Paul argues that Christians are complete in Christ, with no admixture of either heathen Pagan practices or superseded Jewish practices.
Versus the overwhelming majority of Greek scholars for the past 2000 years, (who understand that Paul meant that Christ alone is the fulfillment of the Old Testament shadows), the Roman catholic Dr. Martin would throw out this precious truth in order to add the further weight of requiring the belief and participation in their false doctrine of "transubstantiation"; and you would throw it away so that you could add the further weight of required feasts, new moons, Sabbaths, etc. One addition is Pagan, the other Jewish, and both are foreign to the Gospel.
You claim that "first century believers obeyed" the Old Covenant feast days, and you imply that the early Christians were careful to observe the Old Covenant dietary laws, yet you have no evidence other the bare assertion that it was so. What evidence do you have other than what you are debating in the New Testament writings?
I challenge you to actually study the early 1st and 2nd century Christian writings after the New Testament. There you will find commentaries on the New Testament by men who thought and lived in Koine (N.T.) Greek, and who certainly knew Greek better than any modern Greek scholar will. One early Christian named Origen wrote about the Jews condemnation of the Christians. In response, he likewise tied Colossians 2 and Hebrews 10 together:
...[We] are condemned by the Jews as transgressors of law, [but Paul] said ...“Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink,” etc., (Col 2:16).
teaching us that the things according to the letter [of the law] are a shadow, but that the true thoughts of the law, which are stored up in them, are the good things to come, in which ...are the pure spiritual meats of the soul, and what are the impure foods in false and contradictory words which injure the man who is nourished in them, “For the law had a shadow of the good things to come." (cf. Heb 10:1) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.xvi.ii.iv.xii.html 2. You agree that Hebrews 9-10 does employ the "shadow/body" analogy, but you deny that Colossians 2:16-17 does.
Your view is all the more difficult to defend because both passages use the very same words and phrases.
You also say that Hebrews 10 only relates to the sacrifices and the priesthood, and agree that they are done away, but that Hebrews 10 does not relate to the feasts, new moons, Sabbaths, etc.
Let me point out something that may not be obvious. You think that only Hebrews is talking about the sacrifices and priesthood being done away with, but I am going to show you that Colossians 2:16-17 has primarily to do with the sacrifical system as well. That's why Hebrews 9-10 fits so well with Colossians 2.
Consider the parallel text from the Old Testament that Paul could very well have had in mind while writing Colossians 2:16-17:
Eze 45:17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts (Holy Days), and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
3. According to Leviticus 23, the Feast Days can no longer be literally observed today.
The Law of Moses positively required burnt offering sacrifices to be made in conjunction with all of the feast days:
The Feast of Passover and of Unleavened Bread: Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. Lev 23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
The Feast of First Fruits Lev 23:10 ...When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest: Lev 23:12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering Lev 23:13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. unto the LORD.
The Feast of Pentecost Lev 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Lev 23:18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
The Feast of Trumpets Lev 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Lev 23:25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
The Day of Atonement Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. The Feast of Tabernacles Lev 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. Lev 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD...
You would require that we observe these feasts according to the Law of Moses, but I ask you: How do you observe them? Where is the Temple? Where are the priests? Where are the burnt offerings? Where is your obedience to the text?
Well, if you answer that "you observe as best as you can, and that you spiritualize the sacrificial part by understanding that Christ is your sacrifice", then are disagreement on this point is not quite as large as you thought. We Christians also keep the feasts in a spiritual manner ourselves:
1Co 5:8 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.
In the New Covenant, we Christians keep the feasts, not with the old Jewish leaven, nor with the leaven of sin, but with the unleavened bread of our sincere faith in Jesus Christ.
Please do not hypocritically condemn us any more for not keeping the Old Covenant feasts according to the Law of Moses.
4. We Christians believe Paul and Luke and Peter and John...
Not only have we fallen into "the Pauline trap", as you call it, but we have also "fallen in" with Luke, Peter, and John as well. First notice the instruction that Luke relates to us regarding our salvation:
Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Now, no one was arguing that the Law of God, (the ten commandments written supernaturally on tables of stone), was done away with. No, these are written on the heart in the New Covenant.(See II Cor 3) No, the question was over the ordinances written in ink by hand: the "Law of Moses." We know already what Paul had to say about the hand-written ordinances:
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
(Supernaturally chiseled stone does not "blot" well.)
Continuing with Luke, we read the we Christians have also fallen in with the Holy Ghost as well, Who's only burden to us in relation to the "Law of Moses" was to abstain from the most notorious and scandalous of Gentile sins, which were these:
Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
No meats, no drinks, no Feast days, no new Moons, no Sabbaths...
As for John, please read his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd general epistles and see if you can find where he commands the Christians to keep ceremonial times or observe ritual new moons. You won't find it. (Please. It is important to take the time to read from a faithful translation of the inspired Greek text. If you only read from a Hebrew-names translation, it will still skew your reading.)
As for Peter, please read his 1st and 2nd general epistles. If you follow the same procedure as above, you will get the same results. You will see a lot of New Covenant pointing of God's Law at the heart, but no commanded meats, and drinks, and feasts, and new moons, etc...
5. God predates this "Tammuz" guy.
In the beginning, God made time and the heaven and the earth, and He ownseverything:
Psa 89:11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
I can tell you with assurance that God doesn't care about this dead Tammuz guy. Rather, the Father cares supremely about His Son; that He be glorified. The Father has already given Jesus all authority in heaven and in earth. He doesn't need your leave or mine to take what is already His. Consider: Was "Tammuz-christ" Satan's best shot? Was Satan going to get Jesus Christ to fail in His mission, and then have "Tammuz-christ" steal the show and steal heaven?? God forbid!
Because He successfully completed the work of redemption for us all, the Father has elevated Jesus Christ "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named", (that includes "Tammuz".)
Jesus Christ is now the all-conquering, almighty, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
HIS FOOT RESTS ON THE NECK OF TAMMUZ.
Jesus has taken away his day and He has taken away his glory.
Amen. In Conclusion:
This is the apostolic doctrine of New Covenant salvation:
The Father sent His only begotten Son into the world to win the salvation of the world, and He did; completely; alone! Jesus Christ has come; He won; and now its done!
We as individuals must repent of our sins and dead works of self-righteousness, and go-on-believing in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. This is the only true Gospel.
-----Original Message----- From: Tim Hanline Jr. Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 11:12 PM To: 'Douglas' Cc: 'Huband, Doug'; 'Flip Benham' Subject: Christmas: Should Believers Participate? Continued...
Dear Doug, I have taken time to carefully consider your points knowing that we will be judged for every word. Under point 1, you have evoked two logical fallacies, which are argumentum ad hominem and argumentum ad populum found in the first two paragraphs of point 1 where you wrote: Versus the overwhelming majority of Greek scholars for the past 2000 years, (who understand that Paul meant that Christ alone is the fulfillment of the Old Testament shadows), the Roman catholic Dr. Martin would throw out this precious truth in order to add the further weight of requiring the belief and participation in their false doctrine of "transubstantiation"; and you would throw it away so that you could add the further weight of required feasts, new moons, Sabbaths, etc Impugning a man’s character is not a sufficient reason to discredit his argument (ad hominem), and simply because an abundance of scholars assert a given school of thought does not in itself make the assertion true (ad populum). Dr. Martin put forth a very detailed exegesis of the text explaining the Greek including tenses of verbs and ellipses found in the commentaries of others. His explanation is the most plausible and the most thorough I have encountered thus far. Because our frames of reference differ so greatly, we may not be able to reach agreement on this issue even though the Scripture texts – especially the Hebrew Scriptures – are very plain in meaning. You are finding the meaning that is most compatible with your belief system, a belief system that was likely etched into your thought-patterns long before reading the entirety of Scriptures. I, on the other hand, having grown up in such a culture, have seen the logical dead-end of such a backwards belief system and have concluded that unless a holy day is plainly commanded in Scripture, I will absolutely not participate because to do so is presumptuousness plain and simple. Because you believe, in tones eerily reminiscent of what was said to JeremiYah (Jer 7:10), that you are set at liberty to commit abominations such as eating pig, venerating Tammuz by claiming to observe Jesus’ birthday, and the like, you will naturally gravitate to the interpretation that is most compatible with this belief system – lawless belief system – to which you are espoused, even though the history of Yisra’el as recorded in the Scriptures recounts many examples of how the people attempted to change the Sabbaths of Yah into Baal worship as is the case with Christmas, the most obvious example being Jeroboam in 1 Kings 12 who also, among other sins, created his own feast day, which earned him many dishonorable mentions in the Scriptures. After shedding thoroughly the leaven of man-made religious systems and studying the texts for what they plainly say, I have reason to believe that our Creator has set forth an immutable code of ethics for all of mankind to live by and which we will ultimately be judged by per the written testimony of His prophets; therefore I find the meaning in the verse that is compatible with this belief system, a meaning which, by the way, is not only perfectly congruous with the Greek text but is also the plain meaning of the Greek text, no inserted words necessary. For example, consider Colossians 2:20-22, which reads: “If, then, you died with Messiah from the elementary matters of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations: “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” – which are all to perish with use – according to the commands and teachings of men.” Considered out of context and from a lawless frame of reference, Col 2:20-22 is often wrongly construed as a specific reference to the Law as written by the hand of Moshe as found in the first 5 books of our Bible, and as a matter of fact, many Christian pastors that I have spoken with have made this rather uneducated claim. As a matter of fact, upon careful consideration of the text, their malady is not a lack of education but rather a hard heart, as the text is very clear about the cause of the offense. The cause is commandments and teachings of men. If we closely examine the text it becomes obvious that Paul is not referring to anything in the written Torah, as nothing in the written Torah came from man. All that is written in the Torah was given to Moshe from the Most High. As we study the Torah, carefully note the differences between what is commanded by Yah Himself, which should never, never, never be confused with the commandments of men, yet sadly to a great many Christians, all too often very well is, a lesson I fear too many will learn too late when they become fuel for the fire, as well they deserve. Upon examination of many commentators’ explanation of the Colossians 2:16, it is curious to note the two prevailing interpretations of the sentence “let no man therefore judge you.” Some commentators suggest that this is interpreted as “let no Jew therefore judge you.” Other commentators suggest “let no pagan therefore judge you.” However, as with any academic pursuit, intellectual precision is imperative, and Paul has written an intellectually precise statement with the phrase, “let no man therefore judge you,” and my assertion again is that this phrase is a specific reference to the body of Messiah or, in other words, the assembly of believers. Regardless, we can see from the text very clearly that Paul is condemning the traditions of men and is not condemning the commandments of Yah. In all the written Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible, we read that it was not Moshe giving these commandments. Yah gave us these commandments as written by then hand of Moshe. This is a very important distinction. Ex 20:1: “And Elohim spoke these Words saying…” chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23. Ex 35:1: “And Moshe assembled all the congregation of the children of Yisra’el, and said to them, “These are the Words which יהוה has commanded you to do…” Lev 18:1-3: “And יהוה spoke to Moshe, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’el, and say to them, ‘I am יהוה your Elohim. Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim, where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kena’an, where I am bringing you…” Lev 19:1-2: “ And יהוה spoke to Moshe, saying “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Yisra’el, and say to them ‘Be set-apart, for I יהוה your Elohim am set apart.’” This is followed by a list of commandments that apply to all Yisra’el and this includes us, all of us who have been grafted in, today as well; these laws have never been vacated nor should they be. Lev chapter 20 is for all the people, and certainly applicable for us today. Lev chapter 21 is for the priests, and it would be presumptuous and thus sin for us, knowing we are not Levites, to attempt to do what has been exclusively commanded the Levites. Lev chapter 23 we can certainly obey sans those portions that would be presumptuous, which has been the practice in my house for a few years now. (More on this later). And the list goes on, and there are many more examples of the distinctions that must be made between what was commanded by whom for whom. A careful study of the first 5 books of the Bible will reveal what the Most High commands as opposed to what Moshe commanded. These books reveal what the Most High commanded Moshe, what He commanded the Levites, and what He (Yah) commanded all of the people. Furthermore, the differences between these are clearly explained as well. Suffice to say, if we are not Levites, then we should not attempt to perform the commands that were given exclusively to the Levites, as to do so would be presumptuous on our part and thus sin, just as the sin of Uzziah in 2 Chron 26:19. If it is commanded to all Israel and if it is possible for us to obey without being at all presumptuous, then we certainly must obey else walk in sin. We need not make our Father in Heaven repeat Himself by claiming that if it is not written in the New Testament then we are under not obligation to obey it, and a careful examination of what the prophets have to say about our future will confirm this. The very next verse, verse 23, from Colossians 2 makes the point all too clear. “These indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed worship, humiliation and harsh treatment of the body – of no value at all, only for satisfaction of the flesh.” There is absolutely nothing commanded in the first 5 books of the Bible that is “self-imposed worship” or “humiliation and harsh treatment of the body,” and one would have to be a perverted Shem-hater (Shem was the son of Noah), so to speak, as Baal-worshippers were, to make such a ridiculous claim. “Self-imposed worship” and “humiliation and harsh treatment of the body” and “do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” beyond what is already commanded in the written Torah, are characteristics of man-made religious ordinances. As yet another example, consider that adherents to Judaism are beholden to a code of ethics often referred to as the “oral torah” otherwise known as the Talmud, which is a collection of rabbinical commentary that sadly leavens the Torah as written by the hand of Moshe as given from Yah. It is the teachings of the Talmud that condemned the Pharisees and earned the ire from Yahushua our Messiah. It is the Talmud that tells the Jews not to pick heads of grain on the Sabbath to eat or heal on the Sabbath or pick up your own mat on the Sabbath or take not more than a given number of steps on the Sabbath, but unless Christians really study the first five books of the Bible (which they typically don’t), they never really understand this and are left believing that Yahushua Messiah is condemning the Sabbath laws as written by the hand of Moshe instead of condemning Sabbath laws leavened by men. The Talmud is the foundational teachings of Judaism, and sadly it is just another false teaching of man, which is why you can go into a kosher meat market and buy beef that is sitting in a pool of blood; as long as it has been blessed by the Rabbi, the Jews don’t give it a second thought, yet eating blood is a blatant violation of Scriptural teaching regardless of who blesses it. So when Christians make absolutely ridiculous statements such as “the Jews keep the law” and “the Pharisees kept the law and that was their downfall,” I take careful note to observe that what is missing from their indignant condemnation is any information regarding whose law the Jews and the Pharisees keep or kept. Jews, those who are adherents to Judaism, and Pharisees keep man’s laws and thus do not keep the laws of Yah. When you read the New Testament and see references to the laws of Moses, how do you know for certain if the reference is to the written Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible as written by the hand of Moshe) or to the Talmud? Which teaching is being referenced? You must be a sincere student of the schoolmaster, the written Torah, to understand the difference, as Jews typically make little or no distinction between the two, which is a big problem, as the written Torah is truth and the Talmud is mere commentary and often contradictory commentary – sort of like the commentary penned by the so-called church fathers. Christians who have lawless and hard hearts bristle at the thought of any law when they evoke Yahushua’s law to love our neighbor as ourselves, but without the governance of the laws of Yah, loving your neighbor as yourself can be unbridled into a perversion like adultery or homosexuality, which are not only sins but also capital offences. Our actions must be governed by our Creator’s commands and by His definitions and even the term “love” is defined in the written Torah in Lev 19:17-20, which reads “Do not hate your brother in your heart. Reprove your neighbor, for certain, and tolerate no sin because of him. ‘Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am יהוה. ‘Guard My laws.” Understanding the distinction between the laws of Yah and the laws of men is vitally important to us as believers yet sadly is a discipline that few Christians bother to take an interest in. As a result, Christians find themselves unwittingly in the same boat as and guilty of the same types of crimes that they condemn Jews for, which is obedience to the laws of men instead of obedience to the laws of Yah. As a result Christianity and Judaism all too often are, in practice, simply variants of the same evasion, the evasion of obedience to Yah. Regardless, as indicated before, a lawless interpretation of the Greek text is not an interpretation that can be substantiated nor is it consistent with the Hebrew Scriptures, and an interpretation of the Greek text that is considered outside the context of the Hebrew Scriptures must be thoroughly rejected as it creates a contradictory condition that would invalidate the Greek texts altogether. Considered without regard to the context of Hebrew Scriptures, the Greek Scriptures can, for those intent on finding such lawless meanings, be misinterpreted to contradict the Hebrew Scriptures. I aver the position that our duty as believers is to study these Scriptures thoroughly and discover the Author’s meaning – the meaning that is absent of any contradiction. So, although your interpretation of the Greek text may be consistent with the “Christian church fathers,” your interpretations are not consistent with the Law and the Prophets, which is found plainly written in your Bible. Understand that the “church fathers” are not authors of Scriptures. What they have written is mere commentary, and often apostate commentary, as the Scriptures define apostasy in Deut 13:5, as pointed out in an earlier email, as disobedience to our Father Yah but instead obeying an impostor or “other god” just a Christians have done by observing Christmas in that they are obeying Baal instead of obeying Yah. Our Messiah Yahushua has confirmed that the Scriptures are true forever; this does not include the commentary of first and second century Christians. These “church fathers” often exhibit the same hostility to the Torah as written by the hand of Moshe as the infamous Antiochus Epiphanes as they seek to torture all those who observe the commanded Sabbaths, impale all who refuse to eat the sacrificial pig, and murder circumcised baby boys and hang them about their mothers’ necks as scarlet letters. (Though I speak here in a metaphor, these sins grieve the heart just as sore). The “church fathers” are but men and they can and do err, but what we find in the Scriptures penned by the undisputed and proven prophets of Yah has been proven right time and time again. You can hang your hat, so to speak, on the Law and the prophets; you cannot hang your hat on church fathers’ commentary. It is enough for us to study the Hebrew Scriptures and the Messianic writings without needlessly pouring over the volumes of texts penned by the “church fathers” because as IsaiYAH said, “the law and the prophets; if they speak not according to these words, there is no light in them” (Is. 8:20). Sadly, the so-called church fathers, instead of exhibiting a steadfast faith in holy writ, apparently sought to find every way they could to distance themselves from everything distinctly Hebrew even if it is plainly commanded in the Scriptures, and although they rightly labeled Marcion a heretic because of his views of the “Old Testament”, this observer’s sad conclusion is, there can be little doubt that many of them, including those you have thus far evoked, followed him and his lawless theology right into perdition. The book of Judges reveals that it took only a generation for the nation of Israel to descend into idolatry, therefore do not think for a moment that believers after the Messiah and even the so-called “church fathers” could not have repeated this pattern. The evidence that this casual observer has seen indicates that they certainly did. The preceding is not an ad hominem attack on the “church fathers” mind you; it merely needs to be said because the New Testament must be understood as being in complete harmony (without any contradiction) with the Hebrew Scriptures, a condition that is not necessary between the New Testament and the writings of the Church fathers. The Law and the prophets are confirmed by the New Testament writings without any contradiction, yet the “church fathers” that you have thus far evoked exploit and insert ellipses in the Greek text to apply a lawless interpretation that contradicts what is plainly written in the so-called Old Testament. It is very simple: the Most High has spelled out His immutable code of ethics in the first 5 books of the Bible, which is repeated and confirmed by the prophets, and confirmed and fulfilled by Messiah Yahushua. Notice that “fulfilled” does not mean “abolished” or “discontinued”, and as proof of this, consider Yahushua’s all too familiar yet all too often ignored admonishment in Matthew 5:17. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.” To the lawless mind, “complete” does mean to nullify or “to make no longer applicable”, and many Christians do typically aver the position that the commands written in the first 5 books of the Bible were in toto nullified when Messiah Yahushua was murdered. This is a wrong conclusion because Yahushua, in the very next sentence, tells us exactly when the laws will be vacated (Matthew 5:18). “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.” Did the heaven and earth pass away when Yahushua was put to death? Certainly not, and neither did your obligation to obey our Creator’s code of ethics. Luke (in Luke 16:17) wrote it this way: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Matthew records that Yahushua further explained (in Matthew 5:20): “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.” From what is described above regarding how the scribes and Pharisees leavened the commandments of the Most High, which is also a violation of His commands, how they added to and detracted from, how they disobeyed the commands of the Most High for the sake of their traditions (or Talmud), it becomes easy to see that Yahushua’s admonishment here is not difficult at all to obey. By simply adhering to what our Creator commands, sans any pagan religious practices such as Christmas, we will indeed be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees. It is simple. Your next statement is indeed profound, yet, in my evaluation, incomplete. You rightly wrote: One addition is Pagan, the other Jewish, and both are foreign to the Gospel. Yet to complete the statement, especially in the context of our debate regarding Christmas, you have wrongly excluded Christianity as an example of what is foreign to the Gospel, and my reason for pointing this out is because Christianity, in practice, is a hybrid of Judaism and Paganism by adopting the Jewish Messiah and adopting pagan practices such as Christmas and Easter. Jewish Talmudic ordinances are foreign to the Gospel. Anything pagan is foreign to the Gospel, and Christian adoption of filthy, abominable pagan practices is also foreign to the Gospel. You, because you leaven the Gospel with man-made “pagan-esque” ordinances, become guilty of the same types of sins that the Pharisees are guilty of. You are overlooking evidence plainly written in the Bible. In the third paragraph, you state: You claim that "first century believers obeyed" the Old Covenant feast days, and you imply that the early Christians were careful to observe the Old Covenant dietary laws, yet you have no evidence other the bare assertion that it was so. What evidence do you have other than what you are debating in the New Testament writings? We need look no further to find such evidence than the Bible itself. In Acts 15:21, the council at Jerusalem writes about, as if it were a foregone conclusion, attendance of Sabbath convocation to hear the reading of the writings of Moshe. Their words do not indicate any condemnation of the Sabbath or of the writings of Moshe, just the opposite is true. In Acts 20:6, Luke records that Paul and his companions sailed to Troas after the Days of Unleavened Bread. The book of Acts records more than several references of Paul’s attendance of Sabbath convocations. Colossians chapter 2 is a strong endorsement of Sabbath observance, as we have discussed. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 is an endorsement of the observation of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened bread sans the leaven of evil and wickedness. Further, you cannot find one place in all of Scriptures where these things are explicitly abolished. This fact alone should cause you to rethink your position regarding the Sabbaths and the dietary laws as written by the hand of Moshe. Even if it were in question whether or not we should observe the Sabbaths found in Leviticus 23, an answer to the negative would still not give Christians the right to create their own new Sabbaths or “holy days.” Regardless of the answer to this question, Christmas will always be of pagan origin and an example of how pagans worshipped their sun-god and therefore a violation of our Father’s commandment regarding the gentiles found in Deut. 12:30, which reads, “Do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’ Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.” Even if your point regarding the Appointed Times were correct, you still would not have the right to wrongly claim that our Messiah was born on Christmas day, an implausible assertion. However, as illustrated above, we certainly have been commanded to observe the Appointed Times, as it is not presumptuous for us to do so. Under point 2, you are really taking and interpretive leap by suggesting that because the sacrificial system cannot be obeyed then the Sabbaths cannot be obeyed also when you wrote: The feast days, new moons, Sabbaths, etc, are all tied together with the meat offerings and drink offerings of the sacrificial system, which was abrogated by the Body of Christ in Hebrews 10. Do you see the Old Covenant connection? "Meat offerings, and drink offerings, and Holy days, and New moons, and Sabbaths"? In Colossians, Paul is tying together the ceremonial and ritual sacrificial system with the corresponding ceremonial and ritual feast days, new moons, Sabbath days! Since the sacrificial system is done away with, then the corresponding feast days, new moons, Sabbaths, etc, are also done away, which is why Paul told the Christians to not let anyone judge them regarding those practices.They are all tied together and therefore they all go together. The distinction can be made clear by answering a simple question: “What commands from my Father in Heaven can I obey without presumptuousness?” Can I take my lamb to the priest as a sacrifice for my sin? No because Yahushua is our sacrifice for sin. Can I observe a Sabbath by doing no work thereon? Yes. Can I observe a fast and a Sabbath rest on the Day of Atonement? Yes. Can I observe a Sabbath rest on the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Yes. Can I eat no leaven and can I remove the leaven from my home during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Yes. These are just a few examples of how we all can keep commands regarding these Feast Days without being presumptuous, and therefore, as evidence that He has saved us and as evidence that we do indeed love Him, we certainly do these things per the commandments as written by the hand of Moshe. If by “spiritualize” you mean “to purify from the corrupt influence of the world,” then spiritualized it is – unless you have a different meaning for the word “spiritualize.” Having been saved out of man-made religious systems, I realize that true believers are those who have a broken and contrite heart and who tremble at His words. Those who are truly saved want to find ways to humbly obey their Father in Heaven and are not looking for proverbial legal loop-holes to justify their stubborn rebelliousness. They are not finding ways to vacate any word that has been spoken by Yah or His prophets. Also note that you use the words “ceremonial” and “ritual” without clearly defining these. I challenge you to go through the first 5 books of the Bible line by line and categorize each commandment appropriately taking careful note of which commands we are able to keep without being presumptuous. You are mistaking correlation of the Appointed Times with the animal sacrifices with causation of the one to the other thus invoking a logical fallacy cum hoc ergo propter hoc with the following words: “Eze 45:17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts (Holy Days), and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
The feast days, new moons, Sabbaths, etc, are all tied together with the meat offerings and drink offerings of the sacrificial system, which was abrogated by the Body of Christ in Hebrews 10. Do you see the Old Covenant connection? "Meat offerings, and drink offerings, and Holy days, and New moons, and Sabbaths"? In Colossians, Paul is tying together the ceremonial and ritual sacrificial system with the corresponding ceremonial and ritual feast days, new moons, Sabbath days! Since the sacrificial system is done away with, then the corresponding feast days, new moons, Sabbaths, etc, are also done away, which is why Paul told the Christians to not let anyone judge them regarding those practices.They are all tied together and therefore they all go together. Here we see that the sacrificial system is intimately tied to the observance of the feast days, according to the Prophets.” The sacrifices do not cause the Appointed Times, as the sacrifices existed independent of the Appointed Times and for other reasons and on other occasions. Additionally, the Appointed Times do not cause the sacrifices for the same reason and because facets of the Appointed Times can be obeyed without the sacrifices. To say that the Appointed Times cannot be obeyed without these sacrifices is simply painting with an overly broad brush, which is consistent with the Christian tendency to attempt to do away with all of what Yah commanded as recorded by the hand of Moshe. As explained above, most tenets of the Appointed Times can be obeyed without presumptuousness and therefore should be. Even if this were not the case, license to create your own holy day (i.e. Christmas) was certainly never given in the Scriptures. Further, your claim that Paul is also implying this packaged deal in Hebrews and Colossians is simply adding to the text. To address your reference in Hebrews chapter 10, that Psalms 40:6-7 foretells of the changing of the sacrificing of animals does not necessitate the vacating of the entire Torah as given from Yah and written by the hand of Moshe. Your Colossians references in inapplicable for reasons as already discussed, because Colossians chapter 2 is specifically an indictment of the commandments and traditions of men only, and Paul is not suggesting that the Colossians discontinue Sabbath observances yet is pointing out that the Sabbaths are a prophetic mosaic of future events, namely the Resurrection, the Day of Judgment, and the Millennial Kingdom. Your reason to reference Ezekiel 45:17 is apparently an attempt to argue that the Sabbaths and sacrifices were inextricably linked, yet you are taking an overabundance of implicative license with the text instead of trying to understand its plain meaning. The last several chapters of Ezekiel describe, it is believed, the operations of the new temple during the MillennialKingdom of peace. We know from the prophets that during this reign, there will be sacrifices for sin, we will observe the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, we will be unpermitted from entering the Tabernacle unless we have been circumcised – gee, why is all this necessary during this Millennium after “Jesus died for us and did away with the law?” The answer is that Christians need to stop reading Charles Dickens story of Scrooge, stop reading Dr. Suess’ story about the Grinch, stop watching TV, stop playing video games, stop wasting their time with an overabundance of church activity, stop reading endless apostate church father commentary and open their Bibles and read cover to cover starting in Genesis, as true Beroians would. You wrote: “In the New Covenant, we Christians keep the feasts, not with the old Jewish leaven, nor with the leaven of sin, but with the unleavened bread of our sincere faith in Jesus Christ.” Doug, this sentence made me shutter a bit because I fear that with the term “Jewish leaven” you are not referring to Purim or Hanukah, which are man-made (or leavened) holidays that were not commanded by Yah as written by the hand of Moshe nor were you referring to the Talmud, which is man-made leaven in its entirety. I shuttered because I fear you are referring to the Appointed Times as described in Leviticus 23, and if this is the case, allow me to point out that these commanded Feast Days cannot be rightly categorized as “leaven.” Consider Lev. 23:1, 2: “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, "Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:" Because they are commanded by Yah, because they are His, because they are not man-made ordinances, they cannot be rightly considered “leaven.” On the other hand, Christmas is man-made and an example of how the pagans worshipped their sun-god and therefore can rightly be classified as “leaven” and “leaven of sin.” Prayerfully consider the Scripture reference above because these Appointed Times belong to our Creator. Nothing give by our Creator can rightly be regarded as “leaven.” Under your point 4 you write, “As for John, please read his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd general epistles and see if you can find where he commands the Christians to keep ceremonial times or observe ritual new moons. You won't find it.” How many times does the Most High need to say it? He gave us His commands at Sinai. They were confirmed by the prophets. They were further confirmed by the so-called New Testament writers. How many times does He have to repeat Himself? It is a travesty that Christians typically deceive themselves by claiming that if it is not explicitly repeated in the New Testament, then it is necessarily no longer valid. Is bestiality now ok in your eyes? It was not explicitly condemned anywhere in the New Testament. Such a belief pushes the door to sin and desolation wide open. Don’t you see? Go line by line through the entire 18th chapter of Leviticus, for example. Do each of these precepts still apply today? If not, why not?
Addressed in the NT?
Still applicable today?
Lev 18:7 ‘The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you do not uncover. She is your mother, you do not uncover her nakedness.”
I would think so.
Lev 18:8 ‘The nakedness of your father’s wife you do not uncover, it is your father’s nakedness.’
Yes, in 1 Cor 5:1
According to Paul, yes.
Lev 18:9 ‘The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you do not uncover.’
Lev 18:10 ‘The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you do not uncover, for theirs is your own nakedness.
Lev 18:11 ‘The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought forth by your father, she is your sister, you do not uncover her nakedness.
Lev 18:12 ‘The nakedness of your father’s sister you do not uncover, she is your father’s flesh.
Lev 18:13 ‘The nakedness of your mother’s sister you do not uncover, for she is your mother’s flesh.
Lev 18:14 ‘The nakedness of your father’s brother you do not uncover, you do not approach his wife, she is your aunt.
Lev 18:15 ‘The nakedness of your daughter-in-law you do not uncover, she is your son’s wife, you do not uncover her nakedness.
Lev 18:16 ‘The nakedness of your brother’s wife you do not uncover, it is your brother’s nakedness.
Lev 18:17 ‘The nakedness of a woman and her daughter you do not uncover, nor do you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are her relatives – it is wickedness.
Lev 18:18 ‘And do not take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.
Lev 18:19 ‘And do not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness in her monthly separation of uncleanness.
Lev 18:20 ‘And do not have intercourse with the wife of your neighbour, to defile yourself with her.
Yes, the NT has many references to adultery.
Lev 18:21 ‘And do not give any of your offspring to pass through to Moleḵ. And do not profane the Name of your Elohim. I am יהוה.
Lev 18:22 ‘And do not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.
Yes, Paul in Romans 1 addresses this
Lev 18:23 ‘And do not have intercourse with any beast, to defile yourself with it. And a woman does not stand before a beast to mate with it, it is a perversion.
Yes, I would hope so
So we see here many examples of ordinances from our Creator that were not repeated in the New Testament yet would, no doubt, still apply today. Not all of them are covered by the definition of adultery yet all are sexual perversion. If they do not apply, then why would Paul chastise the Corinthians for having a man in their assembly that has his father wife? Do you see the logical problem with claiming that commandments must be repeated in the New Testament to be valid today? Indeed an indicting statement of Christian sensibilities if you read it again, you wrote: “Jesus Christ is now the all-conquering, almighty, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
HIS FOOT RESTS ON THE NECK OF TAMMUZ.
Jesus has taken away his day and He has taken away his glory.” It is agreed that Messiah Yahushua indeed did take it away Tammuz’s day, Christmas. Why then do you dig it up out of the grave and defile yourselves with it? It is agreed that the foot of Yahushua is on the neck of Tammuz, that Babylonian sun-god who was also worshipped as Baal. Why then do you venerate Tammuz on his birthday by pretending that it is the birthday of “Jesus?” Besides, where were you ever commanded to observe pagan-esque birthdays anyway? Christmas is an example of what remains of Babylonian sun-god worship. If Yahushua Messiah indeed is King of kings and Lord of lords in your heart, then put away childish matters and, as the voice from Heaven commanded in Revelation 18:4, come out of Babylon that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues. Yours in Yahushua Messiah,