15 December 2010 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #274, 5934 AM
New Moon and Sabbath
They are to be Kept Forever
Far too many Christians know their traditions better than they do their Bible. What has been passed down from generation to generation in their denominations seems to hold greater weight for them then anything Yahweh might have to say about these traditions. And one of the commonest is that Yah'shua abolished all the festivals, new moons and sabbaths at the Cross, and they claim this based on this passage of Scripture:
But is that what this passage means? Before we try and interpret it, let's see what other scriptures have to say on the subject, for if even one scripture clearly states that the Sabbaths and New Moons will be observed both before and after the return of Christ, then the matter is settled and we must seek to understand what Paul said to the Colossians in another way.
"So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ" (Col.2:16-17, NKJV).
The Book of Revelation points us to a time in the future when a new heaven and a new earth will be created:
Clearly this has not happened yet as there is plenty of sea, more than there is dry land, in fact. This being indisputably so, we need to understand what Yahweh will be requiring of mankind when this "new heaven and ... new earth" come into being. The prophet Isaiah tells us what we will be doing:
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea" (Rev.21:1, NKJV).
In other words, worshipping at Rosh Chodesh or the New Moon and on the seventh day Sabbath, is a permanent activity of Yahweh's people because He requires it. If those interpreting Colossians 2:16-17 seriously mean that Yahweh has abolished the festivals, new moons and sabbaths, then how can He at the same time require that His people observe them? Clearly the interpretion is wrong, unless they are planning to live in a mythical parallel universe where these things are not observed.
"'For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,' says Yahweh, 'so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says Yahweh" (Isa.66:22-23, NKJV).
So what did Paul mean in his epistle to the Colossians? It's really not that complicated because there is no conflict between the shadow and the reality. Yah'shua (Jesus) is the reality that casts the shadow. Under the Old Covenant Israel only had the shadow. Since Messiah came, now we have the reality too - the One who casts the shadow giving an outline or shadow of the substance. Where did the Light of Emet or Truth concerning the moedim or appointments come from originally? From Yahweh the Father. He shines the Light of Emet or Truth on the Son and the Son casts the shadow - the observances - which is why they continue even into and beyond the Millennnium.
Paul was telling the talmidim or disciples not to pay attention to the criticisms of those outside Messianic Israel - the True Body of Believers. He told them not to let these people judge the eternal ways of the Most High because no one has the right to judge a single one of Yahweh's ordinances. Yes, Yah'shua is the substance, the goal and the reality of these festivals, but they are not separated from Him, anymore than we are separated from the feast which is the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. That feast is the means by which we 'ingest' our full allegorical marriage covenant with Him when He comes back just as the annual, monthly and weekly feasts are the means by which we 'ingest' the reality of those aspects of Christ which they represent. All (except Yom Kippur which is fasting time) involve eating because sharing food is one of the ways we commune with each other and with Yahweh (see Salt Covenants: Legalities When Eating With Others).
Those who wish the festivals, new moons and sabbaths abolished are declaring (perhaps without realising it) that they want a feast without food. Yah'shua is our bread and wine and we are to eat and drink Him in communion - every festival of Messianic Israel is a part of that rhythm of communing and therefore a part of the relationship with Him.
When you refuse to observe Yahweh's moedim (appointments) and instead opt for pagan ones like Christmas, Easter and other man-made festivals, you are not only mocking Yahweh in following after the ways of the synchretistic heathen (mixing religions together) but you are missing out on the precious communion of man with Elohim (God) which, as we have seen, will go on into the eternies, both before and after the "new heavens and new earth".
If you'd like to know how to do this, and marry the shadow with the reality to make a wonderful communion, take a look at the links referenced in this devotional. Pleasant things await you!