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When Tradition becomes our Truth: Time to Re-examine the Sabbath

What did Jesus mean by, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)

If we can understand him in this, we will be able to walk in the fulness of the will of GOD. I am convinced that, right now, the Church – as in the followers of Jesus in this day and age – is not doing this as well as it needs to.

What is the Sabbath?

The Sabbath is the day God rested; six days He created and on the seventh day He rested (Genesis 2:1)

In Hebrews 3 we are told to enter His rest; this is His rest: The Sabbath. Then the writer goes on to say, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

What I am introducing is a bit of a hot potato in the Christian fellowship. What I am provoking is thought, free from tradition, digging into the Bible to discover what God is saying to us… And I seek to encourage you the reader; if you get cross with me, go to the Father and ask, “Why am I cross?”

So here goes my effort to pull the curtain from the way things are to ask, is this the way things are meant to be?

What is the LAW?

The Law includes the 10 Commandments, the Food Laws, Cleanliness/Purity Laws and Justice Laws. The Laws are found in the Pentateuch – the first 5 books of the Bible, and particularly in Leviticus*. These were the books written down by Moses as dictated by Father God. God commanded that the Hebrew peoples keep these laws for their salvation and continued relationship with Him.

Contemporary Christianity rests on the Biblical Truth as synthesised by Paul in Ephesians,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

And also in Galatians, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (Gal 3:10)

We in the Evangelical fellowship have taken these things to mean that we do not have to keep the law in order to be born again and saved. In fact to keep some of the law means we curse ourselves.

But could this be an assumption or a mis-understanding of the Bible text? Or if not, then why is Psalm 119 full of “I love your statutes”; “I keep your precepts”; “Your law is perfect”. Please note, I am aware Psalms is in the Old Testament and Paul’s letters are in the New Testament. But I take the whole Bible to be perfect and that the fulfilment of the New does not cancel the Old any more than the value of a grandparent is cancelled out by a parent.

God’s Attitude to His Law

I’ve been thinking about this (and praying about this) for some time: What does the Father think of His law? Is it possible that He still loves His law and that we have used scripture to free ourselves from it, without considering the Father’s love for it?

If law and custom is a lifestyle and God has designed the customs and lifestyle, giving them to the Hebrew people that they might join with Him in fellowship, then what of us who have been grafted in? Jesus saves us; the law does not. But what about celebrating and living as God intended, just because God would love it? Are we mature enough to look upon the Father as one we love, not only as one who loves us?

The statutes, precepts, and ordinances of God are not rules; I know that much. They were a means to convey to the Chosen people how God wanted them to live differently – and better – from the heathens that surrounded them. How can we be any different?

If we continue to look at what we need to be saved, rather than at how God wants us to live, then we are still living as young children, considering how we stay inside the boundaries and what we need to do to keep our Father from getting angry. It’s all about us.

But what if we turn the perspective and make it all about God?

Only Jesus saves

I don’t want to be misunderstood… Nothing, nothing, nothing is better than or more complete than the saving work of Jesus on the Cross. He died for all humanity, that if any would receive him, s/he could draw to the Father just as Adam and Eve were in relationship with Him before The Fall. Nothing changes that. Nothing replaces that.

The Father’s Heart

But GOD. What about Him? What does He want? Does He not hunger for relationship with us? And does He want us to be perennial children: always asking for forgiveness, always making mistakes, always learning. Or does He want us to be Christlike: surrendered, mature, loving and yielding, so that the GLORY of GOD’s power and authority are pronounced in the earth, in and through His people.

The Sabbath… my own conviction

I have been convicted for some time about the Sabbath, to keep it Holy. What is the Sabbath? It is the 7th day of the week, what we call Saturday. God rested on this day and He asks us to do the same.

Does He prefer sacrifice or obedience? He prefers obedience to sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

That is not keeping the law to be saved, and thus to curse ourselves. Rather, that is honouring the Father.

Losing Tradition, Gaining Truth

There is so much more to say on this subject. I will look to it over the coming weeks. For now, I’d ask simply for you to consider what traditions we have taken as Biblical Truth that (may) need to be thrown away because otherwise, they get in the way of our growing relationship to God the Father who made us and made a way for us to have relationship with Him. The way is not through the law, but through Grace. And yet, the law is perfect and wonderful.

How can we justify the two? I think we need to find a way.

Our roots are in Christ, but as the Son he points always to the Father.

Staying in Relationship

Let us not harden our hearts toward one another. I believe, if reading this you feel angry or threatened, then know that I am neither judge nor perfect. The heart of the Father would not have us attack one another. And if you are like me, the more adamant or the more irked one is, the further s/he is from the Father’s heart.

God bless and Shalom.

________________________

*The Levite Priests and Pharisees, over time, added interpretations to these laws which made the life inordinately more difficult. Of this practice Jesus told the people to do as the leaders said but not follow as they did, and he was angry with the leaders for the burdens they lay on their people. (Matthew 23)

Dr Sarah Tun

By Dr Sarah Tun

A former teacher, she was a performing artist, administrator and property developer before settling on writing. She has traveled extensively, and lived in New York City (for a year), London England (for a long time) and Hong Kong (briefly) before returning to her home in Ontario, Canada, then to Spain and finally now, has re-settled in her adoptive home of England. She graduated with degrees in Drama, Education and diplomas in Acting and Theology. Her favourite experience to date has been following her Creator and Lord. She doesn't think Life can get any better! Sarah Tun is author, singer, preacher, writing coach and all-round enthusiast, celebrating and seeking to inspire all of us to quench our thirst for deeper intimacy with God through the Holy Spirit.

2 replies on “When Tradition becomes our Truth: Time to Re-examine the Sabbath”

Very good teaching by David Silver, Out of Zion Ministries, Haifa Israel

A Messianic Ministry Based on Mt Carmel under the spiritual covering of
Kehilat ha Carmel leadership & Pastor Mike Fryer (Wales)
Email: kiwi@netvision.net.il Website http://www.out-of-zion.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/outofzion Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ outofzionmnstry

A Compilation of New Items Relevant to Those Who Pray for Israel

For the Week Ending December 1st 2017

David’s Comment: Back to Biblical Basics Pt.7 The Torah & the Feasts
Psalm 19:1 The TORAH of JHVH are perfect, restoring the soul

This is the final part in the Back to Bibllical Basics series, and it is perhaps the most controversial of all the subjects I have covered. For almost 2000 years, now one of the most often heard declarations in the Church has been ” we are not under the law but we are under grace ! ” The first point I want to make is that the Hebrew word Torah which is usually translated as Law, should be more accurately translated as instructions. The Torah of YHVH is His perfect instructions for a perfect life. Some time back when I was writing about the issue of the Torah, I quoted the title of a booklet written by the leader of a Messianic congregation in the USA. The title of his booklet is “the Torah is NOT the Law” and the subtitle is “the Torah is a set of instructions from a loving Father to His children, to get the best out of their lives”. I believe what King David wrote in the above Psalm, and the title / subtitle of that booklet perfectly sums up what the Torah really is about, and should encourage everyone who wants to live a blessed life in the kingdom of God, to do their best to adhere to the instructions of our loving Father. Therefore the Torah is the grace of the God. And we all need to see it as such.

Basically the instructions contained in the Torah cover the three most important areas of our lives …………

1/ our relationship with God
2/ the way we take care of ourselves
3/ the way we treat others

When Yeshua was asked what are two most important commandments, He gave number one and number three is His answer. However he was being very Jewish and was really giving three for the price of two. Although He didn’t verbalise it, He was also implying number two, because if we don’t know how to take your ourselves, then we won’t know how to take care of others. On more than one occasion, when I have been discussing the Torah with Christians, I have had this response, “why would you want to put yourself under that again ? ” My reply is always the same, ” if I know a little about nature and character of God who loves me and created me, why would I not want to follow His perfect instructions for my life ? ” Or as King David said “if you want your soul restored, keep the Torah.”

Here are a few more verses ………….

Proverbs 3:1 My son, forget not my Torah aw; but let your heart keep my commandments; for they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace to you.
Proverbs 28:7 Whoever keeps the Torah is a wise son,
Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah even his prayer is an abomination
Psalms 119:1 Blessed are the upright in the way, who walk in the Torah of Jehovah.

Before anybody accuses me of legalism, I believe that we are not obliged by the New Covenant to keep the Torah. I think that Romans 7:1-4 makes it very clear Or are you ignorant, brothers; for I speak to those who know the Law; that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the married woman was bound by law to the living husband. But if the husband is dead, she is set free from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress by becoming another man’s wife. So, my brothers, you also have become dead to the law by the body of Christ so that you should be married to Another, even to Him raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.

When we were born-again into the Kingdom of God and were Baptised , we died to our old lives. We are now in preparation to become the bride of the Messiah – doesn’t it make sense that we should do our best to live as He lived ? Yeshua lived a perfect Torah based life. He didn’t break even one commandment. And in Matthew 5:17 – 19, He tells us that whoever breaks the least of the commandments, will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever keeps the commandments will be great in the Kingdom.

Two final points to sum it up …………..

1/ we don’t keep the Torah to be saved, we do our best to keep the Torah because we are being saved and looking forward to living in the KIngdom of God forever
2/ the more of the Torah the I manage to keep, the better my life will be, and a better life will be for everyone around me. This includes the food that we eat or dont eat. And I believe that applies to every person on the Earth. Our Abba / Creator knows best and the Bible is the Maker’s manual for living a perfect life. If the whole World lived by the Torah it would be Paradise already.

Should We Keep the Biblical Feasts ? Leviticus 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, for these are my feasts.

I just want to cover the subject of the Feasts very briefly ……… they are not Jewish feasts they are God’s feasts. He calls them His appointed times. The primary purpose of these Feasts is to teach the children about who YHVH is, but they are a great teaching tool for adults too. The nature and faithful character of God and of His Son Yeshua, can be clearly seen through the Feasts. The pattern and timing of the Feasts is connected to the harvest cycle, and their timing portray the prophetic plan that God has for Israel, the Church, and the World. By studying the Feasts, we can gain a more accurate picture of where we are in prophetic time, and whe we can expect the second coming of Messiah.

To put it very succinctly, if we truly desire to live a blessed life in the Kingdom of God, why would we be more interested in following a calendar and festivals, that are not of His Kingdom ? Again we are not legally obliged to follow the Feasts of the Lord, however I think it’s a very good idea.

to read more about this subject …… read or download my new booklet from our website: http://www.out-of-zion.com/davids-pdf-booklets-free-downloads and click on The Restoration of the Church in your language.

The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.

Shalom & Blessings …… David & Josie

This Weeks News Items

1. Muslim Journalist Admits that Israel is Not an Occupying Power Israel Today News Nov 25th

Amid a quiet thawing of relations between Israel and more moderate Arab states, a leading Kuwaiti journalist this month sparked public outrage when he dared to get real about the Jewish state. Writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq was taking part in a panel discussion on Kuwait’s Alrai TV when he not only rejected the notion that Israel is an occupying power, but went so far as to accept the legitimacy of the Jews’ return to their ancient homeland. He went on to heap praise on the advanced and progressive Jewish state, which puts to shame most of its Arab neighbors. In remarks translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Al-Hadlaq said: “When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called ‘Palestine.’ “Like it or not, Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel are the countries of tyranny and oppression. “For example, North Korea does not recognize Israel, but this does nothing to detract from Israel or from the fact of its existence, whether we like it or not. The State of Israel has scientific centers and universities the likes of which even the oldest and most powerful Arab countries lack. So Israel is a state and not a terror organization.”There is no occupation. There is a people returning to its promised land. Are you aware that the history of the Israelites is ancient, predating Islam? Therefore, we Muslims must acknowledge that the Israelites have a right to that land, and that they have not plundered it.” Pray that the world wakes up to this truth and stops supporting this international lie

2. Israel Seizes Massive Explosive Shipment at Gaza Border Jerusalem Post Nov 26th

An attempt to smuggle tons of explosive material into the Gaza Strip was thwarted last week by the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Crossing Authority. The attempt was foiled thanks to a new, advanced chemistry laboratory that was set up in recent weeks at Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza. The new laboratory is a joint project of the Ministry of Defense’s Crossing Authority, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police. Advanced technology permits experts to precisely identify gases, liquids, powders, metals and other substances before they enter the Gaza Strip. The primary focus is to prevent substances which could benefit terror groups in the enclave. Crossing Authority head Brig.-Gen. (res.) Kamil Abu Rukun praised the greatly enhanced abilities granted to the crossing’s security apparatus by the addition of the laboratory. It greatly widens the security forces’ toolkit in the daily, relentless battle against smuggling into the Gaza Strip,” said Abu Rukun. Continue to intercede that every means on the part of terrorist groups to prepare for – or carry out – attacks against Israel will be disclosed and prevented.

3. Israeli Vows to Destroy Iranian Positions Within 40 km of Syrian Border Israel News Report Nov 27th

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida revealed on Sunday that an Israeli source disclosed a promise from Jerusalem to destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometres (25 miles) of Israel’s Golan Heights. The source, who remains unnamed, said that during Syrian President Bashar Assad’s surprise visit to Russia last week he gave Russian Premier Vladimir Putin a message for PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Damascus will agree to a demilitarised zone of up to 40 kilometres from the border in the Golan Heights as part of a comprehensive agreement between the two countries.But only if Israel does not work to remove Assad’s regime from power. The report also claims that Putin then called Netanyahu to relay the message, and that the Israeli prime minister said he would be willing to accept the deal, but that Israel’s goal of eradicating Iran and Hezbollah from the country would remain. According to the source, Jerusalem sees Assad as the last president of the Alawite community, indicating that a change of regime in Syria – at least towards a government less-linked to Iran – would be favourable to Israel. Pray that Israel follows through with this threat if it becomes necessary

4. Arrested Hamas Terrorist Provides Tunnel Information Israel Today News Nov 26th

It has been disclosed that a Hamas terrorist from the Gaza city of Sajaya was arrested in September while crossing the border fence into Israeli territory. 23-year-old terrorist Ahmad Magadi Muhammed Abid joined Hamas in 2013, undergoing military training and training in the use of anti-tank missiles, engineering, and sniping. He also helped dig terror tunnels around his home, and served as a Hamas border guard. In his Israel Security Agency and police interrogation, it was learned that Ahmad Abid took part in digging tunnels near his home. Extensive information was received about tunnels intended for offensive activities against Israel and tunnels designated for fighting Israeli forces inside Gaza. Earlier this month, the IDF arrested a senior Islamic Jihad member after the terror group built a tunnel that stretched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The IDF destroyed the tunnel from Israeli territory on October 30. Terror tunnels have been repeatedly found under UN schools in Gaza as well as under civilian homes. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. Pray that all attack tunnels into Israel will be discovered and destroyed.

5. Mortars Fired From Gaza INN News Nov 30th

Several mortar shells were fired at Israeli military forces working near the northern Gaza strip on Thursday. No-one was wounded. The Israeli military struck four Hamas positions, with tanks and aircraft, in Beit Hanun in northern Gaza soon in response to the mortar fire. No Palestinians are believed to have been wounded in the incident. The IDF’s Southern Command and Gaza Division are currently consulting regarding a follow-up. Security services temporarily closed train lines running between the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. Earlier in the day, rocket alarm sirens sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border. The Israeli military later said the sirens were a false alarm. Israel’s Defense Minister and other senior Israeli defense officials have warned since last month’s strike on an Islamic Jihad attack tunnel that any attempts at retaliation would be met with a harsh response. Pray that the people responsible are apprehended and dealt with accordingly

6. Israel Celebrates 70 years Since UN Vote

Israel is celebrating 70 years since the historic November 29, 1947 UN vote that called for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. Dignitaries from around the world, senior UN officials, ambassadors and leaders from the pro-Israel community joined Israel’s Mission to the UN, in partnership with the World Jewish Congress, to celebrate 70 years since the historic November 29, 1947 United Nations vote on Resolution 181 that called for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. The event, initiated by Israels Ambassador to the UN, took place in the Queens Museum, which served as UN headquarters in 1947 when the historic vote took place. The event commemorating the momentous vote was attended by US Vice President Pence, US Treasury Secretary and over 60 UN ambassadors, including representatives of the 33 states who voted in favor of the resolution, senior diplomats and Jewish community leaders from around the world. Israel’s Minister of Transportation and Minister of Intelligence represented the Israeli government. Seventy years ago, in this very room, in these very seats where you are sitting today, the dream of the Jewish people of 2,000 years came true, he said at the celebration. In 1897 Theodor Herzl dreamed of the impossible, in 1947 the Jewish people realized the impossible and today 2017, seventy years later, the modern State of Israel has made the impossible, possible, the Ambassador continued. From this day onward, for the next seventy years and beyond, Israel will continue to be a beacon of democracy, a powerhouse of innovation and a light unto the nations. Let us give thanks to the LORD for the rebirth of Israel which is the strongest sign that we are living in the End Times and that the Messiah is about to return to Jerusalem to re-establish the Kingdom of YHVH.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Cathy. David Silver has a regular newsletter, Out of Zion Ministries, hasn’t he, for those who wish further input from him.
Blessings, Sarah

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