Saturday, July 13, 2019

Holy? In What Universe?

Looking back on my decades in Armstrongism, there is one question that looms louder than any other question: How could we possibly think we were keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days, well, Holy??

It's not as if I never understood the rationale that the Church and ministry gave us. Obedience, commanded assembly, Church authority, you follow, don't cause division, etc... Yet honestly there were always things that occurred, on the Sabbath, and Holy Days, that always, consistently, week after week or Festival after Festival, that made me question the "holiness" of the Holy Days the way that we observed it. 

Not only were the glaring differentials in the way we "observed" the Holy Days different from How scripture commanded their observances shining out like a spotlight over dark skies - the reality of our version of what makes a holy day holy just didn't add up to the Biblical definition of holiness. Something always seemed completely amiss about our definition of holiness compared to what was defined as holiness in the Holy Scriptures. 

In our worldview, to keep the Sabbath Holy was to obey the Church Polices exactly. To keep the Holy Days was to obey the Church Policies exactly. Yet, at the exact same time that the policies were being kept to the letter of the Law, some of the most carnal, disgusting, and dare I say worldly attitudes were consistently spewing out of members every single week. It was an inconsistency that never made sense to me. I thought to myself, "Why is it that we are calling how we do this holy when there's nothing holy here?"

Never mind the fact of the absolute disrespect we gave God while attempting to worship Him in the most disgusting, cheap, ungodly buildings you could think of. Now I know how you would respond to this. You would probably say that the building is not the church, and you would be right. Yet, when you have awful attitudes and ungodliness smelling the place up like a cow farm, it just made it seem doubly carnal, if you get my drift. 

Sure, we'd stop "working" at sunset on the dot, but the attitudes didn't stop "working". And was "working" on the Sabbath without pay truly not "working", because we were doing it "for the Church and brethren"? It was difficult to work out exactly how it was okay to work your butt off on the Sabbath for fellowship hour, potlucks, or hall set up and take down, but yet you couldn't sit down and watch television because you might get "worldliness" in your head. It was allowed to get suited up and ready for Basketball before Sunset at a district weekend ready to play as soon as the clock hit sundown, but if your mind is on Basketball dressed in the uniform while it's still the Sabbath, aren't you breaking it anyway? These were just a couple of tens of tens of examples that I constantly saw where church leadership, instead of confronting the main issue, used the easy out of "Binding and Loosing" to ease any doubts. "If the Church says it's OK, it's OK, so don't worry about it, it's not your problem."

The problem is, it was our problem. It was all of our "problem". For all of our crowing and pious praises of how great and awesome we were at keeping the Law when everyone else in the world were heathen sinners who did not follow or obey the Law of God, we were breaking it all the time, willingly, and often, knowingly, thinking we were on the right side of the Law when even the slightest breaking of the Law was breaking all of the Law. To say we fell short? That's the biggest understatement ever. We didn't even get past the starting line of law-keeping. And holiness? How many of us truly ever kept the Sabbath holy - in deed, action, and thought? How many of us broke the Sabbath without even knowing we broke the Sabbath - and then used grace as a license for lawbreaking - doing the same thing we always accused protestants of doing - protestants - who we always said never had an understanding of law and grace anyway? How many of us noticed the inconsistencies, just to brush them under the table - afraid to bring it up or talk about if for fear of causing division? How many of us just brushed it under the rug because we believed we didn't have any responsibility in our conduct and behavior once the ministry "bound and loosed"? 

If it was all about obedience to the ministry and the Church, then keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days would have been a piece of cake. Simply call or ask the minister, and if he says it's okay, great, and if it's not okay, don't do it. A surely powerful and effective way to grow in maturity and character, isn't it? Just pawn off all the responsibility to the minister while acting, thinking, and behaving like the word "Holy" simply meant "Human". 

Our version of Sabbath and Holy Day Keeping always was a slap in the fact not only to Jesus Christ and the New Covenant example of Rest in Christ but also to the Old Testament importance of the Law and Holy Days before Christ. It was a farce the way we did it, and a farce to this day in the Splinters. A conversation to have the next time you meet at the Buffet for Sabbath Dinner while the people you hire feed and serve you on such a most holy time.

submitted by SHT

40 comments:

nck said...

SHT

What a shame that your congregation kept the sabbath exactly as HWA had warned about in the very first PT 1934 page 7.

nck

Byker Bob said...

To become a member of the old WCG was to allow HWA and the ministers to rewrite and redefine everything we thought we had known. Our job was to accept and obey. To the extent that we did this, we were thought of as having and being led by the Holy Spirit, therefore being set apart and Holy.

As a member, I never questioned that we were keeping these rituals holy or that the world’s so-called Christian churches (as they had been redefined for us) were simply making a bogus display of holiness.

It is not until one leaves Armstrongism, studies the Bible independently without reaching the WCG-guided conclusions, and meets others who identify themselves as being Christians that one gains some perspective, and realizes that others whom we had been reeducated to hold in contempt were doing a much better job than we were.

Armstrongism always filtered everything through the Old Covenant. The sabbaths and Holy Days of the Old Covenant were the most back-breaking days of the week for the priests, with all of the slaughterings and burnings of the sacrifices. Compared to this, it was not difficult to minimize driving long distances to ballrooms and union halls in major cities to “remember the sabbath and keep it holy”, even though there was also a passage in the Bible referencing “a sabbath day’s journey”.

Now that the Gamaliel syndrome has largely overtaken the Armstrong movement, so much has become so clear to many of us that it was simply impossible to see while we we existed in the confusion of the hurricane of Armstrongism.

BB

Anonymous said...

I worked my ass off on Saturday for thirty years, and don’t forget to add the mental stress. And of course the day you stop, like you would expect all good Christians to do, you are kicked to the curb. Treated like a parasite. Good times!

Anonymous said...

I spent 13 years in Armstrongism; nearly destroyed my marriage, shrunk my family’s income by thousands of dollars a year, horribly complicated my relationships with my children; and so much more.

But, at least at the start, I was special; called by God to be a member of the elect — if I “properly” kept the Sabbaths. It was hard, but it was all apparently required, even “holy” to suffer for such a wonderful reward.

But on one of my first Holy Days, I was shocked learn that for lunch, we were to go to some local restaurant and pay for an ample, waited-on meal. What? I’m to subsidize Sabbath-day law breaking by supporting the employment and work of people on the Sabbath?

“Oh, no. Mr. Armstrong says that the cooks and waiters would be working whether we ate at the restaurant or not. No problem. Enjoy your self.”

I wasn’t much of a biblical scholar, but while partaking of my steak and sipping the glass of fine wine at a restaurant on a Holy Day, I recalled a rather definitive Old Testament scripture that prohibited the employment or work of anyone on the Sabbath; including slaves, animals, and foreigners just passing through — just when I was to leave a nice tip.

How did any of that square with my short-term employment of restaurant employees on a Sabbath; a High Day no less. For the first time, I rationally questioned Herbert W Armstrong’s “interpretation” of scripture. Just made no sense, whatsoever.

But everyone in the local church did this, so, somehow, it had to be Ok.

Sometime later, I read that to keep the law one had to wear a blue thread each day, to be reminded of Holy Scripture. I knew that Mormons wear special underwear of particular importance to their religion. According to Deuteronomy 22:12, didn’t we, “through our generations,” have to wear a blue tassel somewhere on our bodies? I never saw one hanging from the skirt or pant leg of a church member, so I never raised the issue. But the biblical command was right there in my Bible.

Two exceptionally clear discrepancies between Armstrong practice and Biblical command. So foolishly, I failed to realize the falseness of Amstrongism. Eventually, I did; and left to authentic Christianity. Now, the Bible makes sense; and guides my life (and salvation, through the unearned grace of Jesus Christ, not by law-keeping).

Anonymous said...

HWA took the OT pattern and reinvented it as a justification for tight ministerial control over church members. That pattern continues to this day. Just look at LCG's latest online sermon: The Lips of the Righteous: Conversation Acceptable to God.

If you are a Christian, you have God's Holy Spirit dwelling within you. How arrogant and insulting it is for some minister to dare to tell you whether or not God finds your conversation acceptable. Especially when we know that ministers are some of the ones with the worst conversations tearing each other down behind each other's backs. In an ACOG, it's unacceptable for brethren to warn one another about a wolf-minister in the fold, but it is acceptable for a minister to spread falsehoods about members in order to divide and control them.

Fifty years ago, new members were willing to come under such control, back before HWA's prophecies were proven false. Today, old-timers will listen to these sermons and roll their eyes, knowing from experience that when a ministers says "be careful what you talk about" there is indeed something rotten that members need to warn each other about. Prospective new members, however, will move on to a healthier church that doesn't so readilly blaspheme the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of the brethren.

What About The Truth said...

So SHT,

Does this now make you in full agreement with HWA? For HWA said 80% of his membership didn't get it and were possibly "unconverted" practicing carnality.

It would seem to me that in your mind both then and now as you said, practitioners of the Sabbath and Holy Days in the COG movement impart(ed) unto you the full spectrum of what comes out of the rear ends of common barnyard animals.

The word for "keep it holy" is the same Hebrew word used in Gen. 2:3 where God "sanctified" the seventh day. Keeping the Sabbath or Holy Days holy was always just a word. I mean you can't listen to a sermon where a minister quotes there is none holy and think you can keep anything holy.

When God originally rested and sanctified the 7th day was it to be only a one time event? Or was it to be an ongoing event? If the reason he rested and sanctified the 7th day was because of the work he created and made, are we to conclude that that was only a 6000 years ago event? I think it is quite evident that it is an ongoing event first started with and through the nation Israel and more recently with who HE terms spiritual Israel.

So is the creation and work that God has and is doing through certain people via a calling and conversion and the giving of the Holy Spirit who are termed sanctified who choose to meet on the Sabbath day and rest with God a barnyard stench unto Him?

In all the years I have attended Sabbath services or Holy Day services I have never seen conduct by the membership that would or could be termed barnyard odorous. Maybe a dogie doodle here and there but nothing that outlandish.

SHT, since I am concerned about the effect that us Sabbath and Holy Day keepers are having upon your olfactory sense, I can get you in touch with Dale Schurter who used to go on tour in the late 80's early 90's in the Wcg and was promoting a product called Odor Abate for cattle. According to him, just mixing this product in with cattle feed made what came out the other end was almost odorless.

You SHT could become the sole distributor and marketer of "Odor Abate" to the greater COG's. You could become very wealthy and you could do it smelling the outcome very pleasantly.

SHT said...

Such a response oozing with pressurized sarcasm, WATT!

"It would seem to me that in your mind both then and now as you said, practitioners of the Sabbath and Holy Days in the COG movement impart(ed) unto you the full spectrum of what comes out of the rear ends of common barnyard animals."

What I saw was disrespect towards what we believed at the time was "holy time". When I was a baptized, believing, active, serving member of the Church, I recognized many simply had the attitude of "If the minister says it's okay, then, it's okay". Nobody really took any personal responsibility toward anything concerning spirituality. It was, to me, simply going through the motions, so it seemed. There was a level of blase ho hum-ness that seemed - and forgive me for the word - "LAODICEAN". (The only word that I can use that COG Community would understand, really.) The reason why I used the analogy of crap is because it seemed so insincere and fake. This is the "stench" i was referring to.

Perhaps you never saw conduct that could be termed "barnyard odorous". That may be true in your situation. This does not reflect the experiences that I experienced. As I have frequently said, every congregation is and has been different.

You ask me if the creation and work that you say God is doing through certain people a stench. It's only a stench if their heart is not right and in it with God.I think you and I both would agree with this. Our difference of opinion is not in practice but in heart. What I witnessed was not heart. It was cold-hearted callousness.

HWA got some things right, in his early years. It is my belief that the love and greed of money and power corrupted him. To even insinuate that I am in agreement with HWA tells me you really haven't read my writings? I am as far distant from HWA's theology as Andromeda is from the Milky Way.

As far as the offer of "Odor Abate", I'll pass on that. From many of the greater COG's, the smell of whitewashed tombs that are open wide could never be covered up by something called "Odor Abate", but only by the gift of grace through Christ to those who believe in Him.

Congratulations on one of the finest posts of sarcasm I have read in recent memory. I'd buy you a cold one if we were nearby. ;)

What About The Truth said...

SHT,

I too got caught up in the process of just playing perfect church. Getting into the 90's I had realized that all of the service to the church that I performed or even all of the attendance to all of the events was not able to keep me from entering into the "Laodicean" condition. Fortunately I and others got a knock at the door and answered it.

I have read your writings, and you are in agreement with HWA more than you think. Did you read page 7 of the first Plain Truth 1934 that nck alluded too? Many writings of HWA were very concise and to the point concerning Christianity. I think HWA would be looked at far differently in a historical sense if he would have just continued a radio ministry and stayed on the message of what is a true Christian or what is true conversion. The process of setting up churches that were administered by men of low spiritual character operating in a false realm of government and theological and physical exuberance by HWA himself certainly did not leave a lasting legacy.

SHT, that would be great to take you up on your offer of a beer some day. I will even bring along a bottle of "Odor Abate". It would be nice to satiate my taste buds with a cold one and you would be able to be close enough to me to look me in the eye and not smell a thing.

Tessa said...

SHT i really liked your post. The way you wrote about binding and loosing was spot on. They had no reverence for God just for themselves and did whatever they felt like doing. They were like Esau who sold his birthright for a plate of food. They are still doing the same thing in ucg etc. UCG leaders tell you "it's what we do" They don't care about what is written in the word of God. They disgust me. I'm glad you wrote this. The ministers in the cogs need to have the reverence for God and not alter his commandments that is written of in Hebrews Hebrews 12:18 "For you are not come unto the mount that might be touched and that burned with fire nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest. " v 20 "and if so much as a beast touch the mountain it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart
: 21 And so terrible was the sight that Moses said "I exceedingly fear and quake" These ministers have only pride and covetousness and do not revere God. They will tell others to do anything that suits them. They change the commandment regarding keeping the sabbath and the holy days without blinking an eyelid. They are not servants of the the Lord Most High. Whose servants are they? Where do we go from here my friends?

Anonymous said...

“Never mind the fact of the absolute disrespect we gave God while attempting to worship Him in the most disgusting, cheap, ungodly buildings you could think of.”

Add to that from my understanding some congregations met (and some ACOGs still do) in Masonic temples! SMH! Seriously?! That’s like early Christians holding worship services in a pagan temple or in today’s world in a Muslim temple or Hindi temple. Even a Satanic temple! I don’t know how this doesn’t disturb them although if they were to hold such in a Catholic or Protestant cathedral they’d have the heebee jeebees!

SHT said...

Tessa 5:37

Thank you for your appreciation.

Binding and loosing was their ticket to unprecedented, complete and unaccountable authority. All they had to do was say "God is behind our judgements" and not only were they unquestioned, but unquestionably obeyed. Especially in regards to the Sabbath and Holy Days. I cannot even tell you how many decisions about the Sabbath were made simply on the basis of Ministerial Binding and Loosing, that contradicted not only common sense, but even different policies from congregation to congregation!

It wasn't reverence - just a way to demand obedience to the "Government of God" regardless of how inane, insane, or mundane. As if they, the ministry, followed their own commands anyway (we all know the reality of that.)

SHT said...

6:12

It was all about the money. (A phrase I'm wearing out). Whatever building was cheapest, bingo hall, school auditorium, or masonic temple. There was no real concern about the building except for cost.

Funny thing is, if I recall correctly, it was up to the Local Pastor of his assigned congregation to pick the Hall to meet at weekly, subject to approval by Ministerial Administration. Apparently, this was the M.O. all the way up the ladder - while millions were being funneled to Pasadena for decades to build the outlandishly expensive Ambassador College Campus. I can't help but wonder how many nicer or less controversial meeting halls were rejected because they cost a little more.

Thirdly - you could have masonic temple symbols in your presence at Church but oh the horrors if there's a cross anywhere around.



Lee said...

SHT said: "Thirdly - you could have masonic temple symbols in your presence at Church but oh the horrors if there's a cross anywhere around."

That's what gets me the most about these Armstrongists! Un-friggin-believable!

I commented on Malm's blog last month about all the quibbling over the word "cross" in a UCG hymnal being changed to "Word" to avoid offending anyone who objects to the word "Cross"! (see comment 45 ). Malm then replied equating the cross of Christ with the cross of Tammuz!

I posted a reply as follows: Paul did not venerate or idolize the cross, but he did "glory...in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). The cross represents Christ's death and what He achieved for us by it (Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20)! The cross of Christ is used today as a symbol of the Christian faith by Christians all over the world just as the Star of David is used by Jews and the Crescent by Muslims. Just because the cross was used as "a major symbol of paganism a thousand years before Christ" has nothing to do with its use in Christianity. So was crescents, circles, squares, straight lines, wavy lines, triangles, etc. used for millennia before Christ too. That's like saying anything pagans used or did in their worship cannot be used or done in Christian worship. Thus, candles or lamps, which were also used by pagans cannot be used by Jews or Christians because pagans used them too. Yet, God commanded lamps "to burn continually" (Lev 24:2) in the Jerusalem Temple. Jews even light candles and lamps on holy days, including the Sabbath today. Following this distorted logic we can't kneel in prayer or raise our hands in worship to God because pagans kneeled and stretched their hands before idols. It's claiming a connection based on similarities where in fact there is none! Further, Christian's aren't worshipping Tammuz they're worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. Nowhere did Tammuz die on a cross for the sins of mankind. You've been duped by "conspiracy theories" like Hislop's bunkum James.

Predictably Malm censored my comment and didn't publish it! Coz the truth hurts those who are hurt by hearing the truth!

Anonymous said...

Lee said: "...I commented on Malm's blog last month about all the quibbling over the word "cross" in a UCG hymnal being changed to "Word" to avoid offending anyone who objects to the word "Cross"! (see comment 45 ). Malm then replied equating the cross of Christ with the cross of Tammuz!…"

I took a look at that comment 45 on Malm's blog site, but noticed that Malm also stated the following: "...it is the sacrifice and not the instrument of its death which is important..."

Malm, to his credit, was emphasizing the sacrifice [killing] of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, and not the murder weapon of some cross...stake or whatever!

Malm emphasized the sacrifice of God's Son, and where would we be without that sacrifice? If Christ were killed by a gun, should people wear gun images around their necks?

The sacrifice of God's Son is the important thing. Why? For one thing:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Not only was something accomplished by Christ's death, but something far more was accomplished by Christ's life: His resurrection!

You mentioned Paul's words of Eph 2:16 and Col 1:20; however, Paul was also inspired to tell us the following:'

"...For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:" I Cor 5:7

Even back with that Old Testament Passover in Exodus 12, the emphasis was on the lamb to be sacrificed...……..and not the object that was probably used to slit its throat.

I Cor 5:7 doesn't even say that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for "sins, our sins, your sins, because of your sin(s), etc. but "...for us!"

I believe James Malm, in his reply to you, emphasized what was most important and why.

Whether you agree or not, time will tell...

John

Anonymous said...

SHT, Did you ever consider the possibility that the holiness of the sabbath wasn't in how we perfectly kept it according to the letter, but the mere fact of acknowledging that God made it for man to reveal who the God that we worship truly is? The very God who ceased on the seventh day of creation!

In your post you reveal why so many, including HWA and his minions, just didn't get it. Too much legalism and looking to the old Mt. Sinai covenant. Was it really terrible that we didn't follow the letter of the Mt. Sinai covenant as you imply? After all that covenant ended at Christ's death, we're not under that covenant. The WCG and HWA were way off on their understanding of Gal. 3 and so are protestants.

I wrote a paper on why I keep God's sabbaths, I'll post it below hoping that Gary allows it to go through since it's most definitely on topic.

---------------------
Part 1 Why I Keep God's Sabbaths


The heart to obey is what God desires (Deut. 30:2, Deut. 5:29) and the blood of Jesus Christ is the only means for the remission/redemption of sin, not law keeping.

I personally have been a Sabbath and Feast (moedim) day keeper for over 50 years. I believe there is much misunderstanding about keeping the Sabbath, even among Sabbath keepers. I have tried to remedy that among Sabbath keepers as best that I can but way too many are Old Covenant legalists, though they’d vehemently deny it. I can assure you that I’m not.

Way too many Sabbath teachers teach that we are to keep the Sabbath because God commands it in the fourth commandment. Their problem is that the Bible clearly says that the Ten Commandments are the words of the Covenant, the Old Mt. Sinai Covenant is the context of that verse (Ex. 34:28). To claim to keep the Sabbath because the fourth commandment commands it is placing oneself under that Covenant which ended at Jesus’ death according to Gal. 3:19.

Now you’re probably thinking “If you understand that, then why do you keep the seventh day Sabbath?”. Easy, Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man (the Greek word for man is anthropos), meaning all of mankind. The Sabbath wasn’t made at Sinai; it was made and sanctified in the garden of Eden. It will also be kept by all flesh in the millennium according to Is. 66:23.

Now the question is, “Is the Sabbath a command "required" under the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood?” Luke 22:20, the answer is no. However, the New Covenant doesn’t command against murder, stealing, lying etc. either. If the New Covenant “required” obedience to these things then the first time that we break any of them would mean that we’ve broken the covenant.

Anonymous said...

part 2

Don’t get me wrong, as Christians we are to obey God’s/Jesus’ commandments but we’re not to keep them because they’re “required” by any Covenant; we’re to obey them because they’re “required” by our Creator, God/YHWH. They’ve been required by God from creation and to not obey is sin. It is a sin to break any of God’s laws. The New Covenant, as a “requirement”, doesn’t command any law, because its sole purpose is to remove the penalty of breaking the law. The law demands our death, both Jew and Gentile, for we have all sinned or broken God’s law. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Jesus died to redeem us from death which the law demands when broken. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).

The erroneous idea that God had one set of laws for the Jews and another set of laws for the Gentiles is not Biblical and it’s caused nothing but confusion. God has one set of laws which he gave at creation. How else did Abraham know God’s laws, statutes, commands, etc? (see Gen. 26:5)

It is only logical that at creation God gave Adam and Eve laws and commands to obey, and that they taught their kids, and their kids taught theirs, but eventually over time they forgot or just refused to obey. While this is nowhere stated in the Bible it would be irresponsible of God to condemn mankind without telling him why. The fact that there’s no evidence of this proves nothing; we have no records from creation other than what Moses wrote 2,500 years later. Do we really know that Adam and the people prior to the flood had no writings? No. The laws of God were remembered, at least in part, (probably because Adam wrote them down) by Abraham’s parents and they taught him. Because of his obedience God made a covenant of Promise with him that Jesus would come from his seed. After Abraham’s initial obedience, God, as a condition of that Promise covenant, didn’t “require” continual obedience from Abraham’s kids. God would fulfill the Promise no matter what, solely because of Abraham’s faithful obedience. However, obedience was required for the simple fact that God was their Creator. As he is ours.

However, 430 years later, because disobedience/law and commandment breaking (transgression) got so bad, (Gal. 3:19) God made a separate covenant with Israel. It had to be separate because God couldn’t add to the original covenant because it was already ratified years earlier (Gal. 3:17). This second covenant was only to last until the Seed should come (Gal. 3:19).

God gave Israel his laws, statutes, judgements etc. at Mt. Sinai and also made a way to be physically forgiven if they sinned (Lev. 4:20, 26, 31, 35). The priesthood and sacrificial system was this physical system. Those sacrifices did not forgive Israel completely, they pointed to Jesus.

The question though is, why would God add laws that weren’t being transgressed if that was the main purpose of the Mt. Sinai covenant according to Paul in Galatians 3:19? (added because of transgressions)

Obviously the Sabbath was a law of God long before Sinai and as I’ve shown will continue to be a law for all flesh during the millennium (Is. 66:23).

The problem now is the misunderstanding/confusion that most have about the New Testament scriptures. Most have been taught that Jesus was resurrected on Sunday because of a mistranslation. Where the bible says “First day of the week” the Greek says, transliterated 'mia ton sabbaton' translated precisely as “First the sabbaths”. Proper exegesis is needed to understand this phrase.

Anonymous said...

Part 3

One must understand that Jesus died on Passover, the 14th day of the first biblical month, (Ex. 12:1-6, Lev. 23:5) next one must understand that seven Sabbaths were to be counted (Lev. 23:10-16) from the morrow after the Sabbath during the days of “unleavened bread” (while the Bible doesn’t say this, Jesus’ resurrection during the days of unleavened bread is our example), which most in error call the entire eight-day feast Passover. This was the count to Pentecost. The correct understanding of mia ton sabbaton is the “first day of the weeks” (plural) which is also the first day which started the 50 day count to Pentecost. First day of the weeks or sabbaths because seven sabbaths/weeks were to be counted from that day.

The “first day of the week” or more accurately “first day of the Sabbaths” is not the biblical name for every Sunday of the year; it’s the Biblical name for one "Sunday" (morrow after the Sabbath) a year. The day the wave sheaf was to be offered (Lev. 23:11). This wave sheaf pictured Jesus as the first of the firstfruits (1Cor. 23, James 1:18, Rev. 14:4). That was the day that Jesus was resurrected (at sunset beginning that day) and it had been celebrated by Israel for 1500 years before Jesus came to earth.

There is absolutely no biblical reason to keep Sunday, the day that Jesus was resurrected had been a special day of God’s from at least Lev. 23 (truthfully God’s feasts, Hebrew word moedim, are first mentioned in Gen. 1:14). Should we keep this day yearly? Sure. Weekly? No.

We are to keep the seventh day-Sabbath. Not because of the Old Covenant or the fourth commandment; we’re to keep it because it was made at creation for mankind. Jesus said so. He also said that He’s the Lord of the Sabbath, making the seventh day Sabbath the Lord’s Day, not Sunday.

We don’t obey God to be saved as we all have earned death. Thankfully Jesus has given the only way to be forgiven, which is His shed blood. Do we now go out and sin because we’re under grace? Sabbath breaking is still a sin and not because the fourth commandment says so. It’s a sin because God, at creation, set that day aside (sanctified, made holy) by ceasing and made that day for us, mankind. (Jesus said so!) Yes, it pictures our rest in Jesus as it has for almost 6,000 years. That rest won’t completely take place until he returns to establish his reign in the millennium, the 1,000 years that the seventh day Sabbath pictures (Col. 2:16-17). This is why all of God’s Sabbaths are shadows of things to come. They foreshadow future events in God’s plan of salvation for all of mankind.

But most importantly, the seventh day Sabbath reveals exactly which God we worship (Ez. 20:12). The seventh-day Sabbath is a sign that the God who created all things, the God who ceased on the seventh day of creation, the same God that sanctified the seventh day also sanctifies us.

That is why I keep God’s Sabbath and Feasts!

Anonymous said...

1:13pm " Now, the Bible makes sense; and guides my life (and salvation, through the unearned grace of Jesus Christ, not by law-keeping). "


While I understand and agree with much of what you said in your post, you say the bible now makes sense to you, so could you explain a couple things to me?

First, can you explain Like 24:21 to me?

Second, can you please explain to me who it was who were judging the gentile Colossians regarding eating, drinking, sabbaths, New moons and feasts?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

I just adore my autocorrect.

Obviously I meant Luke not Like.

I'm really not trying to be a jerk in asking the question but just as "understanding" is subjective, so too is "the bible makes sense to me".

The WCG thought they understood Luke 24:21 but they hadn't a clue, nor do those who think Sunday was the third day.


The obvious answer to what Luke 24:21 means is that the day that Jesus was resurrected was the third day, as it says. But we must realize the bible wasn't written in English and it's doubtful that it was written in Greek either, but Greek is the closest that we have to the original. Until now when we have the Aramaic.

Where the English says "today is the third day since all these things", that's far from what it says in Greek. In Greek the word translated "is" is usually translated bring or lead. The word translated "since" is usually translated away from.

Here's a good article explaining this:

Road to Emmaus


So what they are actually saying is "the third day leads away from today" very strange to the English reader, but there are at least three translations that get it right. They say "the third day has passed".

Here's a link to the book of Luke in the KHABOURIS CODEX an ancient Aramaic version and that's exactly how it is translated.

First here's a good explanation of just what the KHABOURIS CODEX is:
KHABOURIS CODEX

Now here is the link to the translation. You'll have to scroll down to the book of Luke and then go to chapter 24:21 which is on page 196:

Go down to Luke

You'll see that the translation says; "and, lo, three days (have passed) since all these things were done.

I hope these all work.

km




Anonymous said...

Well, let's try that again.

KHABOURIS CODEX


When I get time I'll try to correct the link to the Emmaus article

km

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this link works for the off on Luke 24:21


here


If not here is the link that you can copy and paste in browser.

www.a4t.org/Sermons/Brown/11-ennaus.pdf

km

Anonymous said...

As for my second question, asking who was it who were judging the uncircumcised gentiles of Colossae, I ask this because most think it was the same Judaizers from Acts 15. They were believers of the sect of the Pharisees.

It should be obvious that the Pharisees were extremely conservative when it came to the law. The law to a Pharisee was more than just the written law, it was also the oral traditions which to them held just as much weight as the written laws.

So in Acts 15, when they demanded that the gentiles be circumcised and keep the law "to be saved" they were literally wanting the gentiles to come under the old Mt. Sinai covenant and to keep all the laws, both written and oral in order to be saved.

I said all that to make one important point, unless a gentile was circumcised, a conservative Jew would never expect a gentile to keep the Sabbath.

Here's a link from a former SDA who emailed several Jewish Rabbis asking them about gentiles keeping the Sabbath.

Gentiles keeping Sabbath


As you can see, conservative Jews would never expect gentiles to keep the Sabbath while still uncircumcised.

So it is not logical to conclude that the Judaizing Pharisees were judging uncircumcised Colossians for "not" keeping the Sabbath and feasts.

However, if the uncircumcised Colossians were indeed keeping the Sabbath and feasts then the Judaizers would most definately have been judging them.

That is the only logical explanation for Col. 2:16,17 no other explanation makes any sense.

km


jim said...

Anon part1,2,3

Moses, the deliverer of the law, wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. Yet, before Sinai he never mentions Sabbath keeping or Holy Days. This is strange to me if the Sabbath was in effect at that time as Moses taught the breaking of the Sabbath to be a capital offense. Surely there would be some mention of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob keeping these days. Surely, sabbath breaking would be listed among the sins before the flood as it carried with it the death penalty. Why didn't our Creator mention that Adam also rested on the Sabbath as Adam was created on the 6th day. Keep in mind this is Moses's account and remember his role in the teaching of the Sabbath, but am I to believe Moses is not interested in further establishing the Sabbath by noting Sabbath keeping among others that were pleasing to God, such as Able or Seth.

Deut. 5:3 says this covenant was not made with our ancestors... and then the 10 commandments are listed.

Why doesn't Paul say something like, "you observe days, months, and years...but the only days that really matter are the Sabbath and holy days, so don't let people judge you on these other days."
Jesus and the apostles simply undermine the role of the sabbath, it cannot just be the Pharisaical sabbath keeping. The Sabbath is barely mentioned after Christ's resurrection. Col. 2:17 and other verses place the sabbath far below Christ in what seems a dismissive manner.
Why does Christ say that He is our Rest and immediately thereafter in the text seemingly diminish the Sabbath.

All of these things cannot be ignored and explained away unless one starts with the conclusion they are seeking to prove.

As Tessa said above, "where do we go from here my friends?" Maybe simply freedom in Christ and His new commandments. Maybe short-term a less emphasized sabbath keeping and not focusing on it as the most important doctrine. Maybe see how the Holy Spirit will lead our lives and bring us to truth.

In the meantime, believing that Jesus is Lord and the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him is the great foundation and the promise with that is salvation.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I completely understand your "Why didn't" questions, and if this is indeed the only chance/time for salvation then I'd fully expect God to make it perfectly clear to all. But.

And this is a huge Butt.....šŸ˜

What if some of the teachings that HWA stole from others is right? What if today isn't the only day for salvation for the majority of the world? What if God is giving mankind 6,000 years to govern/rule ourselves? Giving us the freedom to do as we please, and reaping the rewards/penalties for doing things our way?

What if he really is only calling firstfruits and blinding the rest, just temporarily, as Romans 10 seems to say? For if he is really trying to save the world now he's doing a piss poor job.

What if he's looking to see who is really willing to put the entire bible together, here a little there a little as we have heard. HWA was an egocentric, self serving loon, but what if God was using him to sift out the wheat from the chaff?

Are we going to be so preoccupied with the man that we're going to throw it all away? I don't know. It's none of my business to judge others.

I personally have kept a "less emphasized" Sabbath as you said for the last 25 years. I have said during those years that the Sabbath, the feasts, clean and unclean, etc. ,etc. ,etc. are the least of the commandments. They are not the weightier matters of the law, but they aren't to be left undone. And how one does them should be personal between them and their God. The "church" has no business dictating how one obeys God.

Jesus Christ as my personal savior has always (at least the last 25 years) been my emphasis, though as I said in parts 1,2,3, I still believe in keeping the Sabbath and Feasts.

I'm not going to argue whether the Sabbath and Feasts/moedim have been kept since creation as I said we have no way of knowing for sure one way or the other, but God did place two lights in the sky on the fourth day to be for moeds or appointments, why mention it that early on if they were only for Israel and why command them to be kept by all flesh in the millennium if there is no reason for them?

How we keep God's moedim, which include the weekly Sabbath is no one's business except that person's and Gods. HWA taught legalism, Protestantism teaches licentiousness, there is a middle for both ditches that can be found if one looks.

I understand that I still hold to some of what HWA stole from others, and I realize others love to call those of us who are not members of any acog but still keep the Sabbath and Feasts Armstrongites, but HWA is the furthest thing from my mind when it comes to the bible. I don't give a damn about that man. He was a scab on my life. The splinter organizations are just as bad, which is why I've been independent/antidenominational for over 25 years.

As I hope that you can tell from reading my 3 posts that the way the WCG taught an old covenant system is completely contrary to what I believe. The Sabbath and Feasts can be kept without looking to Sinai, according to Is. 66 and Zech. 14 they will indeed be kept in the millennium unless of course the Holy Spirit in inspiring Isaiah and Zechariah didn't really have a clue what would take place after Jesus' return.

So either the Holy Spirit inspired those two men about the millennium accurately or Dennis is dead on and it's just a book written by men to control other men.

Maybe once we mature we can follow the bible individually without the need to control or worry about what our brother is doing or how he's obeying his God.

Thanks for your post Jim.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

"Moses, the deliverer of the law, wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. Yet, before Sinai he never mentions Sabbath keeping or Holy Days."

Actually the feasts/moedim are mentioned, first in Gen. 1:14 as I said, then again when God was promising Abraham and Sarah a son. He actually said:

Gen 18:14 - Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.


If you look at the Hebrew the "time appointed" is moedim, and the time of life is the spring. This is a reference to the spring feasts.


So yes the Holy Days are indeed mentioned it's just that the book of Genesis is merely a story about creation and the time up until Moses. It wasn't intended to be an all in all book about all things. Not enough room.

Go through the book of Genesis, how many laws can you find? Sure you'll find them mentioning adultery, but you won't find that law You'll see them mentioning murder but you won't find a law against it because that wasn't the purpose of Genesis.

As I said in my three parter, God added the law because of transgressions. Transgressions are disobedience to God so isn't it obvious that the laws that he added were the things they were disobeying?

The thing is the old covenant was a tutor, it was strict. Once one matures they can make their own decisions. We don't throw out the Sabbath, but if I want to go to a restaurant to enjoy my rest day, so be it. I'm not under the tutors regulations, but the Sabbath was still made for me, for mankind. I don't need that fence of the old covenant to stop me from doing something dangerous, but it would be stupid of me to cross that fence without looking to see if it was safe.

Just because the laws are not spelled out in Genesis doesn't mean we can't study the bible to determine what the laws might be. Just take the Sabbath for one, all it means is cease, so as long as I cease from my work, anything else is lawful for me, and that if my work may happen to be something society needs for it's safety and no one else can do it one day, I'll jump in there on the Sabbath and do it. It's no one else's business.

It's possible to keep the Sabbath and Feasts without being legalistic.

Kevin

jim said...

Good comments, Kevin. I'll look at the Gen 18 scriptures you noted. The "no time to mention the sabbath" in Genesis still seems unlikely. Moses could have said Spring feasts rather than simply referencing it with "appointed time" and "time of life". But, I get what you are saying; I've said some of the things you have said regarding the actual Sabbath teaching and how one would observe the sabbath. Yet, it will in the end come down to a decision as I don't see your or my take on it as convincing. Currently, it seems likely to me the sabbaths were for ancient Israel, but you make good points and are balanced in your approach.

Anonymous said...

Actually I didn't say there was no time to mention the Sabbath, I said: "It wasn't intended to be an all in all book about all things. Not enough room."

I admit that was just an off the cuff remark but as I said, Genesis, if the bible be true, is just a book of history, it's not a book of codified laws.

I personally think Jesus said all that was needed to be said, the Sabbath was made for man. When was the Sabbath made? You are perfectly free to disagree with me and I'd never ever question your place in God's kingdom. Jesus looks at the heart and if in your heart you're not convinced, even of a "less emphasized Sabbath", yet you're sincerely trying to obey him as you are led, then I personally think you'll be in the first resurrection.

One other thing, Moses did say Spring Feasts in his way, translators placed the English words appointed time and time of life, the Hebrew literally meant Spring Feasts.

One time I actually went though the first six or so chapters of Genesis and marked all the commands that we're given and if broken, none were worthy of the flood or Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed. There is no written law against sodomy in Genesis (If that really was why they were destroyed). Even if it was hetero sexual perversion, where is the written law against that in Genesis? If the five or six actual commands that I found before the flood were all there was, none were worthy of instant death if broken.

The fact is that if we're going to assume that the world before the flood violated laws or commands that we're never recorded in Genesis, then why do we demand the Sabbath law to be recorded before being willing to obey it? Especially knowing that Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, and the Holy Spirit inspiring Isaiah to write that all flesh will keep the Sabbath.

I'm not trying to force the Sabbath on anyone, and I completely understand that talking so much about it looks like it's of utmost importance but I can assure you that it's not. Jesus and him crucified for our sins is of utmost importance. We do need to realize why he had to die though, because of our sins.

I've often thought that if Adam had never sinned, or if we had never sinned, would God owe us eternal life? My answer is no. Sin or no sin, eternal life is a gift from God. So even if after accepting Jesus' sacrifice, if we never sin again, our not sinning does not earn us a damn thing. In fact we're told that we're unprofitable servants. Not sinning is the very least that we owe God, and being human none of us are ever going to even accomplish that. Thank God for Jesus Christ!

Kevin

Lee said...

Part 1
John said: “I…noticed that Malm…stated: ‘…it is the sacrifice and not the instrument of its death which is important…’ Malm, to his credit, was emphasizing the sacrifice [killing] of Jesus Christ…not the murder weapon of some cross...stake or whatever!…If Christ were killed by a gun, should people wear gun images around their necks?…Even back with that Old Testament Passover in Exodus 12, the emphasis was on the lamb to be sacrificed…not the object that was probably used to slit its throat.”

To be persnickety, actually the cross was not the instrument of Christ’s death. The flogging His body received prior to His crucifixion, the nails hammered into his hands and feet, and (according to some) even the spear that struck His side, were. Such were the instruments that led to Him bleeding to death. Christ’s mortally wounded body simply hung on the cross or tree (Galatians 3:13). He wasn’t killed by it!

Also, if Jesus Christ were killed by a gunshot or stabbed to death with a knife or stoned to death with a rock and His followers chose to represent their faith in Him and what He has accomplished for them via His death with a gun, knife or rock would that be a sin anymore than the hexagram is used to represent the Jewish faith or the crescent the Muslim faith.

You've heard the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, right? How when the people get about halfway to the Promised Land, Moses sends spies to scout it out for the forthcoming invasion. But, most of the spies come back in a panic, claiming the Canaanites are far too powerful for them to overcome, which leads to a revolt with the people refusing to take the land. As a result, God punishes them for their faithlessness decreeing that the whole generation will die in the desert, and the land will be acquired by their children instead. Subsequently, Israel is making its way through the desert when they start rebelling once again. They complain about their situation decrying even the manna God sent them as worthless! They forgot, however, it was for their own sin that they were stuck in the middle of nowhere! Hence, God sent poisonous snakes into the camp as punishment and people began to die. Confessing their sin the Israelites pleaded for God’s mercy and Moses prayed for them. God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed (Numbers 21:4-9).

As illustrated by this very account snakes were killing the Israelites. If, however, those who were mortally wounded by these snakes, would have faith in God and look to the very symbol or instrument of their death they would be healed and survive! In like manner, it foreshadowed Christ’s death on the cross and the victory we have in Him and by what He achieved on the cross for us as John 3:14 notes: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” So to make the specious and spurious claims Malm alleges re pagan connections to the cross of Christianity is simply ignorant and patently false. Let me clarify, however, sure Malm claims veneration of the cross is sin. And here I am in agreement with him, it is a form of idolatry. Just like worshiping any statue or picture or organization or person—or as the Judahites later did in worshiping Nehushtan (2 Kings 18:4). But, as a symbol of a Christian’s faith and the word itself, as representative of what our God achieved by His Son’s death on it—the cross most certainly is not!

Lee said...

Part 2
John said: “I Cor 5:7 doesn't even say that Christ…is sacrificed for ‘sins, our sins, your sins, because of your sin(s), etc. but ‘…for us!’ I believe James Malm, in his reply to you, emphasized what was most important and why.”

Your comment implies Jesus Christ didn’t die for the sins of mankind John (which contradict the following scriptures). And if that’s the case, then why was Jesus Christ sacrificed John?

[Isa 53:4-5 KJV] 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

[Mat 26:28 KJV] 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

[Luk 22:20 KJV] 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

[2Co 5:21 KJV] 21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

[Heb 9:22 KJV] 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

[1Pe 2:23-24 KJV] 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

[1Jo 2:2 KJV] 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

[1Jo 4:10 KJV] 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

Anonymous said...

Lee, a hearty AMEN to your above posts!

Kevin

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested here are the literal commands that I found in Genesis prior to the flood:

1- Be fruitful and multiply. Gen. 1:28

2- Eat of every tree except tree in the midst. 2:16

3- Leave father and mother and cleave to wife. 2:24

4- Whoever kills Cain will receive vengeance seven fold. 4:15



Those are all the commands that I found prior to chapter 6, breaking which one deserved instant death by drowing?

Gen. 4:7 God tells Cain that if he does not well, sin lies at the door. What sin? There's no written command against murder, not even against holding a grudge against or hating your brother. What sin was it, if the commands had to be recorded before acknowledging their existence?

Here are my notes in my old bible for Gen. 6:5 which says the wickedness of man was great and his thoughts always evil.

My notes:

"Vs. 5, What evil? What wickedness? There were only four commands up until this time. Which command did they break that deserved the flood?"


I wrote that at least 15 years ago. Realizing that it's illogical to demand Sabbath and Feast commands in Genesis yet not demand commands warranting death being recorded.

Again, I'm not telling anyone what they have to believe, all I'm saying is that there has to be a little logic in our conclusions.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Lee, July 15, 2019 at 11:08 PM, being persnickety again (?), wrote: "...Part 2 John said: “I Cor 5:7 doesn't even say that Christ…is sacrificed for ‘sins, our sins, your sins, because of your sin(s), etc. but ‘…for us!’ I believe James Malm, in his reply to you, emphasized what was most important and why.”

Your comment implies Jesus Christ didn’t die for the sins of mankind John (which contradict the following scriptures). And if that’s the case, then why was Jesus Christ sacrificed John?

[Isa 53:4-5 KJV] 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

[Mat 26:28 KJV] 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

[Luk 22:20 KJV] 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

[2Co 5:21 KJV] 21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

[Heb 9:22 KJV] 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

[1Pe 2:23-24 KJV] 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

[1Jo 2:2 KJV] 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

[1Jo 4:10 KJV] 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins..."
******
Lee, not only are those verses true, but Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.

Additionally, the following words of Paul are also true:

2 Cor 5: 19 "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

How do you think God is accomplishing that reconciling the world unto Himself? How is it that God "is not imputing their trespasses" unto the world?

Did Paul lie to us?

You asked: "...why was Jesus Christ sacrificed John?" I covered some of that in my previous comment to you just above.

God is working a Plan! Christ had to be slain, sacrificed, for us, and besides those verses I cited above, here is another one as part of the "why" answer:

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Heb 9:22

Notice, it says "almost." Can you think of something that is not "...by the law purged with blood?" It will lead to why Christ our Passover sacrificed for us is so important for all human beings.

John

Anonymous said...

John said:

"Christ had to be slain, sacrificed, for us,"


I honestly have to disagree with that. Maybe I'm being too technical but I believe that God is capable of forgiveness without sacrifice.

I personally believe that the only reason that God "requires" sacrifice, whether Christ's or previously animals, is to instill in our minds the evil of sin.

God gets no pleasure in sacrifice, I don't even think it logical for one to die for the sins of another. I think the only reason God does it this way is for the imprint that we gain in our minds, in our character.

If God would just forgive us, how seriously would we take our sinning? Personally I occasionally give in to the flesh even knowing that Christ died for me, how much easier would it be if, poof you're forgiven, to fall back in to sin?

So no, I don't believe that God demanded Jesus' sacrifice before he'd forgive. He knew this was the only way that stubborn mankind would acknowledge the seriousness of disobedience.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

One other thing that I'd like to point out in regards to the Sabbath, the holy convocation was a command of the old Mt. Sinai covenant. We're not under that covenant. The Sabbath literally means to cease, to rest. As has been mentioned, just how much rest did we get attending services in a controlling cult?

I'd much rather cease on the Sabbath and then attend worship services the next day, or any of the other six days.

I often wonder if that's actually what the early church did, cease on the Sabbath and then gather on the next day. Then over the years it was mistaken as forsaking the Sabbath. I'm just saying, I don't know whether that is the case or not.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin, July 16, 2019 at 7:26 AM, wrote:

"...John said:

"Christ had to be slain, sacrificed, for us,"

I honestly have to disagree with that. Maybe I'm being too technical but I believe that God is capable of forgiveness without sacrifice..."

Kevin, God is working a perfect Plan of Salvation to save all humanity and ultimately destroy Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46). But yes, God is capable of a lot of things, but He can't lie, not even once. If you don't believe I Cor 5:7, stated above, then your disagreement is with the Apostle Paul, and you might as well hold hands with others, who also believe what you wrote, in a circle and just tell God He is a liar.

God's ways are higher than ours (your belief/theory), and He did give the ancient Israelites a sacrificial system that provided forgiveness AFTER sacrifice.

Take, for example, ignorance! God even had a sacrifice for that. Not for ignorant people, of course, b/c the people would probably run out of animals to sacrifice before too long!

Leviticus 4:27 And if any one of the common people sin through IGNORANCE, while he doeth [somewhat against] any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which ought not to be done, and be guilty;
28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.
29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and SLAY the SIN OFFERING in the place of the burnt offering.
30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.
31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn [it] upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an ATONEMENT for him, and IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM.

Done deal! More such examples are shown in Lev 4 and elsewhere in the OT.

You wrote: "...I personally believe that the only reason that God "requires" sacrifice, whether Christ's or previously animals, is to instill in our minds the evil of sin..."

Where did you learn that belief? God created evil: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]." Isaiah 45:7

We know that Adam and Eve, after their minds were infested/infected by the most subtil beast of the field, were to come to know good and evil.

As an aside, evil resides within you, Kevin: "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Romans 7:20-21

We're all "in the same boat," sort of speak. You are not alone!

So, what is that "evil of sin" you believe in? What means it?

For one thing we all are to learn to hate evil! Not hate people! Hate evil. Is it not true that we wrestle not flesh and blood, or do you think Paul lied to us with his words in Eph 6:12?

Satan (2 Tim 2:26) is the cause of sin in our lives: "He that committeth sin is of the devil;..." I John 3:8; James 4:5; Eph 2:2, etc.

Kevin, you wrote further saying: “…God gets no pleasure in sacrifice, I don't even think it logical for one to die for the sins of another. I think the only reason God does it this way is for the imprint that we gain in our minds, in our character…”

Kevin, where did you learn all of that "logical" stuff? Imprint? Don't you believe I John 2:2, which is as true as is I Cor 5:7?

Perhaps, we could ask: why did God have a sacrifice mentality?

John

Anonymous said...

Kevin, July 16, 2019 at 7:26 AM, wrote: "...Personally I occasionally give in to the flesh even knowing that Christ died for me, how much easier would it be if, poof you're forgiven, to fall back in to sin?..."

You are incapable, even if you are sealed by God's Spirit as a Firstfruit, of choosing to never sin again, and choosing to make your decision stick for the rest of your life. Did Paul lie in Eph 6:12?

You wrote: "...So no, I don't believe that God demanded Jesus' sacrifice before he'd forgive. He knew this was the only way that stubborn mankind would acknowledge the seriousness of disobedience..."

Where did you learn about the cause of mankind’s stubbornness and disobedience? Adam and Eve both initially had "very good" human nature (Gen 1:31); what really happened in that Garden?

Perhaps, we could ask: why did God have a sacrifice mentality? Know sin; know Satan. The sacrificial system is not about dying “for the sins of another,” but Satan, sin, causes our deaths and needs to be extinguished out of our lives. No Satan: no sin! You could study into why God had that sacrifice mentality, which had nothing to do with dying for the sins of another.


FWIIW, a partial sermon transcript of Part 5 of Satan’s Life and Death, given on 10 August 1996, said this:
******
“…Now, some of these sacrifices picture not Christ, but they picture the killing of Satan...Didn’t we have it in our minds that all sacrifices, in one way or another, and generally for the most part, pictured the sacrifice of Christ? So, of course, once Christ was sacrificed, we didn’t have the problem with sacrifices anymore. That was done away with...Now remember, the last four sermons in this series were on Satan’s life and also his death. We went through there. Remember how Satan is equated or referred to so often as “the beast of the field?” He’s always talked about as being different animals. He’s also sometimes talked about as being different nations, but always as a low, low thing. It says that Satan is subtle. He’s so subtle. He’s more subtle than any beast of the field.
Okay, so let me give you a quick example. Let this stay in your head for right now as we’re going through. When you start to see this picture and we’ll go through this and prove this. Now when the people in the Old Testament sinned! Let’s say a man sinned. He had to get a bullock. So, he took this bullock, depending on the different sins and his wealth. If he was very poor he could bring a small animal in. If he was wealthy and rich, he had to pay for it.
So, let’s say he brought in this bullock. He brings in the bullock. He gives it to the priest. The priests do what they have to do. In fact, I think, even some if I remember: sometimes the people themselves had to actually kill the animal. There are a lot of different sacrifices. We’ll go into those things at some future time. But, he gave it to the priest basically either after killing it or before. They did this. They put it on the altar. They burned this up, and then he was forgiven for that sin, but if you know what this pictures, now we can look back and see that basically what the man was doing was that he realized that he had sinned. He went and got this bullock out of his pasture, or he had to buy one: whatever. He had to bring one. So, he brings this into the Temple and basically what he is saying by his actions and what this pictured is: “Satan caused me to sin! I have transgressed,” and we know who makes you sin and who is sin.
So, here is this bullock that represents Satan the Devil. “Take this bullock and kill it,” because that is what is going to happen to Satan. “Kill this thing, and let’s be done with it! Let’s be done with this sin!”
That brethren, is basically, very basically the picture of what happens when people would bring in these sacrifices for sin. Without knowing it, they were picturing the death of Satan the Devil…”

Christ is our Passover sacrificed for us!

And time will tell…

John

Anonymous said...

John, I think you completely misunderstood what I wrote, and I have no desire to debate so I'll just let what I wrote stand as is.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I can clarify my belief a little. While I realize that Christians often get accused of giving God human attributes, the truth I believe is that God gave us his attributes, or at least many of them.

God says that we're to forgive seventy times seven, yet he won't forgive without a sacrifice? I seriously doubt that's why he demands a sacrifice. If it is the reason I want no part of that God.

If however, he demands it because he knows the impact that the imprint will make in our minds regarding sin is enormous, then at least for me that's understandable.

Are we as parents so hard hearted that we'll only forgive our kids if they do something dramatic to prove they're sorry? I don't think so and I think that he created us like him in this regard.

It's similar to how God demands us to worship him. Is that for his egotistical benefit? If so, again I want no part of him. But if he knows the importance of being thankful and obedient (if you look up the roots for the Greek word worship you'll find it means to do obeisance, which means to obey) for our eternal character then he demands that for our benefit.

Just as a good human parent should do all for the benefit of their kids, so too do I believe God demands certain things solely for our benefit.

If it's any other reason then imo God's a monster!I

Kevin


Anonymous said...

Kevin, that is very fine to do. There is something to be said for striving to be content in all things...

John

Anonymous said...

Kevin, July 22, 2019 at 11:49 AM, wrote: "...Let's see if I can clarify my belief a little...God says that we're to forgive seventy times seven, yet he won't forgive without a sacrifice? I seriously doubt that's why he demands a sacrifice. If it is the reason I want no part of that God..."

God is perfect, and He has purpose for sacrifices. Perhaps you've/we've been deceived just like the rest of the world! Well, we were; deception is a matter of degree as to how much.

Regarding the rest of Kevin's post, most don't really understand the "impact of that imprint," and people continue sinning, don't they? Yourself included, but your thoughts are what seem right in your own eyes.

Yes, we were created in God's image, "like Him," and in His likeness, but we're "works in progress," especially when one becomes the workmanship in His hands.

Kevin said: "...It's similar to how God demands us to worship him. Is that for his egotistical benefit? If so, again I want no part of him. But if he knows the importance of being thankful and obedient (if you look up the roots for the Greek word worship you'll find it means to do obeisance, which means to obey) for our eternal character then he demands that for our benefit..."

God is worthy of worship; however, most of us have our own ideas, and/or Satan's deception ideas, in our heads and we just go along doing what seems right to us, and if the truth were known, why not?

Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

And we, even if have God's Spirit, still will not choose to stop sinning and make that choice stick for the remainder of our lives, and why not?

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Oh, then there is James 4:5; Eph 2:2; I John 3:8...with :12 Cain being one example of how that "other spirit" in man works in our lives, etc.

Kevin concluded with saying: "...Just as a good human parent should do all for the benefit of their kids, so too do I believe God demands certain things solely for our benefit.

If it's any other reason then imo God's a monster!..."

God knows what He is doing and we have not seen the end of the matter: God has!

Adam and Eve initially only knew good, but God's plan called for them/us to learn about evil, learn to hate evil. Satan, among other things, fulfills God's purpose in accomplishing that.

What is some of the "end of the matter" that God, The God (Deut 32:40), not a respecter of persons, has yet to fulfill?

Jeremiah 32:36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city..
37 Behold, I will gather them..and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
39 And I will give them one heart, and one way...for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them...to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them...
42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

And God does not need your help...or mine. Notice who is going to do, before all is said and done, all of those things mentioned in just those verses: ...gather, bring, cause, give, make, rejoice, plant,...and yes, bring upon them all the good...promised them.

Time will tell...

John