About PassoverCommentary for March 31, 2005 — Contradiction and Controversy
This month there are two articles, both dealing with the subject of the Passover. The first is “The Passover Contradiction” and the second is “The Passover/Easter Controversy.” Please access and read both these articles by Dr. Ernest Martin after you read the “April 2005 Newsletter.” As always the Newsletter contains useful information about the articles and about ASK.
The Passover is the first God-ordained festival of the New Year according to the Jewish calendar. While these festivals do provide excellent teaching about God’s intent and plan for mankind, they have been fulfilled in Christ. This means that these festivals no longer need to be celebrated. In fact, these festivals cannot be celebrated according to biblical precepts unless there is a Temple. And, that celebration must take place in the environs of Jerusalem.
Check out the plain texts for yourself. (See the Newsletter noted above.) Therefore, those who celebrate these festivals today must do so by incorporating traditions of men. Those who command the celebration of these festivals have no biblical authority to do so. If God commands you to do something, you better do it. But, if God commands you do something His way, you better do it His way.
These traditions of men claim to fulfill the observance and the requirements of the true and profound festivals of God. However, these festivals, as part of the Law that God gave to Moses have already been fulfilled. That was the purpose of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed, the Savior — who in every action fulfilled the Law and the full meaning of the festivals:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”If He did not do as He said, then Jesus was either a liar or a witless imposter. But He was genuine, the Son of God. If He fulfilled the Law, then why should you try to fulfill the letter of the Law? You cannot do so anyway.
• Matthew 5:17–18
Even worse, all too many believers in Christ compound error by celebrating holidays like Easter or Christmas, which are not in any way commanded by God. These so-called “Christian” celebrations incorporate stupid — yes stupid — rituals, practices, and beliefs that are unbiblical and integrate a great deal of pagan practices.
Still worse, they divert people away from a proper understanding of God’s Word by perpetuating myths and fables. If you think my words are harsh, that is too bad. Show me in Scripture where we should celebrate Ishtar or Xmas? I am embarrassed even to ask the question because every reader of ASK should know better.
Study the Scriptures and learn the teaching that the festivals have within them, but do not try to fulfill their meaning yourself. You should not and cannot do so. Christ has already done that by magnifying the Law (Isaiah 42:21), while adding grace and truth to the Law (John 1:17), and being the end of the Law for righteousness to believers (Romans 10:4).
Understand, if you want to “observe” celebrations of Jewish festivals, Christian festivals, Buddhist festivals, Hindu festivals, Muslim festivals, feel free to do so, understanding that you cannot “fulfill” the celebrations. I recommend that you “observe” as if you were an anthropologist studying human behavior and rituals. Learn everything you can about the teaching and symbolism of such days and observances.
(And, always pay attention to the really nifty hats [and gowns!] that religious “officials” wear. Why do they do that?)
But if you find yourself observing or celebrating those festivals multiple times, or if you begin to think that God is somehow pleased by your doing so, then you demonstrate to God (and eventually to fellow believers) your immaturity in the faith and lack of knowledge of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
What then are we to do to fulfill God’s laws and how do we show our love to Him? Well, if you are a long-time reader of ASK, then you should already know what it is you should — and must — do. You do not please God by performing actions by rote. For Christians today who have benefit of the Mystery of God, the apostle Paul explains simply and clearly what Christians should do:
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Thou shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. Love works no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”In the Book of Galatians, Paul states again in different words:
• Romans 13:8–11
“For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”Christ Jesus, by His actions of fulfilling the Law, made it possible for you to fulfill the law by the everyday actions of loving your neighbor as yourself. You love yourself, do you not? Well, loving your neighbor should be as second nature as loving yourself. And, we have the added advantage that the world does not have — we have the gift of the God’s Holy Spirit.
• Galatians 5:13–14
And, if you find yourself judging others (or yourself) by their observance of these days or sabbaths, or if you fear others are judging you because of your non-observance of such festivals or “holidays,” then remember again the serious words of the apostle Paul, given for your edification:
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”Understand clearly, Paul means let no man judge you for not observing the holyday, new moon, or sabbath days. According to this verse, certainly you will not judge others who choose to perform such observances, but do not let them judge you for not doing so.
• Colossians 2:16–18
Consider the traditional “Christian” holidays and how they are observed (as Paul says) by voluntary humility, worshipping of angels (unknowingly), and puffed up fleshly minds. Paul states plainly that people will judge you by the holidays you observe, rituals you perform, and traditions you keep, or do not keep. Do not be surprised, but expect them to judge you.
Is it better to be judged and known by the love that you show to your fellow human beings? Or, to be judged by what holidays you celebrate?
If you want still more to do, then search and study the Scriptures. God accepts your efforts. He even approves and is pleased when you study the Bible. If you want to do something to please God, then study the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).
To sum up regarding Passover ... learn what it teaches, forget the observance. Dr. Martin’s articles will open your Bible to give additional information as to how Christ fulfilled Passover and how problems in calendars can cause strife and division.
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