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SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
Why We Keep the Feasts
Exposition of Colossians 2 (with focus on vrs.16)
With Intro into Galatians
It is important to remind those who hear this message, to remember that the context of ‘Why we keep the feast’ is the focus, but because these verses of scripture are abused to disarm or nullify the feasts, it is fitting exegete and expose the text for what it says rather than object to objections as to it’s purposed meaning which are eisegeticly read into the text without properly defining or exegeting the context and general meaning of the scripture which proceeds it.
And the subject contained in these expository messages are truly more important than me convincing you to keep the feast because they are right worship, this is because the conviction of the completeness which comes by Christ our Lord and the fullness of his principality and power over our sin and it’s forgiveness by Grace according to the terms of the New Covenant is paramount and the faith which we all must first obtain in our heart and mind by hearing the Word of GOD is belief that the Scripture is God’s light and lamp for beautiful feet to walk in as they bring the Gospel. That is the foundation of every sacrament of the Church settled on the Rock, in regards to the times of church worship on the Sabbath, New moons and Feast days as taught by the Law of God, as it is part of that Word’s directives and not by the commandments, doctrines and traditions of men.
So Colossians 2:16 and the context of the prior is that of the absolute necessity of being rooted and stablished in him. Payment is due for our sin and transgression against YHWH’s Covenant, that is the principality and power found in the authoritive decree of God’s Law which legislates our death as the wage due us for sin, yet Christ with his principality and power that has been proclaimed to be over all things in heaven and earth, all things visible and in visible has blotted that handwriting out, and the Cheiro-graphon then resembles a warrant (like in a cowboy western, wanted dead or alive, and we can thank God for the ‘alive’ portion of that warrant which we find only in the mercy and grace of our alive and resurrected Lord who has paid for us to be his, now he owns us if he has paid on our behalf, we are his slaves, bought with a price (and if you don’t like that slave language then it is evident you don’t understand the verity of the matter and have not been rooted in him yet. When we put our trust in his righteousness He tips the scale of justification paying in full for our sin, he is then the only one who has the merit and mouth capable to even uttering a Word to the Father with merit to pay. When we are told that he has blotted out the handwriting decreed against us , contrary to us it is obviously that portion of the writing which show how much we owe for our sin, as a people and as individuals; yet our Redeemer uses his blood to wipe away the words of transgression.) Yet we have to this day the cheiro-graphon contained in the book we call the bible, it is the receipt which tells us the Word of God on this matter, the history of Israel’s utter failure in keeping God’s covenant by faith, we call this book the word of God, the bible, because it contains the very words spoken by God to his people and that Word was Jesus Christ, and in literal symbology he was nailed to the cross spoken of in verse 14 took it out of the way, or off the road nailing it to his cross. He spoiled Sin’s power, and now that we are his he has given us a benefit of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding by instructing us in his statutes, judgments and Law, as long as we are in him we abound, because sin is out of the way, now Walking in Him he gives us the justification needed, so That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom_8:4
Therefore if the phrase here seen in Col_2:16 ‘Let no man therefore judge you’ is calling for one to account himself as reconciled in Christ, these Gentiles were being admonished be no longer strangers to the covenant and of the commonwealth of Israel, ‘no man therefore could judge’ in the meat and drink offerings in respecting the Holy days, and that understanding is helped by use of the flow of Eze_45:17 or in whatever it is you might believe:
Col 2:16-17 … meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
But in support of the context of this refereeing to offerings or sacrifice verse. 17: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. A statement used specifically in Heb_10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Therefore, it is with confident I offer this interpretation of this verse as biblically relevant to the context, and that it is not dealing with the observance of the timing of the Feasts, New moon or Sabbaths, but in the respecting or portions by contributing to the tithe of the public expense. Yet do not miss that it was the shadow the Colossians were to let no man therefore judge them in (so if you believe the sacrifices and offerings to be the shadow, it is of impassable necessity to conclude it is the regard of those times of worship by the God ordained offerings, and the citation taken from the flow of Eze_45:17 is the object of the statement.
Col_2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels…
Notice the similarity in language, as found in verse Col_2:3-4 The Father and of Christ…In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
It is Gnosticism, which was attempting to beguile the reward of true wisdom and knowledge as found in the Word of God, 1st the Scriptures :Law, Prophets, wisdom-writings and Histories and 2nd those words becoming flesh (not spirit only, not a spirit being immaterial) but a body of flesh. And so these two warning of beguiling are linked as You can see here Paul warning of those who are:
…intruding into those things which he hath not seen, (seemingly Paul mocks them by saying of these spiritualists are:) …vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (and he further mocks them by use of the Christian doctrine of Headship which this whole book is built on, that Headship found in Christ “the head of all principality and power.. all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”, statements which links directly to the name for the book of Genesis in Hebrew B’Rosh’th referring to the Head / RoSh of all things. Paul mocks again as he says in Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together (instructedG4822 ), increaseth with the increase of God.
(simply those fleshly minded spiritualists are not the Church – as the body of Christ has Christ at it’s head, and His instructions knit the the body.)
Two things then are being here referenced in our General context that Paul is dealing with in his limited context with the spiritual religion Gnosticism and Faith which is established in the fullness of the wisdom and knowledge found in Christ, which by his citations of the creation of the world we can conclude that he as all other biblical apostles are referencing Christ as the pre-incarnate WORD moving by the Spirit of God and that very Word made flesh literally. This then is the absolute authority of Christ over all things in heaven and earth, this makes Christ and his Law authoritive and Head over all things.
So then in opposition to the spiritualist doctrine which does not recognize the material world and those Christians being influenced by this thinking, Paul asks
Col_2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (or elements) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances…
Remember, Gnosticism did not believe in a physical Christ in the flesh, therefore they did not believe in a physical death of Christ either, yet the death and true resurrection is essential doctrine for the effective power of the work of the Cross:
This dogma being referenced, is again the authoritive decrees, this statement is referencing verse 14 and as was proved by the context to be the handwriting of our sin as found in the totality of the biblical testimony that was against us and contrary to us, that is our sin. And as a people, from the historical testament shows a people who began their departure from YHWH’s Word by the sins of Jeroboam, this is similar to Gnosticism in the sense that both disregard the law of God in preference for divine worship which comes from the fleshly heart and mind and not from the Spirit of God taught by his written word: So, If we are dead with Christ from this material world are we no longer subject to that decree as a spiritualist would teach?
(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
(strictly on a language level this doctrine mentioned G1319- διδασκαλία- did-ask-alia(s) των -of ανθρωπων- men as well as the accompanying words is specifically used in the LXX in Isa_29:13,Which our Lord Christ said several times, this is a contextual quote of the general context of Isa_29:13-14 Wherefore the Lord said, This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and they honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: but in vain do they worship me, teaching the commandments and doctrines of men. Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent. (contextually this fits well into the subject mater limited of Gnosticism and the general context of Christ the Word’s authority of all wisdom and knowledge. Yet the word did-ask-alia(s) for doctrine is neutral, as it is also used of ‘sound doctrine in Tit_1:9 and else where:)
…as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances/ decrees (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;)
As this is in a general context referencing Gen_3:3-5 …of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. In this general way we may understand it is speaking of the touching, eating (tasting) and mentally handling as in the first transgression, now the command to not touch or eat or mentally handle the knowledge of the tree of good and evil was not a doctrine of men, yet it was for men, it was not derived of man, but of God. Yet, in effect the two have a commonality when referencing the decree as an authoritive principality and power of the Creator which legislates sin, here is why: By reading the scripture we see both (for instance) the law of God for man, that is his authoritive decree which directs our way to walk in and shows our sin by failure thereof as well the doctrines of men which are in replacement of sound doctrine of God’s Law, a doctrine of men are done to achieve some form of spiritual knowledge outside of the only source of Contact with the only Spirit intended for our walk in the spirit, thus it is a replacement for YHWH’s divine worship, and often time today the more spiritual Gnostic religion is desired before the Jeroboam image worship which is material and physically man derived, yet both are in opposition of knowledge which comes by instruction in obedience to the literal Law of God.
Like When Adam and Eve chose to touch and taste and handle the knowledge of good and evil which came by violation of the commandment of God, present in their mind was a desired for higher spiritual knowledge, to have eyes opened and to know good and evil like ‘YHWH God’.
So in fact, traditions of men are violation of Commandment for men by making a new decree to follow which is easier than having true faith in the Spirit which is from God’s Law.
Either if we compare meat and drink offerings on a physical altar payed by literal tithe to a physical God ordained Levite to the Idea of worshiping angels and spiritual things which our fleshly mind can not even comprehend in a exact spirituality because it must use our brain made of physical fatty fleshy matter to process it’s realizations of knowledge…so which one is more spiritual “Christian”? The spiritualism your brain dreamt up or the physical worship commanded by the Spirit of God according to his Law on how to subject your body to Christ’s service?
Listen, this is all part and parcel to the same fact that Christ is Head of all principality and power and he has forgiven our trespasses written by the Spirit of God in his word and now we live for him. In the days of Paul God’s law was absolute authority, in our day God’s revealed Law is absolute authority and the only way you can attempt to serve him in spirit and in truth.
Material and physical commands are communicated by God’s Spirit the theo-pneustos (θεοπνευστος (theo-pneustos) G2315) as found in 2Ti_3:16 ‘s “inspiration of God” where Paul employs the Septuagint concept found in Genesis 1:2 θεο + πνευ which is the adjective form of the compound noun for ‘God’s Spirit’ or ‘the Spirit of God’.
So then, the conclusion where we will end for this discussion concerning our decreed damnation by God’s Law is in the redemptive principality and power found in the empty tomb of resurrection:
Col 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
As Christians full of Faith, Christ is not dead but he is risen and…we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom_6:4
And so we are back to it… as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Rom 6:19
The risen Word is a living word not a dead word: that Law which legislated our death is now the word which is alive in us showing Grace through faith unto sanctification, now that we are in Christ we are Justified and we know that the Just shall live by faith.
So let us take these concepts and consider a similar context in the book of Galatians which we will focus upon in our exposition next. It will be my goal to introduce the primary concepts working in the book of Galatians. To digest the portions of Chapter3 and 4 we will focus on over the new moon which are abusively imposed upon the subject of feast keeping will need to take an introductory look at Chapter 1. But even before we go there I am going to harken back to our lesson from Romans, as Paul again is dealing with a rival theology, seemingly it is related to justification or righteousness by works similar to what is found in Romans 2 .
Remembering, the contexts of Romans 1 is describing the Gentiles of scattered Israel: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; (opposed to Col_2:7 ‘abounding with thanksgiving’) but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image…Rom_1:21-23 Similar to the Colossians Gnosticism, which even in the disregard of the material idols a spiritual knowledge was sought after to make them wise, a wisdom which could spoil them of the fullness of all wisdom and knowledge they have access to in Christ the Word.
Yet in Romans 2, like seen in Galatians we see those of Judah who: Rom 2:17 … restest in the law, and makest their boast of God,
Rom 2:18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Rom 2:19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
Rom 2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Rom 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Rom 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? (notice)
Rom 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
And the conclusions of chapter 3 teach us:
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference… This is so important to remember, that Image idolatry and complete debauchery is no different than faithlessness, even if you know the scriptures able to make thee wise unto salvation… as it is only through faith in Christ.
So who are the Galatians? They are a Gaulish people, that is related to the Celts of modern day France formerly called Gaul. Ethnically Gauls are akin to the Scotch, Irish and Welsh, Manx and Brits of ancient time. So as we understand the European race to be descendant of the Gentile tribes of northern Israel whom Jeroboam lead into apostasy and then whom YHWH GOD plucked up from the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob around 700BC by the Assyrian army. Galatians where a migration settlement of Israel after they began to use the name Celt or Galt, and then after Alexander the great also conquered them with his Hellenic-Greek culture. So we have a people who are the Israel of God (as Gal_6:16 states) yet considered Gentiles as strangers from the land of Promise and from the covenant union between YHWH’s People and his Temple worship, so at this time these Galatians are Greeks by language and culture for the most part.
In the context of Galatians this verse is important in the tone of this epistle – letter as it represents the same abounding nature of a walk rooted and stablished in Christ as seen in Colossians
Gal_1:3-4 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father…
To which Paul adds:
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Here are the operative statements as they have been, the Galatians have:
removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, the answer to who the “him that called” is found in Gal_1:11 the gospel which was preached of me is not after man… giving us the duel answer we should expect of an apostle who calls for God, the calling was from Paul the words were from God, as well as Gal_1:12-13 where Paul certifies that the gospel which was preached of him is not after man… but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In Gal_1:6 the Gospel is equated with the Grace (gift) of Christ (Gospel lit. Eu-angelion – Good-Message understood best as an ‘accurate message or a true message’) has been perverted into another Gospel, and so the sentiment is
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
This verse should strike an immediate commonality with the ‘angel worship’ referenced in Colossians while not exegetical of it.
That is that the Galatians have been removed from the simplicity of the God ordained and accurate good message of Grace, that is the gift which comes by Faith in Christ in response to God’s calling, YHWH GOD’s offer to forgive according to the terms of the New Covenant made in his dear son’s blood which blotted out the payment we are owed in death for sin. Grace because it is GOD’s Election and GOD’s Calling, and God’s imparted Faith, God’s, and God’s Word, which contains God’s plan for sanctification. It’s Grace because it’s a gift of pure mercy because there is nothing we can say or do to escape God’s Wrath for violation of his Law, so it is all Grace, Sola Gracia (Latin for Grace alone). The case in point: Nothing we do merits any payment toward our sin, No work in worship or goodness ever merits payment for your labor to result in eternal life; Eternal life is a gift and if you thoughtfully consider the height of GOD over man and the purity or Holiness of GOD over man this has always been the case since creation, there was never a day when Adam could be good enough to merit his righteousness unto eternal or everlasting life, no not in works of good behavior according to the law, nor at the temple altar sacrificing for sin. Faith which works through Love is the first by He who loved us and gave himself for us, and only then by our faith which abounds with thanks giving after it is rooted, after it is stablished in Christ’s righteousness. Isa 64:6, says, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses (plural) are as filthyH5708 rags;H899 (lit. menstrual cloth).
This is a statement made when the temple was in full working order, in other words if you soteriology (knowledge of Salvation) excepts that before Christ one could merit righteous by works of the law Isaiah (and a host of other witnesses disagree)
Every thing Israel pulls out of our pocket for payment is a filthy rag; the analogy for those who will understand what I am saying is that you appear before YHWH with your absolute best action and worship, and desistance from evil and you hand your time card to GOD at the end of the day in expectation for payment, your wage, due for all of you righteous and just actions and he kills you because you handed him a used tampon and expected payment for it…
The Point in application to our look at Galatians next week is that when one supports himself by his own righteousness, in regard to anything we do or don’t do: your prayers, your declaration of faith, your water baptism, your holy worship, and even your loving actions towards your neighbor: regardless of how pure of the motivation or how righteous it is in comparison to wickedness, or to the level of ignorance you are in or deceived by, our actions are foul. This has been the standard since the beginning; since the Word was revealed to men the reality is that as ‘The Just shall only live by faith’ and therefore if only the just are reckoned as alive then all else are dead.
Thus it is only by Grace that the laws righteousness can be fulfilled in us.
That is the foundation of the Gospel preached since the days of John in the manifestation of Jesu Christ.