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SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
Why We Keep the Feasts
DAYS, MONTHS, TIMES, and YEARS?
(Exposition of Galatians 3-4)
So by this point, if any one listening hasn’t got a firm hold of the fact that we feast keepers do not believe we are saved or justified by our Lawful observance, including the feast days of YHWH as seen in Exo_34:1-24 , Lev_23:1, Num_28:16-31, Num_29:12-39, Deu_16:16. We only have faith in the redemptive power of the spirit of grace through faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us; we do not frustrate the Gift of God, we understand that if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. We know that Christ lives in us: and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave himself for us.
It was established in our last messages that the Scripture and it defined by God’s Law acts just as Colossians had also said, as a warrant or handwriting of our payment due because we are condemned by our broken covenant, our transgression and our sin we have worked wrath as the children of wrath and we have incurred a curse by our breach of the law, either directly or indirectly, regardless if we are deceived or ignorant the same judgment applies, condemnation for disbelief, if He Who Is GOD is merciful to the ignorant faithless in regards to eternal life that is his prerogative, he is a righteous judge and knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, yet from everything we read in scripture and for those who put their trust in the Word of God having faith which comes by hearing and hearing that which come by the Word of God follow the recipe prescribed in scripture for our salvation, not just a salvation unto eternal life but a salvation from this untoward generation of this present evil world thus in whatever capacity we understand the place of our fruit we bear in Christ, by our separation and sanctification we are called into because of the Grace we have found on account of the Faith we have in the irrevocable unilateral covenant of promise, the oath sworn to our fathers to perform in us, his people of Covenant, by that Grace by that Faith we are behooved to walk and abundant in Christ with thanks giving all the wisdom and knowledge contained in the understanding of the Word of God, particularly that found in the Law and Commandments a truth which is the standard of YHWH’s righteousness and the truth of our nearness to him, and as a measure a true measure and exact measure it takes into it’s perfection a standard higher than our own more just than man’s.
Just consider the way any human skill is measured:
• Will the art of men’s hand ever be as accurate of the very image?
• Will a drawing or painting ever be as accurate of a moment in time as a photograph?
• Will the photo ever be as accurate as that exact moment of time?
No, but reality being reproduced as accurately as possible is the goal of the artist and the camera manufacturer.
And So, while acknowledging all of our short coming and all of our in abilities to be GOD or to be the Son of God, we strive to be accurately representing the very image as best our human Grace is given, but never trusting in our own righteousness…because it will never be True righteousness, we never think we will be beside GOD but it will not prevent our race from commencing.
And I pray for any who have listened to the prior message acknowledges the fact of YHWH’s Covenant of Promise which was Graced to Abraham and to his seed with his great nation that establishes necessary doctrine of by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph_2:8-10
The ABP says of v. 10
For by him we are made being created in Christ Jesus for good works the ones whom God prepared beforehand, that in them we should walk.
This is the doctrinal pattern found in all of Scripture: By a gift of Grace you are saved, through Faith (recognizing it’s not of anything we did, it’s nothing we work for), because we are created in Christ to do good works before ordained in God’s WORD to walk in.
Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
So again, simply, the Law ordained at Mt. Sinai or in the wilderness or in the case of the context which Paul is dealing in Circumcision from Abraham’s day, long before the 400 or 430 years here referenced, which is only being used to make the connection with the Codification of the Law of Moses (Moses being Israel’s national law giver so to speak) we often read of the Law of Moses, which is in fact the Law of YHWH, yet this is referencing all of those statements all throughout the law where it enacts a law by the force of the promise God Graced to Abraham that he would deliver Abrahams seed from Egyptian bondage, so in Israel’s Law when this is mentioned is jointly referencing Abraham’s promise in Gen_15:13-17, a promise sealed with the symbolic aspects of Israel’s deliverance the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. Paul’s mention of the time line as well is referencing the National establishment of the Great Nation upon the Law’s Statutes and Judgments of God of Deu_4:6-7 where we read Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them… the Hebrew phrase GUY GeDUL / גוי גדול is the phrase used in every promise made to Abraham (Gen_12:2; Gen_15:14; Gen_17:20; Gen_18:18; Gen_21:18; Gen_46:3; Exo_32:10; Num_14:12; Deu_4:6; Deu_4:7; Deu_4:8; Deu_26:5) and his Great Nation thought the history of Israel and what makes Israel’s inheritance a great thing is Israel’s nearness to God by the promise made to Abraham through a law which preserves the standards of YHWH, His righteousness His TRUTH as the measure of perfection and all of that was given by Grace or was graced rather by promise to Abraham’s descendants…but That Grace is not contingent upon Israel’s obedience of anything it is the inheritance of Abraham’s seed by promise, it is not given to us by our works, it is given to us by Grace and Salvation unto everlasting life or in this life to be that wise and understanding people or person only comes after we are created in Christ unto those good works before ordained that we should walk in…
Law after Grace leads to good works,
Law before Grace is a dead work,
Law replacing Grace is foolishness!
So to the point that has been made several times now:
Gal_3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions,
How does the law serve us? It shows our transgressions…notice the logic, Law is added because of transgression. This can be said of any law all the way back to Eden, the law of ‘taste not ,touch not, know /handle not…good and evil’ was added because of transgression. This is not about sacrifices or offerings added to atone for transgression, it is pointing out the law favors sin when we compare it to our life.
…till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Gal_3:20 Now a mediator is not of one, but God is one.
Christ is the seed to come to whom the fullness of the promise was made, the law and the promise of the seed were set in order by mediation (the law of stone upon Mt. Sinai and the promises by angelic messengers that did indeed visit Abraham) and the mediator mediated between persons or parties, but in this case as in all cases in dealing with YHWH he is ONE…Hear o Israel, and this is the point I had referenced in speaking of how in reality all of YHWH’s dealings with man bi-laterally are in fact unilateral…It’s all part of his purpose. The Law was intended to favor transgression till the seed should come to show us that sin, and this is the case in our own personal lives nonetheless.
Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
With all the back ground we have covered this should speak for it’s self. The Law is our schoolmaster to teach us our sin! Not sacrificial law only, not moral law only, not feast law or any purported ‘added’ law in time or removed law in time…all the law is our schoolmaster in time and in present life, the realization that all the weight of the law bears upon you because of the Covenant of Grace GOD has placed upon your ancestors is crushing, Yet in the Covenant also made there is a promise of Grace unto forgiveness and abundant: great and blessed life in Christ the seed to come once that crushing lesson teaches us the lesson of Grace through Faith… We believe the law is more righteous than our most righteous life, we believe God’s Word is absolute truth and that GOD’s is True but every man a liar and the reality of that lesson is death paid in full, so our instructor leads us to Faith and that must be, must be, must be by YHWH GOD’s GOOD GRACE or else there is no forgiveness of sin. So let us be Children of God by Faith, Trust and total belief in Jesus Christ the heir of the total promise able to make us a great nation of blessing by the wisdom and knowledge he alone contains in the fullness of his person THE WORD of GOD, the most gracious school master we could ever ask for!
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
If any one listing who is of adult age, (20yrs) has not been Baptized into Christ for this reason here is no time better than NOW, Circumcised or not, poor or rich, male or female this is how the first act of Faith you are called to after you are convinced of you immersion in sin, be immersed in resurrection from that sin into the seed we ought to be rooted in and established and abounding, the work of Baptism will not save you, but the answering of a clean conscience by the resurrection of Christ can.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
This is a hair raising set of verses Paul writes particularly to the Gentiles of Abraham’s promise, even us of the house of Judah and of the house of Israel, no matter if we served YHWH by with ignorance to Grace, or to YHWH’s name by an image and false practice, or if we served any other name or that of the unknown god…by faith the lesson can be up, we can acknowledge the reality of our condemned state and no longer need the schoolmaster to bring us to class, we can graduate unto Faith in God’s Word which includes a prep course on His Grace, admitted to by Trusting in that promise. Redeemed from under the cursed weight of the law- our inheritance make us son’s, not the walking dead servant under bondage to another, In God’s Law: when a servant is beaten for his sins if he tarry a day or two he can die without judicial recourse , but a son who is even harmed in the womb shall have his life protected by the rule of Law which says of the one who had harmed that child even in the womb shall pay with his life (Exo_21:20-22). huge difference. The rights of redemption and thereof pertaining to biblical adoption causes inheritance to be only transferable to a tribal relative which carries with it the law of Kindred redemption, that is in short: …if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:.. For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God… And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:.. any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. (Lev_25:1-55, Num_36:1-12), our inheritance has everything to do with Christ’s right to redeem and pay our price regardless of our reason we’ve been sold, and in the case built against us we have no power to redeem our selves… Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For Christ verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Heb_2:14-17)
So here we are we’ve arrived in the next few verses to the subject of focus. (It sure seems to shrink when you have to cover this much context to see this one verse!)
Gal_4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (So in the past, Jew, Gentile; bond or free; male or female…all of them did this service, in some way, they were in bondage, servants to those who are not God)
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
There are two ways we could read this or a hybrid of the two which is the stance makes the best sense by context past and present: The Galatians have returned to the weak and beggarly elements of the world, we should know from Colossians exposition that this is the way Paul refers to anything lacking Christ as its head, but in context alone here it is referencing the service done to that which is not GOD’s and of YHWH’s True nature, as opposed to any other, conceivably of idols or images who nature is of the furthest object of YHWH God the creator. And in this way, if Paul is saying they have while embracing Christ from Paul, then fell from Grace in Christ by perverting the Gospel of Grace by a practice such as circumcision as well as any other law being followed, they then beside that return to the idol or image worship they once did to those whose nature is not God’s, and they observe with it days, months, times and years (either Pagan such as our modern pagan calendar devoted to a host of Pagan gods to boot with week names having no intrinsic value to witness able creation…may be) or These people are observing the Sabbaths, the new moon the Sabbath, the feasts and the sabbatic jubilee years?
Perhaps in context of the book Paul is referencing the idea that the Galatians were making an beggarly attempt at being saved by works of the law such as Sabbath, New moon, feasts and jubilee years and abandoning the biblical testimony hitherto described, if that were the case and this is the way Paul chose to present this subject it change nothing, because ‘there is no difference’.
My thought is that much like our Pagan Catholic days, months, times and years which are called Gregorian after the catholic pope Gregory the 8th who is of a psudo-christian faith which, as well as the Galatians do service to that which by nature is not GOD or a god in any sense, that is idols and images, this is most likely the source of that tradition we see in our modern day. The Catholic faith is inundated with days, and special months, times and years right beside image worship as well as a soteriology that places works according to the catholic church’s doctrine of penance and merit gained in works right beside faith, and upon an equal scale as faith to the church as supreme in heaven and earth is equal to Christ, It is not a far thought to see that Circumcision was part of a similar system of merit, a penance as now in the catholic system. The fact is, that what this text tells us about what the Galatians are doing is only this: returning to service that is not to the True God (thus, contrary to the services YHWH ordained that we His people should walk in for our good works, after being created in Christ: clearly in the Word of GOD it is His Holy days, Sabbaths, and new moons). They have returned back to weak and beggarly elements that lack the elemental saving Grace through Faith needed by every true believer, this could be just as well as vain dead worship through dead works taught by the law when those observances lack a firm foundation in Faith, faith believes the Word of God, Faith knows our righteousness without Christ are filthy rags, we need to know that, this needs to be the first thing off our lips when we speak of why we keep the feast.
And so I’d like finish with this final thought from:
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
If we are consistent in our Faith, our Trust in Scripture as the Word of God it will lead us down the same path as Abraham, walking in His steps, Grace which saved through Faith, nothing we’ve done or can do saves us it’s the gift of God, therefore / because of that, we are created in Christ unto Good works which God ordained in His Word for us to walk in. And this will include circumcision as a sign as a seal (as says the Word of God), this will include Sabbaths ordained by YHWH for His worship, also a sign between YHWH and us (Exo_31:4), as well as holy days also memorials and signs, they are all signs of Faith which worketh by Love.
NONE ARE WORK OR ACTIONS THAT WILL SAVE YOU!