This is the second article at which I looked for my friend.
In the first paragraph, if you notice, it is listing G-d’s holy days….the ones He put in the same scriptures that we are told to study to show ourselves approved by G-d. In our day and age, we assume that it is saying not to let anyone sit in judgment on our NOT observing those days. But that is an assumption. It could just as easily be to not let anyone sit in judgment on our observing those days. So, the first thing we need to do is to recognize that it could be either one.
I do not know what translation they are using, but most translations recognize the Greek as indicating these are shadows of things to come. They are not yet here. We have the reality of Messiah now in the body, but there are other realities that are not yet here. The shadows point us to what is yet to come while we live in the reality of the body of Messiah now.
When someone is coming around the corner, we may see the shadow before we see the person. But we know the person will follow the shadow. So, the things the shadows are of are things still around the corner! As we focus on the shadows, it is a reminder of what is coming. It is way of celebrating now what is not yet here.
It is similar to the idea that we are in the kingdom and, to some extent, the kingdom is here. Yet, the kingdom is not yet here! It will not truly be here in its fullness until Messiah comes. What a fearful, terrible and glorious day that will be!
Notice that Romans says that some consider some days as more sacred than other while others consider all days equal. That wording of “more” sacred than others implies that all days are considered sacred…some just more so than others.
It is important that all be fully convinced in his/her own mind. After looking at this for years, I am fully convinced the Shabbat is for all. It was actually instituted in the very beginning. When the law was given later, it was identified in such a way that it appeared they already knew about it and that it was more a matter of how they were to observe it.
Ex 31:16-17 says it is a perpetual covenant to observe the sabbath. People tend to misunderstand the concept of “new” covenant. There are a number of covenants in the older scriptures. They each lay one upon another bringing changes, but not eliminating the former. The New covenant brought the change of our Messiah paying the penalties for our sinfulness. It does not completely eliminate the former. If it did, there would be no sin and no law. And, yet, we know that lawlessness is condemned in the apostolic writings!
We also have the words of our Master regarding those who teach the breaking of even one of the commandments. He says that person will be least in the kingdom. In the kingdom. We are not saved by commandment keeping, but it is important enough that breaking them will make us “least”.
Look up commandment(s) or commands in Yeshua’s words. Each time, He is talking about how to live. That is important to me!
There is a lot I could say about Acts 15, but let me just point out a couple of things. First, “circumcision” is a word that, at that time, meant a full conversion with the taking on of a full rabbinical yoke. That is not required of the Gentiles. But Yeshua’s yoke is required. And He wrote the Torah! Second, the things touched upon deal with 2 things. One is the renouncing of anything to do with idols. This was proof of accepting Yeshua as Messiah. Also, it had to do with eating kosher. Eating nonkosher would have been an obstacle to fellowship, which often took place over meals. These basic rules enabled the Jews and Gentiles to come to the table together.
And then there is verse 21. “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
The “for” indicates that it is the reason for only giving these prohibitions. Look carefully. It is a clear they only needed those as a beginning level because they were hearing Moses every Shabbat in the synagogue. That means that they were meeting on Shabbat and that they would be hearing and learning more which would enable them to go deeper.
Think about it. Why not prohibit murder and adultery and stealing and so forth? Because those things were not the issue. Coming together for fellowship was!
As far as how to keep Shabbat, they are correct. It is not about what day you worship. Look up all the scriptures on the sabbath to get an idea of what keeping the sabbath was about. I often say that people simple doing on Shabbat what they do on Sunday would not mean they are keeping the Shabbat.
Yes, there is freedom in Christ. But no one would argue that we are free to do whatever we want! No! There is freedom within the boundaries G-d has set for us. Within those boundaries, we are free to live without fear of consequences…other than the trial and tribulation kind that come from being a following of Yeshua. We walk in His ways and we will be OK. No guilt. No shame. No sin (hopefully)!
I judge no one. Let each be convinced. I just encourage people to look deeper.
Anyway, I was trying not to make this long, but you asked my thoughts and I wanted to address what I saw. There are many writings by Gentile believers who support what I am saying. In fact, there is a move all across the world where G-d is opening the eyes of believers (as was prophesied) and we are going back to the roots of our faith…the roots into which we were grafted. It was prophesied that the church would go far afield and it was prophesied that she would come back. What an amazing time in which we live!
If you would like to see all sides of the Acts 15 passage, I have a book you may borrow. The author quotes all different sources and gives you what you need to make up your own mind. He is one the few who look to see what the scriptures say rather than to see if he can find scriptures to support his own thoughts. He is a Gentile and has a very interesting story to tell in his own life.