Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Some pondering thoughts on the present holy days

So many thoughts running right now, not sure if I can get them out in words....

Thinking on "Easter". If you don't know it's origin, I highly recommend looking it up and finding out for yourself what it originally was celebrated as. It certainly wasn't the death and resurrection of our Saviour, which christians say it is now. Easter Celebrations are really not a Bibilical thing at all. And why do we say "Happy Easter"? Just some thoughts we have been discussing.

Anyways, we gathered together at our church this evening for Passover. This is a Biblical holiday unlike Easter. And as the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaches us, we are very much challenged. We take this time to rid our homes of leaven as a reminder of the sin in our lives that needs to be gotten rid of. Why don't christians consider this a holiday as they do Easter when it is more Biblical? We can't figure it out. In one sentence they are talking about the death of Jesus for our sins and in the next sentence they are talking about candy and egg hunting. I'm pretty sure that the Father is unimpressed with this kind of worship.

Tonight we were challenged to not just do the act of ridding our homes of leaven, but to further that in doing the act of going through every part of our lives to see if there is sin. How do foods with leavening get under the oven or behind the refrigerator? The same way that sin gets into the darkest corners of our lives and grows into something we can't just walk away from.

So, this year instead of "hiding" eggs (which actually represents fertiliy and the sin of lust), try ridding your house of leaven and searching your own hearts for sin that is hiding. It is just like satan to have us thinking that we should do the total opposite of hiding rather than finding and cleaning out.
But the best part of all is that tonight before the service started, Alegra talked with us about wanting to live for Jesus and make the right choices that would please Him. What a joy to hear our daughter speak of her desire to do what would be pleasing to the Father. This pleases me so much more than seeing her have fun hunting for eggs and talking about the easter bunny. Following the Biblical way is far more rewarding eternally. That's what we want!
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Just wanted to add a few more thoughts since we have dealt with others in our family that we love, who are mixing the worship of our Saviour this time of year with worship of pagan traditions.
It is exciting to see christians coming to the understanding of the traditions that man has put into place with it's celebrations that God would call an abomination. And it's also frustrating to us when we hear of our own family members who attend the "sun"rise service and do the whole shabang of a program in honor of His Resurrection, and then they go home and decorate eggs with their families. We just dealt with this in our own family this past week. It's heart wrenching for us because it appears that the Words of the Lord are merely written on tablets of stone for them and not on their hearts. If it were on their hearts they would want nothing to do with something that is an abomination to our Creator. Just some scriptures that the Lord showed us this past week, that we had never considered before.
In studying the word "abomination", we were amazed at what things the LORD considers to be things that are an abomination to Him. The following verses refer to that of pagan worship being an abomination to Him.
Deuteronomy 7:25&26
"You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is among them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. Nor shall you bring an abomintion into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing." - this doesn't sound like anything we should want to have any part of. Do we bring things into our homes that are idols (idols don't have to be just carved images or silver or gold. It can be something the TV brings in or something that relates to paganism or the world. Or it could also be your christmas tree -Jeremiah 10- that you are just not able to give up).
Deuteronomy 12:29-32
"When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you diplace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise." You shall not worship the LORD God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughter in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it."
He has given us HIS feasts to observe. The Feast of First Fruits is the celebration of HIS Resurrection. Why did we have to add to it by incorporating pagan things? He clearly says that that is an abomination. And you may say, well we don't burn our sons and daughters. Do you know what the jack-o-lantern represents? It's an abomination to HIM. And that the bunny and eggs are used in worship to the fertility goddess along with some other sick and twisted sacrifices of children honoring fertility. I don't believe He takes anything that He calls an abomination, lightly.
You might say, well, that is all Old Testament. Yes, it is, but He teaches us many things in the Old that we need to become new in Him. But here is a verse that we stumbled across this week in the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 10:14-22
"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the LORD and the cup of demons, you cannot partake of the LORD'S table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the LORD to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
In talking with those who have come to understand that we were mixing the paganism with Biblical teachings, realized that the celebrations of our traditional holidays were in fact a form of idolatry. The LORD clearly says that we cannot partake of both HIS table and the demons. Earlier in the Old Testament He lays out what are abominations in regards to the worship of other gods.
We find it more complete to only observe that which He has called us to observe, not adding to or taking away anything to make it defiled. We encourage you to do the same!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bovees!

As I read your post, I just thought I'd share a thought or two with you....

There are Christians who are really thinking on the death and resurrection of Jesus during these days, and not so much on bunnies and candy. There are those who would rather talk about the resurrection than say "Easter," concentrating not just on the fact that He died (this is only part of the story!), but that the tomb is empty, that death and sin are swallowed up in victory. While it is true that many people are thinking about where to hide eggs and how much candy to buy, there are still those who are reflecting on Jesus' ultimate sacrife....

Praise God the tomb is empty and the veil is torn!

Blessings to you guys.

Bill Sines

Bovee Brigade said...

Very true, Bill...it is all an individual heart issue.

We are just finding that it has been so much more rewarding for us to celebrate the appointed times that He has put in place for us in His Word than to celebrate His life during times that were originally used to honor other gods or goddesses. We don't want to replace what He has already given to us.

Anonymous said...

You're right, we can learn so much about Jesus through the Passover, along with all the other types and shadows of the Old Testament--not just the feasts but even all the various aspects of the temple. These are great studies, and we can learn much about Jesus from these passages.

The church also has another celebration that teaches us so much about the death and resurrection of Jesus--communion (which the Jews do not have). It's this cup that is the New Covenant in His blood, and as Paul said, as often as we drink it, do it in remembrance of Jesus. In doing so, we proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Here's a celebration we can celebrate year round!

Anyway, just a few more thoughts...

Bill Sines

Bovee Brigade said...

I'm not sure what you mean by communion not being for Jews. Paul was a Jew. And it's not so much whether it is or isn't a jewish custom, but whether it's something that God established for His people (those who proclaim His name). So many people think that the feasts are "Israel's Feasts", but really they are the "Lord's" Feasts that He put in place from the beginning. When he put them in place he said, "These are MY feasts". There are many references for that.

I'm thankful for the clarity that the Old Testament gives to us concering all that is righteous. And to see that Noah was shown grace just as we are today, is a clear picture that when we trust and obey, He will show us favor and give us grace.

More thoughts too. :)

Anonymous said...

What I said was:

"The church also has another celebration that teaches us so much about the death and resurrection of Jesus--communion (which the Jews do not have)"

By that I meant much the same as Paul meant when he referred to the Jews and the Jews' religion in Galatians 1 (those who do not believe Jesus was the Messiah). They don't have the celebration of communion because they don't believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

Nevertheless, the point I was getting at is that while the Passover gives us some great imagery about the death of the Lord Jesus, the Communion celebration is something that Lord Himself established for His church that can and is celebrated any time of the year.

There's something else we should learn about the Passover and Communion that Paul alluded to in Hebrews 9 and 10. Because the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed year after year (along with all the other sacrifices and ordinances), we should learn that this was an insufficient sacrifice for sins(Heb. 10:1 and especially 10:3).

On the other hand, the Sacrifice that is associated with Communion is the Sacrifice that happened once for all, which should indicate to us that this is the Sacrifice that our Father is pleased with (Heb. 10:10).

Because of this, I feel the Communion celebration is superior to a Passover celebration.

Just a few more thoughts ;)

Happy Resurrection!

Bovee Brigade said...

Why not celebrate God's undefiled Feast of First Fruits? Why should we settle for the substitute of oestre (easter)? First Fruits gives us the same picture of Messiah's resurrection as what easter does. The biggest difference that I can see is that one is given to us from the Creator while the other one comes from the imitator.
Regarding communion, praise God that Jesus was a perfect sacrifice - once and for all - and that we are able to partake of HIS body and blood!

Anonymous said...

Yahshua/Jesus IS our PASSOVER LAMB slain from the ends of the earth and the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, not our Ishtar Rabbit sacrificed to the fertility gods.
I agree, Christi, let us not settle for a sad substitute, but let us keep the TRUE FEAST in sincerity and truth! Praise Yahweh that we have been set free from the bondage of the imitation.
May the veil truly be torn from the eyes of those who still read the "Old Testament" with the veil of misunderstanding. I am praying for our brothers and sisters who have not yet left Egypt.

-Jen

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 10 & 11 is a good place to start to understand the Lord's Supper. Can communion truly be understood unless we truly understand the meaning of the Feasts of the LORD? They are all pictures of His plan for us and for our salvation. ALL of them. From His Sabbath to His Supper and everything in between. It all works together to create something more beautiful and full of HIM than anything the "church" has conjured up to replace it.
A cracker and an ounce of grape juice was never what HE had in mind.
Once again, I PRAISE His glorious Name for removing the veil from my eyes and I pray for those who still wear it.

BTW-I found so much leaven this week in my life. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a humbling experience and reveals more and more my need for a Saviour who will search out the dark places of my heart with forgiveness, mercy, and grace. How I need His grace! His Spirit causing me to walk in a way that pleases Him.

-Jen

Anonymous said...

Regarding Jen's comments:

First of all, your reference to the veil in your first comment makes no sense, especially in light of 2 Cor. 3. The veil is taken away in Christ. This is a lengthy study, one that requires more space than I care to take up here because this is not my blog. But I've grown very weary of the comments and attitudes toward the "rest of the church" (of which I am part) as if none of us love Him, serve Him, or can hear from Him.

I'll give you a for instance. You said something about the "Ishtar Rabbit" and fertility gods in that comment. I will tell you at my house not one word was said about the Easter bunny, there was no candy, there were no baskets, and there was no egg hunt. We did not color eggs. We spoke about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We talked about how much He loved us that He died for us. We spoke about the bread and the cup of communion (another assumption you made with the cracker and grape juice...I have never looked at it as a cracker and grape juice), and what that represents.

In response to my comments you automatically assumed things about me (and many, many others in the church) that are simply not true. In your second comment you stated that to understand what communion is all about, it needs to be understood in light of the feasts. I've studied the feasts...they were great studies, and I learned much. You implied that because I do not celebrate the feasts and the Sabbath in the same fashion as you, that I do not understand the Lord's Supper, or at least my understanding is shallow.

As you can tell, I have a great deal of frustration that stems from being pegged as someone who, as you assumed, celebrates Easter with all its bunnies, eggs, and candy, and as someone who consumes crackers and grape juice without any knowledge of what it represents.

I ask you to choose your words more carefully about your brothers and sisters next time.

Having said all that, I leave you with this verse:

"But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which was passing away...."

Bill Sines

Josh said...

Bill...

Josh Brown here...

It really blessed me to see your comments on this blog. I'm glad to hear that your family's focus was on the Resurrection and not the Easter "baggage". I remember your term papers from Bible College and how the LORD revealed the truth about Easter to you. It's cool to see you walking in those truths! I'm encountering more and more people like yourself...Christian's who may not necessarily see Torah in the same light as Messiah Fellowship, but are aware and active in their decisions regarding paganism and their worship.

I pray God would continue to bless you and your family as you seek Him Bill!!!

Bovee Brigade said...

I have included a few more thoughts in the blog as our week progressed with other christian family members. These are not directed to anyone specific as most of it is just what we searched out and found in our own reading time. I pray that it gives a little clearer light on some of the questions we have had from others. Blessings!