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~*~ Matthew 5:17-20 ~*~ “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”Indeed, we are called throughout the New Testament to keep God's Moral Laws or Commandments. Nowhere does our Messiah Yahshua or Jesus, the Apostle Paul, or any other apostle or disciple of Christ say that we do not have to worry about them any longer! Examples of New Covenant admonitions to keep God’s Moral Commandments include the following: John 14:15-21; 1 John 2:1-6; and 1 John 5:1-4.
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, and the Moral Laws in Exodus 21, Exodus 22, and Exodus 23, which was called the Book of the Covenant, along with the Moral laws in Leviticus, Chapter 18, Chapter 19 and Chapter 20, and in Deuteronomy 18, Deuteronomy 19, Deuteronomy 21, Deuteronomy 22, and Deuteronomy 23 (with the exception of the Laws pertaining to war or slaves, which Yahshua never supported or condoned) summarize the Moral Laws of God. All believers should be aware of, and should strive to keep these Moral laws to the best of their ability. Of course, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit will remind all born-again believers to follow God's Moral laws - even if they are unfamiliar with them.
In the New Testament Gospels and the Epistles, we are also called to temper ALL of these divine legal requirements with Yahshua's call for love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. In fact, many of the chapters of Moral Laws that I've linked to in the Old Testament were recalled, reiterated and further elaborated upon in the Gospels by Yahshua or Jesus during His First Advent Ministry, which was primarily directed toward the Israelites living in Judea in the First Century AD. This can especially be seen in His Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in Matthew 5, Matthew 6, and Matthew 7. Believers who assume that the Moral Laws that Yahshua discussed on that mountain top do not pertain to Christians are completely wrong, for Yahshua's blood covers every believer, and literally makes them an Israelite, priest and king in the likeness of Yahshua.
The Commandments, Laws or Works that were nailed to the Cross with Yahshua in death were NOT the Moral Laws of God, but any and all of those Laws related to the Old Testament priesthood and sacrificial system. This included the Laws pertaining to the tabernacles, temples, priesthood, priests and priestly garments, sacrificial animals and burnt offerings, and the special animal sacrifices on the Feast days (See Hebrews 10:11-14; Colossians 2:13-15). Thus, the Liberty and Freedom that we have in Christ is based on no longer having the need to keep and uphold the sacrificial system and its priesthood, or to honor the unbiblical traditions that sprang up around them.
One major exception to this rule were the tribal assembly requirements that were called for on three of the Seven Feasts of Israel, which were Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles (See Exodus 23:14-17). Born-again believers are also called by Christ to gather together to commemorate His place in our salvation on Passover via the Lord's Supper and Resurrection Sunday. In addition, most believers keep Pentecost as the birthday of the Church.
Many believers also keep Christmas as a celebration of Christ's birth narrative, which encompasses all of the Autumn Feasts of Israel - from the Feast of Trumpets to the Feast of Tabernacles. In addition, Christmas is also directly tied to Chanukah, which was viewed as a secondary Feast of Tabernacles by the Israelites, and it is also the likely time when Yahshua was conceived by the Holy Spirit in his earthly mother Miriam's womb. Chanukah was instituted as a Feast during the Maccabean period of Israel's history, and although it is considered a minor feast, it has a very big prophetic importance to disciples of Christ in regard to the Last Days. See my books "The Language of God in Humanity" and "The Language of God in Prophecy" to read about the many aspects of the prophetic significance of Chanukah, and all the Feast Days.
Even as we are called to commemorate these three yearly feasts in our own way, Yahshua and His apostles and disciples commemorated the Weekly Sabbath differently than the Jews, who were bound by unbiblical traditions. Stripped of these restrictive traditions, they did not have to keep the weekly Sabbaths in the same way that the Jews do. In fact, throughout His First Advent Ministry, Yahshua showed His followers that they are to view everyday as a perpetual Sabbath with Christ. This means that the Sabbath should be dedicated to loving and helping others by following the lead of the Spirit of God in them.
So, rather than resting from all work on the Sabbaths, believers are called to care for one another, and for their livestock and pets as they are called to do on every other day of the week. Instead of not working at all, they are called to spend the day drawing near to God with songs, testimonies, baptisms, prayers and scripture study, and to go out healing the sick, raising the dead, and feeding and clothing the poor and hungry with physical and spiritual food and clothing. In short, born-again believers are called to live as though they are dead to the world, but alive in Christ. Their Freedom and Liberty comes from following Christ rather than the Law and the traditions of men that sully them. This is why born-again believers are free to keep the Feasts and the Sabbaths as they see fit until Christ comes back for His saints.
However, in the Millennial Kingdom, all of Christ's servants will be required to keep Passover, and the Feast of Tabernacles, and most likely Pentecost as well. The weekly Sabbaths will also likely be times for special celebration, fellowship, and spiritual reflection. Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles are the same three feasts mentioned in the Book of the Covenant that required the Israelites to assemble before God, and all believers will likely be called to do so during the Millennium also (See Exodus 23:14-17; Luke 22:14-16; Zechariah 14:16-19).
For further study on this topic, I have written several related studies. The titles and links to these articles can be found below. I pray that these will be a blessing to those who are seeking to know and follow Christ.
Love and Blessings from
Your Sister in Yahshua,
Scholar, Author and Artist for
The Language of God Book Series, and
Webmaster for the Pillar of Enoch Ministry Site
Ministry Web Site: http://pillar-of-enoch.com