Should we celebrate the Jewish feasts as Christians?


Clarify Share Report Asked May 22 2014 Mini Lesley Clark

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Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
The short answer is yes, Christians should be celebrating the Feasts. Speaking to Gentile believers and referring to the Passover, Paul tells us so in 1 Cor. 5:8.

The feasts of Leviticus 23 are applicable to non-Jews, provided they have come into covenant with ADONAI, the God of Isra’el, thus making them true Israelites. My premise is simple. It works like this: I understand the Torah (Law) proper to be a document given to Isra'el exclusively. The Torah is for Isra'el because God cut a covenant only with Isra’el. God did not cut a covenant with any other nation in the earth, agreed? Read Amos 3:2.

My premise continues: Torah was not given to non-covenantal individuals from the nations. First one commits himself to believe in God then one commits himself to obedience to his Torah. This arrangement limits Torah responsibility to those in covenant with God, specifically as it relates to special revelation (such as Sabbath, kosher, Feasts, sacrifices, truths about Messiah, etc.).

So, I would not say that Torah is for non-Israelites, since my thesis hinges on the reality that a genuine Gentile covenant member joins the Remnant of Isra'el via faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and becomes a genuine member of the Commonwealth of Isra'el via faith in Yeshua and in-grafting (read Romans chapter 11 and Ephesians chapter 2). Do not be confused. I did not say this makes him “Jewish.”

To postulate that Gentiles keeping Torah in the time period of the TaNaKH (Old Testament) are proselytes to Judaism—viz, Jews—is to commit the rabbinic fallacy of anachronism. To be sure, the Jewish version of the Old Testament translation known as the Stone Edition TaNaKH translates the Hebrew word “ger” as proselyte instead of translating it as “alien” or “foreigner” the way most Christian versions do. Why do the Jewish translations opt for proselyte in these verses? Because the prevailing views of traditional Judaism believe that the Torah is for Jews only. The modern theology was shaped by ancient theology; 1st century Judaism also held to the mistaken belief that the Torah was for Jews only. 

Thus, whenever modern Jews find a non-Jew in the text keeping commandments that are meant exclusively for covenant members, they infer (incorrectly) that such individuals must be on the journey to eventually become legally-recognized Jews. Put another way, traditional Judaism does not believe that Gentiles can be genuine covenant members of Isra’el, which would subsequently allow said Gentiles to keep Torah. 

In the understanding of traditional Judaism, all Israelites, both past and present, are Jewish by identity. Of course, I categorically disagree with this position; I do not believe that the Torah is a Jewish-only document. It becomes necessary at crucial times in a theological argument such as the one we are having right now, to differentiate between the terms “Jewish” and “Israelite.” All Jews are Israelites. But not all Israelites are Jews. Make sense?

The point I am simply trying to enforce is that Jews and Gentiles who are genuine covenant members through Yeshua are in fact Israelites, and this identity binds them to Torah responsibility. The “secret” is in affirming the truth that Isra'el is a mixed ethnic group. Isra'el is not exclusively made up of Jews. Nor is she exclusively made up of Gentiles (as if anyone were seriously arguing that position). She is a bouquet of Jews and Gentiles, both in covenant and obedience to God and his Torah. When a Gentile joins Isra’el via Yeshua, he does not have to convert to become a legally-recognized Jew first. This truth was hidden from historic “Jewish” Isra'el down through the ages. They thought that Isra'el was a Jewish-only club and thus required ritual conversion for those Gentiles wishing to follow God and his Torah. Paul was sent by Yeshua to correct this errant Jewish theology. This concept is described by Paul in Ephesians chapter 3 as “the mystery of the gospel."

August 25 2015 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Rob Vee
If as a Christian you are living in the Holy Land, Israel, then yes you should celebrate the feasts as it is a biblical command for the Israelite and for the foreigner/ stranger/ non-Israelite in the Land to celebrate as well!

When outside of Israel, however, it is not compulsory as it is not often practical to be able to do so. Remember your freedom in Christ! Do not conform to religion as that is merely a set of man-made rules and Yeshua hates man-made religion as He lets the Pharisees of the day know!

And God is not a man that He should change! King David taking the bread from the Temple was also not convicted by the Lord for doing so! Our dear Lord is not a tyrant but a loving and just God!

Most countries outside of Israel do not celebrate the shabat, either, yet this too is a biblical command which still applies to the Christian as well. But when in Israel, as in many other countries, people are often made to work or else they would not have a job!

Just make sure that nothing as a Christian becomes religion as religion is the opposite to freedom! Yeshua set us free from that, so don't get entangled in it again!

May 24 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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