ACTS 10 PETER'S VISION
OF GOD CLEANSING
ALL MANNER OF MEATS ?
Are we as Christians commanded by God to keep the DIETARY LAWS written in the Old Testament? In other words, if so be, we do NOT keep every single dietary law written in the Old Testament, then does this MEAN that we will NOT obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come?
Now according to the teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement and the 119 Ministries they are teaching that Christians must without fail KEEP ALL the LAW that is written in the Old Testament among which are the dietary laws pertaining to what the people of Israel could and could not eat. In other words, the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement teaches that Christians are to KEEP the whole law written in the Old Testament MEANING not just the ten commandments, but rather they teach that Christians must keep the ten commandments as well as the WHOLE LAW that was given to Moses contained in some 615 ordinances in order to receive ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come.
And to try and prove that none of the Old Testament law was ABOLISHED or done away with they use Acts chapter 10 where we read about the vision the God gave to Peter to try and prove that the EARLY CHURCH KEPT the WHOLE LAW, because Peter said in Acts 10:14 that he had NEVER EATEN ANYTHING that was called common or unclean. So therefore they conclude that this PROVES that the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW written in the Old Testament. We will take a closer look at this passage of scripture in Acts chapter 10 in a moment, but first I would like you to consider the following questions.
Is this INTERPRETATION of Acts 10 that is drawn or concluded by the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement what the WHOLE word of Almighty God teaches us? In other words, are we as Christians REQUIRED by God to KEEP every single dietary law written in the Old Testament to the letter in order to be granted the right to eat of the tree of LIFE in the world to come? To say this another way does the fact the Peter says that he has NEVER EATEN any unclean thing PROVE beyond any shadow of a doubt to MEAN that the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW written in the Old Testament?
Please keep in mind that this is just ONE verse written in the Bible and therefore this ONE passage of scripture is NOT the WHOLE word of God. And more particularly the INTERPRETATION of the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement concerning this one passage of scripture is NOT based upon the WHOLE word of God.
In other words, as I have said many times ANY verse when viewed ALONE and APART from the WHOLE word of God may SEEM to be saying or may be INTERPRETED to mean something that it does NOT TRULY mean.
Please keep in mind the the word of God ALSO says that those who are UNDER the LAW must KEEP EVERY point of the law because if they break even ONE point of the law, then they are considered to be transgressors of the WHOLE law and therefore GUILTY before God. Now as you read this passage of scripture I want you to THING it through for yourself while asking yourself the question of WHY would this passage of scripture EVEN BE IN the New Testament IF SO BE that the NEW Testament church were UNDER the LAW to KEEP EVERY POINT of the LAW?
Please read Galatians 5:1-10 where Paul is CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaching us that we as Christians are to STAND FAST in our faith to NOT be brought under BONDAGE, which is obviously speaking of the bondage of the LAW written in the Old Testament contain in ordinances.
2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that IF you be circumcised (speaking of that which is written in the Old Testament which would also include if you keep the law contained in ordinances concerning what to EAT), Christ shall profit you nothing.
3. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised (or anyone that seeks to be justified by the LAW), that he is a DEBTOR to do the WHOLE law.(meaning if you seek to keep even one part of the law from which we have been made FREE in order to be justified, then you are OBLIGATED to keep the WHOLE ENTIRE LAW because)
6. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but FAITH which works by LOVE. (since this study is focused upon the dietary portion of the LAW as opposed to the circumcision portion of the LAW we could also put the DIETARY portion of the LAW were circumcision and uncircumcision is being used by Paul. In other words it would be equally true to say, neither the eating of UNCLEAN animals that were called UNCLEAN UNDER the LAW avails anything, nor the eating of CLEAN animals avails anything, the only thing that matters is FAITH that works by LOVE.)
7. You did run well; who did HINDER you that you should NOT OBEY the TRUTH? (it was the JEWS who hindered Christians as well as SOME of the JEWS who became Christians that were being deceived by the JEWS who were HINDERING the Gentile Christians and the OTHER Jews who be Christians to be entangle BACK to the BONDAGE of being UNDER the LAW. And Paul was setting things straight by teaching the TRUTH that IF SO BE that anyone seeks to be justified by the LAW then they are FALLEN form GRACE. WHY would this argument even be in the NEW Testament if so be that the early church KEPT the OLD Testament covenant? When I say the early church I mean the ENTIRE span of the New Testament. You see dear child of God while it is true that the very FIRST Christians who were indeed JEWS who believed on Jesus as their Messiah did keep the law of Moses. HOWEVER they were still yet being TAUGHT by the Holy Spirit leading and guiding them into all truth. Peter was being TAUGHT by this VISION of unclean meat to NOT call it unclean anymore because what God has cleansed is NO LONGER unclean. But the JEWS were HINDERING the teaching of the Holy Spirit to Peter, Paul and the other disciples of Jesus to NOT OBEY the TRUTH)
8. This persuasion (from those who are trying to bring you under the BONDAGE of the law from which you have been made FREE) comes NOT of him that calls you. (in other words, those who are trying to PERSUADE or CONVINCE you that you as a Christian are to KEEP the WHOLE LAW of Moses under the LAW of the OLD covenant does NOT come from Almighty God the Father and his Son Jesus.)
9. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.(or beware for fear that you be falsely persuaded to obey the law on this one point to be circumcised that they also then continue to persuade you to be brought under bondage to keep the WHOLE LAW. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, any movement that seduces Christians to discover their HEBREW ROOTS will always BEGIN their seduction with the KEEPING of the SABBATH as opposed to worshiping God on Sunday. Then as soon as one becomes convinced that they MUST KEEP the Sabbath day, then these Hebrew roots groups will next move onto falsely teaching you that you MUST KEEP ALL the DIETARY LAWS under the law of the OLD COVENANT. Then comes how one dresses and so forth and so on. A little leaven will begin to leaven the whole lump. Also if one brother or sister be convinced or be persuaded to keep the law, then this false teaching will spread to other brothers and sisters in the Lord. This is why it is so important to remove that bad apple of false teaching before it spoils to rest of the gospel of Jesus Christ.)
So then, my dear brothers and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ, do NOT be TROUBLE by those of the 119 Ministries or the Hebrew Roots Movement or any other group of believers who are SEDUCING you to be UNDER the LAW by trying to PERSUADE you to KEEP the WHOLE LAW written in the Old Testament beginning with the KEEPING of the SEVENTH DAY SABBATH and the DIETARY LAWS. Stand FAST in your LIBERTY as Paul admonishes us so that you NOT be deceived to be entangled under the BONDAGE of the law contained in ordinances from which Jesus Christ has made you FREE. For you see, if you seek to be justified by keeping the DIETARY LAWS and keeping the Sabbath and feast days written in the Old Testament, then you are FALLEN from GRACE and Jesus Christ profits you NOTHING.
Now then, let us go back and take a closer look at Acts 10:9-14, while keeping in mind that whatever INTERPRETATION that is concluded or arrived at must AGREE with other passages of scripture like this one we just read in Galatians 5:1-10 and if it does NOT agree, then that INTERPRETATION must be rejected as a FALSE teaching. Well we can ALREADY see that the INTERPRETATION of the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement, which concludes that the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW based upon Peter saying that he had NEVER EATEN anything that was called common or unclean CONTRADICTS this passage of scripture that we just read in Galatians 5:1-10.
Let us now read Acts 10:1-48 and consider the CONTEXT by comparing it with the WHOLE word of God to learn what this passage of scripture is TRULY teaching us.
22. And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that fears God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for you into his house, and TO HEAR WORDS of you.
28. And he said unto them, You know how that it is an UNLAWFUL THING for a man that is a JEW to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; BUT God has showed me that I should not call any MAN common or unclean.
Now those in the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement FOCUS on verse 14, which says,
14. But Peter said, NOT SO, Lord; FOR (or because) I have NEVER EATEN ANY THING that is common or unclean.
And then they INTERPRET this one verse to mean that the EARLY CHURCH kept the WHOLE LAW contained in ordinances written in the Old Testament, BECAUSE Peter told the Lord NO and that he would NOT EAT that which was called common and unclean, BECAUSE he has ALWAYS OBEYED the LAW and has NEVER EATEN ANY THING that is common or unclean.
So again I ask you is this INTERPRETATION that is given by the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement AGREE with the WHOLE word of God. Please keep in mind that we have already seen in Galatians 5:1-10 that their interpretation does NOT agree and therefore should be rejected as a FALSE teaching.
But some of you may be thinking that their reasoning is very good and that it makes a lot of sense, because there in no denying that Peter did in fact say that he had NEVER EATEN anything that was common or unclean, which surely sounds like Peter was KEEPING the LAW. And Peter said that he had NEVER EATEN that which is common or unclean AFTER the church age had already began, so therefore it would certainly SEEM that the early church KEPT the LAW contained in ordinances.
YES, there is NO DENYING that Peter did in fact say that he had NEVER EATEN ANY THING that was common or unclean UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME.
In other words, God gives us VISIONS to REVEAL something to us that we PREVIOUSLY did NOT KNOW.
So then, UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME that Almighty God gave Peter this REVELATION Peter did NOT KNOW that Almighty God had CLEANSED not ONLY the Gentiles, but ALSO the FOOD that was once called common or unclean by showing Peter ALL manner of animals BOTH clean and UNCLEAN and God TOLD Peter to kill and EAT.
Now Peter could not believe his ears and responded to God saying NOT SO Lord for I have NEVER EATEN any UNCLEAN thing. So God showed Peter this same vision THREE times in all saying DO NOT call what I have CLEANED to be unclean meaning that God had CLEANED the UNCLEAN animals, AND God had also CLEANED all of MANKIND.God CLEANED every creature of the earth.
Now those who SEDUCE you to KEEP the WHOLE LAW under the OLD covenant have CONCLUDED and have INTERPRETED that this passage of scripture has nothing whatsoever to do with God CLEANING the ANIMALS, but rather they argue that this passage of scripture ONLY means that God has cleaned MAN or MANKIND.
Please keep in mind that ANY INTERPRETATION of any one verse or one passage of scripture must AGREE with the REST of God's word or that INTERPRETATION is NOT a CORRECT interpretation and therefore must be rejected as FALSE teaching. And we have ALREADY seen that Galatians 5:1-10 CONTRADICTS the INTERPRETATION of those who are SEDUCING you to keep the Sabbath day and all the DIETARY LAWS under the OLD covenant.
However on the other hand if you interpret Acts chapter 10 to mean that Almighty God cleansed BOTH mankind AND the UNCLEAN ANIMALS as well, then we have NO CONTRADICTIONS with the REST of God's word.
If you read Acts chapters 1 through chapters 9 you will find that the gospel was preached ONLY to the JEWS. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ it was not UNTIL Acts chapter 10, that is to say, it was not until AFTER Almighty God REVEALED to Peter what God had CLEANSED to no longer call common or unclean that Peter was sent to the GENTILES to preach Jesus.
So then again, up to this point in time Peter did not KNOW that God had cleansed the Gentiles and likewise or in the same way up to this point in time Peter did not KNOW that God had CLEANSED the UNCLEAN ANIMALS as well so that which was ONCE called common and unclean is NO LONGER considered by Almighty God to be common or unclean, because God has CLEANSED all manner of FOOD just as he showed Peter in the VISION by telling Peter to KILL and EAT these FOODS that where ONCE considered common and unclean BEFORE God CLEANSED them.
Why would God give Peter a vision concerning FOOD if the vision had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with God cleansing FOOD as well as the Gentiles? You see those of the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement make the CLAIM that this vision that God gave Peter has NOTHING whatsoever to do with FOOD and that the meaning of this vision deals ONLY with the GENTILES being cleansed by God. And yet their INTERPRETATION does NOT AGREE with the REST of God's word as we have already seen in Galatians 5:1-10.
For some this would be enough evidence form God's word to clearly show that Christians are NOT UNDER the LAW of the OLD covenant. But for others the my need more SOUND BIBLICAL evidence based upon the WHOLE word of God so let us continue this study in God's word. If this were true that Acts chapter 10 has NOTHING whatsoever to do with FOOD, then what does God mean by this vision when he tells Peter to KILL and EAT if indeed this vision truly means that God has cleansed ONLY the Gentiles and NOT the FOOD? Does God want us to go KILL and EAT the GENTILES? Absolutely NOT!
The TRUTH of the matter is that God has cleansed the FOOD as well as the Gentiles and neither is to be called common or unclean any longer. Please read Acts 10:9-15 again and notice that FOOD was on Peter's mind when God gave him this vision.
"9. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10. And he became VERY HUNGRY, and would have EATEN: but while they made ready (or while they were preparing the FOOD to eat), he fell into a trance,
13. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; KILL, and EAT.(KILL and EAT WHAT? The GENTILES? Absolutely NOT! God is REVEALING to Peter and the church that he has CLEANSED the FOOD as well as having cleansed the Gentiles)
15. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God has CLEANSED, that call NOT you common."
Again please keep in mind that if you dogmatically demand and insist that Acts chapter 10 must without fail means that the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW contained in ordinances that were written to the JEWS in the Old Testament, then this INTERPRETATION cannot CONTRADICT any other part of God's word. And if it does then we must REJECT this INTERPRETATION of the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement as being a FALSE teaching.
Also keep in mind that we have ALREADY examined one passage of scripture in Galatians 5:1-10 that CLEARLY and PLAINLY without a doubt CONTRADICTS this INTERPRETATION of the 119 Ministries and the Hebrew Roots Movement that the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW contained in ordinances that was written to the JEWS in the Old Testament based on the argument that Peter said that he had NEVER EATEN anything that was common or unclean.
But what they failed to understand was that UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME that God REVEALED to Peter in the vision that he had CLEANSED that which was ONCE called COMMON and UNCLEAN. Remember to TEST EVERYTHING.
We all know and agree that God cleansed the GENTILES, but UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME none of the early church KNEW that God had CLEANSED the GENTILES. And NEITHER did they KNOW that God had CLEANSED the UNCLEAN ANIMALS up to this point in time UNTIL God gave Peter REVELATION through a vision of ALL manner of animals that God had CLEANSED telling Peter to kill and EAT.
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that it would have been easy for God to show the early church that he had cleansed the Gentiles WITHOUT any vision at all. The CONTEXT clearly shows us that Peter did not understand what the vision mean UNTIL he saw the Gentiles being saved by being FILLED with the Holy Spirit. You see, if Peter was to simply TELL the rest of the church that God had cleansed the Gentiles based on the VISION ALONE, then to me, there would be no doubt that they would NOT have BELIEVED Peter. And if Peter had told the rest of the church that God had CLEANSED the UNCLEAN ANIMALS and that they are now FREE to eat ALL manner of animals based upon the VISION ALONE, then the rest of the church would NOT have BELIEVED him either, because all the church up to this point in time were all JEWS. So then it was EASY for God to prove to Peter and the rest of the church by the EVIDENCE of the Gentiles being FILLED with the Holy Spirit. THIS EVIDENCE was something they could SEE and therefore KNOW that God had CLEANSED the Gentiles. But what EVIDENCE could God give the church other than a VISION that he had cleansed BOTH the Gentiles AND ALL manner of ANIMALS.
You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, by God giving Peter the EVIDENCE of FILLING the Gentiles with his Holy Spirit would ALSO PROVE to Peter and the rest of the church that God had CLEANSED ALL manner of ANIMALS as well. We can clearly see from Peter's response that he was NOT going to EAT any UNCLEAN animal UNTIL he had PROOF that this VISION was from God so Peter thought on the vision while he followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to go with the three men sent from Cornelius to bring Peter to preach the gospel. So once again UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME it appears that the early church had indeed kept SOME of the Old Testament law such as the dietary laws, but AFTER this REVELATION knowledge we start seeing more and more SEPARATION between the CHURCH and the JEWS in how they OBEYED God. The Jews REMAINED totally UNDER the LAW while the CHURCH gradually received REVELATION knowledge from Almighty God as to what he what his Church to do and not do.
So then, let us now take a closer look at God's word to see if the early church kept the whole law contained in ordinances AFTER the time of this vision that God gave to Peter in Acts chapter 10, keeping in mind that it would have taken some time for this NEW REVELATION to have been taught to the church and would not have necessarily been written down specifically in the New Testament, because other laws of the Old Testament like CIRCUMCISION seemed to take precedence. The law of circumcision was a really big deal, so much so that if the eighth day fell on the seventh day Sabbath the law of circumcision was kept OVER the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath day. So it is understandable that not ALL and every point of the Old testament LAW was dealt with specifically and individually. However the New Testament does offer more EVIDENCE that the church did NOT keep the dietary laws of the Old Testament AFTER the VISION and REVELATION knowledge that Almighty God gave Peter of CLEANSE that which was ONCE UNCLEAN under the OLD covenant.
Please read Acts 11:1-3 where the JEWS, who had accepted Jesus as their savior CONTEND with Peter when they find out that Peter EAT with these GENTILES. You see, these particular JEWS who were now Christians had NOT YET received this NEW REVELATION from God that Peter received in his vision, but Peter DEFENDS himself telling them what God had done, then AFTER they heard Peter's testimony they held the peace obviously agreeing with Peter when he said Who am I that I should fight AGAINST God. In other words, If God wants to make CHANGES in his law, then who am I to fight AGAINST God.
3. Saying, You went into men UNCIRCUMCISED, and did EAT with them. (BOTH keep company AND EATING with the Gentiles were wrong or breaking the law of Moses to a Jew and therefore UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME not ALL the JEWS who became Christians had HEARD of the REVELATION KNOWLEDGE that God gave to Peter in a VISION of CLEANSING that which was ONCE unclean.)
4. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,"
Some have tried to REASON AWAY this passage of scripture by saying that these Gentile Christians prepared a SPECIAL meal for the Jews who you must remember were the only Christians BEFORE this point in time.
But in truth God was SHOWING the CHURCH that he had CLEANSED that which was ONCE UNCLEAN. Again one can INTERPRET that God ONLY cleansed MANKIND, as opposed to God cleansing BOTH mankind AND ALL manner of ANIMALS as well. But which ever INTERPRETATION one chooses it MUST AGREE with the REST of God's word. And we have already seen that the INTERPRETATION of those who are trying to SEDUCE you to KEEP ALL the DIETARY laws under the OLD covenant does NOT AGREE with the rest of God's word. So in my opinion to try and reason away the above passage of scripture by saying that the Gentile Christians prepare a SPECIAL meal for the Jewish Christians.
Now do you really think that these UNCIRCUMCISED GENTILES prepared a special meal for these JEWISH Christians with food that they themselves did NOT EAT?
I mean what would be the point of even mentioning that these Jews, who have accepted Jesus as their savior that were in Jerusalem CONTENDING with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles if the Gentiles were eating the SAME kinds of FOOD that the JEWS eat? You see verse 1 tells us that the brethren in Jerusalem had ALREADY HEARD that these Gentiles had received the word of God. So the CONTENDING was not the keeping company with the Gentiles but rather the contending was over EATING with the Gentiles. Obviously to me, the Gentiles were eating that which was forbidden for the JEWS to EAT under the OLD Covenant and when they heard that Peter ATE with the Gentiles they CONTENDED with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles.
So then, WHY would Peter EAT with the Gentiles knowing that it was against the LAW contained in ordinances? Remember that the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter and told him to doubt NOTHING? Peter had ALREADY SEEN these Gentiles be ACCEPTED by Almighty God by SEEING them being FILLED with the Holy Spirit. The word says that Peter PERCEIVED when he SAW God FILLING these GENTILES with his Holy Spirit that God NO LONGER had RESPECT of person and NOW God ACCEPTED that which was ONCE UNCLEAN. and when these new Gentile Christians asked Peter to EAT with them I am quite sure that the Holy Spirit brought to Peter's REMEMBRANCE to doubt NOTHING so Peter obviously OBEYED the Holy Spirit and ATE with the new Gentile Christians. Again there would have been no point to even mention the CONTENDING with Peter IF SO BE that Peter ate only that which was PERMITTED UNDER the LAW. I am convinced that Peter ATE whatever was set before him doubting NOTHING as God has told him to do.
This is WHY God gave Peter the vision of ALL manner of FOOD and told Peter to KILL and EAT because God was showing Peter that he had CLEANSED the FOOD as well as the Gentiles. Other wise if Peter did not understand this vision to mean that God cleansed the FOOD also, then surely Peter would NEVER had EATEN with the Gentiles. And if so be that Peter ate ONLY that which was permitted UNDER the LAW, then there would be not need to mention the CONTENTION of Peter EATING with the Gentiles.
But the facts are that Peter DID INDEED EAT with the Gentiles and the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem did indeed CONTENDED with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles, UNTIL they HEARD that God had CLEANSED that which was once called common and unclean and then they left off contending with Peter, because they now understood that God had CLEANSED the FOOD as well as the Gentiles.
You see, in Acts 11:15-18 we read where these Jews who believed in Jesus CONTENDED with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles, because they did NOT KNOW that God had CLEANSED the Gentiles and the FOOD, UNTIL Peter told them what God had done, the WHOLE matter. Then AFTER they HEARD what God had done from the beginning to the end, then they held their peace and NO LONGER CONTENDED with Peter about EATING with these UNCIRCUMCISED GENTILES.
In Acts 11:15-18 Peter expounds the WHOLE matter to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem who were CONTENDING with Peter for EATING with the Gentile Christians whom they HEARD had received the word of God.
18. When they (speaking of the JEWISH Christians at Jerusalem who were CONTENDING with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles who had received the word of God) HEARD these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
Here we see that some MORE Jewish Christians accepted and BELIEVED the VISION and REVELATION knowledge that God had CLEANSED that which was ONCE unclean by hearing the EVIDENCE of Almighty God FILLING the Gentiles who received his word with his Holy Spirit. Yes, they did not mention food specifically, because the greater emphasis of importance is the salvation of man. Remember when the disciples came to Jesus as said even the devils obey us in your name and Jesus answered them in Luke 10:20,
Jesus was not saying that we should not rejoice any whatsoever at all in what God is doing, but rather our greatest joy should be on the salvation of others. So then, we should not be surprised that every single detail is not told to us as to what God is doing. We know that Peter did indeed EAT with the Gentiles and this was a CONTENTION with the Jews who believed in Jesus, who were at Jerusalem, UNTIL they HEARD the WHOLE matter of what God had DONE, and then they held their peace to NO LONGER CONTENDED with Peter for EATING with the Gentiles. You have to ask yourself WHY it was no longer and ISSUE to to the early church for Christians to EAT with the Gentiles.
Some again may argue that the ISSUE was not EATING with the Gentiles, but rather was merely being in the COMPANY of the Gentiles.
WHY then was EATING even mentioned if it was alright to EAT what the Gentiles ATE, IF SO BE that the real ISSUE was supposedly just merely being in the COMPANY of the Gentiles? The TRUTH of the matter is that EATING with the Gentiles was the TRUE ISSUE that was being CONTENDED.
Please read Galatians 2:1-21 where Paul REBUKES Peter to his face for backsliding, so to speak, because Peter had indeed been OBEYING the TRUE GOSPEL to EAT with the GENTILES, but when some JEWS started to JUDGE him for EATING with the Gentiles Peter DREW BACK from eating with the Gentiles for FEAR of the JEWS who were COMPELLING him to be brought back and be placed back under the BONDAGE of the LAW contained in ORDINANCES.
"Then fourteen years after I (Paul) went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that GOSPEL which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of REPUTATION,(speaking of the JEWS) lest by any means I should run, or had run, in VAIN.
3. But NEITHER Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be CIRCUMCISED:(in other words, these JEWS of the reputation who came in unaware as spies were COMPELLING these Gentile Christians to be CIRCUMCISED and to follow the LAW of Moses contained in ordinances, but they did NOT succeed, because Paul says that NEITHER Titus was COMPELLED to be CIRCUMCISED.)
4. And that because of FALSE brethren unaware brought in, who came in privily to SPY out our liberty which we have IN Christ Jesus, THAT (or so that, or IN ORDER THAT) they (speaking of those of the reputation, the JEWS, these FALSE brethren who ever they were) might bring us into BONDAGE:(speaking of being brought back into the bondage of the LAW contained in ORDINANCES that were ABOLISHED, SLAIN, NAILED to the CROSS and BLOTTED OUT by FAITH in Jesus Christ)
5. To whom (speaking of these SPIES, these FALSE teachers pretending to be our brethren) we gave place by subjection, NO, NOT for an hour; that the TRUTH of the GOSPEL might CONTINUE with you. (now IF SO BE that the early church did indeed KEEP ALL the LAW as the Jews then WHY all the CONTENTION between the Jews and the Christians? This passage of scripture makes it absolutely clear without a doubt that the early church did NOT KEEP the LAW contained in ordinances under the OLD covenant.)
6. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were [whether they be GNOSTIC Jews, or Scribes, or Pharisees or just plain JEWS, whatsoever they were], it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
7. But contrariwise (or on the contrary, or quite the opposite), when they SAW that the GOSPEL of the uncircumcision was COMMITTED unto me, AS (or in the SAME WAY AS) the GOSPEL of the circumcision was unto Peter;
9. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the GRACE that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
12. For BEFORE that certain came from James, he (speaking of Peter) did EAT with the Gentiles:(or BEFORE these JEWS came in to judge and compel Peter to be brought under the BONDAGE of the LAW Peter was EATING MEAT with the GENTILES, which Peter KNEW that the JEWS of course would JUDGE him as being a transgressor of the LAW, but Peter ATE with the Gentiles anyway knowing that they would judge him BEFORE those Jews of reputation came in unto him.) BUT when they (speaking of those of reputation, the JEWS) were come, he (Peter) withdrew and separated himself, FEARING them which were of the CIRCUMCISION.(in other words, Peter was being a hypocrite by first EATING with the Gentiles and now he WITHDREW and he stopped EATING with the Gentile because he FEARED the JEWS)
13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was CARRIED AWAY with their dissimulation. (now HOW can Christians be CARRIED AWAY to KEEP the LAW under the OLD covenant IF SO BE the early church was ALREADY keeping all the law of the OLD covenant? Now in this case EATING IS SPECIFICALLY named as the point of CONTENTION. Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ that there would have been NO CONTENTION whatsoever IF SO BE that the early church did indeed KEEP ALL the LAW of the OLD Testament as the JEWS.The mere FACT that there was CONTENTION between the Jews and the Christians proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the early church did NOT keep all the law of Moses contained in ordinances including NOT keeping the dietary laws of the OLD Covenant.)
14. But when I saw that they walked NOT uprightly according to the TRUTH of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew (or if you Peter being a natural born Jew who was before taught in all manner of JEWISH laws, but now being IN Jesus Christ), LIVE AFTER the MANNER of Gentiles, and NOT as do the Jews, WHY COMPELL you the Gentiles to LIVE AS DO THE JEWS? (you see, it was NOT that Peter was actually TEACHING or PREACHING to the Gentiles to live as the Jews, but rather it was the ACTIONS of Peter withdrawing himself from LIVING AFTER the MANNER of the GENTILES for FEAR of the JEWS that was the COMPELLING factor that was causing some of the Gentles Christians to FOLLOW Peter's EXAMPLE to RETURN back to live like the Jews, and by doing so Peter did NOT OBEY the TRUTH of the Gospel. You see by WITHDRAWING from living in his liberty IN Jesus Christ Peter compelled some of these Gentile believers to live as the JEWS because they SAW Peter doing gong back to live as the Jews and Paul WITHSTOOD Peter to his face for NOT OBEYING the TRUTH of the GOSPEL. This passage of scripture CLEARLY teaches us that BEFORE the Jews of reputation came into Peter and put FEAR in Peter he OBEYED the TRUTH of the gospel and lived AFTER the MANNER of the Gentiles to EAT what the Gentiles ATE because Peter BELIEVED the VISION that God had indeed CLEANSED ALL manner of ANIMALS as well as ALL of mankind and that which was ONCE unclean God had NOW made CLEAN, but AFTER FEAR entered Peter because of the JEWS COMPELLING and SEDUCING Peter he drew back and became DISOBEDIENT to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew Roots Movement uses FEAR to compel Christians to live as the JEWS live keeping all the law contained in ordinances under the OLD Covenant. But the TRUTH of the whole matter is)
16. Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the LAW, but BY the FAITH of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH of Christ, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall NO flesh be justified.
17. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18. For IF I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. (Paul is saying in these two verses that Peter and those who followed Peter's WRONG COWARDLY EXAMPLE to turn back to following the DIETARY laws are SINNERS.)
19. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.(in other words, there is no way that Paul is teaching in Colossians 2:16 for Christian to KEEP the holy days, or to KEEP the feasts days, or the new moon festivals, or to KEEP the Sabbath days, or to KEEP the dietary laws of the OLD TESTAMENT, because that would be building AGAIN these things that Paul destroyed by the preaching the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.)
20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the FAITH of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21. I do NOT frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the LAW, then Christ is dead in VAIN.
So you see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, there is NO WAY that Paul was teaching in Colossians 2:16 for these Christians to KEEP the LAW and ORDINANCES to observe the holy days, the feast days, the Sabbath days, or the dietary laws of the OLD TESTAMENT. But rather Paul was clearly and plainly teaching us as Christians NOT to keep the law and to NOT let the Jews or the Hebrews Root movement groups JUDGE us for NOT KEEPING the LAW. I mean think about this for a moment, WHY would the Jews be JUDGING these Gentile Christians if they were truly being taught by Paul to KEEP the LAW as they themselves were teaching the KEEPING of the LAW to their fellow JEWS? This makes no sense whatsoever for Paul to be teaching these Christians to NOT let these Jews JUDGE them in the matters of the LAW, IF SO BE, that Paul was TRULY teaching these Christians to KEEP the LAW.
Can you not see how the 119 Ministry and the Hebrew Roots Movement have ERRED in their INTERPRETATION of the scriptures? Never the less we shall continue looking at some other arguments used by the 119 Ministry to TRY and support their FALSE interpretation that Paul was teaching us to KEEP ALL the LAW of Moses given in the OLD TESTAMENT by picking up where they left off teaching that the CONTEXT is what determines the meaning of the verse for us.
Jesus taught us that it is NOT what goes INTO the belly that DEFILES a man. Please read Matthew 15:9,10 which says,
The heart of this message can be easier understood by reading Luke 6:45 which teaches us the importance of the words we speak out of our mouth.
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth SPEAKS."
So then Jesus is teaching us that out of abundance of the evil treasures of the heart DEFILES the man, because this man SPEAKS forth or brings forth by SPEAKING what is in his or her HEART. Jesus is saying that it is not so much a matter of what is eaten that DEFILES a person, but rather it is the evil that is brought forth by the spoken WORDS of a person which defiles a person. For deeper understanding on this subject please read the study "THE POWER OF OUR WORDS!", but for now let us continue this study in God's word to see if the early church KEPT the WHOLE LAW contained in ORDINANCES that were given to the JEWS under the OLD Testament.
As I said earlier Peter did NOT KNOW that he was set free from the LAW contained in ordinances written to the JEWS under the OLD Testament, UNTIL Almighty God began to REVEAL this TRUTH to him and the church through the VISION God gave Peter that is recorded in Acts chapter 10. Little by little the church then grew in the KNOWLEDGE of their liberty IN Jesus Christ that they did NOT PREVIOUSLY know BEFORE God began REVEALING the entirety of this liberty to them. All they knew at the first was Jesus was the PROPITIATION or the ATONEMENT for their sins and that the LAW of offering animal sacrifices was ABOLISHED. In other words, they were still yet LEARNING as they went.
I mean THINK about this for a moment. Just how many JEWS would have ever been PERSUADED to walk away from EVERY THING that they had been taught all their lives to accept Jesus as their Messiah? God knew what he was doing by taking ONE STEP at a time. The FIRST step was to PROVE his Son Jesus ALIVE from the dead. The second step was to PROVE that Jesus spoke the TRUTH by BAPTIZING them with the fullness of the Holy Spirit with the EVIDENCE of speaking in other tongues. The third step was to CONFIRM his WORD with SIGNS following. The gospel at the first was Jesus crucified and risen from the dead to the JEW first. Then it became time for God to turn to the GENTILES, which is WHEN God first began to REVEAL that he had CLEANSED that which was ONCE UNCLEAN under the LAW.
This took awhile and God no doubt knew that there would be divisions at first. But little by little the Apostles LEARNED what God's WILL was for the CHURCH his CALLED OUT ones. God was tearing down the wall that divided the Jews from the Gentiles NOT to make the Gentile become like the JEWS and NOT to make the Jews become like the Gentiles, but to make a NEW creature in Jesus Christ to walk in LOVE before him. Nothing else availed. The WHOLE law is fulfilled by walking in LOVE. ALL things were made CLEAN and nothing that God has cleansed is to ever again be called unclean.
In Acts chapter 15 we can see a division in the church concerning this issue of liberty verses keeping the law and they gathered together to see if a solution could be resolved. After carefully considering this matter the Apostles and the disciples AGREED at this point in time that upon the Gentile Christians there should be place NO OTHER BURDEN than to abstain from meats OFFERED to IDOLS, to abstain from eating meat with blood, which is according to Genesis 9:3 and 4, to abstain from things strangled, and to abstain from FORNICATION. Please read Acts 15:1-29.
2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
7. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
9. And put NO DIFFERENCE between us and them, purifying their hearts by FAITH.
11. But we believe that through the GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be SAVED, EVEN AS THEY. (remember that this is PETER speaking here who said a good while ago that he never ate anything which was called common or unclean, but has now perceived of the Holy Spirit that God has made some CHANGES. I believe that even at this point in time they have not yet come to the full knowledge of the truth, but were still yet LEARNING from the Holy Spirit as Almighty God was leading and guiding them into ALL truth.)
21. For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.(Still a little fear of the Jews. Still uncertain as what to do. Reasoning that surely God desires his church to at least not offer meat to IDOLS and commit fornication, because this is what they as God's people had been taught all their lives.)
22. Then pleased it (or then it, the decision they they had just reached please) the apostles and elders, with the WHOLE church,(referring to believers who were present and not literally every single believer all over the area that the gospel had been preached) to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
24. For as much as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, You must be circumcised, and KEEP the LAW: to whom WE gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT: (This ONE verse ALONE should be enough SOUND BIBLICAL evidence to clearly show any believer that the early New testament church gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT to KEEP the LAW. All through the New Testament the church is WARNED about those who would TROUBLE and try and SUBVERT them to become CIRCUMCISED and the KEEP the LAW of Moses contained in ORDINANCES, which included the DIETARY LAWS. So then it is certain that the apostles and the disciples did NOT teach the church to keep ALL the LAW written in the Old Testament)
Now I myself know of absolutely NO Christians who eats PORK that has been OFFERED to IDOLS. I know thousands of Christians who do indeed eat PORK without ANY condemnation whatsoever from the Holy Spirit of Almighty God himself including MYSELF. There is NOW no condemnation to those Christians who walk AFTER the Holy Spirit and not after the flesh. To ME if it was indeed a SIN to eat PORK, then the Holy Spirit who DWELLS IN me would certainly CONDEMN me for eating PORK. But yet not I nor thousands even hundreds of thousands or millions of other Christians are nor have ever been CONDEMNED by the Holy Spirit for eating PORK.
So then, it should be made clear to you that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to the apostles at that point in time to lay upon these believers NO GREATER burden than those four necessary things again at that point in time. Can you not see that if so be that the HOLY SPIRIT of Almighty God HIMSELF wanted the CHURCH to NOT eat PORK and keep all the DIETARY laws under the OLD Covenant, then certainly this would have been the place to clearly and plainly make it KNOWN to the WHOLE church when he had them assembled together and they were SEEKING that very SPECIFIC question to be answered or given to them by the Holy Spirit. But the word of TRUTH says that it seemed good to them and to the HOLY SPIRIT to lay NO other burden upon these Gentile Christians other than to abstain for meat OFFERED to IDOLS, fornication and meats with BLOOD or animals that had been strangled. NOTHING mentioned about eating PORK of keeping ALL the dietary laws, but rather only four things are given at this point in time from which Christians are to abstain.
Now again this is NOT the only verse in the Bible either. What I mean by this is that these four things that the early church listed as to be the ONLY four things that these Gentile believers were to abstain from was what the early church concluded or agreed upon at that point in time, which means that the Holy Spirit was still yet revealing things to the early church, but for that point in time this is what it seemed that the Holy Spirit was teaching them to do.
You see, the church was still yet LEARNING and receiving revelation knowledge from God through his Holy Spirit. Now if you read Romans 1:1 all the way through to the end of Revelation you will find that the early church taught that we are to keep the COMMANDMENTS of God, which are summed up in two commands that Jesus told us hang all the law and the prophets. In short all these teaching agree teaching us that if does not matter what we SAY if our ACTIONS to not agree with what we say. In other words, the entire New Testament agrees that if one SAYS that he of she loves God and does NOT love his or her fellow man, then the TRUTH is NOT in them. So all the emphasis of the law taught in the New Testament that we are to KEEP was on the MORAL law alone.
Please read Matthew 22:35-40, which says,
In other words, if you obey these TWO commandments, then you are fulfilling all the law and the prophets. Then we read in Matthew 7:12 that whatsoever we would want people to do unto us we should do unto them IS the law and the prophets.
So then, I personally do not see how keeping the DIETARY laws written in the Old Testament have anything whatsoever in relationship with doing something to another person or that person doing something to you. It seems to me that God was tired and fed up with all the squabbling over who what others should or should not do. So God decided to make it simple by condensing ALL the law down to LOVING God with all our hearts and to walking in LOVE one toward another by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us for how can we SAY that we love God when we do NOT love our fellow man.
In the same way that what we EAT has NOTHING whatsoever to do with walking in LOVE one toward another, I myself do not see how observing the Sabbath or a day of rest on a particular day or observing the feast days or any day have anything to do unto others as you would have them to do unto you? In other words, why is it so dogmatically important for some believers to observe the Sabbath on a Saturday, especially when DIVISION is created in the body of Christ? I cover this question of WHY do some Christians keep only nine of the ten commandments in the study called "SUNDAY WORSHIP VERSUS SABBATH KEEPING?", and "ONLY NINE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?", but for now I want you, the reader, to put yourself in the shoes of these early Jewish believers in Jesus Christ and try to relate to how they were taught from their youth all these laws, statutes, rituals, and ordinances that they observed all their lives.
Now I am not a natural born Jew, nor have I ever had a desire to become a Jew, but I can relate somewhat with RITUALISM. I was raised in a RELIGIOUS home and from my youth I was taught the various RITUALS that one goes through in Catholicism.
For example, upon entering the foyer of the church I was taught that we must dip two fingers into a basin filled with holy water and then make the sign of the cross on our body by first touching these two fingers to our forehead, then down to our abdomen, then to our left shoulder and back across to our right shoulder while saying in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then if you were a man or boy and you had a hat on you had to remove your hat, but if you were a woman or a girl you had to cover your head with a scarf, and then one could enter into the main part of the church where the people sat to participate in the mass. Then one would proceed down the aisle to where they desired to sit, but before turning into the pew to sit I was taught to genuflect on one knee or bend one knee to touch the floor and while down on one knee you were to bow your head down toward the altar while again making the sign of the cross. These are just some of the many rituals that a Catholic is taught that they must do to be a good Catholic and they become almost second nature to you so you don't even really think about them, you just do them.
In the same way these early church believers who were JEWS kept on doing what they were taught to do all their lives. In other words, they did not know to STOP doing the things they were taught in the law all their lives, UNTIL Almighty God began to teach them otherwise. So of course Peter DOUBTED the vision he received from God and did not understand at first.
Let me give you a short testimony of a similar thing that happened to me. I very often pray during worship service. I pray in the Spirit or in other tongues quietly to myself making intercession for the people to receive from God. One day while I was doing this the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said STOP PRAYING. Immediately I began to DOUBT that this was the Holy Spirit and began to ask questions of WHY? Why would the Holy Spirit ask me to STOP praying? So I kept on praying. The Holy Spirit said again for me to stop praying and said I want to SHOW you something. So I stopped praying and immediately the song leader slammed his hand down onto the pulpit and began to rebuke the congregation for not entering into worship, then he stormed off the platform and went to his seat. There was a silence so thick you could cut it with a knife. The pastor got up and went to the pulpit and the Holy Spirit said to me to start praying again so I did. Just a few moments went by after the pastor started preaching and the song leading came back up to the pulpit, whispered into the pastors ear, the pastor sat back down, the song leader apologized and proceeded to lead us in worship once again. Long story made short the presence of God filled the sanctuary and the whole congregation began to worship God with all that was within us for over an hour. The pastor got up and said that he could not add anything to what God was doing and he dismissed the people to go home. Some stayed and worship God a little longer. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me again and said that he wanted to show me what the pray of just one person was capable of accomplishing if we do not DOUBT what God is doing through us.
So yes, Peter DOUBTED what God was telling him to do and told the Lord that he would not eat at the first, at that moment in time. And yes, Peter understand that the Holy Spirit wanted him to go and preach Jesus to the Gentiles when they came to the door, because God told Peter to doubt NOTHING and to go with these three men. You see, Peter asked them what they wanted when they came to the door, and when they told him that they were sent to bring him to preach to them Peter then put two and two together and understood that this was God speaking to him, so he went with them following the leading of the Holy Spirit. So in the same way when these Gentiles asked Peter to EAT with them he may have DOUBTED for a moment, but then when the Holy Spirit brought to his remembrance the vision of ALL MANNER of FOOD and God telling him to KILL and EAT and to doubt NOTHING Peter then put two and two together again and understood that it was alright to EAT with the Gentiles because what God had CLEANSE was NO LONGER to be called common of unclean.
Now some Christians, and not just those of the Hebrew Roots Movement and the 119 Ministries argue that God changes NOT, so therefore what was written in the Old Testament is STILL required for us today.
Let us go back to the beginning BEFORE the LAW of Moses was given and see that Almighty God did in fact make some CHANGES in what mankind was to EAT.
First we read in Genesis 1:29,30 that God gave both mankind and animals ONLY PLANTS and the FRUIT of these plants for FOOD to EAT.
God said, Behold, I have given you
EVERY HERB bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and
EVERY TREE, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you
it shall be for MEAT (or
for FOOD to EAT. The word "MEAT" here means FOOD and NOT actually the meat of ANIMALS).
30. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat (or I have given every green herd for FOOD to eat. Before the fall of man it appears that animals did not kill and eat other animals and mankind also did not kill and eat animals as well): and it was so."
But then in Genesis 9:3,4 after the flood of Noah Almighty God CHANGES what mankind is allowed to EAT, and now has given EVERY moving thing that lives along with the green herbs and fruit that God already had given mankind to eat.
4. BUT flesh with the LIFE thereof (being yet still alive), which is the blood thereof (or still yet having blood in the meat), shall you NOT eat."
Now whether or not EVERY MOVING THING THAT LIVES is an all inclusive statement that means every animal saved alive on the ark, both clean and unclean is not the point that I am making. Rather I am pointing out that God made some CHANGES from what mankind was permitted to eat in the garden of Eden to what we know for certain that mankind was allowed to eat after the flood of Noah. In other words, in the garden of Eden God gave man
Then after the flood and perhaps before the flood even as far back as being expelled from the garden of Eden God CHANGED what mankind was allowed to EAT by ADDING;
EVERY MOVING THING THAT LIVES shall be MEAT (or FOOD to EAT) for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
This clearly shows us that God does indeed CHANGE things. And of course we know that God CHANGED AGAIN concerning what could be eaten and not eaten, but not what all of mankind could eat, but rather what his chosen people Israel could and could not eat under the LAW contained in ordinances where God specifically spelled out the FOODS that were allowed and HOW they were to be prepared along with the foods that were not allowed his chosen people. Please keep in mind that the rest of mankind was not given the LAW of Moses. So in truth the dietary laws were a SHADOW or a type showing that God's people are CALLED OUT to be separate. In other words, many things in the Old Testament were used to TEACH spiritual things. For example animal sacrifice of the lamb was TEACHING us of the TRUE which was to come. And once the TRUE had come the animal sacrifice was taken away and NO LONGER ACCEPTED by God. Now the Jews kept on with animal sacrifices even after the TRUE had come, but God NO LONGER ACCEPTED their animal sacrifices. They availed NOTHING.
Now some may still FEAR the Judanizing Hebrew Roots movement groups to be compelled to keep all the dietary laws under the OLD Covenant and that is your choice, but for ME eating or not eating avails NOTHING.
Now I am not going to go into detail of all these dietary laws written in the Old Testament, because it is made quite clear in the NEW TESTAMENT that God's people are no longer under the yoke of bondage of the law contained in ordinances that were given ONLY to Israel. Please read 1 Corinthians 10:25-31, which CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that we as Christians are FREE to EAT whatever the Gentiles ate all through history. In other words, the early church was not ONLY NOT UNDER the dietary laws of the Jews, but Paul goes on to teach us that Christians are EVEN FREE to eat meat that has been OFFERED to IDOLS, because meat is NOTHING bad or good. Eating ALL manner of meat avails NOTHING. And NOT eating all manner of meat avails NOTHING.
1 Corinthians 10:25-31.
28. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for HIS sake that showed it, and for conscience sake (speaking of HIS conscience and NOT the conscience of the BELIEVING Christians): for (or because) the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof: (or for what God has CLEANSED call NOT unclean)
31. Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God."
Please notice that TWO times the reason that is given in this passage of scripture for it being alright to eat whatever is set before us is the the earth and the FULLNESS thereof are the Lord's. The TRUTH of the matter is that Almighty God has CLEANSED ALL THINGS that was once CALLED uncommon or unclean. Therefore we are made free to eat whatsoever the earth provides for food with the giving of THANKS to the Lord.
This is made BLATANTLY clear again in 1 Timothy 4:1-6, which says,
6. If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, where unto you have attained."
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that the early church taught that we as Christians are NOT UNDER the LAW that is contained in ordinances which includes the dietary laws written to the children of Israel in the Old Testament.
Now some falsely teach that ALL the law of God has been abolished, but as for me I see that the apostles and disciples repeated the giving at least nine of the ten commandments. However, they were given in SPIRIT rather than in LETTER. What I mean by this is that the early church taught us to be led by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.
You see the law or duty to observe the law brings bondage to the conscience, which the keeping of the law can never set one free, because there is always that question as to whether or not the law keeping is doing ENOUGH to amend for the wrong he or she has done.
But contrary wise when we receive forgiveness of our sins by FAITH, then there in NO CONDEMNATION because we are IN Jesus Christ. It is in or with this PEACE that God desires to lead his people. You see, whenever we OBEY what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do or say, then there is NO CONDEMNATION and we have that PEACE. we are lead forth by PEACE. But when we do or say that which is contrary to what God desires us to do, then there is a cringe in our spirit, a LOSS of that peace. We know immediately that something is not right. We are brought under condemnation until we repent of what ever the Holy Spirit tells us that we did or did not do.
Just a moment ago I said that the New Testament restated nine of the ten commandments. I will follow up this study with another study showing what the New Testament clearly lays out for what we must do and what we must not do in order to obtain eternal life in the world to come. But I find nowhere in the New Testament where we as Christians are commanded to eat only those foods specified in the law contained in ordinances that was given to Israel in the Old Testament.
Thanks for reading. Below are the related studies that I have on this subject if you desire to go yet deeper into God's word. May God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Please read all the studies linked within this study and all the studies linked below. This study was just the TIP of the iceberg of exposing the ERRORS of interpretation made by the Saturday seventh day of the week Sabbath keeping churches.
RETURN TO HOMEPAGE
Some CLAIM the the early church kept the Sabbath as the Jews, but I assure you that the early first century church were accustomed to gathering together BEFORE the light of day break on the FIRST day of the week that THEY called the Lord's day.
Here is a NON BIAS historical account found in a letter from Pliny the Younger to Trojan concerning the Christians.
Pliny was a Roman who persecuted and killed Christians, so again this is a historical NON BIAS account of WHEN Christians gathered together.
Here is what Pliny says in his letter to Trajan. The EMPHASIS and comments are mine:
“That they were WONT (or as they were ACCUSTOMED and USED to do, or in the HABIT of doing), on a STATED day (or on a CERTAIN preset day), to meet together BEFORE IT WAS LIGHT, and to sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god, alternately; and to oblige themselves by a sacrament [or oath], not to do anything that was ill: but that they would commit no theft, or pilfering, or adultery; that they would not break their promises, or deny what was deposited with them, when it was required back again; after which it was their CUSTOM to depart, AND to meet AGAIN at a common but innocent meal,(so after the hard worship service early morning beginning before day light they would depart and they come back together later that same to to share a common simple meal together, and most likely break bread together as other early church writers give more detail) which they had left off upon that edict which I published at your command, and wherein I had forbidden any such conventicles (or religious meetings).”
Below are some quotes of early church writers that clearly teach us that the early church did NOT keep the Sabbath day, as in, on SATURDAY, the 7th day of the week, but rather the early church throughout history from it's beginning worshiped God on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week, which is sometimes referred to as the EIGHTH day of the week or the day AFTER the Sabbath day, or the LORD'S DAY.
(The emphasis is mine in these quotes given below):
The date is given first and the source is given at the end.
Quote number #:
#1. 90 AD DIDACHE:
"Christian Assembly on the Lord's Day:
1. But every Lord's day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.
2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned.
3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." (Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Chapter XIV)
#2. 100 AD BARNABAS:
"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD 15:6-8).
#3. 100 AD BARNABAS:
Moreover God says to the Jews, 'Your new moons and Sabbaths I cannot endure.' You see how he says, 'The present Sabbaths are not acceptable to me, but the Sabbath which I have made in which, when I have rested [heaven: Heb 4] from all things, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world.' Wherefore we Christians keep the eighth day for joy, on which also Jesus arose from the dead and when he appeared ascended into heaven. (15:8f, The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 147)
#4. 110 AD Pliny:
They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath not to (do) any wicked deeds, never to commit any fraud, theft, or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of good food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind. (About three years after the death of Ignatius in 250, an important official communication was sent from one Pliny to Trajan the Roman emperor. Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, wrote of the Christians who had been congregating there probably from at least A.D. 62 onwards. In this remarkable it is explicitly stated that these early Christians observed the substance of most of the Ten Commandments, and it is implied that they observed all ten as far as they were able to do so. As far as they were able, for as most of the early Christians were of slave stock or from other lower classes'-, and those who had heathen masters or employers—the vast majority—would be forced to work on THEIR day of rest, which was unfortunately an official working day throughout the empires' until Constantine's "Sabbath" Edict in 321 A.D. gave them some measure of public protection. Hence one reads that after meeting "on a certain FIXED day before it was light", the first century Bithynian Christians had "to separate"—many of them having to labour for their masters and/or employers from dawn to dusk—"and then reassemble to partake of . . . food". The "certain fixed day" [stato die"'] on which the Christians met, is regarded by Seventh-day Adventists as Saturday'-. Certainly the expression would seem to indicate a regular day of meeting, probably each week. But Sunday is FAR more likely to have been the "certain fixed day" than Saturday. For if Pliny had been referring to the old Saturday Sabbath, as a Roman he would doubtless have referred to the "later" meeting first and only then to the morning meeting on the day after the "certain fixed day", seeing that the old Saturday Sabbath was demarcated from the evening of one day to the evening of the following day. But Pliny makes no such reference. Instead, he mentions that the pre-dawn meeting took place first—and only after wards the later meeting; and that both meetings took place on the SAME "certain fixed day". This rather points to the Roman (and—more importantly!—New Testament) midnight to midnight demarcation of modern Sunday-keepers than to the evening to evening demarcation of the Jews and the Seventh-day Adventists. (The Covenantial Sabbath, Francis Nigel Lee, Pg 242)
Also I myself will further add to the comment of the writer above that mere common sense plainly teaches us that Pliny was clearly speaking of SUNDAY, because the LAW that Constantine passed was not to mandate work on SUNDAY so that these Christians could worship God on SUNDAY. So the CLAIM by the Seventh Day Advent church that the fixed day of worship for Christians was a Saturday is FALSE. Other wise Constantine would have made it a law the employers allowed Christians off for work on a Saturday rather than on a Sunday.
This PROVES beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Christians were ALREADY worshiping God on SUNDAY the FIRST DAY of the week from the very beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost. The truth of the matter is that Constantine only made it easier for Christians to worship God on Sunday without being persecuted by their employers or owners by passing the EDICT making it a LAW to force heathen employers to let their employees have at least some time off from work so that they could worship God on SUNDAY.
Every Sabbath keeper will AGREE that Constantine's "SABBATH" is referring to SUNDAY as the day of the week and NOT as Saturday being the REST for Christians. Again all the Constantine did was to pass a law making it EASIER fro Christian to worship on the DAY that they had ALREADY been worshiping on since the very beginning at the DAY of PENTECOST, which is on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week that Christian called the LORD'S day the day our Lord rose from the grave.
Open your EYES dear child of God and read what these early church writings are teaching us about the EARLIEST believers as to which day the early church worshiped God. SUNDAY has ALWAYS been the Sabbath or the day of REST of the early church and the church throughout it's entire history.
#5. 150 AD EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLES:
- I [Christ] have come into being on the eighth day which is the day of the Lord. (18)
#6. 150 AD JUSTIN:
"He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane [it]. The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day AFTER the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first.". (Justin, Dialogue 41:4)
#7. 150 AD JUSTIN:
...those who have persecuted and do persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy mountain. But the Gentiles, who have believed on Him, and have repented of the sins which they have committed, they shall receive the inheritance along with the patriarchs and the prophets, and the just men who are descended from Jacob, even although theyneither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts. Assuredly they shall receive the holy inheritance of God. (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, page 207)
#8. 150 AD JUSTIN:
But if we do not admit this, we shall be liable to fall into foolish opinion, as if it were not the same God who existed in the times of Enoch and all the rest, who neither were circumcised after the flesh, nor observed Sabbaths, nor any other rites, seeing that Moses enjoined such observances... For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now, after that, according to the will of God, Jesus Christ the Son of God has been born without sin, of a virgin sprung from the stock of Abraham. (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, page 206)
#9. 150 AD JUSTIN:
Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned [after mentioning Adam. Abel, Enoch, Lot, Noah, Melchizedek, and Abraham], though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses... And you [fleshly Jews] were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that you might retain the memorial of God. For His word makes this announcement, saying, "That you may know that I am God who redeemed you." (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, page 204)
#10. 150 AD JUSTIN:
There is no other thing for which you blame us, my friends, is there than this? That we do not live according to the Law, nor, are we circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers, nor do we observe the Sabbath as you do. (Dialogue with Trypho 10:1. In verse 3 the Jew Trypho acknowledges that Christians 'do not keep the Sabbath.')
#11. 155 AD Justin Martyr:
"[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what REASON they were enjoined [on] you--namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observethose rites which do not harm us--I speak of fleshly circumcision AND Sabbaths AND feasts? . . . God enjoined you [Jews] to keep the Sabbath,and impose on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21).
#12. 180 AD ACTS OF PETER:
- Paul had often contended with the Jewish teachers and had confuted them, saying 'it is Christ on whom your fathers laid hands. He abolished their Sabbath and fasts and festivals and circumcision.' (1: I)-2
#13. 180 AD GOSPEL OF PETER:
Early in the morning when (the Sabbath dawned, a multitude from Jerusalem and the surrounding country came to see the scaled sepulchre. In the night in which the Lord's day dawned, while the soldiers in pairs for each watch were keeping guard, a great voice came from heaven. [There follows an account of the resurrection. Early in the morning of the Lord's day Mary Magdalene, a disciple of the Lord .... came to the sepulchre. (9:34f.; 12:50f.)
#14. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:
(in commenting on each of the Ten Commandments and their Christian meaning:) The seventh day is proclaimed a day of rest, PREPARING by abstention from evil FOR the Primal day, our TRUE rest. (Ibid. VII. xvi. 138.1)
I will add that the meaning of the word "Primal" means an "ARCHETYPAL", which means an original TYPE pointing to the TRUE. So this early church writer is saying what Paul teaches us in scripture that the things in the OLD Testament are TYPES and SHADOWS or the TRUE which was to come. Jesus became our SABBATH, and we have entered into our REST being in Jesus Christ. The SABBATH was an ARCHETYPAL pointing toward our TRUE REST which was to come being FULFILLED in the ATONEMENT of Jesus.
#15. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:
He does the commandment according to the Gospel and keeps the Lord's day, whenever he puts away an evil mind . . . glorifying the Lord's resurrection in himself. (Ibid. Vii.xii.76.4)
#16. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:
Plato prophetically speaks of the Lord's day in the tenth book of the Republic, in these words: 'And when seven days have passed to each of them in the meadow, on the eighth they must go on." (Miscellanies V.xiv.106.2)
#17. 200 AD BARDESANES:
Wherever we are, we are all called after the one name of Christ Christians. On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together (On Fate)
#18. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:
"We solemnize the day AFTER Saturday in contradistinction to those who call this day their Sabbath" (Tertullian's Apology, Ch 16)
In other words, Tertullian is saying that we Christians DISTINGUISH us from the JEWS who hold Saturday as THEIR Sabbath by solemnizing or reverencing the day AFTER Saturday as our day of worship and rest.
#19. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:
It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so ALSO the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary. (An Answer to the Jews 4:1, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 3, page 155)
#20. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:
Let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day because of threat of death, teach us that in earliest times righteous men kept Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and so were made friends of God. .. ...Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised, and inobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering Him sacrifices, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was by Him commended... Noah also, uncircumcised - yes, and inobservant of the Sabbath - God freed from the deluge. For Enoch, too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, He translated from this world... Melchizedek also, "the priest of most high God," uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was chosen to the priesthood of God. (An Answer to the Jews 2:10; 4:1, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 3, page 153)
#21. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:
Others . . . suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is well-known that we regard Sunday as a day of joy. (To the Nations 1: 133)
Keep in mind that this was well BEFORE Constantine SUPPOSEDLY CHANGED the day of rest and worship to SUNday as the Seventh Day Adventist church CLAIMS. But it TRUTH Christians had ALREADY been worshiping God on SUNDAY, the FIRST day of the week that they also called the LORD'S day, the day that our Lord and savior Jesus rose from the dead.
So as early as Tertullian in 200 AD there were groups of JEWS and Christian JEWS who ASSUMED or who SUPPOSED, or who FALSELY ACCUSED Christians for worshiping God on SUNDAY that they were worshiping a sun god and not the true God.
#22. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:
To us Sabbaths are foreign. (On Idolatry, 14:6)4
#23. 220 AD ORIGEN:
"On Sunday none of the actions of the world should be done. If then, you abstain from all the works of this world and keep yourselves free for spiritual things, go to church, listen to the readings and divine homilies, meditate on heavenly things. (Homil. 23 in Numeros 4, PG 12:749)
#24. 220 AD Origen:
"Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection" (Commentary on John 2:28).
#25. 225 AD The Didascalia:
"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation, because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Didascalia 2).
And I add further that the church BEGAN on the day of Pentecost on a SUNDAY, the FIRST day of the week. The early church evidence and the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible make it quite clear that the early church worshiped God on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week, called the LORD'S day and that they did NOT KEEP the Sabbath day as the JEWS.
#26. 250 AD CYPRIAN:
The eight day, that is, the first day after the Sabbath, and the Lord's Day." (Epistle 58, Sec 4)
#27. 250 AD IGNATIUS:
"If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death-whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master-how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead. If, then, those who were conversant with the ancient Scriptures came to newness of hope, expecting the coming of Christ, as the Lord teaches us when He says, "If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me; " and again, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad; for before Abraham was, I am; " how shall we be able to live without Him? The prophets were His servants, and foresaw Him by the Spirit, and waited for Him as their Teacher, and expected Him as their Lord and Saviour, saying, "He will come and save us." Let us therefore NO longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for "he that does not work, let him not eat." For say the [holy] oracles, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread." But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, NOT in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week].Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, "To the end, for the eighth day," on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ, whom the children of perdition, the enemies of the Saviour, deny, "whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things," who are "lovers of pleasure, and not lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." These make merchandise of Christ, corrupting His word, and giving up Jesus to sale: they are corrupters of women, and covetous of other men's possessions, swallowing up wealth insatiably; from whom may ye be delivered by the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ! (Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chapter IX)
#28. 250 AD IGNATIUS:
"On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathaea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. "The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord's Day contains the resurrection." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, chapter 9)
#29. 250 AD IGNATIUS:
If any one fasts on the Lord's Day or on the Sabbath, except on the paschal Sabbath only, he is a murderer of Christ. (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, chapter 8)
#30. 250 AD IGNATIUS:
"This [custom], of not bending the knee upon Sunday, is a symbol of the resurrection, through which we have been set free, by the grace of Christ, from sins, and from death, which has been put to death under Him. Now this custom took its rise from apostolic times, as the blessed Irenaeus, the martyr and bishop of Lyons, declares in his treatise On Easter, in which he makes mention of Pentecost also; upon which [feast] we do not bend the knee, because it is of equal significance with the Lord's day, for the reason already alleged concerning it." (Ignatius, Fragments)
#31. 300 AD Victorinus:
"The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should APPEAR to observe ANY Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body ABOLISHED" (The Creation of the World).
#32. 300 AD EUSEBIUS:
"They did not, therefore, regard circumcision, NOR observe the Sabbath NEITHER do we; ... because such things as these do NOT belong to Christians" (Ecc. Hist., Book 1, Ch. 4)
#33. 300 AD EUSEBIUS:
[The Ebionites] were accustomed to observe the Sabbath and other Jewish customs but on the Lord's days to celebrate the same practices as we in remembrance of the resurrection of the Savior. (Church History Ill.xxvii.5)
I will also add that the Ebionites were Christians who were seduced by the Jews to keep the Jewish customs. In other words, the Ebionites were Judanized Christians. The Ebionites also taught the need to be circumcised in the flesh in order to be saved. Some today would not even consider Ebionites as being true Christians since they went back to trusting the law of Moses to be saved.
#34. 300 AD Eusebius of Caesarea:
"They [the pre- Mosaic saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things" (Church History 1:4:8).
#35. 300 AD Eusebius of Caesarea:
"The day of his [Christ's] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord's day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic Law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the Apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality" (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186).
#36. 345 AD Athanasius:
"The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord's day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord's day as being the memorial of the new creation" (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3).
#37. 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS:
Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord's house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day. And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food? (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 2)
#38. 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS:
"How We Ought to Assemble Together, and to Celebrate the Festival Day of Our Saviour's Resurrection. On the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that is, the Lord's day, assemble yourselves together, without fail, giving thanks to God, and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ, and has delivered you from ignorance, error, and bondage, that your sacrifice may be unspotted, and acceptable to God,..." (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 7)
#39. 350 AD Cyril of Jerusalem:
"Fall NOT AWAY either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from ALL observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean" (Catechetical Lectures 4:37).
#40. 360 AD Council of Laodicea:
"Christians should NOT Judaize and should NOT be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord's day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians" (canon 29).
#41. 387 AD John Chrysostom:
"You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the Law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul's words, that the observance of the Law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?" (Homilies on Galatians 2:17).
#42. 412 AD Augustine:
"Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these Ten Commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought NOT to be kept by a Christian . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the Law which was written on those two tables that the apostle [Paul] describes as 'the letter that kills' [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished" (The Spirit and the Letter 24).
#43. 597 AD Gregory I:
"But after that the grace of almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared, the commandments of the Law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: 'If you be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing' (Gal. 5:2)" (Letters 13:1).