WHAT DOES COLOSSIAN 2:16,17 TRULY MEAN?


EDITED


WHAT DOES COLOSSIANS 2:17 TRULY MEAN?


More specifically what do the words SHADOW, FIGURE, TYPE, SIGN, TOKEN, PATTERN, EXAMPLE, and ALLEGORY mean in a Biblical sense? Most Christians understand that things written in the Old Testament Scriptures are shadows, types, and figures but they do not fully know what these terms mean. So a simple way to explain these terms is to think of the Old Testament prophesying of a coming Messiah. And let us assume that you do NOT know that Jesus is the Messiah but you are interested in seeing if Jesus is the Messiah that is prophesied in the Scriptures. Then you would look for CLUES within the Scriptures. Some of the clues are obvious while many other CLUES are hidden. And when you put all these clues together then they will lead those seeking the Messiah to be able to IDENTIFY him.

And these CLUES can be words, things, and people. The words can be names of places or phrases like “born of a Virgin”. Also, there can be words, like “SIGN” and “TOKEN” that will be a CLUE that a particular verse is a hidden prophecy pointing to the Messiah. The things can be like he shall be a “Prophet” or a phrase like “I shall make my firstborn higher than the kings of the earth”. And the people will have things in common with the Messiah. For example, King David was a King over Israel would be a CLUE that the Messiah will be the coming King over Israel in the world to come.

Now that you have the basic understanding that the terms token, sign, shadows, types, and figures as being CLUES pointing to the Messiah, I would like to explore the idea of the first set of stone tablets of the Ten Commandments being broken as a CLUE pointing to a NEW set of commandments being given by Jesus under the NEW COVENANT written in the New Testament. In other words, the first set of stone tablets that were thrown down by Moses and broken and a NEW set of stone tablets being made is a clue pointing to the New covenant before God promised to give a New Covenant to the children of Israel.

Before we explore the clues that point to the New Covenant let us read Colossians 2:16,17. This passage of Scripture has been INTERPRETED in two different ways that are completely the OPPOSITE of each other. Let us read these verses first and then I will explain the two opposite interpretations.


Colossians 2:16,17.


“Let no man, therefore, JUDGE you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17. Which are a SHADOW of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”


Interpretation #1.


Do not let all the Jews and the Jewish Christians judge you Gentile Christians for NOT keeping the Law of Moses contained in ordinances. For they are SHADOWS that point to Jesus.


Interpretation #2.


Do not let the NON-Torah keeping Christians judge you for KEEPING the law of Moses. For they ARE SHADOWS of something in the future.



In other words, the Christians who use interpretation #2 claim that the early church kept that Law of Moses. And thus, to them, Paul is saying to not allow anyone to judge you for KEEPING the Law of Moses. And their argument is the phrase “Which ARE a shadow of things TO COME” that they interpret to mean that the present day Sabbath days are a shadow of something yet in the FUTURE that will come.

Now, to me, interpretation #2 makes no sense. For you see, IF SO BE that the early church was indeed keeping the Law of Moses as the Jews, then WHO would be JUDGING them for KEEPING the Law of Moses? I mean there would be no NEED for Paul to instruct Christians to not allow others to judge you for KEEPING the Law of Moses when the early church was supposedly teaching the Gentile Christians to KEEP the Law of Moses.

The TRUTH of the matter is that any “INTERPRETATION” that one concludes must agree with the rest of God’s word. And interpretation #2 that we are not to allow others to judge us for KEEPING the Law of Moses directly CONTRADICTS Acts 15:24.


Acts 15:24.


Forasmuch 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:”


Now, this verse agrees PERFECTLY with interpretation #1 where Paul is instructing us to not let all the Jews and the Jewish Christians judge us Gentile Christians for NOT keeping the Law of Moses contained in ordinances. For they are SHADOWS that point to Jesus. In other words, everything in verse 16 of Colossians chapter 2 is a SHADOW pointing to Jesus.


Colossians 2:16.


“Let no man, therefore, JUDGE you in meat, (Speaking of the dietary laws) or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, (Speaking of the yearly feast days) or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days (Speaking of the WEEKLY Sabbath days):”


The weekly Sabbath day was given as a SIGN to the children of Israel for THEM to keep throughout THEIR GENERATIONS. The Law of Moses was NOT given to the Gentile world. The Law of Moses was ONLY given to the children of Israel. And the weekly Sabbath day was given as a SIGN. Now, we cannot see the HIDDEN CLUE or the hidden PROPHECY of the two untranslated Hebrew letters, the Aleph and the Tav אֶ ת  in the English translation. So I will insert this symbol (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת) in the English translation. And then you can read the LITERAL translation of Exodus 31:12-18 by clicking on the blue link.


Please read Exodus 31:12-18.



“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

13. Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת) sabbaths you (Speaking of the children of Israel) shall keep: for IT (Or you shall keep HIM for HE) is a SIGN between me and you throughout YOUR GENERATIONS; that you may know that I am the LORD that does SANCTIFY you. (Or so that you may UNDERSTAND that I Yahweh am the one who will make you Holy)

14. You shall keep the  >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת)  sabbath therefore; for IT (Or HE) is holy (Or  holiness) unto you (In other words, the weekly Sabbath day is a SIGN pointing to the  >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus, who is our holiness or our righteousness. This is what Paul means by the Sabbath days being a SHADOW and a SCHOOLMASTER pointing the children of Israel to their Messiah who we as Christians KNOW to be Jesus): every one that defiles IT (Or everyone who REJECTS HIM the  >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus, the SIGN of the weekly Sabbath day) shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

15. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) sabbath, to observe the (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) sabbath throughout THEIR GENERATIONS, for a perpetual covenant (Or covenant of EON).

17. IT (Or HE) is a SIGN (Or the weekly Sabbath day is a SIGN for you to look for your Messiah who will be the SIGN of the NEW COVENANT) between me and the children of Israel forever (Or for EON): for in six days the LORD made (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת) heaven and  (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת) earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Please read the LITERAL translation of Genesis 1:1 and you will see that the first thing God created was the >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת. In other words, Yahweh created the Hebrew alphabet first and then he formed words out from the Hebrew letters. And when God SPOKE his word out from his mouth the word manifested to become the meaning of the word that God spoke. Read the LITERAL translation of Genesis 1:3,4 and you will see that the SAYING was LIGHT. This is a dual prophecy. The first fulfillment was the physical light. And the spiritual fulfillment is Jesus, the LIGHT of the world)

18. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, TWO tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”


Please notice that there is NO >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת in Exodus 31:18 which is the FIRST tables of stone that was written by the very finger of Yahweh. This FIRST table of stones was BROKEN. And God instructed Moses to make another set of tables of stone. And in that SECOND set of the table of stones, the >> Aleph Tav אֶ ת HIDDEN prophecy IS present.


Please read Exodus 34:1.


And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew you two tables of stone like unto the FIRST (That were BROKEN which was a shadow pointing to the children of Israel continually BREAKING the Law of Moses): and I will write upon these tables (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) the words that were in the first tables, which you broke.”


Now read Exodus 34:4.


And he (Moses) hewed two tables of stone like unto the FIRST; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.”


Another thing that I noticed is that when Moses came down from the mountain the FIRST time with the FIRST set of tables of stones that he BROKE, his face did NOT shine. But when Moses came down the second time with the NEW set of tables of stone, the face of Moses shone so brightly that he needed a veil to cover his face so that the children of Israel could not see the glory of Yahweh upon him.


Please read Exodus 34:32-35.


“And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he (Moses) gave them in (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.

33. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a VEIL on his face.

34. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) which he was commanded. (To me this speaks of the veil being taken away from the children of Israel AT the SECOND coming of Jesus so that they can understand the meaning of WHY they were given the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES in the first place)

35. And the children of Israel saw the (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the (>> Aleph Tav אֶ ת Messiah, Jesus) veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with HIM (Yahweh).”


So then, I myself am seeing that the breaking of the FIRST set of commandments as being a SHADOW pointing to THREE things. It points first to the children of Israel continually BREAKING the Law of Moses. And then the second thing that the breaking of the tablets of stones signifies is that it points to the NEW COVENANT that God gave to the children of Israel BECAUSE they kept on BREAKING the Law of Moses.


Please read Hebrews 8:7-9.


“For if that FIRST covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the SECOND.

8. For finding FAULT with them, he said, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

9. NOT according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; BECAUSE they CONTINUED NOT in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says the Lord.”


God gave the children a NEW and BETTER covenant BECAUSE they kept BREAKING the Law of Moses. And the New Covenant is NOT like the Old Covenant. God did not say that I will give them a new and IMPROVED OLD covenant. But rather God promised them a NEW and DIFFERENT covenant that was NOT ACCORDING to the OLD Covenant.

The Law of Moses served as an EXAMPLE and as a SHADOW pointing to the New and BETTER covenant. And thus, the third thing that the BREAKING of the FIRST set of stone tablets symbolized is the ABOLISHING of the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES.


Please read Ephesians 2:15.


Having ABOLISHED in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ORDINANCES; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”


And that is the TRUE meaning of Colossians 2:16,17. All the CEREMONIAL laws contained in ORDINANCES are ABOLISHED under the New Covenant. They were ADDED temporarily UNTIL the Messiah came. And once a Jew or a Gentile receives Jesus as their Messiah then they are NOT under the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES.

When you look up the meaning of the word “ordinances” you will find that it means INSTRUCTIONS. So the Law of Moses had  DIFFERENT INSTRUCTIONS as how to KEEP the law of circumcision, the feast days, and the weekly Sabbath day. And the New Covenant has NEW and BETTER INSTRUCTIONS on how to KEEP the law of circumcision, the feast days, and the weekly Sabbath day. Jesus said that he did not come to ABOLISH the law but rather to FULFILL the law. And what Jesus means is that HE has BECOME our CIRCUMCISION. Jesus has BECOME our Passover Lamb. Jesus has BECOME our true Sabbath rest to CEASE from our OWN works of righteousness. And most of all, Jesus has BECOME our sacrifice for our sins.

Peter warned us that there would be SOME Christians who would WRESTLE or twist the hard sayings of Paul and the Scriptures to their OWN DESTRUCTION. And when we read all of what Paul taught, then it becomes crystal clear that he did NOT teach us in Colossians 2:16,17 to not allow others to judge us for KEEPING the Law of Moses. The Apostle Peter and the WHOLE church makes it perfectly clear in Acts 15:24 that the Apostles of Jesus Christ gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT for the Gentile Christians to keep the Law of Moses. So to ME, the seventh day of the week Sabbath keeping Christians are TWISTING the Scriptures to their OWN DESTRUCTION.


Please read 2 Peter 3:16.


“As also in ALL his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are SOME things hard to be understood, which they that are UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE (Or WEAK in their faith) WRESTLE (Or turn around and twist), as they do ALSO the other scriptures, unto their OWN DESTRUCTION.”


And some of them also even twist the very next verse of scripture to claim that NON-Torah keeping Christians are the ones who are twisting the scriptures.


Let us read 2 Peter 3:17.


You, therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, BEWARE lest you ALSO, being led away with the ERROR of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”


They use others translations that say the error of LAWLESSNESS. And then they interpret this verse to mean that it is the NON-Torah keeping Christians who are the LAWLESS ones. But in the very next verse, Peter says for us to grow in GRACE and in the KNOWLEDGE OF Jesus Christ our SAVIOR.


Please read 2 Peter 3:18.


“But grow in GRACE, and in the KNOWLEDGE OF our Lord and SAVIOR Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”


You see, whenever a person does NOT BELIEVE then they are considered EVIL or wicked in the eyes of God. So the ERROR of the WICKED here is speaking of the ERROR of those who are WEAK in the FAITH in the NEW COVENANT.


Please read Hebrews 3:12.


“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an EVIL heart of UNBELIEF, in DEPARTING from the living God.”


The Bible teaches us in Galatians chapter 5 that those who keep the Law of Moses to be saved are FALLEN from GRACE. And that is why Peter tells us to GROW in GRACE and in the KNOWLEDGE OF Jesus our SAVIOR lest we are deceived with the ERROR of those who are WEAK in their faith in the NEW COVENANT of GRACE. They are UNSTABLE and they TWIST the scriptures to their OWN DESTRUCTION.


Please read Acts 15:24.


“Forasmuch 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:


And then they even TWIST this verse to CLAIM that they are not keeping the Law of Moses to be SAVED.

But they are making a LIE because they QUOTE Revelation 22:14,15 and say that ONLY the Christians who are KEEPING the Law of Moses will be given ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. And then they claim that the NON-Torah Christians are the ones who are MAKING a LIE in Revelation 22:15. Please read the study “WHAT DOES REVELATION 22:14 TRULY MEAN?”

And for further study on this subject of whether or not Christians should keep the weekly Sabbath day please read the studies under the heading “>>>WHAT IS THE TRUE SABBATH?<<<”


Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.


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