Friday, March 27, 2009


Easter and Good Friday are approaching. (Aren't they always?) And this is the highest day of the Christian calendar. That is if you observe one day as greater than another. Christmas is pretty big, but then lots of people have been born. Most anyway. But NEVER has anyone raised from the dead and received an eternal body that will never die, decay, see corruption, be hungry again, or desire to go to a NASCAR race. Jesus proved His Divinity, Lordship, and being The Best Ever by doing this.
Birth was the first time in history God took on flesh, being born of a woman, which is a big deal. But Resurrection enables our Salvation to occur. His death, also a BIG DEAL, purchased our redemption by the sacrifice of His life, which is seen in the shedding of His blood. But as the old song says,
"Living He loved me, Dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away.
Rising He JUSTIFIED, FREELY, FOREVER. Someday He's Coming, oh glorious day."
Besides the oncoming of Good Friday and Easter-or as I prefer to call it: RESURRECTION DAY; another day coming is Maundy Thursday. What is that?
Some of you already know, but us baptists kinda blew off special days that were so described by the papists. Sometimes it was a 'baby with the bathwater' thing.
Often passages of scripture became known by their opening words in Latin. The Magnificat is from Mary's "My soul does magnify the Lord." etc.
So in the last days of Jesus' earthly life he told the disciples in the upper room of the passover supper; "A New Commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you." Those words "New Commandment" are Mandatum Novum" in Latin. The word Mandatum was shortened to Maunday, or Maundy, and the day before Good Friday, which was ostensibly the day of the week Christ said this, became the day to remember His NEW COMMANDMENT. Hence, Maundy Thursday.
But WHY is it NEW? The Law already commands us to love our neighbors. Jesus already illustrated who our neighbor is. Notice though the last phrase, "As I have loved you." Jesus' love is a DIVINE love. It is perfect. It issues from the Trinity as the glue of the universe. That which displays the unity of the Godhead. Notice I didn't say it unifies the Godhead. They are already one, that is what binds them together; They are a He. But the love for each other is the reflection of the Divine as surely as Christ reflected the Father.
So this New Commandment commands a new level of love. It is divine, it is unifying, it is perfect, and it can only be got at through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only through Christ can we access the Father and all that is the Trinity.
This Maundy Thursday, remember to love others with divine Love, on the eve of Jesus displaying the divine love-for us all-on the cross.
I love you with the Love of the Lord....


  1. I agree with the idea and practice of the New Commandment. But it was only new in that it was not what was being commanded by other sects of Judaism in Y'shua's time.

    Y'shua didn't issue a new commandment that would replace the 'old' one, but rather as an addendum to and continuance of the old one. "Do what they say but now what they do." - Jesus

    You want to celebrate a holiday that is not prescribed by the Text but rather by a cadry of papists then you draw your rule from papacy - not The Text.

    I was always told that true 'Christiantity' was that which tried to get back to what was being practiced by Y'shua himself. I'm sure he didn't celebrate maundy whatever. However, he did find great meaning in the feasts given by G-D.

    This is why we find Him saying about the passover - Do THIS in rememberance of me.

    Your lovin' nephew.

    Paul H

  2. Dear Paulus, I'm glad you approve of the new commandment, GOD will be pleased. (snicker)
    But I'm afraid you denigrate the words of Christ. If He says it's new, it's new. True, there were sects that didn't have a clue how to truly love their neighbor. But As Jesus gave us the original commandment to love, if He says he has a new one then HE has a NEW one! (for cryin out loud-as your dad would say.) He could have said, Don't be as the Pharisees, remember the command to love your neighbor. But thats not what He said. My attempt was to define what was NEW about this DIVINE command.
    Just as the law could make no one righteous, it is also powerless to enable us to love as Christ has loved us! Only by a supernatural change to our being can that happen.
    As to whether Jesus was 'replacing' the old law I would say Yes. The old law was not WRONG, but it needed updating in light of the New Covenant which certainly did replace the OLD ONE. The OLD COVENANT insures our death, the New one gives life.
    And Paul, I know you mean well, and I don't really think we're all THAT far apart but don't tell me I draw a rule from the papists. I went thru considerable length to draw it from scripture. If the only day I ever attempt to love my brothers was on the Thursday before passover then I would be a hypocrite like the papists, but you see, I have the freedom to remember the importance of Jesus' NEW command and tie it to a day as long as it HUMBLY yields to the day that JEsus emphasized when He said "This do."
    You, I'm afraid, SEEM to be bound to a legalism that won't allow creativity and freedom when it comes to remembering all the works and words of Christ. Are you embarrassed that He came laying claim to Godhood? That His new Command supercedes HIS old one.
    There is an old debate about whether we can only do the things that God says we can in scripture; or whether we are free to do as we please save violate the commands of scripture.
    As a result some only sing songs that are in the psalms, others are free to sing Amazing Grace. Some only observe the holy days proscribed in scripture, some make any day they choose as commemorative to the Works of God-hence Easter Sunday. (Though I really don't like the word 'easter' its largely lost its ashtoreth connotation.)
    I choose to be with the latter group.
    Or should I only limit my vocation to that set forth in scripture? ;-) (No truckers, glaziers, or programmers.)
    Your loving, debating, contentious, uncle.

  3. My statement of agreement with the NC is only to be sure that no one misunderstand. I am in full agreement with love. :-)

    If I denigrate the Words of Messiah, then you make them say what they would never say in Y'shua's context.

    This stuff about 'what He said' is all well and good if you don't understand Y'shua in his context. It is uninformed to think that Y'shua is just walking around in a 1st century Jewish context only saying what he means (as if he were greek speaking to greeks). The 1st century Jewish teachers/rabbis spoke in shorthand and riddles all the time. Y'shua did too.

    This is why hearing comes by the Word of G-D. You will not hear the words of Messiah accurately without a full and accurate understanding of the Tanak.

    There are specific statements given by G-D regarding which are his Festivals... there are no such statements giving what your employment should or should not be (truckers, glaziers, or programmers). That is silly. There are no vocations decreed for HIS people there are however such decrees regarding Holy feasts.

    The very idea that the Torah of G-D needed updating... ha. (nervous laugh) Y'shua was declaring his Yoke his Oral Torah. He humbled himself as a man, He did not consider God-ness something grasped but laid it aside. To me this means that He interpreted and gave rulings on what was canon in his time. He was not declaring something new in the way we think of something new.

    In reality, He was declaring something new in that it was the only correct interpretation of the Torah. The Tanahk ('Old' testament) is and was G-D's love letter for His people. His people will be corrected, rebuked and trained in tzadakim (righteousness or giving alms) by it.

    Y'shua did the Torah correctly. If we are his talmidim (disciples) we ought to be pursuing an imitation of His life of obedience to the Torah - not running after what came late in the 1st or early 2nd century.

    G-D did not look kindly on feasts/practices inducted by his people from other pagan religions. Many loved to sacrifice to G-D on the high places. Many may have been in earnest in their sacrifice, but G-D said I detest your high places.

    He also detested sacrifices in His temple not brought with a right heart.

    In respect to sacrifices, He desired worship at His temple from people with clean hearts.

    As to the 'New' replacing the 'Old' how does that fit with Isaiah 56:11; 58:13, 14; 66:23 which are all unfulfilled prophecies regarding the fact that righteous gentiles will be observing the the Sabbaths given to Israel? If Saturday worship has been changed to Sunday in this replacement idea, why isn't Isaiah in on it? Even more pointedly - why isn't Y'shua?

    Y'shua when warning about the anti-messiah and the abomination of desolations says pray that your flight from Jerusalem not be in the winter or on a Sabbath?

    BTW: In your opinion, how did men find salvation in the 'OLD' testament?

    This is WAY TOO MUCH. I don't expect you to post this. We can continue the conversation at your leisure via email if you like.

    Your loving, respectful nephew.

    Paul H.

  4. What you seem to be saying indirectly is that Jesus was perfect. Perfect in his observation of the Torah. Hallelujah, I agree.
    But the Torah DID need updating! It was incomplete.
    You're right saying the mention of vocations was silly. It was intended as such to lighten the overall effect of my writing. Which sometimes hits people as too hard.
    But, in a similar vein, you're writing about the Sabbath is similar. At least for me, because i don't really place one day above another. I call Sunday the Lord's day because that is the day I 'think' he was raised. But for churches that worship on Thursdays I have no beef.
    Your high view of Jesus is encouraging.
    Your high view of trying to convert gentiles-as I see myself- to judaism is ummm- anti-pauline?
    The TORAH didn't save!
    Rom 10:2 For I bear record to them that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    Old testament saints were saved the same way we are, by the sovereign choosing of God. He implanted the gifts of faith and repentance in their hearts and they believed God and it was accredited to them as righteousness. Now concerning the indwelling of the spirit and all the accouterments of salvation, I'll admit I'm not sure. For I know the saints of God, pre-Christ, looked forward to the promises but didn't receive them all. (heb 11)
    So the Torah was FAULTY when it comes to salvation and righteousness. (Rom 10:3-6). The New Covenant is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God to salvation. The Torah is not the "power of GOD" in that sentence in Romans 1:16-17.
    Paul, you seem to have been tricked into legalism: (Gal 3:1-2) the sabbath, disdaining the days of the early church, etc. If you want to observe these days, perhaps because of our common jewish ancestry, or whatever, that's great. There is tremendous favor, grace and teaching that accompanies the Seder and other festivals of scripture. I just think you should be careful about trying to take this gospel to the nations, and return it to the one nation of Abraham-or perhaps I should say of Jacob.
    Just because something is typically Hebrew, doesn't make it right. It says a lot about the cultural interpretation of the text, sure. But Jesus was from another culture, a perfect culture, and he came into our world; communicating in our milieu to be sure, but bringing His own culture with Him. And it conflicted so badly they sought to put him to death.

    Act 15:5 But some of those from the sect of the Pharisees, having believed, rose up, saying, It was necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.

    Act 15:7 And after much disputing, Peter rose up and said to them, Men, brothers, you recognize that from ancient days God chose among us that through my mouth the nations should hear the Word of the gospel, and believe. Act 15:8 And God,..., bore them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit even as to us. Act 15:9 And He put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Act 15:10 Now then why do you tempt God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples, a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    Act 15:13 And after they were silent, James answered, saying, Men, brothers, listen 14 Simon declared how God visited the nations to take out of them a people for His name. 15 the words of the Prophets agree to this; it is written, 16 "After this I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David ...17 so those who are left might seek after the Lord, and all the nations on whom My name has been called, ...

    Act 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we do not trouble those who have turned to God from among the nations, 20 but that we write to them that they should abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    Act 15:23 and they wrote these things...: The apostles, elders and brothers send greeting to the brothers, from the nations in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. 24 Because we heard that certain ones who went out from us troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, Be circumcised and keep the law! (to whom we gave no such command);

  5. Both cannot be correct however both are really interesting. Paul's great discourse on love in his 1st letter to the Corinthian folks has near the end this verse
    1Co 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall fully know even as I also am fully known.
    Matthew Henry wrote about it:
    Things are all dark and confused now, in comparison of what they will be hereafter: Now we see through a glass darkly (en ainigmati, in a riddle), then face to face; now we know in part, but then we shall know as we are known. Now we can only discern things at a great distance, as through a telescope, and that involved in clouds and obscurity; but hereafter the things to be known will be near and obvious, open to our eyes; and our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error.
    I think that is applicable here. What we do know for sure and can proclaim as absolute truth, not clouded in any way is that HE is THE WAY,THE TRUTH,and THE LIGHT.

  6. Another Tome.

    Torah was not faulty at any point to say so is to say that G-D's word is faulty. Speaking of the Torah, Paul says it is good. Paul simply emphasizes that it never saved nor was intended for that purpose.

    But it did sanctify. One perfect picture of salvation/sanctification is the Exodus. It was by HIS hand & sacrifice that they were saved (exodus) & it was by his command that they were sanctified (sinai). It is by his Spirit that any of this is possible.

    G-D is immutable or He is not. When he says about many of his commandments that they are Chukat Olamim, that is eternal decrees for you and sojourner (ger), he doesn't mean eternal except for after Jesus comes and until he comes again. (See Isaiah 56:1; 58:13,14; 66:23 - these prophecies are still future)

    As a matter of fact, one reason more Jewish people don't even want to talk about Y'shua as the Messiah is because they look at his Talmidim (disiciples) and easily -EASILY see that if Y'shua's followers denigrate the Torah for living (not salvation) then they must be doing what their Master taught. 2000 years of this goes a long way. They see Y'shua as anti-torah... because his followers are such. This is sad and dangerous - (see Matt7:23; Matt24:12 (ESV or YLT) anomia - anti-torah)

    Deut. 13 says anyone - even if he works miracles - that takes you away from obedience to MY commands, don't have anything to do with.

    It is not anti-pauline to be pro torah living. It is anti-pauline to be pro torah saving. We are free from the condemnation of the Torah. This frees us to obey, not to continue in disobedience and sin. What is sin, after all, except disobedience to the Torah?

    Worse than being anti-pauline is to be anti-messiah (2Thess2:3). Y'shua says he came to establish (fill up) the torah. He says be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. He says no student is above his master, but it is enough that the disciple be like his teacher - our master is Y'shua. If he kept it, I want to.

    Therefore it follows that having been saved, that we not continue in sin, but rather pursue righteousness. Righteousness in 1st century parlance meant following Torah commands.

    I personally understand Paul often to be writing against specific oral Torah commands. Some of these were rulings that were given by the teachers of the Torah in his day which had not been clearly given in the written Torah itself.

    The main one of these oral rulings being that of how to 'get in' to greater Israel or the people of G-D. The idea was that if you went through a proselyte conversion, you would gain entrance into G-D's people.

    Paul says about this - you make the work of Messiah none effect if you depend upon this conversion ceremony as your way in.

    Consider 2TIM3:16. This verse and these passages were written without consideration of the 'New' testament being canon. You might say that G-D knew it would be, fine. But what was canon at that time is what Paul is discussing. Therefore, about the Torah Paul says:

    "All Scripture is breathed out by G-D and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, that the man of G-D may be competent, equipped for every mitzvot (good deed)." - 2Tim3:16

    Look, I totally get what you're saying in the verses that you give. I had these questions and more when I started looking into this. Those passages are difficult for someone taking my perspective, but all of those can be answered neatly when looked at inside the context and arguments of the 1st century.

    Because it is difficult to take all the passages you've given and address them all in this space, I won't. But I would love to address them one at a time in another venue.

    They all fall into place beautifully inside the proper context of 1st Century Messianic Judaism.



    P.S. Not viewing one day above another is not a reference to any and all days. It is in reference, I believe, to an open 1st Century debate about a couple of potential oral torah issues: What days to fast on (this was considered regular practice of the different sects of Judaism, but is not specified in Torah) or the debated calendar issue regarding which days to celebrate the festival of weeks (an argument well established between the sects of Judaism in Paul's day). The issue is not regarding sabbath because Paul would not have regarded sabbath a matter of opinion (Acts 17:2; 21:24).

  7. Um, I think the use of the word "Maundy" is ok seeing as how it only comes from a latin word, that was a translation of a (oh dear, I'm not sure WHAT language we started out in...about to undo my point AAAAHHHH!) hmmm, Aramaic? Hebrew? Point is, laymen like myself (laywomen, peasants?) didn't understand the latin. They said what they understood.
    The Catholic church for CENTURIES was God's preservation of his New Covenant or Gentiles in the Faith, or whatever you want to call it. Can we please not slam the good they did in preserving the scriptures of the New Testament, spreading the gospel to most of Europe? In due time God brought his movement from within them to purify his people. (I say due time, because I figure if he wanted to do it earlier he could have) So celebrating Maundy Thursday is maybe at it's core: celebrating a specific part of Jesus' life and ministry. The meaning of what he said does not need to be threshed out for us to agree that it's great to celebrate what he said. We may begin to hold days to celebrate his healing of the sick, or feeding of the people. And if we decide to name those days after the fashion of the Greek Orthodox Church or the Coptic movement, yes we reference them, but in true American fasion (and if we do it to the glory of God), we appropriate a term to our own use. Pretty sure Jesus did that a lot too. (e.g. They are his children who keep his commandments...which may have Paul saying - "That's what I said!!")
    The use of an old term, to honor what the old term was originally meant to honor, in this case "The New Commandment." (Paul you may think that this wasn't really new, but Jesus was speaking to rather slow types and even if what you believe is true, it was new in the sense that it wasn't commonly the interpretation of the law - wasn't it?)
    I think that's all Clark really meant when he it?


Feel free to tell me and others what you think. You can use the tools of rhetoric but please, be clean and nice.