Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – A New Commandment

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays

 

The origins of Christianity and the original customs thereof come not from pagans. They come from the Holy Bible and ancient Hebrew thought.

Christians did not see the institution of holidays like Christmas (Feast of Nativity) and Easter (Pascha) as a negation of God’s law.  They saw these as traditions instituted by the Apostles (1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6) who were believed to have authority to institute such celebrations (Matthew 16:16-19; 18:17-20).

The early Church, from whom the holidays of Lent, Easter & Christmas come, were not committing apostasy because they didn’t believe in following the law of Moses.  They were following their understanding of the writings of the New Testament and which agrees with Hebrew thought of the time.

Note: the purpose of sharing this information is not to bring forth strife and debate about the law (Titus 3:9) but to attempt to display that early Christians were staying faithful to the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) not turning aside to “paganism”.

Tit 3:9  But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

A New Commandment

new commandment

One of the celebrations amongst Christians during the Easter season is “Maundy Thursday” which remembers the Last Supper and the New Covenant.

The word ‘Maundy’ traces back to the Latin word ‘mandatum’ which means a commandment.  Most scholars agree that the name “Maundy” was given to this celebration because of the Latin translation of John 13:34:
“Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos”  (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”).

Joh 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
Joh 13:15  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Joh 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Here we see Jesus giving His Torah, prophesied by Moses & Isaiah.

SEE Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – The Law of Christ

The New Covenant is the law written on our hearts, a better testament but NOT according to the covenant made with Israel at Sinai.

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9  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, saith the Lord.
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 8:11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 8:13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old {παλαιόω ‘palaioō’}. Now that which decayeth {παλαιόω ‘palaioō’} and waxeth old {γηράσκω ‘gēraskō’} is ready to vanish away.

The first covenant was taken away that the second might be established:

Heb 10:1  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Heb 10:8  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Heb 10:9  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
Heb 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 10:11  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
Heb 10:12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Heb 10:13  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Heb 10:15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb 10:32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
Heb 10:33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
Heb 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Heb 10:35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The New Covenant brings a change in the priesthood and a change in the law.  The Old Covenant was done away.

2Co 3:2  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
2Co 3:3  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2Co 3:4  And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
2Co 3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}:
2Co 3:8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
2Co 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
2Co 3:10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2Co 3:11  For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
2Co 3:12  Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
2Co 3:13  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}:
2Co 3:14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
2Co 3:16  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
2Co 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Heb 7:11  If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Heb 7:12  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Heb 7:13  For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
Heb 7:14  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Heb 7:15  And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Heb 7:16  Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Heb 7:17  For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:18  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
Heb 7:19  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Heb 7:20  And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
Heb 7:21  (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
Heb 7:22  By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Perfection did not come through the Levitical priesthood and the Old Covenant law.

Heb 7:11  If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Heb 7:12  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Heb 7:17  For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:18  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
Heb 7:19  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

1Co 13:10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}.
1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}:

2Co 3:11  For if that which is done away {καταργέω ‘katargeō’} was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

2Co 3:14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away {καταργέω ‘katargeō’} in Christ.

Recall that the veil is done away through the New Covenant in Christ (Hebrews 10:20).

Either the Old Covenant is done away in Christ, establishing the New Covenant, or the Promise of Christ is “done away” by the continuance of the Old Covenant.

Rom 4:14  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}:

Gal 3:17  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}.
Gal 3:18  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect {καταργέω ‘katargeō’}
unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

“Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to Christ Jesus. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by His grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased Him that sent Him.”  {The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians}

“Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be. Therefore, having become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, is not of God. Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be ye changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be ye salted in Him, lest any one among you should be corrupted, since by your savour ye shall be convicted. It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God.

Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be. For “if Thou, Lord, shalt mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? ” Let us therefore prove ourselves worthy of that name which we have received. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, he is not of God; for he has not received the prophecy which speaks thus concerning us: “The people shall be called by a new name, which the Lord shall name them, and shall be a holy people.” This was first fulfilled in Syria; for “the disciples were called Christians at Antioch,” when Paul and Peter were laying the foundations of the Church.

Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the corrupt leaven, and be ye changed into the new leaven of grace. Abide in Christ, that the stranger may not have dominion over you. It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism. For Christ is one, in whom every nation that believes, and every tongue that confesses, is gathered unto God. And those that were of a stony heart have become the children of Abraham, the friend of God; and in his seed all those have been blessed who were ordained to eternal life in Christ.”  {The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians}

“For why should God, the founder of the universe, the Governor of the whole world, the Fashioner of humanity, the Sower of universal nations be believed to have given a law through Moses to one people, and not be said to have assigned it to all nations? For unless He had given it to all by no means would He have habitually permitted even proselytes out of the nations to have access to it. But— as is congruous with the goodness of God, and with His equity, as the Fashioner of mankind— He gave to all nations the selfsame law, which at definite and stated times He enjoined should be observed, when He willed, and through whom He willed, and as He willed.

For in the beginning of the world He gave to Adam himself and Eve a law, that they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree planted in the midst of paradise; but that, if they did contrariwise, by death they were to die. Which law had continued enough for them, had it been kept. For in this law given to Adam we recognise in embryo all the precepts which afterwards sprouted forth when given through Moses; that is, You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and out of your whole soul; You shall love your neighbour as yourself; You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; False witness you shall not utter; Honour your father and mother; and, That which is another’s, shall you not covet.

For the primordial law was given to Adam and Eve in paradise, as the womb of all the precepts of God. In short, if they had loved the Lord their God, they would not have contravened His precept; if they had habitually loved their neighbour— that is, themselves — they would not have believed the persuasion of the serpent, and thus would not have committed murder upon themselves, by falling from immortality, by contravening God’s precept; from theft also they would have abstained, if they had not stealthily tasted of the fruit of the tree, nor had been anxious to skulk beneath a tree to escape the view of the Lord their God; nor would they have been made partners with the falsehood-asseverating devil, by believing him that they would be “like God;” and thus they would not have offended God either, as their Father, who had fashioned them from clay of the earth, as out of the womb of a mother; if they had not coveted another’s, they would not have tasted of the unlawful fruit.

Therefore, in this general and primordial law of God, the observance of which, in the case of the tree’s fruit, He had sanctioned, we recognise enclosed all the precepts specially of the posterior Law, which germinated when disclosed at their proper times. For the subsequent superinduction of a law is the work of the same Being who had before premised a precept; since it is His province withal subsequently to train, who had before resolved to form, righteous creatures.

For what wonder if He extends a discipline who institutes it? If He advances who begins? In short, before the Law of Moses, written in stone-tables, I contend that there was a law unwritten, which was habitually understood naturally, and by the fathers was habitually kept. For whence was Noah “found righteous,” if in his case the righteousness of a natural law had not preceded? Whence was Abraham accounted “a friend of God,” if not on the ground of equity and righteousness, (in the observance) of a natural law? Whence was Melchizedek named “priest of the most high God,” if, before the priesthood of the Levitical law, there were not levites who were wont to offer sacrifices to God? For thus, after the above-mentioned patriarchs, was the Law given to Moses, at that (well-known) time after their exode from Egypt, after the interval and spaces of four hundred years. In fact, it was after Abraham’s “four hundred and thirty years” that the Law was given.

Whence we understand that God’s law was anterior even to Moses, and was not first (given) in Horeb, nor in Sinai and in the desert, but was more ancient; (existing) first in paradise, subsequently reformed for the patriarchs, and so again for the Jews, at definite periods: so that we are not to give heed to Moses’ Law as to the primitive law, but as to a subsequent, which at a definite period God has set forth to the Gentiles too and, after repeatedly promising so to do through the prophets, has reformed for the better; and has premonished that it should come to pass that, just as “the law was given through Moses” John 1:17 at a definite time, so it should be believed to have been temporarily observed and kept.

And let us not annul this power which God has, which reforms the law’s precepts answerably to the circumstances of the times, with a view to man’s salvation. In fine, let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day because of the threat of death, teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath, or practised circumcision, and were thus rendered “friends of God.” For if circumcision purges a man since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did He not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? At all events, in settling him in paradise, He appointed one uncircumcised as colonist of paradise.

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; while He accepted what he was offering in simplicity of heart, and reprobated the sacrifice of his brother Cain, who was not rightly dividing what he was offering. 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; who did not first taste death, in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might by this time show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God. Melchizedek also, “the priest of the most high God,” uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was chosen to the priesthood of God. Lot, withal, the brother of Abraham, proves that it was for the merits of righteousness, without observance of the law, that he was freed from the conflagration of the Sodomites.

But Abraham, (you say,) was circumcised. Yes, but he pleased God before his circumcision; nor yet did he observe the Sabbath. For he had “accepted” circumcision; but such as was to be for “a sign” of that time, not for a prerogative title to salvation. In fact, subsequent patriarchs were uncircumcised, like Melchizedek, who, uncircumcised, offered to Abraham himself, already circumcised, on his return from battle, bread and wine.

“But again,” (you say) the son of Moses would upon one occasion have been choked by an angel, if Zipporah, had not circumcised the foreskin of the infant with a pebble; whence, “there is the greatest peril if any fail to circumcise the foreskin of his flesh.” Nay, but if circumcision altogether brought salvation, even Moses himself, in the case of his own son, would not have omitted to circumcise him on the eighth day; whereas it is agreed that Zipporah did it on the journey, at the compulsion of the angel.

Consider we, accordingly, that one single infant’s compulsory circumcision cannot have prescribed to every people, and founded, as it were, a law for keeping this precept. For God, foreseeing that He was about to give this circumcision to the people of Israel for “a sign,” not for salvation, urges the circumcision of the son of Moses, their future leader, for this reason; that, since He had begun, through him, to give the People the precept of circumcision, the people should not despise it, from seeing this example (of neglect) already exhibited conspicuously in their leader’s son.

For circumcision had to be given; but as “a sign,” whence Israel in the last time would have to be distinguished, when, in accordance with their deserts, they should be prohibited from entering the holy city, as we see through the words of the prophets, saying, “Your land is desert; your cities utterly burnt with fire; your country, in your sight, strangers shall eat up; and, deserted and subverted by strange peoples, the daughter of Zion shall be derelict, like a shed in a vineyard, and like a watchhouse in a cucumber-field, and as it were a city which is being stormed.”

Why so? Because the subsequent discourse of the prophet reproaches them, saying, “Sons have I begotten and upraised, but they have reprobated me;” and again, “And if you shall have outstretched hands, I will avert my face from you; and if you shall have multiplied prayers, I will not hear you: for your hands are full of blood;” Isaiah 1:15 and again, “Woe! sinful nation; a people full of sins; wicked sons; you have quite forsaken God, and have provoked unto indignation the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 1:4 This, therefore, was God’s foresight—that of giving circumcision to Israel, for a sign whence they might be distinguished when the time should arrive wherein their above-mentioned deserts should prohibit their admission into Jerusalem: which circumstance, because it was to be, used to be announced; and, because we see it accomplished, is recognised by us.

For, as the carnal circumcision, which was temporary, was in wrought for “a sign” in a contumacious people, so the spiritual has been given for salvation to an obedient people; while the prophet Jeremiah says, “Make a renewal for you, and sow not in thorns; be circumcised to God, and circumcise the foreskin of your heart:” and in another place he says, “Behold, days shall come, says the Lord, and I will draw up, for the house of Judah and for the house of Jacob, a new testament; not such as I once gave their fathers in the day wherein I led them out from the land of Egypt.”

Whence we understand that the coming cessation of the former circumcision then given, and the coming procession of a new law (not such as He had already given to the fathers), are announced: just as Isaiah foretold, saying that in the last days the mount of the Lord and the house of God were to be manifest above the tops of the mounts: “And it shall be exalted,” he says, “above the hills; and there shall come over it all nations; and many shall walk, and say, Come, ascend we unto the mount of the Lord, and unto the house of the God of Jacob,” Isaiah 2:2-3 — not of Esau, the former son, but of Jacob, the second; that is, of our “people,” whose “mount” is Christ, “prזcised without concisors’ hands, filling every land,” shown in the book of Daniel. In short, the coming procession of a new law out of this “house of the God of Jacob” Isaiah in the ensuing words announces, saying, “For from Zion shall go out a law, and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem, and shall judge among the nations,”— that is, among us, who have been called out of the nations—”and they shall join to beat their glaives into ploughs, and their lances into sickles; and nations shall not take up glaive against nation, and they shall no more learn to fight.” Isaiah 2:3-4

Who else, therefore, are understood but we, who, fully taught by the new law, observe these practices—the old law being obliterated, the coming of whose abolition the action itself demonstrates? For the wont of the old law was to avenge itself by the vengeance of the glaive, and to pluck out “eye for eye,” and to inflict retaliatory revenge for injury. But the new law’s wont was to point to clemency, and to convert to tranquillity the pristine ferocity of “glaives” and “lances,” and to remodel the pristine execution of “war” upon the rivals and foes of the law into the pacific actions of “ploughing” and “tilling” the land.

Therefore as we have shown above that the coming cessation of the old law and of the carnal circumcision was declared, so, too, the observance of the new law and the spiritual circumcision has shone out into the voluntary obediences of peace. For “a people,” he says, “whom I knew not has served me; in obedience of the ear it has obeyed me.” Prophets made the announcement. But what is the “people” which was ignorant of God, but ours, who in days bygone knew not God? And who, in the hearing of the ear, gave heed to Him, but we, who, forsaking idols, have been converted to God? For Israel— who had been known to God, and who had by Him been “upraised” in Egypt, and was transported through the Red Sea, and who in the desert, fed forty years with manna, was wrought to the semblance of eternity, and not contaminated with human passions, or fed on this world’s meats, but fed on “angel’s loaves” — the manna— and sufficiently bound to God by His benefits— forgot his Lord and God, saying to Aaron: “Make us gods, to go before us: for that Moses, who ejected us from the land of Egypt, has quite forsaken us; and what has befallen him we know not.” And accordingly we, who “were not the people of God” in days bygone, have been made His people, by accepting the new law above mentioned, and the new circumcision before foretold.
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.

For the Jews say, that from the beginning God sanctified the seventh day, by resting on it from all His works which He made; and that thence it was, likewise, that Moses said to the People: “Remember the day of the sabbaths, to sanctify it: every servile work you shall not do therein, except what pertains unto life.” Whence we (Christians) understand that we still more ought to observe a sabbath from all “servile work” always, and not only every seventh day, but through all time.

And through this arises the question for us, what sabbath God willed us to keep? For the Scriptures point to a sabbath eternal and a sabbath temporal. For Isaiah the prophet says, ” Your sabbaths my soul hates;” Isaiah 1:13 and in another place he says, ” My sabbaths you have profaned.” Whence we discern that the temporal sabbath is human, and the eternal sabbath is accounted divine; concerning which He predicts through Isaiah: “And there shall be,” He says, “month after month, and day after day, and sabbath after sabbath; and all flesh shall come to adore in Jerusalem, says the Lord;” which we understand to have been fulfilled in the times of Christ, when “all flesh”— that is, every nation— “came to adore in Jerusalem” God the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son, as was predicted through the prophet: “Behold, proselytes through me shall go unto You.” Thus, therefore, before this temporal sabbath, there was withal an eternal sabbath foreshown and foretold; just as before the carnal circumcision there was withal a spiritual circumcision foreshown.

In short, let them teach us, as we have already premised, that Adam observed the sabbath; or that Abel, when offering to God a holy victim, pleased Him by a religious reverence for the sabbath; or that Enoch, when translated, had been a keeper of the sabbath; or that Noah the ark-builder observed, on account of the deluge, an immense sabbath; or that Abraham, in observance of the sabbath, offered Isaac his son; or that Melchizedek in his priesthood received the law of the sabbath.

But the Jews are sure to say, that ever since this precept was given through Moses, the observance has been binding. Manifest accordingly it is, that the precept was not eternal nor spiritual, but temporary, which would one day cease. In short, so true is it that it is not in the exemption from work of the sabbath— that is, of the seventh day— that the celebration of this solemnity is to consist, that Joshua the son of Nun, at the time that he was reducing the city Jericho by war, stated that he had received from God a precept to order the People that priests should carry the ark of the testament of God seven days, making the circuit of the city; and thus, when the seventh day’s circuit had been performed, the walls of the city would spontaneously fall. Joshua 6:1-20 Which was so done; and when the space of the seventh day was finished, just as was predicted, down fell the walls of the city.

Whence it is manifestly shown, that in the number of the seven days there intervened a sabbath-day. For seven days, whencesoever they may have commenced, must necessarily include within them a sabbath-day; on which day not only must the priests have worked, but the city must have been made a prey by the edge of the sword by all the people of Israel. Nor is it doubtful that they “wrought servile work,” when, in obedience to God’s precept, they drove the preys of war. For in the times of the Maccabees, too, they did bravely in fighting on the sabbaths, and routed their foreign foes, and recalled the law of their fathers to the primitive style of life by fighting on the sabbaths. Nor should I think it was any other law which they thus vindicated, than the one in which they remembered the existence of the prescript touching “the day of the sabbaths.”

Whence it is manifest that the force of such precepts was temporary, and respected the necessity of present circumstances; and that it was not with a view to its observance in perpetuity that God formerly gave them such a law.

Therefore, since it is manifest that a sabbath temporal was shown, and a sabbath eternal foretold; a circumcision carnal foretold, and a circumcision spiritual pre-indicated; a law temporal and a law eternal formally declared; sacrifices carnal and sacrifices spiritual foreshown; it follows that, after all these precepts had been given carnally, in time preceding, to the people Israel, there was to supervene a time whereat the precepts of the ancient Law and of the old ceremonies would cease, and the promise of the new law, and the recognition of spiritual sacrifices, and the promise of the New Testament, supervene; while the light from on high would beam upon us who were sitting in darkness, and were being detained in the shadow of death.

And so there is incumbent on us a necessity 1 Corinthians 9:16 binding us, since we have premised that a new law was predicted by the prophets, and that not such as had been already given to their fathers at the time when He led them forth from the land of Egypt, to show and prove, on the one hand, that that old Law has ceased, and on the other, that the promised new law is now in operation.

And, indeed, first we must inquire whether there be expected a giver of the new law, and an heir of the new testament, and a priest of the new sacrifices, and a purger of the new circumcision, and an observer of the eternal sabbath, to suppress the old law, and institute the new testament, and offer the new sacrifices, and repress the ancient ceremonies, and suppress the old circumcision together with its own sabbath, and announce the new kingdom which is not corruptible.

Inquire, I say, we must, whether this giver of the new law, observer of the spiritual sabbath, priest of the eternal sacrifices, eternal ruler of the eternal kingdom, be come or no: that, if he is already come, service may have to be rendered him; if he is not yet come, he may have to be awaited, until by his advent it be manifest that the old Law’s precepts are suppressed, and that the beginnings of the new law ought to arise. And, primarily, we must lay it down that the ancient Law and the prophets could not have ceased, unless He had come who was constantly announced, through the same Law and through the same prophets, as to come.”   {Tertullian – An Answer to the Jews}

pagan-christianity

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 1

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 2

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Examine Yourself

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Christianity?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Alexander Hislop

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Ralph Woodrow

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Parallels

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Church Fathers & Paganism

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Constantine

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Origins of Christian Holidays

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter & Paganism?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Eggs

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Lily

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Bunny

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Resurrection Celebration

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Christmas & Paganism?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Christmas Trees

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – The Law & Holidays

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Change in Law

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – The Law of Christ

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