by Diane M. Hoffmann
I received a response to my email that I shared with you on my previous post. I thought it important enough to share it with you also.
Re your “Are you saying that thanks to Jesus we need only keep the spirit of the commandments and not the letter of the instructions in the Old Testament in order to qualify for an immortal soul?
Well, I don’t put it in this way that we “need only keep the spirit of the commandments…” We live in the Spirit, by faith… keeping the commandments to live as Christians in a physical world is quite a daily physical as well as spirit and soul effort.
Before we are born-again, we are missing the Spirit of God that was separated in the Garden of Eden, affecting all subsequent descendants of mankind … we only have a spirit of man until we receive the gift of the redemptive plan of God which re-connects us to the Spirit of God – and that, I might add, is through His wonderful, awesome, Grace and Mercy.
When we become born again (born of the Spirit, born from above as explained in John, chapter 3), everything becomes new, old things pass away (2 Corinthians 5:17), and God begins to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ. We are still in a physical body – we’re in this world but not of it.
So, to the second part of your question as to keeping the commandments “in order to qualify for an immortal soul”… we do not need to do anything to qualify to make it in heaven except to RECEIVE the gift of salvation.
We are born an eternal soul, all / each of us – when we die, we either go to hell or to heaven, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)
As I often say, many only have a head knowledge of Christ… they will miss heaven by 18” – which is about the space between the head and the heart.
As for “keeping the Sabbath” on the original day or on a different day, that is not the issue, nor is it for keeping the holy days, etc… because all of the first testament was done away with as far as need for salvation goes. But there is nothing wrong with keeping the day of rest which was made for man on a certain 1 day out of 7 or observing the Jewish feasts in order to understand the meanings behind them and appreciate God’s plan throughout the ages.
"But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
"Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
"For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.(Hebrews 9:11-28),
Re your comment “the early apostles switched to Sunday mainly because they were kicked out of the Jew’s Saturday services. What I actually said is, “The apostles did go into synagogues, where there were gathered Jews, to teach them the good news of Jesus Christ and ‘contend for the faith’. The Christians began to keep Sunday – Resurrection day – immediately (after Christ returned to heaven), and especially, later on, after they were forbidden to come into the synagogues.
Re your “That suggests it would have been better if the Jews back then had understood that they needed to adjust their thinking in light of Jesus's actions and teachings.” Well, that’s what the apostles were doing: preaching the gospel of Christ and many Jews came to the Lord during that time, by the thousands (Book of Acts). Remember Jesus had said He was sent “to the Jews first”…
Re your “So I shouldn't judge people who gather to worship on different days [which I don't because it's their choice] but I would still be free to worship God and Jesus on the original Sabbath [which I do].”
Correct, “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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17)
Re your “Meanwhile I feel a similar angst about Easter vs Passover and Trumpets and Tabernacles vs Christmas - do you have a similar explanation for those? Jeremiah 10 may be germane here.”
Yes, it is the same. As for the Jeremiah 10 … so they cut a tree and decked it with silver and gold and worshiped it… but they were doing this as a “pagan and vain” offering to idols. Christmas, on the other hand is celebrated to worship the God of Creation, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Universe and everything in it, who came down to earth entering the human channel to give His temporary physical body as a ransom for all mankind who had turned from Him. Big difference… Satan steels from Godly ideas all the time -- it’s about time we reverse that!
Re your “So my feeling is that original Holy Days are still in force - indeed OT prophecies espy Zech. 14:16 suggest they will be revived after Jesus returns!”
Well, the original Holy Days are still in force as long as the New Covenant is not accepted individually… that’s why Jews still observe them, however they observe them in vain for they still need to receive Christ as their personal Saviour. If all 7 billion + individuals received the free gift of salvation, there would be no more observing.
As for Zechariah 14, they will be revived after Jesus returns because there will still be ordinary people rolling over into the new millennium who will also be in need of salvation. Because we know that in the end of that thousand years, Satan will rise up again and lead people to disobey God’s commandments once more (Rev.207-8 – that’s when the Gog and Magog battle will take place). But that will be the last and final time (Rev.20:10).
Then the whole universe will be rolled up as a scroll, as predicted in Rev.6:14), and everything will be renewed (Rev. 21:1) as it was at the beginning of Genesis, where God pronounced His creation that “it was good”. And then the new Jerusalem will come down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… (Rev.21:2). Wow, something to look forward to.
Re your “the two translations of forever is quite new to me; maybe it all could become part of your next book. Olam vs ad eh?
It is not so much olam “VS” ad… both are used in numerous scriptures and both need to be understood by and within the context of the narrative. However, yes it would make a good chapter definitely because there is a lot to actually show the use of it in both the Hebrew and Greek.
As for your comments, “There are several places wherein the Bible indicates the covenants are to be forever or perpetual (Exodus 12, 24:7 and Deut. 7:9 [a thousand generations!] and Deut.11:19 re teach your children.) Do Olam vs ad appear there too?
Yes, these words and, as I said even others as well that mean long length of times as God determines according to His purpose.
Re, I still believe that God did mean "forever" to be "forever" in such things in the OT but on the other hand you make a good case that Jesus had the power to change such things, especially by personally paying the price to do so.”
These words are definitely to be read within the context of, not only the issue but also the time frame of the pronouncement, i.e.: “Which was a figure for the time then present“ (Hebrews 9:9).
As for Jesus having “the power to change such things”, we have to remember that Jesus is God, Jehovah, the One who created all things (Colossians 1:16), as well as the Plan of Redemption and the Old Covenant. Even He could not just change the original Covenant unless He died to cancel it. So, He has the power to change anything He Created.
Some groups believe that Jesus was just a prophet, a good man, etc… some believe He worked Himself to Godhood… no, no, He IS the Godhead (Colossians 2:9). Some groups even teach that God the Father was a man once who also worked Himself to Godhood (The Mormons and other groups)…
He knows everything from the past to the future. When God created Adam and Eve, He already knew they would fail… but He created them anyway.
As He said, “I Am that I Am”
Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.
Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
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