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Should New Covenant believers partake #46453
Sun May 15, 2011 8:41 PM
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Peter Offline OP
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in Old Covenant Feasts?

I was invited to a Seder earlier and it was being held by a friend of mine who is a Christian and an elder in his church. I would have gone but I didn't get back into my home until after the Seder would have started. But as I thought about it I was forced to ponder would it have been right to partake in a Seder, even if it was a "Messianic Seder"? With the institution of the New Covenamt the covenant meal was changed to what we do now. Is going back to the old meal the same as going back to the Old Covenants?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Peter] #46455
Mon May 16, 2011 3:04 PM
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Pete,

I have just a few questions of my own:

1. Was this Seder part of the regular corporate worship in any way?
2. Was it held on the Christian Sabbath; the Lord's Day; Sunday?
3. Why would a NT Christian Church celebrate an OT ritual which has been superseded and which is but a shadow of the reality to which it points?
4. Do you think Colossians 2:16,17 is applicable?


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Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Pilgrim] #46457
Mon May 16, 2011 11:56 PM
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Peter Offline OP
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The Seder will be on the 18th as for corporate worship well there will be a Pastor and about 60 people there. That could be considered corporate worship even if not everyone is a member of the church. (And no it wasn't/won't be on the Lord's day)

Number 3 is the sticking point for me. I know it is popular among some "evangelicals" to do Messianic Seders so to get in touch with their Old Testament side and experience the Jewish "roots". But I don't see the point.

Yes I do think Col. 2:16-17 applies I'm not going to his pastor and say that he's falling into Judaism cause I know it isn't true however I do think there might be a streak of Theonomy in this but I can't say for sure.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Peter] #46459
Tue May 17, 2011 6:11 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted by Peter
The Seder will be on the 18th as for corporate worship well there will be a Pastor and about 60 people there. That could be considered corporate worship even if not everyone is a member of the church.

I really don't see how this could be considered "corporate worship" since the elements of CP are missing; public pure preaching of the gospel, right administration of the sacraments and church discipline. However, since the Seder was celebrated by alleged believers how is it that they are allowing unbelievers to take part in it? The Lord's Supper is restricted to those who are professing members of the Church and who are able and have examined themselves before participating.

Originally Posted by Peter
Number 3 is the sticking point for me. I know it is popular among some "evangelicals" to do Messianic Seders so to get in touch with their Old Testament side and experience the Jewish "roots". But I don't see the point.... however I do think there might be a streak of Theonomy in this but I can't say for sure.

Actually, when I read your post, the first thing that popped into my pea brain was "EMERGENT CHURCH". Such practices are very popular in emergent church circles; going back to the ancient ways, but without understanding the progressive revelation aspect of God's revealed will in Scripture. Types and shadows apparently have no impression upon them and thus the antitypes (fulfillment) of them means little as well. What it all comes down to, as far as I'm concerned, is a lack of recognition of the authority of Scripture and thus of God Himself, the author of it. Personally, I've not heard of any Theonomists celebrating the Seder, but my lack of association with them is hardly any basis for saying they don't do so. grin

Addendum: I should have added, but I was in a rush when I wrote the above, that there is another element which should be considered; the Regulative Principle of Worship. Although the RP is in regard to the matter of corporate worship, it still has and should have some influence on the worship of God, both ecclesiastically (within the Church) and personal. The foundational principle is that nothing is to be done in the worship of God which is not specifically commanded in Scripture or by example. Adding to or removing that which God has willed in regard to His worship is a serious matter and amounts to idolatry, i.e., 'will worship'; that which man deems is acceptable vs. what God deems acceptable.

You certainly have no warrant to charge this pastor with "falling into Judaism", but if I were you, I would definitely ask him to explain his motivation and warrant to do such a thing.

Inquiring minds wanna know!

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Last edited by Pilgrim; Tue May 17, 2011 8:42 AM. Reason: Addendum

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Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Pilgrim] #46462
Wed May 18, 2011 1:21 AM
Wed May 18, 2011 1:21 AM
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Peter Offline OP
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Quote
I really don't see how this could be considered "corporate worship" since the elements of CP are missing; public pure preaching of the gospel, right administration of the sacraments and church discipline. However, since the Seder was celebrated by alleged believers how is it that they are allowing unbelievers to take part in it? The Lord's Supper is restricted to those who are professing members of the Church and who are able and have examined themselves before participating.


Pil I think your misinterpreting me of the people attending I don't think that all of them attend the church he is an elder at. But as far as I know all are believers and members of different churches.

Also knowing this man the preaching of the gospel will occur.

Next post.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Peter] #46463
Wed May 18, 2011 1:26 AM
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Peter Offline OP
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Ok I've contacted him and here is his reply I've made him anonymous as I didn't get his permission to make this public.

Quote
My Dear Brother Petros,

Most excellent and deserved of questions! I’ll give it my best and maybe, in the giving, I’ll discover what I really believe. That would be good. 8^)

I’m sure you, of all my brothers, are aware of this statement in Heb 10:

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.



I acknowledge completely one’s total inability to earn favor with the LORD or to pay for one’s sins or help secure a place in a heavenly realm. Not going to happen. This is not about Law-keeping or melding circumcision and faith in Christ.

I was reading the Scriptures one day, minding my own business, sorta-say, and I was suddenly struck with, what seemed to be at the time, all the ramifications of my being grafted into Israel, i.e. Israel has not been replaced by me or my “church”, I am being groomed to be grafted into her, I should know much about this culture that God Himself established, etc.,etc., etc. First stop was the Feasts, I don’t remember why.

At the same time I was, again, feeling the same conflict every time Christmas comes around, getting growly and uncomfortable at the pending “celebrations”, which I had always assumed was due to my shallowness or sin or something. The tap on the shoulder about being grafted into Israel and discovering some things about the Feasts led me to the question: “Why would I skip over the holidays that were established by the LORD Himself, for whatever reason, as important to Him and crucial to a Chosen nation, for some holidays that are arguably only pagan in origin with a thin veneer of some form of Christianity hastily thrown on top? Why wouldn’t I, at the least, honor the LORD’s Feast days first, and then if I have time, money and energy left over, honor the ones being marketed to me by Book Store Christianity using Madison Avenue marketing secrets plied to their uttermost, of which the LORD has nothing to say?

If one is going to consider that the Feasts of the LORD (for example, Pesach or Passover) are a part of the Law, then Heb 10:1 is tantalizing in its scope in that, if “the Law” is a portent (I like portal) of good things to come, and the good things to come have not ALL arrived yet, it is to my advantage to become very personal with them, even participate in them so I will have a framework to view what’s going on, and even, what to expect in the future. The Father has indicated that there are certain things His children should know and He has made them plain, yet hidden, for all the obvious reasons:

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mar 4:11-12



If Christ is hidden in the Scriptures (the Tanach), He is just as potent and beautiful and powerful and alive there as He is in the New Testament papers, as the prophets declare “He never changes; He is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

But isn’t the Old Covenant explained in the New? Yes, wonderfully and powerfully. But, as you know, God does not have two chapters on the life of His Son. There was no epiphany, new thought, new way of salvation, no new nothing. “WE” call it the New Testament. He accomplished a new covenant/will (testament) in His blood to be sure. But you know as well as I that the only thing new was that the requirement of righteousness was now satisfied FOR men so we had to walk by believing a promise. Holiness is STILL required. REQUIRED! He supplies that too and then we spend the rest of our time finding out just exactly what that is and living up to it, or living it “out” (Phil 2:12). Just as the “Old Testament” shouted on every page. Does that mean the righteousness of men was now all in secret and couldn’t, or needn’t, be seen? No, godly men will walk the same 4,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago and today. Why? Jesus, the standard of righteousness because righteousness simply describes Him, now lives in us. The definition of righteousness has never changed: the keeping of the Law. Jesus did that for me. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit, Who codified the character of God the Son in the Law, works out His very life within me, low and behold, I start looking like I’m keeping the Law. Hallellujah, I probably am, however shakily and scantily and stutteringly I may be at any moment.

So, we want to enter in to the Jewish mindset, or actually the Hebraic mindset because it’s the chosen mindset, the one for the chosen people, for the peculiar people of God. Because I want to see the events past, present and future, with eyes tuned to Biblical culture, which is Hebrew in history. I don’t know if I’m going about it the safest and most potent way, but its certainly having a powerful effect on me.

There are things the servants of the Most High need to know beforehand – Rev 1:1 – NEED to know. The New Testament writers had to go back to the Tanach almost on every page to show the fulfillment of the Promise, the basis for the N.T. commandment, etc. It’s as alive and crawling with truth and wonderful things for those who have eyes to see them as the N.T. is.

Finally, I would say, that since it appears our King Jeshua will be on the throne in Jerusalem for, oh, a thousand years or so, with what looks like services at the Temple (don’t expect to see any lambs being sacrificed) and Feasts being celebrated, not only in His honor, but now in His Presence, that I’m not wasting my time to find out as much about them as I can. In the future, I’d like to avoid the awkward moment when someone says to me “It’s the Feast of Sukot – Prepare!”, and not know what to do.

Given as I am to reasoning myself into Pergatory, I submit my thoughts to your keen eye for purging.

I will enjoy your thoughts about all this.

Thank you, just for wanting to come, even if it raised certain excellent questions. May the LORD refresh you through His wonderful Word and His immutability.

Your Friend,


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Peter] #46466
Wed May 18, 2011 2:39 PM
Wed May 18, 2011 2:39 PM
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Pete,

Reading his response, it sounds like he's a premillennialist who's been influenced by Judaizers (especially considering his use of "Tanach" for Old Testament & "Jeshua" for Jesus). He's certainly not understanding the Book of Hebrews' meaning in terms of the change in the regulation of worship. The entire Mosaic economy, in that respect, has been set aside since the resurrection of Christ; it was all centered on the sacrificial system of Tabernacle/Temple worship. Passover in particular cannot be celebrated, according to the Law, without the sacrifice of a lamb.

I don't have a problem with, say, historical reconstructions of what these feasts may have looked like. But actually celebrating them is returning to an economy of worship that prefigures Christ, & by logical inference denies His Advent.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: CovenantInBlood] #46480
Sun May 22, 2011 12:40 PM
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I went to a "Messianic Seder" years ago as a means to learn exactly how the Seder pictured the work of Christ, and it was absolutely striking in it's detail; from the breaking of the middle of three loaves (if one lets the loaves represent the members of the Trinity, the middle one being the Son, broken for us) to the way unleavened bread forms stripes when it is pierced and baked.

As an educational demonstration of how the Seder represented the Lamb of God's work on the cross, it's wonderful! Observed as a sacrament, however, I would definitely have issues. The first Lord's Supper was a Seder meal, but as a sacramental means of grace, it must be observed in remembrance of Christ; whereas the Seder looked forward with faith to Christ.

-Robin

Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Robin] #46500
Sun May 22, 2011 2:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Robin
I went to a "Messianic Seder" years ago as a means to learn exactly how the Seder pictured the work of Christ, and it was absolutely striking in it's detail; from the breaking of the middle of three loaves (if one lets the loaves represent the members of the Trinity, the middle one being the Son, broken for us) to the way unleavened bread forms stripes when it is pierced and baked.

Would one not have to admit that imposing such meanings as the three loaves representing the Trinity is boarding upon idolatry; a violation of the Second Commandment? Is there any biblical support that three loaves are to be understood in this way? Personally, this and similar "meanings" given to objects not explicitly designated in Scripture are contrived without biblical warrant.

Originally Posted by Robin
As an educational demonstration of how the Seder represented the Lamb of God's work on the cross, it's wonderful! Observed as a sacrament, however, I would definitely have issues. The first Lord's Supper was a Seder meal, but as a sacramental means of grace, it must be observed in remembrance of Christ; whereas the Seder looked forward with faith to Christ.

1. Educational it might be IF one is simply curious to see how some Jews, of any variety including Messianic Jews, celebrate a Seder. But it certainly cannot be educational if the knowledge gained, whatever that might be, is used as a means to the worship of God, whether personal or public. Reformed doctrine holds to the "Regulative Principle [of worship]" which as its basic principle states that nothing is to be done in the worship of God unless it is expressly commanded by God or implied by example.

2. Yes, the Lord's Supper supersedes the Seder, which is part of the OT covenant administration, and thus is a "shadow/type" pointing forward to that which was fulfilled in Christ. Thus, even from a practical perspective, why would a Christian choose to practice something which has been abrogated by that which is far richer in its expression of Christ's atoning sacrifice? This applies to ALL of the OT festivals, etc., (cf. Col 2). The new covenant sacraments; baptism and the Lord's Supper have a new universality (Jew & Gentile) and a new spirituality (presence and indwelling of the Spirit).


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Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Pilgrim] #47072
Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:06 PM
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Ursinus deals with the Passover question in the Heidelberg Catechism and Commentary, Lord's Day 30 found here.

Specifically in the last section of the commentary for this Lord's Day's Catechism teaching is the following:
Quote
Has the Passover been abolished?

That the ancient Passover, with all the other types which prefigured the Messiah which was to come, was abolished at the coming of Christ is evident,

1. From the whole argument of the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews respecting the abolishing of the legal shadows in the New Testament. “The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.” (Heb. 7:12; 8:13.)

2. From the fulfillment of these legal shadows. “These things were done that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. A bone of him shall not be broken.” “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (John 19:36. 1 Cor. 5:7.)

3. From the substitution of the New Testament; for Christ, when he was about to suffer, and die and sacrifice himself as the true Passover, closed the ordinance relating to the paschal lamb with a solemn feast, and instituted and commanded his supper to be observed by the church in the place of the old passover. “With desire, I have desired to eat with you this passover, before I suffer.” “This do in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:15, 19.) Christ here commands the supper, not the ancient passover, to be celebrated in remembrance of him. As baptism has, therefore, succeeded circumcision, so the Lord’s supper has succeeded the passover in the New Testament.

I think that aside from educational purposes, i.e. to learn about the elements and practice, it is not for the Christian to participate in for spiritual or religious reasons.


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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Peter] #47086
Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter
I know it is popular among some "evangelicals" to do Messianic Seders so to get in touch with their Old Testament side and experience the Jewish "roots".
In fact this is the only reason I've ever heard for an evangelical to participate in a Seder. It's exciting and mysterious, unlike those boring, old, traditional means of grace.

Re: Should New Covenant believers partake [Re: Relztrah] #47091
Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:43 AM
Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:43 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted by Relztrah
Originally Posted by Peter
I know it is popular among some "evangelicals" to do Messianic Seders so to get in touch with their Old Testament side and experience the Jewish "roots".
In fact this is the only reason I've ever heard for an evangelical to participate in a Seder. It's exciting and mysterious, unlike those boring, old, traditional means of grace.

Is this a 'tongue-in-cheek' comment? shrug


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