Hebrew4Christians: Should Christians Celebrate Purim?

I read the Hebrew4Christians site news every day. The site owner, John Parsons, writes several articles a week that I almost always enjoy reading. Every once in a while John writes an article that I enjoy so much that I will reference it here on my blog and today is one of those days. Today John discusses the holiday of Purim and how Christians through the centuries have been dismissive, if not outright hostile, toward the book of Esther. What a shame!

I am convinced that modern Christians trying to interpret the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) through Greek, rather than Jewish, eyes has caused much damage to the Church. This article is a good example of that “Greek” mindset infecting the Church.

It seems that John and I differ a bit in our understanding of election (I believe that he is more Calvinistic in his understanding than I am). None the less, John writes a lot of truth in this article and it is worth reading.

I know that John will get a pingback once I post his article (I don’t believe I can link to the article so I am copying it here). It is copyrighted stuff that I am copying and if John wants me to remove it from my site I will in a heartbeat.

Now, here’s John:

Should Christians Celebrate Purim?
By John Parsons

[ Historically the “church” has disregarded the Book of Esther and therefore ignored the Biblical holiday of Purim.  The following topic discusses why the message of the Book of Esther — and the holiday of Purim — should matter to Christians. ]

02.28.10 (Adar 14, 5770)   Over the centuries, virtually no other book of the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) has received more mixed reviews than the Book of Esther.  In general it may be said that the book has been well received by the Jews, but disliked by most Christian theologians and “church” leaders.  For example, the Jewish scholar Maimonides (the Rambam) praised Esther as being close in rank to that of the Torah itself: “When the Messiah comes, only Esther and the Torah will remain” (Mishneh Torah, Megillah). On the other hand, the Christian scholar Martin Luther detested the book and wished that it didn’t exist at all, primarily because he thought it “Judaized” too much (Luther: Table Talk 24). Sadly, many Christian theologians have tended to agree with Luther and regard the book as unworthy of inclusion in the Bible, whereas many others do not seem to understand its message. Some Christian teachers have defamed the Book of Esther as being “a memorial to the nationalistic spirit of Judaism” (A. Weiser, Intro to OT, 1961) and even a “bloodthirsty attempt to justify ethnic pride in being a Jew” (B.W. Anderson, Esther, 1950). Others have stated that “there is not one noble character in the entire book” (L. B. Paton, The Book of Esther, 1908). Indeed, more Christian anti-Semitic statements have been made regarding the Book of Esther than any other book of the Old Testament (Moore: Esther, 1971). Do you wonder why this might be the case?

Anti-Jewish Bias in the Church

Perhaps such anti-Jewish statements have been made about the Book of Esther because many Christian theologians are essentially anti-Jewish in their thinking…. After all, the basic point of the book centers on God’s providential care for ethnic Israel, and theologians such as Luther typically find this conclusion abhorrent to their theological biases.  Indeed, the Book of Esther leads inescapably to the celebration of Jewish identity and survival despite the evil plans and designs of anti-Semites, and therefore Christian theologians who believe that the church replaces Israel will tend to regard the message of the book with deep suspicion (hence some teachers openly express indifference to the existence of the modern State of Israel today). For those who understand that the church partakes of the covenantal blessings given to Israel, however, the Book of Esther is a beautiful story about God’s faithful love and care for His people…

Some Christian theologians attempt to “excuse” their oversight of the Book of Esther because they find in it no obvious message for the Church. Unlike the Torah-based holidays of Passover and Shavuot (which they regard as fulfilled in the New Testament), the Book of Esther seems parochial in its focus and “disconnected” from the rest of the Scriptures.  In other words, since the Book of Esther (and therefore the holiday of Purim) celebrates the existence and perpetuity of the Jewish people, these theologians regard it to be of little consequence for Christians.  This is actually quite an astounding conclusion, however, especially since Esther is part of the Christian canon of Scripture, and the book clearly states that “these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants” (Esther 9:28). It is painfully obvious that the only way to ignore the message of the book is to deny the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.  How your church leaders regard the Book of Esther is a test case of whether or not they accept the heretical doctrine of Replacement Theology…

God’s Faithfulness to Israel

Did you know that the Brit Chadashah (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה), or “new covenant,” is described in only one place in the entire Old Testament?  Here is the relevant passage:

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD (יהוה), when I will make a new covenant (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my Torah (תּוֹרָה) into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the LORD”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me — declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquities, And remember their sins no more. (Jer. 31:31-4)

Many Christian theologians stop here and ignore the surrounding context of this passage, namely, the remarkable promise that ethnic Israel would continue to exist as a unique people as long as the laws of nature are in operation:

Thus saith the LORD (יהוה) who gives the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, Whose name is LORD of Hosts (יהוה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ): If these laws should ever be annulled by Me — declares the LORD — only then would the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) cease to be a nation (גּוֹי) before Me for all time (כָּל־הַיָּמִים). Thus said the LORD: If the heavens above could be measured, and the foundations of the earth below could be fathomed, only then would I reject all the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) for all that they have done — declares the LORD. (Jer. 31:35-37)

From this passage — the only in the Tanakh that explicitly mentions the New Covenant of Yeshua — it’s clear that the continuation and perpetuity of the physical descendants of Israel (zera’ Yisrael) is to be reckoned as sure as the very “laws of nature” that are upholding the physical universe. In other words, so long as there is a sun shining during the day and moon and stars during the night, Israel will continue to be a nation (goy) before the LORD for all time (kol-hayamim). Using another analogy, it is as likely for someone to accurately measure the extent of the heavens and earth than it is to suppose that the LORD will cast off all of the seed of Israel. Note especially the last qualifying clause of this verse, “for all they have done,” indicating that the unconditional faithfulness of the LORD is not based on the conditional behavior of national Israel.

Have you seen the sun, moon or stars today?  If so, you can be assured that the ethnic nation of Israel retains a place in God’s plan. The gift and the calling of God is irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).

The Christian Neglect of Esther

It is shameful that so many Christian theologians miss the point of the Book of Esther and thereby become unwitting enemies of the God of Israel. The tragic character of Haman represents the Biblical archetype of all those who refuse to acknowledge God’s faithful love for the Jewish people….  Those who disregard this message are impugning the faithfulness of God.  After all, if God will not keep His covenant promises to ethnic Israel, what makes Christian theologians believe He will keep His promises to the “church”? Indeed, churches or theologians who claim that God has abandoned ethnic Israel are directly impugning the credibility of the Gospel message itself!  Yes, it’s that serious of an issue…

Throughout the centuries and in various places, many have tried to destroy the Jewish people, but none has succeeded. עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי / am Yisrael chai: “The people of Israel live!” Israel is God’s “super sign” that He is faithful to His covenant promises (Jer. 31:35-37). And since God keeps His promises to Israel, Christians can likewise trust that God’s sovereign hand works all things together for good — even if at times things appear bleak and desperate (Rom. 8:28).

The Scandal of Esther: “Chosenness”

The Book of Esther is all about God’s faithfulness and care of the Jewish people, and by extension, for all those (among the nations) who become partakers of Israel’s blessings through Yeshua the Messiah.  The “scandal” of the book turns on the “scandal of election,” or the idea that God personally chooses some people — for reasons that are entirely His alone — to be the recipients of His covenantal love.  The Jews are called the “chosen people,” am segulah, just as Christians are “chosen [εκλεγομαι] in Yeshua before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). In both cases we note God’s sovereign prerogative to choose those who are in relationship with Him. Yeshua told his followers: “No one can come to me (δυναται ελθειν προς με) unless the Father who sent me drags [ἑλκύσῃ] him” (John 6:44, 6:65), and He also said “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you” (John 15:16). God is the Initiator of the relationship; He is the Master of the Universe and “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 16:22). If there is revelation from heaven, it is Heaven’s prerogative to bestow it on Heaven’s own terms…

Regarding this divine prerogative, Paul reminded us of God’s words to Moses: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Rom. 9:15). He then follows this up with the statement: “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16). If this sounds “offensive” or “unfair,” it may be that we are secretly appealing to our own supposed merit in order to find acceptance before God.  The “scandal” of the gospel is that God loves whom He loves for reasons that are His alone, and this is likewise the scandal of God’s sovereign choice of ethnic Israel. In either case, God is preeminent.

Israel’s Election — and your own

Israel’s election says something about your own… God called you by name — before He created the very universe itself. “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). God loves you with an “everlasting love” (אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם) and with lovingkindness (i.e., chesed, חֶסֶד) draws you to Himself (Jer. 31:3). There is no fear in God’s sovereign and irresistible love for your soul (1 John 4:18). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

It is interesting to note that the Book of Esther was “canonized” by the Jews at the Council of Yavne in AD 90, though there is little doubt that the book originated in Persia during the 4th century BC (Jewish tradition regards it as a redaction by the Great Assembly of an original text written by Mordechai). The Essene Community at Qumran appears to have rejected the book (i.e., it is the only canonical book of the Tanakh not found among the Dead Sea Scrolls), though this might be based on the book’s omission of the Name of God, the fact that the Torah or the covenant is not made within its pages, or that the heroine of the book lived as an assimilated Jew during the years of exile…  In other words, the Essenes might have rejected the Book of Esther for theological reasons similar to those they made about Chanukah (i.e., because of Chanukah’s connection with the corrupt Hasmonean dynasty that controlled the Second Temple).  On the other hand, Josephus (AD 37–100) clearly regarded the Book of Esther as canonical (Antiquities XI) as did the early church fathers who incorporated it into the canon of the Christian Bible.

Christians Should Observe Purim

In closing, it is evident that Christians, that is, those who love and serve the King of the Jews and who believe that the LORD God of Israel is true to His word — should indeed recognize the value of the Book of Esther and celebrate the Biblical holiday of Purim. God does not “play dice with the universe,” and we can trust in His sovereign care and plans — both for ethnic Israel and for those who accept Yeshua as their Savior and Master. Purim is a time to celebrate that the LORD God of Israel is our Sovereign King, our Faithful Protector, our magnificent Savior.  Like the Jews of ancient Persia we were delivered by God in order to experience the joy of His love… The goal or end of salvation is abundant life filled with “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (John 10:10, 1 Pet. 1:8).

Haman and the “Anti-Christ” Spirit

Finally, it is important to remind ourselves that the world is full of various sorts of “Hamans,” and some of them are even teachers and pastors in various Christian churches and schools! We must be vigilant, chaverim. Haman accused the Jews of being “different” because they refused to submit to illegitmate claims of authority: “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed” (Esther 3:8-9). The “princes of this age” — the world’s politicians and their enforcers — are often quick to accept the lie that those who submit to the greater authority of the LORD God of Israel are to be regarded as enemies of the State….

Haman is clearly a type of Anti-Christ (lit., “replacement of Messiah”) who desires to see the Jewish people exterminated once and for all. In the New Testament we know that there is soon coming one who is the embodiment of this “spirit of Haman,” and of Hitler, and of all the other anti-Jewish murderers throughout the ages. This one is the “man of sin” or the Messiah of Evil (2 Thess. 2:3), who will broker peace in the Middle East and feign to be friendly to Israel, but who will ultimately betray her and seek to have her utterly destroyed.

Satan’s final attempt to provide the ultimate “Final Solution” will be foiled, just as Haman’s attempt was foiled. His plan will boomerang upon his own head, just as Haman’s plan boomeranged upon him. And he and his children will all hang from the gallows, just as Haman and his children did.

When Yeshua returns at the end of the Great Tribulation, He will destroy the Messiah of Evil by the Word of His Power and physically deliver Israel as her rightful King and Lord. Israel’s long-awaited Mashiach ben David will be clearly revealed and understood to be Mashiach ben Yosef Himself. Then, and only then, will Israel experience the true deliverance and salvation of God — and the rejoicing of that Purim will be like none other!

Purim Sameach, Chaverim!

So Purim Sameach: “Happy Purim,” friends, and may Yeshua our LORD return speedily, and in our day. Amen.

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27 Comments on “Hebrew4Christians: Should Christians Celebrate Purim?”

  1. heavenbound Says:

    Glen: As far as the passing of covenants to gentiles who are christians from the promises of Israel seems to contradict what James says in the book of James 2:1-10. The 9th verse says that if we respect persons we commit sin and are convinced of the law as transgressors. v10 for whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. This of course coincides with the idea the apostle Paul says that God NOW is not a respector of persons. Romans 2:11 for there is no respect of persons with God.
    Eph. 6:9 Knowing that your Master also is in heaven neither is there respect of persons with him.
    Col. 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done and there is no respect of persons.
    So to celebrate any feastday or festival that the Jew celebrates in my opinion is
    of no value in the eyes of God.
    I must remind you that Paul in Colossians in the 2nd chapter makes it very clear that ordinances, feast days and the sabbath are of no importance to the follower of Christ. That no honor comes in satisfying the flesh. V23
    Obviously, now in looking back, with the destruction of the temple and the fact that in WW II millions of lives were lost in Hitler’s final solution for the Jews in Europe. No protection was given, in fact non is needed. As the ascended Christ told the apostle Paul, my grace is sufficient for thee.
    Now to tie this altogether, God no longer has a covenant with anyone, what is offered to one is offered to all. Jew, Gentile, Man, Woman, Freeman, bond servant. All are equal in God’s plan for salvation. I guess in my opinion Martin Luther had it right….grace and grace alone….. Thanks for the opportunity to share……Gary

  2. Glenn Says:

    Hi Gary,

    You make valid points. I do not believe that the intention of the article was that Christians have to celebrate Purim or any of the Jewish festivals. The author knows that we are no longer under the Mosaic Law but he recognizes that the priniple emphasized by Purim is that of God’s faithful provision and deliverance. This is certainly worth celebrating. I believe, so take it for what it’s worth, that to choose to celebrate Purim of your own free will is not a problem. To try and make it compulsory is a form of legalism and is to be avoided. So, I agree with you that if someone celebrates Purim under compulsion or to try and impress God it is wrong.

    The thing that struck me about the article is John Parson’s emphasis of how dismissive Christians have been toward the Jewish character of the Bible. I strongly believe that many theological mistakes have been made by Christians because we see with the eyes of Greeks and not Jews.

    I try and never get too vocal about the Holocaust but I will say this. I believe that the Jews as a people were probably closer to being destroyed during the Babylonian captivity (Esther’s time) than they were during WWII. God was faithful then and He is faithful now.

    I would also like to say that God does still have covenants that are in force. Here is a link to a list of the Old Testament covenants. Many of these have not been fulfilled yet (it is debatable if the Mosaic Covenant has been fulfilled). If God is a true and faithful God, which He is, then all the covenants must be fulfilled. If God ever breaks His word to anyone then we can’t rely upon Him to keep His word to us and that scares me to no end.

    Glenn

  3. heavenbound Says:

    Glen: I think it would be pretty hard to prove that the Babalonian captivity caused
    more destruction than the holocost. But I don’t think a discussion on that would bear any fruit. But a side note with the Egyptian captivity, Jews were in posession of gold, silver, animals and livestock, wagons and many possessions. Many Jews wanted to go back from the wilderness to Egypt, they thought it was better than the wilderness that God had led them into. One thing to remember about covenants. It is a 2 way street. God made promises and the Jews made promises to God. We know that the convenant system was flawed, it didn’t work, agreed?
    One theme you can’t dismiss is the prophetic theme tied to Covenants and Israel.
    Once prophecy was made complete, and it was, thru Jesus, what more is there to complete? The antidiluvian(sp)? relationship was replaced by the Abrahamic and with this established the prophetic program. In no way was Gentiles included.
    They were made separate by the cutting of the flesh. How can I claim anything Jewish when I was an alien to the promises made by God to Israel. That was the whole point of the 10 commandments. If we tie ourselves to covenants, Jewish
    traditions, etc. we might as well consider ourselves not free but slaves. Did Christ die for me to tie me to down but to make me free?

  4. heavenbound Says:

    I wanted to make an additional comment on provision and deliverence. Since the time of Christ and the disciples leaving this earth. There has not been any provision or deliverance in my opinion, to any group of people. God has made the only provision we need and that is Christ. The deliverance out of the hands of evil men is of course to be with the Lord. As Paul puts it “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Keep in mind that all the people Christ healed in his earthly ministry, died eventually. I fall back to the statement that God is not a respector of persons. But he was when covenants were in play.

  5. Glenn Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I want to first say that I am not advocating that Christians should begin observing the feasts given to Israel. I don’t think that John Parsons is wrong to be observing Purim since it is a great monument to God’s faithfulness. To say that we must observe Purim would be wrong but if a Christian chooses to I don’t believe that goes against scripture. To celebrate Purim is not the same as reinstituting the Mosaic Law. In fact the Mosaic Law doesn’t even mention Purim.

    There are covenants between God and Israel that have yet to be fulfilled. It is true that the Mosaic Covenant is conditional in nature. If Israel followed God’s instructions then they would be blessed and if they didn’t they would be cursed. However, the Abrahamic Covenant was not conditional. God promised Abraham a land, a seed, and a worldwide blessing. Abraham certainly has a seed (he is the father of Israel and most of the Arab nations) and he has been a worldwide blessing because of his descendant the Messiah but Israel has never occupied all of the land promised to Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant has yet to be fulfilled and I believe that it will be fulfilled when Christ reigns in the millennium.

    I also wanted to mention that Christ has fulfilled the three spring feasts of the Mosaic Law. He was the lamb without spot at Passover, He was resurrected on the feast day of First Fruits, and He sent us the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. However the feasts of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot have yet to be fulfilled by Him.

    My point was, and I probably made it poorly, was that when God gives His word He will always keep it. I believe that there are still promises He will fulfill which I trust that He will indeed fulfill them. If John Parsons chooses to remember God’s deliverance of Israel and use that as a promise of God’s faithfulness to all of us who are saved I really have no problem with that. If you really do have a problem with that I won’t try and convince you otherwise.

    Glenn

  6. heavenbound Says:

    Glen: My question would be to Mr. Parsons, why would you celebrate Purim or any Jewish feast day or festival. I see a lot of T.V. programs where people try to dovetail Christianity and Jewish traditions. This is so wrong. To place or attach anything to the Cross is wrong. People do it to feel special, feel closer to God.
    I guess you could call me ultra dispensational. There are degrees and maybe I am way out there. Thru my studies I have concluded that the offer of the Kingdom was still in play even up until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. This along with the renting of the drapes in the temple when Christ died. The covenant with Israel was changing. Again this is a progression of events leading up to the offer to the Gentiles. In no way were we on a level playing field with Israel when Christ had his earthly ministry. The church has its reasons for wanting to place us with Israel and you can see it today in Christianity in all Protestant denominations.

  7. Glenn Says:

    Hi Gary,

    If you really want to ask John, or the people who follow his ministry, they have a forum where guests can ask questions. If you go to the Hebrew for Christians forum I believe you can post in the guest forum.

    I’ll bet if you ask them why they would celebrate a Jewish festival you will get a decent number of responses.

    Glenn

  8. heavenbound Says:

    Glen: all I can say is wow. I went to the Jewish website to register and interestingly enough they wanted me to answer a questionaire. Of course you knew this.
    Why would they be so guarded to the point of making sure I am in the same camp as they are. Sounds like a party that only a few get invited to. I used to listen to Zola Levitt before he passed. His slants on things were very provacative. I imagine the website you linked me to doesn’t want to be challenged by thinkers like myself. It seems that there is a common thread. Jews for Jesus who want to be in both camps, and those who are gentile Christians who want to be like Israel.
    Paul warns to people of his day about another gospel. Mixing law and grace.
    After 2000 years Paul’s message falls on deaf ears even today. Thanks for sharing,Gary

  9. Glenn Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I did register there over a year ago but I did it via e-mail with John Parsons. All he asked me was basically if I was a believer (he may have phrased it something more like: do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah?).

    Did you go ahead and register? If you did I will look for posts from you on the site.

    Glenn


  10. Hi Glen,

    I appreciate John’s Esther article and for the most part agree. A common theme in this article is one on predestination. As you know, Romans 9 is a powerful testimony to that truth, but so is the entire Bible. The Book of Jonah is another excellent witness.

    I propose to all that Calvin rightly believed in predestination but wrongly applied it and condemned those that Christ determined to receive in the fullness of time. See “The Sign: The Book of Jonah…” and our section on Calvin, particularly “True Hope for Netherlands Reform Church…” which shows where Calvin was right in part and went astray with certain assumptions.

    I also agree with John concerning Luther. See our section on Luther…all this at ThePathofTruth.com

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi Victor,

      I am glad that you enjoyed the article. I think that John has some good insights to offer.

      If you looked at my blog you will have noticed that I do not hold to predestination in the way Calvin did. However, as far as I am concerned you are responsible to the Lord for what you believe and as long as what I write doesn’t offend you too much you are free to read and comment.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  11. june green Says:

    Out of our love and respect for our own Jewishness, for Christians are a sect of Judaism, and out of our love and respect for our brothers and sisters, the Jews, the race which brought forth Messiah, we should mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice, and show our oneness by our love. I think love demands respect, even for the holy days of the Jewish calendar, which have an even deeper meaning, fulfilled in Christ. They will know we are Christians by our love. For too long, we Christians have kept the Jews from recognizing their Messiah, by hatred, and other manifest acts and words of scorn which portray us in such a way that no Jew would ever want any part of us—so no wonder they are held back from recognizing Messiah. Love then, could make all the difference. If we understood these Holy Days, and their deeper meanings foreshadowing Christ, and fulfilled in Him, we would probably wonder why we have deprived ourselves from observing, or at the very least respecting these Holy Convocations. After all, they could easily have as much if not more meaning for us than they do for the Jews. How can we not love these commandments of God to observe these Holy Days where we can see and meet him in an even deeper and more meaningful way? How such an attitude must grieve the heart of God! He throws a feast, and no one wants to come? What manners!

  12. Jane Meredith Says:

    I have been reading the article about Purim and “christian’s” replies. I thought these were The Feasts of the Lord, (the same Lord?!)I am reading in Hannukah an even more disputed matter. Just now as a fire from the enemies of Israel is raging in Mount Carmel. The attempts to destroy the people to whom the Messiah will return goes on. Any victory of Adonai Tsvaot is worth celebrating.
    How is it that people happily celebrate feasts like christmas and easter when and are not asking about their pagan foundations?

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi Jane,

      Purim is not a Feast of the Lord in the sense that Passover, First Fruits, etc. are since Purim was not instituted by the Mosaic Law. Purim was added much later.

      As for Christmas and Easter, I have seen Christians go back and forth on that issue. It seems to me that when Christians become the dominant group in a culture they co-opt the pagan festivals and try and make them Christian (which I am fine with). Then, as is happening now, when the culture is dominated by pagans they co-opt the Christian festivals and try and make them pagan (Christmas is now becoming the “Winter Festival” in many places).

      This is part of a larger conflict that we are all a part of.

      Glenn

  13. Eve Adams Says:

    Geeze guys….. arn’t you making distinctions that really far from the topic, ie, does Almighty God respect individuals.
    The topic was celebrating a Jewish Feast.
    I like the idea, a lot.

    Firstly, I like it simply because of the historic richeness. And all Jewish celebrations are historical and religious (like the Christian holidays)
    The celebrations are always about the community, the family, commemorating, repenting AND believing in God’s loving mercy.

    Loving mercy, now there is a concept that fits into Purim.

    You have to admit that any religious feast that recalls God’s kindness and closeness makes the heart a little stronger.

    ,And as for the idea that celebrating Purim would be of no benefit to a Christian I would like to ask, ‘have you been to any birthday parties lately?’
    It wasn’t YOUR birthdady,and
    it wasn’t your party, and
    it wasn’t your ckae but I’ll bet you had a good time anyway.

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi Eve,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I think your comments are on the mark. If celebrating Purim is something a Christian chooses to do as a remembrance of God’s faithfulness to the promises He makes then I don’t see a problem with it. If Christians choose not to celebrate it that’s fine too. But we should always remember His faithfulness to us no matter how we do it.

      Glenn

      • Eve Adams Says:

        The problem is that we need some encouragement to do just that….remember and celebrate the faithfulness of our Creator.

        Sometimes, it seems like Almightly God only developed the habit of attentiveness after the western pulpits were built!
        And we know thats not true!

        Naturally the question is: Why the lack of encouragement?
        I thought if it could be just simple prejudice, if its’ Jewish we can’t celebrate it!
        But I think that the is another alternative. Pastors and Priests, of all denominations tend to talk down to ‘their flocks’.
        Sheep Herding may require practices that keep the sheep calm and following the same beaten routine, every single day.

  14. Gregory Says:

    I believe The Lord calls these appointed times” His feasts” The feasts of The Lord!Holy convocations. The Lords feasts are Gods’ prophetic timelines and they are being (ongoing) fulfilled by Him through His son Yeshua, The God who gave them Feasts /Sabbaths He is the same yesterday today and forever? Just because we have been Justified by Yeshuas blood death and resurrection do you say then that the ten commandments are done away with? that we can now dishonor God by worshiping other Gods and there pagan holidays or maybe it’s okay to steal or commit adultery? Purim and Hannukah are not appointments by God Remember that Israel was the only covenant people at the time However we are grafted into the covenants and promises of Israel As one of our brothers said earlier the Fall feasts are yet to have there fulfillments . rapture, second coming judgement day or how about God telling us future belieivers in the book of Zechariah
    that we are to come up to Jerusalem to observe the feast of Sukkot? and describes the punishment to those who will not.
    .

    • Glenn Says:

      Hello Gregory,

      Thank you for your comment. You packed a lot into your comment and I doubt that I will be able to answer all of your questions here and now.

      Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His attributes never change (He will always be just, loving, sovereign, righteous, etc.) but how he deals with humanity throughout history does change. The New Testament makes it clear that we Christians are not under the Law of Moses any more. However nine of the ten commandments were repeated in the New Testament (all except for Sabbath observance). I have read theologians who argue that if we do not have the Mosaic Law then we are free to do anything we want. I believe that is a misunderstanding of the Law of Christ that we Christians are under.

      Here is a short quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum regarding the Law of Moses and the Church Age believer:

      The clear-cut teaching of the New Testament is that the Law of Moses has been rendered inoperative with the death of the Messiah. In other words, the Law, in its totality, no longer has authority over any individual.

      First of all this is evident from Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believes.

      Very clearly Christ is the end of the law, and that includes all 613 commandments; hence the Law has ceased to function. There is no justification through it.

      The Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah
      p 8

      The Mosaic Law is much more than the Ten Commandments. If you are interested please follow this link to get a taste of what the Mosaic Law truly involves.

      Glenn

      • June Green Says:

        “End” of the Law could mean the Destiny toward which the Law pointed, or its Fulfillment. It could not mean that there is no longer any law, for we all obey law or there would be lawlessness. Lawlessness was not the destiny of the coming of Jesus, so that can not be the meaning, can it? It means that Jesus is the One who perfectly fulfilled every requirement of the Law, otherwise, He could not be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Only one who perfectly met all the requirements of the Law could fill in for the rest of us who haven’t.

      • Glenn Says:

        Hi June,

        I agree that we are not lawless. Jesus did fulfill the Law of Moses perfectly which qualified him as the lamb without spot who could take away the sins of the world.

        We are not under the Mosaic Law but a new and better law, the Law of Messiah. Many Christians believe that there is only one law in the Bible and that is the Mosaic Law. I don’t believe that is supported in scripture.

        I am going to quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum again on this topic since he puts it so well:

        The Law of Moses has been nullified and we are now under the Law of Messiah. There are many different commandments. Under the Law of Moses we would not be permitted to eat pork, but under the Law of Messiah we may. There are many similar commandments, but they are nonetheless two separate systems. So if we do not kill or steal, this is not because of the Law of Moses but because of the Law of Messiah. On the other hand, if I do steal, I am not guilty of breaking the Law of Moses but of breaking the Law of Messiah.

        The Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah
        p 13

        Glenn

  15. June Green Says:

    I can see your logic. But did Jesus eat pork? Did He fail to observe the Jewish sacred holidays: Passover, etc.? Didn’t He observe even the Feast of Lights (Chanukah)? And aren’t we supposed to follow his example?

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi June,

      Jesus did indeed fulfill the Law of Moses perfectly (he kept every jot and tittle). And yes we are to follow his example as well but we have also been told in the New Testament that we can eat and do things that were forbidden by the Mosaic Law.

      When Christ died on the cross the Mosaic Law was fulfilled and became inoperative. Up until His death on the cross He had to follow the Mosaic Law perfectly.

      You asked if Jesus ate pork and the answer is that of course He didn’t. On the other hand in Acts 11:5-9 the Lord told Peter to eat food that is unclean under the Mosaic Law. There is no way that the Lord would do that if the Mosaic Law was still in effect.

      I hope this makes sense. Feel free to ask more questions.

      Glenn

      • June Green Says:

        In Acts 11:5-9, do you think the Lord was really talking about pork? Wasn’t the vision really a metaphor, giving Peter permission to talk with and evangelize the Gentiles, who were considered “unclean”? I doubt if Peter went out and ate pork afterwards, and I also doubt that he thought the vision was intended to give him permission to eat pork. So why do we Gentiles think that it is giving us permission to eat pork if even Peter, the person to whom the vision was given, did not assume that the vision was for that purpose?

      • Glenn Says:

        Hi June,

        In Acts 11:5-9 it seems pretty clear to me that the Lord was speaking of the entire dietary code described in the Mosaic Law. Peter was told to eat what the gentiles gave him even if the food itself was unclean before the Mosaic Law. That would include, but was not restricted to, pork.

        I have no reason to believe that Acts 11:5-9 is metaphorical. Then there is Acts 15 where the Council of Jerusalem determined that Gentile believers didn’t have to be circumcised. That is also a violation of the Mosaic Law.

        Here are some other New Testament passages that state that the believer is no longer under the Law:

        Rom 6:14
        Rom 7:1-14
        Gal 3:10-13
        Gal 3:24-25
        Gal 5:1

        Here are a couple of online resources that also make the case that the Mosaic Law has ended for us:

        1) The Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah
        2) The Mosaic Law: Its Function and Purpose in the New Testament
        3) The Law of Moses

        Of course there are Christian theologians that believe we are still under the Mosaic Law. There aren’t many of them but they do exist. If you really want to learn all sides of this then you can buy Five Views on Law and Gospel. It isn’t a light read but it will give you all sides of the argument over the Mosaic Law.

        Glenn

  16. Sharron Wilks Says:

    As a Christian of many years i have always thought Sunday was a Holy day. Only last week,The Lord showed me through HIS Word and through Hebrew4Christians that the very first time a day was set aside and made Holy, was by God Himself. This was the seventh day of the week which was after He had finished His work of creation on the other six days. Sabbath Day, was long before Moses. It was right at the beginning of creation. Gen 2 verse 3.Following the days as they were made, evening and morning the first day and so on to the seventh. This Day and no other, God rested and set it apart as Holy. Not only for the Jews but for all those who would Love and Fellowship with him. He doesn’t make a new command in the 4th commandment, but tells us to REMEMBER THE SABBATH, 7th day and KEEP it HOLY. I will continue to fellowship with other believers on Sunday which is the first day of the week, but on keeping the Sabbath on the day the Lord said I should i can not describe the joy i felt and the fellowship i had with My Redeemer.


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