I recently received a forwarded email from someone whose pastor teaches people to not go to Jerusalem for the Feasts. Disobedient teachers teach others to disobey YHVH.
Here are the words of this typical disobedient teacher who teaches people to stay away from Jerusalem for the Feasts. He said Paul “said keep the Feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. 10:16-17 and 11:23-30. They were doing this on the Passover in Corinth, admonished to do so by Paul who was taught by Christ Jesus Himself for 3 years (Gal.1:15-18) in Arabia and returning to Damascus before going to see Peter in Jerusalem.”
“All these men and Paul kept Unleavened bread feast in Philippi Acts 20:2-6 Generally we should NOT fast during the Feast, only before in preparation for keeping it and after the Feast…Remember He said EAT unleavened bread for 7 days…..if you are fasting during the Feast, you cannot eat as required…..i saw the Daniel fast and that is an exception to eating UB for 7 days.”
“Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece 3 and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia — also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. 5 These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. At one point Paul had not gone to Jerusalem for 14 years. (Gal 2:1) This man of God was not disobeying God by doing this….He spent years preaching the gospel in Gentile cities…..he spent all of two straight years in Ephesus (Acts 19:8-10), Acts 18:11, 18 months straight in Corinth. Where he taught them about the Passover season….which they kept there.”
‘In many years in the Gentile nations preaching, he only went to Jerusalem a few times to keep the Feasts. Acts 18:21, 20:16.”
“Seeing Paul’s teaching and practice we don’t feel it wrong to celebrate God’s feasts away from Jerusalem today but hope to celebrate there in the Kingdom in Jerusalem. I don’t feel that God wants to deprive millions of Christians the joy of keeping the Feasts, just because it is not practical for millions to come to Jerusalem today. I fully have seen God’s hand in action at many of the Feasts I have attended over the past 60 years. None of them in Jerusalem, but one close in Ammon Jordan and a visit to Israel and Jerusalem following that Feast. One year we felt God had placed His name on Jekyll Island, Georgia as a Feast site, and just a day or so before the Feast a hurricane was dead on track to hit Jekyll Island, when God did a miracle and turned that hurricane around and ran it over the island of Cuba instead ( it did a figure 8 track, never seen before) and it returned north afterwards and completely missed the USA. That was a miracle of God over a place which He had placed his name for the FOT. I have seen the Power of the Holy Spirit in many Feast observances I have been in. God would not send His Spirit in Power and anointing if we were sinning by celebrating the Feast away from Jerusalem. Check out the JOY experienced at the Feasts in the OT. I truly don’t think God wants to withhold that joy from us.”
First, Yeshua did not teach Paul to change the Feasts to other places neither did Paul destroy the Law of Moses, as this pastor implies. There are some ways for us to know what Paul actually was teaching which come from the Book of Acts. But there is a LOT of information to understand before the question of whether Paul kept the Feasts in Jerusalem can be answered. We need to understand the complications Christians have understanding the New Testament but please know this is going to be an in-depth education before I answer the question about Paul and the Feasts.
There are not only deliberate mistranslations and additions to the Greek codexes, but there are also the writing styles of the authors, the language usage of the Jews both then and now, and the cultural idioms. All of these play into understanding what Paul did and what he wrote. If you have any questions, we can have an online meeting about it. I don’t want you being confused. Just email me to set up a time to go over this information.
So, let’s first ask the question: What kind of man was Paul? We have to ask that question if we are going to understand anything about him. Here is an account of Paul’s testimony:
Act 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
Act 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
Act 21:20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.
Paul was such a Jew who was zealous for the law. The law being spoken of here is the Law of Moses. We know this because Yeshua rejected the oral law, Jewish law, and taught only His own Law which He gave at Mount Sinai. On this occasion when Paul went to Jerusalem for the Feast, the Jerusalem Council (James and the elders) advised him to pay for the Nazarite offerings of 4 men who had taken Nazarite vows.
Act 21:23 Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.
Act 21:24 Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law.
Again, “the law” is the Law of Moses, not the Talmud. You must understand this point because “the law” is used both as a reference to the oral law (Talmud) and the Law of Moses by the Jews. Paul had the reputation of teaching against “the law” because he had followed the decree of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Some believing Jews had come seeking to require all of Yeshua’s believers to become circumcised. James forbade circumcision for the purpose of salvation.
Act 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.”
See? The issue which the Jews had against Paul was about circumcision for salvation. To this day, the Jews confuse circumcision with salvation.
So, James and the Jerusalem Council elders asked Paul to show the Jews that he was keeping the law. Their context was the Law of Moses, however, not the Talmud. So, Paul took the men to the Temple to complete their offerings and pay for them, but then came some Jewish accusers from Asia Minor.
Act 21:27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him,
Act 21:28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!”
First, let’s be clear here. These men were not Israelites. They took the name “Israel” for the 4 tribes back then just as they do now. And they also did not realize that all of the House of Judah had been widowed when they killed their only rightful King. They thought, just as they do now, that they were still in covenant with YHVH. They did not know that it was YHVH they had killed!
Here is where we learn which “law” Paul was teaching against that made these men accuse him of not keeping the law. Paul’s accusers said he was against the people (the Jews), the law and “this place”. What did Paul teach against the people? He taught the Greek believers to stay away from the Jews who taught a different Gospel even though they went to the synagogues to hear Moses read every Sabbath (Acts 15:21).
The Jews also did not like that Paul taught that YHVH’s people, collectively, ARE the Temple of YHVH. The Jews regarded this as teaching against the Temple itself. The Jews cannot understand this doctrine because they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
How did Paul teach against the law? People assume this statement applies to the Torah from Mount Sinai but that is a misunderstanding. To Jews, then and now, the “law” is the oral law which is now called Talmud and the Law of Moses is part of the Talmud’s collection of laws. Also, the Jews refer to the Talmud as “the Torah”. Paul did, indeed, teach against the Talmud through every epistle where he taught Greek believers to reject the Talmud and embrace the Torah. You see, this issue of WHICH law Luke, the Author of the Book of Acts, is writing about is the basis of Paul’s and our trouble regarding the Law of Moses today.
Through all of his epistles, Paul repeatedly told the Greek believers to not become Jews. He taught the Greek believers to not be circumcised in the synagogues because the Jews would take that as a sign of conversion to Judaism. His telling the converts to not be circumcised was, to the Jews, teaching against the law. Paul did not teach against circumcision. He taught against circumcision for salvation. He even asked Timothy to get circumcised.
Paul had a special way of distinguishing between the Talmud and the Law of Moses, the Torah, that the other New Testament writers did not use. Not understanding this point can bring a lot of confusion about Paul who spoke against Jewish law and in favor of Torah Law, YHVH’s law. Here is how YOU can verify what I am saying about the way Paul wrote which will clarify His writings. However, the other writers’ book require looking at context.
For instance, when the Jerusalem Council was talking with Paul about “the law”, were they talking about the Talmud or the Law of Moses, the Torah? These were men who had embraced what Yeshua taught which was to reject the Talmud and embrace the Law of Moses. So when they spoke with Paul, their context was the same as Yeshua’s – the Law of Moses.
I wrote this article a few years ago to show how Paul made the distinction between the Talmud and the Law of Moses, the Torah. Let me give a brief summary of Paul writing against Jewish law and in favor of Torah Law.
The Greek ‘nomos’ is the English word “law”, Strong’s G3551. This word, ‘nomos’, is the only Greek word for ‘law’. So, let’s say you were Paul and you needed to figure out how to distinguish between the oral law for the Jews and the Torah law for the new Greek and Asian converts to Yeshua. What would you do? How would you make that distinction given that the Greek only has one word for “law” and everyone just bandied that word about like a soccer ball? Well, you might do what Paul did. He specifically used ‘nomos’, “law”, alone when referencing the oral law and ‘ho nomos’, “the law”, which is Strong’s G3588 and G3551 (ho, “the” and nomos, “law”) when referencing the Law of Moses, the Torah.
Here are some examples of Paul doing that.
Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, don’t you listen to the law?
What? That sentence does not make sense. But Christians who reject the Law of Moses, the Torah, have all kinds of ways of explaining this. Here is what the text actually says:
Gal 4:21 TellG3004 me,G3427 ye that desireG2309 to beG1511 underG5259 oral law, Jewish law, Talmud,G3551 do ye notG3756 hearG191 theG3588 law of Moses, the Torah?G3551
Let me show you how I know this is the way the verse should be translated. Do you see the words “the law” followed by Strong’s G3551 (in red)? The English translators inserted the word “the” there when it was not in the codex. There is no Greek word for “the” in front of the word “law” which I have given a red font color. Do you see the words “the law”? Ho nomos? G3588 and G3551 (in blue)? That is a reference to the Law of Moses, the Torah? I know this because YHVH’s people have 2 laws – the Talmud and the Law of Moses – and we have to decide which one to follow. But there is only one Greek word for law. Do you see Paul’s conundrum?
If you have a lexicon or KJV+ with Strong’s numbers, you can find for yourself that Paul references “law”, Strong’s G3551, by itself when he is speaking about the Talmud and “the law” Strong’s G3588 and G3551 when he is speaking of the Law of Moses, the Torah, throughout his epistles. He speaks negatively of “law” and positively of “the law”, or negatively about the Talmud and positively about the Law of Moses, the Torah.
Paul did not speak against YHVH’s Torah, the Law of Moses. Therefore, he did not act against the Law of Moses, either. He spoke against the Jewish oral law, the Talmud, and the men in Acts 21:27-28 were accusing him of speaking against the oral law, Jewish law, not the Torah law, the Law of Moses.
But now I must reiterate to you about the confusion brought to the world by the Jews who refer to their Talmud as “the Torah”. You see, this account in Acts has a lot of cultural and idiomatic stuff about it which Luke did not try to make the same distinctions as Paul did. Luke simply recorded the Jews’ words saying Paul was against ‘ho nomos’, “the law”. Contextually, this refers to the Talmud with its inclusion within itself of YHVH’s Law of Moses.
Christians generally do not understand that the Jews believe their Talmud supersedes the Torah and that they call the Talmud “the Torah”. The Talmud says the Rabbis decree and God obeys! Well, Paul disagreed with that and it got him in hot water with the Asian Jews that had traveled to attend the Feast.
Furthermore, English Bible translators insert the definite article “the”, or ‘ho’ in Greek, wherever they see the word ‘nomos’, or ‘law’, standing alone. This translation error has caused much confusion! You see, all of these factors contribute to the false doctrines in the church. And those whose hearts are bent on disobedience will not obey first and get to the correct understanding later. Instead, they want to argue and say things like, “Yeshua gave us liberty to disobey because of His grace for us”.
Now that we know about the translation errors and the Jews’ wrong usage of the words “the Torah”, “the law”, let’s look at Paul’s testimony about his own law-keeping habits. Paul says:
Act 22:3 I am truly a man, a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today.
Gamaliel was the most famous Rabbi in Judea during that time period. His requirements were so strict that a boy at bar mitsvah age who wanted to study with him must recite the entire first five Book of the Bible, the entire Law of Moses, perfectly without any mistakes. Paul was this man’s student. Paul was a brilliant man, a genius, and he had one of the most difficult jobs in YHVH’s Kingdom. He had to explain to the Jewish believers about not staying “under the law”, the Talmud, oral law, while, at the same time, teaching the Greek and Asian believers to live only by the Law of Moses. It is only the Law of Moses that applies to Israelites from all 12 tribes. And for this, he was hated by Jews throughout the world!
Paul said he was taught according to the “exactness of the law” of the fathers”. Which law and which fathers? The Law of Moses and the three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Here is what Peter said of Paul:
2Pe 3:15 Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you;
2Pe 3:16 as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Peter said people twist Paul’s words and they do so to their own destruction.
In Acts 22:3, Paul used the Jews’ verbiage to his own advantage, though, and it letting them think he is still keeping the oral law, the Talmud. While Paul taught the Jews to discard the Talmud and the Greek and Asians to not take the Talmud on themselves, he actually was still Talmudic when necessary. That is what he meant when he said he had become all things to all men.
1Co 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain the Jews. To those who are under the Law, I became as under the Law, so that I might gain those who are under the Law.
1Co 9:21 To those who are outside Law, I became as outside Law (not being outside law to God, but under the Law to Christ), so that I might gain those who are outside Law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak I became as the weak, so that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, so that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I might be partaker of it with you.
Who is “under” the law? The Jews who keep the Talmud, not born again 12-tribed Israelites who obey YHVH’s commandments, the Law of Moses, the Torah. How do I know that Paul is talking about the Talmud and not the Law of Moses when he talks about being “under the law”?
1Co 9:20 AndG2532 unto theG3588 JewsG2453 I becameG1096 asG5613 a Jew,G2453 thatG2443 I might gainG2770 the Jews;G2453 to themG3588 that are underG5259 the law,G3551 asG5613 underG5259 the law,G3551 thatG2443 I might gainG2770 themG3588 that are underG5259 the law;G3551
See? “The Law” which appears in red 3 times has no word ‘ho’, Strong’s 3588, the definite article ‘the’ in front of it. This passage does not say “THE law”. It only says “law”. The English translators erroneously inserted the word “the” in front of the word law.This is one of Paul’s distinction markers to indicate the Talmud. The law that weights people down is the Talmud. Yeshua said this over and over, and now Paul is teaching what Yeshua taught him during those 3 years when He was alone in Arabia. And, by the way, he DID go to the Feasts during those years. Keep reading so you can see how I know this.
The pastor said: “Paul and the other Apostles, evangelists, and teachers, kept the Feasts in their countries where they resided and preached most of the time.”
Not so. None of the Apostles kept the Feasts anywhere but in Jerusalem.
The pastor said: “1 Cor.5 and 10 and 11 show the Corinthians were observing the Feast in Corinth and admonished to do so by the Apostle Paul himself.”
Not so. Let’s go to:
Act 23:1 Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until today.”
How did Paul get this testimony of a good conscience before God? Was his testimony of good conscience because he had been keeping the Talmud or the Law of Moses, the Torah? Which law does YHVH want His people to keep, the oral law (Talmud) or the Law of Moses, the Torah? The Law of Moses, the Torah, is YHVH’s law. The Talmud is Jewish law, and Paul can speak of his oral law keeping to the Jews, using their cultural idiom against them, the idiom that includes YHVH’s Torah inside of their own law.
Here is where I want to insert something Rick told me. One reason we know Paul kept the Feasts in Jerusalem has to do with the situation in Numbers 9:6-13 when some of the men were unclean for the first Passover memorial in the wilderness. Verse 13 says:
Num 9:13 But the man who is clean, and is not on a journey, and fails to keep the Passover, that soul shall be cut off from his people. Because he didn’t offer the offering of Yahweh in its appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.
Some will say that Paul was on a long journey and, therefore, was excused from going to Jerusalem. Not so! The man on a long journey during Passover was required to attend the second Passover or he would be cut off from his people. No one gets a “pass” for Passover. If we are going to say Paul did not go to Jerusalem for Passover, then we are declaring him cut off from Israel! He not only attended Passover but the other Feasts, as well, according to the Book of Acts.
Now, back to Acts 21:27, where it says: When the seven days were almost completed… Seven days. What were those seven days? They were the days of Unleavened Bread. They could not have been Sukkot because Sukkot is 7 days plus 1, equaling 8 days. So Paul was in Jerusalem for Passover.
Now, let’s look at the specifics mentioned by your pastor. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 5 to get the context of that passage.
1Co 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
1Co 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
These are the verses he is referring to that he says shows the Corinthians were doing the Passover in Corinth. Nowhere in this passage did Paul tell the Corinthians to keep the Feast in Corinth. He told them to get the false doctrine, the “leaven”, out! Why? The context of this chapter was the fornication that had been tolerated in this congregation. Read verse 1. Paul not only calls the fornication a sin but is indicating it is based on false doctrine that it was allowed to happen and then remain in this congregation. He then talks about “your boasting”. “Your boasting” in what? Tolerance of sin in the congregation! This is the context. The context is not about keeping Passover. However, it was likely getting near to Passover when Paul wrote the epistle so Paul took this moment to teach about false doctrines, leaven, and relate it to what had been going on in the congregation.
Corinthians 10 and 11 has a context of idolatry but Paul starts in chapter 10 speaking of Israelite history to show that we are literal partakers of the Exodus and a people who have one God, not many. But there was idolatry in Corinth as well as fornication among the members. They had let Greek pantheism into the congregation.
1Co 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1Co 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
1Co 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1Co 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
Paul is saying we cannot drink the cup of blessing in communion and be also an idolator. This passage is not about Passover. It is about getting your life straightened out because in 1 Corinthians 11:23-30, we read:
1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
The gripe Paul had in chapter 11 also has to do with how some people in the Corinthian congregation were gathering together for the communion or covenant meal at Shabbat and not including everyone. The people were not communing together. They had their little cliques with whom they communed and the congregation was split by this or perhaps there was a split and the various factions gathered together under the synagogue roof. Either way, Paul was addressing this split along with something else very important.
1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1Co 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
The people were divided in that congregation and, on top of the disarray, they were leaving some to go hungry while they did their clique-ish communions at the covenant meal.
They were getting drunk, too. This is not how we take communion. And they were doing this often, not just once a year. This communion was, and still is, done on erev Shabbat, the beginning of the Sabbath. It would have been every erev Shabbat as they shared a meal together like is still done in synagogues all over the world. The Corinthians were still meeting in the synagogue there – both Jewish and Greek. Paul spoke to the believing Jews and Greeks there and scolded them for how their actions gave a bad testimony of Yeshua’s last supper which He said we were to remember through the bread and wine.
Did Paul keep Unleavened Bread in Philippi?
Acts 20:6 And after the days of Unleavened Bread, we sailed away from Philippi and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
Paul did not keep Passover in Philippi but, more than that, his travels during this time were between Unleavened Bread week and Shavuot. This passage is using Unleavened Bread as a time marker. Acts 20:3 says Paul was 3 months in Greece. So we have Greece, then Philippi. In between, we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because Unleavened Bread is a time marker used by Luke, Paul kept Unleavened Bread. Where did he keep it? In Jerusalem, if we are to believe his testimony that he kept the law to an “exactness” expected of a Jew who had studied under the famous Rabbi, Gamaliel.
Later, in verse 16, we read that Paul was antsy to get to Shavuot.
Act 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not lose time in Asia; for, if it were possible for him, he hastened to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
So Paul has left Jerusalem after the Feast and gone back to Greece. Now he is leaving Philippi to sail past Ephesus. He is not going to stop in Ephesus this time. Why? He wants to get to Jerusalem for a one-day Feast! Why would Paul be so concerned about missing Shavuot if he had not been to Passover and Unleavened Bread? Why was his concern recorded only this once? Why was Paul’s “antsi-ness” such a big deal? Because Paul was never late to a Feast and his nervousness about the possibility of not getting to Jerusalem on time was so great that it was recorded by Luke because it was unusual. It was unusual because Paul never missed a Feast.
I will insert another question here. We never read about Paul going to Sukkot. Why do assume he would not have gone to Sukkot, now that his presence in Jerusalem is established for Passover, Unleavened Bread and Shavuot? Why do people want to assume Paul would have been disobedient to YHVH rather than obedient when Paul himself testified to his own law-keeping?
So Paul went to Shavuot in Jerusalem and then we read:
Act 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Wait a minute! Luke does not record Jerusalem again. The text for the trip to Miletus is as abrupt as the text for the trip away from Philippi. Those seeking to make Paul into a “disobeyer” could claim Paul might have kept Shavuot in either Miletus or Ephesus. There is no mention of anything between Paul wanting to get to Jerusalem for Shavuot and now he is leaving Miletus. Luke didn’t even bother to say Paul had sailed to Miletus.
But Paul was anxious to leave Ephesus to get to Shavuot in Jerusalem. What about Miletus, then? Did Paul keep Shavuot in Miletus? No! He went to Jerusalem but Luke’s writing style was condensed, abbreviated and matter of fact. He didn’t give all the details. He couldn’t. The Book of Acts would have been way too long. Rather, Luke chose to share destinations – Philippi, Troas, Miletus, Ephesus – with a mention of Paul being antsy about getting to Shavuot on time. The destinations, the cities and places where Paul taught are just that. They are the places and the cities given with a few details of important events that happened there but not mentioning Paul’s regular habits, one of which was to go to the Feasts in Jerusalem, according to his own testimony, and according to a situation that happened at the next Feast of Unleavened Bread in the following year.
After all that traveling about for a year (and yes, Paul went to Sukkot in that year unless we want to call him a liar), Paul went to another Feast in Jerusalem the next year where he met with the Jerusalem Council during the Unleavened Bread Feast that lasted 7 days.
Act 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
The verse is telling us that Paul did keep Unleavened Bread in Jerusalem, as I showed earlier, and afterward went to Philippi and then on to Troas.
The Book of Acts of the Apostles focuses a lot on Paul’s travels. Why do people need to read where he interrupted his travels to go to Jerusalem for the Feasts when he testified that he kept ALL of the law which requires all Israelites to come to Jerusalem for the Feasts?
Here is another example of details left out of scripture because the actions were a matter of course, of everyday life. It has to do with Yeshua. He became unclean. He would have had to bathe and change His clothes. Does the scripture ever record that Yeshua bathed and changed His clothes after becoming unclean? No. Nothing is written about Yeshua bathing and changing his clothing after becoming unclean.
Joseph and Mary took Yeshua to the Temple for the Feasts. We read about that one time in Luke 2:41 after his circumcision. Would anyone make the claim that Yeshua did not go back for the Feasts again until He went there with His Disciples? No. Then why do we expect to get a full itinerary of Paul’s travels going to Jerusalem when it was what “good” and upright Jews did? Especially Jews who had dropped the Talmud from their lives and were living strictly only by YHVH’s Law, the Law of Moses?
I live in Jordan but I don’t record every detail of travel for the Feasts I attend. Would someone in the future accuse me of not attending the Feasts because I don’t give a full itinerary of my travels there? I talk about going to the Feasts but I don’t talk about my actual itinerary to Jerusalem. Did you know that we had to travel to Aqaba, stay 1 night there and then get up to travel across the border to Eilat the next day? And from there, we had to take a bus to the Jerusalem central station and follow that up by getting a taxi to take us to our lodging? No. Why not? Because that is too much detail for a general account of someone’s travels who always attends the Feasts. It is enough to say I keep the Law of YHVH, as Paul said of himself, without giving all the details of something that is done as a matter of course on a regular basis.
Did Paul keep the Feasts in Corinth?
Act 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them.
Paul was in Corinth for 18 months. During that time, could he have traveled back to Jerusalem for the Feasts? The important point of Acts 18:11-13 is not about Paul keeping the Feast there because that is not what happened there. What happened there is the trouble Paul got from the Jews who hated him for rejecting teaching the oral law to the Greeks.
Act 18:12 But Gallio being pro-consul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rushed against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,
Act 18:13 saying, This one persuades men to worship God contrary to the Law.
In all of the accusations made about Paul, none of them said he did not come to Jerusalem for the Feasts. We know he was there for the Feasts because he was accosted there by angry Jews. The rest of Paul’s time was spent traveling from Greek city to Greek city spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Rather, Acts 18:12-13 had to do with his not teaching the Talmud to the Greek believers and his arguments against circumcision as a requirement for salvation. To this day, Jews believe a man must be circumcised to be enter their “world to come”. Circumcision was, and is, a euphemism for being Jewish. THAT was the argument that had the Jews up in arms. We read about this in Acts 15, as I said before, when the “believing” Jews came to the Jerusalem Council saying it should be required that all Greeks become circumcised. “Circumcision” was, and still is, a euphemism for converting to Judaism. The “uncircumcision” referred to non-Jews. The circumcision debate gets more into this but it is not part of this answer about Paul not going to Jerusalem for the Feasts. However, it does play into the Jews’ accusations against Paul. And, by the way, people are still accusing Paul, but today, he is accused of not keeping the Feasts and of “doing away” with the Law of Moses from Mount Sinai.
Did Paul stay away from Jerusalem to remain in Galatia for 14 years and, therefore, did not attend the Feasts?
Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
This is not saying Paul had not gone to Jerusalem for 14 years, but that he was making a note that Barnabas and Titus went with him. Paul and Barnabas had a falling out in Acts 15:35-39. So now, all these years later, Paul and Barnabas have, apparently, made up and they went to Jerusalem together. And most likely, for a Feast.
Also, notice that word “again” in Galatians 2:1. Paul went up to Jerusalem “again”. You can’t do something “again” if you have not done it before. But when did Paul go to Jerusalem before? At every Feast, according to his own testimony that he kept the law.
This teacher also mentioned the Order of Melchizedek saying, “The Levites and priests are no longer the chief authority in priestly things”. Not so. Their role as the leaders of Mystery Babylon will fulfill the prophecies related to Mystery Babylon, Jerusalem. The line of Aaron and the Levites will continue in their jobs as priestly administrators before YHVH in the Ezekiel Temple in the Millennium, too. As you know, King David had 2 operating priesthoods and so will Yeshua. The Levites from the line of Zadok who came from Aaron will still officiate in the Temple, according to Ezekiel. We don’t do what the Levites do or what they say to do unless they sit in the seat of Moses reading from the Torah scroll. When they sit in the seat of Moses, reading from the Torah scroll, we do what they say, according to Yeshua:
Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Paul’s message was the same as Yeshua’s. Don’t do what they say or do when they are not in Moses’ seat. But obey what Moses says when they read from Moses’s words.
This teacher said: “One year we felt God had placed His name on Jekyll Island, Georgia as a Feast site”. I can assure you that YHVH has never placed His name anywhere but where His Tabernacle or Temple have stood. His name was on the Tabernacle as it traveled around the desert. Once the Temple was built, that is the place where YHVH said His name would be forever.
One other thing. This teacher said Paul spent 3 years learning from Yeshua in Arabia. Yeshua was the lawgiver at Mount Sinai so this and other teachers needs to present their people with a commandment that says Yeshua rescinded ANY of His law taught to us by Moses. If Yeshua told Paul that people could keep the Feasts where they were – in Corinth, Galatia, or anywhere else other than Jerusalem – then the one who said this is not Yeshua and is not the messiah of all Israel. Yeshua died to restore Israel as it was at the foundation of Israel when the nation was formalized at Mount Sinai with all its covenants and laws. He did not die to save individual souls, for where would these go? Heaven? No! We pray that His Kingdom will come to earth, for crying out loud! Individuals become citizens of Israel. Paul says so himself in Ephesians 2:12. But there must be a restored and reunited Israel, Biblical Israel, for them to enter as lawful citizens.
And this teacher said, “Jesus gives us some liberty from provisions in the law, because of His Grace.” Grace is not for the purpose of allowing us to decide whether or not we want to do what YHVH said! It is for the purpose of YHVH continuing to see us as perfectly obedient when we sin unintentionally and then repent when we discover we have sinned. Mercy is for deliberate sin and this pastor may be in need of mercy for teaching people to sin.
Mat 5:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.
“The law”, ‘ho nomos’, the Law of Moses, the Torah.
Mat 5:18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Verse 20 is where Yeshua compares ‘ho nomos’, the Law of Moses, with the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees comes from their oral law, the Talmud, and it is manmade righteousness wherein they can pat each other on the back and pat themselves on the back and say they righteous even though they are disobeying the Law of Moses. Yeshua said His people need to do better than them!
Deu 29:18 lest there should be among you man, woman, family, or tribe whose heart turns away today from Yahweh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that produces bitter poison;
Deu 29:19 and it happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, “I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry.”
The hearts of the Jews were turned away from YHVH, yet they said of themselves that they had peace even though they walked in the stubbornness of their hearts.
Don’t walk away from these men and women. Run!
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