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4/28/10 11:11 AM
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770mdm
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Edited: 04/28/10 11:42 AM
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Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks:
(answered here is I also understood one reason for the Christian Sabbath on Sunday was because they counted the 7 weeks after the Sabbath to be Sunday not Saturday is when the Israelites received the Torah on Mt. Sinai.  Here Sabbath is used to mean "day of rest" not necessarily "Saturday".  Here's how it was deduced.)

The festival of Shavuot is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Here is how this week’s sedra describes and defines it:
 
From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord . . . On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
(Leviticus 23: 15-21)
 
These are the difficulties. In the first place, Shavuot, “the feast of weeks”, is given no calendrical date: all the other festivals are. Pesach, for example is “on the fifteenth day” of the “first month”. Shavuot has no such date. It is calculated on the basis of counting “seven full weeks” from a particular starting time, not by noting a date in the year.
 
Secondly, as long as the New Moon was determined on the basis of eyewitness testimony (i.e. until the fourth century of the Common Era), Shavuot could have no fixed date. In the Jewish calendar a month can be long (30 days) or short (29). If Nisan and Iyar were both long months, Shavuot would fall on 5 Sivan. If both were short, it would fall on 7 Sivan. And if one were long and the other short, it would fall on 6 Sivan. Unlike other festivals, Shavuot is (or was) a moveable feast.
 
Thirdly, the point at which the counting of days and weeks begins is signaled in a profoundly ambiguous phrase: “From the day after the Sabbath”. But which Sabbath? And what is the reference to a Sabbath doing here at all? The previous passage has talked about Pesach, not the Sabbath. This led to one of the great controversies in Second Temple Judaism. The Pharisees, who believed in the Oral Law as well as the Written one understood “the Sabbath” to mean, here, the first day of Pesach (15 Nisan). The Sadducees, who believed in the Written Law only, took the text literally. The day after the Sabbath is Sunday. Thus the count always begins on a Sunday, and Shavuot, fifty days later, also always falls on a Sunday.
 
The fourth mystery, though, is the deepest: what is Shavuot about? What does it commemorate? About Pesach and Sukkot, we have no doubt. Pesach is a commemoration of the exodus. Sukkot is a reminder of the forty years in the wilderness. As our sedra says: “Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
 
In the case of Shavuot, all the Torah says is that it is the “Feast of the Harvest”, and the “Day of Firstfruits”. These are agricultural descriptions, not historical ones. Pesach and Sukkot have both: an agricultural aspect (spring/autumn) and a historical one (exodus/wilderness). This is not a marginal phenomenon, but of the essence. Other religions of the ancient world celebrated seasons. They recognized cyclical time. Only Israel observed historical time – time as a journey, a story, an evolving narrative. The historical dimension of the Jewish festivals was unique. All the more, then, is it strange that Shavuot is not biblically linked to a historical event.
 
Jewish tradition identified Shavuot as “the time of the giving of the Torah”, the anniversary of the Divine revelation at Sinai when the Israelites heard the voice of G-d and made a covenant with Him. But that connection is not made in the Torah itself. To be sure, the Torah says that “In the third month after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai” (Ex. 19: 1), and Shavuot is the only festival in the third month. So the connection is implicit; but it is not explicit. For this, as for the festival’s date, we need the Oral tradition.
 
What then was the view of the Sadducees? It is unlikely that they linked Shavuot with the giving of the Torah. For that event had a date, and for the Sadducees Shavuot did not have a date. They kept it on a Sunday – they observed it on a specific day of the week, not on a specific date in the year. How did the Sadducees view Shavuot?
 
There is a fascinating episode recorded in the rabbinic literature (Menachot 65a) in which a Sadducee explains to R. Yochanan ben Zakkai why, according to them, Shavuot is always on a Sunday: “Moses our teacher was a great lover of Israel. Knowing that Shavuot lasted only one day, he therefore fixed it on the day after the Sabbath so that Israel might enjoy themselves for two successive days.” Shavuot gave the Israelites a long weekend!
 
From this starting point we can begin to speculate what Shavuot might have meant for the Sadducees. The late Louis Finkelstein argued that they were landowners and farmers. In general, they were wealthier than the Pharisees, and more closely attached to the State and its institutions: the Temple and the political elite. They were as near as Judaism came to a governing class.
 
 
4/28/10 11:11 AM
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770mdm
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For farmers the agricultural significance of Shavuot would have been clear and primary. It was “the festival of the harvest, of the firstfruits of your work, of what you sow in the field” (Ex. 23: 16). It came at the end of a seven-week process that began with the bringing of the Omer – “a sheaf of the first grain of your harvest” (Lev. 23: 10), i.e. the first of the barley crop. This was the busy time of gathering in the grain (this is the setting of the Book of Ruth, and one of the reasons why we read it on Shavuot). Farmers would have a specific reason to give thanks to G-d who “brings forth bread from the ground”. They would also, by the end of harvesting, be exhausted. Hence the Sadducee’s remark about needing a long weekend.

We can now see the outline of a possible Sadducean argument. Pesach represents the beginning of the Israelites’ journey to freedom. Sukkot recalls the forty years of wandering in the desert. But where in the Jewish year do we recall and celebrate the end of the journey: the entry into the promised land? When, in fact, did it take place? The Book of Joshua (5: 10-12) states:
 
On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.
 
It is this text that Maimonides takes as proof that “the day after the Sabbath” in fact means, as the text states here, “the day after the Passover”. Seen through Sadducean eyes, however, this text might have held a quite different significance. The Omer recalls the day the Israelites first ate the produce of the promised land. It was the end of the wilderness years – the day they stopped eating manna (“bread from heaven” – Exodus 16: 4) and started eating bread from the land to which they had been traveling for forty years.
 
The reason Shavuot is given only agricultural, not historical, content in the Torah is that in this case agriculture was history. The fifty day count from the first time they ate food grown in Israel to the end of the grain harvest represents the end of the journey of which Pesach was the beginning and Sukkot the middle. Shavuot is a festival of the land and its produce because it commemorates the entry into the land in the days of Joshua. So the Sadducees may have argued. It was Israel’s first Yom ha-Atzma’ut, Independence Day. It was the festival of entry into the promised land.
 
It is, perhaps, not surprising that after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sadducees rapidly disappeared. How do you celebrate a festival of the land when you have lost the land? How do you predicate your religious identity on the State and its institutions (Temple, priests, kings) when you have lost those institutions? Only a movement (the Pharisees) and a festival (Shavuot) based on the giving of the Torah, could survive. For the Torah was not completely dependent on the land. It had been given “in the wilderness”. It applied anywhere and everywhere.
 
To be sure, the Pharisees, no less than the Sadducees, loved the land. They knew the Torah in its entirety could only be kept there. They longed for it, prayed for it, lived there whenever they could. But even in exile, they still had the Torah and the promise it contained that one day Jews would return, and recover their sovereignty, and rebuild what they had lost.
 
The argument about Shavuot turned out to be fateful for Jewish history. Those who celebrated it as “the time of the giving of the Torah” ensured Jewish survival through nearly 20 centuries of exile and dispersion. And we, who live in the era of the return, can rejoice in a double celebration: of the Torah and of the land.
5/4/10 5:31 PM
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Robert Wynne
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 lol
5/6/10 9:25 AM
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reverend john
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that is not the only reason Christians look at Sunday as the day of worship. Sunday was the day when Jesus rose from the grave. So in early Christian (Jewish) worship the sabbath was observed on the normal time, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. But on Sunday the Agape feast, or the celebration of the Lord's table, was held. As Christianity grew further and further away from its Jewish roots, having more and more Gentiles in its make up, the Sunday became the focus.

Much was lost in all of that I think

rev
5/6/10 11:14 AM
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770mdm
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Are there any Christian denominations who observe the Sabbath on Saturday or is it just the Jews?  Funny it sounds like Saturday is practiced on Sunday doesn't it?

5/6/10 2:05 PM
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toelocku
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if your going to be a sabbo keeper at least do it on the 'right' day...eeesh.
5/6/10 5:00 PM
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reverend john
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well most Christians don't understand the idea of Sabbath anyways, they think Sabbath means the day to worship, rather than the day of rest. But yes there are denominations that keep a seventh day Sabbath. Throughout history most Christians have substituted Sunday, but haven't don't the rest thing very well. I am more concerned with the idea of a day of rest, and the economic meanings behind the Sabbath, the Sabbath year and the Jubilee, than fighting over a day. I believe that Jesus set things straight when he said that the Sabbath was made for man's benefit, that man wasn't made for the Sabbaths keeping. When keeping the Sabbath becomes a work it loses its significance. So for me the question isn't what day is better, but are you being faithful to trust God to care for your needs by resting one day a week.

rev
5/6/10 5:04 PM
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Robert Wynne
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reverend john - , but are you being faithful to trust God to care for your needs by resting one day a week.

rev

 If your a busy person and do work 7 days a week, G-D wouldn't hold that against me/someone would he?
5/6/10 7:18 PM
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reverend john
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well what do you mean by hold it against you? Are you being faithful to what God himself shows as the example of living? Did Jesus keep the sabbath as a day of rest? Why do you need to work seven days a week? Why can't you work five, and do your running around on the other? Why do we live in a society that makes us live like that? Should we live counter to a society that lives like this?

rev
5/7/10 3:09 PM
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toelocku
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"Did Jesus keep the sabbath as a day of rest?"

Christ 'broke' the law on the sabbath day doing good works all the time.
5/7/10 4:10 PM
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770mdm
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It depends on what you consider what "work" is.  Also, Shabbat is created for us, not us for it.  Breaking the Sabbath only makes life tougher on you.  It's meant to be a rest day amongst the noise but if you choose to ignore this then you will never receive any of its benefits.  G-d wants the free worship of free people and that's a Choice your going to have to make.  I'm convinced the punishment for breaking the Shabbath is missing out on that Shabbath.  Once you're in a cycle of observing the Sabbath it becomes a very special time. 

5/7/10 4:25 PM
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toelocku
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how bout picking food, and eating the priests bread? is that a work?
5/7/10 4:25 PM
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reverend john
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No Jesus did not break the Sabbath, he broke the rules that others had added to the sabbath.

and I agree with 770 on this. Keeping a sabbath is part of the biblical tradition and economy, and its an issue of faith.

rev
5/7/10 5:16 PM
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toelocku
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would these 'others' include Moses?

Exo 16:25 Then Moses said: Eat it today, for there is a sabbath today to Yahweh! ****Today you shall not find it in the field.*****

Luk 6:1 Now it occurred on the second first sabbath, He is going through the sowings, and His disciples plucked the ears and ate, rubbing them together in their hands."


Mat 12:5 Or did you not read in the law that on the sabbaths the priests in the sanctuary are profaning the sabbath and are faultless?

Luk 13:15 Yet the Lord answered him and said, "Hypocrites! Each of you, on the sabbath, is he not loosing his ox or ass from the manger, and, leading it away, is giving it to drink?
5/7/10 9:11 PM
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reverend john
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there is a huge difference from eating the mannah and from grabbing some grain isn't there? and just to add a little fun, the scripture says very clearly that it was the disciples that did that not Jesus?

And the law was actually written by Moses, so the "allowances" are part of the sabbath law, I would think that would be self evident

rev
5/7/10 10:44 PM
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toelocku
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reverend john - there is a huge difference from eating the mannah and from grabbing some grain isn't there? and just to add a little fun, the scripture says very clearly that it was the disciples that did that not Jesus?

And the law was actually written by Moses, so the "allowances" are part of the sabbath law, I would think that would be self evident

rev


no difference i see, and no matter, as it was clearly endorsed and rebutted when the Pharasee's spoke against it...

Rom 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.




"And the law was actually written by Moses, so the "allowances" are part of the sabbath law, I would think that would be self evident"



Actually the Finger of God...


Exd 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Deu 9:10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them [was written] according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

Luk 11:20 But if ***I with the finger of God**** cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.




What part of this the following verse or the law give an allowance for anything?



Exo 16:25 Then Moses said: Eat it today, for there is a sabbath today to Yahweh! ****Today you shall not find it in the field.*****

I just noticed that the prohibition was 'YOU SHALL NOT FIND IT THE FIELD', which this verse shows it was indeed Christ 'breaking' the law...

Luk 6:1 Now it occurred on the second first sabbath, ******He is going through the sowings,******* and His disciples plucked the ears and ate, rubbing them together in their hands."
5/8/10 10:48 AM
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reverend john
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you know you aren't supposed to take a single verse out of context don't you? Like not including all of the surrounding verses where it is talking about mannah. being delivered by God. You shall not find it in the field... because it won't be there. Don't go into the field... because it won't be there. Come on, that is pretty simple stuff.

His disciples did it. Very plain, not him. But, he defends the action anyways saying that the sabbath was made for men, not men for the sabbath.

As for your other comments, the first five books of the bible were written by moses. If you want to say they were written by God, that doesn't change the fact that within those books it says that if a man's ox falls in a pit he can get it out, and that the priests are to do the temple work on the sabbath. So whether God, or Moses, or more truly both, make that provision. It is still a provision.

And, rather than argue about the technicalities. Why did Jesus say the sabbath was given for man? What was its purpose? and does that change?

rev
5/8/10 2:00 PM
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toelocku
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reverend john - you know you aren't supposed to take a single verse out of context don't you? Like not including all of the surrounding verses where it is talking about mannah. being delivered by God. You shall not find it in the field... because it won't be there. Don't go into the field... because it won't be there. Come on, that is pretty simple stuff.

His disciples did it. Very plain, not him. But, he defends the action anyways saying that the sabbath was made for men, not men for the sabbath.

As for your other comments, the first five books of the bible were written by moses. If you want to say they were written by God, that doesn't change the fact that within those books it says that if a man's ox falls in a pit he can get it out, and that the priests are to do the temple work on the sabbath. So whether God, or Moses, or more truly both, make that provision. It is still a provision.

And, rather than argue about the technicalities. Why did Jesus say the sabbath was given for man? What was its purpose? and does that change?

rev


"you know you aren't supposed to take a single verse out of context don't you?"


i don't know that actually, perhaps you'd give me scripture to support this claim? Try to read this if you like.http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/understandingbible.php ..




"Like not including all of the surrounding verses where it is talking about mannah."



even in the literal physical sabbath that you support, the principle would be the same no matter if we are talking about mannah or corn. You were to prepare double before the sabbath and so 'no work' was to done even going to the 'field' was prohibited until this day. The commandment of the Lord endures to the ages.


Exo 16:29 See! For Yahweh, He has given to you the sabbath; therefore He is giving to you on the sixth day bread for two days. Be seated, each man in his place; *****let no one go forth from his place on the seventh day.***



Exo 31:14 Hence you will keep the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Profaners of it shall be put to death, yea death, for if anyone is doing work in it, that soul will be cut off from among his people.
Exo 31:15 Six days shall work be done, and on the seventh day is a sabbath of cessation, holy to Yahweh. Everyone doing work on the sabbath day shall be put to death, yea death.
Exo 31:16 Hence the sons of Israel will keep the sabbath so as to make the sabbath an eonian covenant throughout their generations.




Even if were not told specifically that Christ picked the corn He did not try to stop them, and being there Lord would be responsible for them, and finally defended them against the Pharisees.

The following verses says they are faultless, which in your sabbath keeping tradition were to be put to death. Point being in your sabbath keeping you MUST do it like God says or don't do it at all otherwise your doctrine contradicts.


Mat 12:7 Now if you had known what this is: Mercy am I wanting, and not sacrifice-you would not convict the faultless,





"As for your other comments, the first five books of the bible were written by moses. If you want to say they were written by God, that doesn't change the fact that within those books it says that if a man's ox falls in a pit he can get it out, and that the priests are to do the temple work on the sabbath. So whether God, or Moses, or more truly both, make that provision. It is still a provision."



Moses wrote down WHAT GOD TOLD HIM, and moses was the author of nothing. I agree with the provision listed in the law for particular behaviors, none of which are listed for the scenario we are talking about.



"And, rather than argue about the technicalities. Why did Jesus say the sabbath was given for man? What was its purpose? and does that change?"

The devils in the details my friend:)


God doesnt change, what changes is our understanding of what God is doing and has done as we mature in the faith. Here is a 'more mature' understanding of the sabbath...


Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.
Heb 4:11 *****Let us labour****** therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.



The sabbath is 24/7-365 and we enter into Gods 'rest' not once a week on a particular day, but as a way of life in faith, and belief. This is what God requires not esteeming one day above another, all days are Gods anyway.




5/8/10 9:03 PM
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reverend john
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So God in the beginning rested, he told the Hebrews to rest before the ten commandments, and after the commandments, and you think you can just dismiss even the spirit of the law?

That my friend is justifying your own cultural bias in order to free yourself to continue to work, for the gain of mammon. So instead of setting aside a day to rest, and trust God in that, you continue in the cycle of oppression that is the cult of money. That is quite literally what is happening. A true example of the two kingdom ethic. God doesn't want you to really rest, just be at rest in your mind and heart, that is all that really matters. I guess we aren't supposed to really feed the hungry either, as long as we care for them in our hearts

rev
5/8/10 9:37 PM
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toelocku
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reverend john - So God in the beginning rested, he told the Hebrews to rest before the ten commandments, and after the commandments, and you think you can just dismiss even the spirit of the law?

That my friend is justifying your own cultural bias in order to free yourself to continue to work, for the gain of mammon. So instead of setting aside a day to rest, and trust God in that, you continue in the cycle of oppression that is the cult of money. That is quite literally what is happening. A true example of the two kingdom ethic. God doesn't want you to really rest, just be at rest in your mind and heart, that is all that really matters. I guess we aren't supposed to really feed the hungry either, as long as we care for them in our hearts

rev


I dismiss nothing but thinking that one day spritually speaking if esteemed other another. I was explain what the spirit of the law actuall IS.

Cultural bias? I think not. I speak against my culture emphatically, where need be. I do not work on fri,sat, or sun, so i'd know of which i speak before making accusations.

So let me ask you do you keep your sabbath according to letter, ie....do no work, drive, prepare food etc? If you say you do it, i know your aware that you must keep the whole law not just some parts of it.


We should give help to the physical hungry as we are able, but as Christ says...

Mar 14:7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you may be wanting, you can always do well to them, yet Me you have not always."



5/8/10 9:40 PM
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toelocku
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Edited: 05/09/10 12:49 PM
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5/9/10 10:14 AM
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reverend john
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No, I am not arguing for one specific day, but the spirit of the law, which is to have a day of rest.

As to the other thing, that quote says that we will always be located among the poor, and we will always have a chance to do good to them. That does not mean we shouldn't bother trying to end poverty. Nor does it over ride the clear scriptures that tell us how we treat the poor and the marginalized is how we treat Christ, that we are not to store up treasures for ourselves on earth, that we are to trust God for our daily bread.

rev
5/9/10 12:45 PM
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toelocku
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you can have 'a day' of rest its better than none, i guess.

I'll take all days as my rest 'day'. and also not to belabor the point, but you cant pick and choose how you want to celebrate the sabbath, either do it how God says or why do it?

'The poor you HAVE WITH YOU ALWAYS...'

We should help the physical poor as we can, your right, but shouldn't dwell on it like Christ says...ALWAYS(you wont stop it because its God who makes people poor)the poor are with us.

The 'poor' are those who lack understanding of the Word of God. Thats what really being poor is anyway.
5/9/10 9:50 PM
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reverend john
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that is the most gnostic interpretation of that possible. Jesus was not talking about spiritually poor, he was talking about the poor. And how can you say we aren't supposed to be focused on it when Jesus says the way you treat the poor is the way you treat him?

I think you are a perfect example of the gnostic Christianity I am talking about. The two kingdom ethic that say, it isn't important what you actually do, just how you feel in your heart. That is not what Jesus said, nor what he did, nor what his disciples said and did.

rev
5/10/10 12:27 PM
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toelocku
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Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you, You are seeking Me, not that you perceived signs, but that you ate of the bread and are satisfied. "
Joh 6:27 Do not work for the food which is perishing, but for the food which is remaining for life eonian, which the Son of Mankind will be giving to you, for this One God, the Father, seals."

Christ did not concern Himself with the 'poor' as were shown here when the poor came back to Him for more food. He dismissed and chastised them for seeking literal bread from Him.

If what you say is true then why would He do this? Why didn't He do this in His younger years? If He didn't do it, and you say this is what He was supposed to be doing then your master is a sinner(God forbid). Christ ministry is about making the poor and sickly like me rich in the knowledge and wisdom of God.

THE POOR YOU HAVE WITH YOU ALWAYS...


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