Tag Archives: Oral Law

Have you heard the Parable of “Unwashed Hands”?

Many a Christian turn to Matthew 15 as a proof text to show that we can eat anything that we like. But did you know that this Chapter contains a Parable? And may I suggest that it is one of the most misunderstood Parables of Christ?

So let’s look at the context before we look at the Parable.

An argument about eating with unwashed hands / transgressing the traditions of the Elders
Mat 15:1,2 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
At the onset, we must note that the argument between the Pharisees and Yeshua, is about the Traditions of the Elders and not about the Word of God. Actually in the next few verses, we see Christ distinguishing the Commandments of God from the Traditions of the Elders.

Commandments of God vs Traditions of Men
Mat 15:3-6 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
We see that Yeshua takes one instance that the Traditions of the Elders (Oral Law) breaks God’s Commandments, thus showing the inconsistency of the Traditions of Men with the Commands of God.

Isaiah 29:13 and Doctrines of Men
Mat 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Yeshua quotes Isaiah 29:13 as a proof-text for Traditions which are taught by men being adhered to with the hopes of honouring God, but falling short.

A Misunderstood Parable
Mat 15:10-11 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
All of us have read the above verses and thought “Does that mean, we can eat whatever we like?”. But note what Yeshua told the Multitude… Hear and understand! But what evidence is there to say that the above is a Parable, and what is its meaning, if it is a Parable?

The Disciples have questions
Mat 15:12-15 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
We see that the words of Christ hit a sore spot with the Pharisees, which was communicated to Him by the disciples. Yeshua’s reply to the conflict was quite harsh. But whatever caused the Pharisees to be offended was not understood properly by Peter (and most probably, the other disciples) who asked the meaning of the “Parable”. This proves the point that “It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean, It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean” is a Parable. It is not to be understood on face value. It has a deeper meaning which the Pharisees understood while the disciples didn’t.

The Explanation of the Parable
Mat 15:16-20 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

The Master explains the parable to be comparing the “Command of God” vs the “Traditions of Men”. The Command of God shows us to guard our Heart where all evil thoughts come from (Gen 6:5, 8:21). Sin surely defiles a man, while the traditions of men such as eating with unwashed hands, while having the outward appearance of Holiness does nothing to make a man holy before God, as it is at the end just vain worship commanded by man. Christ speaks nothing about food or the commandments of God about clean/unclean meats given in Leviticus 11, in Matthew chapter 15 or it’s parallel in Mark 7. The Pharisees were offended at this parable as they would have surely understood that Yeshua spoke of them and their hypocrisy.

Matthew 15:15 and Mark 7:17 prove that Christ spoke a parable about the Traditions of Men and the Commands of God which most Christians have taken out of context by reading the surface material while missing the explanation which shows we are to obey the Commands of God to keep ourselves from defilement of Sin while rejecting traditions given by blind human guides.

Does Peter’s Vision prove we can eat anything? The difference between “common” & “unclean”

Peter’s Vision is often cited as proof to say we are free to eat anything we please. Many believe that God showed Peter that the previous Food Laws were no more as he was able to eat anything from thereon. There seems to be many issues with this theory, which we previously looked at in detail in this study.

The vision was clearly about “calling Gentiles Common or Unclean” as Peter himself proclaims:

Acts 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

So how is it that “Peter’s Vision” is used to teach God changed unclean food to clean? The problem is in the poor understanding of what is considered “common”(some translations say impure). The word “common”(Koinos-Common/Defiled) is vastly different from “unclean”(Akarthatos-Impure/Unclean).  The word Common is not from God’s Law but the Law of the Pharisees – also known as the Traditions of the Elders or the Oral Law. We see this clearly in the following verse:

Mark 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled(Koinos), that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

The Pharisees were finding fault with the disciples for eating with defiled/common hands. In God’s Law He had specified the state of purity/Cleanness and impurity/uncleanness. There was nothing in between. The state which is called common/defiled was a Pharisaic manufacturing which said a clean thing which is next to an unclean thing becomes defiled where it is not clean nor unclean but in between. This was what is known as “common”. This was why it was deemed unlawful(as per the religious authority in the 1st Century) for a Jew to keep company with a Gentile. The understanding and doctrine of the day was that a Jew who is in a state of cleanliness would fall to a common state even if he/she ate with a gentile who were deemed unclean.

Coming back to the vision, let’s read it again to see what exactly God told Peter:

Acts 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

In the great sheet of Peter’s Vision, all the clean and unclean animals were mixed and together in one place. The clean were now in a state of being “Common” as per Peter’s understanding. There were only two categories of animals in the sheet according to God – “Clean” and “Unclean”. The Clean could be eaten.

When God told Peter to “Kill and Eat”. His response was “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean“. According to Peter the two categories were “Common” and “Unclean”. And both categories could not be eaten.

God says not to call things that He has cleansed “Common”. Which means He deems what man calls “common”, as “Clean”. God does not say anything to Peter about Unclean animals. God speaks to Peter about the clean animals who Peter thought were Common because of the Unclean animals in the same great sheet in his vision. Those who were deemed common (in Peter’s mind), God considered as Clean. Not that the unclean animals suddenly became clean animals.

The vision, if carefully dissected is very clear. God considers “Clean” what Peter calls “Common”. NOT that the “Unclean” were made “Clean”

So even if on argues that the Vision was about Food, God did not change His Word, but taught Peter what he had been taught was a fallacy. There was nothing called “Common”. Peter clearly understood the vision when he came to Cornelius’ house, as God had shown the man-made Pharisaic Law of “A Jew should not keep company with a Gentile” was removed from his mind.

In Peter’s Vision, God called what Peter considered “common” as “clean”. The voice never said that I have made the unclean, clean to you. God said “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” So if you believe God told Peter that the Food Laws He had instituted were no more, I implore you to study the text a bit more in-depth, before you make your decision. If God deems it Clean we can eat it. If He deems it unclean, we cannot. Simple as that.

Does the Old Testament teach us to love our enemies, or hate them?

SermonAs Christians, all of us have read or heard the famous “Sermon on the Mount” and have most probably read Christ’s teaching on “Loving our enemies as well as our neighbor”. All of us know of “Loving ones Enemy” as a New Testament teaching. So much so, that many believe that the Old Testament taught one to “love ones neighbor” but “hate ones enemy”, while Christ taught that one should love the enemy just like the neighbor. But it is interesting to note that this was not a new teaching, as we see this idea that our Messiah taught clearly stated in the Old Testament.

Let’s look into the idea of “loving your enemy” and the origins of this teaching written in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Exo 23:4,5  If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
Pro 25:21  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
Pro 24:17  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Pro 29:10  The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

The above verses of Scripture, show how God commands through Moses that everyone should love & help ones enemy not even permitting an enemy to fall into loss. God’s Word is clear that we should not turn away from providing for our enemies in need, and not even be glad when he or she is in trouble. We should even seek to bring him/her to the free Salvation our Heavenly Father provides.

But what was Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) referring to when he said “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy”? Some read Mat 5:43 and conclude that Yeshua is talking about an “old teaching” written in the Old Testament. But nowhere in the Old Testament would we be able to find such a teaching of “hating your enemy”.

Context of the teachings at the Sermon on the Mount
The “you have heard” – “but I say to you” teachings of Messiah start off at Mat 5:21. One needs to read only a few verses before, to understand the context of His teaching.

Mat 5:17-20  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

So what is the context of His teaching, of “you have heard” – “but I say to you”? Notice the Scribes and the Pharisees mentioned just before His teaching. Notice how He says that whoever breaks the least of the Commandments or “teach” men to break them will be least in God’s Kingdom. Yeshua was talking about the Scribes & Pharisees of His day, who had taught a perverted version of God’s Word/Scripture (Old Testament). We have studied all about the teachings of the Pharisees in depth, in a previous post. But it is sufficient to say that Pharisees were going against God’s Word by their own “Traditions” also known as the “Oral Law”. Yeshua was teaching the crowds that had gathered around at His feet, that “they had heard” (from the teachers of their time – who were the Scribes and Pharisees) it being said “you shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy”. But Yeshua was teaching them the proper Old Testament idea of “Loving even ones enemy”.

The “Sermon on the Mount”, just like all of Yeshua’s other teachings were rooted in God’s Word. He never spoke of Himself, but all that was the Word of God (Joh 7:16,17, 14:24). “Loving ones neighbor” was directly from the Scriptures (Lev 19:18) just as “Loving ones Enemy”. We should stop being biased against the Old Testament Scriptures and start reading it without preconceived notions, so that we can see it for what it is – God’s Word, which was confirmed by, and through, Yeshua – our Messiah.

What are Phylacteries?

Have you ever noticed or been puzzled by the word “Phylacteries” in the New Testament? Ever wondered what Christ was talking about in Mat 23:5? His words were “But all their works they do to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments”.

Pharisee I had paid little notice to this word before, picturing in my mind that it was some sort of clothing item that the Pharisees wore. Not paying full attention to details in the Bible can, and have, had a major impact on the beliefs that are prevalent in the Christian congregations.

The “Pharisees & Scribes” who were wearing phylacteries mentioned by Yeshua (Jesus’ true name) would have looked something like this. The “Phylacteries” or “Tefillin” as it is called in Hebrew, is a small box which contains Scripture with a strap, which can be bound on the Head or the Arms.

The importance of this verse is in the fact that it sheds light on a major misunderstanding in Christianity. Which one, you ask? “It’s the common belief among Christians that the Scribes and Pharisees Kept the Old Testament Law, and that this is why Yeshua called them Hypocrites and white washed tombs – because the Old Law was done away”.

The problem with this understanding is that both biblically and historically, we have evidence that the Pharisees did not keep God’s Law. In fact, wearing “Phylacteries” was not a Commandment given by God. Then why did the Pharisees wear these things? Because it was part of their “Oral Law”, known as the “Traditions of the Elders” throughout the New Testament (Mat 15:2,3,6, Mar 7:3,8,9,13, Gal 1:14). TefillinWearing “Phylacteries” was how they had interpreted Exo 13:9,16 & Deut 6:8, 11:18 which says that “God’s Word should be a sign upon our hands and between our eyes”. Obviously, this was a figure of speech to say “that we should do or obey as well as remember God’s Word”.

The Pharisaic Sect of Yeshua’s day had taken a piece of Scripture out of context and made a separate Law out of it. The “Oral Law” which is still in use today, known as the “Talmud” is strictly adhered to by Orthodox Jews around the world. Not only do they wear it, the “Talmud” provides strict laws on how to even put it on. (If you want to learn more about the Pharisees and their traditions, I recommend that you watch this video, brought to you by former Orthodox Jew – Nehemiah Gordon)

What does this mean? Are all Jews like Pharisees? Are all Pharisees alike? The picture of “Pharisees” and some times, even “Jews“, in a Western Christian mind, is that they were wicked, legalistic and nonspiritual people. This is hardly the case. We know that there were quite a lot of Pharisees who respected Yeshua, as well as some who believed in Him (Luk 13:31, Joh 9:16, Act 15:5). We should by no means generalize people. Furthermore, it is important to remember that Yeshua, His Disciples, His followers and even Apostle Paul, were all Jews.

The Orthodox Jews of today, still adhere to a plethora of extra laws (from the Talmud), thinking that it is genuinely what God expects from them. They are misguided, as much as the Christians who think the Law is done away in Christ. We must understand that not all Jews are like the Pharisees of Christ’s age. Consider the Karaite Jews who reject the Talmud and anything other than the Old Testament, and the Messianic Jews who believe in Yeshua.

The many persecutions which have fallen on the Jews have always happened because of this huge misunderstanding. A lot of people have persecuted “Jews” standing under Christ’s banner, making it impossible for them to except Yeshua as the prophesied Messiah.

What was the main Commandment which the Pharisees broke through their traditions?
God’s Word specifically instructs that no one can add or remove anything from God’s Law/Commandments.
Deu 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deu 12:32  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
The Scriptures call anyone who adds to God’s Law, a Liar (Pro 30:6). This was one of the main concerns Yeshua had regarding the Pharisees, when He said “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men”(Mar 7:8) & “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Mat 15:3).

Are all traditions bad? Are all traditions sin? definitely not. But the moment we put “Tradition” over “God’s Commandments”, or teach “man made Traditions” as “God’s Law”, we are breaking His Words. This is why Yeshua said (quoting Isaiah 29:13)”But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men“(Mat 15:9) regarding the Pharisees.

Adding and Diminishing & the 2 Houses of Israel
If you know about Biblical History, you would know that the people “Israel” divided into 2 Kingdoms after the death of King Solomon. These 2 Kingdoms were called “The House of Judah” & “The House of Israel/Ephraim”. “The House of Israel” was carried away by Assyria and scattered in the nations with a promise of being regathered, while “The House of Judah” was exiled for 70 years in “Babylon” being let back into the land. (Please go to this link for more info) It is interesting to see how “the Jews” (House of Judah) add to God’s Law, through their various traditions and man-made laws written in the Talmud, while “the gentiles” (House of Ephraim) diminishes from God’s Law, saying it is done away and that they are free from it.

“Phylacteries” are a good reminder of checking our lives, our doctrines and our thoughts for anything that we may be adding or diminishing from our Creator’s Words. It is a call to really put His Words in our hearts and souls, binding them on our hands by being obedient to Him, that His Words may be always foremost in our minds (Deut 11:18), so that we do not turn to the left or to the right from them (Jos 23:6) choosing God and His Word alone in the midst of man-made commandments & traditions.

Is Sabbath, Saturday, Sunday or Everyday? Defining the Biblical Sabbath day – Part III

In the 1st Part of this study, we laid the groundwork in understanding The Sabbath day which is also God’s 4th Eternal Commandment. We learned that the Sabbath had a direct connection with the 7th Day of Creation. That God made it for man, so that he may be refreshed, just as God was refreshed on the 7th Day. That it is an important day for Him, as He calls it “My Holy day” and “My Feast/Appointment”. And that the only thing you cannot do on the Sabbath, according to God’s Commandment, is your regular work/occupation done for monetary gain. (If you have not read the 1st Part, please start there, as you will have a clearer understanding of the definitions).

In the 2nd Part of the study, we answered one of the most famous questions that people ask regarding the Sabbath; whether the Sabbath is Saturday, Sunday or everyday. We found out that the Sabbath cannot be Sunday, any day we like, or everyday as some presume, and that it has not been done away with yet. The most interesting finding was that the Original Greek Manuscripts proved that the Sabbath recorded in the new testament was indeed Saturday by showing us that the original Greek word translated as Sabbath “G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on” is still the name used for Saturday in Greek even today! (If you have not read the 2nd Part, please click here).

Today, as promised, we will address some of the famous questions and thoughts people have regarding the Sabbath. The questions addressed in this post are given below.

  1. Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
  2. Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
  3. Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
  4. The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
  5. There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
  6. Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  7. Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
  8. Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
  9. The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
  10. We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  11. Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
  12. The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
  13. It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
  14. Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
  15. Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
  16. Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
  17. There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
  18. There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
  19. How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
  20. Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?


Q1) Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
Accusation no.1: Yeshua defended His disciples, who broke the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:1-8, Mar 2:23-28, Luk 6:1-5

In these verses we see the pharisees accusing Yeshua’s disciple of breaking the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn. Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say, that you cannot pluck or eat on the Sabbath.  Then why and how can the Pharisees accuse the disciples of doing what is “not lawful”? (Please read – who were the pharisees). Because the pharisees had their own man made Law which is also called the “Oral Law” & “Tradition of the Elders”. (This Law has been written down today in a book form called the Talmud and is still adhered to by the Orthodox Jewish Community). Yeshua was not defending His Disciples, who the Pharisees accused of breaking the Sabbath. He was actually showing the Pharisees their error in adding to the Law of God (No one can add or diminish from God’s Law – Deut 4:2, 12:32), when there was no such Law regarding the Sabbath in the Scriptures. Yeshua’s defense was two pronged. 1) He related the story of David in 1Sam 21:3-6, thereby showing how feeding a man in hunger was not considered a sin, even when the priest gave them the bread in the temple specifically reserved for the priests themselves. 2) He showed how the Priests worked at the Temple on the Sabbath. The livelihood of the priest was their service at the temple. Even though they carried on with their day to day work, even on the Sabbath, which was working at the temple, it was not considered sin, as they were working for God.

Accusation no.2: Yeshua healed on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:10-13, Mar 3:1-5, Luk 6:6-10, 13:10-17, 14:1-6, John Chap 9

In these verses, the pharisees accused Yeshua of breaking the Sabbath as He healed people from their infirmities. (Please read – who were the pharisees) Healing was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. But Yeshua clearly stated in Mat 12:12, that it is Lawful to do good on the Sabbath, according to God’s Word, as the only prohibition was regular work/occupation for monetary gain.

Accusation no.3: Yeshua asked a person to carry a bed, which was considered working on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Joh 5:5-12

In this verse, Yeshua asked the man to take his bed and walk. Carrying anything, including a bed was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. (Please read – who were the pharisees). The Pharisees who had added to God’s Law, were making false accusations in all these instances against Yeshua, who had not broken God’s Sabbath. Yeshua had only broken the Sabbath according to the Pharisaic Laws.

Conclusion: In all the above instances, the accusations that the Pharisees brought against Yeshua were false accusations that had no bearing in Scripture according to God’s Law. Believing that Yeshua broke the Sabbath because of the accusations brought forward by the Pharisees, is quite a misguided theory. They accused Yeshua of casting out demons by the power of Satan as well(Mat 9:34, Mar 3:22, Luk 11:15). Just because someone accuses another, it does not make that accusation true. The key is to know who the pharisees were, and what their teaching was.

Also, consider these thoughts. If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), how could He be a blameless, sinless person(1Pet 2:22, 2Cor 5:21, Joh 8:46, 1Joh 3:5) as breaking the Commandments is Sin(1Joh 3:4). If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), why did the Chief priests and elders have to find “False” witnesses? (Mat 26:59, Mar 14:56) Couldn’t they have just stoned Him to death?


Q2) Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
It is true that Yeshua never spoke out the 4th Commandment specifically. Mat 19:17,18, Mar 10:19, Luke 18:20 shows a certain man coming to Yeshua asking “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” to which Yeshua answers “Keep the Commandments”(Mat 19:17) and goes on to elaborate “Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother”. He never mentions the Sabbath Commandment, in fact,   He does not mention any of the first 5 Commandments. Does this mean, we can have other Gods alongside God Almighty? Does this mean we can make idols and worship them? Does this mean we can take His name in vain? And does this mean we can break the Sabbath? I believe Yeshua expected anyone who believes in God to obey all of God’s Commandments. The ones He spoke out, were specifically expressed, maybe because they were the Commandments that were not clearly adhered to at that time.


Q3) Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
First of all, I must say, that the Book of Hebrews is a letter written to Hebrew people by an unknown author who is trying to make a single point. This point being “How Yeshua is our new High Priest and Mediator in Heaven between man and God”. Even though we read specific Chapters and Verses off this Epistle, it was written as a letter(without chapters or verses separated), and like all letters, we cannot pick and choose pieces from here and there. We must read the whole letter from beginning to end, to understand the real meaning of it. (Please go here, for a comprehensive study on Hebrews)

In Hebrews Chapter 1, We learn that Yeshua is now better than the angels. Chapter 2 is about how Yeshua was initially made lower than the angels and how He prevailed over sin and death.  Chapter 3 calls Yeshua our New High Priest and asks the reader to hold on to God till the end, and quotes Psalms 95:7-11 to show how Israel did not obey God in the wilderness, and in return did not enter into His rest. The author then explains that the people who God was angry with and could not enter into His rest were the ones who provoked Him, sinned against Him and did not believe in Him.

Chapter 4 – the Chapter in focus – a simple commentary
4:1 Author continues the same point made in Chapter 3, saying we should fear God and not come short, and thereby not enter into His rest
4:2 Showcases the difference between us (the reader) and them (the people in the wilderness) and how they fell short because they did not have faith when it was the same Word preached to them and us
4:3,4 We who believe, enter in to this rest. Then the author quotes Psalms 95:11 showing that there is a pending rest for us, even though God finished His work on the 7th day.
4:5 Author quotes Psalms 95:11 again highlighting the word “Enter”
4:6 We must enter into God’s rest, unlike the people in the wilderness who did not enter because of their unbelief
4:7 Author refers back to Psalms 95:11, where David says “Today” and that the time when David wrote this Psalm was a long time after the wilderness journey
4:8 Even though Joshua took the people into the Promised Land (which was their “Rest”), the author suggests that God is talking about another “Rest” through David. (Special note: KJV has Jesus in place of Joshua. This is a mistake which has been rectified in most other versions of the Bible, and is one of the key pieces of evidence to suggest that Jesus had the same name as Joshua which was mistaken by the KJV interpreters)
4:9 author says that there is a Rest for God’s people. (The word translated as “Rest” in this verse is G4520 – σαββατισμός – sabbatismos – sab-bat-is-mos’ – From a derivative of G4521; a “sabbatism”, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): – rest,
and is different from the word “Rest” used in all of the other verses. (G2663 – κατάπαυσις – katapausis – kat-ap’-ow-sis – From G2664; reposing down, that is, (by Hebraism) abode: – rest.)
4:10 whoever has entered into God’s rest has ended their work as God ended His own work. The author is talking about the Rest of death, and being gathered to Abraham and our forefathers to await for the New Kingdom of God, ruled by Yeshua our King.
4:11 Author says that we must labour to enter into that rest, without falling into unbelief
4:12 For the Word of God shows us the right way without falling to unbelief
4:13 And God sees into our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him
4:14,15 Yeshua is our High Priest who is in Heaven, who knows our weaknesses, who was tempted like us but did not fall into sin
4:16 So, let us come to throne of Grace, to obtain mercy, in the time of need.

Looking at the above commentary, we can see clearly that the author is not saying that the Sabbath is done away, or that Yeshua is our Sabbath in any way. The Rest, talked about in Hebrews 4 is the Rest we will have in Yeshua, at the end of our journey, when we enter into His Kingdom. We must keep ourselves Holy(without Sin) everyday, but the Sabbath remains a day specially consecrated by God.


Q4) The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
This question contain 2 parts.
1) The belief that the 1st century church met on the 1st Day of the Week, which is Sunday, discarding the Sabbath.
Acts 20:7 & 1Cor 16:2, shows us how the assembly was gathered on the 1st Day of the Week. Does this mean that they did not keep the Sabbath? Hardly. Acts 2:46, shows us how people assembled together daily. And Paul himself regularly went to the Synagogue on Sabbath(Acts 17:2). The fact is, that the 1st Century Church attended synagogue on Sabbath and met the rest of the days in the temple and each others’ houses.

2) Isn’t Sunday the Lord’s Day?
Some say, the reason behind meeting on Sunday, is that He rose from the dead on that day. (By saying this, they further establish that Saturday is Sabbath, as Yeshua rose after the Sabbath). The Lord’s Day is mentioned only once in the New Testament, in Rev 1:10, and Yeshua or His apostles never commanded us to keep that day special, while the Sabbath Commandment is seen throughout the Scriptures spoken out of the Mouth of God, written down with the Finger of God, and is part of the Commandments that are forever to which even Yeshua agreed(Mat 5:18, Luk 16:17). What most fail to see is that, “The Lord’s Day” also means the great day of judgement, which is also called “The day of the Lord” throughout scripture. (Isa 13:6, Joe 3:14, Oba 1:15, Zep 1:14, Zec 14:1, Mal 4:5, Act 2:20, 1Cor 5:5, 1Thes 5:2, 2Pet 3:10). In Rev 1:10, John could be saying that he is witnessing the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, as he is seeing what is about to happen at the end of time.


Q5) There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
The book of Revelations contain a lot of information about the End Times. And true to the point made, there is no mention of the Sabbath in this book. But, is this definite proof that The Sabbath is no more? Let’s look at some facts.

Rev 12:17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The Commandments mentioned in the book of Revelations are the 10 Commandments given by God. The Sabbath Commandment is also part of these 10. Additionally, In the future, after the Final Judgment, the Sabbath will still be in effect (Isa. 66:22-23). If the Book of Revelations mention God’s Commandments in a positive, if not indispensable way, how can anyone say that the Sabbath is no more using the Book of Revelations?


Q6) Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Some say, that this verse proves that Paul wanted no man to keep the Sabbath. People interpret this verse as: Let no man judge you “because you do not adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

But the converse can also be true. It could be interpreted as: Let no man judge you “because you do adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Some of the Jews were known to dislike Gentiles who tried to obey God’s ways).

In Col 2:20-22, Paul goes on to explain that, we are not subject to laws, commandments and doctrines of men. We must ask ourselves only one question. Are the Food Laws or Sabbaths mentioned in the Word of God; laws, commandments and doctrines of men? The whole context on what not to do, is around laws & traditions of men (Col 2:8). Paul could be telling the new believers in Colossi, who were previously gentiles, who were trying to adhere to God’s Law, to not let anyone judge you and tell you how to keep God’s Law, other than how it is written in the Scriptures alone.

Additionally, another point to note is that Paul says that the Sabbath, Holydays, etc are “Shadows of things to come”. The reason God gave the Sabbath & holy days were as shadows of things to come. (Passover – Yeshua’s death / Pentecost – Giving of Holy Spirit / Trumpets – Yeshua’s Second Coming, etc) But, as Paul says, the completion of all things are in Yeshua.

If one says, Col 2:16,17 is proof that Paul told the Colossians not to be judged for not keeping the Sabbath. One could also say that Paul was telling the Colossians not to be judged for keeping the Sabbath as well.


Q7) Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
In John 5:17, Yeshua replies to the Jews who were trying to persecute Him for healing a man on the Sabbath saying that He works just as Father God does. What did He mean by “The Father works”? Yeshua did no miracle through His own power, but God worked through Him (Joh 14:10). He did the work of Father God(Joh 10:37). So, whatever miracles that Yeshua did was, actually the Father working through Him. And as we studied in the 1st part of this study, we know that the only work prohibited on the Sabbath was, what was done to make a living/ occupation done for monetary gain. Yeshua merely showed the pharisees and all who followed their teaching (which was contrary to God’s Word) that doing Good things was allowed and Lawful on Sabbath (Luk 6:9, Mat 12:12, Mar 3:4)


Q8) Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua never replaced the 10 Commandments with 2 New Commandments. The 2 commandments mentioned in the New Testament were directly quoted from the Old Testament(Deut 6:5, 10:12(Love God) & Lev 19:18, 34(Love neighbor). These 2 Commandments were known by others before Yeshua spoke them out (Luke 10:25-28). The 2 Commandments were summaries of the 10 Commandments. (Please refer this post for further study on this subject)


Q9) The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
Some quote Rom 7:6, saying we are no more under the Old written Law(which included The Sabbath Commandment), but we serve Him through the Holy Spirit. The mistake these people make is not clearly understanding what Paul means by this remark. Let us review some of the things Paul says about the Law, in the letter to the Romans.

  1. Paul does not make the Law void. He establishes it (Rom 3:31)
  2. Paul says that the Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7)
  3. Paul says the Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12)
  4. Paul says the Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14)
  5. Paul delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22)
  6. Paul serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25)

Paul himself says that the Law(which contains the Sabbath Commandment) is Spiritual and that he serves, delights and establishes it. But then what does he mean by “delivered from the Law”?

Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace.
In short, Sin is Breaking the Law/Lawlessness.(1John 3:4).
The Law can do only 3 things ;
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).

The new Covenant mentioned in Heb 8:8-11 which is quoted from Jer 31:31-34 says that God will put His Law inside our minds and write it on our Hearts. This is essentially the New Covenant. What Paul means in Romans 7:6 is that we are dead to the Law which said that we are cursed and deserve death for our sins, through Yeshua our Savior and His Righteousness. And that we serve God in Spirit rather than in written letter. (The written Commandments were rigid, while Yeshua taught how to connect Heart & Mind to the Commandments. Eg: The written Commandments said “Thou shall not commit adultery” while Yeshua said, “Even if you think an adulterous thought, you are committing adultery”)  Paul cannot mean that the Law & God’s Commandments are done away with, as he would be going against his own words listed up above. What he is saying is, that we no longer serve in the rigidness of the written Law, but the Spirit of the Law, which talks directly to our Hearts & Minds. In conclusion, this verse does not prove that the Sabbath with the other Laws of God have been abolished in any way.


Q10) We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Some quote Rom 6:14 saying, we are not under the Law but under Grace, so we do not need to keep The Sabbath which is part of the Law. Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace and what Paul meant by this verse.


Q11) Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
One of the favorite scriptures used to debunk the Sabbath is Yeshua being the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat 12:8, Mar 2:28, Luk 6:5). Some even say, that Yeshua showed that the Sabbath was not important by saying “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” in Mar 2:27.

The Sabbath was indeed made for man as God specifically said that it is given to man, so he would be refreshed(Exo 23:12), just like God rested on the seventh day and was refreshed (Exo 31:17).

Through Yeshua’s proclamation of being the Lord of the Sabbath in Mar 2:28, what did He mean? Remember, that this was the reply He gave to the Pharisees who accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, as discussed in Q1 in this post. Yeshua did not excuse the breaking of the Sabbath. He merely showed what it meant to break the Sabbath. (Please read question 1 in this post for a better understanding on this issue). And Yeshua, rightfully, is the Lord of the Sabbath. But this does not make the commandment void in any way.


Q12) The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
First of all read these definitions : 1. Jew & Gentile    2. Israel    3. Church
The Sabbath was not made for the Jews. It was made for man and given as a Commandment to Israel – God’s people. Jews are only one tribe of people, from the children of Israel. Gentiles are people who do not know God. Israel is God’s chosen people forever. The word “Church” means “assembly”, and it relates to the people who believe in God. If you believe in God you are part of the Church & Israel. You are no more a Gentile, when you come into the Covenant with God. If you believe in God, you have no choice but to obey His Commandments. We should obey Him because we Love Him, not because we have to obey Him. (Please read the links given above for more information on this subject).


Q13) It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
Paul in the letter to the Romans said he does not make the Law void, he establishes it (Rom 3:31). The Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7). The Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12). The Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14). He delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22). He serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25).

The same Paul seem to be suddenly saying that we have the freedom to do as we will. Is Paul saying, that if we want to, we can eat anything and If we want to, we can keep or not keep the Sabbath if we are fully convinced in our own mind? Which means each of us can do things how we see fit instead of doing what God has commanded us. Or could it be that he is talking about a completely different subject, which is Fasting? The whole chapter is talking about eating or not, and what day is better than another. The argument could have been on what day was better to fast on. The fact is, the Sabbath is not mentioned here at all. Please read the whole Chapter for a better understanding on this verse.


Q14) Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
In Gal 5:4, Paul tells the people in Galatia that “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” What does it mean to be justified by the Law?

Law, as we know is God’s Commandments.
Breaking the Law is Sin(1Joh 3:4).
And the Law can do only 3 things
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).

Can we attain righteousness by keeping the Law? Can we be justified in front of God by keeping the Law? Can we attain righteousness with our own strength? This is what Paul addresses in Gal 5:4. If anyone seeks to be justified by the Law(attain righteousness through their own power by keeping God’s Commandments), that person has lost God’s favor/grace, as he or she is putting faith in him/herself rather than in Yeshua, who was the atoning sacrifice for us. If Righteousness could have been attained by each of us through keeping the Law, Christs death is in vain (Gal 2:21). Yeshua died for all of our Sin. Because of His death, Sin has no more dominion over us. When Yeshua died for our sin, we moved from being under God’s Commandments and the penalty of breaking it, which is death, to being under His favor/Grace (Rom 6:14).  But, just because we have God’s Favour, and because we are no more under the penalty, can we Sin(Break God’s Law)?  No we cannot. (Rom 6:15). Please read this post for more information on this subject.

You fall from Grace if you try to attain righteousness by your own power, by putting faith in yourself. You do not though, fall from Grace by obeying God and His Commandments (which contains the Sabbath commandment) because you Love Him. Can you fall out of someones favor because you obey that person? Just by obeying God and His Commandments(which contain the Sabbath Commandment as well) you cannot fall from His Grace.


Q15) Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
Reading Gal 4:8, we understand that the people in Galatia did not know God at one time, and was serving things that are not God. Paul then goes on to ask in verse 9, why they are turning back to weak and beggarly elements, after they have come to know God. So the days, months, times and years mentioned in Gal 4:10 cannot be God’s Sabbaths and appointments. Paul just asked them why they are turning back to weak and poor principles/beggarly elements. Are God’s Sabbath and His Commandments the weak and poor principles Paul is asking the Galatia assembly about? Is this the bondage he is talking about? Or is it that the Galatians were turning back to their former observances done before?

We know that the Galatians did not know God at one time, and they wouldn’t have kept the Sabbath, when they did not know God’s Commandments. Ask yourself this question. If it was the Sabbath, Paul was talking about, How can the Galatians be turning back to observing the Sabbath which they did not observe in the first place? These observances must be days and months that come from different pagan cultures.


Q16) Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
The Seven Day Week has never been effected with the numerous changes done to the Calendar systems in history. Meaning there has never been 2 consecutive mondays, tuesdays, etc. The 7 day week has continued on as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on and so forth, without any change. Which means the 7th day in Yeshua’s time is still the 7th day, today! (Please refer any Encyclopedia to recheck this theory) The 7 day cycle has never been broken to date!


Q17) There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
As we saw in the 2nd Part of this study, the word translated as “Sabbath” in our English translations come from (G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on) in the Original Greek Manuscripts. The word “Sabbato” is still in use in Greece, as Greeks call Saturday “Sabbato”. (Please check this for yourself in any Greek – English Dictionary) Let me put this in another way. In Greece, the day which is called “Saturday” is still called “Sabbato” – the same word which is in the Original Greek New Testament Manuscripts which is translated as “Sabbath” in English. SABBATH = SABBATO = SATURDAY. There is no doubt about it.


Q18) There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
We can worship God on all 7 days of the week. You are not breaking the Sabbath by going to a Sunday Service. The only thing which was banned on the Sabbath was your regular work. Even if you go to worship meeting on Sundays, remember that the Sabbath is the day which was separated and commanded to be remembered by God. It was a sign between Him and His people(Exo 31:13,17)

This is not some kind of ritual. You don’t need to light candles and say special prayers, as none of it is Commanded in the Scriptures. Refrain from buying, selling, working or making others work for money. Set the day apart for studying and worshiping the God of Creation and the Sabbath. Do anything and everything, if it means helping others in need. The Sabbath spans from Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown as per the Biblical day (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Luk 23:34)


Q19) How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
The only thing I can say to you is, in the Bible itself there are many stories where the people who obeyed God was the Minority. Just because the majority does not obey God, it does not make the wrong, right. God could choose to use anyone to help people and release them from their infirmities (Even the pharisees had the power to cast out demons – Luk 11:19). Each of us is given a measure of knowledge by God. What matters is, what we do with that measure. “to whom much is given, much will be required”.

I used to believe that the Sabbath was no more as well, at one time. But when God opened my eyes to the Truth, I chose to obey. We cannot pick and choose what we like out of the Scriptures. We need to look at it as a whole and come to our own conclusions through the helper Yeshua left us, God’s own Holy Spirit. Pray for your friends, Pastors & Teachers, that they may also see the truth and start obeying God without question.


Q20) Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?
Some say, Are you seriously saying we need to keep a Commandment which even has a Law attached to it, which says you cannot even light a fire on the Sabbath? If God has commanded, we have to obey. But we need to understand what He meant by this first. What did He mean by not lighting a fire? Did He mean that everyone has to go hungry that day, because you cannot cook a meal? Did He mean that you have to sleep in the cold and freeze to death because you cannot light a fire? We have to understand God’s Words and His Laws before we make any assumptions.

In Exo 35:2,3, God speaks through Moses saying, Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
What is the context of Exo 35:3? Why does He say not to light a fire? Because God did not want anyone to do “regular monetary work” on that day. Remember that fire was essential for “work” at that time. If someone uses this verse to say “If you keep the Sabbath, you shouldn’t even cook using fire”, I would show them Exo 12:16 which talks about the High/Special Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, and how God specifically says that people can prepare their meals on these special Sabbath days.

Some point to the punishment in Exo 35:2, and say, “Are we to put people who break the Sabbath to death? Surely, this is not a commandment for today”.
When this Commandment was given to the people, God himself reigned as King over them. He directly solved matters regarding everything through Moses. On the other hand, today, we are in exile. We are scattered around the world waiting for God to come back and establish His kingdom. He alone can punish a person who breaks His Commandments. When He said “shall be surely put to death”, that was a curse of the Law. The punishment for breaking God’s Commandments is Death. This is what Yeshua took upon Himself, so that we could have Grace when we fall short. It is not an open invitation for us to freely break God’s Commandments, just because we have Grace. That is making the blood of Yeshua into a worthless thing.


The Sabbath is quite a complex subject, with people teaching that it has been abolished for many hundreds of years. We must put our faith in God’s Word, rather than any man’s preaching or teaching and audit ourselves. Test every teaching and every verse we know, that goes against God’s Word. I sincerely hope this study has helped you clear out some of the questions you had. Even though it is a very long post, there was no way of shortening it more, as without hard facts shown through Scripture, we can make our own doctrines very easily. It has already led our world to have many denominations with various teachings which have no foundations in the Word of God. As with all of my other studies, I ask you to check everything which is written in this post and to make your conclusions using only the Word of God. May God Almighty bless you for your obedience in keeping His Commandments which include The 7th Day Sabbath!

Who were the Pharisees?

One of the recurring main characters throughout the New testament is the group called “Pharisees“. Common misconceptions regarding this sect of Judaism has led to a lot of confusion in Christianity.  The so called “Vipers” or “Hypocrites” according to Yeshua (Hebrew name of Jesus), represent the Old Testament and God’s “so-called” archaic Laws in lots of Christian minds. If you believe that the Pharisees were the ones who kept God’s Commandments perfectly, and Yeshua came and loosened these archaic Laws, I would like to showcase some “irrefutable evidence” from the Word of God to suggest otherwise.

Let’s start by asking a few questions about the pharisees? Who were they? Were they the ones who obeyed God’s Commandments & Laws in Yeshua’s time? Did Yeshua really condemn them because they were keeping God’s Commandments? Was Yeshua getting rid of the Commandments of God along with the Pharisees who kept them?

Let’s review some facts about the pharisees first, using the Bible as our guide

  • The Pharisees were a sect of Judaism – Acts 26:5
  • The Romans had given them the power and place/authority that they held – John 11:48
  • They had power over the Synagogues – John 12:42
  • They had their own officers and guard – John 7:32; 18:3 / Mat 26:65,66
  • Some pharisees wanted to protect Yeshua – Luke 13:31
  • Some pharisees were waiting to accuse Yeshua – Luke 11:53,54
  • They had disciples of their own – Mark 2:18
  • They traveled to make disciples  – Mat 23:15
  • They did not keep God’s total Law – Mat 23:23
  • They had their own law/doctrine/teaching – Mat 16:12, Mar 7:8, John 7:51
  • Their disciples had power to cast out evil spirits – Mat 12:27
  • They had many customs/traditions like washing of hands – Mark 7:3,5, Luke 11:38
  • Paul was a pharisee – Philip 3:5, Acts 23:6; 26:5
  • There was a division amongst them about Yeshua being righteous or sinful – John 9:16
  • The 1st century church contained believers who were from this sect – Acts 15:5

Looking at the above scriptures, a few things should become clear to you:

  1. Not all Pharisees were hypocrites. Some even believed Yeshua was Messiah(Acts 15:5)
  2. Pharisees obeyed something other than God’s Law/Commandments, often called “Traditions of the elders” or “Traditions of men” (Mat 15:2,3,6/ Mar 7:3,5,8,9,13/ Gal 1:14/ 1Pet 1:18)

What proof is there to say that they did not keep God’s Commandments?
Let’s read Mat 15:1-20. The pharisees questioned why Jesus’ disciples did not eat with washed hands(Mat 15:1,2). Jesus replied by how they were breaking GOD’S LAW, by keeping the TRADITIONS OF MEN(Mat 15:3) and adding to God’s Law. This whole event revolved around the washing of Hands, and whether or not it makes you unclean(Mat 15:20). Mar 7 talks about the same event. The Pharisees asked why Jesus’ disciple are not keeping the “traditions of the elders“(Mar 7:5). They laid aside the COMMANDMENTS OF GOD to keep the TRADITIONS OF MEN(Mar 7:8,9). They broke GOD’S COMMANDMENTS because of their TRADITIONS(Mar 7:13). Paul kept these traditions before he beleived in Yeshua(Gal 1:14)

The Pharisees believed in another Law, other than the written Law of Moses, called the “Oral Law”. They believed that the “Oral Law” was passed down from Moses to Joshua, and to the Judges after them, and that the Pharisees were the keepers of this extra Law. This “Oral Law” is what was called “The Tradition of the elders” at that time, mainly because each Rabbi/Teacher of the Sect of Pharisees would teach the Oral Law to his students “Orally”, and these Teachers of the Law could add to this Law. This “Oral Law” has now been written down, and is available as a book called the “Talmud”. You can read more about the “Talmud” in any Encyclopedia. The Orthodox Jews, who you see clad in black with hats and beards, live by this “Oral Law” additionally to the “Written Law of Moses”. Even today, they do not eat unless they keep the tradition of washing the hands.(The “washing of the hands” is not in the Old Testament. It is not part of God’s Law). And their are many traditions like this, that I will not go into. If you want to learn more about the Pharisees and their traditions, I recommend that you watch this video. The Orthodox Jews could be called the Pharisees of the modern era, because they are keeping the same traditions. A Rabbi or teacher of the sect of the pharisees could make a law that would be added onto the “Oral Law”, making it a tradition or what they would call a “Law”. They believed that they had the authority to make and change Laws as they pleased, and that not even God or Prophets like Elijah could stand up against them. (I highly recommend that you watch the video linked above, to understand more about this Oral Law and who the Pharisees really were).

Did they really teach something different or in addition to God’s Commandments?
They taught doctrines of men INSTEAD OF the commandments of God (Mat 15:6,9, Mar 7:7)

But did they break and teach to break God’s Commandments?
Let us go back to Matthew 15 to see how they added to God’s Commandments.
In Mat 15:3-6 and Mar 7:10-13  Yeshua asked the Pharisees, Why do you disobey the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses his father or mother, let him die. But you say, Whoever that says to his father or his mother, It is a gift/Corban(Meaning an Offering), by which you profit, he does not have to honor his father or his mother, he is free. In this way, you have made the commandment of God “of none effect by” your tradition. What was Yeshua trying to explain here? He said that God’s Commandment was clear. We have to honor our parents. How do you honor your parents? By taking care of them and bringing honor to them by who you are. But what were the Pharisees tradition saying? A person could tell their parents, that whatever he uses to take care of the parents, is a gift/offering to God, and not have to take care of his parents. Has God ever said that we should give offerings to Him while our parents suffer? Does giving to God free us of taking care of our parents? The Pharisees had said that the offering was more important than taking care of your own parents. This is how they broke God’s Law. By adding to it and taking away from it. Which God specifically said not to do(Deut 4:2, 12:32, Prov 30:6). This is how they made God’s Commandments “of none effect” or worthless. By putting “Traditions of Men” above “God’s Commandments”.

The main thing to understand, is that the teachings of the Pharisees, was not the Commandments of God.

Yeshua taught to obey God’s Commandments.(Mat 5:19, 19:17, Joh 12:50). He also taught His disciples to beware of the Doctrines/teachings of the Pharisees.(Mat 16:11,12)

Some think that the “Washing of hands” is in the Old Testament. And Yeshua is abolishing those Old Laws. I would ask such a person to find exactly where the “Washing of hands” is mentioned in the Old Testament before you make up your mind.

I have purposely kept the argument between Yeshua and the Pharisees about the Sabbath (Luke 6, Mat 12, Mar 2:23), out of this study. (This will be covered in a Study that is done solely on the Sabbath, in the near future) Though, I would like to point out, that just like the “washing of hands”, another one of the Laws written in the “Talmud”, the “Oral Law” of the Pharisees, is specifically how one should not even pluck corn on the Sabbath Day.

In conclusion, I hope you have adequately understood the following:
The pharisees did not adhere to God’s Commandments.
They did not represent the Old Testament or God’s Laws.
Yeshua’s arguments with the pharisees does not mean He was going against Gods’ Law.
The pharisees had a Law of their own.
They broke God’s Commandments through keeping their own Laws

Even though the objective of today’s study is not to find answers to whether Yeshua freed us from the Old Testament Laws or whether He upheld God’s Law, I would note, learning who The Pharisees were, is one of the keys to getting rid of a lot of misunderstandings about Yeshua, His Teachings & God’s Commandments.