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Ruth the Reubenite



"Why turn ye again...?"


I will begin by quoting the Scriptures which are often misunderstood which are the subject of this discussion.
Gal 4:1-11 The controversial part of this scripture is as follows in verse 11, and it reads... "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
This scripture is often misunderstood, perhaps because of the way they have been translated? It seems that many believe that the weak and beggarly elements the Gentiles of Galatia were returning to were the Feasts and holy days of the Almighty! How bizarre. How could the Apostles be so presumptuous as to suggest that the holy Feasts of Yahweh were weak and beggarly?! Also, How could Gentiles be returning to something they had never been engaged in? Another important point is that if this i.e. "Howbeit then when you knew not Elohim you did service to them which by nature are nothing but idols!" was referring to the Law, then they are intimating that the keeping of the Law is idolatry!
So, in this article we are going to hopefully 'untie a few knots' and misconceptions relating to what these scriptures are actually talking about.

What were the 'weak and beggarly elements?'
Before the Gentiles in Galatia heard of Yahshua/Jesus, they worshipped many Gods. Part of the worship to their various Gods involved making animal sacrifices. In these sacrifices birds and animals were sacrificed to other gods, such as Zeus and Hermes. In these rituals meat was offered, fornication took place, things strangled were eaten and they also ate blood. All this they performed as offerings to these gods “that were no gods.” (v.8) They were also involved in enchantments, necromancy and observing special times and seasons, i.e. Astrology.

Gal 4:8-10 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, i.e. sacrificing animals, committing all sorts of sexual sins in honour of the false gods, drinking blood etc whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? i.e. to the false Gods. These verses are linked together as part of the same thought. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years, i.e. Astrology.
Does all this sound familiar, the drinking of blood, eating things strangled, committing fornication in honour of the gods? The Apostles dealt with these issues in Acts 15. Upon realising the new Gentile converts had been mixed up in all these things, they came together to decide what Yahweh would have them to do towards them. They did not desire to overface the new Gentile converts with all the Laws with which they were so familiar...it would, perhaps, be too much for them to bear at first? We read of their prayerful decisions in Acts 15:19-21. The four 'rules' addressed the former areas of idolatry which conflicted with the Law of Moses. The Apostles then made the declaration that 'Moses was preached every week in the Synagogue' to infer that they, the new Gentile believers were free to go along to 'gradually absorb' the rest of Moses at their own pace.
The Gentiles obviously needed these clear instructions, as they were so steeped in their idolatry that they began to worship the Apostles as they saw the signs and wonders they performed. We see their reaction here towards Saul and Barnabas…
Acts 14:8 After healing a lame man the two, Saul and Barnabas were mistaken for gods on their missionary journey. Acts 14:14 And when the people saw what Saul had done, they that is the Gentiles in and from the Galatians area lifted up their voices saying in the speech of Lyconia, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men" and they called Barnabas Zeus and Saul Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.”
“When the Apostles Barnabas and Saul heard, they tore their clothes and ran in among the people (Gentiles) crying out saying ‘Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you. We preach the gospel unto you (here comes the answer) ‘That ye should turn from these vanities unto the living Elohim which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.”
So, to return to the question on the previous page,

"...doesn't Paul declare our freedom from Biblical Feasts?"

So, we are able to understand exactly which 'former things' Paul and the Apostles were alluding to when they mentioned returning to The weak and beggarly elements and that it was all to do with their former idolatrous worship. So now the question arises "Should New Covenant believers keep the Biblical Feasts written about in Leviticus 23?" We have written extensively on this subject elsewhere on the Feasts page, for you to study, but suffice it to say, we know that these scriptures in Galatians 4 are certainly not insinuating that the Feasts of Yahweh are in any way discredited by the Apostles.
On the contrary, there are many scriptures which declare that the Apostles did at least celebrate the Feasts of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. To refer to these as 'weak and beggarly elements' would therefore be ludicrous. If it were Yahweh’s Feast days there would be a complete contradiction in the New Testament, and Paul and the other followers would never have kept the Sabbath by joining the other Sabbath keepers every week in the synagogues, which they clearly did, and they would never have observed the Biblical Feasts.

What about us then, in the 21st. Century? Are we any different to the early believers? How could that be? We all read the same scriptures and we all serve the same Elohim/God, and we all look to Yahshua/Jesus for our Salvation and look forward to His return. Therefore, we can safely assume that we, whether believing Jews or Gentiles (i.e. from the nations) are able to find joy in keeping the Feasts should we so desire, perhaps as a preparation for the time when Yahshua will set up His Kingdom on earth and demand that all nations, according to Zec 14:16 "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
Jesus (Yahshua) Himself kept the Feasts of Yahweh (they are Yahweh’s great testimonies to the whole world what He has done through past generations) The apostles kept them, and Paul writing to the Corinthian (i.e. Gentile) church said, Cor 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump as ye are unleavened. For even Christ (Messiah) our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us (Jew, Gentile, male, female, bond, free ) keep the Feast, not with Old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

Question. Should we who have had our sins forgiven and washed away in baptism – who have received the promise of the Holy Spirit be judged by other believing Christians if we are all saved by grace?
Answer. Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of Feast days, New Moons and Sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is the Messiah. (Christ)

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