Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Restoring The Early Church ~ Lesson 5

Sorry for the delay! We're working on a plan that will help with some of the technical difficulties some folks are having with being able to download the lessons. While we get the details worked out, let's go ahead with the next lesson.

Lesson Five is here.


 



( Please note: this post is part four in a study series we are beginning on Discussing Restoring the Early Church, in which you are welcome to join. You may find Lesson One HERE and the other lessons are posted on the sidebar.)

16 comments:

  1. I'm here, slowly working on keeping caught up. I appreciated the early section of the lesson how it reminded us that the Scriptures that the early believers were reading and adhering to was what today is recognized as the Old Testament. The early believers, among them being the apostles, would have not considered Paul's letters as authoratative as Scripture just the same as the prophets wouldn't have considered their writings as Scripture, though later they were recognized as containing the very Words of G-d. Their messages needed to be tested against Scripture and over time if what was said "in the name of the L-RD" came to be true and the message lined up with the rest of Scripture. The Scriptures that we read are useful for teaching and reproof are what we call the Old Testament and what the believers of the day likely called the TaNaKh.

    I appreciate the point about how if we don't understand the role of the priesthood, their position and duties, then how can we expect to understand the role of Yeshua as High Priest in heaven. Never mind our inherited role as "priests" just the same as the Hebrews were to be a priestly nation among the other nations. Just to better grasp the Priesthood of our Master helps us to better understand His role and His ministry more, and in that we begin to find the incredibly amazing truth in Who He is!

    I also liked the analogy of the marriage and about how too many people focus on getting married rather than on being married. I also like how the analogy carried over to the issue of divorce. I want to be a beautiful and pleasing bride that my Master will be thrilled with at His arrival. I think we all desire to be this way. Learning what it is that brings joy to His heart and what it is to be obedient to the Father is important. Deciding to obey regardless of what we feel about it can be a sacrifice at times, but it is necessary.

    I find it pleasing to see how this lesson ties into some of my own thoughts over recent weeks.

    As far as what defines our role as a priesthood, G-d said that the children of Israel would be a nation of priests among the peoples. If we are grafted into this heritage by our faith then we, too, are part of this priesthood. Within the Hebrews, though, there is the tribe of Levi who was set apart and within that group of families the descendants of Aaron (brother of Moses) are the only ones allowed to minister as priests within the Tabernacle/Temple. There is to be only one High Priest at a time and he is to be a direct descendant of Aaron. These are the ones who have specific duties assigned to them as well as no inheritance of land when the people entered the Promised Land with Joshua. G-d is their inheritance, their service and set apart status to Him.

    I agree that He becomes more and more real, less and less abstract, as we draw closer to Him and study His Word. What a blessing that is. There simply are not sufficient words...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still here too. In lesson 5, I really appreciated the question of, "Describe how you live out your role as a priest of God." Very convicting! The high calling of a holy life is no small matter. Am I always a good example as a child of God? Perhaps many would say "yes", but what would God say?

    I am saddened by the state of many of today's churches and the lack of calling sin, "sin". The willful sin that is prevalent and the tickling of the ears by church leaders makes coming to Christ a non-issue because the world sees no difference in today's Christians from them. Just as in the days of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:14), so it is today.

    Yes, I do believe there are true prophets today, but I also believe there are oh so many false prophets. There is nothing new under the sun. May we vigilant in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good for you. Keep studying and praying. Keep talking with your husband about what you're learning and asking him what he thinks. Pray that the L-RD will put a fire in his heart too. He will.

    Why not blood sacrifices? We forget that this is the way that the G-d of Heaven prescribed for us to draw near to him. Ezekiel's Temple has sacrifices instituted (this is expected to be the Millennial Temple when the Master is ruling from the New Jerusalem). I know it is difficult for us to get past, partly because we're in a different culture and so many thousands of years removed. Would we have a hard time doing anything else that He asked us to do? But still, there are those who feel that in Ezekiel's Temple there will only be grain sacrifices. I cannot say. We'll find out when the Master returns. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your input...

    I know that the Old Covenant (sacrifices) have been fulfilled and replaced by Christ's sacrifice (the New Covenant).

    I cannot understand why they would be performed AFTER the ultimate sacrifice was given.

    The sacrifices did not have the power to forgive; rather they looked forward in faith to Christ's sacrifice and its power, just as we look back in faith for our own redemption. They were a type, pointing forward to Christ's sacrifice...so it seems to make no sense to reinstate them when His blood was sufficient to cover the sins of all who keep His covenant.

    I know a new temple has been prophesied...is it an earthly or heavenly one? What are the sacrifices to be offered? Someday we shall know, and it is thrilling to know that we can be a part of it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. :)

    Why do we not sacrifice today? Only because we do not have a Temple and before it was destroyed the leaders of the day had opted to deny access to all Gentiles and any sacrifices/offering in their behalf. This is not what most people have been taught, I know. But if you can find in Scripture anywhere where it says that the sacrifices are intended only for a temporary time and not "forever" and "by perpetual generation" and "throughout all your generations" then I'd like to know.

    Didn't Paul and Peter and John and James all go to the temple to pray and offer sacrifices? Wasn't that AFTER Messiah? In fact, James the Just (Ya'akov HaTzaddik) was even allowed special access into the Temple to pray when others were not allowed because he was so highly recognized by all Jews. Kefa (Peter) was also highly regarded in his day and the anniversary of his death is still marked in Orthodox circles, though many do not know just who it is they are honoring (the information is burried in the Talmud and "surely the Rabbi's wouldn't let us honor a heritic", right?). Remember the old song, "Peter and John went to pray. They met a lame man on the way..." They were going to the Temple. Paul paid for the sacrifices of others in his party when he completed his Nazarite vow and offered his own sacrifices in Jerusalem.

    The sacrifices were never intended, nor were they ever taught, for forgiveness. "Atonement" is to cover, to conceal, to wipe away. We were atoned for with sacrifices (atonement day) so that we would be covered and not die when we drew near (sacrificed) to G-d. To enter into His presence unprepared is a lethal thing. We must be properly prepared. The sacrifices and offerings were the way we could send someone in our stead, like a master would send a servant in his place, to come before the King. The word translated sacrifice really means "to draw near". He has given us the blood as a means to draw near to Him. We have to go back and wrap our brains around this before we can ever hope to grasp what the blood of Messiah really means and all it encompasses! I, for one, am just starting to feel like I am understanding a tiny bit of it.

    A study of the sacrifices is amazing. We have been taught incorrectly about them, I believe, for so long. But once we begin to read and understand that they must be good and must not have ended since we will be participating in them again (at least to some extent) then we can allow ourselves to put down the understandings we've had previously and try to see what Scripture really says.

    I hate to do this on Julie's blog but maybe something I've written will help make sense. Try reading this and see if it's helpful:
    * http://followingtheancientpaths.wordpress.com/2007/09/02/prayer-and-worship-offerings-and-sacrifice/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, and...were the earliest believers still taking sacrifices to the temple after Jesus acension?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why is it every time we observe the Lord's Supper as a church we read the Lord's words," This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Is the church of the new covenant or not? 2 Cor. 3:6.

    ReplyDelete
  8. oldpathsfamilyfarmOctober 29, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    Annette~

    Let's back up a half-step and determine what is the nature of the New Covenant.

    I for one, had never really studied what it actually *is*.

    A hint is that His covenants are irrevocable, and a new covenant does not supersede or cancel out an older one. He cannot change, as He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was just reading in Ezekial about the sacrifices in the temple. Let's take a quick look.

    "For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel," declares the Master Yahweh, "there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me. There I shall accept them, and there I shall require your offerings and the first-fruits of your offerings, together with all your holy gifts.
    "As a sweet fragrance I shall accept you when I bring you out from among the peoples. And I shall gather you out of the lands where you have been scattered, and I shall be set-apart in you before the gentiles." Ez. 20:40,41

    My DH and I are of the opinion that sacrifices to Yahweh will never be done away with. They are gifts to Him and pleasing to Him. What has been fulfilled is the sacrifice for SIN. This is what Yahshua's precious blood covered once and for all.
    If you study the first 5 books of scripture (AKA the Torah), you will see that there are many types of sacrifices and offerings. Yahshua has offered Himself as our sin offering. I believe though that the other offerings will still stand when the true temple is built anew.
    As to whether any of these other offerings are blood sacrifices, I found Leviticus 3:1 "And if that which he presents is a peace offering, if he is bringing it of the herd, whether male or female, he brings a perfect one before Yahweh." So the peace offering seems to be an animal sacrifice.
    This would be a good study on it's own wouldn't it? I'm going to stop now however as it's getting late.

    Shalom dear Sisters

    ReplyDelete
  10. The New Covenant is outlined in Jeremiah 31. Of course there are several covenants but the only one referred to as "new" is in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Paul makes reference to this in his writings as the new covenant when he quotes from it.

    But just because it's a new covenant doesn't mean that it replaces an "old" one or makes it obsolete, like Julie said. It is a thing to look forward to with joy and realize that we are in process now - as we "speak". It has not yet been fulfilled, as you will see if you read it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why do we need to try to lead our husbands to believe as we do, when he is commanded to be the spiritual leader? That kind of bothers me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm back, just reading others' comments. This is getting interesting! I need to get out my concordance and Bible again.

    So can anyone tell me what this means:

    "and I shall be set-apart in you before the gentiles" (from Ez.20:40,41 in the above quote)

    That statement makes me curious...any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not sure that we know that Paul wrote Hebrews, but in any case, what about Hebrews 8:13, "In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." ???

    ReplyDelete
  14. In regards to the peace offering in Leviticus 3:1... Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
    Colossians 1:20 says, "and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross."
    And Ephesians 2:14 says, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation"

    ReplyDelete
  15. In response to the comment about getting our husbands to believe as we do....

    I am not trying to get anyone to believe anything. This is all new to me, so I don't necessarily know what "I believe" about it anyway.

    I have asked my husband if he thought it was appropriate for women to have a study group such as this one since maybe it should be the men who discuss such things as spiritual leaders. He indicated that he did not have a problem with it, but warned me not to be too quick to accept anything without testing it first. He is willing to consider things I ask him about and is not firmly convinced about many particulars concerning Israel, other than that he feels they will forever remain a part of God's plan.

    I do not "believe" anything differently than he does. I feel I have been challenged to see the other side of the picture, something which is quite new to me, and have shared with him some of the interesting ideas I have been reading about.

    As Julie has just stated, this is getting a bit deep for us!!! But it has initiated some big questions for me and given me an appetite for some in- depth Bible searching. I hope that as I search for answers and ask my husband questions, we can study this together and find out what we believe about these things. I desire to lay groundwork for a stronger spiritual connection with him and hope that this will encourage him to search the Scriptures and share what he learns with me.

    We both know what we have been taught, but now that we know there is another side to things, it is only right that we should examine the Scriptures know for sure what the truth is.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Still here, everyone...just getting closer to the baby's birth and there is so much to do. I am reading, praying, and contemplating, though. I'm just not too vocal, because I am simply learning. I don't know enough at this point to comment much, but just wanted you to know I'm still along.

    ReplyDelete

Before writing your comment, be sure to read the Fine Print!