Celebrating Jewish Holy Days

Q. I asked someone why they believe we must still keep the Sabbath and all of the Festivals of the Old Testament. My understanding of Scripture is that when Jesus came, He was the fulfillment of all of this and we no longer have to practice them. Below is the response I received. I would really like your input.

“Referring to keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days. Most fail to understand that both the Sabbath and Holy Days actually point toward Jesus Christ not away from Him. A proper understanding of the Holy Days remind us that He is returning again soon.”

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The Only One Saved

Q. My question centers on a Christian’s responsibility to his/her family during family functions. I am the only saved one in my family. When I attend holidays and family functions, it is uncomfortable for me because there are untoward things going on, such as swearing, drinking, gossiping, and occasionally light gambling. I try to ignore it but it’s difficult.  What would you recommend if you were in my shoes? If I don’t attend the functions at all, then I risk offending the family. When I do go, I’m uncomfortable. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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The Santa Hoax

Q. I recently received quite a shellacking from a co-worker when I was in the process of explaining some of the pagan origins of the traditions that are associated with Christmas.  I had expressed my disdain for the practice of my church to include Santa Claus in this annual observance. I believe that Satan employs many different tactics to divert our attention from the saving grace of God. In this particular instance, it happens to be a ” jolly old elf”.

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Dating The Lord’s Birth

Q. I was reading an article about the star that lead to Bethlehem.  This article  claimed Jesus was born around 7 to 5 B.C or around that time. I always thought A.D stood for the year of our lord and that when Jesus was born it would have started 1 A.D.

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Rosh Hashanah Rapture?

Q. Some Messianic Jewish teachers and lay individuals teach that during Feast of Trumpets at a certain point in time the Lord will initiate the Rapture of the Church. Can the Church, predominantly gentile, assume the Rapture will occur at some point during that appointed Jewish feast?

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Rapture On April 6?

Q. Re: Rapture References.  I really enjoyed subject article.  Your identifying Daniel 3 as describing End Times events was new to me.  However, the reason for this email is to ask if you see the coming of renewing animal sacrifice at Passover 2010 as an indication that God will again be focusing on Israel as of that date/time.  I’m just wondering if that could mean that the Rapture will occur before April 6, assuming such sacrifices actually occur?  When I first read about this a couple weeks ago, it seemed profound to me; but I haven’t found anyone else who seems to make the same connection.  Am I reaching too much?  I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Finding The Jubilee Year

Q. How important is it to accurately know when the next jubilee year is?  According to Josephus, the last Jubilee celebrated in the land was in the fall of 27 A.D.  (A well known author) also said that Jesus started His public ministry in 27 A.D. by reading from Isa. 61:1-2, proclaiming the favorable year of the Lord.  Wouldn’t it be very likely that He will also return in the next jubilee year in 2027-2028?  That puts the rapture around 2020.  I hope the next jubilee year is in 2017-2018, but wouldn’t Josephus’ date be accurate?  Thanks for all your diligent work!

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Judas And The Scapegoat

Q. Thank you for all you do to help us understand scripture more fully.  I have a question about Judas.  Is there any correlation between the scapegoat in the Old testament and Judas in the NT?  Of course, Judas was not innocent like the scapegoat, but the way in which Judas died (Acts 1:18) is so similar in manner to the scapegoat’s death from being pushed off a cliff that it made me ask.  Many Christians blame Judas for Jesus death, and although his actions played a part in the final outcome, it was Jesus himself who laid down his life for us.  Each of us is responsible for the death of Jesus because of our sin, but human nature just naturally seeks out someone else to blame.  Is there any significance in the similarities?

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When Was The Church Born?

Q. Again, thanks for so much wonderful help in understanding the Scriptures. I still don’t have a grasp on this yet. When did the church actually start? Was it when Jesus breathed on the disciples in John 20:22? Or was it at the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2? Weren’t the disciples born again in John 20:22, therefore starting the church, or is that a wrong assumption? We know that Pentecost is a celebration of the first fruits, and that those saved on the Day of Pentecost were the first fruits of the harvest, so does John 20:22 not qualify as the first fruits of the church?

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Rapture On Pentecost?

Q. I am wondering … what else has to happen before the Lord returns?  I waffled back and forth between pre and mid for many years and now that I feel like I have a solid belief in pre-trib, I am wondering what prophecies still need to be fulfilled, if any.  My daughter keeps mentioning something about a red heifer, but I am not sure where that comes into play.

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