|Colossians 2:16-17 |
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days;4 [There are sects in Christendom that claim to be "true believers" by celebrating certain Jewish feasts. The same is true regarding the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath. "Do not let anyone judge you" means to not accept their judgment or criticism.]
17 Which are only shadows of things that were to come; but the substance [reality] is Christ. [The law was a shadow, (a faint, outline, resemblance), of the reality and substance of Christ, whose coming made obsolete the Law's ordinances, ceremonies, sacrifices, days, feasts, tithing, sabbaths, washings, rituals, etc.; and ended all as a means to righteousness. With the ending of the Mosaic Law, the life of the law became within, the inner law that is on everyone's heart, by which all men will be judged. The moral core of the Mosaic Law is part of the inner law. When that inner law is completely observed by you, (fulfilled), you die to the law through the law; and you then live by faith, hearing and obeying the continuous direction from God in what to do and what to say. Then, it is no longer you that lives, but Christ who lives and rules within you; the fullness of Christ, the substance, has come in you; having fulfilled the law, having been circumcised in heart, and having fully entered the rest. The Law is fulfilled and the righteousness of the Pharisee is exceeded for the righteousness of a man who walks by faith greatly exceeds the righteousness of any man that walked in full compliance with the Law that could only restrict flesh.]
4 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days;
Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink,*
From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not judge each other on food or drink." There are several so-called lost gospels or lost books of the Bible on the internet; among other contradictions to the Bible, three of them include doctrines that prohibit eating meat and drinking alcohol, which contradicts this verse and contradict Romans 14:1-3. If you want to not eat meat, that is between you and the Lord, but don't preach it. Realize that there were tens of thousands early Quakers who entered the kingdom, and there is not a single writing from them that advocates eating no meat. Several early Quakers were vintners, merchants of wine. In William Penn's home of the Governor of Pennsylvania, beer was made to serve the guests. In George Fox's Journal, he wrote in several places of his drinking beer and wine, usually mixed with water, and usually when he was so ill that those liquids were the only thing he could keep down. Fox never spoke against alcohol; he defended the usage of alcohol for health and condemned those who served others excess alcohol to drunkenness. Fox cited Paul's advice several times: "For every creature of God is good, and ought to be received with thanksgiving." After the great flood, God gave man permission to eat the animals. Jesus drank wine, and He and his disciples ate the Passover meal that includes the meat of lamb; and even the Levitical priests were required by God to eat the best portion from the meat of the animal sacrifices.
* However, the Lord can restrict us from any food or drink He deems necessary. He can restrict us from foods that interfere with a normal weight or our health, and he can restrict us from alcohol; food and drink are a matter of individual conscience, as educated by the teachings of the Lord. Whatever are our individual food and/or drink restrictions from the Lord, we are not to preach those restrictions to others.
The way to attain salvation and the kingdom is clear.
From the Word of the Lord within: "the way is clear: listen and obey." The tens of thousands early Quakers that entered into the kingdom only had the King James Bible; so be very careful accepting lost gospels or lost books, or lost epistles — always supposedly from one of the twelve disciples, or Mary, etc. Of the many I have scanned, every lost gospel, lost book, or lost epistle has fundamental doctrinal differences with the Bible.* George Fox wrote of several errors in the King James Bible translation, (which you can read), but none of the errors were fundamental differences in doctrine. The way to salvation is clearly stated in the Bible, clarified and witnessed by kingdom-dwelling early Quakers' writings on this site, leaving only the necessity to keep waiting on the Lord and keep obeying Him; not surfing the web looking for more information.
* Three so-called Lost Gospels forbid the eating of meat; one forbids visiting women believers; one says Jesus was not the son of God, but was the forerunner of Mohammed; one says the Jewish dietary restrictions were only metaphors for restrictions in personal conduct, etc., etc.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to...Sabbath days.
Regarding observing special days, Paul was tolerant, allowing one man to esteem and regard one day above another, and another to esteem every day alike, and similarly about meats, and not to judge one another; "But let every man," he said, "be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Yet to those Galatians, among whom he had labored intensely, he condemns the observation of days, months, times, and years; and he condemned Gentiles becoming circumcised in hopes of attaining righteousness. While observation of a day is a matter of individual conscience, (in which one should be fully persuaded), for a group of believers to observe a special day is definitely wrong, and a form of religion, which is condemned by Paul:* But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. Gal 4:9-11. And if your church leader says you should observe certain days, or certain foods, you are listening to a false prophet;* as Paul says: Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, Col 2:16. So an individual can choose to celebrate certain days; but the church, as policy or rule, cannot; for that is a form of law. If necessary, the Lord will tell that individual continuing to observe certain days, which ones to stop; thus maintaining freedom of individual conscience.
*The exception is: if you are a Jew that practiced the Mosaic Law and turned to Christianity, you are permitted, (not required), to continue that practice until you have received faith from the Spirit that a portion of the law should not govern you, (as did Peter); for if you think it is a sin to violate any aspect of the law, you are condemned if you violate it. Those who had been Jews were permitted to observe the commands of the law with respect to days, feasts, and food, while those who had been Gentiles were taught to not observe any days, weeks, months, etc., nor to practice any works of the law such as circumcision; and they were not to judge one another about food, drink, feasts, or Sabbath days. Paul wrote: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind;" meaning those things were a matter of individual conscience, and the conscience is subject to education by the Spirit. Like all men, a Jew is freed from the entire law when he has been crucified and has died to law through the law.
There are entire sects built around the Sabbath as part of the Ten Commandments, insisting that worship be on the seventh day, instead of the first day of the week. Because Jesus said not one letter or stroke shall pass from the law, they think obeying all of the Ten Commandments is obeying the whole Law. The Law is not just the Ten Commandments — it is hundreds of laws relating to ceremonies, rituals, ordinances, Sabbath restrictions, family life, sacrifices, washings, etc. Obeying the Ten Commandments is not obeying the Law. In 1 Cor 16:1-2, a collection for the poor brothers in Jerusalem was ordered by Paul to be taken on the first day of the week, not on the Jewish Sabbath; and Acts 20:7 states: "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them, ready to depart the next day; and he continued his message until midnight." This proves that early Church met on the first day of the week, and did not meet on the Jewish 7th Day Sabbath. Plus, John referred to the Lord's day in Rev 1:10, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day;" the Lord's day referring to the day of the week he was resurrected. Paul wrote to let no man criticize you for not observing shadows that ended with the substance, Christ: Therefore let no man judge you in meat or drink, or in respect to a holy day [or any special day], or the new moon, or the Sabbath days. Col 2:16-17. The Jewish Sabbath was the shadow of faint, outline resemblance to the substance Christ, whose coming obsoleted all the shadows, including the Sabbath, offerings, sacrifices, circumcision, foods, feasts, holy days, etc.
George Fox wrote on the first day being the Christian's day of worship:
Christ arose from the dead on the first day of the week; and those who believe in him are entered into Christ their rest; the christians meet together to worship God on the first day of the week; and on the first day of the week it was, that God said, "Let there be light, and there was light."
Fox further wrote on the Sabbath-day:
The apostle says, ‘the body was Christ,’ and the Sabbath was a sign and a shadow of good things to come; so then this fulfils Moses' words. The body is Christ, the Sabbath is a sign; so the good things being come, Christ, the substance, ends the shadow, the sign; and Christ rose on the first day, on which the saints met, and the apostle does not call that a Sabbath, nor does establish the other Sabbath among the Christians, nor told them keep it, that you read of anywhere. For if that day had been observed as it was in the law time, the seventh, which signifies perfection, the apostle would have spoken of it somewhere; for those things that were observable were often spoken of in law and gospel, but this is nowhere spoken of, nor to the saints that they should keep the seventh day as a Sabbath, for offerings were on that day. But the offerings being changed; the law also changed, and the offering, Christ Jesus, having come, the law came to be within, and the circumcision within; and Christ, the rest, is the Lord of the Sabbath, and the rest for the people of God. He who holds up Sabbaths and offerings, holds up circumcision and works, and so keeps people from the body and the head, in the signs and shadows, and so in the works of the law, which the law commands.
Christ came not to break the law; the apostle said the law was good in its place, and he established it; yet the apostle says that the Sabbath was a shadow, but the body was Christ, and he brings them to the law in the heart, in the mind, and there he established it. Christ did not come to break one jot or tittle of it, but (mark) to fulfill it; and he said, ‘not one jot or tittle of the law should be broken until fulfilled.’ Christ, who is the rest to the Jew, who had the Sabbath day, a sign of rest, gave the people rest on that day often, that were bound, burdened, or wearied on that day; and Christ, who did give them rest on that day, and the apostle, who establishes the law, which was good in its place, neither of them ordered the Sabbath day to be kept. Christ does not say, the Sabbath day must be kept; and after him, the apostle nowhere commands it, but says it was a shadow, and the body was Christ. So those who came to the body, Christ, in the days of the apostles, had come to the end of the shadows, in that age, in their day; and for example, you may see it, for some observed a day, and some did not, and they were not to judge one another about those things. Christ giving rest on that day that the people were to rest on, was a figure of the everlasting rest, and of the restoration; who did the work of God on that day, and gave rest to the burdened on that day, that signifies an inward rest; for Christ was the rest, and Lord of the Sabbath, the rest to the people of God. Those who celebrate the Sabbath day, must celebrate a sign, and live in the shadow that keeps them from the body, and so from the church, which Christ is the head of. Who are celebrating Sabbaths must also bring their offerings, and then they must have the first priesthood to offer, and so deny the body that does the will of God, the everlasting priesthood, and the one offering, and hold with the first covenant that must decay, in which those things stood; and deny the everlasting covenant, and him that blotted out ordinances, and ended types and shadows. Christ is the end of the law to everyone that believes, in every jot, and tittle, and print of it; and the signs and shadows that were held up by the law, Christ is the end of; yet the life of the law, the power, remains, though the outward changing shadows and things, end, the body is what ends them all.