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The word Easter comes from the German, eostre which means “east”, having to do with the dawn or sunrise.  There is only one old source [Bede] that connects it with a goddess named Eostre [which appears to be exaggerated], but there is zero historical proof that she even existed.  The only possibility is an obscure and minute region of German folklore which is referred to by Bede with no records or references of any kind of worship or festivals in her honor from that time period.

Bede, c.700

Eostur-monath has a name which is now translated Paschal month, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance. [Christian monk Bede, De temporum ratione (“On the Reckoning of Time”), Ch. xv, “The English months”

This was [Bede’s] attempted etymology of Easter – which is  only called that in English of course. The problem is that as the Goddess in question, Eostre is completely unknown otherwise, … so  this proposed etymology is probably spurious. In the 19th century a German antiquarian invented Osatra, as the German form, using Bede as his source.

Bede admits this idea is his speculation – he is not actually aware of a goddess called Eostre, he just thinks there was one. There is not a single reference to her, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, any of the other writings we have from the period, or from inscriptions. No depiction – no amulets – nothing. Her Germanic version was invented completely in the 19th century, and again has no evidence whatsoever from history or archaeology to back it up.” 1

It is equally valid, however, to suggest that the Anglo-Saxon “Estor-monath”simply meant “the month of opening”, or the “month of beginning”, and that Bede mistakenly connected it with a goddess who either never existed at all, or was never associated with a particular season, but merely, like Eos and Aurora, with the Dawn itself.” [Stations of the Sun, p.180]

“Eostre is a very obscure Goddess, and uniquely Anglo-Saxon Heathen. She is not mentioned at all in the Norse corpus and only fleetingly in the Old English by Bede in De Temporum Rationale.  Her material is so scant that some scholars have speculated she was not a Goddess at all, but that Eostre was merely a name for the holiday.” 2

“All we know from Bede was that she was worshipped sometime in April. Bede also mentions another Anglo-Saxon goddess, Hredhe, who was honoured in March, and for whom the month of March was named. If the heathen Anglo-Saxons actually did worship a goddess at the Vernal Equinox, then according to the only historical evidence we have it would have been Hredhe, not Eostre.” 3

Ostare is simply the German word for “Easter” ….

“No Norwegian, Icelandic or other Scandinavian primary source mentions ‘Ostara’. In fact, the name ‘Ostara’ isn’t found anywhere in connection with a goddess. ‘Ostara’ is simply the Old High German name for the Christian Festival of Easter.” 4

The “word” Eostre may have been borrowed from a pagan source, but the celebration of Easter is not pagan.  The concept of Easter in Christianity comes from the Jewish Passover as fulfilled by Christ, not because of the pagan festivals of the spring equinox.  If this were so, then Passover should also be connected to paganism because it is celebrated in the Spring as well.

Although Hebrew Roots has really tried foisting off Easter/Eostre as Ishtar, Asheroth,  [Greek goddesses from Greek mythology] or from Semiramis and Tammuz in the OT – they are unrelated to  Easter.   Easter is the English word that comes etymologically from the German Ostare.  Unfortunately, along with that, the myth about the egg laying “Easter rabbit” comes from the erroneous connection to Ashtarte/Ishtar [also known as Asheroth] and Semiramis, which are mistakenly assigned to “Easter” by the likes of Michael Rood.  This “teaching” has made the rounds through the Messianic Hebrew Roots movement as “truth”.  In fact, the way he presents these things is a sensationalized attempt to make Christians look like pagan worshiping heathens.

Michael Rood:

“Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ashtarte) as she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the “sun” day after the vernal equinox. To proclaim her divine authority, she changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. As the cult developed, the priests of Easter would impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday. A year later the priests of Easter would sacrifice those three-month-old babies on the altar at the front of the Sanctuary and dye Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants. (Michael John Rood, The Mystery of Iniquity, Chapter 8)

Bunnies/hares/rabbits were not originally associated with Eostre.  The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore bluntly states:

“Nowadays, many writers claim that hares were sacred to the Anglo-Saxon [goddess] Eostre, but there is no shred of evidence for this.”

The association of rabbits with Easter began with the myths surrounding Eostre.  Because of the brief words of Bede, folklore and traditions were more than likely started about hares and eggs and their association with Eostre.  Bede’s comments about the legend of Eostre as a spring goddess [which historically cannot be proved] provided the “breeding ground” for a goddess who cavorted with hares [rabbits].  These legends began in the early 1600s in Germany and were eventually spread to England via the Saxons.

The Grimm Brothers took Bede’s short comments as “factual” and embellished them along with the legends of the day and wrote fairy tales about hares and eggs.  One of the stories is that Eostre found a bird half dead in the middle of winter and turned it into a furry hare to save its life.  Other stories morphed from that into an Easter bunny delivering eggs. 5

More German folklore says the Easter bunny and egg tradition came from the 17th century:

“The character of the “Easter bunny” first appeared in 16th-century German writings, which said that if well-behaved children built a nest out of their caps or bonnets, they would be rewarded with colored eggs. This legend became part of American folklore in the 18th century, when German immigrants settled in the eastern U.S.” 6

“The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the United States in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the “Osterhas,” sometimes spelled “Oschter Haws.” “Hase” means “hare”.  According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter. In 1835, Jakob Grimm wrote of long-standing similar myths in Germany itself. Noting many related landmarks and customs, Grimm suggested that these derived from legends of Ostara.

The German and Amish legends were most likely rooted in European folklore about hares’ eggs  which seems to have been a confusion between hares raising their young at ground level and the finding of plovers‘ nests nearby, abandoned by the adult birds to distract predators. Hares use a hollow called a form rather than a burrow. Lapwings nest on the same sort of ground, and their nests look very similar to hare forms. So in the Spring, eggs would be found in what looked like hare forms, giving rise to the belief that the hare laid eggs in the spring.” 7

The coloring or dying of Easter eggs is of unknown origin.  Some evidence goes back to the early Egyptians and Persians.  Christianity adopted the practice of dying the eggs red as a symbol of Christ’s blood shed on the cross.  Early Catholicism required that eggs be given up for lent fasting, so there were an abundance of eggs at Easter, which is a possible source for their popularity on Easter morning.

There is no historical source that shows worshipers of Ishtar took the blood of sacrificed babies and used their blood to dip eggs, although this information can be found on numerous websites – with no sources.  As Ishtar has nothing to do with Easter, it is obvious that the more sensational Hebrew Roots adherents punctuate Easter with bizarre pagan practices, the more they feel vindicated to demote and denigrate the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The word pesach comes from the Aramaic/Chaldean word pasah – so it’s origin is “pagan”, which makes it as “pagan” as “Easter”.  The Greek paschal also comes from the Aramaic.

From the online etymological dictionary:

paschal

1427, “of or pertaining to Easter,” from L.L. paschalis, from pascha “Passover, Easter,” from Gk. pascha “Passover,” from Aramaic pasha “pass over,” corresponding to Heb. pesah, from pasah “to pass over” (see Passover). Pasche was an early M.E. term for “Easter” (see Easter).

In light of the etymology, it would be incorrect to say that Christians “mistranslated” the word pascha [particularly Acts 12:4]. History shows that pascha and Easter have been used interchangeably for centuries. 8 Easter is simply the English translation for pascha.  There is no conspiracy, no Greek paganism involved.  The celebration of the resurrection of Christ came to be known as Easter.

William Tyndale, in the 1500s coined the word Passover in his translation and used also used Easter fourteen times, which shows that the English word was in use in the middle ages.  Tyndale was an expert in German, so he knew the translation of Ostare to the English Easter. Some of the earlier translations also used Easter.  That the world and Christians have added other traditions to their festivities in no way lessens what Easter means to those who love Jesus Christ and worship Him, their risen Lord and Savior.

Judaism often uses the word Passover, which as noted, comes from a “pagan” translator, from a Hebrew Roots perspective.  The Jewish people have historically taken practices and words from other cultures and tongues and made them their own, with a new slant.  Like synagogue and affikomen – both Greek words connected to Greek/Hellenistic culture.

Of course Christians took pascha/Passover/Easter and refocused it on the fulfillment of Christ’s death and resurrection.  Christians are more than aware of Passover and the commands of God pertaining to it in the OT.  On the night that Jesus was betrayed, the disciples and Jesus were celebrating Passover, having killed the Passover and were eating the supper.  This is when Jesus pointed out that He was the bread and wine – the entrance of the New Covenant, bought in His blood.  He said: “This do in remembrance of Me” – referring to the breaking of bread and drinking of wine, which had replaced the feast of Passover.  It is clearly there in the Gospels.  It is not difficult to grasp.

Mat 26:26  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Mat 26:27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

****

Luk 22:15  And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Luk 22:16  For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Luk 22:17  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

Luk 22:18  For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

Luk 22:19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

******

Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.

Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Joh 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Joh 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Joh 6:57  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

That night Jesus also washed the disciple’s feet.  Something that Hebrew Roots appears to leave out of their feasting.  Perhaps because it obviously conveys that Passover was completed and fulfilled in Christ, with the emphasis on serving.  It’s interesting that HR says nothing about this practice as part of the “Seder” – it was obviously left out.  Jesus actually said that we should serve others as He served us and gave His life for us.  Instead of moving forward in the grace and love of Christ, HR wants to go under the Law to keep feasts and totally forget what Jesus implemented.

Joh 13:4  He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

Joh 13:5  After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Joh 13:6  Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Joh 13:7  Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Joh 13:8  Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Joh 13:9  Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Joh 13:10  Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

Joh 13:11  For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

Joh 13:12  So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Joh 13:13  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

Joh 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Joh 13:15  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Joh 13:16  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

Passover was given by God as a remembrance of when God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt.  The original rendering is told in Exodus 12.  When God gave the commandments to Moses at Mt Sinai, seven feasts were also commanded to be kept by Israel during the year.  Passover was the first of these. Passover/Unleavened Bread was also one of the three required feasts for males to return to Jerusalem to keep.  We can see evidence of this is the NT when Mary and Jospeh took Jesus to Jerusalem to keep Passover when He was twelve years old.  The Passover seder was not implemented at this point in history – it is a much latter Rabbincial addition.

Passover also includes the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Passover is a one day observance with Unleavened Bread for eight days.  By the time of the New Testament, Passover and Unleavened Bread were incorporated as one Feast.  We can see by the testimony of the Gospels that Unleavened Bread was actually the beginning of Passover and interestingly appears to occur inclusive of Passover, which begs the question of how did Jesus die at the exact moment that the lambs were sacrificed when they were eating the Passover [lamb] the night before Messianics are convinced that Jesus was actually crucified?

Mat 26:17  Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Mar 14:12  *And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover*, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

Luk 22:1  Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

Luk 22:7  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

It is obvious from the NT that Jesus fulfilled the Passover with His death.  Although some Messianics state that Jesus did not die as “sin offering” in remembrance of Passover.   Paul stated specifically that Jesus was the Passover Lamb!  If one looks at the Mosaic Law, it is clear that Passover also required a sin offering – once again proving that Jesus did in fact fully fulfill Passover.

Num 28:16  And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.

Num 28:17  And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

Num 28:18  In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:

Num 28:19  But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish:

Num 28:20  And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil: three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram;

Num 28:21  A several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs:

Num 28:22  And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you.

Num 28:23  Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.

1Co 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

1Co 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: [the word Passover = Lamb]

Mar 14:12  *And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover*, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

Luk 22:7  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

Unleavened Bread is an integral part of Passover. The escape from sin and bondage is allegorical to Egypt throughout the Bible.

Deu 16:3  Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

Deu 16:4  And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.

Exo 34:25  Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

1Co 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

1Co 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1Co 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Luk 12:1  In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Gal 5:9  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

The Passover Seder called the Haggadah, is the Talmudic interpretation of how Judaism keeps the feast of Passover. The Seder is a set of “late” instructions and traditions that have been fully incorporated into Judaism, that were Hellenistic in their origins.  The Seder was not yet practiced in the first century.  They have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, although Messianics and many Christians are convinced there are “hidden” meanings with the practices of the Seder that point to Christ, and that He observed the Seder at the Last Supper. The Talmud denies Christ, and therefore its decisions and instructions are not associated with Him.  How can a system that denies who He is give any insight as to His fulfillment through His death and resurrection by way of a feast that is perceived to be unfulfilled and ongoing – and has nothing to do with Him?

*** Stay tuned for Part 2 [The historical Hellenistic origins of the Passover Seder] and Part 3 [Why the Passover Seder is not allegorical of Jesus Christ].


http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/eostre-never-existed-why-easter-is-not-a-pagan-holiday/ and:

http://www.celtic-catholic-church.org/oak_tree/easter.html

http://www.englatheod.org/eostre.htm

3   http://www.manygods.org.uk/articles/essays/Eostre.shtml

4  ibid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%92ostre

http://www.answers.com/topic/the-easter-bunny

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Easter_Bunny

7  ibid

http://www.easterau.com/

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Many state and believe that this means that because Jesus was a Jew and followed Torah we must also. The Gentiles, who make a large part of the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements are not Jewish. Therefore one cannot ‘go back’ to something that was not ours in the first place. There are Jews worldwide who find it an affront for Gentiles pretending to be Jewish, pretending to participate in what they feel are Jewish traditions and practices. In it is perhaps the ultimate anti-semitism, because the behaviors not only offend actual Jews, but Gentiles are known to be claiming to be the real Jews. That leaves those who are actual Jews as being imposters according to some within Hebrew Roots. We see then, that we have the doctrine of Jesus was Jewish being corrupted into being those within Hebrew Roots are the ‘real Jews’ and they are the ones having the only truth.

Christianity and Judaism are almost entirely different in beliefs, and those who do not understand that have become a stumbling block to Jews. Those within Judaism reject Jesus Christ, the New Testament and reinterpret prophecies and other Scriptures with that in mind, aside from the incorporation of the Talmud and Kabbalah by many.  Judaism today is rabbinic Judaism. We cannot dismiss those facts. There are practicing Jews who have stated that those within Hebrew Roots and Messianics are straddling a fence with one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity. They urge that individuals make a choice on which they are actually going to follow, because it cannot be both.

We are followers of Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh. And He brought a New Covenant that was unique.

Hebrews 3:1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.
4 For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

http://www.seekgod.ca/hr/hrfaqs.htm#idioms

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Peter and the other apostles understood that Jew and Gentile were one under Christ and all are saved by God’s grace through faith, not by the law.

Every single person that claims to keep the law of Moses and advocates it must be kept fails. Because the very parameters within the law keep it from being kept without the temple, without the Levitical priesthood, and if even practicing Jews in Israel can keep less than 300, the dilemma becomes if one is required according to God in the law—to keep ALL of it– or face the curses for not and there is no verse anywhere in there to allow not keeping it ALL if one is bound to it—all those saying they keep it are lying–and breaking another commandment—so please before accusing, consider the implications.

Because Paul, Peter, Silas, Barnabas and other Jewish believers gave witness they could be with the Gentiles and not live as a Jew. Because Christ delivered the final sacrifice and removed the law out of the way so all people would have equal access based on the very basic reality that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The law made no one righteous–and no one or no sacrifice or works can make us clean or acceptable to God, except through Christ, who can make us clean. Acts 15 tells that those Jewish believers who were commanding that new believers be circumcised and keep the law of Moses—-were subverting the souls of those they told, according to the apostle James and the other apostles and elders of the churches.

Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

subverting means>

G384
ἀνασκευάζω
anaskeuazō
Thayer Definition:
1) to pack up baggage in order to carry it away to another place
1a) to move one’s furniture (when setting out for some other place)
2) of an enemy
2a) dismantling, plundering

3) of a place
3a) to overthrow, ravage destroy towns lands etc.
4) to turn away violently from a right state, to unsettle, subvert

Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G303 (in the sense of reversal) and a derivative of G4632

So to say those in Christ must be circumcised and keep the law is destroying their souls. That’s quite a burden to acquire and have on judgment day.

Peter said the Gentiles were no different than Jewish believers, and were made clean by faith in Christ, which is the true circumcision of the heart, not the body. He then asked why did any of them expect to put the yoke on Gentiles that the fathers couldn’t bear—and which they–the Jewish believers including the apostles– couldn’t bear. Notice that–it was meaning those from the time of Moses to then, and they as Jews were not able to bear that yoke; no one could keep it perfectly. So why expect Gentiles to?

Peter went so far as to say this concerning Jews and Gentiles, “… put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples…”

In other words, who did they think they were to challenge and try to change the message and Truth of the Gospel and the New Covenant, and try to burden new believers with the yoke that was taken away with Christ dying on the cross. And the truth that faith from Christ causes circumcision of the heart, and cleanses that which was unclean. For all. Jew and Gentile. There aren’t 2 different gospels and 2 different ways to live for Christ.

What was the yoke in question? What was being discussed? Circumcision and commanding the keeping of the law of Moses. That was the yoke the fathers nor they could bear.

The yoke was not something else as some try to say. Many Messianics and Hebrew Roots proponents like to say that the yoke was the “oral law”. But “fathers” in that text is defined as the fathers of Israel, meaning ancestors to those at Mt Sinai where the law was given to the children of Israel. The contrast of the burden of that yoke that Peter said the fathers nor they could bear, is found with Jesus saying,

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The yoke of the law was not on Abraham, but on Moses and the people of the covenant. Paul encouraged against being caught up in trying to keep the law of Moses by comparing it to being entangled with the “yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:1-4 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

People who advocate the keeping of the law of Moses, are trying to be justified by the law, which they can’t keep. Therefore, they are fallen from grace, according to the Scriptures. Anything believers do is to be for the glory of God and sharing the gospel. That is what the apostle Paul exemplified. Circumcision, as part of the discussed issues, did not come from the law of Moses, but was given to Abraham, after the promise was given to him by God and before he was circumcised. So that all those who walked by faith could be heirs of the promise. Circumcision became part of the continuing covenant with Abraham under the Mosaic law, but the promise had nothing to do with the law of Moses, other than to point to Christ and be a shadow of what was to come.

Act 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Act 13:40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
Act 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

http://www.seekgod.ca/forum/showthread.php?tid=504

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