SHOULD WE LOOK TO THE JEWS TO ESTABLISH
THE DOCTRINAL TRUTHS OF GOD?
I think that some of us get the waters a little muddy and
swirled around in confusion because we do not see clearly the
DIFFERENCE between God using a people as a WITNESS TO TRUTH, as a
PRESERVER OF SOMETHING PHYSICAL, and the WAY TO LEARN THE
DOCTRINAL TRUTHS OF GOD.
There is A LARGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO. Let me try to
explain by using my personal example first, then we shall look at
the scriptures of the New Testament for light and understanding
on this question.
As a boy raised in the Church of England and a local Sunday
school, I was taught the Ten Commandments, and to read the Bible.
I was NEVER taught that Sunday was the first day of the week. So
I believed Sunday was the 7th day. I had never heard of nor had
ever read about ANYONE keeping any other day as the Sabbath. I
knew Jesus was a Jew from the tribe of Judah, but I knew just
about nothing concerning the modem Jews of today. I certainly did
not know they observed Saturday. I was ignorant of all this.
When coming to Canada at the age of 18, I was invited to the
Baptist church by my landlord. It was he who first told me that
Sunday was not the 7th day of the week. I just about fell off my
chair, or had to sit on a chair(I was standing at the time), as I
was in total shock!
I wanted to make sure he was correct. I did not even think
about going to the Jews to find out if he was right in what he
told me. I still at the time knew just about nothing about the
Jews, except they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, and did
not read the NT, or accept the NT as scripture from God. I still
did not know at that time that the Jews observed Saturday.
Off I went to the public library to see if my landlord was
correct in saying Sunday was not the 7th day of the week. Oh,
yes, before that I looked at all the calendars I could and sure
enough all put Sunday as the first day of the week. In my bliss I
had never paid any attention to the calendar before, hard to
believe I know but it is true. I guess I could see very plainly
that God told us to observe the 7th day in His word, and all
Christianity that I knew could not be wrong could they, so the
calendar meant nothing to me, up till this time in my life.
Just on that alone, the world at large was acknowledging which
was the 7th day of the week. I did not need the Jews to prove it
to me with their theology.
I was at the library. The first book I started to read was
called "Christian Feasts and Customs" by a Roman Catholic priest
or bishop. A very eye opening book indeed. Just blew me away with
the facts and his honesty. Under the chapter on Sunday, he
opening admitted that it was a common fact of history that Sunday
was the first day of the week, and Saturday was the 7th. He also
stated bluntly that there was NO NT scripture that commanded
observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, or that changed the Sabbath
command from the 7th day to the 1st day of the week. He openly
admitted it was the RC church that changed the commandment, but
argued that they as the true church of God, and the Pope as the
direct authority from Peter, had the power and blessing from God
to so make such changes.
I did not go to the Jews theology on this question. Never
even thought about doing so. They did not accept the NT or Jesus
Christ as the Messiah, so it never entered my head to prove this
doctrinal truth from their theology.
The next book I came across in the library was a book based
upon the writings of a certain man who was at one time a Seventh
Day Adventist minister, quite well known I guess at the time,
having written a number of books and articles on the Sabbath and
Law/Grace issue. He had left the SDA church and renounced
everything he once taught about the Sabbath and Law. The writer
of this book was using this man's writings to answer his own
writings, now that he was writing contrary to what he once
For the first time in my life I was now encountering the
Law/Grace issue of the fundamental religions of North America.
They had MANY arguments to try and prove the 7th day Sabbath had
been either "done away" or "changed" to the first day of the
week. I needed to see what they had to say and find the truth.
That book was wonderful in laying it all out - the
fundamentalists arguments and the answers from the Bible. The
correct theological answers to the Sabbath/Law/Grace questions
were all in the Bible itself. I did not need the Jews
interpretations in their theology. They did not even have the NT
in their theology. If the Sabbath had been done away with or
changed the OT would have given no light on it, but the NT sure
would, if such had happened.
I spent months researching and studying the theology of the
NT concerning the Sabbath/Law/Grace topic, but never once with
any Jews or their theology. After it was over I had answered
every question to my satisfaction. I knew that Saturday was the
7th day, and that God's 4th commandment was not "done away."
THEN FROM THAT TRUTH, found in the Bible, and the frank
statements of all Catholic and Protestant writers that Sunday was
indeed the first day of the week(and remember the RC church
claimed it went back to the apostle Peter, to the very disciples
of Christ Himself), I realized what God had done through the
Jewish people. He had not established the theological truth per
se of this Sabbath question, through their theology, BUT HE HAD
MADE THEM A WITNESS TO THE TRUTH! And there is a vast difference.
You can by your customs, practices, and culture, be a witness to
A TRUTH, without ever writing the correct doctrinal theology on
I, because of my upbringing and culture training, am a
witness to others that children should be taught not to practice
putting metal objects into electric wall sockets, because of the
danger it could produce to them. But to come to me for the
discovery of the technical truth as to why this is so(the facts
of electricity) is not wise because I do not have all the facts
for you to ascertain the whole truth, from the technical side of
things. So it is with the Jews on the Sabbath question, they do
not have or will not acknowledge the NT, so they do not have all
the theological facts for you to attain the complete doctrinal
truth on that matter as pertaining to the Christian life.
THE OLD TESTAMENT WORD OF GOD?
Is it possible that the Lord can give someone the abilities
and skills to perform a task that is physical in nature, to
preserve something, yet not understand the meaning of the very
thing they have preserved? Yes, it is! Stop and think for a
moment. Let's take the example of the very technical aspect of
say the "outer space sciences" that must be understood by those
in the business of sending persons into outer-space around this
earth. Is it possible for a person skilled in the
"printing/copying" trade to write/type/copy/print and duplicate
all the science formulas, facts, data, equations, arithmetic etc.
from the mind of the skilled scientist, WITHOUT understanding or
being able to put together correctly the information preserved in
ink on paper? Why of course! We can all clearly understand that
So it is will God and His word. He is the skilled scientist
that made all the equations, data, formulas, in the first place.
He put them together in the way that makes complete sense to Him
and to whom He chooses to reveal that pattern to, so they can
come to learn the same truths. Yet that God may give the
commission of preserving all that technical words of truth to
anyone whom He chooses that is skilled in the physical art of
copying those words and formulas. Only with God, He can even give
the very skill of copying such physical letters to whom He
chooses. Those so skilled in doing that work may not have a clue
as to how to understand what they have correctly copied and
Well this is exactly how the Eternal chose to do it with His
words of the Old Testament.
Paul tells us about this fact in the book of Romans. After
showing that as far as doing righteousness and being on God's
side in a spiritual way, nothing physical was involved, even
physical circumcision that the Jews prized themselves in, and
boasted about, as being a people special to God(see Romans
chapter two). Paul tells them that the real spiritual Jew in
God's eyes is one in the heart and not in the flesh(verses
25,29). So now he has deflated the vanity and pride out of the
physical Jew, it would naturally be asked, "for what reason is
the Jew, why does God still have them, for what main purpose in
this everyday life do they exist as a society of people?"
Paul starts to answer in chapter three and verse two.
"Much every way: chiefly, because that UNTO THEM WERE COMMITTED
THE ORACLES OF GOD."
GOD HAD CHOSEN THEM to be the skilled copiers and preservers
of the secret spiritual words of His. He was going to give them
the abilities to copy and preserve His words. It would be a skill
separate from knowing how to put those words together correctly
to arrive at the true formula of the scientific doctrines of God.
That particular skill of understanding the doctrinal format of
His truths would be for those He would educate through His
Spirit, to understand them. The two groups of persons He could
use for His purpose, but they did not both have to automatically
have the same skills.
Talking about the first group, the Jews, with the skill God
was going to give them, would it matter if they hated those words
of the Lord, if they did not even believe them, thought they were
nonsensical and meaningless? Would it mean they could not have
the skill to preserve them correctly? No! Not any more than the
skilled type setter copying the nonsensical(to him) formulas of
the space scientist onto a computer diskette.
Paul says: "What if some did not believe? Shall their
unbelief make the faith of God without effect?"
Is God then powerless to use them for His purpose? Paul
answers: "God forbid! yes, let God be true, but every man a liar
.... (verse 3,4).
Paul goes on to show in chapter nine that the Lord can do
whatever He pleases with His creation, and those whom He has
created and given life to.
The Jews may have been given the authority and the abilities
and the gifts from God to preserve His word of the Old Testament,
but that did not automatically mean they believed it or that they
could understand it, or that they had the skill to teach
correctly to others, the true doctrinal formulas of that word of
truth. Certain customs, certain traditions, a certain culture of
living, even a religion that used the name of God, did not
automatically mean that their theology was correct in
ascertaining the truths of God. In fact we shall now look at
some(not all by any means) scriptures in the NT that clearly show
the main body of popular religious "Judaism" with their customs
and traditions, were FAR from understanding the truths of the
WHAT JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT THE POPULAR
SECTS OF RELIGIOUS JUDAISM
Jesus had many tangles over theology with the three basic
and main sects of religious Judaism. The three sects He
theologically tousled and ruffled feathers with were, 1) the
Scribes. 2) the Pharisees. 3) the Sadducees.
The Pharisees and Sadducees often went at each other because
they disagreed over many points of theology, but now here was
this fellow who spoke very boldly and disagreed with both sects.
He was now their common enemy, and both parties tried to trip Him
up on a number of theology issues, but to no avail, for He always
had the truth from the word of God. Jesus was well aware of the
theology of these three sects of people. Sometimes one of them
was correct, they were not wrong in EVERYTHING they taught. Yet,
in an OVER-ALL doctrinal position Jesus summed it up with these
"How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to
you concerning bread, that you should BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN
of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they
how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but
of THE DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees"
When all was said and done, the bottom line with Jesus as
far as the main theology and doctrines of the two most popular
sects went was, they were "off the wall" and "out to lunch." They
were two groups with a doctrinal theology that His disciples
needed to BEWARE OF!
Now to me that does not sound like I should take very much
stock in what they have to say or teach, no matter how old they
are in existence, or what their traditions or customs may be. It
sounds like I need to BEWARE of them and their doctrines. What
does it sound like to you?
The Bible is not that hard to understand if you just believe
the plain truth of the clear to understand verses, which I submit
to you, here are two of those clear verses.
How about one more from Jesus. Will you believe this one?
Turn to Matthew chapter twenty-three. Let's read verse 16. Jesus
talking about the Pharisees says to them: "Woe unto you, you
At another time, on another day, Jesus called these same
scribes and Pharisees, "....they be BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND.
And if the BLIND lead the BLIND, BOTH shall fall into the DITCH"
I think we must go back and look at a few more verses in
chapter 23. It would seem some today have forgotten this chapter,
as they want to interpret the Bible by the theology and
traditions of the blinded Jews who reject Christ and the inspired
Notice verse 15, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte,
and when he is made, you make him twofold more THE CHILD OF HELL
At another time Jesus said to the Jews: "Why do you NOT
UNDERSTAND my speech? even because you CANNOT HEAR my word. YOU
ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL .... He that is of God hears God's
words, YOU therefore hear them NOT, because YOU ARE NOT OF
GOD..." (John 8:43-47).
The Jews in the main are BLINDED EVEN TO THIS VERY DAY, as
it is written (see Romans 11:5-10).
They CANNOT understand the truth and doctrines of the
Eternal God. They may be witness to some of the truth, they may
have been used to preserve some of the words of God, but to
understand the correct meaning and even the correct theology
leading to the true doctrines of God, they are yet in BLINDNESS
and the vail is still cast over their minds, for it is written:
"But their minds were blinded; for UNTIL THIS DAY remains
the same vail UNTAKEN AWAY IN THE READING OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT, which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto
this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their hearts.
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail is
taken away" (2 Cor.3:14-16).
Most of Judah have not turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, so
they are still "blind leaders of the blind." There theology and
their traditions (we know what Jesus thought about their
traditions in Mark 7:7) should not be the Christians guide for
ascertaining the truths of the Lord.
THE EXAMPLE AND TEACHING OF PAUL
The apostle Paul was a Pharisees(Acts 23:6). He was in the
Jews "religion" and profited in it above many his equal. He was
exceedingly zealous of the traditions above many others
(Gal.1:14). He was taught and brought up at the feet of
Gamaliel(one of the great teachers of Judaism) and his passing on
of that teaching was "according to the perfect manner of the law
of the fathers, and was zealous towards God" (Acts 22:3). It was
a zeal that according to Paul in another passage was "not
according to KNOWLEDGE. For they being ignorant of God's
righteousness, and going about to establish their own
righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God. For Christ is the end(purpose, objective)
of the law for righteousness to every one that believes"
Paul was at one time like all the other unbelieving Jews,
not accepting Christ as the Son of God and the Messiah, as God in
the flesh, and so even with zeal for God and the traditions of
the fathers, it was NOT WITH KNOWLEDGE! It was deception and
blindness. It was false doctrine and impure theology.
After Paul was called and had Jesus revealed to him, he did
not simply revamp his theology with Christ now in the picture.
His theology of the past was little good to him. He had to be
RE-TAUGHT, and Jesus personally did this to and for him, as we
can see from Galatians 1:11-19.
Paul was later to look back on his old Pharisee theology and
put it in true perspective when he wrote: "Though I might have
confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has
whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the
eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an
Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee,
concerning zeal, persecuting the church, touching the
righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things
were gain to me, THOSE I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST. Yes doubtless,
and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the
KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord: for whom I have suffered the
loss of all things, and do count them as DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN
Paul looked back on his old Pharisee theology and traditions
and customs, and could see that IN Christ they were but DUNG!
Did Paul put much emphasis or very much redeeming virtue in the
teachings and theology of the Jews? I think we have seen the
answer already, but one more scripture will nail d home. He
mentions in four places that the Christian should avoid FABLES.
Three of those places are 1 Tim.1:4; 4:7; and 2 Tim.4:4. The
fourth one reads as: "NOT GIVING HEED TO JEWISH FABLES, and
commandments OF MEN, that turn FROM THE TRUTH" (Titus 1:14).
The main body of modern Judaism have their spiritual roots
in the sect of the Pharisees. The orthodox religious Jew is the
closest ancestor to the Pharisee living today. I have a book in
my library called "Code of Jewish Law - A Compilation of Jewish
Laws and Customs." This book is mind-bending in its expounding of
rules, regulations, and laws that the strict religious Jew should
follow as a way of life. In places it is so funny in its
administration of law that we Christians would think it one of
the best "comic books" on the market. Yet it is quite serious,
not meaning to be funny at all.
A few examples will suffice. Concerning regulations for the
Sabbath we read: "....the clothes for the Sabbath should be
washed on Thursday, not on Friday, as on that day all attention
is needed for the preparation of the Sabbath needs .... Giving a
haircut to a Jew is permissible all day on Friday .... inasmuch
as it is obvious that the hair cutting is for the sake of the
Sabbath his hair, if too long. Finger and toe nails should not be
cut on the same day .... Some are careful not to cut the nails in
consecutive order, but alternately .... Some are also careful not
to cut their nails on Thursday. For they begin to grow on the
third day, which is the Sabbath. One must burn the nails after
they are cut .... The sealed door of the oven should be opened on
the Sabbath by a non-Jew. If a non-Jew is not available, a minor
should do it. But in the absence of either, it may be done by
anyone, but in a manner which is not ordinarily done on
THE WAY TO THE TRUTH OF GOD
What then is the correct way to find the truth of the Lord
on any matter of importance that God has given to us in His word?
How can we find the correct doctrinal truths contained in the
To be sure a whole in-depth article could be written on
giving the answer to these questions. This is not the purpose or
intent of this present article. I will give a few keys for being
able to find the truth of the matter on Biblical topics.
1. The correct attitude is vital - Isaiah 66:2. God will only
help those with such an attitude of mind.
2. Being humbly obedient to God's commandments is also vital -
3. You must be like a thirsty starving man seeking the food of
righteousness and truth to be filled with it - Mat.5:6.
4. You must study yes, but you must study correctly, putting
together rightly the "word of truth" not the writings of men or
women or the theology of any church organization or of the Jews -
5. You must know what and where truth is. It is only in the word
of God - John 17:17.
6. You must often be doing what the Bereans did. Listening, but
then "searching THE SCRIPTURES DAILY whether those things were
so" - Acts 17:10-12. This was reading and searching here and
there in the SCRIPTURES, not in the histories, customs,
traditions, writings, theology of humans or races of mankind
(though some of that is okay within limits), but mainly in THE
WORD(see also Isaiah 8:20).
7. You must believe the promise of Jesus when He said: "Howbeit,
when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will GUIDE YOU INTO ALL
TRUTH ... (John 16:13).
Let us not look to the blinded theology of the Jews, or the
writings of any man or woman, as to what is truth. God is truth!
His word is truth! Let us love it, read it, search it, obey it.
Let us not add to it, take away from it, but meditate on it day
and night, so we shall be like "a tree planted by the rivers of
water that brings forth its fruit in his season, whose leaf also
shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Ps.1).
Written March 1997