Chapter 2:

Colossians 2:16-17 and Prophecy

Watch: Colossians 2:16-17 and Prophecy

Welcome to Nazarene Israel. My name is Norman Willis. In this book, we want to talk about what we call the Melchizedekian Pesach. This is the Passover (Pesach) that we keep in the dispersion, outside the land of Israel, under the Melchizedekian Order (Yeshua’s priesthood). And that is opposed to the Passover we should keep in the land of Israel, under the Levitical Order. Those two things are different. And for those who do not understand the difference, this study could help to clarify things. We are going to talk all about the Passover in this video series and explain what it is that we should do when we are in the dispersion. There are a lot of people that do not know, and it is an incredibly detailed, complicated subject.

Before we begin our study on the Melchizedekian Pesach, first we want to cover some ground rules. As we saw in our study on The Torah Calendar, the calendar has suffered from what might be called calendrical drift.

In His Torah (His laws and instructions) of Moshe, our creator Yahweh gave us a certain calendar. But the problem is that, over time, men have changed that calendar in several ways. They have added and subtracted various commandments, statutes, and judgments. And these changes do not serve us well because they put us outside of His will. If you want to make Yahweh angry, just go ahead and change His word. Not something we recommend.

I grew up as a Christian and then came to the truth of the original faith later. But there is a general feeling in Christendom that the exact specifics of the Torah Calendar do not really matter. Many Christians have the idea that they can keep the original seventh-day Sabbath, or we can keep the feast days if we want to. Or we can keep the Sunday as the Sabbath, Christmas, Easter, or some other random celebrations like Chinese New Year or the Japanese Plum Blossom Festival, or whatever you like to keep. And that it does not really matter how we keep them just so long as you know that He knows our hearts. This attitude has carried over in large part to the Messianic, Ephraimite, and Hebrew Roots movements as well.

While we can understand where people get some of these ideas, they are nevertheless wrong ideas. Romans chapter 14, verse five is a perfect example of how people twist and misunderstand the writings of the apostle to mean that the commandments of Elohim Yahweh or the words of Yeshua are now done away with. A lot of people interpret the writings of the Shaul with this meaning, but such things should not be.

Romim (Romans) 14:5
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

The generally accepted idea in this verse would seem to be that it does not really matter what you do, just as long as you are convinced in your own mind. But that is not the way Scripture reads. What we need to understand is that the Renewed Covenant (New Testament) was not written in a vacuum. That is, the Renewed Covenant is not disconnected from the Original Covenant (the Tanakh, Old Testament). The two things form one big book. The reason is that the Renewed Covenant was written by devout first-century Jews who wrote the Renewed Covenant primarily, first and foremost, for other devout first-century Jews. And because of this, they use colloquial terms. You might call it a type of slang, but these terms have special meanings inside Judaism that are not reflected in the other gentile languages of the world. For this reason, it is said that when a Jew reads the Renewed Covenant, it is as if he is reading a completely different book than when a gentile reads the Renewed Covenant. Because the Jew understands the meanings and terms that are being used. This is vital to understand.

We need to understand that the Renewed Covenant was also written secondarily for what are called Hellenized Jews, or Greek Jews. Today, this might be what we know as a conservative Jew or a reformed Jew, but someone who does not necessarily believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of the Creator. The Renewed Covenant was also written for gentile converts into Judaism. But primarily, it was written as a book by devout first-century Jews for other devout first-century Jews and this is reflected in the language. That is why we need to read the Renewed Covenant as if we had devout first-century Jewish eyes. So that we can understand what the intended and implied meanings of the first-century Jewish authors are and know what it is we are being instructed, so that we can please our Husband and King.

We invite you to continue with us as we explore Colossians chapter 2, verses 16 and 17, and how this commonly misunderstood passage talks about the prophetic shadow pictures contained in the feasts and how they speak of prophetic events that are still to come. And then further in this series, we are going to talk about the Passover and how it speaks of our selection as Yeshua’s bride.

Nazarene Israel believes in what is called a Semitic inspiration of the Renewed Covenant. That means that we believe that the Scriptures were originally written in the synagogue languages of Hebrew and Aramaic. This only makes sense because we know that Yeshua and His apostles, being devout Jews, spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. And they wrote their epistles for other devout Jews who also spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. The early church fathers also tell us that the epistles were then translated into Greek and then began their dispersion outwards. But there is an old saying about things getting lost in translation. And it seems apparent that perhaps some things got lost in the translation between the original languages and what we speak today.

In the case of the King James version, not only were some things lost in the translation but some things were added in the translation as well. And although these changes may appear minor, they cause a particular problem. Now we do not mean to pick on the King James version. At least for its day, it was a particularly decent quality translation. However, it does have some serious errors, such as using the wrong names for the Father and Son, violating the third commandment.

In general, with certain exceptions, the King James version is not a bad version. But one of the problems (apart from breaking the third commandment) is that it tends to give us little tiny bits of text in some places which can invert the meaning of the original text. The reason we mention this is that the King James and most other mainstream versions tend to mistranslate Colossians chapter 2, verses 16 and 17. The meaning in these texts suggests that we can eat anything we like, drink anything we like, and keep any sabbath or any feast day in any way that we like. And that it is really not important. so let us look and see what the original first-century Jewish authors of the Renewed Covenant would have taught.

Qolossim (Colossians) 2:16-17 KJV:
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

As a child growing up in the Protestant Methodist church, they taught me that no one should be allowed to judge us in what we eat because we can eat anything we want. And no one should be allowed to judge us in what we drink because we can drink anything we want. No one should judge us with respect to the Old Testament holy days because those are all done away with. No one should judge us with respect to the new moons because who keeps those anymore? And no one should judge us with regards to the sabbath days because after all, we keep Sunday now. And they teach that the prophetic feasts were shadows of things to come, but that is all past. Because they say, the body (substance, reality) is of Christ.

That is what I was taught as a child. But now let us take these two supplied (added) words (days, is) out of the passage and see if it still reads the same way. Because we are told in many ways and in many separate places that we are not to add and not to take away anything from His word. Because if we change His word, then we are no longer keeping His words. Rather, we are keeping our own version of His word. And we are going to see that that is not the same thing at all.

Deuteronomy 12:32
32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

So, here we go. Let us take these two supplied words (is and days) out of the King James version. We will see whether it still reads the same. The following is the verse with the exact same words, minus the added in words days and is.

Qolossim (Colossians) 2:16-17 KJV
(CORRECTED)
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come;
but [except] the body of [Messiah].

[Supplied words (days, is) taken back out.]

Considering this verse now, is it not really saying, “Let no man except the body of Messiah therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath? Because these things are a prophetic shadow picture of things still to come”?

There are three main clauses to this passage.

1. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath:
2. Which are a shadow of things to come;
3. but [except] the body of [Messiah].

Here we will reorder the clauses and see if it is still how it reads.

1. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath:
2. Which are a shadow of things to come;
3. but [except] the body of [Messiah].

Is this not more the message that devout first-century Jews would have written? Would not they have instructed the people to keep worshiping on the same feast days, to keep worshipping on the new moons and on the sabbaths? As we are going to see later, is that not actually what the apostles themselves did?

Now let us look at the New International version, or some people like to call it, The Non-Inspired version. And we are going to see something completely different from what the devout first-century Jewish disciples had intended.

Qolossim (Colossians) 2:16-17 NIV
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

[Not at all what the original first-century Jewish authors meant!]

What the NIV version is saying here Is that the reality is in Christ. So, all you must do is believe on Christ because all these old prophetic shadow pictures are already gone. Nobody cares about those anymore. The Messiah came to do away with the old. Out with the old and in with the new, teaching a complete disconnection between the Renewed Covenant and the original foundational covenant. That is not how the apostles believed.

Let us look again at these three main clauses reordered.

1. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath:
2. Which are a shadow of things to come;
3. but [except] the body of [Messiah].

What we see is that the food and drink offerings are prophetic foreshadows, the new moon days are prophetic foreshadows, the seventh-day sabbaths are prophetic foreshadows, and the feast days (such as Passover) are prophetic shadow pictures of things still to come. (We will talk more about Passover later in this series). What kind of prophetic foreshadows? As we saw in our study Ancient Hebrew Marriage, the feasts are prophetic shadow pictures of the wedding between Messiah Yeshua and His bride, Nazarene Israel. That is why the disciples continued to practice not only the seventh-day Sabbath but also the Israelite feasts, even many years after Yeshua’s resurrection and ascension. If the feasts were done away with, why would they have then continued to keep them? If you would like to know more details, I would refer you to The Torah Calendar study.

Let us look in the book of Acts, chapter 2, verse one. This is just very shortly after Yeshua’s murder.

Ma’asei (Acts) 2:1
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Notice again in Acts chapter 20. Here it is many years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, and Apostle Shaul (Paul) is still keeping the original Pentecost festival. We are not told of any kind of a change in the calendar. He is still keeping the original calendar.

Ma’asei (Acts) 20:16
16 For Shaul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

Pentecost is on the Hebrew (not the Roman) calendar.

Now further towards the end of Acts, in chapter 27, verse nine, we see that Shaul is still keeping the feasts.

Ma’asei (Acts) 27:9
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Shaul advised them…

This is another example of first-century devout Jewish authors attempting to communicate to other first-century Jews. Because the term the fast is a slang term. If you will, it is another meaning for Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The Jews quite often celebrate Yom Kippur by fasting. Yom Kippur comes at the end of the summer growing season when the weather starts to turn into winter. So, here in the passage, the fast (the Day of Atonement) was already over and the weather was now dangerous.

Again, we need to understand that we must read these things with first-century devout Jewish eyes. Because this term the fast is a reference to the Day of Yom Kippur, which takes place at the end of the summer growing season when the weather starts to turn into winter and becomes stormy. So, the sailing was now dangerous because summer was over, and they were starting to enter winter.

But we see here, at the very end of the book of Acts, at the end of the apostle Shaul’s ministry, he is still keeping these prophetic shadow pictures of the coming wedding feast.

Then, in Matthew chapter 24, verse twenty, speaking about the time of the Great Tribulation, Messiah Yeshua tells us the following.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:20
10 “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.”

We know that, at the time of this writing, the Tribulation is still a future event. So, we see that, in the future, at the time of the Great Tribulation, we are supposed to be praying that our flight not be in winter or on the Sabbath. If you would like to know more details about that, I would again refer you to The Torah Calendar study. We also talk more on how the feasts are symbolic of the ancient Hebrew marriage ceremony in Ancient Hebrew Marriage. Because if we hope to be taken as Yeshua’s bride, then we need to show up at the appointed times (the dates) that He sets to meet with us, and we need to be found doing the things He asks us to do at those times.

As we are going to see in this study, the Passover is symbolic of the matchmaking phase of the ancient Hebrew wedding ceremony. If we want to be found to be Yeshua’s match, if we want to be found to be a helpmeet and fitting for Him, then we need to show up at the right times and do what Scripture says. So please continue with us through this study on The Melchizedekian Pesach as we talk about the things that we are no longer supposed to do and the things that we are still supposed to do for the Passover in the dispersion.

If these works have been a help to you in your walk with Messiah Yeshua, please pray about partnering with His kingdom work. Thank you. Give