Who Needs a Messiah?

When I was taking courses for my Certificate in Messianic Studies, one of the questions was “Why do we need a Messiah?” At first you may think ,”What a silly question from a course that teaches about Messianic Judaism and Yeshua!”

Then, again, when you think about it, maybe it isn’t so silly because the answer is: everyone; yet, not everyone will agree. Most of the people I know who are Gentile (not Born Again) were raised being taught about Jesus and salvation their whole lives, and you would think they would know all about the need for a Messiah. But the impression I get is that they are taught that, so long as they are a good person, they get to go to heaven because Jesus died for their sins. It’s like a Third-Party Salvation, there’s no “ownership” of their own sinfulness and personal need for Yeshua. He died for their sins means that just be a good person and you’re in.

What is good? Is it being nice to people? Is it not murdering? Is it treating animals with affection? Yeshua told us- in the B’rit Chadasha (Good News, or Gospels) when a man addresses Yeshua as, “Good Rabbi”, Yeshua says, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but my Father in Heaven.” WOW!! The Messiah, the Son of God, the Suffering Servant and Victorious King says He is not good. If He’s not good, what are we? Isaiah got it right- we are worms, and our righteousness is nothing more than filthy rags (menstrual rags is the actual translation) compared to God.

We all need a Messiah to save our eternal soul. Of course, many do not believe in the concept of a “soul”. Many do not believe in God and are convinced that we are all responsible for ourselves and are accountable only to our own beliefs. Do these people need a Messiah? Of course they do, they just don’t know it!

There is a God who created everything we know, and even things we don’t know about yet. He is our Father who loves us. He is also the judge of the world, who cannot judge any way but justly, holding us all accountable for our words and actions. The Torah teaches us that if we break even one commandment we have broken them all, and we all are sinners. David tells us in Psalm 40:12 his sins are greater than the hairs on his head. This from a man G-d said was a man after His own heart! Need more?- Proverbs 20:9 asks “Who can say I am without sin?”. The answer is no one.  The Gospel story of the woman accused of adultery (John 8:7) has Yeshua asking all the “righteous” men in the town to throw a stone if they are without sin. Not even a pebble was tossed. 1 John 1:8 sums it up for all of us- if we claim to be without sin we are just deceiving ourselves.

We all have sin, and are sinners from the moment we were born, born into a sinful world. The only way we can be cleansed of our sin, and thereby be with God, is to atone through the shedding of innocent blood (Lev. 17:11). The problem is that this atonement was to be made at the Temple, which no longer exists. This leaves us in a quandary- we need to atone but cannot do so because the physical Temple of God is no longer in existence. So where can we turn to? We can turn to the Messiah, who was the atonement for our sin (Isaiah 53). Only through Him can our sins be atoned for in accordance with the sacrificial system God put in place from the beginning of time.

So the answer to the question, “Why do people need a Messiah?” is this: to atone for the sin we all have so that we can be in the presence of God through all time. It is up to those of us who understand this to help those who do not acknowledge it to see the truth of God’s Plan of Salvation, the means of how we are saved, and thereby expose the lies of the Enemy that they have been taught to believe.

No Statute of Limitations on God’s Commandments

One of the favorite Biblical quotes for people who are (what I like to call) “Buffet Believers” is from Mattityahu (Matthew). It’s when Yeshua tells His Talmudim that He came to fulfill the law.

I have heard Christian teachings interpret this statement that having fulfilled the law meant it has been completed, thereby doing away with it. This misinterpretation is then confirmed, incorrectly, with Shaul’s writings in Romans, where he is writing to justify the validity of Torah but it has constantly and historically been used as a polemic against Torah, instead of the apologetic it was designed to be. They also use statements taken out of context in other Epistles. They uniformly forget the statements that remind us we are still to obey God’s commandments, such as some found in Timothy and throughout Shaul’s letters.

The truth is that the commandments in the Torah (all 613 of them) are just as valid today as they were when Moshe brought them to the people. There is no statute of limitations on God’s commandments. They are “throughout your generations.” That is pretty clearly another way of saying forever. And anyone who teaches that the laws found in Torah are only for Jews and not for Christians is teaching you a lie from the pit of Sheol. And, by the way, Yeshua warned that those who transgress the law and teach others to do so will be least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

There’s a lot in that one statement to think about; for me, mainly, it seems to imply that even if I sin and teach others to sin, I can still be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Can that be true? Maybe we can discuss that another time.

The true interpretation of what Yeshua said about fulfilling the law can only be realized within the proper context; in this case, a cultural and linguistic context. In First Century “Rabbi-speak” to fulfill the law meant to interpret it correctly. To transgress the law, or trespass against it, meant to misinterpret it. Funny how people like to say, “Yeshua said He fulfilled the law, so since He completed it we are now saved by His sacrifice and not by Torah. We are Born Again! We don’t need Torah.”

OK. So, if Torah is not needed anymore, can I sleep with your wife? If you don’t like that, can I kill you so you’re out of the way? If I like your car, can I steal it? What? No? Am I crazy? All those things are a sin? But you just said the Torah was done away with!  Oh- not all the Torah.  I see, we are only subject to the moral laws, but not the ceremonial ones (that’s another wrong teaching.) I see….so, nu? Who can tell me which is a moral law and which is ceremonial?

Usually the moral laws are the ones that we have to follow because they are civil laws, too, but anything dealing with what we don’t want to do, like give up shrimp cocktails before our ham dinner, well, that’s a ceremonial law.

I wonder why God, in all His wisdom, didn’t mention that when He told us how to live? As I recall, all God said was do this and don’t do that. No separation of moral, civil, ceremonial, or whatever; it’s His way or the hell-way. That’s it.

Did you ever think about this: if God said the commandments are valid forever, and Yeshua taught that they are no longer valid, doesn’t that mean Yeshua called God a liar? That Yeshua, the Son of God, sinned by not respecting his Father because He taught us to do things that the Father said not to do. And, if Yeshua was a sinner, His death could not be an acceptable sacrifice, so our promise of salvation is unfounded and we are not saved! 

Not a very pleasant thought, is it? But, if you want to go around saying that Yeshua fulfilled the law and did away with Torah, that Believers are not subject to the laws God gave us, that you are under the blood and not under the law…well, I hope you have a high tolerance to heat.  

That’s why I call those people Buffet Believers- they pick what they like and leave what they don’t like. I feel bad for them, because they are being taught incorrectly, and like innocent sheep just enjoying the grass, they are eating their way right into the wolf’s den.

It’s really quite simple- God gave us rules, regulations, mitzvot, and commandments: none of which are subject to choice. He said do these and we will be blessed, don’t do them and we will suffer curses. And these laws are for us to follow throughout our generations (look it up- check me out and make sure I am stating this accurately), which doesn’t mean until Yeshua comes.

It’s true that Torah cannot justify us: not because Torah is invalid or done away with, but because we can’t live up to Torah. Even though there is nothing too difficult for us to do in Torah, because we can’t overcome our sinful nature we can’t live Torah correctly. As Shaul said, Torah was a guardian, and it defined for us the difference between sin and holiness. Yeshua died because we couldn’t live under Torah correctly. He didn’t do away with Torah, He lived Torah correctly. He was an example to follow, he showed us the way- you don’t show how to do something so that no one ever does it, do you? If I showed you the safe passage in a mine field, would you then feel that you can walk anywhere in that field you wanted to?  BOOM!!!

Look, when you find the passage I am referencing in Mattiyahu, check out the very next statement Yeshua makes. After He says He came to fulfill the law, He continues to say that not one single stroke, i.e. letter, of the Torah is changed. Duh!! Yeshua said He didn’t come to change Torah, and He also said nothing will change in Torah until the Acharit Hayamim (End Days) are done.

If you are waiting to be “released” from the Torah, you will need to wait a while longer. The only Torah commandments we don’t perform are the 1/3 or so of them that deal with the sacrificial system because, for one, the Temple where the sacrifice was to be made is gone (so we can’t perform the commandment) and, two, because the ultimate and final sacrifice was made through Yeshua’s death. Those are the only Torah commandments we are exempt from following today- everything else is valid. Sorry- too bad. No more pork rinds watching basketball, Shabbat starts Friday night, Christmas and Easter are out for the remainder of the game.

If you want to please God, if you want to receive His blessings, if you want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then do so. Read the Torah, follow the Torah, stop pretending you’re at some restaurant buffet table and realize that you are an honored guest at God’s table. Yeshua told His Talmudim, when He sent them out to the surrounding cities and towns, that when they are in someone’s house they should eat what they are given. God’s table is set with all types of food (commandments), and we are to eat what He provides.

It’s impolite to tell God, “No thanks- I don’t like that.”

 

 

Because “Because” Doesn’t Cut It

Growing up I was never much for God, although I wanted to be. I felt an emptiness when I went to Shul, and I never felt that talking to God was supposed to be using other people’s words. I found prayer difficult because I thought I should be talking from my heart, and not repeating what someone else wrote in a book for me to say. Needless to say, I gave up on religion and God pretty much right after my Bar Mitzvah.

It took me nearly 30 years to return to Him.

Now that I am Messianic, meaning I am a Jewish man who believes that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah God promised but I still follow the rules and regulations God gave us (remember: God has no religion), I am often asked by other Jews how can I believe in Jesus? In fact, being Messianic is being in the middle, and not understood by either side: Jews say I can’t be Jewish if I believe in Jesus and Christians tell me because I still do all that “Jewish” stuff I am still “under the Law” and not really “under the Blood.”

They’re both so very wrong.

This Drash is about the Jewish thought that if a Jew believes in Jesus that person can’t be Jewish anymore. How silly. First off, what does it mean to “believe in Jesus?”

I don’t know. Do you? Does it mean believe He existed at all? Believe He is the Messiah? Believe He is God? (BTW…He was a man. He had to be fully human or His sinless life was no big deal and His resurrection doesn’t mean anything.) Believe all the above?

Rabbi Akiba believed Bar Kochba was the Messiah and all it got him was dead. And thousands of Jews with him, too. Oh, not to mention Bar Kochba didn’t come out of it too well, either.

There have been many false Messiahs over the years, and Yeshua warned us about them.

I have found that explaining why I believe is like talking to a brick wall, so when asked, “How can you believe in Jesus?”,  I do the most Jewish thing I know of: I answer a question with a question. I ask them, “Why is it that you don’t believe?”

You see, I have my reasons for believing. And when I ask why they don’t believe, the answer I get almost every, single time is “Because he isn’t.” So I ask why they believe He isn’t. What are their reasons? What biblical arguments against Yeshua do they have to prove He isn’t the Messiah?  And they say, ” He just isn’t, that’s all.” WOW!! How can you argue with that?

It is so sad; here is someone who may be a wonderful person and really believe in God, but they are doomed to Sheol because they reject Messiah, and their reason for rejecting Him is “because.” Oy!

I can’t get a mature, thought-out and biblically sound reason from any Jews who have questioned me why they don’t believe. It comes down to this: they don’t believe Yeshua is the Messiah because they were told He isn’t. That’s the reason- their father and their mother and their Rabbi and Zayda  and Bubbe and all their friends…all the other Jews they know tell them He wasn’t the Messiah. Oh, yes, and that if they should ever even think He is our Messiah then they can’t be Jewish anymore.

This is a bigoted and anti-Yeshua idealism. It’s not anti-Christian- Yeshua wasn’t a Christian. He was and is Messiah. He is above religion, He is only for God and God’s rules because (here it comes again…get ready…almost there …) GOD HAS NO RELIGION!!! 

What makes this worse is the Christian teaching that Yeshua died a Jew but was resurrected a Christian, and now that He completed God’s work all that “Jewish” stuff isn’t necessary. Kosher, the Festivals, even the proper day for Shabbat…all old and done away with. We are under the blood, not the law. Again, Oy! Where do they get this stuff? Oh, yeah, they get it from the same place the Jews get their beliefs- someone told them that’s how it is.

What we ended up with is Jews are taught believing in Yeshua as the Messiah is wrong and one can’t be Jewish if they do, which is then supported by Christianity telling everyone that Jesus did away with all the rules and laws that make one “Jewish”, so now we have Jews and Christians agreeing that anyone who believes Yeshua / Jesus is the Messiah is anything but Jewish.

Blind guides and lost sheep.  Sad, sad, sad.

“Because” is no reason. If you are not sure about who Yeshua is, read the bible. Read the whole bible, Genesis through Revelations. And don’t read the King James (i.e., anti-Semitic) version, or any of the regular versions. Read the David Stern version. Read some Messianic version. Heck- read my book! There are links to it on my home page (softcover or digital.)  But read something! Get information, not opinion. Make up your own mind. For the sake of your Eternal soul, please don’t depend on anyone else to tell you what the “truth” is about Yeshua. Talk to people, sure, but read and study and make up your own mind.

Be assured that if you should choose to believe Yeshua is the Messiah , you absolutely do NOT have to stop being Jewish. In truth, there is nothing more Jewish than belief in a Messiah. The trick is believing in the right Messiah. So find out for yourself.

Please!! Do the work: Eternity is an awfully long time to spend being wrong, and you have until your last breath to accept Him.

Final word: for those that do not know what it means to “accept Yeshua as your Messiah”, let me tell you what it meant for me. It meant accepting that I am a sinner, accepting that God provided a way for me to be with Him through a Messiah’s sacrificial death, thereby atoning for my sins, and that by “accepting Yeshua” I am committing myself to do T’shuvah (turn/ atone) so I can be with God throughout Eternity. I am still Jewish; in fact, I am even more “Jewish” now than I ever was before I was “saved”. I worship God, not Yeshua- he was supernatural in many ways, but he was human and He is my Messiah. He is not God and should not be worshipped as God. That is idolatry, and (sadly) a very real part of much Christian worship.  I capitalize His name and pronouns referring to Him out of respect for Him and His position, not because He is God. At least, not at this time. Right now He is Messiah. Did Yeshua come from God? Is He God in the flesh (which, by definition, makes Him human, doesn’t it?) Is he just a Prophet?

That, my Friends, is for another Drash.

Who Really Killed Jesus?

Growing up during the 50’s and 60’s I often was called “Christ Killer” by those nice Catholic kids from Christ the King High School. I didn’t know the Lord, but knew enough to counter with, “If Jesus came to die for your sins, then all we Jews did was complete God’s plan- you should be thanking us!”

It’s funny that with so little understanding I actually wasn’t that far from the truth.

It’s indisputable that the Romans killed Jesus. After all, Pilate condemned him, the soldiers flogged him and they nailed him to the tree.

Oh, but wait a minute…. Pilate wanted to set Him free and the Jews said to crucify Him in place of Barrabus. So it really was the Jews who killed Jesus.

Oh, but wait a minute… it wasn’t “The Jews” that killed Him, for there were (probably) more than 250,000 followers, nearly all of whom were Jewish, so it wasn’t really the entire Jewish population. In fact, the trial was illegal under Jewish law, so it was really just a few politically empowered people that rallied the mob, using mob mentality, that caused Pilate to succumb to their demands. It was just the Pharisees and Sadducees leaders that killed Jesus.

Oh, but wait a minute…Herod could have set Him free but he chose not to, so really Herod was the reason Yeshua was killed- Herod did it!

Oh, but wait a minute…Yeshua said that if He wanted to, he could have had God send legions of angels to protect and save Him, and He had been telling the Talmudim (Students / Apostles) for days that He would be handed over to the Goyim (Nations) and caused to suffer and die, and that this had to happen. So Yeshua actually committed suicide! Sort of like when people shoot at the police to get the police to kill them because they can’t shoot themselves.

Oh, but wait a minute…we always say that,  “He died for our sins”. So then, actually, we all killed Him.

Now we’re getting close.

Here is the definitive, correct, and absolutely valid answer to the age-old question, “Who Killed Jesus?”: I did. That’s right- it was me. Me, and me alone.

Whoa! Stop the music! C’mon, Steve- you weren’t even born then!  That’s right, I wasn’t even born then. But I am a sinner. I was born into sin, my nature is to sin, I have sinned, I still sin (thanks to the Ruach and my love for the Lord, I sin a lot less and am getting better at not sinning) and I can guarantee that no matter how hard I try, I will continue to sin until I am dead.

The purpose of the Messiah is to bring us all back into relationship with the Almighty. That is a simple, but (I think you’ll agree) accurate description of His purpose. Since God cannot abide or even be in the presence of sin, the sacrificial death of the Messiah is what cleanses us of our sins. By this cleansing we can now approach God. Messiah comes, Messiah dies, we are cleansed by His blood sacrifice, we now have a right relationship with God and can be in His presence. Job done.

I think the expression “He died for our sins” is misleading and is designed to make us feel good about ourselves, like , “Oh, I’m really a good person and good people get to go to heaven.”

What a crock!

Yeshua died for my sins! If the rest of the world was sinless, if every single person born before me and after me lived a Torah-perfect life, Yeshua would still have given up His majesty, taken on a mantle of flesh, lived a Torah-perfect life, died a painful and torturous death, and bled out His last drop of blood…for ME! I believe, absolutely, He would have done that just for me. Doesn’t He tell us so? In the parable about the man who had 100 sheep and if missing one would leave the other 99 to find the missing one. And when he finds the one missing and brings it back, he is overjoyed. And the parable about the woman missing a valuable coin. Upon finding it she is so happy she entertains people at a party (I’m taking some cultural liberties here) to celebrate.

Yeshua did what He did not for us, but for me. It is soooo important that each one of us understand this, because we need to own our sin. We each need to own-up to our failure to live as God wants. Not to beat ourselves up (that is from the Enemy), but to really understand how much Yeshua went through for my sake. Yes, for your sake too, but it is absolutely essential I feel that He did it for me.

Why? Because when we “own” our sin, we can give it away. You can’t really give away something you don’t own, so to give up our sin we need to first own it. The “religious world” teaches everything about sin in a third-party format. Sin is shared with others. He died for our sins, We are saved, by his blood we are freed.  I think this is a bad teaching because when you are part of a crowd you don’t feel individually responsible. You don’t have that sense of personal accountability for what happened, and your devotion cannot be as strong as when it is you, and you alone.

That is why I killed Yeshua. It was my fault he had to die because I needed to be able to escape the spiritual consequences of my sins. The physical and immediate consequences of sin are inescapable. Messiah didn’t die so I won’t have to face the results of my sins in this world (there’s an entire Drash on this topic- I’ll have to make a note to do that one) but so that I won’t have to suffer for them throughout Eternity. It is my fault He died, He died for my sins, I killed Him. I own my sin, and that’s why I can give it to Him.

You need to own your sin. You need to accept that you are a sinner. I know many people who think (because it’s what they have been taught) that if they are a “good person” they get to go to heaven. I feel so bad for them. They don’t own their sin, they see it as something that, frankly, isn’t a problem because it’s all covered. Jesus has their back, and it’s all third-party, non-committal understanding. It’s not really them. It’s everyone else. It’s also a lie from the pit of Sheol (Hell) and I feel so bad for them because they have a really nasty reality check coming up.

I have rambled a little bit more than usual. I keep repeating this over and over, that we need to own our sin, we need to feel personally responsible for Yeshua’s death, we need to understand that He would have done this just for me, or for you, even if no one else on Earth needed it. We need to feel this way so that our commitment to Him is solid, built on rock, and with deep roots. When a person feels that they are just a part of a group, it is easy to place the onus on the group. That’s mob mentality. When it comes to my salvation, I am the only one responsible for it.

My salvation is between me and Messiah Yeshua, and no one else. He died because I needed Him to do so, because I can’t be Torah-perfect. It’s because of me He died, which means I killed Jesus.

I pray that you, every single, individual person reading this Drash today, will walk away with the absolute conviction to say, “I killed Jesus. He died for me, and because of me. No one else is involved.”

Feel it, believe it, own it.

Interpreting the Torah

Did they really use the word “Church” in the Gospels? I mean, when they were written, not when the Council of Nicene rewrote and compiled them. When Yeshua said, in Matthew 5, that He came to “fulfill the Law” did He mean to finish it so that it doesn’t apply anymore?

The Bible was written in a foreign language, and interpreting a foreign language is hard. If that language isn’t your first tongue, you need to understand more than just the words. You need to know the definition, as well as the denotation, and the connotation, too.  You need to understand the cultural context, the historical meaning and the current meaning. It isn’t easy.

When you have a consonantal language such as Hebrew, it makes it all the more difficult. Especially when the cultural context is thousands of years old.

I was taught that when we interpret the Torah (as well as all the other books that make up the complete Bible) we need to use “Circles of Context.”  Think of a rock falling into a pool of water, sending out concentric circles. When we interpret what is written, the first circle is the context of the sentence or paragraph(s). We need to know who is writing, what the person is writing about and to whom.

The next circle out from that one is the context of the chapter or book. What came before this section, and what is coming after it.

The next circle is one that is hermeneutic. We need to look at how what we are interpreting fits into the entire Bible, since we know that God doesn’t say one thing now and then a totally different thing later, He is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Since the Bible is more than just God’s Word ( it is who He is), the Bible is hermeneutically sound; therefore, our interpretation needs to be that way, also.

We still have other circles. There is the cultural context, there is the historical context, and there is the actual language, itself.

Finally, we have to completely rid ourselves of any personal bias or desire to have something mean what we want it to mean. For instance, the word “Christian” is only used twice, in Timothy, and didn’t mean then what it means today. When Yeshua said He came to fulfill the law, He didn’t mean to complete it, as many have been taught. In First Century “Rabbi-speak” (i.e., the cultural context) to fulfill the law meant to interpret it correctly. To give an improper interpretation would be a “trespass” against the law. And the word “Church” was never used in the original writings; it was introduced by King James.

Here’s a good example: the word “Synagogue” today is known as a Jewish place of worship, but in the Greek it means a gathering. It could be a gathering of people with a similar purpose or belief, or a gathering of rocks in a pile. When the Bible was written it meant nothing more than a bunch of people gathering together, without any reference to a specific religion. Today, however, it means a place where Jews worship. If we didn’t understand this, when reading Revelations and coming to where Yochanan (John) writes about the “Synagogue of Satan” we would, naturally, associate it to Jews because everyone knows that a synagogue is where you find Jews. But that is a totally wrong interpretation.

The best way to interpret the Bible, in my opinion, is to read it and ask the Ruach haKodesh to open your eyes and heart to what God wants you to get from His word. There are three levels, the P’Shat (written word), the Drash (hidden meanings) and the Sud (deeply spiritual or mystical understanding). Anyone can read the words, but to really understand their intent and spiritual meaning we need the Ruach to guide and interpret for us.

One day (it’s on my bucket list) I want to learn Hebrew and Greek, so that I can really find out for myself what the Bible says. Until then, and for all of us that have to work with the English versions, we need to take into account the Circles of Context when we read the Bible, especially because it is someone else’s interpretation. God’s word never returns void, so even with interpretations that are not always the best (most New Covenant interpretations are subtly anti-Semitic) if we let the Ruach lead us and remember to use Circles of Context, we can see new truths every day in the same words we have read dozens of times.

That’s what is so wonderful about reading God’s Word- every day it is the same and every day we can get something different from it.

A Class on Covenants

You will notice as you follow my rantings (please follow this blog if you like what you are reading, and buy my book, too!) that I do not use the terms Old Testament and New Testament.

I call them covenants, and there is just the one book, to me, and should be only one book to anyone who is “Born Again”, no matter what religious affiliation you care to say you belong to.

So, why call it a covenant?

Mirriam Webster defines a covenant as:

“A written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.”

A testament (also from Mirriam Webster) is defined as:

“An act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after death.”

The covenants God made with us can be defined in this way:

A legal contract with blessings for the fulfillment of it’s terms and consequences (curses) for failure to comply with the conditions and stipulations contained therein. In all these covenants we speak about a contract between God and man. All of the covenants are based (ultimately) on God’s grace.

Since God is alive, and we are to keep our part of the conditions while we are alive, it is evident God made covenants, not testaments. This is why I call them covenants. God gave us laws, regulations, commandments, mitzvot, etc. to perform while we are alive. Once we are dead, there is nothing we can do except face the consequences of what we did while we were alive.

Did you know that there are 5 covenants God made with us?  The list below is condensed from a Messianics 101 Class I used to teach when I lived in Philadelphia.  I hope you find this information interesting and useful as you learn more about God and as your relationship with Him matures.

First Covenant was with Noah (Noahic Covenant) after the Flood (Genesis 9). This covenant of faith stated God would not destroy the Earth by flood (catch that- not by flood, but that doesn’t mean He can’t do it some other way) and has supplemental laws, which are:

no idolatry; don’t take the Lord’s name in vain; respect property of others; respect life; chastity; blood is sacred; do not steal.

 

The Second covenant is the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12). This covenant of faith included:

the promise of the land; specified lines of blessing (to Abraham in Gen. 15:7-8, to Yitzchak in Gen. 26: 3-6, and to Jacov in Gen. 35:12); there was also a sign to mark the covenant (Gen. 17:9-14) and God was to bless all people through this covenant.

 

The Third is the Mosaic covenant (Ex. 31: 16-17). This is a covenant of obedience. The Ten Commandments are part of this covenant, within the total of 613 laws in Torah. Some main elements are:

this is the first covenant of obedience; blood is used for atonement; the Shabbat is a sign of the covenant.

 

Number four is the Davidic Covenant, found in 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17. This covenant of faith promised:

David would have a son on the throne of Israel forever (Messianic prophecy attesting to the lineage of Yeshua) and the kingly line of the children of Israel would be through Judah’s lineage.

 

Finally, the fifth and last covenant is what we refer to as the New Covenant (B’rit Chadasha), found in Jeremiah 31:31 (that’s right- it’s not in the New Covenant book. That’s because there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant- it is a Jewish book that completes the story of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Covenant.) This is a covenant of faith that promises:

forgiveness of sin that allows for eternal salvation; it is made with the physical seed of Abraham, and is available to all the adopted children of Abraham (we can pretty much call them the ones who accept Yeshua/ Jesus as their Messiah); it changed the mechanism of atonement, but not the means: there is still need of  a blood sacrifice for sin, but instead of killing animals the blood of the one, true Messiah serves for all.

 

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