Import jQuery

The Torah is obsolete and passing away?

Or at least, so goes the teaching I've heard from many Christian preachers and thinkers. Is it true?

"What is the old covenant?" Great question. After all, Hebrews 8 in the Christian New Testament says,

By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
Many Christians understand this to mean the Torah, the Law of Moses, which Jews follow to this day in the form of the religion of Judaism, is old and obsolete, aging and will soon disappear. The notion of Torah disappearing reinforces the religion Christianity and tears down the religion of Judaism, so it's a tempting thought for many Christians.

And so the thinking goes that Christians and even Jews need not follow God's commandments in the Torah.

I replied to Trent in an email, but the answer lies so deep in Scripture, I thought it worthy of posting to the blog where you folks can read it as well. Here we go...

You asked what is the old covenant from a Hebrew perspective. Good question.

There were a couple of "old" covenants.
  • God made a covenant with Adam that man must work to live.
  • God made a covenant with Noach that the earth will never again be destroyed by a flood.
  • God made a covenant with Avraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, uncountable, and that he would be the father of many nations.
  • God made a covenant with Jacob that his name would be Israel and that his offspring would be God's people forever.
  • God made a covenant with all Israel that if they keep His commandments in Torah, they will be blessed and will prosper in the land God gave them.
  • God made a covenant with David that promised him one of his descendants would have a throne established forever.
When Christians talk about the "old" covenant, they're usually referring to the covenant God made with Israel on Mt. Sinai, telling them to keep His commandments. These weren't actually new commandments He gave to Israel, but were deeper, elaborate revelations of God's own commandments which were kept from the beginning of time -- look how Abel sacrificed innocent blood as an offering, or how Cain's act of murder was evil, or how Noah knew which animals were clean and unclean...all long before God's covenant with Israel at Sinai. What I'm saying is this: God's commandments are timeless and not limited to the Sinai covenant.

The covenant on Mt. Sinai became "old" once the covenant was renewed on Mt. Moab (If I recall right!) with blessings given for keeping the commandments, whereas the Sinai had many curses for breaking the commandments.

Mind you, none of these have been replaced by Messiah's new covenant with us.

In Jeremiah 31, a new covenant is prophesied to occur between God and the southern house of Judah (Jews today) and the northern nation of Israel (lost, absorbed into the gentile nations to this day):

The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them, "
declares the LORD.

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

Now, I believe he's prophesying about the Messianic covenant here, because if you look at Messiah's actions, he was always about writing the Torah on our hearts. For example, Messiah told us [paraphrasing], "You've heard it said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I say, if you even look at a woman with lust in your heart, you're committing adultery."

That's taking a Torah commandment, the Law, and applying it to the heart.

He made similar statements about hating your brother, about loving your neighbor, taking oaths, loving God, even the less popular ones related to Temple service.

In fact, almost all of Matthew 5 is dedicating to getting to the point of the Torah, and applying it to our hearts, rather than just outwardly as the Pharisees were doing.

Now, what does all this have to do with the old covenant stuff?

The book of Hebrews says that these things -- in particular, the Cohenim (Levitical priesthood) is passing away. While that's true, it won't be gone until the New Covenant is complete, otherwise Messiah wouldn't have bothered applying what is "old" to our hearts. You might think the New Covenant is complete with Jesus, but I propose it's not complete until He finishes the job: new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem descending from heaven, everyone knowing the Lord. That's when the New Covenant is complete, after which we will enter another covenant that makes the "new covenant" become old. :-)

What evidence is there that the New Covenant isn't complete yet, you ask? Look at the rest of Jeremiah 31 that we just quoted earlier, here's the rest of the prophecy:

No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

This is what the LORD says,
he who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name:

"Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,"
declares the LORD,
"will the descendants of Israel ever cease
to be a nation before me."

This is what the LORD says:
"Only if the heavens above can be measured
and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all they have done,"
declares the LORD.

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.

There are 3 things about this "new covenant" of Jeremiah's that haven't happened yet:
  1. Everyone will know the Lord
  2. Israel will no longer be rejected
  3. Jerusalem will be rebuilt completely
Don't be ignorant of these things -- Jews today will retort Christian missionaries saying, "If your Jesus brought Jeremiah's new covenant, how come these things haven't happened?" If you look at anti-missionary websites like Jews for Judaism, they explicitly list every "new covenant" prophecy Jesus did not fulfill, then go on to say, "to our knowledge, no one has ever fulfilled these messianic requirements."

If you study the Scriptures, however, you'll find that it's prophesied that a new Jerusalem will descend from heaven, Israel will return to the Lord, and every knee will bow [jeez, that's cliche, I know!] - all will know the Lord. When those things happen, only then is the "old covenant" complete, because the Old Covenant -- with it's earthly pictures of heavenly things like blood shedding for atonement of sins, the Holy Temple, the priests -- will be replaced by the actual things they were pictures of. I think that's what the author of Hebrews meant when he says "by calling this covenant new, he makes the first old, and what's old and obsolete is passing away.

Is the old covenant obsolete? Is the Torah, which includes the 10 commandments, obsolete? The end of Hebrews 8 seems to indicate that the old covenant, or at least, the priesthood, is old and obsolete, and is passing away.

We must reconcile Hebrews 8 with Messiah's words that not a single mark of the pen, not a single commandment, will pass away until heaven and earth pass away. That includes even the Levitical priesthood. This means -- and excuse me for this very unpopular, politically incorrect statement -- there will be a 3rd Temple in Jerusalem, complete with a Levitical priesthood. That's my belief.

So, the New Covenant doesn't replace the Sinai covenant as much as it builds on it. For example, without the Old covenants telling us about shedding of innocent blood for atonement of sin, Y'shua's sacrifice would seem totally bizarre and foreign.

Heck, Paul says that without the Torah, we wouldn't know what sin is; the idea that Messiah would free us from sin would seem pointless, because we wouldn't know what sin is.

And without the commandments in Torah, Messiah wouldn't have anything to write on our hearts.

Without the old Davidic covenant, the very concept of a Messiah itself would be foreign to us.

The new covenant builds upon the old covenants.


  1. Out of the mouth of Yeshua, the Torah will not pass away Matt. 5:17-19 and be careful those that teach otherwise. Also the Scripture (Hebrew Bible) cannot be broken John 10:35


  2. Judah thanks for your comment. Though I hate to make off topic comments but then I am not sure whether you ar following or willing to follow comments after your comments on my blog?

    However Judah, it's funny that you are condemning that your ancestors killed Prophets. Don’t you think you are attacking your own religion? are you saying you regret that Jesus was “Killed”?

    Ironically you are denying one of your own Bible's verse.

    p.s: if you don't want to follow then kindly let me know, i will not make off topic posts anymore.

  3. Great post. All too often I see people trying to condemn the Jewish people and try to convert them, when God gives us His mercy through the people of Israel. He did this by the giving of His law to show us we needed a Savior, and He provided a Savior through the line of David.

    We are not to convert the Jews, but pray for them so that they can return to that which God gave them in the beginning and lead the rest of us in a Glorious Revival. For from them shall come the "first fruits" of Israel.

    Interestingly though, Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2 that because of Jesus God has broken down the middle wall of partition (the penalties of the law) and made "one new man". You will also see this in Ezekiel 37 where God unites Judah and Israel as one.

    David Brollier

  4. Hi Judah,

    How do you reconcile Hebrews 10:9-14 with a belief that the Levitical priesthood is still effectual? I know you can look it up but I'll quote it, here.

    "He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."

    I agree with you that Christians- even all the earth is accountable to God for how they have obeyed His moral law as it is summarized in the Ten Commandments, but I am uncertain that there remains a need for a priesthood that offers a sacrifice for sin. I know that you disagree with Roman Catholicism for at least this reason among many - what incentive is there for a Levitical priest to trust in the Messiah if he believes that his own offering can expiate his sin?

    With the deepest respect,

  5. David, I don't believe Jews should be converted to the religion of Christianity. The Orthodox Judaism synagogue shouldn't become a Baptist Church.

    I do believe Jews should know Messiah Y'shua personally. "To the Jew first", ya know? Messiah didn't come to start a new religion; since there is no new religion, there is no conversion required.

    Brian, great questions. I can answer with another question: how do you reconcile Hebrews 10 with Matthew 5? You probably already know it, but I'll quote it here:

    "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Notice Messiah did not restrict this statement to moral laws, nor did he restrict it to the 10 Commandments.

    Your Hebrews citation suggests the Levitical priesthood has been done away with in order to establish a new priesthood.

    But I must question how can the Levitical priesthood be done away with if Messiah said not even the least of the commandments will be done away with until heaven and earth pass away?

    This rift suggests either the author of Hebrews disagrees with Messiah, or I'm misunderstanding Matthew 5, or you're misunderstanding Hebrews 10. Mix and match. :-)

    When it comes to questions like this, I prefer to take the side of Messiah and Torah, and let them interpret the apostolic writings.

    Is it not backwards to interpret the gospels and the Torah using the apostolic writings?

  6. My question comes from Hebrews, but there are so many other places to make the same point - such as Christ's statement from the cross that "It is finished!". If he didn't make a final sacrifice for sins once and for all (and fulfill Law and the Prophets) then I have to ask - what did His suffering and death accomplish? If there is still a necessity for a Levitical priest to make a sacrifice of atonement, then doesn't that undermine the Messiah's purpose on earth, if he came to give His life as a ransom?

    Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Messiah came to make the people of the Jews into Midwestern Protestants, culturally - but my point is a pretty serious theological one. Scripture interpreting Scripture is the right approach and I think you agree. My only response to your statement about "taking the side of Messiah and Torah" is a bit of a caution - just because if we view some parts of Scripture as "trumping" other parts as it were, we might run into some difficult times trying to make sense of the Scriptures as a whole. If we accept the Bible in the entirety of the 66 books as "Scripture", then we have to accept it all as equally God-breathed and useful. I'm just throwing that out there because while you mentioned the seeming contradiction between Matthew 5 and Hebrews, if we examine the balance of Scripture in light of the progression of how it was revealed, I don't think that the Torah "trumps" Hebrews - but neither can Hebrews be read and understood apart from the knowledge of the books of Moses.

    If you can put up with me challenging you so much on this point, I just have another question: do you think that the apostolic writings shouldn't interpret the Gospels or the Torah? I don't think that they can be understood without them - and why would they have less value?

  7. Brian, keep the questions coming, this is good.

    My question comes from Hebrews, but there are so many other places to make the same point - such as Christ's statement from the cross that "It is finished!"

    Does Scripture say that the Levites are done for, anywhere? "It is finished" suggests Messiah's plan of salvation is finished. I don't believe Messiah's plan calls for abolishing the Levites. Messiah's own words suggest abolishing any Torah commandment, let alone all the Levitical commandments, is wrong.

    You asked, paraphrasing, "If sacrifice for atonement of sin is still required, then what's the point of Messiah's sacrifice?"

    Perhaps the answer is that the sacrifices the Levites did never washed away sin clean, but only covered sin. Messiah's sacrifice was radical in that it cleaned sins completely, something the blood of animals could never do.

    You'll be quick to counter, "Then what's the point of covering sins if Messiah's completely atoned for them?"

    Maybe as a memorial. Or perhaps there's something deeper our western Hellenized minds don't understand. Why do we need a human answer to something God's established?

    Wherever the answer lies, it is not our place to discard what God has enacted and what Messiah has reconfirmed: that the Torah, all of it, lasts for as long as heaven and earth. We're not to subvert a single aleph until then. If belittling a single commandment is wrong, how much more is the assertion that the whole Levitical priesthood is abolished forever?

    You asked about using parts of Scripture to interpret other parts. You said, "Do you think that the apostolic writings shouldn't interpret the Gospels or the Torah? I don't think that they can be understood without them - and why would they have less value?"

    They can be used to interpret the gospels and Torah, but not to contradict them.

    No, the apostolic writings don't contain any less truth than the gospels or the Torah.

    The matter isn't a question of "truthiness" or importance. It's one of foundation.

    Torah is the foundation. Without Torah, there are no commandments of God, there is no absolute right and wrong, there is no Israel, there are no prophets of Israel, there is no Messiah of Israel, there is no King of Israel who redeems the gentiles.

    If what the prophets said contradicted the Torah, those prophets were deemed to be deceivers, per God's commandments in the Torah.

    And if a man came along claiming to be the Messiah, his actions had to be reconciled both with Torah and with the prophets. If either failed to line up, he wasn't the Messiah.

    And if a follower of Messiah wrote something that contradicted Messiah, the prophets, or the Torah, we'd call him a blasphemer and heretic, as Jeanette just did to Joel Osteen on her blog. (I'm not commenting on whether Osteen is a heretic, don't want to get off-topic.)

    In other words, if something in Hebrews doesn't line up with the Messiah's words, Hebrews is wrong, not Messiah.

    If something in Hebrews doesn't line up with the prophets, Hebrews is wrong, not the prophets.

    If something in Hebrews doesn't line up with Torah, Hebrews is wrong, not Torah.

    It's because Torah is the foundation.

    I don't believe there's a conflict between Hebrews and the gospels. If there isn't a conflict, how do we explain this rift between Matt 5 and Hebrews 10? Simple. We don't understand it all.

    But there is one thing I have come to understand, and that is this: Because the Church has discarded the Torah, we are left without a foundation. And without that foundation, we have no idea what's right or wrong any more; we don't even know whether homosexual ministers is OK in the body of Messiah. Such moral confusion ought to tell us something is wrong, and that something, I believe, is the Church's flippant discarding of God's commandments.

  8. Judah, Where in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) does it say the Messiah will be the final sin atonement so that those who are righteous and waiting in Sheol can then leave Sheol?

    Another point about the Torah passing away. Those that say that, have to be able to prove their point in the Hebrew Bible because that is the only Holy Scriptures that Yeshua or the writers of the N.T knew of.

    Show me in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) where the Messiah is doing away with the Torah (Law).


  9. If there is still a need for a sacrifice for sin, then the Messiah did not accomplish what He claimed to fulfill. If He is the "Lamb of God" then there is no need for the blood of more lambs to be shed, year by year.

    The Messiah did not come to establish a new religion, you are correct. Nor did He intend for his followers to become wrapped up in the idolatry of Rome, but He did bring a new revelation about God that the Torah did not yet reveal. If He fulfilled once and for all the sacrifice of atonement, then the end of the era of the Levitical priesthood is not a belittling of the Torah, but an affirmation that the Torah points to Christ - the perfect Lamb & the perfect priest. Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill. If there is still a need for a priest, then it makes the cross to be an empty thing, a half-measure.

    The church hasn't discarded the Torah if it believes that the requirements of the law were met and fulfilled perfectly in the Messiah. Without the law, as you affirm, we would not know right from wrong and there would be nothing to point us to our need for a savior. "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24). It isn't making the law obsolete as Scripture to say that it was fulfilled.

    You are making a case for the re-establishment of the ceremonial requirements of the Torah based on the promise that they are "forever". The promise to David was that he would have someone to sit on his throne from his descendants forever. It was fulfilled in the Messiah once and for all. You do not argue that David still needs physical descendants on a physical throne in Israel, do you? So in the same way I do not make the case for a physical sacrificial system when it has been fulfilled once and for all.

    Please know that I share your concerns about the compromises that the church has fostered with the world. & I do not advocate a Christianity devoid of Jewish flavor - such a thing is really not in the spirit of the New Testament church - a union of Jew and Gentile that was the work of the Lord.

  10. Brian, you stated,

    If He is the "Lamb of God" then there is no need for the blood of more lambs to be shed, year by year.

    He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is also the Messiah who said anyone who teaches others to break the least of a commandment is to be called least in the kingdom.

    Brian, isn't it true Christianity teaches us to break God's commandments? Not just the Levitical ones, but everything from the Lord's Feasts, to the Lord's day of rest, down to the very food we eat?

    If there is still a need for a priest, then it makes the cross to be an empty thing, a half-measure.

    No, I don't think so. If that were true, celebrating Passover would also render his death empty. Yet Messiah, the disciples, and Paul all celebrated it, even after Messiah's death. When He said, "Do this in remembrance of Me", I assure you He wasn't speaking about Easter or Communion. :-)

    Those who love Messiah and keep his commandments today celebrate Passover with an awesome picture of the Messiah who fulfilled it. We celebrate in remembrance of Him, which gives so much more meaning to the Feast.

    Likewise, the priesthood may be carried out in remembrance of Messiah's sacrifice. It doesn't negate Messiah's sacrifice in the least!

    If you're still convinced the Levitical priesthood will never again exist, ask yourself how can it be that the "man of lawlessness" (assumedly the anti-Messiah) Paul describes in 2 Thessalonians sets himself up in the Temple? Are you suggesting a Temple will exist devoid of Levites? That sounds silly. (Ezekiel also talks about an earthly Temple which is yet to be built.)

    Brian, the reason I can't accept this argument you've presented is because the line between fulfillment and abolition is blurred, and induces the same convenient result: Christians don't have to keep God's commandments.

    Moreover, this conclusion taken to it's logical end -- each commandment Messiah fulfilled should not be carried out by us -- has contradictions in the New Testament and the Torah.

    For example, let's apply that thinking to the Lord's Feast of Passover. Since Messiah became our spotless Passover lamb and fulfilled the Feast, we have no need to celebrate it.

    Yet, Paul tells us to keep the Feast of Passover. And the apostles led by example and were celebrating a Feast of the Lord in Acts. And Messiah himself said that when we celebrate Passover, we are to do it in remembrance of Him.

    Brian, let me ask you, do you think Christians should celebrate Passover?

    You don't believe David still needs physical descendants on a physical throne in Israel, do you?

    Yes, I do. God promised Judah, Jacob's son, that the rulers of Israel would always come from him (Gen 49). If you are suggesting God broke this covenant, or that Messiah's fulfillment of this ended the covenant, please show me from Scripture and I'd gladly change my theology.

    The church hasn't discarded the Torah if it believes that the requirements of the law were met and fulfilled perfectly in the Messiah.

    You're right that the Church believes Messiah fulfilled the Torah, rightfully so. The error the Church has made, however, is suggesting that by Messiah's fulfillment of Torah, we no longer pay attention to the commandment that was fulfilled. When was the last time you heard a preacher speak on the kosher commandments in anything other than a negative light?

    Brian, I was reading some psalms this past sabbath..."your Torah is perfect", "I love your commandments", "Your laws are eternal", "Your rulings are my delight", "Wisdom and righteousness abound in your law", "Your ways are righteous and your precepts are sure" come I've never heard a preacher say the Law is a delight? Why is there a rift between the psalmist and modern Christian theology?

    The answer to these things, I believe, is because the Church has indeed abolished Torah. Fulfillment is one thing, abolition is entirely another. What do you think, Brian?

  11. You raised a lot of questions. Let me make an attempt to speak to as many as I can. Even though I hate to keep harping on one thing & I realize that you are trying to provide me with some perspective - I keep coming back to the sacrifice of the Messiah. If He did not make a final and complete payment for my sins on the cross, then He isn't my savior - but something less. If He is not the only intermediary between God and man, then He is something less than a Messiah. If he is only one of many in a long line of kings of Israel - then he is not the incarnate Son of the Most High. I have to say that if the "Jesus of Christianity" is "weak" as you have suggested, then I have to say that I prefer this "weakness" if it means that He bore the sins of all of His people in a real and propitiatory way, to the exclusion of all other means of my own or anyone else's.

    Christianity does not teach that we should break God's commandments. That is a very serious accusation. You are making a direct connection to the observance of the feasts and dietary laws which were ceremonial accretions to the moral law of God which has not changed. I would not be a part of a church that would teach us to break a moral law such as the sabbath day of rest. (You may counter that it is not on Sunday, but there are several examples in the Scriptures about the first day of the week being the day when the early church met to worship. I disagree that it was Constantine switched the day - but that is another debate, altogether!) The law should be our delight and I am sorry to hear that you have never heard it preached in a church-meeting.

    You asked about the celebration of Passover. To that I say, "Why not?" - and I do not think that it or any of the Feasts conflict with Christian doctrine - but I do think that the Lord instituted a way of remembering His death at His last supper that is a right and proper act that requires our obedience, along with baptism into His name. This is not our salvation - as some in the Roman church would say, but it is the example of the Messiah that a Christian should follow in love to Him.

    It's plain that we have some differing views. I'm thinking that you're not too surprised to hear me say what I do & I hope that my questioning doesn't lead to bad feelings. I don't make any effort to criticize you or Judaism to others. I realize that you believe that Christianity has abandoned its foundation - and the evidence that you see is the moral confusion which is sadly evident in churches across the land. To this I heartily agree - but of course I see the imperative of the law as strictly moral & to you this is a serious trespass to not obey the ceremonial law.

    I remain convinced that true Christianity as it is pictured for us in the Scriptures is more than gentile and more than Jewish - that the "church" as the body of the Messiah on earth is something unique and supernatural. Only the Lord could bring the two together. We are being fitted together into a spiritual temple, where the Lord dwells. Please don't take my questions as a personal attack (in case you might be tempted), as I can be confrontational but it is out of love for Him and for His people that I write.

    Thanks, Judah

  12. Do we really understand why YHVH had us implement the sacrificial system? Some sages say that since our Hebrew brothers would be caught up in the pagan system of sacrifices that YHVH simply said since you are going to fall into this trap then sacrifice my way.

    Did anyone ever teach forgiveness of sins by simply turning to YHVH?

    It is reported in the book of Mark that John the Immerser taught this. Maybe it was just his doctrine and not from YHVH but Yeshua said of John the Immerser "Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist." So Yeshua thought very highly of John the Immerser and most likely heard his message because after all they were cousins.

    Mark 1:4 So it was that Yochanan the Immerser appeared in the desert, proclaiming an immersion involving turning to God from sin in order to be forgiven.
    Mark 1:5 People went out to him from all over Y’hudah, as did all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim. Confessing their sins, they were immersed by him in the Yarden River.

    I thought that it was because of Yeshua that you now have forgiveness of sins. But that is not what John says. So which is it?

    I see in the Hebrew Bible that YHVH did not really care for sacrifices and even Yeshua reportedly made a comment about one such text.

    Matt. 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
    Matt. 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Yeshua quotes Hos. 6:6

    Hos. 6:6 For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

    So YHVH really does not care for sacrifices and what else is interesting from the Matt 9:13 text is that is says Yeshua did not come to call the righteous but sinners. I thought according to Paul there were none righteous? But Yeshua said HE DID NOT COME TO CALL THE RIGHTEOUS. I wonder what that is all about?

    So do we really understand what sacrifices are all about?

    Just some thoughts


  13. Brian, let me be clear: Messiah made final atonement. We're on the same page there.

    Where we disagree is on the theology of dissolution of the Levitical priesthood due to the final atonement of Messiah.

    If such a radical, commandment-busting theology is what Messiah had in mind for us today, surely he would have said something!

    I question, then, why Messiah didn't say such a thing to his followers...something like, "Hey, stop going to the Temple, I've made the priesthood obsolete, you don't have to keep 95% of God's commandments, you can ignore God's Feasts, nevermind about the food stuff, oh, and I've changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Happy Easter."

    Brian, frankly, if Messiah had said those things, the Torah and prophets could not call Him "messiah".

    This is precisely why the Jewish people, by and large, look at Christianity as an idolatrous, false religion. Christianity has become a new religion thanks to gentile doctrine which does not appear in the New Testament and is totally foreign to Torah and the Prophets. This doctrine started very early on in the Church and was solidified by Constantine's state religion at Rome.

    How very different is modern Christian doctrine compared to the life lived by Messiah!

    Until this chasm is reconciled, a coherent unity of Jew and gentile through Messiah can't happen.

    If he is only one of many in a long line of kings of Israel - then he is not the incarnate Son of the Most High.

    Nah, that's not true. Messiah's kingship doesn't change his status as the son of God. Remember, Messiah didn't come as physical king this time around, much to the chagrin of the disciples and the Jewish people who hoped he would throw off Rome, reunite Judah and Israel, and become political king. Next time he'll be the ultimate king of Israel, perhaps the final one.

    Christianity does not teach that we should break God's commandments. That is a very serious accusation.

    Yes, it is a very serious accusation; one I don't make lightly or flippantly. Please know that I say that with all the respect due to the Messiah-loving folks in the church.

    Let's at least be intellectually honest: Christianity teaches us to break what is deemed as ritual laws, agreed? For example, the Church teaches it is perfectly fine to eat anything God commanded us not to eat.

    I mean, if I told Pastor Roger that I kept the Feasts of the Lord, kept God's commandments about food, and encouraged others to do so, don't you think I'd be accused of legalism? (All due respect to Pastor Roger, I'm speaking about Protestants in general.)

    Christianity teaches us to break God's commandments, at least some of them, by allowing us to discard the ones we deem ceremonial -- a distinction not found in Scripture -- and by fudging any ones we deem moral but too uncomfortable to keep, such as Sabbath. More on Sabbath in a moment.

    You are making a direct connection to the observance of the feasts and dietary laws which were ceremonial accretions to the moral law of God which has not changed.

    Well, God told us, paraphrasing, "Here are some foods to eat. These other ones aren't good for you, don't eat them." I fail to see how that is either a ritual or ceremonial. On the contrary, I find that to be God's loving instruction for the well-being of his children.

    To make a distinction between God's Feasts and moral laws, then allow for breaking the ceremonial - is that Scriptural?

    And are you aware that God calls the Sabbath one of his Feasts? Given that God says in Lev 23, the Feasts are "My Feasts" and "My appointed times" (not Jewish feasts), and that we're to keep them eternally in all our generations, are you suggesting Messiah canceled God's appointments with humanity by His fulfillment of them?

    Also, keep in mind that while Messiah fulfilled the first 4 spring Feasts, he did not fulfill the last 3 fall Feasts. The New Testament suggests Messiah will fulfill them in real-time when he returns as the kingly Messiah.

    You asked about the celebration of Passover. To that I say, "Why not?" - and I do not think that it or any of the Feasts conflict with Christian doctrine

    Well, again, I think you're looking at it backwards -- you looked at God's commandments like the Feasts and asked, "Does it conflict with Christian doctrine?". I look at Christian doctrine and ask, "Does it conflict with God's commandments?" Between the two of us, I think this is a very early fork-in-the-road where our theology starts to split.

    But, I'm glad you find no objection to Passover. I find it strange that you don't object to Passover (which Messiah has fulfilled), but you do object to the Levitical priesthood (which Messiah has fulfilled). Since Messiah fulfilled both, why the judge them differently?

    In any case, you should come with me to Passover. If you're comfortable with it, I'd love to bring you (and Jeanette and kids) along for a Passover where Messiah is the focus and fulfillment.

    I would not be a part of a church that would teach us to break a moral law such as the sabbath day of rest.

    That's good, Brian, I admire that conviction.

    While you may believe Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday (Scripture support for this?), Christianity certainly doesn't keep the Sabbath, even on Sunday. God's instruction to us about Sabbath isn't to gather together and worship, although that is perfectly fine to do any day of the week. No, God's loving instruction about Sabbath is this: don't work! And don't buy and sell, since that makes other people work.

    Brian, does the Church teach us to refrain from work and from buying and selling on the Sabbath, even Sunday? If it doesn't teach it, even this commandment you consider a moral law, we must admit the Church does not teach God's commandments. By its ignorance of the commandment, it encourages ignorance and disobedience.

    Now, regarding the Sabbath day, whether the Scriptural 7th day or the day the early church kept, the Roman Catholic Church freely admits it changed the Sabbath by its own authority -- check out Catholic Encyclopedia online. Constantine made it official for Rome on March 7th, 321, in his Dies Solis decree:

    "On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost."

    Constantine's former religion of sun worship is apparent in his sun-day everything, and is why the Catholic Church ended up following the Sunday Sabbath to this day.

    The reason Protestants today keep Sunday is that the Reformation was unable to get enough support for switching the day back. Did you know the early reformers tried to restore the Sabbath? Luther once said, "If [Wittenburg chairman] Karlstadt were to go further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath, that is Saturday, must be kept holy."

    Early Anabaptists restored the Sabbath as well, but unfortunately, persecution of these men eventually pounded the Catholic Sunday back into Reformation, leaving us today with well-intentioned Protestants who unwittingly keep a Catholic holiday.

    I see the imperative of the law as strictly moral & to you this is a serious trespass to not obey the ceremonial law.

    Hey man, I'm just following Messiah's words in Matthew. He didn't say, "if you break any of the moral commandments...", he said if you break even the least of the commandments, ignoring a single letter from Torah or the Prophets -- you'll be least in God's kingdom. If there is some Scripture to indicate Jesus was talking about only a subset of the Law, please show me.

    I hope that my questioning doesn't lead to bad feelings. I don't make any effort to criticize you or Judaism to others.

    Not at all, I enjoy theological debates, it sharpens our knowledge of Scripture. Neither am I offended by criticism of Judaism, so feel free to shoot if you see wrongs in it, of which there are many! :-)

    Likewise, I hope my critique of Christian doctrine here hasn't put any cold feelings between us.

    Shalom, Brian.

    Levi, this post is already too long, I feel like I'm writing a book. :-) I'll reply to your 2 posts in another post shortly.

  14. That's ok Judah. I am really just putting some thoughts out there.
    Reply if you want.


  15. Thanks, Judah.

    I'm going to reply by email so that your post doesn't stretch to the moon here. :)

    All the best,

  16. Hahah yes, we might as well write a book together with these long debates. ;-) Looking forward to your email.

  17. Levi, you brought up the question, "Do we really understand why YHVH had us implement the sacrificial system?"

    No, I don't think we understand it.

    I've certainly got my inklings about it. I've always thought the sacrificial system was more for humans than for God. For example, when innocent blood is shed for sin, it makes you realize the serious nature of sin: a matter of life and death.

    Regarding turning to God for salvation of sin, that's a great point you make. I think back to the gospels and am reminded that both John and Y'shua's message was calling people to repent.

    We must resist the temptation to think of Jesus running into the Temple shouting, "Be born again! Ask me into your heart!" ;-)

    Shalom, Levi.

  18. Yeah Judah, Remember the story Yeshua told? Two people went into the Temple.

    Luke 18:13 But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’
    Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    In this story the man did not offer a sacrifice or ask Yeshua into is heart or say he believed in Yeshua etc. but Yeshua said he went home right with G-d or justified with G-d. Interesting.


  19. Levi, does that suggest one can be right with God apart from Y'shua?

    Let me ask you straight out, why Y'shua? What role does Messiah play in our lives if not setting us right with God?

    One answer is Messiah came to write the Torah on our hearts, something no man can do. Another answer is that his sacrifice was the fulfillment of the prophets. After the suffering of Messiah, through knowledge of Him, God's righteous servant will justify many -- even the gentiles-- and he will bear our sin.

    His sacrifice cleans sin completely, another thing the Torah could not do by itself, if not only for the sheer fact that the Levites are sinful men themselves.

  20. In response to brain Hebrews says that the first Covenant is in the process of becoming obsolete (because we are imperfect and cant follow him)HEBREWS 8:11
    "None of them will teach his fellow-citizen or his brother saying know YHVH!" For all will know Me, from the least to the greatest, because I will be merciful toward their sins"
    Referring to the second covenant we have HEAVEN! were not there yet!So keep telling everyone to "know YHVH"!!!!!

  21. In response to brain Hebrews says that the first Covenant is in the process of becoming obsolete (because we are imperfect and cant follow him)

    HEBREWS 8:11
    "None of them will teach his fellow-citizen or his brother saying know YHVH!" For all will know Me, from the least to the greatest, because I will be merciful toward their sins"

    Referring to the second covenant we have HEAVEN! were not there yet!So keep telling everyone to "know YHVH"!!!!!

  22. udah, I am not sure. If the Roman Catholic Church Fathers did not mess with that particular text, then to me it kinda seems Yeshua is saying that. But who knows, we do not have any of the original texts.

    From what I can tell from the words of Yeshua, he pointed every one to the Father and to trust YHVH.

    I am still trying to find in the Hebrew Bible where Messiah is to be the final sin atonement or an according to some in Christianity that Messiah is YHVH.

    The Hebrew Bible is the foundation, so it has to be in there. The NT is not the Holy Scriptures and the Roman Catholic Church has messed with the NT that it is not even funny anymore. And that is Fact, you know that.

    Yeshua was Anointed by YHVH but has Christianity with its Greek thinking misunderstood what Messiah was suppose to be and manipulated the NT to fit their Roman agenda?

    What's your thought?

  23. Hebrew Hammer, well put. The first covenant is passing away, yet it isn't yet gone, otherwise we'd be seeing all the accomplishments prophesied in Jeremiah, Isaiah, and elsewhere. As you mention, we haven't arrived at the place where everyone knows the Lord. Thus, the New Covenant is not yet finished.


    I have long struggled with that issue. Did the early church fathers throw out books they didn't like? Did they make theological insertions into the New Testament?

    I prayed about this for a very long time. It really bothered me, as it was rather shaking to my faith.

    God answered me with a resolution that, while I don't fully understand, it is sufficient for me as He knew it would be. His answer was this: what we have today as Scripture, including the Christian Scriptures, is here for a reason. He guided it to what it is now.

    Maybe that's not a good enough answer for you; it really was for me, though, our Father knew my heart.

    As I imagine you would as well, I still want to see some original Hebrew gospels. I want to see the original Hebrew Matthew. What did the Greek translators change? Trinitarian doctrines inserted? Anti-Torah insertions?

    But whatever the differences, whatever the mistranslations, whatever the Hellenistic viewpoint of the translators and doctrine-shapers of the early Christian church, God guided it and gave us what we have today.

    After God showed me this, I've put my deep concern about this to rest. I trust God's overseen the whole thing.

    Regarding your question about Messiah becoming the final atonement, the first thing that comes to mind is the bit from Isaiah. I'm sure you already know it:

    Certainly he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows,
    yet we considered him stricken by God,
    smitten by him, and afflicted.

    But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    Yet it was YHVH's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though YHVH makes his life a guilt offering,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

    After the suffering of his soul,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied ;
    by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.

    Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    I propose this is speaking of a final atonement: the Lord made his life a guilt offering, by which the sins of all humanity are laid on him, and by him, we're justified before God. That's a very special kind of sacrifice.

    Granted, it doesn't say this will be the last sacrifice, but it is a unique, ground-shaking sacrifice where the sin of humanity is laid on him. What do you think?

    Regarding Messiah being YHVH, well, the New Testament, including the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew (which may be based on the original Hebrew Matthew) attest to Messiah's claims that he and the Father together are one.

    If you're looking for sources outside the New Testament, but both the Zohar and the Tenakh suggest that there is one with God who makes intercession for us in Heaven. I believe those revelations point to Messiah being the one who intercedes on our behalf before the Father. Does that mean they're one and the same? I don't know, Levi, I don't understand it all. But I do believe Messiah is in heaven and intercedes on our behalf, and on him our sins have been placed.

    I don't have all the answers though, Levi. Maybe Messiah will reveal these things to us when he returns to fulfill the kingly Messiah prophecies and reign as the triumphant son of David.

    Shalom, and may YHVH strengthen you and build you up in his righteous Torah. Be blessed!

  24. Judah, Sometimes I forget what Yeshua said about Eternal Life and the requirements He gave about Eternal Life.

    Yeshua never said I had to know he would die for my sins or be the final sin atonement or to know he was or is YHVH. Yeshua also never said I or anyone had to believe in a virgin birth or in the death, burial, and resurrection as a requirement of Eternal Life.

    Yeshua gave the requirements for Eternal Life and they involve Trusting in YHVH and Obeying the Commandments.

    The requirements of Trusting for Eternal Life are found in John 3, John 5:24.

    The requirements of Obeying Commands for Eternal Life are found in Matt. 19:16-17, Mark 10:17-19, Luke 10:25-28, Luke 18:18-20.

    The only sinners prayer I can find is what Yeshua said in Luke 18:13-14.

    Now, I know some are going to look at this, and this always happens, they will say, well Paul says etc.

    My question then would be, do we believe what Yeshua the Messiah said or do I have to believe what Paul said?

    I would rather Trust and Do what Yeshua said and according to Yeshua, I will have Eternal Life.


  25. One more thing about Sacrifices:

    Here is why YHVH gave them to us.

    Jer. 7:21 Thus says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el: “You may as well eat the meat of your burnt offerings along with that of your sacrifices.
    Jer. 7:22 For I didn’t speak to your ancestors or give them orders concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.
    Jer. 7:23 Rather, what I did order them was this: ‘Pay attention to what I say. Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. In everything, live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well for you.’
    Jer. 7:24 But they neither listened nor paid attention, but lived according to their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, thus going backward and not forward.

    Sacrifices were never intended from the beginning.

    Hos. 6:6 For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

    If sin could be forgiven or did not need a sacrifice before we left Egypt, then what is the reason for a sin sacrifice that was given after Egypt if it could not really get rid of the sin?

    Just some thoughts.


  26. Levi,

    You're right that sacrifices weren't intended from the beginning. (Neither was sin, or meat-eating, or...) But the introduction of sin changed this and introduced a need for covering of sin and guilt.

    This is why one of the first acts we see in Scripture is an offering by both Abel and Cain.

    I do believe that God desires mercy over sacrifice, that much is clear. Again, I think sacrifice was less meant for God and more meant for humanity: that we can see the serious life-and-death nature of sin.


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