Doers Of The Law Will Be Justified

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Does Romans really teach the law has been abolished? The answer is, emphatically no.

The problem that Christians have with Paul in Romans 6 and 7 is that Paul is talking about two laws, the law of God and the law of sin (Romans 7:25). In Romans 8:2, these two laws are referred to as the law of the Spirit and the law of sin and death. Christians can’t see these two laws clearly because they lack a solid foundation of Torah from a Hebraic perspective and because they have accepted incorrect teaching that has been passed down to them for many generations.

Let’s begin this discussion with Romans 2:9:  “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek.”  Is the opposite of this true?  It should be, but it sure hasn’t been my experience.  The law of YHVH defines what is good, righteous, and holy. It defines evil by telling us what to avoid.  If we don’t embrace the law of YHVH, we can expect tribulation and distress on a regular basis, especially as the end comes upon us. Of course, we can also expect this when we are surrounded by others who commit evil too.  It’s just how life can be.

Paul is really not presenting a new concept.  He’s presenting what Moses said in Deuteronomy 11:26-28. Basically, you will be blessed if you obey the commandments of YHVH your God, or you will be cursed if you disobey the commandments of YHVH your God.

When we think about our lives, we know that we have often given in to the sinful desires of the flesh.  Just as Messiah died and was raised from the dead, we are to put to death the deeds and desires of the flesh and walk in newness of life by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

We are not to be slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness.  According to John 8:34, “if you commit sin, you are a slave of sin.”  Since we all sin from time to time, I think he is speaking more in terms of habitual sin.  In Romans 6:6, Paul said that our old man was crucified with Messiah so that the body of sin might be done away with; in other words, we should no longer be slaves of sin.  Sin came into the world through Adam; this resulted in death being spread to all men.  In a similar fashion, Messiah reversed that result through one act of righteousness. Previously, Adam’s sin led to the condemnation of many, but Messiah’s righteousness led to justification of many.

So what is justification? Justification is the action of declaring someone righteous in God’s sight.  It is a separate act from what the law does, and it takes place as a result of a few separate things (Romans 3:21-31).

First, there is an act of righteousness that comes through faith.  For Abraham, it was a faith that God would keep His promise that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heaven (Genesis 15:4-6).  That one act of belief was considered righteousness for Abraham. It was an act of faith that looked into the future, which he could not see with his own eyes.  For us, our act of faith is believing that God raised Yeshua from the dead (Romans 4:23-25). This is an act of faith that looks into the past, which we cannot see with our own eyes.

Second, there is an act of righteousness that comes by God’s grace as a gift.  This gift or act of righteousness is God’s free to us, but it was a costly gift from the Father.  It was the cost of redemption put forth by God; it was the blood of Yeshua given as a propitiation for our sin.

When we believe that God raised Yeshua from the dead, we are believing/trusting that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death with the blood of Yeshua, which was given as a propitiation for our sin. Folks, this is not the end of the story as most Christians believe it to be.

These two acts of righteousness were performed by two different parties to draw us into an ancient covenant with one another.  I’m speaking of the covenant on Mount Sinai where YHVH gave the terms of the covenant to Moses to pass on to the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt.

We can see this displayed in the following chiasm:

Faith of Abraham: that YHVH would keep His promise of many descendants and give him land as an inheritance. Abraham killed and cut the offerings given for the covenant where God, as a smoking oven and burning torch walked between the cut parts (Genesis 15:4-21). 

God sending Moses to lead the people out of slavery and through the waters of the Red Sea to the other side.

A seh (animal from the sheep or the goats) was offered as Passover sacrifice for the Threshold Covenant.

**Covenant on Mount Sinai

Yeshua was offered as the Passover Lamb for the New Threshold Covenant. The terms of this covenant are the same as the original; these terms are to be written on our hearts.

God send Yeshua to lead people out of slavery to sin. They are to receive the baptism of repentance. They are to cross over/be raised from death to life.

Faith of believers: that God raised Yeshua from the dead so they could walk in newness of life. Believers must receive the free gift of God’s grace with which He redeemed us; this gift of grace was God offering His son, Yeshua as a propitiation for our sin by the hands of wicked men. Believers now stand in grace because they have been bought with a price.

In Romans 3:31, Paul himself said that the law is not abolished because of man’s faith in Yeshua. Indeed, Paul upheld the law of YHVH.  Not only that, Paul previously said, “all who have sinned under the law of YHVH will be judged by the law of YHVH (Romans 2:1).”

Now let me present two apparently conflicting statements Paul made:

  • “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified (Romans 2:13).”
  • “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).”

Which is it? Is Paul trying to confuse us?  Can both verses be correct? Yes, they can!  The problem is that these verses are often quoted out of context.  Paul has made statements with ellipses.  We must use the context of the text to insert words into the ellipses for it to all make sense.

In Romans 2, Paul is comparing and contrasting lawless, wicked people with lawful, righteous people. It’s a basic repeat of the warning Moses gave to the people long ago.  If you obey YHVH’s commands, you will have blessing and life.

We can restate Romans 2:13 by filling in Paul’s ellipses as: “For it is not the hearers of the law of YHVH who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law of YHVH who will be justified.”

In Romans 3, Paul is talking about those who are all under sin. They are disobedient to the law of YHVH. According to Moses, if you disobey YHVH’s laws, you’ll have cursing and death. This is also known as the law of sin, or the law of sin and death (because sin leads to death).

We can restate Romans 3:20 by filling in Paul’s ellipses as: “For by works of the law of sin no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law of YHVH comes knowledge of sin.”

We are not supposed to allow sin, as define by the law of YHVH, to reign in our lives.  We are not under the law of sin, but the law of grace.

Paul reminded his readers, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)”

Based on what Moses told the second generation that came out of Egypt, Romans 6:23 now makes sense when we clarify the word “sin” this way: “For the wages of sin (lawlessness) is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So what is the purpose of the law of YHVH? There are two purposes.  First, it was a tutor to teach us what is righteous and what is not (Galatians 3:24-25). In other words, it defines righteousness.  It was also to bring us to Messiah so we could be the seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:25 seems to indicate we are no longer under this tutor.  Is that correct?  I think this verse specifically applies more to Paul’s original readers in Galatia than to us. The reason I say that is because the Jews and many converted Gentiles were raised on the Torah. They knew it well.  For us, the opposite is often true. We either do not know it at all, or we don’t know it as well as we should. We can look at this concept in a reverse-chiastic fashion.

Torah brings people to Messiah.

**People are redeemed by the blood of Messiah and justified by faith in Messiah.

Those justified by faith in Messiah are brought to Torah so they can learn how to live righteously (walk in holiness).

Acts 15:19-21 supports this idea.  Originally, many Gentiles were turning to Messiah that had no knowledge of Torah.  The Jerusalem Council submitted a letter with a judgment to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.  These are the core teachings of Torah found in Leviticus. These things were the major things plaguing the Gentiles.  They could learn the rest of the Torah from what was being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.

Previously, we mentioned two acts of righteousness. The first was believing that God rose Yeshua from the dead. The second was God’s act of redeeming man with the blood of His son. A third act of righteousness would be man’s trusting in the act of God redeeming people from the curse of the law.  Acts of righteousness are not supposed to stop here.  There are many other acts of righteousness we are expected to do.  We can’t know what all of those are unless we study the Torah and begin doing them.

Why should we be concerned with Torah?  Didn’t Yeshua fulfill the law?  Actually, He did NOT fulfill ALL of it yet.  There is much prophecy to be fulfilled when He returns.  Does that shock you?  It shouldn’t.  Everything won’t be fulfilled until heaven and earth pass away.  Those who teach that the law has already been fulfilled or that it is not necessary to do it will be LEAST in the kingdom of God.  See Matthew 5:17-19 if you aren’t sure.

So why should we concerned with Torah? It’s because the final purpose of the law of YHVH is our holiness.  This is the fruit we are supposed to bear to God.  We are not to bear the fruit of wickedness.

Look at the following verses:

Romans 6:19:  “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

Romans 6:21-23: “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? [My answer: Wickedness] For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Again, this is nothing new. Moses gave them same choice many years ago.

With this in mind, let’s look at Romans 7:4-6 with his ellipses filled in:  “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law (of sin and death) through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law (of sin and death) were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law (of sin and death), having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Now, we look at Torah, we can agree with Paul and say, “Therefore the law (of YHVH) is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good (Romans 7:12).”

So, if you thought the written law was abolished, you probably don’t even know what it teaches.  You need to be tutored in the written law of YHVH so you know what righteousness really is.  As you learn it, go and do it.

If you’ve taught others that the law of YHVH was abolished, repent; start teaching otherwise.

Do not allow yourself to set your mind on the flesh; that leads to death.  Set your mind on the Spirit; this leads to life and peace. Remember, a mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot.  Submit to God’s law and live. This is what being led by the Spirit is all about (Romans 8:6-7, 13).

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Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 4

So far we’ve seen how the theme of salvation progressed from the Tanach (Old Testament) through a major portion of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).  Initially, Israel was often saved from their physical enemies.  Eventually, their enemies had infiltrated their communities and influenced them to commit idolatry.  In Yeshua’s day, many people were not walking in obedience to the law despite the fact their forefathers had spent time in exile in Babylon.  It was necessary for Yeshua to save Israel from the path of death they were on by calling the Jews to repentance; He did this by encouraging them to return to the law of YHVH.

Many people in the Hebraic Roots movement are saying that salvation is a future thing.  Because of this, we looked at the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb for “saved” to determine whether being saved is a past event or not.  The vast majority of times this verb is used in the Brit Chadashah, it’s in the aorist tense which is a past event. It is often in the indicative mood which is a point in time event.  Only in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the perfect form used; this usage is a past completed action that has an on-going effect.  The verses with a future tense refer to something that will happen in the future when certain conditions are met.  At that point, salvation would be a past event.  If someone has convinced you to stop ignoring God’s commandments and to live a life of obedience, you have been saved or rescued from the path of destruction and death that you were on.

Even so, Israel can expect a physical salvation from their enemies during the Battle of Armageddon and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.  The purpose of salvation is to rescue people from the ultimate curse of the law which is death; the only way to do this is to take them back to the same choice between life and death that Moses set before the people and encourage them to choose life.  Choosing life requires people to accept the terms of the covenant between YHVH and Israel.  These terms will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away.

We’ve seen that salvation in Exodus preceded entering the covenant with YHVH.  In addition, we’ve looked at how to enter the new covenant; this is patterned after how people entered the original covenant. It is clear that we are saved by faith yet we are justified by our works; in other words, our works (Torah obedience which includes acts of kindness) demonstrate our faith.  In addition, Paul was right to say that we should not abolish the law because of faith; he upheld the law (Romans 3:31).

Yeshua lived righteously.  He is the Cornerstone and Gate of Salvation which allows us to enter the covenant and experience blessing (life).  We have been given the Ruach HaKodesh so we can walk in the Ruach like Yeshua did, and not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  If we are led by the Ruach, we are not under the curse of the law (death); instead we are choosing life.

What we need to know now is how Yeshua is going to firmly establish his kingdom.  This will require the future physical salvation of His people.  Remember, God shows us what is to happen in the future in the events of the past.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says: “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”

We see the present and future in the patterns of the past.  They are thematic shadows, and not necessarily exact.  Sometimes thematic events happen in unexpected ways.  Sometimes there is opposition (the opposite of what we expect happens); this could be a result of the personal choices people make.  Sometimes a single person may play one or more roles as compared to the original pattern; the opposite is true as well.  Sometimes, the order of events might be out of order due to a particular reason.  Often what applies to an individual can apply to a corporate body; the reverse of this is true as well.  Despite this, the patterns are there.  We can see what God did in the past and understand what He intends to do in the future.

The salvific patterns we need to remember are:

  • Preservation of a Remnant
  • Messiah and Anti-Messiah
  • The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign
  • The Establishment of the Kingdom of God
  • Slain from the Foundation of the World

When you look at these, it may be helpful to read down the first column to see the sequence of events.  Then, read each row to see how the pattern was repeated or will be repeated.

The following pattern is the “Preservation of a Remnant”:

Preservation of a Remnant

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

God sent Joseph to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth;

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Moses back to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Yeshua to His people to:

·         Preserve a posterity (remnant) for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance

Joseph gave instructions for the collection of grain for the coming famine.

Joseph provided grain to the known world so they could live and not die.

YHVH provided manna, quail, and water for His people who were under Moses’ leadership.

He also gave them the terms of the covenant so they could choose to live and not die.

Yeshua taught the Word of God (spiritual food & terms of the covenant); preached repentance; and gave His life so the world could live and not die.

 

This pattern shows what Yeshua’s goals were in the first century.  In Joseph’s and Moses’ time, the people are entering, in, or coming out of Egypt.  By Yeshua’s day, YHVH’s people are in a kind of spiritual Egypt.  YHVH provided the means to preserve and save them.  Note that in each column there is some kind of nourishment (whether it was grain, manna, or the Word of God) that accomplishes the goal of preserving or sustaining life.  Instructions or terms of the covenant were for everyone.  Life or death was dependent on whether or not people followed the instructions or terms of the covenant.  You cannot have a covenant without terms; the terms of the original and new covenant are the same.

 

The following is the pattern of the Messiah and Anti-Messiah.

Messiah and Anti-Messiah

Pattern

Past

Future

YHVH’s

Anointed  Shepherd

 

Cyrus, king of Persia

(5th century BCE)

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness;

Good Shepherd

Son of Joseph and David

(1st century CE)

Anti-Messiah

 

Antiochus Epiphanes IV

(1st century BCE)

False Prophet

 

Horn [Agent] of Salvation

 

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness

Son of Joseph;

Son of David

(1st century CE)

Faithful & True;

Word of God (Yeshua)

 

 

This pattern shows that YHVH’s anointed shepherd was/will be followed by an anti-Messiah.  This person was/will be followed by a certain horn/agent of salvation.  As the pattern repeats itself, the same horn/agent of salvation is none other than Yeshua HaMashiach.

Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 describe Cyrus as YHVH’s anointed shepherd.  Based on our chart, he prefigures Yeshua.  Several centuries after Cyrus allowed the Jews return to Israel, Antiochus Epiphanes IV wreaks havoc among God’s people.

KJA  1 Maccabees 1:10  “And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.”

1Maccabees 1:41-50  Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 And every one should leave his laws… 45 And (he) forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: 46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:  47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:  48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:  49 To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.  50 And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.”

In Jeremiah 23:1-6, YHVH promised He would gather the remnant of His flock and set decent shepherds over them.  He promised to raise up to David a Branch of Righteousness.  This Branch would be a king who would reign and prosper.  This man would/will be called “YHVH Our Righteousness.”

During the time of the Roman empire, Yeshua HaMashiach was born.  He was conceived of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and adopted by Joseph who was of the line of David.  Matthew’s genealogy seems to indicate that Yeshua is the prophesied Branch of Righteousness who was raised up to bypass the curse of Jeconiah, a descendant of David and be the rightful heir to the throne. (See Jer. 22:28-30; 23:5)

Yeshua was anointed at His baptism (Matthew 3:16), and later He described Himself as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14).

Revelation 13:11-17 describes the coming false prophet (anti-Messiah) like this:  “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The Horn of Salvation that is to come is described in Revelation 19:11-15:  “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

I think this pattern shows us that God always intended for Yeshua to come twice, and not just once.  In addition, there would be a leader who would oppose the covenant and lead people astray.

 

The following is the pattern of the “Establishment of Messiah’s Reign.”

The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign

Pattern

Past

Future

A son of David died in/on a tree and was thrust through with 1 or 3 spears. Absalom Yeshua
An Anti-Messiah (an un-anointed person) was exalted and gained authority. He was followed by others. Adonijah Beast of Revelation and the False Prophet
A son of David was anointed (mashach) as king and had a peaceful reign/he spoke peace. Solomon (1 Kings 1:39, 43) Yeshua

 

In 2 Samuel 18:14, Absalom was killed by Joab while he hung in a terebinth tree with his hair caught in the branches.  Joab thrust him through with 3 spears.  Note the visual similarity of the crown of thorns Yeshua wore on his head with Absalom’s hair being caught in the tree branches.

In 1 Kings 1:5 and 7-8, Adonijah said, “I will be king.” Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed and helped Adonijah.

In 1 Kings 1:39-40,  Zadok the priest anointed Solomon as king according to David’s command.

In Acts 5:30-31, Yeshua was crucified on a tree but was resurrected by the Father to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

In John 19:34, a soldier thrust Yeshua through with a spear so that blood and water flowed out before he was taken down from the tree.

Revelation 13:3 and 7 describe the Leopard-Bear-Lion Beast which was from the sea:  “And all the world marveled and followed the beast…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”

Revelation 13:15-17 describes the Beast from the earth that had 2 horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon:  “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

It may still be too soon to tell but I think we may be starting to hear the False Prophet encouraging the worship of the Beast.

Now let’s look at several verses which describe Yeshua’s reign and the theme of peace:

Zechariah 9:9-10:  “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Luke 1:31-33  “And behold, you (Miriam/Mary) will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua). 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

 

The following pattern of the “Establishment of the Kingdom of God.”

The Establishment of the Kingdom of God

Pattern

Under Solomon

Yeshua (Past)

Yeshua (Future)

A man riding an animal; followed by an announcement 1 Kings 1:33-40

Solomon rode David’s mule. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’

Matt 21:7-9 (fulfillment of Zech. 9:9)

Yeshua rode a donkey and colt into Jerusalem.  The multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

Revelation 19:11, 17-18

Faithful and True rides a white horse, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. …An angel invites all the flying birds to “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God…”

 

Death

 

1 Kings 2:25

Solomon had Adonijah put to death for attempting to usurp David’s throne.

 

Matt 27:1-2

All the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Yeshua to put Him to death.  The sign placed above His head called Him the King of the Jews.

Revelation 19:19-21

The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.

Exile and/or replacement/exchange/release 1 Kings 2:26, 35 

Solomon exiled Abiathar the priest to Ananoth for siding with Adonijah. He was replaced by Zadok.

 

Matthew 27:20-22

The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for BarAbbas [“son of father”] to be released from prison instead of Yeshua [the Son of the Father].

(note: Yeshua replaced BarAbbas)

Revelation 20:1-3

An angel took the dragon [the serpent of old, the Devil, Satan] and bound him and sealed him in the abyss (a picture of exile).

He was released after a thousand years to deceive the nations to gather them for the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Death for ___ innocent blood

 

1 Kings 2:31

Solomon had Joab put to death for siding with Adonijah and shedding innocent blood.

Matthew 27:3-5

Judas confessed saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”  He left, and went and hanged himself.

 

Revelation 20:7-10

Battle of Gog and Magog:  Satan and the nations will gather to surround the camp of the saints (who are innocent) and the city of Jerusalem [to destroy them]. God will devour them with fire. The devil will be cast into the lake of fire.

Jerusalem and/or Judgment

 

1 Kings 2:36 

Since Shimei did not stay in Jerusalem as he’d been commanded and warned, Solomon had him put to death for cursing King David when he’d gone to Mahanaim to escape Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5).

 

Acts 1:4-6

Yeshua commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem, and to wait for the baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit].

 

It was not time to restore the kingdom to Israel [not time for judgment].

Revelation 20:11-15

After the Great White Throne Judgment, the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire

 

The righteous will enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Throne

 

1 Kings 2:12

Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.

 

Hebrews 10:12-13

Yeshua, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God [who is seated on His throne] Yeshua is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.

 

Revelation 22:3-5

The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the New Jerusalem And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Revelation 3:21

Yeshua will let him who overcomes sit with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne.

 

The sequence of events that took place when Solomon became king set the stage for what would be necessary for Yeshua’s kingdom to be established. As you can see, this will take place in two stages.  The first stage has past, and the second is yet to come.

 

The question has been raised:

  • Why was Yeshua slain from the foundation of the world?

I believe the answer is:

  • So that YHVH’s work of salvation would always come before sin ever took place.
  • To establish a pattern that would be repeated several times in Scripture.
  • To show us this was always YHVH’s plan from before the very beginning.

 

Slain From the Foundation of the World

Pattern

Adam

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

Revelation

Innocent slain

 

Yeshua was slain before foundation of the world

 

Picture of death: Joseph was lowered into a pit & later raised up to life.

Joseph’s father believed he had been killed by a wild beast.

Innocent Hebrew babies were killed by throwing them into the Nile

 

John the Baptist was beheaded

 

Babylon the Great was drunk with the blood of the martyrs

Souls had been beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of God.

Sinned or Accused of Sin Adam & Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Accused of adultery

 

Moses killed an Egyptian

 

Accused of blasphemy

 

Beast committed blasphemy

 

Death Animal(s) killed in order to provide clothing for Adam & Eve

 

Joseph’s brothers killed a kid of the goats to deceive their father.

 

Death of Egyptian firstborns

 

Yeshua executed for blasphemy

 

 

Beast and false prophet were cast into the lake of fire;

The 10 kings and their armies were killed and eaten by birds of prey.

Exile/

Prison

Adam & Eve were exiled from the garden of Eden. Joseph was carried away from Canaan and exiled in prison in Egypt. Mixed multitude left Egypt and entered the wilderness. Yeshua left earth and returned to the Father. The dragon was cast into the pit for 1000 years.
Death Abel died Baker died Egyptian army was killed in Red Sea. Thief #1

Will not be in paradise.

Those not written in Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.
Life Cain lived Cup bearer lived Mixed multitude crossed the Red Sea and lived. Thief #2

Will be in paradise.

Those written in the Book of Life can enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Yeshua was slain before the foundation of the world so that the work of salvation could take place BEFORE Adam and Eve ever sinned.

We can look at this in two ways:

  • The decision was made for Yeshua to die at that time.
  • Yeshua really was slain in the heavenly realm at that time to provide atonement for all mankind so He could be the cornerstone and gate of righteousness. This view considers the idea of similar parallels between what goes on in heaven and on earth. Obviously, Yeshua would eventually be slain in the physical realm in order to conquer death and be the propitiation for sin.

Finally, we have death and life.  During Adam’s time Abel died and Cain lived.  Now I’m aware that Abel was innocent and that Cain was not, but what we need to see is that the theme of the pattern is that one person died and the other lived.

Life and death are the choices that have been set before mankind.  I am echoing the words of Moses found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:  “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We’ve seen that the theme of salvation is consistent throughout Scripture.  We have seen that salvation:

  • took place in the past to preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel
  • is on-going in the present to preserve a remnant for the kingdom of God.
  • and that it will take place in the future to protect this remnant from their enemies and to firmly establish the kingdom of God.

Praise YHVH.  “You (YHVH) went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed.  You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck.”  (Habakkuk 3:13)

 

 

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 3

So far in this presentation on salvation, we have looked at the history of salvation in the Tanach (Old Testament) and watched it progress into the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

We’ve seen that people were saved from their enemies and eventually from their own sin which was leading them on a path of destruction and death.

We saw that the work of salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event…. that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered into the covenant.

We also saw that the work of salvation is a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies.  Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam habba)..

In this 3rd part of the presentation on salvation we are going to look at how to enter the covenant because…the original Passover Lamb was a type of the death of the Passover Lamb (Yeshua).

And just as the mixed multitude entered into the original covenant with YHVH, we must enter the new covenant.

In part 4, we will eventually look at several patterns that demonstrate the full plan of YHVH’s salvation.

Remember, God always operates in patterns.

Personally, I think patterns help us:

  • To see the consistency of the work of YHVH over time, even when opposition takes place;
  • To be confident that what has been passed down to us is reliable.
  • To see the purpose (significance) of certain obscure commandments, statutes, and judgments.

We need to bear in mind that when comparing and contrasting patterns:

  • They can show opposition (the opposite of what is expected happens) because of the personal choices of the participants.
  • They can have a corporate or individual midrash (application).

Let’s look at the pattern of the Passover:

Passover

Slavery in Egypt Slavery to Sin

Sin can refer to our 3 enemies: the world, our flesh, and Satan’s kingdom (Satan and his demons).

This can be referred to as spiritual Egypt.

Passover lamb or goat Yeshua, the Lamb of God
Delivered from Egypt with a mighty hand and outstretched arm. Delivered us from sin with a mighty hand and outstretched arm on the cross.
Mixed multitude came to Mount Sinai; cleansed and set-apart themselves; and entered the covenant. We must come to a point of decision; cleanse and set-apart ourselves; and enter the covenant.

 

Salvation exists in two stages:

  1. The first is defined as being saved (BEING TURNED AWAY) from your sins, being saved from your enemies, and/or being saved from destruction.
  2. The second is defined as being preserved for the kingdom of God; this is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law.

Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant; which is working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  Once the first stage takes place, we must enter YHVH’s covenant.  We must live a lifestyle of faith by obeying YHVH’s commandments.

As we think about salvation, we need to understand what Paul was saying in Romans 10.  Paul said:  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved (sotarian).”  Paul is wanting and praying for the lost people of Israel to be preserved for God’s kingdom.”  According to verses 2-3, Israel had a zeal for God but they were attempting to establish their own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God.  I strongly believe this is referring to their oral traditions and/or living liked they pleased, and not living the written Torah.

For us today, everyone is doing what they consider to be acceptable in their own eyes; they are attempting to establish their own righteousness while ignoring how God defines his righteousness.

This is not an option for God’s people.

Paul continues his discourse in Romans 10 by quoting from Leviticus 18:5 and Deuteronomy 30:12-14.

Our English translations of a few Greek words in Romans 10:5-8 mislead us to believe Paul is talking about two different things but he’s not. He mentioned:

  • The Righteousness which is of the law (written by Moses);
  • The Righteousness which is of faith (which is described by Moses in Deuteronomy 30:12-14)

In Romans 10:4-8, I am making some substitutions for a couple of Greek words.

  • NKJ Romans 10:4-5 “For (gar) Christ is the end (fulfillment, goal) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For (gar) Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’”
  • NKJ  Romans 10:6-7 But (de; Moreover,) the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”
    • Verse 6 begins with the Greek word de. Most English versions translate de as “but;” however, it can and should be translated “moreover” since he’s about to quote Moses.
  • NKJ Romans 10:8 But (alla; Moreover,) what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)”:
    • Verse 8 begins with the Greek word alla. In this instance, alla is an ascensive transition and also should be translated as “moreover.”  Since our English translations use the word “but” in both instances we incorrectly assume the righteousness of the law is different from the righteousness of faith.

In this quote, Paul does not feel the need to point out the rest of Deuteronomy 30:14 which says “…that you may do it.”

Now let’s continue with verse 9:  “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Yeshua and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (sothasa; future, passive, indicative).”

This sounds simple enough.  We need to ask ourselves, “Is this all I need to do to enter the covenant?”  If we are interested in the truth, we need to take more into account than just a single verse.

We need to investigate this some more. Let’s compare this with what Rahab did to be sure.

 

 

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Blood of the Covenant Joshua 2:18

The scarlet cord in the window symbolized the blood of the Passover Lamb. (Remez = hint)

Matthew 26:28; John 19:34

The cup of wine symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb; & the new covenant.

Hear, Believe, and Confess Joshua 2:11

H – Rahab heard…

B– YHVH has given you the land (believed the works of YHVH).

C– YHVH your God, He is God in heaven and on earth beneath.

Rom. 10:9, 17; Philip. 2:11; John 20:31

H– We must hear…

B– God raised Yeshua from the dead (believe the works of YHVH).

C– Adonai Yeshua; Yeshua is Adonai (Lord); He is Messiah, He is the Son of God.

 

The Blood of the Covenant is required for salvation to take place.

In Joshua 2:18 we see that Rahab placed a scarlet cord in her window.  Without her realizing it, this became the symbol of the blood of the Passover Lamb that had marked the homes of God’s people the night YHVH passed over them and killed the Egyptians.  Thematically, the scarlet cord and the blood of the Passover Lamb are used the same way.  This signal was used to identify the house that was to be passed over when the army came to destroy Jericho.

 

Hearing, believing, and confession are also required for salvation to take place.

WHAT WAS HEARD

Joshua 2:10-11 – Rahab told the spies:  For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you…”

BELIEF

Joshua 2:9 – She also said: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.”

CONFESSION

Joshua 2:11b – “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

 

For Jews and Gentiles alike, the cup of wine that the disciples drank at Yeshua’s last meal was the blood of the new covenant.  It symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb.  We drink it in remembrance of what He did for us.

Just as Rahad heard bad news, we must HEAR good news; we now have opposition in the pattern.  This is why Paul says…

Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:14-15 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Just as Rahab confessed something, we must make a CONFESSION

Romans 10:9  — “that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua HaMashiach and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

[You should confess who He is: He’s Adonai Yeshua (the cornerstone; Lamb of God; Messiah; Son of God), and you should confess what He does:  He saves]

Romans 10:12-13 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever (whether Jew or Greek) calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Rahab obviously lived before Yeshua’s time on earth but the pattern for salvation is the same.

Now let’s see how people are justified and saved

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Justified (Declared Righteous) James 2:24-25

Rahab was justified by her works and faith.

James 2:21-24

You see then that a man [like Abraham] is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Was/Will Be Saved Joshua 6:17; Hebrews 11:31

Saved by faith, because she received the spies in peace and hid them (Faith demonstrated by ACTION).

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

Justified (Declared righteous)

James 2:25 — Rahab’s works were receiving the messengers and sending them out another way.

Rahab was not the only one justified by works and faith; Abraham was too when he offered Isaac on the altar (James 2:21).  James tells us Genesis 15:6 was fulfilled, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to his for righteousness.” This is a midrash.  Abraham believed God’s promise of a son that would come from his own body; this was Isaac.  What do we do? We believe in Yeshua, the son of God.  Like Abraham, we have to have action to go with our faith/belief.  We offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God; we obey God’s commandments, performs acts of chesed (loving kindness, covenant love, etc).

In Acts 15:11, Peter said:  “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach the Jews shall be saved in the same manner as the Gentiles.”

Everyone is saved and justified (declared righteous) by faith which is demonstrated by works.  The purpose of both is so we can experience the blessings and not the curses of the law.

Ephesians 2:8-9 seems to contradict being saved and justified by faith which is demonstrated by our works.  Don’t worry about this for now; we will see what this is really about shortly.

Let’s continue with Romans 10:10 –“For with the heart one believes unto (eis) righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto (eis) salvation (sotarian).”

  • The Greek word “eis” can mean unto, but it also means for the purpose of or to denote a specific goal.

The purpose or goal of believing/trusting is righteousness and the purpose or goal of confessing is salvation (to turn us away from sin and to preserve us for the kingdom of God).  When we confess something, we are supposed to follow through with our actions.

There’s something else I want everyone to see as we continue with Romans 10:11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [G = kataisxuno; H = yebosh (spelled: yod-bet-vav-shin)].

  • MT Isaiah 28:16 “will not act hastily” (H = yachiysh; spelled: yod-chet-yod-shin)
  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (G = kataisxuntha).

Now why in the world does Paul say this?  As I looked at this verse, I ran into a few problems.

This quote is from Isaiah 28:16.  The MT says “will not act hastily.”  There’s a similarity in Hebrew spelling. Both begin with yod and end with shin; vav looks similar to yod.  This makes me think there’s a possible textual criticism issue here.

  • The LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (kataisxuntha).”
    • Aorist Passive Subjunctive 3rd person singular
  • Romans 10:11 “will not be put to shame” (kataisxuno)
    • Future Passive Indicative 3rd person singular

I believe Paul is using this quote to clue us in to a deeper teaching here.  If we don’t explore it, we’ll miss something very important.  Actually, we’ll be making several connections between several different passages so stay with me.

Since there may be a problem with the MT, let’s look at the LX-English for the verse Paul is quoting in Romans 10:11.

  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord, even the Lord (Adonai YHVH), <1> Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion (Tzion) a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed.”

In Romans 10:11, Paul is connecting Adonai Yeshua to the cornerstone by quoting Isaiah 28:16b.

  • The word ashamed in Romans 10:11 is also connected to Zechariah 10:5 which also mentions the cornerstone. Let’s look at that to see what we can glean.
  • NKJ Zechariah 10:3-5 For the Lord of hosts (YHVH Tsevaot) will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.  4 From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg (nail; stake), From him the battle bow, From him every ruler (oppressor) together. 5 They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down their enemies In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the Lord (יְהוָה) is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.”

The enemies of the house of Judah are not going to be trusting or believing in YHVH Tsevaot or Yeshua to save them.  They will be put to shame.

The house of Judah will be trusting in the cornerstone and YHVH Tsevaot to save them; they will not be put to shame.

We still need to take a closer look at the cornerstone mentioned in these verses.  To do that, we need to look at a chiasm in Psalm 118:16-29.

As I just said, Psalm 118:16-29 is a chiasm.  Actually, this chiasm is the 2nd half of a larger one that includes Psalm 117-118.

The outer verses begin and end with praise; these point to:

  • the Way to Enter the Covenant
  • The Agent of Salvation
  • the Means of Salvation

 

The inclusio shares the theme of YHVH being exalted.  It says: 

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise 15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise 28 You are my God, and I will praise You;

You are my God, I will exalt You.

29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

 

The First Works of YHVH give us a subtle clue (or REMEZ) that YHVH has a plan to deal with death.

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH 17 I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord.

18 The Lord has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

Now, how is YHVH going to make it possible for the psalmist to live and not die?

Let’s look at the corresponding verses to see if it gives us any more clues.

Psalm 118:15-29
Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH 23 This was YHVH‘s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH;

O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHVH!

We have blessed you from the house of YHVH.

27 God is YHVH, And He has given us light;

Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

Praise

 

Here, in this section, we have another chiasm imbedded in the original.

Let’s begin with the central axis

Green:  26 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.”

The first half of this verse is what the Jews cried out on the day of Yeshua’s final entry into Jerusalem.  Yeshua is the one this chiasm is about.  This is the central focus of this section of the chiasm.

 

Blue:  The psalmist’s plea:  

25b “O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.” [Give us Blessing and life instead of curses and death].

Recall that John 10:10 says:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Yeshua) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

This verse helps us to understand that this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

27 “God is YHVH, And He has given us light.” [He’s given us Light instead of darkness];

Recall that Matthew 4:16-17 says,   The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As you can see, this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

Purple:  This section shows us the provision of salvation.

23 This was YHVH’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH

How is YHVH going to “save now” on this particular day?  The answer is in the 2nd half of verse 27.  It says:

27b “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” [This sacrifice is being made on this special day to make propitiation; and to make removing the curse possible]

Yeshua was slain from the foundation of the world in the heavenly realm; yet this verse contains a hint (remez) of what would be done to Yeshua in the future in the earthly realm.

Recall that John 1:29-30 says, “The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

AND 1 John 2:2 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

1 John 4:10-11  re-emphasizes the same thing:  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Gal 3:13-14 tells us more:  Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Messiah Yeshua, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

In other words, Yeshua’s sacrifice reversed the curse of death so we could have life.

If anyone doesn’t realize that the Tanach tells us about Yeshua’s death or that it was a work of YHVH, it is right here.  It’s also in Isaiah 53:3-7.

  • We could say Ephesians 2:8-10 this way: “For by grace you have been saved (sesosmenoi; perfect passive participle) through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of [your own] works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

YHVH’s works accomplished salvation, not man’s works.  The good works we were created to do was walk in His commandments and other acts of chesed.

Paul told us that the law was not made void because of faith.  He upheld the authority of the law in Romans 3:31.  Paul told us in Romans 2:13 that the doers of the law will be justified; in other words we are justified by our actions.

Now we aren’t done with this chiasm.  Here’s the central axis:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them,

And I will praise YHVH.

 20 This is the gate of YHVH, Through which the righteous shall enter.

 21 I will praise You,

For You have answered me,

And have become my [agent of] salvation.

 22 The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

The central axis of the chiasm is comprised of 2 pairs of parallels (one for the gate, and one for the cornerstone).  Both hint of Yeshua.

1st PARALLEL

Yeshua said:

John 14:6  …I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 10:9  I am the door (gate).  If anyone enters by Me [ENTER THE COVENANT], he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” 

2ND PARALLEL

Acts 4:10-12  “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua HaMashiach of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’  12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 2:4-10  “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua HaMashiach. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

  • Isaiah 53:3-6 also describes the rejection and sacrifice of the Messiah/Cornerstone: 3 “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • This last verse typologically describes the person Yeshua as a grain offering, sin and guilt offering, and a peace offering.

Here’s the summary of the chiasm:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise The right hand of YHVH is exalted and does valiantly.
Works of YHVH We do not have to be given over to death.
The Way of

Salvation

Yeshua is the GATE/DOOR of Righteousness through which the righteous will come to the Father.  Yeshua is the Agent of YHVH’s Salvation; He is the CORNERSTONE which the CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE rejected.
Works of YHVH Instead we are given the means to have life through the SACRIFICE [OF YESHUA].
Praise You are my God.  I will praise and exalt You.  Give thanks to YHVH, for He is good!  His mercy endures forever.

 

Be sure to come back for part 4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 2

This post begins part 2 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

You might be wondering:

  • Why would Yeshua be saving people from their sins?
  • What would that have to do with the kind of salvation we’ve seen in the Tanach?

Let’s see if we can answer those questions by examining the progression of salvation in the following chart…

Reference Players Enemies/Destroyer Agent of Salvation
Genesis 3 Adam & Eve Serpent YHVH Elohim
Genesis 6-8 Noah & His Family Corrupted Earth

(Man & Nephilim)

YHVH Elohim
Genesis 45 Israel’s Family Famine/Death Joseph
Exodus Hebrews Egyptians Moses
Deut. 31:3-6 Mixed Multitude Those in land of Canaan YHVH Elohim & Joshua
1 Samuel 9:16 Israel Philistines Saul
2 Samuel 3:18 Israel Philistines David

 

In the beginning, man had a single enemy known as the serpent who tempted them to sin.  On that day they were supposed to die for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but, they didn’t.  Instead, their lives were preserved. (Remember, being preserved is one of the meanings of our verb yasha.)

It is often understood that YHVH Elohim provided a means to preserve their lives by killing one or more animals and using their blood to atone (caphar) and forgive their sin. God used the skins of these animals to clothe (lavash) Adam and Eve.

YHVH must have taught them how to restore and maintain the relationship between them by teaching them how to offer Him various sacrifices.  We know this is true because later we see their children offering sacrifices.

Much later, we are taught in Leviticus 17:11 that it is the blood that is the primary means of providing atonement for the soul.

We’ve already recalled how Noah and his family were saved/delivered from the flood that wiped out the wicked.  And we talked about how God used Joseph to deliver the known world from famine and death.

Next YHVH used Moses as his agent of salvation.

This didn’t happen immediately.  The people had to be convinced that Moses was really called by God to deliver his people.  They also had to watch the 10 plagues unfold, leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea and wander in the wilderness for 40 years.  Although they experienced the single event of being brought out of Egypt, salvation was also a process that took place over an extended period of time.

Under Joshua’s leadership, the 2nd generation had to fight their enemies to take over the land.  YHVH is the one who gave them salvation and victory during that time.

After the period of the judges, Saul and David became the agents of salvation.  This is the role of the king who was expected to lead his people into battle and defeat enemies such as the Philistines.

Reference Players Enemies/Destroyer Agent of Salvation
Luke 1:68-75 Israel World & those who hate us Horn of Salvation

[Yeshua]

Matthew 19 Rich Young Ruler Riches of the world Yeshua
John 1:29 World Sinful influence of the world Yeshua
Acts 2:14-40 Judeans & those in Jerusalem Perverse generation Yeshua

 

As time went by, the enemies were not just single individuals or tribes of people. Their enemies grew so large that they and their wickedness inhabited and permeated the whole world.

The solution was not just to save the Jews from pockets of enemies scattered here and there.  The solution had to be to deal with the sins of entire perverse generations that infiltrated and influenced God’s people then and which still do today.

In the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), Yeshua was raised up to be the Horn of Salvation to save His people from the world. This includes those who hated Israel, the riches of the world, the sinful influence of the world, and the perverse generation that the Jews were living among.

As we have seen, YHVH Elohim always provided agents of salvation for His people.

The death of an animal, an enemy, and/or Yeshua Himself allowed for the possibility of the preservation of life to take place.  The death of an animal and Yeshua was a substitutionary death.  The death of an enemy resulted in something practical – if there was no enemy, there was no threat to life.

Today, we live in a perverse generation.  We should separate ourselves from wicked influences and create a support system in which we can live a lifestyle of Torah obedience until:

  • Wickedness reaches its fullness;
  • Messiah returns, makes war, and destroys the Beast and the 10 kings who follow him;
  • YHVH’s Torah is taught and obeyed world-wide.

Please don’t think YHVH has ceased to physically deliver the Jews from their enemies.  He’s constantly been working miracles of salvation among the IDF and Israel.

In the meantime, by living a lifestyle of faith and obedience, people are living in covenant with YHVH.

Salvation (when defined as being saved from your sins and/or your enemies; or as being preserved for the kingdom of God) is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law.  Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant.

The blessing is found in Deuteronomy 28:7 –  “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

We need to think of who are enemies are and ask the Father to show us what we must do to defeat them and to let us know when we need to simply stand and let Him fight for us.

In a similar way, we can have victory over the devil who is our enemy today by submitting to God and resisting him.  If we do this, we can expect him to flee.

Today we still experience the blessings of deliverance and preservation.  These aspects of salvation are both seen in:

  • 2 Timothy 4:18“And the Lord will deliver (rusetai) me from every evil work and will preserve (sosei; future, active, indicative) me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

How do we receive these 2 aspects of salvation (deliverance and preservation)?

  • James 1:21 — Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word [hear, understand, and do what it says BCM], which is able to save (sosai; aorist, active, indicative) your souls.”

Recall the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18ff.  “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (vs 21).”  That’s the kind of soil we want to be.  Do not be the wrong kind of soil.

Once we are experiencing the blessing of salvation.  We need to become agents of salvation.

  • James 5:20 — let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save (sosei; future active indicative) a soul [keep him BCM] from death (lake of fire; 2nd death) and cover a multitude of sins.”

Remember, we are to be agents of salvation; we are to turn sinners from the error of their ways so they can live and not die.  If someone lives according to the covenant, their souls will be saved from the lake of fire, also known as the 2nd death.

Salvation (the result of repentance) is not just a future thing as I have heard some people say.  It certainly can have long lasting results that extend into the future.  Based on the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb that is used, we know salvation is NOT just a future thing.

Let’s have a little lesson in Greek grammar…

Greek verbs do not work like Hebrew or English verbs.  If you are going to properly interpret the Apostolic Scriptures, you need to know the bare basics of how Greek verbs operate.  They are a bit complex.  It’s really important to learn how both languages function, even if you don’t know all of the details.  You can always look up the details if you know what you need to be aware of.

The main reason I’m showing you this is to help you realize what you need to be aware of when interpreting Greek Scripture so that you don’t make assumptions based only on English translations and so other people with less language skills don’t lead you astray.  Most of the time Greek verbs are probably translated correctly, but sometimes they are not.

Greek verbs have what’s known as Tense, Mood, and Voice. I will show you several charts with the major tenses for the word “save” and point out a few translations to make my point.

For our post on salvation, the aorist tense makes up the majority of the instances of the verb “save.” It is basically translated as a whole event that takes place in the past.

 

The examples in this 1st chart are all aorist.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
To save Mat 18:11; Mar 8:35 (1st); Luke 9:24, 56; 17:33; 19:10; 1 Tim 1:15; Jam 1:21; 2:14 Aorist, active, infinitive
Saved Titus 3:35 Aorist, active, indicative
To save; Save John 12:47; 1 Cor. 9:22 Aorist, active, subjunctive
Has saved; having saved 2 Tim 1:9; Jude 1:5 Aorist, active, participle

These examples are all in the active voice indicates which means the subject performs the action.

  • For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
    • The Greek infinitive is the form of the verb that is usually translated into English with the word “to” attached to it; it is often used to complement another verb.
  • He saved us according to His mercy not by our works of righteousness; but, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
    • The indicative mood is a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
  • I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).
    • The subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility.
  • … who has saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9).
    • Participles are considered “verbal adjectives”.

Remember, Aorist Indicative is usually translated as a simple past tense.  The aorist is said to be “simple occurrence” or “summary occurrence”, without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the ‘punctiliar’ tense. ‘Punctiliar’ in this sense means ‘viewed as a single, collective whole,’ a “one-point-in-time” action, although it may actually take place over a period of time.

 

This 2nd chart also demonstrates the aorist tense.  All of these examples are in the passive voice; this means the subject receives the action.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Be saved;

To save;

Might be saved;

To be saved

Mat 19:25; Mar 10:26; Luke 18:26; Acts 4:12; 15:1, 11; 1 Cor 1:21; 2 Thess 2:10; 1 Tim 2:4 Aorist, passive, infinitive
Would be saved;

We were saved

Mat 24:22; Mar 13:20; Rom 8:24 Aorist, passive, indicative
Might/may be saved Luke 8:12; John 3:17, 5:34; Acts 16:30; 1 Cor 5:5; 10:33; 1 Thess 2:16 Aorist, passive, subjunctive
Save yourselves;

Be saved

Acts 2:40 Aorist, passive, imperative
  • Who desires all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).
    • 1 Tim 2:4 is in the infinitive…”to”
  • For we were saved in this hope… (Rom 8:24).
    • Rom 8:24 is in the indicative…”fact”
  • That the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).
    • John 3:17 is in the subjunctive…”possibility or probability”
  • Be saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40).
    • Acts 2:40 is in the imperative…”command”

As opposed to a physical salvation from one’s enemies, the aorist – passive – indicative basically means that at a certain point/period in time, the people who were saved:

  • Had repented of their lawlessness;
  • Intended to be/Had begun being habitually lawful;
  • Had been saved/rescued/delivered from:
    • their sins;
    • the wicked influence of the world;
    • the lake of fire which is the second death– as long as they abided by the terms of the covenant.

 

This 3rd chart is in the present tense and the active voice (the subject is performing the action).  It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
To save Heb 5:7; 7:25 Present, active, infinitive
Saves 1 Pet 3:21 Present, active, indicative
Save Jud 1:23 Present, active, imperative
  • God was and still is able to save (Heb 7:25).
    • Infinitive – God is presently and continuously able to save.
  • Immersion is an antitype which now saves us [a pledge of a good conscience toward God] (1 Pet 3:21).
    • Indicative – A statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
  • The sanctified are told, “save others with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” (Jude 1:23)
    • Imperative – a command

Remember, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.

 

The examples in this 4th chart are in the present tense and passive voice (the subject is the recipient of the action).

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Are saved

Are/were being saved

Luke 13:23; Acts 2:47;

1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15

Present, passive, participle
Is/Are saved 1 Cor 15:2; 1 Pet 4:18 Present, passive, indicative
  • And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).
    • A participle is considered a “verbal adjective”.
  • I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you– unless you believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).
    • Indicativeis fact.

Again, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.

The examples in this 5th chart are future tense and indicative; the first row is in the active voice, the other examples from the 2ND row are passive.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Will save Mat 1:21; Mar 8:35 (2nd); 1 Cor 7:16 (x2); 1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim 4:18; Jam 5:20 Future, active, indicative
Shall/Will be saved Mat 10:22; 24:13; Mar 13:13; 16:16; John 10:9; Acts 2:21; 11:14; 16:31; Rom 5:9, 10; 9:27; 10:9, 13; 11:26; 1 Cor 3:15 Future, passive, indicative
  • He [Yeshua] will save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21).
  • I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved (John 10:9).
  • …whoever calls on the name of the LORD (YHVH) shall be saved (Acts 2:21).
  • That if you confess…and believe…you will be saved (Rom 10:9).

Based on the writer’s perspective, this action will happen at a certain point in time in the future when the conditions are met.

 

The examples In this 6th chart are in the Perfect tense; this is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.

The passive voice indicates the subject is the recipient of the action.

Participles are considered a “verbal adjectives”.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Have been saved Eph 2:5, 8 Perfect, passive, participle
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ [by grace you have been saved] (Eph 2:5).
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith…(Eph 2:8).

Perfect is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.

I hope all of this Greek has shed some light on the timing of salvation.  It’s time to shift our focus to another view of salvation.

As I continued to reflect on the theme of salvation in the Scriptures, I wondered why YHVH saved His people BEFORE He cut the covenant on Mt. Sinai.

Consider this basic chiasm:

  • Salvation – Flood; Passover
    • Original Covenant
      • Death of Yeshua ended the original covenant
      • Death of Yeshua began the new covenant
    • New Covenant
  • Salvation – Day of YHVH; Battle of Gog and Magog

 

Notice how Salvation forms the inclusio or bookends.

In the beginning, the theme of salvation was seen in the flood and the Passover; in the end, salvation will be seen on the Day of YHVH (Battle of Armageddon) and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Recall that the flood was a judgment of water, but the last judgment will be with fire.

The original and new covenants are between these major events of salvation.

The death of Yeshua is the central axis or focus.  His death ended the original covenant and began the new covenant.  His death:

  1. provides propitiation for sin (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10);
  2. redeems us from the curse of the law (death; Galatians 3:13);
  3. makes the blessing of life possible (Galatians 3:14).

Just as there are many ways to look at the facets of a gem, I hope you are seeing that there are many ways to look at salvation.  What I want to do now is conclude with another view of salvation in chiastic fashion.

  • Salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered in.
    • With the death of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb behind us, we must enter the covenant and focus on the One who made our salvation possible, and abide by the terms of the covenant (work out our own salvation with fear and trembling).
  • Salvation is also a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies. Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam rabba).

Be sure to come back for parts 3-4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 1

I’ve heard people say several different things regarding the timing of our salvation.  Some people say we are already saved and some say we won’t be saved until some point in the future.  They also define salvation in various ways.  I decided it would be interesting to study the theme of salvation from Genesis to Revelation to see if there was continuity in its definition or not; as well as to see its timing, and anything else YHVH would reveal to me.  This post is the first of four parts on the subject of “Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.”  Here we will look at the progression of salvation from Genesis through the gospels.

We need to begin by defining our terms. The Hebrew noun yesha means deliverance, salvation, rescue, and safety.  The Greek equivalent is soteria.  This word can be applied several ways.  Physically, it is rescue from danger; spiritually, it refers to the safety of the soul; and messianically, it is the deliverance at the end of the present age.

The Hebrew verb yasha exists in two binyanim.  The niphal is passive; it means to be saved or be delivered.  The hiphil is active and means to save, deliver, or give victory to.  The Greek verb sozo means to save, preserve from harm, rescue, or deliver.  This Greek verb is used extensively in the Apostolic Scriptures for the healing of diseases but I did not include those references in my study.

As I perused the Scriptures for the theme of salvation, I came upon a concentric structure in Isaiah 51:6-8:

6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.

7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.

8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.”

Note the concentric structure:  The theme of YHVH’s long-lasting righteousness and salvation SURROUNDS the central focus of His people who have the law in their hearts.

The fact that YHVH’s salvation will be le-olam, or generation to generation shows that it will always be necessary.

The reason people will need to be saved is because prior to the 7th day, there will always be people who will not obey YHVH’s law.  These people will bring the curses of the law down on everyone including themselves. The reason I’m emphasizing the need for salvation is because I’ve actually heard people say salvation is no longer necessary.

Please don’t let anyone tell you salvation is obsolete or not necessary.  They obviously don’t know the Scriptures very well.

Now let’s see what else we can glean from the Bible about SALVATION…

For now, let’s start with Noah. Noah and his family were saved from the flood that destroyed the earth because of his:

  • Faith/trust in YHVH,
  • Righteousness and obedience.

Hebrews 11:7 tells us:  “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

It is curious to note that the same water that YHVH used to destroy the wicked is the same water YHVH used to keep the ark afloat.  Perhaps this foreshadows the idea of being washed by the water of the word or the water of regeneration…just a thought.

Sometime after Noah, we see the theme of salvation in a major way in the life of Joseph.

In Genesis 45:7, Joseph said:  “And God sent me [Joseph] before you to preserve (la-soom) a posterity for you in the earth, and to save (ul-hachayot) your lives by a great deliverance (li-peleytah).”

This verse does not use the same words we covered previously but the theme is certainly the same.

  • soom- to preserve (and a great number of other applications)
  • chaya – to preserve, save alive, restore to life (also has a great number of other applications)
  • peleytah – deliverance, escape

Joseph accomplished a great deliverance by ordering the collection and storing of grain; and by distributing it during a famine that affected the known world including his family.

Later, salvation was evident in the book of Exodus. During the Passover, God’s people were saved/delivered from the slavery and oppression they experienced in Egypt by God’s judgments.  If that wasn’t awesome enough, the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea was even far more spectacular.  The miracles didn’t stop there; they just kept coming.

While the mixed multitude wandered in the wilderness, the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire protected them from their enemies.  This protection was actually part of an on-going salvation process.

Elohim (God) was known as the Rock of Salvation who provided for his people in the wilderness.  He gave them water, meat, and bread even when they complained and spoke against Him.  Elohim did this to preserve for Himself a people who would live in covenant with Him.

Despite all of this, the mixed multitude did not appreciate what God was doing for them.

Deuteronomy 32:15 indicates they scornfully esteemed the Rock of their salvation.

There’s a lesson for us here:

  • We should make sure that we don’t scornfully esteem the Rock of our salvation!

How do we do that?  I think the answer is found in Psalm 78:21-22.  These verses indicate that YHVH was angry with His people in the wilderness because they did not:

  • BELIEVE in Him and
  • TRUST in His salvation

In other words, we esteem the Rock of our Salvation my demonstrating both belief in God and trust in His salvation!

There are a few other things I want to emphasize from the Exodus and wilderness wanderings that are mentioned in Jude 1:5: “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved (σώσας) the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”

This verse reminds us:

  • That the whole multitude experienced salvation;
  • But that later, those who did not believe were destroyed.

We need to make sure that we aren’t destroyed for lack of belief.

AFTER YHVH delivered His people from Egypt and gave them manna and water in the wilderness, the mixed multitude ENTERED into a covenant with YHVH.

Side Note:  According to Exodus 19:5-6, YHVH intended for them to be a special treasure to Him above all people; and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

At Mt. Sinai, God gave his people the Levitical sacrificial system as a means to:

  • Be forgiven of sins and transgressions;
  • Have guilt removed;
  • Have the sins of the people carried away on the Day of Atonements;
  • Be blameless

Currently, the Levitical sacrificial system is temporarily on hold.  For now, we need to understand that the death of Yeshua accomplishes the same things as the Levitical system.

Colossians 1:21-23:  “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

The word “reconciled” implies that sin and guilt have been dealt with so that the relationship with God and man can continue as long as we continue in the faith.

Let’s go back to Moses’ time.  Deuteronomy 4:37-38 teaches us a few important concepts that we tend to overlook.  Moses was talking with the people just before his death when he said:

  • “And because He [YHVH] loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.”

The Israelites experienced salvation/deliverance because YHVH loved their fathers and chose their descendants to be His people.  What I’m trying to emphasize is that God’s love didn’t begin in John 3:16-17.  God’s love has played a role in the Father’s plan of salvation for a long time.  Also, I want to emphasize that YHVH delivered their families from Egypt BEFORE they ever entered into a covenant with Him.  This covenant was for all of their descendants. Since that time, these descendants understood that they were born into the covenant; but somehow they missed the concept that whether or not they remained in the covenant was up to them.

Clearly, not everyone remained in the covenant.  This is evident in Luke 19:9-10 where Yeshua said to Zacchaeus….

  • “Today salvation (sotaria) has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

You see, being lost didn’t have anything to do with a person’s physical location.  Many of the descendants of Israel were lost because they were not abiding by the covenant.  Yeshua came to seek out lost people like Zacchaeus and bring them back to the covenant.  Before we move on, let’s take a minute and focus on this other phrase – son of Abraham.  Who is a son of Abraham if it’s not those directly descended from him?  The answer is found in Galatians 3:7:

  • “Therefore know that only those who are of faith (emunah) are sons of Abraham.”

A son of Abraham is one who is in the covenant because he:

  • believes,
  • trusts,
  • and is faithful.

This is the kind of person that Yahweh wanted the mixed multitude to be during Moses’ time.

Let’s go back to Moses again.  Recall what Moses told the people before they entered the Promised Land:

  • Deuteronomy 4:40You shall therefore keep His (YHVH’s) statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Moses told them this same concept several times in slightly different ways.

Moses starts to get a little more specific in Deuteronomy 11:26-28.

  • “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:  27 “the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 “and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”

There were lots of specific blessings and curses. I will eventually focus on only a couple of curses and one blessing.  For now, I’m trying to lay the foundation of what else is to come.

After the death of Moses, the 2nd generation finally began to take over the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership.  Joshua sent 2 spies to view the land, especially Jericho.  Once there, they met a woman named Rahab; she hid them and sent them out another way.  Before sending them off, she declared, “YHVH your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath,” and she begged to be spared.  The spies made a deal with Rahab that would secure her deliverance and that of her family.  Rahab bound a scarlet cord in the window to mark her home as the one to be PASSED OVER instead of destroyed.  Because of her faith and works, she was justified.  When it came time for the destruction of Jericho, Rahab and those with her were saved.  We’re going to come back to Rahab in a later post but for now I want us to continue to see how the theme of salvation progresses in the Scriptures.

The 2nd generation that left Egypt entered the Promised Land; but they didn’t completely drive out the inhabitants as they took over and got settled in the land.  At least they remembered who brought them through the wilderness, and at least to some degree, they knew who was helping them take over the land.  That wasn’t the case with the next generation.

  • Judges 2:10 “When all that generation (2nd) had been gathered to their fathers, another generation (3rd) arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”

The word “know” means they did not know Him by experience; they were not personally acquainted with YHVH or His works.  At this point, trouble began.

OK, now it’s time for me remind you of one of the blessings and curses. Here’s the blessing:

  • Deuteronomy 28:7  “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

In other words, YHVH was going to save them from their enemies.

Here’s the curse:

  • Deuteronomy 28:25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

If they disobeyed, YHVH would no longer save them from their enemies.  This 3rd generation obviously did not have these blessings and the curses drilled into their heads.  Well, maybe they did, and they just chose to ignore it.

Cycle of Sin in Judges

Later, we see the results of disobedience over and over in the book of Judges – Its often called the cycle of sin.

  1. Whenever God’s people forgot YHVH, they did evil in His sight by committing idolatry.
  2. Eventually, they experienced various curses of the law.
  3. When they remembered YHVH, they cried out to God.
  4. Eventually, He sent them a deliverer (an agent of salvation) – these deliverers were judges who physically saved them from their enemies.

This is what we typically think of when we think of salvation.  We see it as a physical salvation or deliverance.  What we must understand is that physical salvation is tied directly to obedience to YHVH which is both a physical and spiritual activity; therefore salvation is not just physical, it is also spiritual. In fact, both physical and spiritual salvation requires belief and trust.

After the time of the judges, Israel was finally ruled by kings.  I think most of us are familiar with Saul, David, and Solomon.  During the period of the united kingdom, Israel experienced blessing and victory over its enemies who were primarily the Philistines.  If the 2nd generation had conquered the land the way YHVH had commanded them to, the nations who remained might not have been as much of a problem over the years.  God used initially used King Saul and his army as his instrument of salvation against Israel’s enemies. BUT, Saul didn’t always trust God.  Instead of fighting Goliath himself, Saul showed a lack of belief or trust in YHVH to deliver him.  David was different; he was full of belief and trust that YHVH would deliver him just as he had been delivered from the lion and the bear.

After Saul’s death, Ishbosheth was made king over Israel except for Judah (2 Samuel 2:8-10).  David was initially anointed king only over Judah (2 Samuel 2:4).  During this time, the house of Saul had war with the house of David until the murder of Ishbosheth.  Afterward, David became king over all of Israel.  Once David was anointed king, he continued to save Israel from its enemies as he’d already been doing.

Many years later, David had to deal with enemies in his own household.  First, there was a group of people who anointed David’s son, Absalom over themselves.  Eventually Absalom died in battle. (2 Samuel 19:10).  Later, Adonijah, another son of David had the audacity to say he would be king.  Finally, with a bit of help from Nathan and Bathsheba, David commanded that Solomon be anointed the next king (1 Kings 1:39, 43).  According to 1 Kings 4:21, 24:  Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life…and he had peace all around him.

After Solomon’s death, YHVH caused the kingdom to split in two.  Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom (Israel, Ephraim).  Previously, he had been Solomon’s servant.  The last king of the northern kingdom was Hoshea.  The northern kingdom was carried away to Assyria in 722 BCE.  Rehoboam , Solomon’s son was the first king of the southern kingdom (Judah) and Zedekiah (Mattaniah) was the last king of the southern kingdom.  The southern kingdom was carried away to Babylon in 539 BCE.

You see, after years of idolatry, Israel began to experience another major curse of the law that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:36. It says, “The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods– wood and stone.”  Israel was carried to Assyria, and later Judah was eventually carried away to Babylon because they did not keep YHVH’s covenant.

The prophecies of Daniel show us the consequences of not keeping YHVH’s covenant.  The kingdom of Judah was in Babylon which eventually fell to Medo-Persia.  Eventually, the Persian king Cyrus let people return to Jerusalem, but they were still part of the Medo-Persian empire.

As Daniel’s prophesied, the Israelites would continue to be under the rule of other empires and their leaders. Alexander the Great conquered Israel around 333/331 BCE.  His empire was divided amongst his 4 generals after his death.  The Jews were held under suzerainty by the Ptolemies and Seleucids from 320-168 BCE. During this time, the culture and institutions of the Jews were protected until Antiochus Epiphanes IV reversed that.

Antiochus was the 8th ruler of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty (175 BCE). The word Epiphanes means visible god/God Manifest.  His persecutions and changes to the law led to the Maccabean revolt (166-160 BCE).  Even though Judah previously had not completely kept YHVH’s covenant, YHVH did not completely forsake them.  He raised up the Maccabees to be His agents of salvation in that time period.  I think he did that because the Maccabees and others were zealous for the law.

After Antiochus, the Jews were autonomous under the Hasmoneans 142-129 BCE. In 63 BCE, Rome annexed Israel under Pompey.  At that time, many were waiting for the Messiah and hoping he would save them.  During the time of the Roman Empire, Yeshua was born.

Let me remind you that in Matthew 24:15-16, Yeshua said: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”  This means there is someone like Antiochus Epiphanes IV who is still to come.  People will be crying out for salvation during that time just like they have down through the millennia.

Let’s take a closer look at the time around Yeshua’s birth.  After the birth of John the Baptist, Zacharias prophesied that YHVH had raised up a horn of salvation for the Jews in the house of David as prophesied by the prophets (Luke 1:69).  According to Luke 1:71-75, this horn of salvation was raised up so…”That we should be saved (sotarian; fs noun) from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,  72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,  73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:  74 To grant us that we, Being delivered (rusthentas; aorist passive participle) from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

The people were expecting physical deliverance from Rome but that’s not what happened.  This is a common problem with interpreting prophecies; we just don’t always know the exact timing in which every aspect of prophecies will be fulfilled.  I believe we can expect this to be fulfilled in the future and we will discuss that later.

Since this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, is there a prophecy that was fullfilled?  I believe the answer is yes.  In Matthew 1:21, an angel of YHVH clarified Yeshua’s purpose in the first century to Joseph by saying:  “And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you (Joseph) shall call His name JESUS [YESHUA; he will save], for He will save (sosei) His people from their sins.”  This was the purpose of Yeshua in the first century CE.

On one occasion, after Yeshua had become an adult, He cried out to whoever was around him:  “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save (soso) the world” (John 12:47).

In other words, Yeshua wanted His listeners to know he was their Agent of Salvation.  Understand this:  The world contains lost people.  Matthew 18:11 tells us, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

The lost were/are those who are living a lifestyle of disobedience to the law.  How did he intend to save them?  Yeshua was finding those who had left the blessings of the law and who were likely suffering the consequences of it.  He wanted them to escape the ultimate curse of the law.  Yeshua saved people by calling them to repentance; He was calling them to return to the law.  When individuals repent of their sinful ways, they can be saved from the influence of a wicked world and from their sins so they can live righteously.  When enough people repent, the nation can be saved from the curses of the law.

Yeshua was leading them to do what’s outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14:

  • “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,” (When I bring curses instead of blessing on My people)
  • “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (bring blessing instead of cursing)

Yeshua desires not just individual, but also corporate repentance so that all Israel will be saved, delivered, or rescued from the curses of the law we’ve already mentioned.

This is the end of part 1.  Be sure to come back in the future to read Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Parts 2-4.

Grace and Mercy in Both Covenants

Today we will see that grace and mercy were both part of the Old Covenant just as it is in the New Covenant.  In addition, we will see that the New Covenant was foreshadowed in the Old. 

In Deuteronomy 9 and 10, Moses reminds the second generation of what happened long ago when he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of stone that had been inscribed with the covenant of God.  These were the words the Lord actually spoke to the children of Israel.  These stone tablets were inscribed by the finger of God and were given to Moses by the Lord after he had been on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights.

About that time, the people said concerning the golden calf they had made, “Israel! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” (Ex. 32:4)  The people proclaimed that the next day would be a feast for the Lord.  The next day they began offering sacrifices to this metal image as if it were the Lord.  The Lord told Moses to hurry and return to the people because they had already turned away from the terms of the marriage covenant by making a metal image.

Some would think there was nothing wrong with what the people had done because they were worshipping the Lord the best way they knew how.  The metal image made to represent him was still wrong even though it wasn’t an idol meant to represent another god.  Normally, we assume that God has only forbidden the worship of His creation or images of created things but Deuteronomy 4:15-19 tells us that the Lord did not reveal His form to the Israelites because He didn’t want them to worship an image of Him or worship something that represented His attributes either.  This is why many religious icons are idols.    

Creating a golden calf and referring to it as the Lord had clearly broken their covenant with Him.  When Moses saw this with his own eyes, he took the tablets of the covenant, threw them down, and broke them in the sight of the people so they would understand that they had broken their covenant with the Lord.  Moses knew they had lost God’s grace and needed His mercy.

Moses took their sin, the calf they had made, and burned it up in the fire.  He beat it to pieces and then into fine dust.  He then took the dust and threw it into the stream of water that was coming down the mountain.  According to Exodus 32:20, Moses made the people of Israel drink it.  After Moses scolded Aaron for being part of the whole mess, Moses saw the people were clearly out of control so he called all those who were for the Lord to come to him.   The Levites gathered around him and Moses commanded them to kill their kinsman, friends, and neighbor.  Certainly the ones who died participated in the worship of the golden calf.  The three thousand people who died that day were not shown any mercy.  Moses interceded for the people and asked the Lord to blot him out of His book but the Lord said he would only blot out the names of those who sinned against Him.  The Lord assured Moses the time for the punishment of their sin would come.  Because of the sin with the golden calf, the Lord struck the people with a plague.  There doesn’t seem to be any grace or mercy here but let’s not forget what happened next.

Moses returned to Mount Sinai with two new stone tablets which were like the first ones.  While Moses was on the mountain, the Lord inscribed the same words which were on the first tablets on the second ones.  The Lord proclaimed that He would show both grace and mercy to the people–even during the time period of the Old Covenant!  He promised to forgive their sin, lawlessness, and iniquities but He would always be just.  He wouldn’t cleanse the liable but said their lawlessness would be brought upon their children to the 3rd and 4th generation (Exodus 34:6-7).

The Lord also commanded Moses to take the second set of tablets and place them inside the Ark of the Covenant.  Please don’t miss this.  The second set of tablets which were inscribed with the same covenant and placed inside the Ark of the Covenant foreshadowed the coming of the New Covenant.  This is a picture of what Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-33:  “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah —  32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (NKJV)  

Verse 32 is referring to the first set of tablets which were physically broken whereas verse 33 is a picture of the second set of tablets.  Even though the Lord showed the people mercy and grace after giving them the second set of tablets, they later broke their covenant with the Lord by committing idolatry/spiritual adultery.  The only way, this could be remedied was by ending the Old Covenant and by making a new one; both steps were accomplished by Jesus’ death (Matt. 26:28; Romans 7:1-6). 

Remember, by grace men are saved.  The body of each believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit as a result of the new covenant.  When a person trusts the Lord, the original terms of the marriage covenant are placed in their hearts and minds just as the second set of tablets were placed in the Ark of the Covenant!  This is the location of the throne of God in the life of a believer.  This person experiences the grace and mercy of God in their lives as they express their love and devotion to God by living according to the terms of the covenant.

Now the next time someone tells you there was no mercy or grace under the Old Covenant, be sure to tell them, “Oh, yes there was!  Grace and mercy are part of both covenants.”

The Original Marriage Covenant

Several years ago when I began to study Torah from a Messianic Jewish perspective, I heard someone give a sermon from a portion of Deuteronomy.  The speaker said this Torah portion contained the marriage agreement between God and Israel.

My first thought was “what is he talking about?”  Instead of outright rejecting this idea or getting hostile about it, I decided to explore this idea some more and eventually I accepted this concept as truth considering the fact that God’s people accepted the terms of His relationship with them—the Ten Commandments.

Earlier this year, I decided to see if I could find the pattern of the Jewish wedding tradition in the Torah and was intrigued by what I found.

Quite some time ago I wrote about the historical Jewish wedding tradition.  I challenged you to compare it to the original marriage covenant God made with His people on Mount Sinai.  Did you give it a try?

Let’s see how we compare:

1.  Traditionally the Jewish father chose the bride and sent a friend or servant to come to terms with her parents.

  • In Deuteronomy 4:37, Moses explained to the second generation in the wilderness, “And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power.”  God used Moses to bring God’s chosen people to Himself.

2.  A written marriage contract called a ketubah was drawn up complete with promises of support for the bride and expectations for the bride.   A bride’s price (mohar) was agreed upon.

  • God gave Moses the ketubah — the Ten Commandments, rulings, and promises for His people in Exodus 20-23 and the blessings and curses in Leviticus 26.   Exodus 24:5-8 says, “Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”  The blood of these sacrifices was a shadow of the bride price of the new marriage covenant.
  • In Exodus 29:20-21, God commanded Moses concerning the consecration of Aaron and his sons for the inauguration of the ministry of the priesthood, “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.”  This was an even clearer shadow of the bride price of the new marriage covenant.

3.  If the bride agreed to the covenant, the bridegroom would pour a glass of wine and if she drank it, it meant she had accepted his proposal of her own free will.

  • The mixed multitude that came out of Egypt agreed to the terms of the marriage covenant by saying, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”  Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain, saw God, and ate and drank. (Exodus 24:3, 9-11)

4.  At this point a groom and bride were considered legally married but did not have sexual relations.  They continued to live separately.  Gifts were given to the bride.

  • Exodus 24:12 indicates that Moses was to come up the mountain to receive the stone tablets with the law and commandments on them.
  • It wasn’t until around the 24th of Iyar in the second year the children were in the wilderness, God took some of His Spirit from Moses and gave it to 70 elders chosen by Moses (Numbers 11:16-29).

5.  Prior to the betrothal, the bride and groom commonly performed a ritual immersion symbolic of ritual cleansing.

  •  Recall that in Exodus 19:14-15, the people were sanctified and washed their clothes and had to remain clean by not coming near their wives.

6.  The groom promised to prepare a place (bridal chamber) for his bride and to come back and get his bride after the bridal chamber met the father’s approval.

  •  In Exodus 24:13-14 as Moses and Joshua were approaching the mountain of God, Moses asked the elders to wait for them until they came back to them.  Moses received the plans for the Tabernacle and its furnishings from God.  These plans were given according to the pattern of what was in heaven (Hebrews 8:5).  Moses is a type of Jesus. 

7.  The bride waited for the groom to return.

  • Exodus 24:16-18 says, “Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”   While Moses was gone, the people waited for him to return.  Again we see that Moses is a type of Jesus.

8.  The groom came like a thief in the night preceded by his friends who blew shofars (horns of kosher animals) to announce his coming.  (Matt 25:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

  •  Exodus 32:1 relates what had been happening in Moses’ absence:  “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.””  Exodus 32:15-18 continues:  “And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” 18 But he said: “It is not the noise of the shout of victory, Nor the noise of the cry of defeat, But the sound of singing I hear.”   The people had decided that Moses wasn’t coming back and had been having a celebration with the golden calf they had made.  Although the blowing of the shofar [teruah] is not exactly shouting [rea], the root of both words are the same [rua].  They weren’t expecting Moses and Joshua who are both types of Jesus–Moses of Jesus’ first coming and Joshua of His second coming.

9.  Vows and promises were finalized with a ceremony including a shared cup of wine.

  • Exodus 32:19-21 describes a strange cup the children of Israel had to drink:  “So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.”   I have often wondered why Moses made them drink water mixed with gold powder.  The only reason I can come up with is because it was part of the pattern of the Jewish marriage custom.

 10.  The bride and groom entered the bridal chamber and consummated the marriage.  The groom then notified the best man that the wedding had been consummated.  The blood stained sheet was presented indicating the bride’s purity and the blood covenant.  The guests then celebrated seven days after which the marriage supper began.

  • After the sin of the golden calf, Moses received grace from the Lord, the covenant was renewed, and new tablets were made.  After the Tabernacle and its furnishings were built and erected, Aaron and his sons were consecrated, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.  The command to consecrate Aaron and his sons was given in Exodus 29 but the description of it actually being carried out is in Leviticus 8 and 9.  This consecration ceremony shows us the time of the actual consummation of the original marriage covenant.  Aaron and his sons were not allowed to leave the tent of meeting but to stay at its door for a seven day period.  The consecration ceremony was performed according to God’s commandments.
  • Leviticus 9:22-24 tells us what happened on the eighth day, “Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”  Aaron, his sons, and their families were supposed to eat their appropriate priestly portions but didn’t because of the death of Nadab and Abihu.  

This is probably not what you expected but a pattern does exist here.

Do you know how Jesus fulfills these wedding traditions for the New Covenant?

Come back next time to see how your assessment compares to mine.