The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”
 

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

Like this page? Share it. MeWe Logo ParlerLogo WimKin Logo CloutHub Others:Bookmark and Share

Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

Mobile Users: The page will display properly if you hold your device in “landscape”
position and use your touch gesture to resize the page to fit your screen.

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989, p. 18.]
 


The Mosaic Covenant

Adapted in part from http://doctrine.org/covenants-of-israel/
accessed 30 August 2016. Used with permission.[a]

God’s purpose for Israel is that they should be “a kingdom of cohanim [priests] for Me, a nation set apart” (Exodus 19:5-6). The responsibilities of a priest are to be a representative of God to the people and a representative of the People to God. It was through Israel that God introduced monotheism to the world. It was through Israel that God introduced His standard of righteousness (Torah) to the world. It was through Israel that God introduced the concept of “salvation” [or “redemption”] to the world. It was Israel who provided a written record of God’s words and deeds (the Bible) to the world.

In fact, the entire Bible is the record of God’s dealings one one man, Abraham, his ancestors, his descendants, and those who have been adopted into his family. It was through Israel that God brought His Messiah/Redeemer into the world. And it will be through Israel that King Messiah rules over His entire creation throughout the Messianic Kingdom Age and in the Olam Habah (the World to Come). Anyone who claims to love God and yet holds His set-apart people in disdain is a liar, and there is no truth in him. To hate Israel is to hate Israel’s Messiah and to hate the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Bible teaches that Israel has been elected by HaShem out of all of the families of man to be His chosen people, to serve as an example to the world of His love, compassion, providence, and righteous judgment, and to lead all the nations (goyim) into faith in HaShem. If not for Israel, there would be no Messiah and no salvation for Gentiles.

With the call of Abraham, Israel became “special” in God’s sight and in His dealings (cf. Deut 7:6, Deut 14:2, Deut 26:19, Deut 28:9; 1Pet 2:5,9; Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10; Rev 20:6). Israel vainly promised to do all the Torah (almost universally misunderstood by Gentile Christians as the “Mosaic Law”) commands (Exod 19:8) but has failed. Only one Man in all of history, Yeshua HaMashiach, has ever been able to perfectly keep the Torah.

The Church’s gross misunderstanding of the Torah as “Law” is indeed tragic, because although the Torah contains both civil law for the nation of Israel and ceremonial instruction for the service of the Temple, the true nature of Torah is “God’s divine, loving instruction for all of His people.” Despite their historic failure, the entire Commonwealth of Israel, including all the descendants of Ya'akov and the former Gentiles who have been grafted into that Commonwealth, will one day have the Torah “written on their hearts” (Jer 31:31-33) and God will fulfill His purpose for them: a holy nation of priests.

Because of their misunderstanding of the nature of God’s divine instruction, the Church has turned their collective back on God’s Torah, missed all of the blessings of obedience, and like pagans they attempt to approach a holy God on their own terms instead of on His terms, something which God does not take lightly.

Some, including most of the Church, claim that the Mosaic Covenant, unlike the other sovereignly established and eternal covenants God gave to Israel, was only temporal and conditional, and required obedience. However, Israel was unable to perfectly obey His Torah even though the people promised they would (Exod 19:8). In anticipation, God promised Israel a New Covenant (Jer 31:31-33), not to replace the Mosaic Covenant, but rather to augment and enhance it. Under the provisions of this New Covenant, the Torah would be written on the “hearts” (innermost being) of God’s people, finally enabling them to walk fully in it. Yeshua ratified this New Covenant (Matt 26.28), but its fulfillment in the Messianic Kingdom remains future (see below).

Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Torah was given, not as a means of salvation through obedience, but rather to provide a pattern for righteous living and a path to sanctification. Most Gentiles, especially Gentile Christians, think of the “Mosaic Law” as only the Decalogue, or the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:1-17), and consider those ten statements as the total of the “moral law.” However, the Torah contains much more than just moral law. It is the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Israel and, as such, it sits as the “supreme law of the land” for all Commonwealth citizens. The Jewish sage Moshe ben Maymon (ca. 1135-1204, a.k.a Maimonides or Rambam) catalogued 613 mitzvot (commandments) or instructions in the Torah and arranged them into these categories:

God
Torah
Signs and Symbols
Prayer and Blessings
Love and Brotherhood
The Poor and Unfortunate
Treatment of Gentiles
Marriage, Divorce and Family
Forbidden Sexual Relations
Times and Seasons
Dietary Laws
Business Practices
Employees, Servants and Slaves
Vows, Oaths and Swearing
Courts and Judicial Procedure
Injuries and Damages
Property and Property Rights
Criminal Laws
Punishment and Restitution
Prophecy
Idolatry and Idolaters
Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
Clothing
The Firstborn
Kohanim and Levi'im
T’rumah, Tithes, and Taxes
The Temple, the Sanctuary, Sacred Objects
Sacrifices and Offerings
Ritual Purity and Impurity
Lepers and Leprosy
The King
Nazarites
Wars

Beyond the “moral law” were civil and ceremonial laws which governed Israel’s daily life, priestly activities, and rules regarding behavior when sin occurred. One of the aspects of Torah most totally misunderstood by Centile Christians is the entire system of Levitical offerings, which are discussed in more detail HERE. See also “The Temple Sacrifices and Offerings,” templeinstitute.org/sacrificial_service.htm.

Historically, following Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), the Christian Church (which rejects anything to do with the Torah) has divided what the Church refers to as the “Mosaic Law” into three main categories – leges morales, ceremoniales, and judiciales – the “moral law” (usually the Decalogue, Exod 20:1-26), the “civil law,” and the “ceremonial law” (Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy). But Judaism, which embraces the Torah, views Torah as a unified whole. Aquinas most likely made these divisions to help to categorize and understand the Torah due to its length and complexity. He would certainly have understood Torah more effectively had he read Maimonides.

When Moses presented the people of Israel with the provisions of the Covenant, the Torah, the people agreed to keep them. Exod 19:8 reads, “The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the ADONAI has said.’” While the nation agreed to keep the covenant, it failed. Therefore, God promised another covenant, the New Covenant, “with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah”[1] (Jer 31:31-33). Under the New Covenant, Israel will succeed in becoming a holy nation of priests (Exod 19:6) and the Torah will be the law of the land. However, the Torah will be so firmly engrained into the hearts of men that following it will be automatic.

Most of the Church teaches that God has ended His dealings with national Israel and that the Church has replaced Israel, as in the following quotation from the website from which I obtained some of this information.

God has not structured His relationship with the Church, the body of Christ, through covenants. God’s relationship with the Church, His body, is structured on grace. It is a new creation, a secret God revealed to and through the apostle Paul. The finished work of Christ (His death and resurrection) is the basis of God’s relationship to the Church. The finished work of Christ also the basis of His relationship with Israel for it was Christ’s work that restored man’s broken relationship with God through Adam’s sin.[2]

I totally disagree with everything in that paragraph. That idea is based totally upon supersessionism, or Replacement Theology. The true “secret [that] God revealed to and through the apostle Paul” was that because of the atoning work of Yeshua HaMashiach and through the ministry of the Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit, Gentile followers of Mashiach could now “be saved,” becoming members of the Holy Community and full citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel without being circumcised, that is, without a formal “conversion” to Judaism. [See my extensive notes on his letter to the Galatians.]

Prior to the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), everyone except Rav Sha'ulthe Apostle Paul and his companions believed that only Jews could be saved. So in order to be saved, one first had to formally convert to Judaism. Only after that conversion, they thought, the former Gentile (who was now a “saved” Jew) could become a follower of HaDerek (The Way), as the sect of Judaism that followed Yeshua was called. Sha'uls letter to the Galatians is actually a treatise correcting that entire misunderstanding,  and most of Christian theology is based upon that same misunderstanding.

I believe that the relationship of Gentiles in “the Church” to HaShem is exactly the same as it has been for all Gentiles since Sinai. Gentiles come into a relationship with HaShem through being “grafted in” to Israel by Ruach HaKodesh. Once “grafted in” to Israel through Israel’s Mashiach, a redeemed Gentile becomes a full citizen of the Commonwealth of Israel with all the rights and responsibilities of that citizenship, just as when a non-American becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States he/she becomes a full citizen with all the rights and responsibilities of that citizenship. The Torah is the “Constitution” of the Commonwealth of Israel, as it will be for the Messianic Kingdom and for the Olam HabaWorld to come after that, and all citizens of the Commonwealth are responsible to follow that Constitution.

Replacement Theology rejects God’s veracity and trustworthiness and impugns His sovereignty. The root of such teaching is unbelief. As part of this heritecal teaching, the Church commonly teaches the false doctrine that the Torah has been superseded by Christ (as discussed in the paragraph above). They teach the heresy that:

 1. God’s Torah (the “Mosaic Law”) was not for Gentiles (citing Rom 2:14-15, Rom 9:3-5; and 1Cor 9:20-21 as their proof texts).

 2. The purpose of God’s Torah (the “Mosaic Law”) was to reveal sin, not to justify (citing Rom 3:19-20, Rom 7:7; Gal 3:19-22; 1Tim 1:8-11; Heb 7:11-19 as their prof texts).

 3. God’s Torah (the “Mosaic Law”) is not for the Church, the body of Christ, i.e., Christians are not under the authority of the Mosaic Law (citing Rom 6:14-15, Rom 7:1-6, Rom 10:4; Gal 3:23-26, Gal 4:21-31, Gal 5:1-4, Gal 5:18, etc. as their proof texts).[3]

4. Christians are under grace, not under God’s Torah (the “Mosaic Law”) (citing Rom 6:14; Gal 5:18).
 

But what does Yeshua say about Torah?

Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. (Matt 5:-18)

Jot and TittleA yud is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet; a stroke (or tittle) is the smallest pen stroke or flourish on a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Unless Yeshua was lying, not even the smallest portion of a letter of the Torah has been done away with since “not … everything that must happen has happened.”

If you believe that “God is one” (Deut 6:4) and that Yeshua is God in the flesh, then you must believe that it is Yeshua who gave Israel the Torah at Sinai. If Yeshua gave the Torah, then the commandments contained in the Torah are His commandments. Yeshua said:

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as 2I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:10)

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

Whether or not you choose to obey God’s divine loving instruction will determine whether you will be called “great” or “least” in the Kingdom. For more information about whether the Torah is for those who follow Yeshua, see “About Torah,” “The Church and Torah,” “Why Obey Torah?,” “Is Obedience to Torah for Today?,” “Torah and Legalism,” and “Torah Keeping.”

Sabbatic Covenant?

Some claim that God established a separate “Sabbatic Covenant” with Israel (Exod 31:12-18 cf. Lev 24:8, Lev 25:1-55 (land sabbath, or sabbatical year); Ezek 44:24; Ezek 45:17, Ezek 46:1-12). Although Shabbat (the Sabbath) is contained in the Torah, it did not originate in the Torah. Keeping the Shabbat was established by HaShem at creation and is to be observed by all humanity (Gen 2:2-3), and is especially included as part of the Mosaic Covenant. The Sabbatic provisions of the covenant have the following provisions:

  1. A sign between God and the nation Israel (Exod 31:13)
  2. Eternal in length (Exod 31:13; Exod 31:16-17)
  3. Purpose is for Israel [including all those grafted into Israel] to know that it is ADONAI Who sanctifies them (Exod 31:13)
  4. Israel is to observe the Sabbath for it is holy to God (Exod 31:14-15)

As an important part of its Replacement Theology heresy, the Church teaches that the Sabbath was only for the nation of Israel, and that neither Gentiles nor the Church have any part of it. However, Shabbat was established thousands of years before Abraham was born.

1So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. 2By the seventh day, God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. 3God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation. (Genesis 2:1-3, HCSB)

Shabbat was observed by Israel and the mixed Gentile multitude in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt, but before the Torah was given (Exodus 16); so yes, it certainly is for Israel, but not only for Israel but for all of mankind, especially those who would honor the Creator of the universe, who implemented the Sabbath for all humankind as His first act collowing the completion of creation.

The covenant is eternal (cf. Ezek 44:24, Ezek 45:17, Ezek 46:1, Ezek 46:3-4, Ezek 46:12) and sovereignly established. God set forth no conditions with regard to its validity and it cannot be broken because it depends on God’s sovereignty. Since Shabbat is explicitly included as part of HaShem’s covenant with Israel and is eternal, it is yet another proof that the nation of Israel will exist forever. God explicitly declared to Jeremiah that the nation of Israel would last forever:

This is what ADONAI says, Who gives the sun as light for the day, Who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, Who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — ADONAI-Tzva'ot is His name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says ADONAI, “then the offspring of Isra'el will stop being a nation in my presence forever.” This is what ADONAI says: “If the sky [שָׁמַ֙יִם֙, šāmayim, the heavens; i.e., the universe, the cosmos)] above can be measured [and it cannot] and the foundations of the earth be fathomed, then I will reject all the offspring of Isra'el for all that they have done,” says ADONAI. (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

From the earliest days of the Exodus until the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, all the people of God, both Jew and Gentile, honored the seventh-day Sabbath. But it was Satan’s plan to have the “church” change the Sabbath to Sunday. Why did Satan do this? The Torah says that keeping the Fourth Commandment regarding Shabbat is a sign as to whom we worship and give our allegiance (Exodus 31:12-17). If we obey God and keep His Sabbath holy, we give our allegiance to God. If we obey the commandment of the Catholic Church and keep their day Holy, then to whom do we give our allegiance? The Catholic Church answers this question as follows:

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”

— “To Tell You the Truth.” Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, p. 9

“Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

— James Cardinal Gibbons,
The Faith of Our Fathers
(1917 edition),
p. 72-73 (16th Edition, p 111; 88th Edition, p. 89)

For a Christian to flagrantly violate God’s holy Sabbath and give obedience to the Roman Pope by honoring their pagan Roman “venerable day of the sun” on which the Roman sun god Saturn was worshipped, is to spit in the face of the Almighty!

_______________

  a. From that website: “©2002 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.” Much in the original article was based on anti-Semitic Replacement Theology and other gross errors of Church interpretation, but much of it was solid and the outline was too good to not be of very good use. There is much in the original article that I personally disagree with, and I have commented on significant disagreements. [RETURN]

 1. Please carefully note that the New Covenant is made expressly with “with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudahJudah.” Gentiles are specifically excluded from this covenant except as they are grafted into Israel. That is, non-Jews cannot be partakers of the New Covenant unless they are grafted into Israel through faith in Israel’s Messiah Yeshua. If one rejects the Torah as being irrelevant, then the Torah cannot possibly be written on that person’s heart, and they are not part of the Covanant. [RETURN]

 2. http://doctrine.org/covenants-of-israel/ [RETURN]

 3. Luther, in his sermon “How Christians Should Regard Moses” (August 27, 1525) wrote the following: “First of all to the First Commandment: ‘The text testifies to that and constrains us in that it says: ‘I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Exodus 20.2).’ This is quite true and sufficiently clear,” he goes on to say, “that we Gentiles were not led by God out of Egypt, but only the Jewish people, Israel. Therefore, Moses is applying the Ten Commandments exclusively to the people, which have been led by God out of Egypt.’” Luther, however, was incorrect. Accompanying the Israelites out of Egypt were a million or so Gentiles, the “mixed multitude,” all of whom accepted the Torah along with Israel. The Torah, therefore, applies not only to Israel, but to all who join themselves the the God, the people, the land, the people, and the covenants of Israel. [RETURN]

 

Originally posted  on Friday, August 14 2020

Page last updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2021 08:51 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)