The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… 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!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

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.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

Has the “Old” Covenant Been
Abolished by the “New”?

Virtually the entire Church teaches that the “New Covenant” that God allegedly made with “the Church” replaces the “Old Covenant” that God made with Israel.[1] This erroneous concept is based largely upon the eighth chapter of the letter to the Messianic Jews (Hebrews):

8 Here is the whole point of what we have been saying: we do have just such a Cohen Gadolhigh priest as has been described. And He does sit at the right hand of HaG’dulah“the Greatness”, a euphemism for God in heaven.[a] 2There He serves in the Holy Place, that is, in the true Tent of Meeting, the one erected not by human beings but by ADONAIיְהוָ֥ה (Yehovah).

3For every cohen gadol is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so this Cohen Gadol too has to have something He can offer. 4Now if He were on earth, He wouldn’t be a cohenpriest at all, since there already are cohanimpriests offering the gifts required by the Torah. 5But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when MosheMoses was about to erect the Tent, God warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.”[b]

6But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant He mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah[2] on the basis of better promises. 7Indeed, if the first covenant had not given ground for faultfinding, there would have been no need for a second one. 8For God does find fault with the people when He says,

“‘See! The days are coming,’ says ADONAI, ‘when I will establish over the house of Isra’el and over the house of Y’hudahJudah a new covenant.

9It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by their hand and led them forth out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, did not remain faithful to My covenant; so I, for My part, stopped concerning Myself with them,’ says ADONAI.

10‘For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,’ says ADONAI: ‘I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be My people.

11None of them will teach his fellow-citizen or his brother, saying, “Know ADONAI!” For all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, 12 because I will be merciful toward their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.’”[c]

13 By using the term, “new,” He has made the first covenant “old”; and something being made old, something in the process of aging, is on its way to vanishing altogether. (CJB)

First of all, note carefully in verse 8 that this “New Covenant” is made specifically “over the house of Isra’el and over the house of Y’hudah,” and not with the Church in any way. This alone should be sufficient to repudiate once and for all the Church’s claim to any participation in the covenant short of Messianic Believers who have affiliated themselves with the Commonwealth of Israel. The entire chapter is speaking of Yeshua’s functioning as Israel’s Great Cohen Gadol (High Priest) in the Heavenly Tabernacle after which the earthly Tabernacle (and later the Temple) was patterned. It is of critical importance to note that the entire discussion here is comparing Yeshua’s priesthood with the Levitical priesthood.

As David Stern carefully points out in his Jewish New Testament Commentary (p. 691),

The author is not criticizing the Mosaic Covenant but mere making explicit what Jeremiah implied. … Is one to infer that the Jewish holidays, Shabbat, kashrut, civil laws, and moral laws of the Mosaic Covenant are on the verge of vanishing altogether? No, for the author could hardly have been unaware that the Mosaic Covenant presents itself as eternal; also the context shows the he is speaking only of its system of priests and sacrifices, not its other aspects. Since the laws concerning the cultus[3] constitute the majority of the Mosaic prescriptions, it is not an appropriate figure of speech to say that the Old Covenant itself is aging and about to disappear. [his emphasis]

Stern goes on to point out that Rav Sha'ul (presumably the author of this epistle) has previously used a similar phrase in the same sense that the entire old order (Olam Hazeh) is in the process of aging and on the verge of vanishing: “Yet there is a wisdom that we are speaking to those who are mature enough for it. But it is not the wisdom of this world or of this world’s leaders, who are in the process of passing away” (1Cor. 2:6, CJB) The world‘s leaders are certainly still with us, so too is the Mosaic Covenant still with us.

While some Christian interpreters posit that the author is referring to the Temple, which at the time of writing was still standing but soon to be destroyed, note that the text never refers to the Temple, but only to the Tent of Meeting, or earthly Tabernacle, comparing it to the Heavenly Tabernacle of which it was only a copy. The author is clearly

… more interested in the system as the Mosaic Covenant specifies it than in its current mode of implementation… The book instructs Messianic Jews to center not on the Temple but on the Messiah and what He has done. What is actually on the verge of vanishing is the old priesthood, not the old covenant-- or, perhaps we may say, not God’s unchangeable nature which stands behind the old covenant. The priesthood is the subject of the whole section (indeed, the sacrificial system is the subject of the whole letter), and it is this which is about to disappear or, at the very least, take on a much transformed role” [emphasis added].

Clearly, God has given His New Covenant 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) and provided His Ruach HaKodeshHoly Spirit to empower His people to walk in it, but its ultimate fulfillment in the Messianic Kingdom remains future.


  1. This erroneous teaching is thoroughly refuted in the discussion of the New Covenant. [BACK]

  a. Psalm 110:1 [BACK]

  b. Exodus 25:40 [BACK]

  c. Jeremiah 31:31–34 [BACK]

  2. The phrase “given as Torah” translates the Greek νενομοθέτηται (nenomothetētai), to legislate; to be given as law; to have enactments injoined, be sanctioned. [BACK]

  3. “Cultus” is another word for rituals and expressions of communal worship. [BACK]

Originally posted on Sunday, 05 December 2021

Page last updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 01:32 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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