The sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross was the fulfillment of all the sacrifices:  sin, transgression (guilt), peace, etc.  His death in history fulfilled what God had already ‘done’ before time:  the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8)  Therefore, all of the sacrifices given to Israel in the Torah were based upon that eternally ‘efficacious’ once-for-all sacrifice to be.

Since our salvation is of grace through faith in that sacrifice of Yeshua (Lev 16:30; 23:28-29; Rom 5:1-11), so has this been the lesson to be learned by the Jewish people through the Law and the Prophets, and by Christians through the Gospels and Apostles. Passover was a ‘grace thing’.  NOTHING was spoken about sin.  It was simply a matter of believing and obeying YHVH God, trusting Him to carry out what He was saying to deliver them from a real and felt bondage.  All who simply repent and believe the gospel are saved:  it is all of grace.  Sinners are justified through faith in the Word of God concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The sacrifice of Jesus differs from, and is greater than, the Passover in that it was also a sin and trespass offering, thus fulfilling the Day of Atonements for all who believe.  The Passover occurs during the time of the barley harvest. (Ex 9:31-32)

After Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea, the Law of Moses was then given around Shavuot, the season of the wheat harvest (Ex 34:22).  The blood of the covenant was sprinkled upon the whole people, bringing them into their relationship with YHVH.  The law for sinners was given on external tablets of stone to bring us to know we are in need of God’s grace to forgive us if we are going to have rest and peace within ourselves, and to demonstrate this to others through love of God and of our fellow-man.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was given to the born-again Jewish people at Shavuot/Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit filled and dwelled within the believers, bringing them/us into a more personal and intimate covenant relationship with God, as members of the Body of Messiah.  The law of Messiah on the ground of His death, and His resurrection from among the dead, becomes the basis for our living.

NOW (that is, after knowing the laws and regulations by which to live), Israeland the Church — have been given lots of time to figure out that they are not living up to the standard which we have been given, whether under the Old Covenant, or under the New.  We have all been disobedient, needing God’s mercies.  (Those outside God’s covenants are just that — outside — and are called to come inside.  This includes Jewish people too, since the New Covenant was, and still is, for them.  (Jer 31:31-37; Rom 9:4; 11:27) 

SO, what did the prophets do?  What did John the Baptizer do?  What did Yeshua do?  What do the apostles who wrote most of the N.T. still do, since the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age?  They called — and still call — firstly the people of God, i.e., Jewish people and Christians to repent – and come back home to the Father — for the Kingdom of God/Heaven is near — for the coming of the Lord [to judge and to establish the Kingdom of God on the Earth] is near!  Based on what? . . .on the Law and the Prophets; on the Sermon on the Mount and the Epistles.

The New Covenant, first offered to Israel, but rejected in the sovereign wisdom of God in order to take the offer to all peoples, brings both Jews and Gentiles to accountability to the one true living God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob/Israel, who is Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and the Redeemer through His Son, Yeshua the Nazarene.

Gentiles being brought into the Commonwealth of Israel through faith in the King of the Jews (but not becoming Jews or Israelis), both Israelis (Jewish people) and Christians (whether Jewish or Gentile) are being called to get ready through repentance and sanctification as the Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets is nearing its fulfillment.  While God begins His judgment within His own household first, He is still working through the Great Commission to bring ever more people into His household.  Many more Gentiles will be saved before ‘all Israel’ will be. (Rom 11:25-27)                                                             


This being pretty difficult (understatement) to live out, Israel (and also the Church through a corresponding spiritual awakening) has the fulfillment of the Day of Atonements coming (Zech 12:10-14), when they deeply know and are afflicted in soul, both personally and collectively, for their sin and rebellion against YHVH God and against Jesus (Lev 26:40-43), against His commandments and judgments. (Rom 1:28,32; Jude; Rev 2:18 – 3:22, for some examples)

Yom Kippur is the conviction and the confession that we are sinners, that it is only the grace of God through His own righteousness, demonstrated by the foundational Passover sacrifice to bring us into that relationship with Him through faith expressed through obedience, which grants us forgiveness and life. 

There is only one atonement for all — accomplished on the cross — but God in His love and wisdom has worked out His redemptive plan to bring us humans into a knowledge — no longer innocence — of Him and His ways so that we mature into sons and daughters — and even to being the Bride of the Lamb for those who “overcome [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death”. (Rev 12:11)

On this ground of a cleansed and forgiven people — not only as a matter of doctrine or covenant promise, but of living faith in God’s provision of His blood sacrifice — YHVH, whose name is Holy, can dwell in the midst of His chosen people, and they will be then a blessing to the other nations, glorifying Him who has done it!  This is the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (a temporary, semi-enclosed covering; not really ‘tabernacles’, which is another word, and carries a different connotation) for Israel as the Israel of God during the Millennial Kingdom yet to come.  This final feast/appointed time of YHVH for Israel celebrates the joy of all the harvests with the final fruit ingathering, and the prosperity which God supplies to and through His people. (Dt 16:13-15)

For the Church, the Bride of Christ, it is possible to say that we are already a ‘tabernacle’ of the Holy Spirit — an enclosed dwelling place for God — and those who have that blessedness to have part in the first resurrection will truly have the fullness of the Spirit (rather than ‘mere’ firstfruits Rom 8:23), and will rule and reign with Messiah over Israel and the nations during that final Sabbath Day of history and time, to bring everything to its culmination of the final harvest of souls, either to live forever with Yeshua in the New Heavens and New Earth, and New Jerusalem, in the abundant life God has planned for all who love Him (1Cor 2:9; Is 64:4; Jn 10:10); or else to exist forever separated from God in outer darkness, where the worm does not die, and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.” (Jn 15:16-17)


Acts 28:17-29   . . .I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers. . .I have nothing of which to accuse my nation. . .[but] because of the hope of Israel I am bound [as a prisoner].

Acts 23:6   concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!

Acts 24:14-15; Dan 12:2   . . .according to the Way, which they call a cult, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.  I have hope in God,    which they also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

Acts 26:6-8, 21-23   . . .judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. . . .our twelve tribes hope to attain. . . .for this hope’s sake. . .I am accused by the Jews.

Some O.T. References quoted in the N.T. regarding the resurrection connected to Yeshua, and to those in Christ:
Is 25:8; Hos 13:14      1Cor 15:54-55; Rev 21:4   Death swallowed up in victory! Death, where your sting?! Hades, where your victory?!

Is 55:3; Ps 2:7; 16:10           Acts 13:30-35   You are My Son; today I have begotten You;
I will give You the sure mercies of David.  Your Holy One will not see corruption.

Ps 16:8-11                  Acts 2:22-33   My flesh will rest in hope; You will make me full of joy in Your presence!

Dan 12:2                    Acts 24:15   the resurrection of the just and of the unjust

The Apostle Paul did nothing against what was written in the Tanach – Moses and the Prophets.  All that became understood to prove that Yeshua was/is God’s Messiah is found in the Hebrew Scriptures.  This also includes, for example, that the “day after the Sabbath” – the first day of the week, or, Sunday —  would become an important day in the life and the testimony of believers in Him. (Lev 23:11,15-16)  The Book of Genesis, written by Moses, also is used to demonstrate why Gentile males do not need to become circumcised in order to be accepted by God. (Gen 15; Rom 4)

Moses and the Prophets write by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Gentiles (non-Israelis/Jews) have always been in God’s heart in His plan of redemption and salvation:  all those who lived before YHVH’s covenant with Abram/Abraham, such as Enoch, Noah, Job; all the families of the Earth would be blessed through God’s choice of Abram/Abraham (Gen 12:3); some Gentiles have a place and a full inheritance with the native Israelis in the Promised Land during the Millennial Kingdom (Ezek 47:21-23).

We today do not accuse our nation, but through the preaching of the gospel and being witnesses of the truth of the risen Lord and Savior, we hope to bring our nation Israel back into the good of the hope which God gave the patriarchs and which they believed.  The same opposition faced by the Lord Yeshua and by the apostles and other believers during those early years is the same which we are facing more and more in our own generation in these last days.  Yet, by the power and grace of God, though the darkness becomes night, the light is more bright!

The controversy is over who “that Man” JESUS/YESHUA is:  man condemned Him to death as a criminal, but He was justified in the Spirit by His resurrection from among the dead – the firstfruits of all who have fallen asleep (1Cor 15:20; Lev 23:9-11).  Our hope – and the hope of Israel – is in God who raised up Yeshua our Lord from among the dead, who was delivered up at Passover because of our offenses, and was raised, on the day after the Sabbath, because of our justification. (Rom 4:24-25; Mt 28:1; Lk 24:1; Tit 2:13)


Everyone knows that neither the word “God” nor His name YHVH appears in the scroll of Esther, which is read in the synagogues every Purim.  The story of God’s faithfulness and deliverance for His people, even when they (we) do not remember Him gives all of us hope.  It also reminds us that God is acting “behind the scenes”, not visibly.  Tomorrow is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by most of the Christian believers in the world, and most of Israel ignores that truth, and is busy celebrating Purim as if they still do not believe He is active in our affairs.

How many times do we ask or cry out, Where was/is God?!  During and since the Holocaust many Jews and Christians have asked and wondered, Where was God?  This, of course, brings reproach to Him in the eyes of the unbelievers when His own people do not believe that He is around and is very much aware of what is happening.  When we speak or agree with that, it is further evidence that we do not know Him or His Word as He would want us to.

Because God is not seen, the enemies of His people – the Amalekites, the Hamans of history — do not believe He even exists.  The Lord our God is looking for those who believe in Him without seeing, and who fear Him and do righteousness in the expectation of God’s judgment after our death. 

Don’t you long to see God!?  The Apostle Peter says that even though we don’t see Him, yet we love the Lord (1Pt 1:6-9,13-16).  How often do we cry out to God not to hide His face from us?  We want, we need to know He is with us and for us and mindful of us.  He has put it into the spirit of man – especially of us who have received God’s own Spirit – to want to be with Him.  God wants to be with us!  He walked in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were there.  Jesus is coming again to be with His people and the world He has made.

But in the meantime, He is hiding His face; He is keeping a low profile.  Let’s look together at some verses from both the O.T. and the N.T.:

Dt 31:16-18  God hides His face because of our evil deeds and idolatry against His covenant.
Is 53:3  It is Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus who hides His face from men, because people generally despise Him and hold Him in low esteem.
Ezek 39:21-29  God has hidden His face because of sin, but He will again shine His face upon Israel when He gives her His Spirit.
Ps 13   The believers can also experience feeling that God has left him, but yet He trusts in His lovingkindness and offers a sacrifice of praise to Him who has been so good to him.
Jn 7:2-5   the brothers of Jesus admitted that His works were not being done openly
Rev 6:12-17   In God’s day of vengeance and wrath, men will want God to hide His face from them.  God is Light, and the the darkness can not be in His Presence.

How many times did Jesus say to His disciples, or to those He healed or delivered, not to tell people who He was or what He did?  When Jesus was here, He said He came to do and say just as He saw His Father – God – do.  Jesus came as a bondservant, not as the Lord of Glory.  He hid Himself from a people whose hearts He knew did not want Him – the Holy One of Israel – because of their unbelief.  Even when Judas betrayed Him and came out with those to arrest Him, he had to identify Him with a kiss:  they did not know who Jesus was despite all His ministry and antagonism to Him!  Jesus says that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of righteousness in that He ascended back to the Father and the world does not see Him because of the sin of not believing in Him as the Son of God (Jn 16:5-11).  He further says to Israel that they will not see Him again until they say, Blessed is He who comes in the name YHVH (cp Hos 5:15). 

There is hope in the grace and truth of God which Jesus brought with Him.  There is the “until”; there is the time of repentance and restitution of all things by the grace of God ruling through His righteousness.   He is hidden, but we see His Hand throughout history and our own lives.  Each passing year reminds us that God is protecting and preserving us, even when we are not noticing and making His Name known.  God is waiting for His own people – Israel and the Church – to repent of our sins and self-righteousness so that Jesus can return in great power and glory.  The Holy Spirit is working to bring this about.

Meanwhile, the world is to see God in us, the Body of Messiah.  We are His face to the world today.  Who do they see?  What do they see?  What someone thinks of us will affect how and what they think about our God and our Lord.  There came a time when Queen Esther had to rise up and identify herself as one of God’s people – as a Jew – so that the God of Israel could act through her testimony and warning to bring deliverance to His people and to put the fear of God in others when He defeated those who opposed Him in His people.  We, too, as Messianic believers today may be called upon to rise up and speak up on behalf of our people, risking our own lives and position to do so for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We see Jesus by faith; we have received a measure of His Spirit.  We want to see His Face and touch Him.  He is coming again, never to leave again those who love Him and hope in Him.  Amalek will be forgotten; Haman will be forgotten.  But God our Father and the Lord Jesus will never again be forgotten by those whom He has created or by those whom He has chosen for Himself.

Jesus is risen and is Lord of all!

The Spirit and the Bride say, Come!

The Gospel, The New Covenant, and The Messianic Faith Are Neither Jewish Nor Greek – 19 Dec 1998

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith which was once-for-all delivered to the saints
[Lk 22:19-20]; 1Cor 11:23-26 – remember Yeshua and His death until He comes again

The heart and foundation of the gospel and of the New Testament and of our faith as Christians is Yeshua the Messiah and Him crucified, risen from the dead, ascended to glory, and coming again.  Our sins are forgiven through faith in the once-for-all sacrificial and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.  We have fellowship (communion) with God our Father and with His Son, and with one another through the Holy Spirit indwelling all who are born again by the Word and the Spirit of God.

Does this sound like the religious teaching of Judaism?  Does it sound like the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers and philosophers?  NO!  For the cross is an offence to the one born with natural honor and privilege before God, such as to the Jews being the chosen  people, and  a  rock of stumbling to our fleshly pride and ambitions.   For the wise of this world, the cross – the means of a sure and shameful death for the transgressor – is foolishness, simplistic.  Yet for the one who believes, whether Jew or Gentile, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God is the power of God unto salvation!

The gospel breaks down the wall of hostility between God and mankind, and also between Jews and gentiles, men and women, free and slave – in such a new way that it was a mystery known only to God until He revealed it in His own time to the Apostle Paul, in particular, who then made it known to the gentiles (nations), to kings, and to the children of Israel.

From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, the LORD God promised a Deliverer – a Savior – from the devil and evil to humankind through the Seed of the woman.  We learn in Romans how this deliverance extends to the whole creation.  To Abram the gospel was preached in that God told him that through him all the families of the earth shall be blessed.  It is faith such as Abraham showed which characterizes the faith of the true Messianic:  he believed the LORD; he believed what God said; he believed and trusted in the LORD that God Almighty could and would fulfill His promises, even if He had to raise the dead to do it!  The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the living God of the living, the God whose power raises the dead to life eternal!  The Creator of the heavens and the earth is the one God of both the Jews and the Gentiles!

Is this what Judaism or any other of the world’s religions teaches?  Yet it is this good news and covenant of grace through repentance and faith in God which Yeshua came to bring and to fulfill.  He came to fulfill all that is written in the Law and the Prophets; He came to fulfill the word of God His Father – not the words or interpretations of anyone else.  The Jews and the nation of Israel as a whole rejected Him; so have too the gentile nations and peoples once the gospel is brought to them.  For the gospel allows no flesh to glory in itself or to approach God and live:  we must all – both  Jews and  gentiles from whatever nation or culture – be born again.  When we are baptized, we acknowledge not only Jesus’ death for us and His resurrection, but also our own death in His death, and our own resurrection in His, that we may no longer live unto ourselves but rather unto God in holiness and righteousness.  Therefore, there is continuity with our past life as unbelievers in that the Law and the prophecies are still being worked out fully; yet there is discontinuity in that we are alive in the reality of resurrection life, eternal life by the indwelling Holy Spirit –no longer under law but under grace.  The Holy Spirit will fulfill in us the righteousness of the Law, which we establish by faith.

The gospel and new covenant are so contrary and transcendent  to the natural man’s religion and intellect.  Let’s consider just a few points regarding Israel, since God gave Israel as an example for the Church and to the world:

  1. The religious and political leaders (in whom the people were represented) claimed that Yeshua consistently  broke the Sabbath regulations, even as He was manifesting the grace and mercies and compassion of God the Father towards others .  (Mt 12:2,10; Mk 3:2; Lk 23:14; John 7:23; Is. 58)
  2. They claimed that He was demon-possessed and cast out demons by the power of Satan, even as He was bringing the reality of the Kingdom of God into their midst.  (Mt 12:24; John 7:20; 10:19-20)
  3. They called Jesus a blasphemer because He claimed to be  God’s Son, or that God was His Father, thus making  Himself equal with God;  they accused Him of blasphemy because He, as a man, forgave sins.  (Mk 2:7; John 5:28; 10:31-39;  cp. 1 Chron. 22:9-10)
  4. The meek shall inherit the earth, rather than the rich and mighty who trust in their wealth and power and wisdom.  (Mt 5:5; 19:23-26; Jer 9:23)
  5. Many of the disciples themselves stopped following (walking with) Jesus when He spoke about eating His flesh and drinking His blood – a thought contrary to Israel’s law received from God.  (John 6:66; Lev. 17:11-12; Gen. 9:4; Acts 15:18-20)
  6. The apostles themselves were scattered when the Shepherd was crucified.  (Mt 26:31; Zech 13:7)
  7. Before knowing the Lord, did we see any beauty in Him that we desired Him?  Did we not, each in our own way perhaps, despise and reject Him?  Did we not consent to His death, assuming that there must have been some justification for it because of some sin of His own rather than for ours?  Paul, as Saul, was a blasphemer and a persecutor of Yeshua (who was already exalted back in Heaven) through the believers, the Body of Messiah, while being himself a zealous and God-fearing  Israeli!  (Is 53; 1Tim 1:13; Gal 1:13; Acts 9:4-5)
  8. A new commandment has been given God’s elect:  to love on the level of God’s love to us as shown and demonstrated through Jesus.  (Mt 5:43-48; John 15:12)

Brothers and sisters, the Christian testimony of Jesus being the Messiah and the Son of God the Father is confessed by both Jews and Gentiles who have believed and obeyed this revelation.  The gospel crosses every nation, culture, and language; the gospel brings Heaven’s rule and authority into the midst of the rule of the prince of this world’s power.  Jesus came to bring a sword into the world and to give His peace to the believer.  The church of the first-born includes all from Adam and Eve onward who have put their faith for salvation in the Creator God Almighty, who later revealed Himself as YEHOVAH, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and still later as the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The equality of Jews and Gentiles before God under the New Covenant in Christ is still difficult for both to accept and be reconciled to.  The Jews wanted to stone Yeshua and, later, Paul  when they spoke of their mission including gentiles.  For about 15 years after the death and resurrection of the Lord and after Pentecost (Shavuot), the early church was Jewish in character.  The Jews thought that all gentile believers had to become Jewish.  The Holy Spirit and the council at Jerusalem declared otherwise in the wisdom of God.  Later in Church history the opposite occurred:  the non-Jewish believers thought that all Jewish believers had to become gentile, fitting the cultural norm wherever they were living.

The truth is that in Messiah God has made of the two one new man – one loaf representing Christ’s one body in unity.  Today there is still a spiritual battle being fought to bring the Body of Christ to full maturity of the faith of the Son of God – comprised of both Jews and Gentile believers, but not being either quite Jewish or ethnic in character.  Our unity in Messiah and our love for one another is our testimony in and to the world that we are disciples of the Lord Jesus and that God sent Him and loves us as our Father, even as He loved Jesus.

The gospel is God’s good news – offering peace on earth, goodwill towards mankind.  Give thanks and  praise His Name!