INTEGRATION OF OLD AND NEW, 19.11.18
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
The notion that somehow Yeshua introduced a New Covenant that replaced the Old Covenant, overthrew the Torah and all God’s commandments were somehow nullified is a total distortion of God’s Word, and a negation of what Yeshua did during His time on earth. God’s principles lay the foundations for everything that follows; therefore, it would not only be contradictory, but impossible.
All principles are foundational to additional revelations and remain unchanged; in fact, they are validated and thus solidified with each building block:
“For it must be ‘precept upon precept,
precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.’”(Isaiah 28:10).
Just as “Replacement Theology” is ill-founded, so is the misunderstanding that somehow Torah/OT/Tanakh, God’s commandments are no longer relevant.
In creating “one new man from the two groups” (Eph.2:15), the foundational blocks of the Old Covenant have been supplemented and thereby solidified by the integration of the two groups. Jewish and Gentile followers of Yeshua “both have access to the Father by the same Holy Spirit/Ruach,” (Eph.2:18), thus, “are no longer strangers and foreigners, but (you are) fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Eph.2:19). The very fact that His Word states that: “You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone,” (Eph.2:20) illustrates the earlier quote from Isaiah 28. This is the concept of supplementation, solidification, and integration, that “In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach” (Eph.2:21,22). It all fits together, like a hand in a glove, with our reliance on, and enablement from, the Ruach/Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s commands, instead of our own fleshly efforts.
And the erroneous interpretations about Yeshua somehow being a rebel and overturning God’s laws are not only delusional, but preposterous, and impossible. Yeshua said: “For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of the One who sent Me” (John 6:38); “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise” (John 5:19). He would have to have been schizophrenic/psychotic to have made such statements, and behaved in opposition to the Father.
Yeshua always applied The Word of God to the many challenges received, whether from the Pharisees, academics, or other legal and leading authorities of the day, or Satan himself. When tempted by the Devil during His fasting period in the desert, Yeshua repeated the principle from Torah: “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai” (Deut. 8:3). Would He subscribe to certain of the principles/laws in Torah and not others? I should think not.
In response to one of the Pharisees who came to Him saying “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?” (Matt.19:16), Yeshua redirected him to the Laws of Torah: “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt.19:17). Again in Luke, the example reads: “Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” (Lk.10:25,26).
There is nothing here that needs interpretation. It is all very clear! Not only does Yeshua redirect the man inquiring about eternal life to Torah, He gives the entire Gospel/Redemption plan right out of Torah. It’s been there all along; it’s not even a new message! What is new is that Yeshua/Jesus came down to earth to demonstrate how it could be lived out, and to bring the ultimate resource and gift to equip humankind – the Ruach-Ha-Kodesh, His Holy Spirit; and to ultimately, create the formation/integration of that “One New Man,” His heart’s desire so fervently expressed when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are” (John 17:11).
Oh, foolish unbelieving believers, God has not changed. His laws have not been altered. Obedience is an expression of our love for Him, not legalism. Walking in God’s Ways/Laws is a manifestation of our love for Him, not “works,” an effort to earn salvation. It’s time for God’s people to wake up, and grow up, “For anyone living on milk is inexperienced with the teaching about righteousness—he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who through practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil” (Heb.5:13,14). It’s time for a shift in our thinking, yes, a shift from “God loves me/you, God loves you/me. . .. .” to our LOVE FOR HIM, and exhibiting that love through obedience, passion, and walking in His Word.
Such a shift in thinking would bring the integration of the One New Man, as a natural out-cropping of renewed understanding of how All of God’s Word fits together – the New building on (not replacing) the Old. Just as in anyone’s life, although we grow and develop as we encounter new situations, previous experiences are supplemented with new experiences, and what has been learned previously, is built upon, supplemented, not discarded. Likewise, when we have a passion for Him; when we actually delight in Him (not just what He can do for us); when, instead of saying, “bless me, bless me, bless me. . ..” , we focus on blessing Him with our obedience, delighting in Him, having passion for Him, honouring Him, His Word, His commandments, we inadvertently receive blessings. As we hunger and thirst for more of Him, we will drink in, devour, and chew ALL of His Living Word, which includes Torah. Enriched understanding is the natural outcome, intrinsic to which will be the embracing of our position as “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Eph.2:19), who have been “grafted in among them and became a partaker of the root of the olive tree with its richness” (Rom. 11:17).
© 2017, 2nd ed., 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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