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Online DaveW

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Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« on: Fri Jul 19, 2013 - 12:02:20 »
This was a question from the Theology forum that I did not want to sidetrack.

Dave,

I'm a bit confused as to where you stand regarding the Sinai Covenant and the New Covenant.

There are other things I'm probably confused about regarding Messianic Judaism but if you could give me a quick explanation of how you regard those two covenants I would appreciate it.

Thanks

First off let me preface this by saying that what I present here is not representative of ALL Messianic Judaism.(MJ)  Indeed, Judaism has THRIVED on differences of opinion since at least the first century bc when Rabbis Hillel and Shammai disagreed on over 100 points of doctrne and practice, started competing schools to train Pharisees, and yet remained best friends and each insisted his pupils marry a daughter of a graduate of the other school.   Their disputes and differences (along with that of later rabbis) are recorded for us in the Mishnah and Talmuds.

That said, with a growing body of young MJ theologians and rabbis like David J Rudolph (son of my own rabbi Mike Rudolph) these positions are gaining traction across the scope of MJ. David has built on the theological works of Dan Juster ThD and his father.

I should add in here a brief note about the Jewish approach to scripture. It varies from the normal Christain approach in that it is not as technical, academic or abstract.  Indeed Judaism tends to reject abstractions in favor of relational truths and the approach to doctrine reflects that.  So does the Jewish system of logic.

======================================================

Now to your question.

First we must look at what a "covenant" actually is. (this is from the work of R. Mike Rudolph) As he was a lawyer (licenced in Maryland, Virginia and DC) before coming to faith, he was well versed in the legalities of covenants.  After coming to faith he also studied the historical mid east covenants.

A covenant is this, no more and no less: A binding agreement.  It can be written down or verbal. It can be formal or informal. But it is BINDING. In the ancient mid east it was binding to life and death.

According to Dr Derek Prince (i knew him personally and he was a friend of Rabbi Dan Juster) God relates to man ONLY thru a covenant.

There have been many biblical covenants between God and man over the years: Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and the New Covenant. Those are the major ones.  there are also minor ones like the "covenant of peace" given to Phineas, Aaron's grandson.

Both the Mosaic and New covenants are based on the Abrahamic covenant. 

MJ is not a dual-covenant system as some would think. It is clearly a NEW Covenant Judaism. So WHY do Messianic Jews insist on following Mosaic regulations? 

Covenants can have attached documents that were not part of the original agreement but have force.  A king can have a covenant with his vassals and attach certain conditions and remunerations that can vary with different circumstances. It is easier to ammend a "rider" document than the original covenant. If for some reason the covenant itself has to be renewed or re-established, that rider can continue as is or be thrown out or amended and then attached to the new covenant.

We messianics see the bulk of the Mosaic code of 613 commands as being that "rider" that carried over into the New Covenant.  Clearly some parts are no longer relevant like the animal sacrifices. Most are for Israel only.

The New Covenant follows this same pattern.  The covenant is Our Lord dying and raising to life again, his blood shed for sins and our agreeing to His Lordship.  "All who call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved."   Then Paul and Peter and James etc come along and supply the additional rider documents with instructions on how best to fulfil our part of the covenant. They are binding (required) but they are not the Covenant itself.   

Having a rider like that that is NOT part of the actual covenant allows for differing requirements for various subgroups within the covenantal membership.  For a secular example - the covenant may demand a tax on all farms.  The rider says it is to be 100 bushels of wheat. But if you live in an area that grows figs or grapes or olives?  The requirement can be adjusted to that environment.

So we see it for Jewish followers of Jesus and Gentile followers of Jesus.  Per the first Jerusalem council of Acts 15, Gentiles were exempted from the continued observance of the Mosaic rider, the 613 commands. A list was started of 4 commands. Paul expanded it from there.   But the understanding was (and is borne out inActs 21) that Jews should continue to observe as much of the Mosaic rider (not the covenant proper) as is proper in a New Covenant environment.   Some of those commands are related to specific callings on the Jewish people and according to Romans 11, those callings are ongoing - "irrevocable."  It includes being the keeper of God's word (Rom 3) and being a light to the world.  There are more beyond that.

Matt 23 (end of the chapter) in the "Messiah's Lament" Our Lord says He will not be seen by Jerusalem (where Zechariah says He will return) until they - Jerusalem - The Jewish people  = say "blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord," which is the part of the Jewish wedding ceremony where the bride welcomes the comming of her groom.

So we see maintaining the customs and lifestyle of Judaism (which was built around keeping the 613 commands) as important. We also see Gentile Christianity as important and equal to what we have and are. But we do not see trying to bind any of those 613 as required by gentiles.  Indeed Gentiles have their own list of commands to keep (some overlap with the 613) which has about 1000 NT commands.

I am out of time for now.  Any questions?
« Last Edit: Fri Jul 19, 2013 - 12:05:23 by DaveW »

Offline winsome

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #1 on: Fri Jul 19, 2013 - 13:42:51 »
 Hi Dave,
 
That is excellent; it clarifies a lot for me. Thank you for putting that together.
 
One question - do you think Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah and come into the New Covenant are obliged retain the Jewish customs and lifestyle or are they free to become “Gentile Christians”?
 

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #2 on: Fri Jul 19, 2013 - 13:57:57 »
Hi Dave,
 
That is excellent; it clarifies a lot for me. Thank you for putting that together.
 
One question - do you think Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah and come into the New Covenant are obliged retain the Jewish customs and lifestyle or are they free to become “Gentile Christians”?

Since the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Rom 11.29) the calling is still there for them to live according to Jewish custom.  It is not a salvic issue but one of calling and fulfilling a God given role in life.

Any Jewish believer in Jesus who has abandoned that would be saved but not really walking in his/her ordained path.

Offline winsome

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #3 on: Sun Jul 21, 2013 - 15:28:18 »

Matt 23 (end of the chapter) in the "Messiah's Lament" Our Lord says He will not be seen by Jerusalem (where Zechariah says He will return) until they - Jerusalem - The Jewish people  = say "blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord," which is the part of the Jewish wedding ceremony where the bride welcomes the comming of her groom.


Hi Dave,

Just an extra comment.

I was dicussing your explanantion with my wife and she reminded me of something I had overlooked.

As you may know Catholics believe that when the priest consecrates the bread and wine the Holy Spirit changes them into the body and blood of Christ (our bridegroom) and when we receive those consecrated elements we believe we are anticipating wedding feast of the Lamb.

Just before the consecration we say those very words "blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord," as part of our prayers. We say it because that was how the crowds welcomed Jesus in John 12:13 but I think it is interesting that it is part of the Jewish wedding ceremony as well..

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #4 on: Sun Jul 21, 2013 - 17:45:47 »
There are several points in Our Lord's ministry that pointed to the Jewish wedding ceremony, esp as in the more agrarian Galilee province as opposed to the province of Judea which was more urban (Jerusalem)

Most marriages were arranged at what we would call grade school age, 8-10 years old.  At bar mitzvah age (~12-13) the couple would sign a ketubah (marriage contract) and they would be betrothed. To break the contract required a formal divorce. The father of the groom would instruct him in building a home for his soon-to-be family. (I go to prepare a place for you)  It usually was a wing added on to Dad's farm house.  (In my father's house are many dwelling places) It took about a year for the young man to complete the job.  He was not done until his father said he was done.

At a point when the father thought the building was sturdy enough and big enough, he would tell his son to go get his bride.  The father kept the actual timing a secret from everyone including the young couple. (No man knows the day or the hour, only my father in heaven)

The young bride would not know the exact time but would understand the general timeframe from how the building was progressing. She had to keep a vigil going during the end season.  The father could send the son at any time; Sunday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday at 2 am. The only time forbidden was the Sabbath.   When she saw him coming she was to scream out "BARUCH HABA B'SHEM ADONAI!!"  "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!!"  It was supposed to be loud enough to call everyone in from the fields or to wake up sound sleepers.  (parable of the 10 virgins) THe groom would come on a horse, take his bride back to the new abode, they would then consummate the marriage and have a week-long festive celebration.

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #4 on: Sun Jul 21, 2013 - 17:45:47 »



Offline BlackSepulcher

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #5 on: Sun Jul 21, 2013 - 17:57:26 »
Messianic Judaism has it's own way of worship. If a Jewish tribe finds holiness in Christ, then God be, let it be done.

Too much prejudice here, they are the chosen people. Our dogma is right, they can't discriminate.

It is what it is_ are you really gonna reject them Christ?., nobody can be rejected God.
« Last Edit: Sun Jul 21, 2013 - 21:14:32 by BlackSepulcher »

Offline winsome

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #6 on: Mon Jul 22, 2013 - 03:51:42 »
There are several points in Our Lord's ministry that pointed to the Jewish wedding ceremony, esp as in the more agrarian Galilee province as opposed to the province of Judea which was more urban (Jerusalem)

Most marriages were arranged at what we would call grade school age, 8-10 years old.  At bar mitzvah age (~12-13) the couple would sign a ketubah (marriage contract) and they would be betrothed. To break the contract required a formal divorce. The father of the groom would instruct him in building a home for his soon-to-be family. (I go to prepare a place for you)  It usually was a wing added on to Dad's farm house.  (In my father's house are many dwelling places) It took about a year for the young man to complete the job.  He was not done until his father said he was done.

At a point when the father thought the building was sturdy enough and big enough, he would tell his son to go get his bride.  The father kept the actual timing a secret from everyone including the young couple. (No man knows the day or the hour, only my father in heaven)

The young bride would not know the exact time but would understand the general timeframe from how the building was progressing. She had to keep a vigil going during the end season.  The father could send the son at any time; Sunday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday at 2 am. The only time forbidden was the Sabbath.   When she saw him coming she was to scream out "BARUCH HABA B'SHEM ADONAI!!"  "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!!"  It was supposed to be loud enough to call everyone in from the fields or to wake up sound sleepers.  (parable of the 10 virgins) THe groom would come on a horse, take his bride back to the new abode, they would then consummate the marriage and have a week-long festive celebration.

Very interesting. Thanks Dave.

I knew a little of that but you have filled in a lot of gaps.

I have a book "The Crucified Rabbi - Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity" which shows how many of our practices draw on Jewish roots.

I find it very interesting.
« Last Edit: Mon Jul 22, 2013 - 03:56:35 by winsome »

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #7 on: Fri Aug 30, 2013 - 17:01:51 »
"New Covenant Judaism"?????

That is not possible.  Judaism is based on the Old Sinaitic Covenant and the Law, or the Torah.   The Torah WAS the Teacher, but now our Teacher is the Holy Spirit.  The New Covenant has taken the place of the obsolete Sinaitic Covenant.   Christ's New Covenant, a blood covenant, is based on His finished work on the cross.  A new man has been created in Christ.   

Eph 2:1  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
Eph 2:2  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--
Eph 2:3  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Eph 2:4  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
Eph 2:5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
Eph 2:6  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph 2:7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Eph 2:9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Eph 2:11  Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
Eph 2:12  remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Eph 2:15  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Eph 2:16  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Eph 2:17  And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

God is no respecter of persons and He does not divide based on race. 

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #8 on: Fri Aug 30, 2013 - 17:35:20 »
Galarians 3:16  Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.

Christ is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.   God says so.

Christ is the head of the Body, the Church, not Moses.   A new man has been created, one unlike the people whose covenant is now obsolete. 

Hebrews 8:13  In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

This is per the Word of God and not my personal invention.   

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #9 on: Mon Sep 16, 2013 - 10:59:56 »
"New Covenant Judaism"?????

That is not possible.  Judaism is based on the Old Sinaitic Covenant and the Law, or the Torah.   The Torah WAS the Teacher, but now our Teacher is the Holy Spirit.  The New Covenant has taken the place of the obsolete Sinaitic Covenant.   Christ's New Covenant, a blood covenant, is based on His finished work on the cross.  A new man has been created in Christ.   

You are merely parroting replacement theory. (aka "theology") It is based on faulty understanding of what Judaism is and what the New Covenant is.

Gentile Christianity is one (or several) expression(s) of New Covenant Judaism.

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #10 on: Tue Sep 17, 2013 - 00:13:43 »
Well, I am clear from Scripture that we are not under covenant today, but under grace, and the paper here states it quite well.  One does not have to believe it, but that is between them and God, not me.  All true "born again" believers will be translated into the Kingdom (raptured) whether they believe it or not, either by death or when the Lord comes "in the air".  All other souls (including various religious men) will be left for the judgment of the wrath of God.

Thoughts  On  Testaments  And  Covenants
By R. L. DeWitt

      We should see that a testament is a statement of fact, will, intent, and purpose;  and a covenant is a promise, condition, and agreement for two parties who contract to uphold certain things for an objective.     

   In the Old Testament the Covenant God made with Abraham and the Israelites was to obey Him and keep His law and ordinances and He would then bless and help them. They accepted that, but rebelled against God and failed to keep the standards.  They broke the Covenant and they were scattered as a people, and their religion was done away at the cross of Christ;  then to the Apostle Paul was given the truth of the Dispensation Of Grace which we have today (1 Cor. 9:16-17;  Eph. 3:2-4).  He was called to administer Christ in this New Testament of grace as per the sacrifice at the cross. 
 
   The new hope for Israelites today (not the "New Covenant" as stated in some ministry) is to bring them into grace through the Lord Jesus Christ in this age (“whosoever will” – including Gentiles, Mk. 8:34;  Rev. 22:17), and then later to re-establish the Israelite nation as a blessed people in the Millennium time by a “New Covenant” ---Hebrews 8:6-10.  The New Testament is a new testimony of the workings of God (not a covenant of obligations). Souls may decline to embrace the grace of God and His beloved Son, and will then forfeit blessings by choice, but Israel as a nation will be restored in the future regardless of those individual souls choosing to rebel now.
 
   Thank God mankind is not under covenant and bondage now, but grace (see Galatians) ---an offer or invitation to receive eternal blessings as unmerited favor.   One may freely receive it or forfeit it.  The “New Covenant” that God speaks of is to Israel as an earthly people for a day to come.  He will then restore them as a people and nation.   
 
   It is important to not blur the line between Israel (a covenanted people of olden times) and the Church (the Bride of Christ in grace today). The Bride today is called and brought in by grace and privilege --praise God for that!  She is not an extension of Israel, as some preach, and she will be a heavenly people forever.  The promises of God are to people, and individuals may perish by their rebellion. 
 
   Much more can be shown on this if one desires to study it out. It is made more clear at the site: BibleCounsel.net and various Bible Commentaries, if one is interested in a study.   – RLD 



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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #11 on: Tue Sep 17, 2013 - 06:39:24 »
Well, I am clear from Scripture that we are not under covenant today, but under grace,

? ? ? ?

"Covenant" and "Grace" are not in opposition to each other.  Indeed, without a covenant there can be little dispensing of grace.

As to your "paper," it is just confused and confusing. We are NOW in the New Covenant.  It was inaugurated by the death of Our Lord:"

1 Corinthians 11:25  In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

The New Covenant was started when His blood was shed.

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #12 on: Tue Sep 17, 2013 - 07:50:04 »
Well, I am clear from Scripture that we are not under covenant today, but under grace, and the paper here states it quite well.  One does not have to believe it, but that is between them and God, not me.  All true "born again" believers will be translated into the Kingdom (raptured) whether they believe it or not, either by death or when the Lord comes "in the air".  All other souls (including various religious men) will be left for the judgment of the wrath of God.

Thoughts  On  Testaments  And  Covenants
By R. L. DeWitt

      We should see that a testament is a statement of fact, will, intent, and purpose;  and a covenant is a promise, condition, and agreement for two parties who contract to uphold certain things for an objective.     

   In the Old Testament the Covenant God made with Abraham and the Israelites was to obey Him and keep His law and ordinances and He would then bless and help them. They accepted that, but rebelled against God and failed to keep the standards.  They broke the Covenant and they were scattered as a people, and their religion was done away at the cross of Christ;  then to the Apostle Paul was given the truth of the Dispensation Of Grace which we have today (1 Cor. 9:16-17;  Eph. 3:2-4).  He was called to administer Christ in this New Testament of grace as per the sacrifice at the cross. 
 
   The new hope for Israelites today (not the "New Covenant" as stated in some ministry) is to bring them into grace through the Lord Jesus Christ in this age (“whosoever will” – including Gentiles, Mk. 8:34;  Rev. 22:17), and then later to re-establish the Israelite nation as a blessed people in the Millennium time by a “New Covenant” ---Hebrews 8:6-10.  The New Testament is a new testimony of the workings of God (not a covenant of obligations). Souls may decline to embrace the grace of God and His beloved Son, and will then forfeit blessings by choice, but Israel as a nation will be restored in the future regardless of those individual souls choosing to rebel now.
 
   Thank God mankind is not under covenant and bondage now, but grace (see Galatians) ---an offer or invitation to receive eternal blessings as unmerited favor.   One may freely receive it or forfeit it.  The “New Covenant” that God speaks of is to Israel as an earthly people for a day to come.  He will then restore them as a people and nation.   
 
   It is important to not blur the line between Israel (a covenanted people of olden times) and the Church (the Bride of Christ in grace today). The Bride today is called and brought in by grace and privilege --praise God for that!  She is not an extension of Israel, as some preach, and she will be a heavenly people forever.  The promises of God are to people, and individuals may perish by their rebellion. 
 
   Much more can be shown on this if one desires to study it out. It is made more clear at the site: BibleCounsel.net and various Bible Commentaries, if one is interested in a study.   – RLD 




"A Heavenly People."

This is a claim of Ultra-Dispensationalism.  This article does not support the ending of covenants but supports two covenants, one for Israel and one for Christians.   It gives Israel a second chance.   It gives Israel 1,000 years to study the Torah and to believe in Christ.   

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #13 on: Wed Sep 18, 2013 - 00:14:40 »
I don't think so, notreligious.  When Israel is restored as a nation after the Tribulation, it won't be the people today that are rejecting their Messiah.  They are rejecting the blood sacrifice of Christ, so they have no sacrifice for their sin.  A new people of Israel and a new people of Gentiles will be those blessed in the Millennium.  The only hope today is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ to be part of His Bride.  The Bride of Christ is clearly not under covenant, as Scripture shows.

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Re: Messianic Judaism and the Mosaic Covenat vs the New Covenant
« Reply #14 on: Wed Sep 18, 2013 - 05:21:32 »
  It gives Israel a second chance.   It gives Israel 1,000 years to study the Torah and to believe in Christ.
You make that sound like a bad thing.  Do you NOT want Israel/Jews to come to faith in their own Messiah?