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God Follows His Own Rules

In Blog, John's Blog, Teachings | on December, 26, 2018 | by

By John Holmes

This may provoke some new thoughts in some readers, but the concept is simple: God made the rules and He follows His own rules. Although, in modern terms Torah is referred to as “The Law,” it more accurately means “teaching” rather than “law”. If we consider the fact the Father is teaching us how to understand Him and His ways, then to say “the law has been done away with” is to say the Father no longer follows His own rules. That doctrine suddenly brings up a major conflict since, if He does away with His rules, we could conclude our salvation means nothing since it could be done away with also. And, of course, where He says, “I change not” would be a lie.

Now, let’s move on to another dilemma. Is Yeshua/Jesus Messiah or not? To this author, there is no question Yeshua is Messiah, but others question his status in this matter. There are doctrines emerging today saying, “Jesus was just a man . . . nothing more.”

When God says “I change not”, we then must understand there are basic concepts which remain unchanged from when they were given right on to today. Rules of understanding say there can be no conflict in scripture. If we find one, it is because of either misinterpretation or mistrans-lation. These two topics, with their seeming conflicts can be sorted out by understanding some basic Biblical concepts. Frequently people will take a single scripture out of context and try to build a doctrine on it, but, in reality, the Bible needs to be taken as a totality since concepts interact to give the complete picture. Here, the goal is to show how these two seemingly unconnected “dilemmas” are actually connected and linked to other Biblical concepts.

Christians talk about being partakers of the New Covenant. Their understanding is, as Believers in Jesus as Messiah, they automatically come under the New Covenant. However, what is the New Covenant . . . and, for that matter, what is/was the Old Covenant?

First of all, a covenant is akin to a contract. It contains rules for those involved. The Old Covenant was given at Mt. Sinai. The two parties of the contract were/are God on one hand, and the Hebrews on the other. It is called Torah or the Pentateuch in Christian circles. We know the Original/Old Covenant was considered by God to be a marriage contract and we find Him referring to Himself as the husband in Jeremiah 31:32. Therefore, in the context of the Hebrew wedding, the Original Covenant is a marriage contract. It follows then, if the Original Covenant is a marriage covenant, the New must be a marriage covenant or contract as well. Early church fathers establish this understanding with terminology such as “the bride of Christ.”

If we are Believers, then we are partakers of the New Covenant and therefore in a marriage-type relationship. And, when God gave His Torah, He laid out some rules of behavior for His bride . . . rules for the marriage. Keep this in mind as we add another concept.

Now let’s explore the New Covenant. For this, take a look at Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:8. In these two Scriptures we will discover with whom the Father will be making the New Covenant. Or, in other words, who are the parties in the contract? In both scriptures we find the same two entities: The House of Israel, and The House of Judah. Notice it is specific with no other parties listed. And here, notice another thing, although some might say this is an Old Testament concept and therefore not valid when they see we are looking at the passage from Jeremiah, it is important to note Hebrews quotes this Jeremiah passage showing the prophecy applies to New Testament believers.

But, the New Covenant prophecy lists only the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Where is The Church in all this? Does it have a separate New Covenant? If there is a separate Covenant for The Church, we don’t find one listed anywhere in the Bible. Paul has addressed this dilemma when he explained the status of The Church for us. He uses both the analogy of grafting in and adoption in his letter to the Romans to help us to understand. In Romans 11, Paul calls the Roman believers the wild olive branch. Clearly, he says the wild one is grafted into the natural branch…not the reverse. If the Roman, non-Hebrew believers were the wild branches, then who can he be referring to as the natural branches? Obviously, the natural branches were the Hebrews. Yeshua seems to have originated the analogy when he said, in John 15:5, “I am the vine. You are the branches . . . ” Remember, Yeshua is Hebrew and Jewish. Paul also contrasts believers with his brethren (by birth) in Romans 9:3-5. He laments his brethren (natural branches) are not seeing the truth. But, above all, we need to notice how he refers to the believers . . . they are Israelites by adoption.

Looking at Paul’s explanation, we see him indicating believers become part of the vine and not a separate entity. Adoptees become part of the family they join…not separate from the family. The concept of adoption is not just presented by Paul. God put it in the Torah in Exodus 12:48-49. And then who can forget Ruth who, because of her Moabite heritage, condemns her descendants to exclusion from “the congregation of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:3) and yet she is in the blood line of David and Yeshua. Again, we see the example of the strength of God’s rules about adoption.

This then brings us back to the question of the New Covenant and the House of Israel and the House of Judah. From both Yeshua’s statement about being the vine and Paul’s examples of the natural branches and the wild branches, we can conclude we are in the family of God through adoption into either the House of Israel or the House of Judah just as Ruth clearly lost her old identity when she made the vow to become a Hebrew. (Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.)

The question is: Why are these things not part of standard Christian doctrine? Most probably because of the doctrine called Replacement Theology. This concept literally states: “the curses are for the Jews and the blessings are for the Church.” Since the time of Constantine, the Church has lived with its own doctrines. Case in point: most all Believers have heard of The Jewish Feasts. But, are they really that? What does the Bible call them? Leviticus 23:2 calls them the “Feasts of the Lord.” Why did Constantinian Christianity create this doctrine? Undoubtedly, to make way for the holidays the pagan proselytes were bringing with them. Today, in our modern Political Correctness, we might call it “inclusion.”

When we see this dilemma, do we replace God’s Feasts with our own, or do we repent and start following Him? The question arises: “Who is really God here?

Returning to Paul and his “take” on the identity of the Church, we find, in Ephesians 2:11-12, Paul says before we were believers we were “. . . aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise.” So, if this is the way we were as gentiles, we are just the opposite now . . . citizens of the commonwealth of Israel and partakers in the covenants. This is truly inclusion. Paul doesn’t see The Church as a separate entity at all.

Sticking with scripture and not man-made doctrine, we next need to look at some prophesies. First off, it should be noted, although the prophets take us into the millennial reign of the Messiah, we don’t find any specific references to The Church or any separate group of believers. One would think that something as important in the family of God as millions of followers of the Messiah would have much mention in the prophets. Therefore, we are faced with two questions…or should we say, and either or…either God didn’t know The Church would come to exist, OR it is there and we don’t recognize it. Obviously, put in those terms, the latter can be the only conclusion. And, this brings us back to the New Covenant. Who is it for? It is for The House of Israel and the House of Judah only. This then, brings us back to Paul’s teachings. Believers are grafted into the “commonwealth of Israel.”

If the Church is there in prophecy and we don’t recognize it, and if the reader hasn’t already figured this out already, clearly believers are either grafted into one or the other of the two houses who are part of the New Covenant. And for those who say all the Old Testament is eliminated for believers, there is still a major dilemma because of all the quotes from the Old Testament given by Yeshua and the apostles. A further dilemma for those saying “the law is done away with” comes when they read God says the New Covenant is, “My law written on their hearts.”

When the translators of the 1611 King James Version sat down to begin their job, the word Church was mandated to be inserted for the Greek word “ekklesia” and has grown to mean something completely different from when it was originally penned in Acts. Clearly we see the modern church is not how it is defined in the book of Acts where it says they were meeting from home to home. The point here is: scripture wasn’t dealing with “The Church” initially and so the idea of “The Church” receiving the blessings obviously shows up extra-Biblically and is not a Biblical concept at all.

After dealing with the new marriage covenant and the parties involved, we see there are two brides, but what about the groom? Again, the church fathers seem to have understood it well when they say, “Believers are the bride of Christ.” Although they may have misstated the first party as the Church instead of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, the latter party “Christ” is Biblical.

Keeping this in mind, looking at scripture about wives, we find an interesting passage in Deuteronomy 24 about divorce where, in verse 4 it states, a husband cannot take back a wife he has divorced. What does this Old Testament verse have to do with the New Covenant? Everything! To understand it, we need to lay a bit of ground work.

First, remember, Believers are adopted into either the House of Judah or House of Israel and, since the House of Judah for the most part doesn’t recognize Yeshua, it would be the House of Israel scattered worldwide. But, in Jeremiah 3 it says, God divorced the Northern Kingdom (House of Israel) . . . the very house Believers would be adopted into. Paul, however, gives the good news (gospel) in Romans 7 where he points out the divorce from the broken marriage ends when the husband dies. This opens the way for a legal New Covenant to be made with the divorcee . . . the House of Israel. “He died for our sins” is a correct statement when we understand who “our” is. It is the previously sinful adulterous House of Israel into which Believers are adopted.

Remember what Yeshua said in Matthew 15:24, “. . . I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” What did He mean? Obviously, to institute the New Covenant He had to do something to negate the divorce. Also notice, He was clear in the understanding that the only justification was fornication which, to God, means following other gods, and this is the reason Jeremiah 3:6 gives for the divorce.

Was/is Yeshua just a man? Obviously, if He was to make the New Covenant with an entire people, He had to be acting for/as God. To end the Old Covenant, He had to be God. Clearly, to say Yeshua was only a man is heresy.

As we see, seemingly unrelated concepts are interrelated. Who would have thought the divorce of a wife in harlotry would have any bearing on Yeshua going to the cross for Believers’ sins? And yet, when all the facts are viewed, we find everything to be integrated. Believers today are usually denied immigration status in Israel on religious grounds. Since the House of Judah doesn’t readily accept Christians, for a multitude to be grafted in, they obviously are grafted into the House of Israel . . . still in exile.

And, finally, this fits God’s promise to the House of Israel in Hosea 1:10, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”

God follows His own rules….He said it and I believe it, and that settles it!

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