One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

I have told you in advance."

Chapter 7:
The Old and New Covenants

Nail pierced hand

Yeshua accomplished many things in the short time of His earthly ministry. Not the least of these was the redemption of mankind which He purchased with His own Blood. The importance of that accomplished task as it fills up the Old Covenant, and is renewed the New Covenant, will be examined.

Also, we will answer the question: “Is there any real difference between the old and new covenants?”

Old Covenant

The Law (Torah) establishing the Old Covenant was given to the children of Israel through Moshe on Mount Sinai after YHWH led them to freedom from the slavery of Egypt. The Torah was very explicit in its duties, responsibilities, and requirements made upon the Hebrew people. This Torah brought about their death, as it revealed to them their own sinfulness. Even though the Torah provided sacrifices for sins which had been committed, these sacrifices could not take away their sins.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:4
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Micah 6:7-8
7 Will YHWH be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, man, what is good; and what does YHWH require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?

Furthermore, YHWH did not even desire these sacrifices and offerings.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:5
Wherefore when He comes into the world, he says, “Sacrifice and offering thou would not, but a body hast thou prepared me”

Sh'muel Aleph (1 Samuel) 15:22
And Samuel said, “Has YHWH as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the Voice of YHWH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

What YHWH wanted from His people, was for them to express their love for Him in obedience to the Law (Torah) given on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 15:26). Instead, they only attempted to obey His Law outwardly. In their hearts they went astray. In addition to this, He was getting His people ready for the coming of Messiah.

This brings to light the weakness of this Covenant and the need for a second. For since a second covenant has been established, the ineffectiveness of the first has come to be known. The student of Scripture will do well to take note which came first, the Old Covenant or the New Covenant. This will be discussed more, shortly.

Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, YHWH sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

And again:

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:9
Then said he, Behold, I come to do thy will, YHWH. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.

Yeshua said that He came not to do away with the Law (Torah), but to carry out the will of the Father, which has been expressed in the Torah and the Prophets. Yeshua came to verify the Torah and to show us how to live it in our everyday lives.

Matithyah (Matthew) 5:17 (Jewish New Testament)
“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete.”

Luke records the occurrence of Zacharias being filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesying, saying,

Luqa (Luke) 1:68 (New American Standard [modified])
“Blessed be YHWH Elohim of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.”

The redemption that had been promised since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden became a reality when Yeshua came into this world. This “New” Covenant is based upon promises which were made before the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

New Covenant

The New Covenant was established at the shedding of Yeshua’s Blood upon the cross of Calvary. Even though this is when it was established, it was promised long before this event. It is because of His shed Blood, that anyone who believes can have forgiveness of his sins.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:17, 18
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

The new covenant is actually a “renewal” of the old, in that, all the same requirements found in the old covenant are still found in the new covenant. The difference is that in the new covenant the requirement for the remission of sin has been fully actualized.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:12
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own Blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Under the Old Covenant, there were priests who were priests under that Law. This priesthood was perpetuated by virtue of birth. One had to be born a Levite in order to be a priest. However, Yeshua was not a Levite.[9] He was of the tribe of Judah. The book of Hebrews addresses this issue precisely when it says;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:12
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Yeshua is a priest, not after the Levitical order, but a priest in the likeness of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a kingly priest who had no beginning, nor end of days. Yeshua is a kingly priest after this same order, one without beginning or end. This came about in order that the New Covenant might be established. A new and better covenant has now been brought into being.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:22
By so much was Yeshua made a guarantee of a better covenant.

The reason is that His Blood is eternal. This makes the new covenant better than the old covenant. It is the only true difference between the two covenants.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:6
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

And again;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:15
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

This new covenant that has been established by the Blood of Yeshua, is based upon the promise that YHWH gave to Avraham. This was over 400 years before the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai (Galatians 3:17).

B’reshit (Genesis) 22:18
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My Voice.

YHWH here is speaking to Avraham after he had just finished offering up his son10 Isaac to YHWH on the altar of burnt offering. He did this by grace through faith11. And this was what the new covenant is based upon, faith in Yeshua. Avraham had this faith as well as did all the saints of the Old Testament as recorded in Hebrews, chapter 11.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:17 (NAS)
By faith Avraham, when he was tested offered up Isaac.

For not only did YHWH give Avraham this promise, He also backed it up with an oath.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 6:17
Wherein YHWH, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath

Those who enter into the new covenant, do so through faith. This makes them an heir to the promise which was given to Avraham, which was then passed on to Yitzchaq (Isaac)[10] and then to Ya’aqov (Jacob). For all true disciples are children of the free woman, not of the bondwoman.

Galatians 4:28, 31
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

This new covenant that was established in the Blood of Yeshua is done so on the promise given to Avraham, for Yeshua is the Seed that YHWH was speaking of to Avraham.

Galatians 3:16
Now to Avraham and his seed were the promises made. He says not, “and to seeds,” as of many; but as of one, “and to thy seed, which is Messiah.”

For the inheritance of the disciple is based upon the promise, not upon the law. If it were based upon the law, it would not be by faith[11]. Rather, it is by faith, for it is based upon the promise, namely the promise given to Avraham. Therefore, it can be seen that in reality, the promise of the new covenant was actually before the giving of the old covenant. It is quite important that one sees and understands this truth.

Well then, why was the law given at Mount Sinai, one may ask?

Galatians 3:19
Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

This new covenant is based upon the promise given to Avraham and is based solely on faith. It is only those persons who choose to believe through faith who are the children of the promise and who have eternal life. This aspect of the new covenant cannot be overstated. It is an eternal covenant and can never be set aside.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 13:20 (see also Heb. 9:12)
Now the Elohim of peace, that brought again from the dead our Master Yeshua, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the everlasting covenant.

Because the new covenant which has now been established is an eternal covenant, it is the last and only hope for the redemption of mankind. When this truth is understood, one can begin to grasp the magnitude of what the writer to the Hebrews says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:26
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,

And the writer continues;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:29
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of YHWH, and hath counted the Blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

When one follows the giving of each new covenant throughout Scripture, each subsequent covenant is added onto and upon the previous covenant. Thus, the “Old Covenant” (Torah) was given after the “New Covenant” (salvation by faith), showing that one is saved first, and then one comes to obedience, or the keeping of Torah.

Because the covenant that is now in effect is an eternal covenant, the disciple in Messiah can be sure of his eternal life, since the covenant that has verified this will never be put aside. Thus, the disciple’s hope has been made more sure.

Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 31:31-33
31 Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, says YHWH.
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHWH: I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people:

The new covenant that YHWH promised to make in the above passage is actually a renewed covenant. What YHWH is going to do, according to this passage, is that He is going to take what we know and refer to as the Old Covenant (Torah) and write it upon the hearts of His people (both Houses) so that we will be keeping His covenant (commandments) from the inside, from one’s heart. He begins to do this when He fills a person with His Spirit. It is the infilling, indwelling presence of His Spirit that writes His commandments upon one’s hearts.

Where is Yeshua now?

The Word of YHWH speaks directly to the question of the present location of Yeshua, after He ascended into heaven, having been raised from the dead. One issue that is central to understanding where Yeshua is now, is that of His present office, and what He is doing in the interim before His return. It may not be possible to know everything that He is presently doing, nor is it really necessary to know at the present time. However, the Scripture tells enough that the disciple can be strengthened in his spiritual life.

The following references will show that Yeshua has now entered into the Holy Place of heaven, the very Dwelling Place of YHWH (if indeed He dwells in one place only?).

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:11, 12
But Messiah being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect
tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own Blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

And again;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:24
For Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of YHWH for us:

Note that Messiah has now entered the Holy Place in heaven. Here He will enter only one time, and this one time will be for all of mankind. Such is the perfection of His sacrifice.

In these next verses one finds the picture of Messiah seated at the right hand of YHWH. His “being seated” is symbolic of His having finished His work of redeeming mankind.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 1:3b
When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

And again;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:1
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

And again;

Marqos (Mark) 16:19
So then after YHWH had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of YHWH.

Yeshua now having entered into the Holy Place of heaven, and taken His place at the right hand of YHWH, will remain there until the consummation of the ages. This will be at His return. Note the when of this next passage in which YHWH is speaking to the Son.

Ivrim (Hebrews 1:13
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Is the Anti-Messiah not an enemy of Yeshua? Certainly, he is; therefore, it must be inferred that Yeshua will remain seated until the time at which He returns to put an end to the Anti-Messiah, and sin, as well.

This will be dealt with more fully in a later chapter.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:4
Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law;

If Yeshua was upon earth, He would not be a priest, for He is not of the tribe of Levi. The Levitical tribe was a foreshadowing of the priesthood of Messiah and his ministry in the one true tabernacle in heaven. The ministrations of Messiah are not upon earth, rather the ministrations of Messiah are in the heavenly sanctuary. Understanding this Scriptural truth is essential to understanding His current office as High Priest. The passage above clearly states that Mashiach Yeshua is not a priest. As the writer to the Hebrew talmidim shows before this, this is true because Yeshua is not of the Levitical tribe and not eligible to enter into the earthly sanctuary. In fact, it would be a violation of Torah for Him to do so, something which He cannot do.

What is the Law (Torah)?

Shemot (Exodus) 12:49
One Torah shall be to him that is home born, and to the stranger that sojourns among you.

One Torah for everyone? But isn’t there one set of instructions for the Jewish people (the Old Testament or Covenant) and another set of instructions for the Christians (the New Testament or Covenant)?

Literally, “Torah” means “instruction” or “direction.” The word “Torah” comes from a root word meaning “to throw, cast or shoot - to hit the mark.” Are you hitting the mark? Do you even know where the mark is? Do you know what the mark is?

Most people will understand that the TaNaK (Old Testament) and the Brit HaChadashah (New Testament) are Scripture, or YHWH’s instructions to His people. However, are these the only instructions that He gives to His people? What will be shown in the remainder of this chapter, is that the Written Scripture is not a complete understanding of what comprises Torah. In addition, if a talmid (disciple) of Yeshua is to walk in complete obedience to YHWH, then that Talmid had better have a proper understanding of just exactly what Torah is.

Torah is Eternal!

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:89
Forever, YHWH, Your Word stands firm in Heaven.

That which makes up Torah, YHWH has firmly established in the heavenly abode of YHWH, forever.

What this shows us is that Torah is Eternal.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:24
And it came about, when Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a book until they were complete…

Note the close intimate link between the word (Hebrew - davar) and the Torah. They are actually inseparable. Also, please note that this passage of Scripture teaches us that Moshe wrote down the entire Torah; i.e., the Torah Moshe is complete.

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:160
The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Truth is everlasting. Truth never ceases to be. Every commandment and ordinance of YHWH, as a vital part of Torah, is eternal. Every commandment is a part of who and what He is and therefore can never pass away.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Elohim stands forever.

The things in the physical realm may wither and pass into oblivion, but YHWH’s word, commandments, instructions, judgments, statutes, and ordinances will forever stand.

Basically, what has been shown in these verses is that His Torah is eternal; i.e., His Torah is a part of who He is and what He is; and therefore, His Torah has always been and shall always be. It will not pass away! In the temporal physical world in which we exist, where everything is passing away, having something eternal to grasp onto can be comforting. However, how does one really take hold of this Torah?

Torah is Set-apart!

Romans 7:12
So then, the Torah is set-apart, and the commandment is set-apart and righteous and good.

The Torah was, and is, good and righteous. It is set-apart (holy) because He is set-apart.

When a person acts like the Torah (Law) has been done away with, that person is saying that Torah is not eternal, that it is not set-apart. That person, in essence, is calling Scripture wrong and a lie, thus calling YHWH a liar. What does your life say about His Torah?

Torah cannot pass away, because Torah is eternal. YHWH made the Torah flesh and He dwelt among us.

Yochanan (John) 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and Elohim was the Word.

Here we see that the Word (the Davar of YHWH, which is synonymous for Torah) is actually just an extension of YHWH as Elohim.

Yochanan (John) 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The difference between the written Torah and Yeshua as the Torah made flesh, is more academic than actual. For one to claim that Torah (The Law) has been done away with, is not only foreign to Scripture, but it cannot stand up to reason. Since Yeshua is our only true Hope of Salvation, if He has been done away with (because He is Torah [in the flesh]), what hope would we have of any salvation? None!

However, we know from Scripture that He has not been done away with, for as we have already shown from Scripture, Torah is eternal. Therefore, our salvation is secure in Him, the Torah made flesh.

Torah is the Voice of YHWH

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:30
When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to YHWH your Elohim and listen to His Voice.

It would do the reader well to read the above passage several times. Did you? Perhaps you should commit this passage to memory, so that it truly sinks into the depths of your spirit. If one reads the context of this passage, he will find that Yisrael (Israel) will be taken into captivity due to not heeding (obeying) the Voice of YHWH. Furthermore, it will not be until the latter days (that’s now), that the people of YHWH as a nation will truly heed and obey His Voice.

And if that is now, and it is, then how can one obey His Voice if he cannot hear His Voice? When was the last time you heard His Voice? Do you know what His Voice sounds like?

If one always surround himself with the noise of this present darkness (TV, radio, secular music, etc.), then how is it that we will be able to hear His Voice? Do you want to hear His Voice?

Yochanan (John) 10:1-5
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
2 "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 "And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."

Whose voice do you hear? Whose voice do you obey? Are you following the voice of a stranger and a robber? Or can you hear the Voice of the Master and obey Him?

Therefore, as one can see, the Law or Torah is valid today because Yeshua is the Torah made flesh, and he should want his salvation and redemption to be valid. Thus each person needs to be listening to His Voice which goes forth today, and obeying it!

[9] It should be noted that John the Baptist was a Levite, his father, Zacharias, was in the Holy of Holies (temple) when he was told of John’s coming birth. And we know from Scripture that John and Yeshua were cousins. So Yeshua actually had some blood from the Levitical tribe in Him, but not enough for Him to be a priest. Although John could have been, as he could have followed in his father’s footsteps.

[10] It should be noted that Avraham had another son (who was actually older) at this time, who was a son of his flesh. But YHWH asked for his only son, the son of the promise, the son of both Avraham and Sarah.

[11] If the reader will, please note that in the context of this book, when faith is spoken of, it is done so in the manner which is “by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of YHWH” (Ephesians 2:8). A person cannot create his own faith anymore than he can create his own salvation. So when faith is spoken of, it is done so with the understanding that it is a gift from YHWH, and this by grace, as Yeshua is the Author and Perfecter of our faith (See Hebrews 12:2).