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Our Marriage to Yahshua

 

Introduction
   Why did Yahweh command His chosen people to assemble on Pentecost? If we know the reason we can prepare for what is coming, because Yahweh's Feasts are prophetic as well as representative of His overall plan. Important events happened on Pentecost that are critical to salvation.
   After their dispersion in 70 C.E., the Jews could still consider Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread a commemoration of the Exodus. But the Feast of Firstfruits (also known as the Feast of Weeks and Pentecost) could no longer be thought of as merely a harvest festival.
   Yahweh had commanded Israel to keep the feasts throughout all generations and, because there were now no longer any harvests by Israel in Palestine, the Feast must have a deeper spiritual significance than had been hitherto understood.
   The rabbis were compelled to search Scriptures for a more meaningful understanding of the Feasts and they found that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread really did commemorate the Exodus.
   The search resulted in a reinterpretation of the meaning of the Feast of Firstfruits. It revealed that Yahweh had brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt so that Israel could serve Him. With this knowledge, the rabbis concluded that the Feast of Firstfruits really commemorates the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai and that without the law the Exodus would have been meaningless. (
To Understand the Jews by Stuart E. Rosenberg).
   They also determined that the covenant entered into at Sinai is really a marriage between Israel and Yahweh and that the Torah, the Law, is the wedding contract (
The Jewish Catalog).
   The meaning of the word "covenant" is contract. No contract is legally binding without terms of agreement. The Law is the terms of our marriage contract with Yahweh.
   To Christians, Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Assembly, Acts 2:1 -41. They also think of the Assembly as the bride of Messiah, 2 Corinthians 11:2. But without the law, the coming of the Holy Spirit is meaningless and there is no marriage contract.
   Keeping Pentecost on the correct day is an important aspect of obedience, but understanding why, as well as when, should change a ritualistic obedience to the letter of the Law to a joyful, willing compliance with the spirit of the Law. An insight, therefore, into the spiritual significance of Pentecost will enhance true worship during all Feasts.
   We know that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorate Old Covenant Israel's release from bondage in Egypt. We should also understand that Passover celebrates the fact that Yahweh's wrath will pass over those under the blood of His Messiah.

We Are Married to the Messiah
   Let's look at a few significant points Yahweh reveals about Pentecost.
   Acts 2:39 tells us there is a promise in the covenant, while Ephesians 2:12 indicates there is more than one covenant, but only one promise.
   Galatians 4:21 -28 informs us that there are two marriage contracts. The first is symbolized by the bondwoman, Hagar, and mediated by Moses at Mt. Sinai.
The second, symbolized by the free woman Sarah, was mediated by the Messiah at the heavenly Jerusalem. The first covenant was made with bloodline descendants of Abraham. The second is open to anyone brought near by the blood of the Messiah.
   There are two covenants but only one promise. Does the promise apply to both covenants? Yahweh has made many promises to His chosen people of both covenants. The covenant promise, however, is, "I will take you for My people, and I will be your Elohim," Exodus 6:7.
   Israel accepted the terms of the marriage contract when the people said,
   All the words which Yahweh has spoken we will do ...All that Yahweh has spoken we will do,and we will be obedient, Exodus 24:3,7.
   The same promise applies to the New Covenant. Peter wrote,
  
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Yahweh's own people ... Once you were no people but now you are Yahweh's own people, 1 Peter 2:9 -10.
   Baptism into Yahshua's Name constitutes acceptance of the terms of the marriage contract with the Messiah. Peter frankly tells us that Yahweh expects obedience.
  
Chosen and destined by Yahweh the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Yahshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with His blood, 1 Peter 1:2.
   Many contend that obedience to Yahshua is New Covenant and the law is irrelevant. This misconception apparently results from misunderstanding such Scriptures as Galatians 5:2 -3:
   Now I, Paul, say to you that if you received circumcision, Messiah will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law.
   The sign of righteousness required by Old Covenant law is circumcision of the flesh, Romans 4:11, Acts 15:1, Exodus 12:43 -49, and Joshua 5:2 -9. Paul is not saying, or even implying, that Yahshua set aside the law in the New Covenant. He is just saying that the man who receives the Old Covenant sign of righteousness is committing himself to obey all Old Covenant law.
   Circumcision of the heart is the New Covenant sign of righteousness. Real circumcision is spiritual, not literal,
  
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Yahweh, Romans 2:28 -29.
   It is the circumcision of Messiah (Col. 2:11) that comes with the gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:17) and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptism into Yahshua's Name commits the man or woman to obedience of the changed law of the New Covenant, Hebrews 7:12.
  
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary, Hebrews 9:1.
   The baptized believer indwelt by Yahweh's Holy Spirit is the earthly sanctuary in the New Covenant. The implication of the word "even" is unmistakable. The New Covenant definitely has regulations (laws) for worship. The Law is in the mind and heart of the believer,
  
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Yahweh; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them an Elohim, and they shall be to Me a people, Hebrews 8:10.
  
Hence even the first covenant was not ratified without blood, Hebrews 9:18.
   The word "even" in this verse has the same implications as in verse 1.
  
Indeed, under the Law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, Hebrews 9:22.
   Sin is transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4. Yahshua did not shed His blood merely to forgive transgressions of Old Covenant Law. Can there be any doubt that the New Covenant has laws? Therefore, it behooves the person committed to obeying Yahshua to understand the change in the Law.
   Not all physical obedience to Old Covenant law is relevant in the New Covenant and this is the point of Paul's comments on circumcision.
   Like the Feast of Firstfruits, all the Feasts Yahweh commanded in His law foreshadow events in His plan of salvation. Because the New Covenant was instituted on the day Yahweh appointed for Pentecost, why do some believe He would revoke the laws pertaining to the other Feasts He appointed?


We Are Yahweh’s Representatives
   This brings up another facet of Pentecost that should be under- stood. What is the purpose of the covenants? We do not have to guess what it is. He tells us.
  
I, Yahweh, in My grace, have summoned you, and I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you a covenant people, a light of nations, Isaiah 42:6 JSPA.
   Why did He make Israel a light of the nations?
   It is too little that you should be My servant in that I raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel: I will also make you a light of nations, that   
My salvation may reach the ends of the earth, Isaiah 49:6 JSPA.
   The purpose of the New Covenant is the same as for the Old Covenant. Yahshua is the Light of the World and salvation is through Him only.
   Old Covenant Israel ― the Jews — rejected Yahshua as the Messiah. Consequently, the mission to bear witness of the light and carry Yahweh's salvation to the nations was taken from them and given to New Covenant Israel, Acts 13:46 -47 and Matthew 28:19 -20.
   The New Covenant really opens the door to the nations,
  
Then said Yahshua unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep, John 10:7.
   Nothing shall be established without the testimony of two or three witnesses,
  
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established, 2 Corinthians 13:1b.
   Yahweh has not left Himself without witnesses,
  
Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, Acts 14:17a.
   The spiritual power to bear witness with signs and wonders that were given at Pentecost, seems to have been withdrawn for a while, but Yahweh promises such power will be given again in the last days:
  
And I will grant My two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Elohim of the earth, Revelation 11:3 -4.
   It doesn't require unscriptural speculation and conjecture to identify Yahweh's witnesses.
  
You are My witnesses, and My servants whom I have chosen, Isaiah 43:10.
   Yahweh once called you, “A green olive tree fair with goodly fruit," Jeremiah 11:16.
  
And the seven lampstands are the seven assemblies, Revelation 1:20.
   Yahweh became angry with Israel's infidelity and said He would burn the branches of the olive tree,
  
Yahweh called thy name, a green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult He hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For Yahweh of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense unto Baal, Jeremiah 11:16 -17.
   The fig tree, another symbol of Israel, withered when Yahshua cursed it because He found no fruit on it,
  
Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Yahshua answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done, Matthew 21:18 -21.
   Yahshua was looking for fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. Branches (symbol of Old and New Covenant Israel) that do not bear goodly fruit are cut off the vine and cast out to wither and be burned,
  
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned, John 15:6.

Spirit Given to the Obedient
   Yahweh is not a merciless Elohim Who will remain angry with Israel forever,
  
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Yahweh; and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith Yahweh, and I will not keep anger for ever, Jeremiah 3:12.
   Revelation 11:3 must mean that Yahweh will give both Old and New Covenant Israel spiritual power in the latter days. It is not likely, however, that anyone who has not repented of transgressing the Law and turned to abide in the truth will be given power,
   And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth, Revelation 11:3.
   Spiritual power was given only to those who obeyed the command to assemble at the time appointed. It is not likely, however, that anyone who has not repented of transgressing the Law and turned to abide in the truth will be given power. Pentecost must foreshadow another pouring out of spiritual power at the time of the end. The implication of the account in Acts 2 is that His power will be given only to those who obey His command to assemble at the time appointed.
   Can people who don't know the truth be expected to bear witness to truth? Of course not. Therefore, at the time of the end, Yahweh's witnesses will have to know how to rightly handle the word of truth,
  
Study to shew thyself approved unto Yahweh, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.
   Satan's witnesses will also have great power at the time of the end,
  
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9.
   Yahweh's witnesses will be killed,
  
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them, Revelation 11:7.
  
Faith (trust) in Yahweh and His Messiah will give true witnesses courage to finish their testimony before Yahweh grants Satan power over them, John 19:10.
  
Yahweh is Spirit and He seeks those who will worship in spirit and truth, John 4:24.
  
The law is spiritual, but we are carnal and cannot submit to the law without Yahweh's indwelling Holy Spirit, Romans 7:14; 8:7.
  
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, Matthew 26:41.
   The weakness of the Old Covenant was in the weakness of the flesh,
  
For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Yahweh sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, Romans 8:3.
   An omniscient Elohim would know that without His Holy Spirit human beings could not resist the lure of false religions and idolatrous worship. He knew that without His Spirit, humans could not understand the spiritual intent of His law. Surely He knew that even those who tried to obey the law would make a show of obedience and self-abasement with additions and traditions that do nothing to meet the weakness of the flesh,
  
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh, Colossians 2:23.

Obedience Possible with the Spirit
   Without revealing His Messiah or giving individuals His Spirit and power, Yahweh must not have intended Old Covenant Israel to bear witness to His salvation in spirit and truth. Yet, in spite of weakness and faithlessness, Yahweh used Israel to bear witness to the truth.
   What truth? That there is only one true Elohim and obedience to His laws brings blessings and life.
   Disobedience brings curses and death, Deuteronomy 6:4 and chapter 28.
   It could be that Yahweh not only intended for Israel to prove the weakness of the flesh, but also the impossibility of true worship without the influence of His Holy Spirit, i.e., grace.
   If this is the message the prophets and the apostles are trying to convey by their testimony, then Old Covenant Israel will not learn the truth until the Jews cease to reject Yahweh's Messiah and the testimony of the Apostles.
   New Covenant Israel won't learn until Christians cease transgressing the Law and ignoring the Spirit.




-Elder Ralph Henrie (deceased)

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