_ I _
“But G-D forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”-Galatians 6:14
For Paul to write this, the Cross must play a central role in the good news of the Messiah. To understand what is the good news, we must understand what the Cross meant and why it is central.
I believe there are four fundamental reasons, or ‘why’s,’ according to the New Testament, for Yeshua dying on the Cross. I have divided them into an acronym of four letter ‘I’s that make up the four directions and sections of the Cross. The acronym stands for these four purposes:
- Israel – To renew the broken covenant with the House of Israel
- Ideal – To give humanity the best example and highest ideal for an individual
- Idol – To prove that still the Messiah is not G-D and should not be worshiped as such
- Intermediation – To atone and provide rectification for the sin in the Garden
I – Israel
There are two reasons for the Cross which Christianity completely contradicts; the issue of idolatry and the centrality of Israel. The New Testament is absolutely clear that the New Testament itself, or New Covenant, is only with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, and not with Gentile peoples. In other words, Yeshua died on the Cross particularly and specifically on behalf of the Nation of Israel.
This is seen clearly in many verses of the New Testament, especially when Yeshua is speaking to a Gentile woman,
“And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to him [Yeshua], saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
But he answered her not a word.
And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
But he answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Then she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
But he answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Yeshua answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.-Matthew 15:22-28
Here, Yeshua says clearly that he was “sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” This story provides a good analogy for the New Covenant. The New Covenant is only with the twelve tribes of Israel and whatever benefit the Gentiles receive from the New Covenant, according to Yeshua, is like ‘crumbs from the master’s table.’ This was always the case in the Bible and concerning G-D’s Covenants with Israel. The Gentiles always benefited from G-D’s Covenant with Israel, although not directly. With this analogy in mind, it is interesting that Yeshua initiates the New Covenant with his twelve disciples through bread at the Passover table…
Likewise he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.-Luke 22:20
Not a new covenant, ‘for everyone,’ but precisely, “for you.” How do we know that the “you,” or the twelve disciples, represent the twelve tribes?
So Yeshua said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.-Matthew 19:28
How else do we know that the New Covenant is only with the House of Israel? The New Testament Book of Hebrews (chapter 8, verse 8), quotes this passage from the Prophet Jeremiah,
“Behold, the days are coming, says the L-RD, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, MY covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the L-RD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the L-RD: I will put MY Law (Torah) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their G-D, and they shall be MY people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the L-RD,’ for they all shall know ME, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the L-RD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”-Jeremiah 31:31-34
No verse should so easily expose the lies of Christianity as this one. The New Covenant is not with any other group of people than with the “House of Israel and the House of Judah.” We know this not a ‘spiritual’ Israel because G-D says HE took “their fathers” out of Egypt. This is obviously referring to the actual, physical descendants of the Israelites, as with all other biblical prophecies about Israel. The “House of Israel” is in reference to the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, unless the “Whole House of Israel” (all twelve tribes), and the “House of Judah” is in reference to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, in addition to the Levites and priests within the Southern Kingdom. Not only that, but G-D says that HE will put HIS “Torah in their minds” and “write it on their hearts.” This is far from Christianity’s deception that G-D’s Law/Torah is irrelevant, unnecessary, or burdensome, G-D forbid! The basis of Replacement Theology is that these verses do not refer to the physical, true people of Israel, but instead to ‘spiritual’ Israel – Christianity. As if to address this absolute falsehood directly, this is how the Prophet Jeremiah continues in the very next verses of this passage,
Thus says the L-RD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The L-RD of hosts is HIS name):
“If those ordinances depart
From before ME, says the L-RD,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before ME forever.”
Thus says the L-RD:
“If heaven above can be measured,Jeremiah 31:35-37
And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
I will also cast off all the seed of Israel
For all that they have done, says the L-RD.”
Not only does G-D say that HE will not “cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,” in contradiction to Christianity, but that HE “will forgive their iniquity, and their sin” HE “will remember no more.” This is a far more gracious G-D than the so-called ‘god’ of Christianity, who not only casts off Israel, but casts most of humanity to Hell for an eternity – without end! That god is worse than Moloch, because even Moloch’s fires have an end, but this false god’s fires are never ending! If G-D is not faithful to HIS promises to Israel, then how can we ever expect G-D to be faithful to the Gentiles? This is why the entire hope in G-D for Gentiles is based on G-D’s faithfulness to the actual, true descendants of Israel – HIS literal promise. The good news (lit. ‘gospel’) is that G-D has not forgotten, forsaken, or rejected HIS People Israel! This is actually what the New Covenant is all about and Christianity has almost completely turned what was the good news into bad news.
“Now I say that Yeshua the Messiah has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of G-D, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify G-D for HIS mercy, as it is written:
“For this reason I will confess to YOU among the Gentiles,
And sing to YOUR name.”
And again he says:
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with HIS people!”-Romans 15:8-10
Also, in the Psalms of Ascent,
When the L-RD brought back the captive ones of Zion,-Psalm 126:1-3
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations (Gentiles),
“The L-RD has done great things for them [Israel].”
The L-RD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
Why a New Covenant?
Why did G-D need to make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah? What happened to the covenant HE made with “their fathers?” G-D says this was “MY covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them.” In fact, there is a prophecy in the Torah that Israel would break the Covenant…
“And the L-RD said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake ME and break MY covenant which I have made with them. Then MY anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide MY face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our G-D is not among us?’ And I will surely hide MY face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.”-Deuteronomy 31:16-18
We see the fulfillment of this prophecy, especially in 2 Kings 17, with the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who the Jews call, ‘the Lost Ten Tribes,’ to this day,
Yet the L-RD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of HIS prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep MY commandments and MY statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by MY servants the prophets.” Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the L-RD their G-D. And they rejected HIS statutes and HIS covenant that HE had made with their fathers, and HIS testimonies which HE had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the L-RD had charged them that they should not do like them. So they left all the commandments of the L-RD their G-D, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the L-RD, to provoke HIM to anger. Therefore the L-RD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from HIS sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.
Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the L-RD their G-D, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the L-RD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until HE had cast them from HIS sight. For HE tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the L-RD, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the L-RD removed Israel out of HIS sight, as HE had said by all HIS servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.-2 Kings 17:13-23
Not only does G-D say that the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel rejected HIS covenant and that HE exiled them, but the Prophets even said that G-D divorced the Northern Kingdom of Israel,
Thus says the L-RD:-Isaiah 50:1
Where is your mother’s bill of divorce
with which I put her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
to whom I have sold you?
No, because of your sins you were sold,
and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
If a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her?
Would not such a land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to me?
says the L-RD.
The L-RD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.-Jeremiah 3:1, 6-8
The Prophet Isaiah said that G-D divorced Northern Israel and Jeremiah the Prophet writes that the land would be “greatly polluted” if a divorced wife (Israel) would return to her first husband (G-D) after her harlotry. Where does this come from? The Torah, of course.
“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the L-RD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the L-RD your G-D is giving you as an inheritance.”-Deuteronomy 24:1-4
So if through Jeremiah, G-D asks how Northern Israel can return to G-D after HE has divorced her, shouldn’t we also ask the same question? Well, this is exactly the question that Paul is trying to answer in Romans,
“Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the Law), that the Law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Messiah, that you may be married to another—to him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to G-D.”-Romans 7:1-4
Where Christianity says that we are ‘released from, free from, and dead to the [whole] Law,’ Paul is actually saying that the Northern House of Israel (“those who know the Law”) are free from ‘that law,’ or the ‘law of the husband.‘ How did they die to ‘that law’ which prohibits them from marrying the first husband again? By the death of that husband! That is what Paul is saying Messiah did! Messiah died for the wife to be free from ‘that law of the husband‘ which prohibits her to remarry, in order for her to marry the resurrected Messiah. Paul says the same thing here,
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the certificate of debt with its handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”-Colossians 2:13-14
What is the “certificate of debt” that was ‘nailed to the cross?’ Not the eternal Law of Moses, G-D forbid, but the same “certificate” that G-D gave to Israel, as seen in Jeremiah 3. Why was there a debt? Because of the trespasses and breaking of the Law/Covenant!
“And for this reason he [Yeshua] is the mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”-Hebrews 9:15
Again, why did Yeshua mediate a new covenant through his death? “For the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant,” “MY covenant which they [Israel] broke, though I was a husband to them, says the L-RD.”
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without G-D in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. For he himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that he might reconcile them both to G-D in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And he came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”-Ephesians 2:11-17
According to Paul, “having no hope in this world” means, “being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel!” How else do we know that Paul is clearly not talking against the whole Law? Because he says so repeatedly, even in the same book!
“For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous in G-D’s sight, but the doers of the Law who will be justified… What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of G-D… Do we then overthrow the Law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the Law… Therefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good… For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin… For I delight in the Law of G-D according to the inward man… Because the carnal mind is enmity against G-D; for it is not subject to the Law of G-D, nor indeed can be… Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.“-Romans 2:13, 3:1-2, 31, 7:12, 14, 22, 8:7, 13:10
Paul is saying that Yeshua put to death, not the whole Law of Moses, G-D forbid, but precisely the law of the husband which created enmity between the Northern House of Israel and Southern Judah (“who has made both one… one new man from the two”). “He came and preached peace to you who were far off [‘Lost Ten Tribes’, Ephraim] and to those who were near [Jews, Judah].” This allowed those of the Northern Israel who became Gentiles and uncircumcised, without hope, to rejoin “the commonwealth of Israel” and “the covenants of promise.” Again, Yeshua’s death on the Cross renewed the Covenant only with the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
We see that the ‘two becoming one’ language is used by the Prophet Ezekiel in relationship to the Northern House of Israel (Ephraim) and the Southern House of Judah.
“Again the word of the L-RD came to me, saying, “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
“And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— say to them, ‘Thus says the L-RD G-D: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in MY hand.” ’ And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the L-RD G-D: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again...”
“David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.”-Ezekiel 37:15-22, 24
When the L-RD tells Ezekiel to make the two sticks one, it uses the plural form in Hebrew when it says, “they will become one[s] (אחדים) in your hand.” This suggests that this unity of two sticks still contains a plurality. I truly believe that the Prophet Ezekiel made the form of a cross with the two sticks in his hand. In Gematria, ‘Stick of Yosef’ (עץ יוסף), has the same numerical value as, ‘Yeshu’ (ישו).
How else do we know Paul was talking about the ingathering of Israelites who assimilated to become Gentiles? Because he quotes the Prophet Hosea,
“… and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,-Romans 9:23-26
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living G-D.”
This is the greater context of what Paul is quoting,
“Yet the number of the children of Israel-Hosea 1:10-11
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
‘You are sons of the living God.’
Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!
“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you like Zeboiim?
My heart churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am G-D, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not come with terror.
“They shall walk after the L-RD.-Hosea 11:8-11
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt,
Like a dove from the land of Assyria.
And I will let them dwell in their houses,”
Says the L-RD.
This is also the wider context of Jeremiah 31, or the ‘New Covenant’ prophecy,
“For thus says the L-RD: “Sing with gladness for Jacob,
And shout among the chief of the nations;
Proclaim, give praise, and say,
‘O L-RD, save Your people,
The remnant of Israel!’
Behold, I will bring them from the north country,
And gather them from the ends of the earth,
Among them the blind and the lame,
The woman with child
And the one who labors with child, together;
A great throng shall return there.
They shall come with weeping,
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.
“Hear the word of the L-RD, O nations,
And declare it in the isles afar off, and say,
‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’
For the L-RD has redeemed Jacob,-Jeremiah 31:7-11
And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.”
Not only does Paul quote the Prophet Hosea, who said that the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim and Israel would become Gentiles (“not My people”), but Paul later references a Torah prophecy about Ephraim becoming a “fullness of the Gentiles”…
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;”-Romans 11:25-26
“But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his [Ephraim’s] offspring shall become a fullness of Gentiles.”-Genesis 48:19
Not only is it prophesied that Ephraim will “become a fullness of Gentiles,” and this historically through the Northern Kingdom’s exile among the Nations, but Ephraim was blessed to “be like fish for multitude in the midst of the earth.”
“The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,-Genesis 48:16
Bless the lads;
Let my name be named upon them,
And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them be like fish for multitude in the midst of the earth.”.”
There’s another prophecy that speaks of exiled Israel being like fish,
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the L-RD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The L-RD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The L-RD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the L-RD, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.-Jeremiah 16:14-16
It is exactly this prophecy that Yeshua is fulfilling, when he speaks thus to his disciples,
“Then Yeshua said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.””-Mark 1:17
Yeshua chose twelve disciples who were to become ‘fishermen’ to gather in the Twelve Tribes of Israel from exile, after his renewing of the Covenant with them. This is also the meaning of the feeding of the five thousand, which is the only miracle of Yeshua’s which appears in all four Gospels. The two fish in the story represents the two divided kingdoms of Israel which Yeshua is seeking to gather and unite (See, ‘Miracles of Messiah‘). This is exactly the role of G-D’s ‘servant’ which Isaiah prophesied about,
“And now the L-RD says,-Isaiah 49:5-6
Who formed me from the womb to be His servant,
To bring Jacob back to him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the L-RD,
And my G-D shall be my strength),
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that you should be My servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
How can the Messiah speak and act as a husband to Israel, to renew the Covenant with Israel in G-D’s place, if the Messiah himself is not G-D?
This is what is called the ancient law of agency in the Bible. The Talmud says that, “one’s messenger has legal status equivalent to his own.” (Berakhot 34b). That is why, throughout the Bible, we see angels (lit. ‘messengers’) appear to speak and act as G-D HIMSELF, such as here,
“Then an angel of the L-RD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.”-Judges 2:1
Angels throughout the Bible speak the exact words of G-D, as if they were G-D.
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the L-RD. “Many nations shall be joined to the L-RD in that day, and they shall become MY people. And I will dwell in your midst.” Then you will know that the L-RD of hosts has sent me to you.-Zechariah 2:10-11
Here, the angel says that ‘you’ will know he was sent by G-D when the words he spoke in G-D’s place come to pass. This is the same language Yeshua uses about himself in this prayer,
״… that they all may be one, as YOU, Father, are in me, and I in YOU; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that YOU sent me. And the glory which YOU gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one: I in them, and YOU in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that YOU have sent me, and have loved them as YOU have loved me.״-John 17:21-23
So now we see Biblical evidence that the messenger legally represents and stands in place of the one who sent him. As Yeshua says elsewhere,
“Whoever receives one of these little children in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but HIM who sent me.”-Mark 9:37
Yeshua stood in G-D’s place as husband of Israel. Not only that, but the messianic king of Israel, David, is also described like a husband to his people.
“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh.””-2 Samuel 5:1
This language of ‘bone and flesh’ is reminiscent of the first man and wife – Adam and Eve. As the Davidic king, Yeshua is the flesh and bone husband of Israel and is in covenant with them, as G-D is.
“And the people said to Joshua, “The L-RD our G-D we will serve, and HIS voice we will obey!” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.”-Joshua 24:25
Here we see Joshua, Yeshua’s namesake, made a covenant with the people of Israel in G-D’s place. This wasn’t a different covenant to annul the Covenant at Sinai, but it was a renewal of the same marriage covenant of G-D with Israel. In the same way, Yeshua did not annul the covenant at Sinai, but he renewed it, because it was broken.
There is even a hint in the Torah that a messenger of G-D would die in order to renew the Covenant with Abraham’s descendants…
“So HE said to him (Abram), “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to HIM and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two… Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him… And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the L-RD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—”-Genesis 15:9-10, 12, 17-18
In ancient times, when people would ‘cut’ a covenant by splitting animals in half and passing through the pieces, both parties were effectively saying that if either party broke the covenant, they should become like those slaughtered animals! In this story, however, we are told that Abram falls asleep while only G-D’s messenger, represented by the smoke and fire (as the angel in the Wilderness), passes through the pieces! This is a hint that G-D’s messenger alone, and not Abraham, nor his descendants, will accept the death penalty for the breaking of the Covenant!
The Gospel of John explicitly says that Yeshua will die specifically for the Nation of Israel and the “children of G-D” (Hosea 1:10),
“Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this man works many signs. If we let him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that he would gather together in one the children of G-D who were scattered abroad.
Then, from that day on, they plotted to put him to death. Therefore Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.-John 11:47-54
The High Priest prophesied, and not on his own authority, exactly for what purpose Yeshua came and was even motivated to expedite his death for the benefit of Israel! Rather than being an unintended consequence, the High Priest touted the expediency of Yeshua dying on Israel’s behalf. I think it’s not a coincidence that immediately after this prophecy, “Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Jews (Judah),” but went to a city called, ‘Ephraim.’ “Gather together in one the children of G-D who were scattered abroad” is obviously an allusion to the “lost sheep of the House of Israel” and Ephraim who were exiled to the four corners of the earth. As Yeshua also says here,
“… I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”-John 10:15b-16
“One flock and one shepherd” is clearly reminiscent of the prophecy in Ezekiel 37, which we cited above.
This is the ‘one flock’ that James and Peter addressed their letters to,
“James, a bondservant of G-D and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah,
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
“Peter, an apostle of Yeshua the Messiah, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…”-1 Peter 1:1
The ‘Dispersion’ is obviously a reference to the Israelite ‘exiles’ and Jewish Diaspora “scattered abroad.” These letters were addressed to Israelites because they alone are for whom the New Covenant was made.
If the New Covenant is only with the Twelve Tribes of Israel, where does that place Gentile believers in Yeshua? I, and many, many others, including my teacher, Ariel Cohen Alloro, believe that many Christians are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes who were exiled over 2,700 years ago throughout the world. These are among the ‘lost sheep of the House of Israel’ who Yeshua was only sent to redeem and restore to unity with the Kingdom of Judah and Jewish people. The problem is that they were so lost among the Gentiles that many still don’t know that they are descendants of Israel and that the New Covenant is to restore them to their Israelite identity and responsibility.
Those Gentile believers in Yeshua who wish to identify as Israelites are obligated to circumcise (convert) and keep the Torah in the way that the Jews and Pharisees do,
“Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do…”-Matthew 23:1-3a
“And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him…”-Acts 16:1b, 3a
Those Gentile believers in Yeshua who don’t identify as Israel, do not replace Israel and are not obligated to keep the Torah of Israel, but only to keep the Seven Noahide commandments and to bless/support Israel in their keeping of the Torah, as James and the apostles commanded,
“And when they heard it, they glorified the L-RD. And they said to him [Paul], “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs… Therefore do what we tell you… that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the Law. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.””
“For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”-Acts 21:20-21, 23a, 24b-25, 15:21
Only when these truths are carefully understood and kept, can this prophecy be fulfilled,
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the L-RD
As the waters cover the sea.
“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek him,
And his resting place shall be glorious.”
It shall come to pass in that day
That the L-RD shall set His hand again the second time
To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
He will set up a banner for the nations,-Isaiah 11:9-13
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart,
And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.”