2 Corinthians 3:11, Passing away. This is not a reference to the Torah-law itself, but to the old or former covenant (i.e. the agreement or contract YHVH and Israel made with each other) as it phases into the new or renewed covenant. Yeshua initiated the new covenant at his last supper, but it will be finalized with the two houses of Israel (see Jer 31:31, 33 and Heb 8:8) at his second coming when the two sticks or houses of Israel are reunited (see Ezek 37:15–27) at which time he will finalize the new covenant with a reunited Israel (v. 26; see also Isa 54:10; 55:3; 59:21; Ezek 34:25; Jer 32:40; 50:5; Hos 2:18–23). We are presently in the intermediate phase between the two covenants. To view it differently, Yeshua betrothed himself to his spiritual bride (redeemed Israel, spiritual Israel or the Israel of Elohim, see Gal 6:16) at his last supper, but will marry her at his second coming. The saints who are now in Yeshua are under the new covenant as the betrothed bride of Yeshua, but all Israel will be brought into the new covenant at his second coming at which time he will finalize the covenant that he initiated with his disciples before his death.
Attaining Spiritual Maturity in the New Covenant—On Being a Spiritual Mountain Climber
(This manna from heaven was revealed and downloaded to Natan in the back country of Alaska while sitting, Bible in hand, prayerfully, overlooking Little Port Walter on Baronov Island [75 miles SE of Sitka], and while on a boat in the Pacific Ocean in the Chatham Straights between Baronov and Admiralty islands.)
On Being Spiritual Mountain Climbers
From the time that YHVH revealed himself to the children of Israel while they were enslaved in Egypt, he has been calling his people to be spiritual mountain climbers. He first called the Israelites out of Egypt and up to Mount Sinai, and then up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem. He then called his people to come even higher yet to the upper room on the day of Pentecost, and he is now calling his people to come up even higher to the New Jerusalem that is above us and is “the mother of us all” (Gal 4:26).This highest mountain of YHVH is the ultimate source of our spiritual sustenance, the source of the river of life along which the trees of life are situated (Rev 22:1–2). From this spiritual wellspring comes all divine revelation and ultimately immortal life as children of the Most High. What does it mean to be a spiritual mountain climber?
The beginning of the upward spiritual journey of YHVH’s people is memorialized in the counting of the omer, which starts on First Fruits Day occurring during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and culminates fifty days later with the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Heb. Shavuot; Lev 23:4–16). Each new step in this journey is a stepping stone or a launch pad to the next. For the Israelites, the journey started at sea level in the flat-land Nile River delta area of Egypt (a metaphor for this world, Satan and death) and then continued climbing higher and higher until it finally reaches heaven itself—the abode of Elohim. YHVH gave Jacob a similar perspective when he gave him the vision of the ladder to heaven in Genesis 28.
The problem is that most people only climb so far in their spiritual journey and then stop, or they grow weary along the way, or they become comfortably complacent at the level they have thus far attained and never move past that spot. Merely treading water while in the river of life means that one is making no forward movement; they may, in fact, be pulled backwards by the downward current. This is dangerous because while we think we are moving forward, we may actually be going backward! Yeshua warned the Laodicean church about such an attitude of self-assurance and complacency in Revelation chapter three.
To not move forward spiritually is to stagnate and to die. YHVH wants a people that are on the move, who will obediently follow him wherever he leads, and not stop and park along the way only to construct their religious monuments with their fossilized customs, rituals and traditions. Heaven is a far above the earthly plane, and YHVH wants children who will seek him no matter what, who have a heart to follow him no matter where, and no matter the cost. Although eternal life is a free gift from heaven, it will not be given easily. It costs nothing, but, at the same time, it costs everything! Each of us must be willing to sacrifice his all—to lose his earthly life—to gain eternal life. YHVH refuses to give out his priceless gift of eternal life willy-nilly to anyone and everyone! YHVH requires that his saints be determined, tough and gritty mountain climbers who refuse to give up until that summit is reached. He has no pleasure in those who turn back, or refuse to go on. The older generation of Israelites found this out the hard way while trekking through the wilderness—a symbolic metaphor for this physical life—en route to the Promised Land (a metaphor for eternal life or heaven on earth). Their hearts were sin-hardened and they lacked the faith in YHVH to make it all the way. Thus they perished in the wilderness just short of their goal and ultimate reward (read Heb 3:7–19; 4:1–11). Only those who doggedly overcome the world, the flesh and the devil remaining lovingly loyal and obedient to him will receive the highest reward he has to offer. As Yeshua said,
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matt 24:13)
The Spirit Versus the a Letter of the Law—The Two Covenants
Let’s now explore what it is to climb the mountains that YHVH has placed before us to ascertain where we are at on the journey and how far we have to go to reach the ultimate summit.
In 2 Corinthians 3:1–18 we read,
1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of the Messiah, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living Elohim, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 4 And we have such trust through the Messiah toward Elohim. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from Elohim, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away [brought to an end, ESV; Gr. katargeo], 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away [Gr. katargeo] was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech — 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away [Gr. katargeo]. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in the Messiah. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Let’s now explore this passage to understand better the transition between the “old” and “new” covenants and the differences between the two.
Verse 7, Was passing away [NKJV]/brought to and end [ESV], This phrase is the Greek word katargeo meaning “to render idle or useless, to vanish, to abolish, to put away, to make of none effect.” What was brought to an end or rendered idle? Hold that question in your mind. We will answer it below.
Verse 5, Ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. What Paul is saying here that believers in Yeshua must mature from just a letter-of-the-law orientation in their spiritual walk, to both a letter- and spirit-of-the-law orientation. We know that the letter of the Torah has not been done away with or passed away because Yeshua says so in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5–7). There Yeshua teaches, for example, that not only murder (the letter of the law is forbidden), but also hatred for a person (the spirit of the law). He says the same about adultery and lust and so on. We know that this is what Paul believed and taught because he elsewhere instructed us to follow or imitate Yeshua as he did (1 Cor 11:1).
The Spirit of Imbalance—Gravitating Toward the Letter
The problem that many people have who are coming from a Christian background into a more Hebraic-centered spiritual walk is that they gravitate overwhelmingly toward the letter side of the Torah-law and forget the spirit side. That is one reason there is such a lack of love and so much division and strife in the Hebrew roots or Messianic movement today. Sadly, within this spiritual arena, we find an over-abundance of head knowledge, Torah-legalism and strife over the jots and tittles of Torah-obedience occurring, but the love of Yeshua, the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts and power of the Spirit are woefully lacking. This same lack of love resulting in division and strife was symptomatic of the Corinthian believers, whom Paul characterized as carnal or spiritual babies. Sadly, the same is true of us! It is time that we matured to the higher spiritual level of the apostolic faith of spirit and truth (which the Father is seeking of us). In John 4:23–24 we read,
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The New Covenant—A Higher Mountain
Both a spirit and truth orientation will be the locus of the mature bride of Yeshua. This is also what the new covenant is all about. This involves a Torah-oriented walk that is energized by the breath and motivating power of the Spirit of Elohim as well as the love of and for Elohim and one’s fellow man. This then is YHVH’s Torah being written, not on hard stoney human hearts, but on tender hearts that have been softened by YHVH’s Set-Apart Spirit. Jeremiah prophesied that this would occur with the coming of the new covenant.
Behold, the days are coming, says YHVH, 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 YHVH. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHVH: I will put My Torah-law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:31–33)
This prophecy was initially fulfilled when the Messianic believers were cut or circumcised in their hearts on the day of Pentecost after hearing Peter’s gospel sermon on the day of Pentecost.
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Set-Apart Spirit. (Acts 2:37–38)
Our journey to this higher spiritual level of walking in both the letter and the spirit of the Torah with a soft, circumcised heart of love as energized by the Set-Apart Spirit started for each of us when we began our spiritual walk at our initial salvation when YHVH called each of us out of our own spiritual Egypt (a metaphor for this world). At that time, we were redeemed from sin by the blood of Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim.
But YHVH does not allow his people just to stop there. The children of Israel had to leave Egypt and go up to Mount Sinai where YHVH gave them the fundamentals of the Torah, which teaches us how to live and walk in righteousness—how to love Elohim with our all and our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:29–31). After receiving salvation, each of us has to make the same spiritual journey to learn how to love Elohim and our neighbor by learning to walk in righteous paths of his Torah-commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 2:3–6; Rom 13:8–10).
From Sinai, YHVH next called his people to come up to Jerusalem or Mount Zion to meet him at an even higher level in their spiritual walk. Paul discusses this in Galatians 4:21–31.
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law [i.e. who want to earn their salvation through their own good works of Torah-obedience], do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.” 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Mount Zion (or the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) was not the final stopping place for YHVH’s people. It was merely a stepping stone or a rocket launch pad to an even higher and more mature spiritual level. From Mount Zion he called his people to meet him together in one accord in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. There the early believers received the Set-Apart Spirit, a circumcised heart and had the Torah written on their hearts. They were also empowered to take the gospel message to the ends of the earth in fulfillment of the Yeshua’s great commission to regather the lost sheep of the whole house of Israel (Matt 15:24; 10:6).
The Highest Mountain
But the upper room still was not the highest goal or destination for YHVH’s people. The Jerusalem which is from above (Gal 4:26) is where the heart and mind of every believer should be pointed toward and focused on. The heaven on earth of the New Jerusalem kingdom of Elohim or kingdom of heaven is the ultimate high place of attainment for the redeemed saint. This is what the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses prophetically pictured. This is the wedding chuppah or marriage bed of Yeshua where he will cohabitate with his bride spiritually as metaphorically portrayed by the five wise virgins of Matthew 25. Heaven was calling out to these virgins top prepare themselves for Yeshua, their Heavenly Bridegroom, by having oil in their lamps, which represents the Torah and the Spirit, or spirit and truth or the letter and the spirit of the Torah, or the Torah Word of Elohim and the Testimony or faith of Yeshua. These are all different ways of saying the same thing. Half of the virgins prepared themselves to go higher in their spiritual journey, while the other half camped out complacently in the comfort zones of their static religious paradigm.
Building High Places in the Wrong Place
Our spiritual walk is like climbing a mountain. The problem is that most people stop somewhere along the way and fail to reach the summit. Some stop at Mount Sinai or Mount Zion (e.g. the religious and non-Messianic Jews). Some people stop at the cross of Yeshua on the Mount of Olives (e.g. cultural Christians). Some people stop at the upper room and go no further on Mount Moriah (e.g. most “born again” mainstream Christians including Pentecostals and Charismatics). Some who have come to the Upper Room in their Christian walk then turn around and go back to Mount Sinai (some ex-Christian, Messianic and Hebrew roots people) thinking that they are going to a higher level, when, according to Paul, in Galatians chapter four, they are actually slipping backwards to a lower level in their spiritual journey. The mature saint, on the other hand, must keep pressing onward and upward, higher and higher to the Jerusalem that is from above, to which the earthly Mount Sinai, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and the upper room all pointed.
The notion of man’s need to go higher spiritually is an ancient concept. It was a common practice among the ancient people of the biblical times (both the heathens and the Israelites) to situate their places of worship on a high place like a mountain to be closer to their god/s or to Elohim. Humans are no different today. All too often, wherever we have stopped in our spiritual forward growth and parked our spiritual car becomes our high place or even a place of idolatry. Yeshua took the Samaritan woman at the well to task for making Mount Gerizim her spiritual high place. He pointed her instead to Jerusalem, then goes on to say that YHVH never even intended Jerusalem to be the ultimate high place of worship for his people. There was something even beyond that (John 4:19–24).
Following the Glory Cloud Onward and Upward
Our spiritual walk and faith in Yeshua is like climbing a ladder to heaven as revealed in Jacob’s well known dream (Gen 28:10–15 cp. John 1:51). The Scriptures also liken our spiritual journey to Elohim to climbing a spiritual mountain of holiness (Pss 15 and 24). At the top, we will find Elohim. He never intended his people to stop along the way and to camp out—to stop seeking him by every climbing higher and higher. Like the children of Israel, the saints of the Most High must learn to follow the glory cloud of YHVH ever onward and upward. It rested over Mount Sinai at one time, and this was a glorious event. Then it moved over the Tabernacle of Moses, then over the temple in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, and then moved over the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Sadly, too many people and denominations have made their camp where the glory cloud once was and not where it presently is. The problem for some people who have put the transmission of their spiritual cars in park mode is that the glory cloud has now moved onward and upward leaving them behind. On the contrary, the saints must be those who follow Yeshua the Lamb wherever he leads us (Rev 14:4). This is the ladder to heaven that Jacob dreamed of whose base was on Mount Moriah (or Mount Zion), and which led to heaven. Yeshua is that ladder that we all must climb that Jacob saw in his dream (John 1:51). Jacob’s ladder resembles a giant Torah scroll. Yeshua is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim incarnate (John 1:1, 14). The angels, or more correctly, the messengers that Jacob saw on his visionary ladder going up and down that ladder are actually the glorified bride-saints of Yeshua, who will be ruling and reigning with Yeshua from the New Jerusalem over his millennial kingdom.
Now the glory cloud should be over and in each of us as YHVH’s Set-Apart Spirit inspires and leads his people. Presently the Spirit is leading us to the Jerusalem that is from above if we will obediently follow YHVH. This is Yeshua preparing his bride for himself. This is the walk of spirit and truth that leads to our Father in heaven (John 4:22–23). This is the dance of the bride and Bridegroom that the Song of Solomon discusses at a high poetic level.
Contrasting the Old Covenant and the New Covenant
Let’s now explore some more scriptures relating to our spiritual mountain climb. YHVH is calling us into the new covenant—to be ministers of the new covenant.
2 Cor 3:5, ministers of the new covenant. As the redeemed saints of Yeshua, we are called to be ministers of the new covenant, not the old covenant—of the spirit and letter, not the letter only. Again, Yeshua defines in his Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5–7) what it is to walk in both the letter and the spirit of his Torah-law.
2 Cor 3:7–8, But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away [brought to an end, ESV; Gr. katargeo], how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? Following the old covenant letter of the law only with a stoney heart led the people to both physical and spiritual death (Heb 3:11; 17; 4:6). Not only that, as glorious as the old covenant was with its legal codes, Levitical and sacrificial systems and standards of righteousness, under the old covenant, there was no provision or promise of permanent salvation from sin and no promise of eternal life, even though it was glorious in how it prophetically pointed toward the Messiah and the new covenant, which both promises salvation and eternal life.
Christianity and the New Covenant
Mainstream Christian theology understands somewhat the difference between the old and new covenants, but it take some things too far and badly mischaracterizes other things. The Christian church recognizes that something was wrong with the old covenant, but it misidentifies the problem. It blames YHVH and his Torah for the problem instead of the stoney-hearts of the carnally-minded rebellious Israelites, who were responsible for the failure of the old covenant. At the root of the Christianity’s misidentification of the problem was the virulent anti-semitism of the early church fathers coupled with man’s innate hatred for and antagonism against the laws of Elohim. This propensity of man is tersely explained in two verses in the Bible:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jer 17:9)
Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim; for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, nor indeed can be. (Rom 8:7)
Christianity, in its apathy or even antipathy for the Torah, is guilty of the childish defense tactic that occurs when one is caught in the act of sinning and then resorts to the game of blame shifting—of blaming the other party for one’s own bad behavior (or sin) instead of taking personal responsibility for it. Christianity’s secular humanistic indifference for the Torah, which had its nascence with the early church fathers, has been institutionalized by mainstream Christianity for nearly 2000 years, so that those who promote the Truth of Torah-obedience are now viewed as counter-normative. In reality, the church, in much of its theology regarding the Torah has reversed the divinely revealed Truth of the Bible, turned it on its head and now calls good evil and evil good as Isaiah prophesied would happen when a people reject, to one degree or another, YHVH’s Torah-standard of righteousness (Isa 5:20). These are the lies that church has inherited from its spiritual fathers (Jer 16:19), which Elohim is now calling his people away from and back to his Torah-truth (Jer 6:16, 19). The end-times spirit of Elijah is now calling YHVH’s people back to the Torah as it turns the hearts of the children back to the spiritual fathers of their faith in preparation for the coming Messiah (Mal 4:1–6). This is the same spiritual Babylonian mixture of truth and error that YHVH is calling his end times saints out of, so that they don’t fall victim to his soon-coming punishing end time judgments (Rev 18:4). He wants his people to feed exclusively from his tree of life (through Yeshua the Messiah as led by his Set-Apart Spirit), and not from the devil-serpent’s tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Our responsibility as YHVH’s wayward spiritual children who are returning to him out of the spiritual Babylon of churchianity is to correctly identify the issues and errors that got us off of YHVH’s straight and narrow track in the first place, and then to insure that we don’t fall back into faulty interpretations of the Scriptures that can lead us astray again, but this time in different but equally erroneous directions. Where we go spiritually will effect our relationship with Elohim one way or another—either negatively or positively. This will determine whether we go higher and deeper with Elohim and experience his full glory as the bride of Yeshua or once again go in the direction of manmade religion.
What Was Wrong With the Old Covenant?
So what was wrong with the old covenant such that Paul speaks disparagingly of it? The old covenant, though it was glorious in its own right for the reasons previously mentioned, was, nevertheless, the ministry of condemnation resulting in death and, as such, it needed to pass away for some very important reasons.
For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away [Gr. katargeo] was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. (2 Cor 3:9–11)
The old covenant promised material blessings for those who adhered to it and a quasi-temporary forgiveness of sin, but it did not promise eternal life and permanent cleansing from sin. Moreover, it stipulated a rigorous system of penalties imposed upon those who violated it along with a Levitical system that taught, administered and enforced this harsh system of jurisprudence. Yeshua fulfilled this dual system and took it all away when he took upon himself the penalty for man’s sin once and for all when he died on the cross, and then rose again to become our Great High Priest. The Levitical priesthood with its sacrificial system and penalties for sin was temporary and it all pointed to Yeshua who would fulfill it. This is then the law (the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial system as well as the specific penalties for Torah violation) that was added until Yeshua would come and to which Paul makes reference in Galatians 3:19.
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
Once again, the mainstream church has gotten it wrong. Because of man’s innate rebellion against the laws of Elohim (Rom 8:7) and his deceitful nature (Jer 17:9), the early church so-called (second century and beyond) church fathers deceived us into believing the false doctrine that it was the YHVH’s Torah-law that was added and has now been annulled. Rather it was the Levitical and sacrificial systems that were added as a result of the children of Israel’s turning away from YHVH and worshipping the golden calf. Go read it yourself in Exodus 32 and beyond. No such systems existed previously. These are the clear facts. These two systems not only aided the children of Israel in staying on the straight and narrow path, but they pointed to Messiah. And when Messiah came and fulfilled them, they were no longer needed. This is the change or transfer in the law of Moses to which the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrew makes reference in Hebrews 7:12.
For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change/transfer of the law.
When Yeshua replaced the Levitical priesthood and died for man’s sins, there was no longer a need for the sacrificial system. The writer of Hebrews explains this in great detail from the beginning to the end of that epistle.
This change or transfer had no effect on the eternal Truth, principles or standards of righteousness that are outlined in YHVH Elohim’s Torah. These principles, which are a reflection of YHVH’s heart, mind and character and which teach man how to love Elohim with his all and his neighbor as himself, are immutable—or forever; they are inviolate. The old covenant was merely the legal agreement between YHVH and Israel, while the Torah were the terms of that agreement. This is an important point to note! When the Israelites broke the covenant or agreement, this did not invalidate the terms. YHVH’s terms of righteousness have never changed under the old or new covenants. It was sin to murder, worship idols, steal, lie, covet, work on the Sabbath, eat unclean meat, commit sexual sins, practice witchcraft, etc., etc. then and it still is NOW. It is time to take off your blinders and go read 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, Galatians 5:19–21, Romans 1:16–32, Revelation 21:8 and 22:14–14 and, in fact, the whole Bible as proof of this fact!
The Torah is spiritual, and spiritual things are eternal and are transcendent above the earthly or human plane of existence (Rom 7:14. cp. 12). Moreover, the wages of unrepentant sin is still death as it always has been (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). The sacrifices, penalties, fines, stoning, lashings and capital punishment system of the old covenant imposed on lawbreakers may have passed away, but the wages of sin is still death—even in our so-called age of grace. Just ask Ananias and Sapphira who lied to the apostles and to the Set-Apart Spirit after the day of Pentecost and who were struck dead for it (Acts 5:1–11). Disobedience to YHVH’s Torah is not something to be taken lightly. There is still a lake of fire coming for law breakers who refuse to repent (Rev 20:11–15)!
The New Covenant Is About Climbing Higher
Transitioning from the old covenant to the new covenant is about going higher in our spiritual walk through Yeshua. As spiritual mountain climbers, we must be seeking to be constantly climbing higher in our relationship with Elohim, and on going from one mountain peak to the next higher one, as discussed above. To reach one mountain summit and to bivouac there when Yeshua and his Spirit are beckoning us to come up higher is to stagnate spiritually, to become lukewarm, and to resort to playing at religion. There’s too much of this currently going on all around us, even in the so-called Hebraic roots movement! It is time to move onward and upward following the glory cloud in our pursuit of Yeshua our Bridegroom.
At the same time, spiritual leaders need to be leading YHVH’s saints to higher places in YHVH, or else they are not acting as true Truth-seeking leaders. Sadly, the aim of too many leaders is to keep YHVH’s people in the stagnant comfort zones of men’s religious traditions (whether Jewish or Christian, or somewhere in between) where their aim is to keep their sheeple fat, dumb and happy, so that these so-called “giving units” will continue to support the leaders financially and to enrich his or her lifestyle. This is nothing more than secular humanism, covetousness, greed, idolatry and the actions of hireling gospel peddlers. Shame on the lot of them! YHVH is not pleased (Ezek 34:1–10) and he is raising up true shepherds after his own heart to replace these wicked leaders (Jer 3:15), who are more concerned about their CEO status over Christianity Inc. than on pleasing YHVH Elohim and preaching his Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but that. YHVH’s people must flee these kinds of ungodly leaders if they want to continue upward in their spiritual journey to be the bride of Yeshua in the Jerusalem from above!
Summary and Conclusion
The counting of the 49 days (7 x 7) of the omer from First Fruits Day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Pentecost on the fiftieth day is about going high and growing spiritually and becoming complete or perfect as Yeshua said his disciples are to do in Matthew 5:48.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
It is about going from being a spiritual baby to becoming the fully mature, glorified bride of Yeshua the Messiah who is Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, and who can live together in one accord with others of like-mind.
In his spiritual journey, the saint starts at sea level at the Nile River delta area of Egypt, which spiritually represents the carnal earthly plane and the seas of heathen humanity out of which YHVH calls his people. YHVH required the children of Israel to then place their faith in Lamb of Elohim who spared them from YHVH’s judgment against sin when the messenger of death passed over them. Similarly, he requires us to put our faith in Yeshua the Lamb, so that the death penalty we have incurred for our sins can pass over us.
From there, the Israelites left Egypt, the world and sin and come to Mount Sinai where they received YHVH’s eternal instructions in righteousness—his Torah-Truth and where he made a covenant with them to be their Elohim and to bless them if they would obey him. They failed to keep up their end of the covenant (Heb 8:7–13), thus necessitating a new covenant (Jer 31:31–33).
Until that new covenant would come, YHVH gave his people a legal system with earthly clerics and codes of enforcement to guide and point them to the Messiah (Gal 3:19–25). From Mount Sinai, YHVH led his people up to Mount Zion or Jerusalem where the Levitical legal system took its seat of leadership to guide the people onward and upward spiritually to show them their need for Yeshua, the Suffering Servant who, as a sin offering, would once and for all take away their sins. There on Mount Zion, the Davidic kingdom was also established, which further pointed to King Yeshua the Messiah, the son of David who could eventually come at the end of the age to impose his kingdom on this earth and to rule over it as King of kings
While ministering in Jerusalem, Yeshua rebuked the ruling Jewish religious leaders of his day and exposed the rottenness and obsolescence of their dead and unbiblical religious system which had largely made of none effect the word of Elohim (Mark 7:9, 13). From that point, Yeshua introduced to his disciples at his final Passover and initiated the new covenant and then transferred over to them the leadership of the nation of Israel. In the upper room of Soloman’s porch in the temple on the day of Pentecost, through his Spirit, he anointed and empowered them to fulfill their mission to gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This now is the one new man (Eph 2:11–19), the redeemed “Israel of Elohim” (Gal 6:16), which is neither Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:28) who are the seed, offspring or descendants of Abraham (Gal 5:29), who will be adopted into the family of Elohim as his glorified and resurrected sons and daughters (Rom 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5 cp. John 1:12; 1 John 3:1–3).
The upper room of Acts chapter two was not a stopping place for the disciples of Yeshua, but a launch pad to the New Jerusalem that is from above (Gal 4:26), which should be the ultimate destination of each Yeshua’s end times, mountain climbing saint.
Therefore, let us go forward in both the spirit and the truth of the Torah, and not go backwards into the letter of the law the killeth, that leads to the diminishing of or even forgetting the spirit of the law with its mercy, grace, love and joy along with the power of the gospel to miraculously transform lives through the resurrection power of Yeshua. Let us be those who are preparing to become the bride of Yeshua, and who love Yeshua and the Father, and each other, in spirit and in truth (John 4:23–24) together and in one accord.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Elohim is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.