The Plain Truth About the New Covenant

Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8:2, 5, The true tabernacle…heavenly things. The Tabernacle of Moses was merely an earthly or physical replica of the one that exists in heaven where Yeshua is no ministering as our Great High Priest before the throne of YHVH Elohim the Father (see Heb 9:11, 23–24; Rev 8:3–5; 9:13; 14:17, 18; 16:7, 17; 11:19; 15:5, 6). 

Hebrews 8:6, Better covenant … better promises. (See Heb 9:11–15.) In the Greek, the word better is kreitton meaning “more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, more excellent.” The Renewed Covenant is a better covenant for the reasons discussed in the notes in verse eight. In 2 Cor 3:7 calls it “the ministry of the Spirit” and refers to it as “more glorious” than the former covenant. The Renewed Covenant comes with Yeshua’s promise that from within our heart the Set-Apart Spirit will empower and lead us into all truth. Moreover, under the Renewed Covenant, the promise of salvation resulting in eternal life in the kingdom of Elohim is spelled out more clearly. The Renewed Covenant also carries with it relief from the penalty of the law, which is death, for those who put their faith in Yeshua’s atoning and substitutionary death (see notes at 2 Cor 3:7). Through the Spirit and blood of Yeshua, one’s sin conscience is now cleansed in that the guilt from sin is removed (Heb 9:14). Also, as discussed in the verse eight notes, the covenant (or contract) is the actual agreement between two parties. The terms and conditions of a covenant (or contract) are something else. Torah was the terms and conditions of YHVH’s agreement between himself and his people. When the author here uses phrase like “better covenant,” this in no way implies that the Torah has been abrogated. If this were true, then this flies in the face of what is said elsewhere in the Testimony of Yeshua to the contrary (e.g. Matt 5:17–19; Acts 21:24; 24:14; 25:8; Rom 3:31; 7:14; 1 John 2: 3–6; 3:4; Rev 12:17; 14:17; 22:14).

Hebrews 8:8, Finding fault with them. What was the fault of the first covenant? The Torah-law of Elohim, or the people who failed to abide by the terms of the covenant, i.e, the Torah? The next verse gives us the answer: “because they continued not in my covenant…” The Israelites were at fault.

YHVH gave Israel his Torah-laws (or instructions in righteousness) to teach them how to love him and to love their neighbors (Mark 12:29–31). If they followed his Torah-instructions, he promised to bless them (Deut 28:1–14), and declared that all would go well with them (Deut 4:30). Of course, we know the sad history of ancient Israel and how they rebelled against YHVH again and again. There was nothing wrong with his Torah laws, which said, you shall not murder, steal, commit adultery, lie, covet, kidnap, commit homosexuality or incest, worship false gods, take YHVH’s name in vain, keep his Sabbaths, don’t practice divination, honor your parents and so on. What’s wrong with these? Nothing. The fault was with the people who failed to abide by these standards of righteousness, and this is exactly what the author of Hebrews is saying here. Because the people broke their contractual or covenantal agreement with YHVH and literally abandoned him for false gods, he was forced to make a new covenant with other people who would have the heart and love and obey him. This is exactly what Jeremiah prophesied would occur, and the writer of Hebrews is simply quoting Jeremiah in this passage. What is the main difference between the first and second covenants? As the Israelites of old didn’t have the heart to obey YHVH because of the hardness (or carnality) of their hearts (Heb 3:8, 15; 4:2, 7), YHVH promised through Jeremiah to renew his covenant with the descendants of the ancient Israelites (i.e. the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Jer 31:31; Heb 8:8), but this time, by his Spirit, he would write his Torah-laws on their hearts and in their inward parts, so they wouldn’t resist obeying him, but would desire to be pleasing in his sight. So the fault was with the hard-hearted Israelites, not with YHVH standards of righteousness called his Torah-laws!

New covenant. (For a discussion on the etymology behind the phrase new covenant see notes at Matt 26:28.)The (renewed) covenant of Jeremiah 31:31 is the same covenant to which the writer of Hebrews makes reference in Hebrews 8:7–13. From the author’s perspective, the renewed covenant isn’t fully in place yet, and the former covenant is decaying (wearing out), growing old and vanishing away (disappearing). The indication is that it has not totally gone away yet.

Yeshua initiated the renewed covenant at his last Passover supper (Luke 22:20). The renewed covenant has already been presented for believers in Yeshua, but it hasn’t been universally applied to all Israel yet. This will occur when the two houses of Israel will return to the Promised Land after they have been set free from spiritual Babylon. 

YHVH’s Word tells us that no man can add or subtract from the terms of the renewed covenant (Gal 3:15). When Yeshua initiated this covenant at his Passover, the Torah was in force then, and not one jot or tittle was removed from the Torah, which are the terms of the former and renewed covenants. Any traditions that came into the Christian (Sunday, Christmas, etc.) or Jewish religious systems which are contrary to the Torah are men’s additions, and are therefore invalid.

Even as there was a gradual process of phasing in the former or first (old) covenant, the same is true of the renewed covenant. With the former covenant, the Israelites put the blood or the lamb on their door posts at Passover, prepared themselves for to meet YHVH at Mount Sinai (Exod 19), were then presented with the terms and conditions of the Sinai Covenant at Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, Exod 20–23), and then the covenant was ratified (Exod 24). After that, subsequent generations of Israelites automatically entered into that covenantal agreement as they were born (Deut 29:12–15). Similarly, Yeshua initiated the renewed covenant with redeemed Israelites in his day when his blood was put on the cross at Passover, and when he wrote his Torah (the terms and conditions of the renewed covenant on their hearts by his Spirit on Pentecost. This began the process of regathering scattered and adulterous Israel back to YHVH through the blood of Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim.

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Is the Spirit of Elohim a He, She or It?

Acts 8:16, For as yet He had

In most of our modern English Bibles, this verse supports the notion that the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit is masculine by using the third person singular of the verb in reference to the antecedent Holy Spirit, which is found in the preceding verse. Is this a correct translation? 

First, the Greek word spirit pneuma/pneuma is a neuter gender noun. To be grammatically correct, therefore, our verse should read, “For as yet, It….” and not “He.” However, the Bible reveals that the Set-Apart Spirit is a Person, so it has to be either masculine or feminine. In our text, the English words “he had” are the one Greek word ’hn which is the active, indicative, imperative, third person singular of the verb ’eimi meaning, in its infinitive state, “to be,” or in its imperfect tense, “was.” In this verse, the verb ’eimi in this form can mean either, “he was, she was, or it was” (Basics of Biblical Greek, p. 59, by William Mounce). 

So how do we determine what the gender should be of the Set-Apart Spirit? In the Tanakh, the Hebrew word for spirit (as in Set-Apart Spirit) is ruach/JUr, which is in the feminine gender. Since the concept of the Set-Apart Spirit originates in the Hebrew language of the Tanakh, and since Elohim (the plural Hebrew noun indicating the plurality of the Godhead) reveals himself as both male and female (Gen 1:26–27), it is, therefore, illogical to refer to the Set-Apart Spirit in the masculine gender in Acts 8:16. 

Therefore, in Acts 8:16, referring to the Set-Apart Spirit as he is a blatant example of scribal gloss, and is an example of the translators bowing to the Catholic doctrine of the third person in the Godhead being male in gender even though the linguistics of this verse don’t support it, and something the Bible as a whole doesn’t support. This now begs the following question: If the Set-Apart Spirit isn’t male, but is part of the Godhead, then what other gender is there for the Set-Apart Spirit to be?

 

May the Force Be With YOU in 33 Ways!

Yeshua told his disciples in Luke 24:49—

Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Luke 24:49, Endued with power from on high. 

What is the most powerful Force in the Universe? It is Holy Spirit of YHVH Elohim—the Almighty Creator God of the Bible! 

By the force of Spirit and Word of Elohim, the universe and earth were created. With his hands, Elohim shaped man out of earth and by the Force of the breath of his Spirit, he breathed life into that lump of earth and man became a living being. That same spiritual Force impregnated the womb of the virgin Mary and Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim, was clothed in humanity and became the Elohim-Man and Savior and Redeemer of humanity. 

Yeshua the Messiah promised to send that same Force of the Spirit of Elohim to live inside of all those who seek him and put their trusting faith in him and choose to follow and obey him as he leads them on the path of righteous living leading to a life of immortality in Elohim’s kingdom of heaven on earth. This same Force has the power to resurrect the dead from their graves. So how can this Force help you? 

Here’s are 33 ways the Force, which is the of the Spirit of Elohim, can empower you:

  • The Force of Elohim is a free gift to those who ask for it (Luke 11:13).
  • The Force of Elohim will lead you where to go and what to do (Matt 4:1; Mark 13:11).
  • The Force of Elohim will speak through you, that is, put words in your mouth and tell you what to say when you’re in a difficult, potentially life-threatening, situation (Matt 10:20; Luke 12:12).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you power over the evil forces of Satan the devil (Matt 12:28). 
  • The Force of Elohim will reveal to you things that are to come in the future (Luke 2:25–27; John 16:13).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you supernatural and miraculous powers (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Rom 15:19; Heb 2:4).
  • The Force of Elohim will bring spiritual and immortal life (John 6:63; Gal 6:8; 1 Pet 3:18).
  • The Force of Elohim will fill you up and make a river of life to flow from you (John 7:38–39).
  • The Force of Elohim will live inside of you (John 14:17; 1 Cor 3:16).
  • The Force of Elohim will teach you about all divine things and help you to remember things (John 14:26).
  • The Force of Elohim will point you to Yeshua the Messiah, the Savior of the world (John 15:26).
  • The Force of Elohim will convict you of sin and help bring you to righteousness (John 16:8).
  • The Force of Elohim will bring judgment against the world because of sin (John 16:8).
  • The Force of Elohim will bring judgment against Satan the devil who is the evil ruler of this world (John 16:11).
  • The Force of Elohim will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
  • The Force of Elohim will reveal spiritual mysteries to you (John 16:14).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you boldness in difficult situations (Acts 4:31).
  • The Force of Elohim will bring comfort to your life (Acts 9:31).
  • The Force of Elohim will impart many supernatural gifts and abilities to you (1 Cor 12:3–11).
  • The Force of Elohim will fill you with joy (Acts 13:52; Rom 14:17).
  • The Force of Elohim will raise the righteous dead from their graves (Rom 8:11; 1 Pet 3:18).
  • The Force of Elohim in you confirms that you are a child of Elohim (Rom 8:14–17).
  • The Force of Elohim helps you in your times of weakness (Rom 8:26).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you hope (Rom 15:13).
  • The Force of Elohim will produce wonderful fruits of love in your life (Gal 5:22–25).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Elohim (Eph 2:12–14).
  • The Force of Elohim will give you a great inner strength (Eph 3:16).
  • The Force of Elohim will protect you from your enemies (Isa 59:19).
  • The Force of Elohim will anoint you to preach the gospel (Isa 61:1; Luke 4:16–18).
  • The Force of Elohim will help you to walk in Elohim’s paths of righteousness (Ezek 36:27).
  • The Force of Elohim will cause you to have dreams, visions and to prophesy (Joel 2:28–29).
  • The Force of Elohim will help you to do mighty things for Elohim (Zech 4:6).
  • The Force of Elohim will write the Torah-laws of Elohim on your heart (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10; 10:15–16).
 

What Is the Gender of the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit?

For about 12 years I’ve been holding back sharing this information. Now is the time to let it out. By doing so, I’m running the risk of turning people away from reading this blog and maybe even losing some friends over it. But I don’t care. I don’t care about the praises of men, I don’t take their money, and I’m not trying to get a following and I have nothing to sell. I care about only two things: the Truth and pleasing Elohim. If you’re on board with this, then read on. If not, now is your time to bail out…blessings!

I also encourage anyone who reads this article to also read the comments section that is attached to this article. In it, readers ask questions or make comments which I then address in attempts to add (hopefully) more clarity with respect to my understanding of the nature of the Godhead.

— Natan


The Simplicity of Truth

Why do humans like to make things complicated? To the contrary, Yeshua said that unless one becomes like a little child that one would in now way enter the kingdom of heaven, for of such is the kingdom of Elohim (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16–17). There are many valuables insights that we can away from this terse passage, but one of them is this: The basic message of the Bible is so simple that even a child can understand it. 

So what does this have to with the gender of the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit? Simply this. A basic understanding of who Elohim is should not be complicated. Let the Bible speak for itself. On the other hand, be wary of complicated philosophical theologies of men who take simple things and make them complicated. Such will likely not fall under the Yeshua rubric of a child being able to understand it.

It seems that theologians often invent complicated explanations as a way to justify their ivory-tower, super-spiritual and self-righteous existence. Those who want to become initiated into their academic inner circle country clubs and to receive their pieces of paper which confer upon the initiated titles that engender superciliousness must pay exorbitant fees and be willing to bow before and to kiss the feet (and other parts of the anatomy in the nether regions) the false gods of intellectual  pride. 

Now I’m not averse to academic training. I have paid my dues and run the gauntlet of five institutions of higher learned at home and abroad and have earned my papered credentials, and can view it all objectively. The fact is that there were only several formerly trained academicians in Scripture, and none of this got the recipients any closer to Elohim. In fact, Paul, the most learned of all, referred to his academic training as dung (Phil 3:8). Facts are facts and are stubborn things that are hard to ignore.

So now back to the subject at hand. What does all of this have to do with the gender of the Elohim’s Spirit? Much in every way. Read the Bible and let the facts speak for themselves. If the theologies of men line up with the Word of Elohim, then keep them. It not, toss them into the garbage can labeled “vanity of vanities and the traditions of men by which the Word of Elohim is made of none effect” (Mark 7:9, 13). Elohim, the Truth and one person still make a majority regardless of how many theologians, academicians, popes, “rabbis”, pastors, Bible teachers, lay people, churches or denominations say otherwise. 

And now on to our subject of the gender of the Spirit of Elohim. If you are a truth seeker at all costs and willing to let Scripture speak for itself, then read on. If not, then change the channel now.

The Dishonesty of the Bible Translators 

There are several examples in the New Testament where the Bible translators have read their own biases into the Scriptures and mistranslated the gender of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:16, Romans 8:16, 26–27 and 1 Corinthians 12:11 are examples of this. Here the translators refer to the Spirit in the masculine gender when the word Spirit, which is the antecedent, is the Greek word, which pneuma, is a noun in the neuter gender. To be honest, the translators should have said it instead of he. There is no grammatical justification for this mistranslation. This is biased translating to substantiate the idea that the gender of the Spirit of Elohim is male when the Scriptures do not say this.

So Is the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit Masculine or Feminine?

In the Christian doctrine of the trinity, the Father, the Son and the Set-Apart Spirit are said to be all masculine in gender. Is this a biblical way to view the “Godhead” or is this simply a tradition of man that has been passed on down for so long that now no one dares question it? What is the biblical truth on this matter? Are the Father, Son and Spirit all masculine Beings?

One thing we know from the Bible is that the Father is a father and is masculine. Likewise, the Son is the also masculine. What about the Set-Apart Spirit? Masculine or feminine? Who are we going to listen? Men’s traditions or the Bible? Hold that thought; we will come back to this later.

In Genesis 1:27 we find an interesting verse.

So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim created he him; male and female created he them. (See also Gen 5:1–2.)

From this passage, we find that Elohim (plural) has both male and female components. We know that the Father and the Son aren’t female, so what’s left? Obviously by process of elimination and through logical deduction all that we have left is the Holy or the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim. The femininity of the Spirit is substantiated by the fact that the Hebrew word for spirit (ruach) is in the feminine gender. This is interesting!

Does the Bible anywhere ascribe a masculine gender to the Spirit of Elohim? Well, sort of, but not in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). This is to be found in the Greek New Testament in only four places.

In Yeshua’s final instructions to his disciples before he went to the cross, he promised to send the Spirit of Elohim whom he referred to in four places as “the Comforter” or “Helper” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).  In Greek, the word of Comforter is paracletos, which in Koine Greek is in the masculine gender. On the other hand, the Greek word for spirit in reference to the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit is pneuma, which is in the neuter gender. The word pneuma in reference to the Set-Apart Spirit is to be found in the Greek New Testament more than 200 times. 

So, based on the evidence found in the Scriptures, we have verses that can be used to prove that the Spirit of Elohim is a he, she and an it. The Tanakh (or Old Testament) indicates that the Elohim has a female component and Spirit as in the Spirit of Elohim is in the female gender.  On the other hand, the Greek New Testament, which often proceeds from or comes out of the revelation of the Hebrew Tanakh and, in some cases, is a translation of passages therefrom, refers to the Spirit by both the masculine and neuter genders. When translating the Greek New Testament, the Christian translators were faced with a dilemma. They could take the neuter word pneuma and follow the Hebrew gender of the word ruach and refer to the Spirit by the pronouns she and her, but this wouldn’t be a proper translation of the neuter gender Greek word pneuma. The pronouns relating to this word would be it or its. The other option for the translators was to land on the Greek word paracletos, which is in the masculine gender, and refer to the Spirit as he or him. It seems that this is what they did, even though the preponderance of biblical evidence shows us that the Spirit of Elohim is neither in masculine nor the neuter gender, which leaves us with only one option: the feminine gender.

In fact, Christian Bible translators have been so intent on forcing the concept of a masculine Spirit, thus upholding the cherished all male trinity doctrine, that in at least three places (discussed below), they use the male pronoun he when referring to the neuter word pneuma. In these instances, to be honest to they should they should have used the pronoun it. This is dishonest translating, which upholds a non-biblical tradition of men!