Our Messiah’s Awesome Resurrection Presence
Beloved Family… when Christendom celebrates Easter, I fear that there’s a lot about the ways in which that is done that has very little to do with our Messiah’s awesome Resurrection Reality. I believe that many modern day people overlook and forget the real Message of what took place during that awesome Passover season that God revealed in His apostolic writings. I refer to the Book of Acts and the awesome ramifications it contains concerning the mind-blowing New Covenant Reality that God began to fulfill shortly after Yeshua ascended into Heaven. Pardon me when I say that there was a lot more to this for us to hold onto, than merely mulling over all of the Lord’s terrible sufferings, and buying new outfits, and searching around for hidden hard boiled eggs!
For first century Israel, until her Messiah rose from the dead, there was nothing but the same old religious business as usual’ to focus upon. And, for the rest of the world, there was nothing to look forward to but the eternal finality that envelops us all, after our season of ‘living death’ reaches its end and our mortal flesh breathes its last!
But out from the new Resurrection Reality of His abiding Presence in the midst of His disciples… a stream of supernatural manifestations began to appear in the wake of His own apostles and disciples. And that stream began to flow out, beyond Jerusalem and Israel and it began to spread in all directions. Thus the New Covenant Presence of God began to make an enormous monumental spiritual difference in this fallen world. This would be the difference God promised to bring into being through His prophets long ago when they were announcing the coming of the New Covenant. God had promised that this New Covenant would overshadow and fulfill the centuries of frustrating man-made religious traditions… the atmosphere and mentality and rituals that Israel developed as a result of the way she understood the Covenant that God made with her, through Moses, at Mt. Sinai.
Now, the Resurrection of Yeshua created an utterly new Message for Israel to absorb and begin to give to the world. And this message was obviously quite different and new to the people of Israel. This was obvious because many of Israel’s spiritual authorities reacted to it with constant suspicion, opposition and contradictory responses. But despite their opposition, there were other spiritual leaders, and many from among the Israelite people, who recognized and accepted Yeshua for who He truly is. They believed and accepted His claims when He began to proclaim that the coming of the Kingdom of God was now, finally, very near at hand.
The vast difference that the New Covenant brought into Israel was that in the past, the perception had been that God and His Kingdom would ultimately, one day far in the future, come to Earth so that what was eternally true and fully established in Heaven, would also finally be established on Earth as well. Then God’s earthly Creation would become the image and likeness of God’s Heavenly Dimension as it is in Eternity. But now, thanks to Yeshua’s actual Resurrection from the Dead, God began to make His promises of Restoration much more real and attainable to the people than previous generations had ever believed could be possible!
And this New Covenant post-Resurrection turning point also introduced a brand new understanding of the Holy Spirit and the vitally personal, interior force and influence He was now beginning to exert upon Earth. Thanks to the Gift of the Holy Spirit that this New Covenant made possible, the ‘Emmanuel’ or ‘God with us’ Reality and Atmosphere began to penetrate people much deeper and it went farther than had ever been possible before! To prepare Israel for all of these awesome New Covenant changes, God had inspired Isaiah, Hosea, Ezekiel and some of His other prophets, centuries before, to prophesy that these enormous differences would come into being because God was planning to do a new thing with Israel in days to come.
“Therefore I declared them to you long ago, before they took place I proclaimed them to you, so that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.
“You have heard; look at all this. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things, which you have not known. They are created now and not long ago; and before today you have not heard them, so that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’” (Isaiah 48:5-7)
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a Roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
And Jeremiah was commissioned to comfort and give hope to Israel during one of her darkest, most dismal periods by spelling out, in more detail, the major differences that would exist between the Sinai Covenant God made with Israel, and the New Covenant that He promised to make with her in the future.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the Covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
“But this is the Covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My Law (Torah) within them and on their heart I will write it (I will fulfill My Covenant and make it real from within their innermost being); and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”(Jeremiah 31:31-34 Amplification and emphasis added.)
And Yeshua Himself, added to the listing of promises from God with statements like the following:
“ Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
The Sinai Covenant was bilateral, that is, it was a two-way mutual agreement that God proposed to His people. It promised that IF Israel would observe every aspect of her part in this Torah-based Covenant, faithfully and properly, God would do His part and bless her beyond comprehension. But, on the other hand, if Israel failed to keep her end of the agreement, God promised that He would curse her to a most dreadful and painful extent! (See Deuteronomy 28.)
And, after God proposed this to Israel, the people of Moses’ generation, speaking for themselves and their descendants, accepted the proposal and submitted themselves to its conditions. Thus they formally entered into this conditional Covenant bond with God:
“Now then, IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN, you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words, which the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.” (Exodus 19:5-9)
Of course, those poor little Israelites had no idea at that time what they were letting themselves, and their unborn descendants, in for! What they were doing was like agreeing to cram into a large cargo plane, and to take off in it, not realizing that the plane only had enough fuel to ascend high into the air and reach its normal cruising speed and altitude… but no more! That’s very similar to what happened to them after they had committed themselves to do everything God said He required of them. In just a few days, after the Living Word of God had revealed Himself to them from atop Mt. Sinai in such overwhelming, terrifying Majesty and Power, they soon lost their focus and resolve and quickly revealed their powerless spiritual ineptitude.
The Covenant required them to trust in God, and in Him alone, with all their heart, soul, and might! But instead of continuing to trust in God alone… they settled for trusting in Moses. And because Moses was absent and had not returned when they expected him to come back, they began to look to Aaron, and then finally, they relapsed back into the ways of Egypt and began to believe and hope in the golden image of a calf that they pressured Aaron to fashion for them!
Unfortunately, when it comes to blood covenants, there is a death penalty attached to any serious violation of its terms. And since Israel had willingly assumed those awesome responsibilities, Blood Covenant Justice held her responsible! She failed to complete and fulfill the rigorous requirements of that Covenant. So, since she had willingly violated her blood oath to remain ever faithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to Him alone, Israel incurred the death penalty that comes when a blood covenant is violated.
So the difference between the Sinai Covenant and the New Covenant that God promised to make with His people was like the difference between night and day! Beloved, we must be able to see clearly what this meant for Israel, and for anyone wise enough to allow God to graft them into Israel’s spiritual Inheritance! Unlike the Sinai Covenant, this New Covenant is unilateral! Almighty God takes it upon Himself to do all the work required to fulfill both His part and also Israel’s part! He swore by Blood Oath to do all that will be necessary to fulfill this new agreement, in Israel’s name, and on her behalf! And that meant that, in order for Him to be able to forgive Israel for her sins and iniquity, He would have to pay her spiritual debt in full! He would have to do whatever was required to satisfy His own Perfect Standards of Righteousness, Holiness, and Justice! Those Standards will never change because God is PERFECT in every way! So it would have to be made by someone as Perfect as God Himself, that would make the Atonement for Israel. God Himself would somehow have to absorb the death penalty and undergo the corresponding punishments that were promised in Deuteronomy, in order to deliver Israel, His Covenant friend from the fate she had incurred upon herself!
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it, and I will be their God, and (as a result of what I will do) they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”(Jeremiah 31:31-34 Amplification and emphasis added.)
And this is why Father sent His Living Word to become one of us and live a human life on this Earth. He had to do that, not only so that His Word could speak and act in God’s Name, but also so that He could legally represent the human race, through Israel, in the New Covenant and act as our Substitute Sacrifice and Champion! God had to do this Himself… to cover us adequately and comprehensively, to make sure that all of the requirements of His Perfect Standards of Righteousness and Justice would be totally and completely fulfilled!
“In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy – everyone who is recorded for Life in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 4:2-3)
So, God revealed Himself to His people once more, through the incarnation of His Living Word! Yes, this time, God’s Living Word appeared to them in the form of a man, an Israelite, a direct descendant of King David… an heir to His throne, which God had promised to maintain forever. It was the same Living Word that had created the universe and the human race at the beginning of Genesis. It was the same Word that had appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and interacted with them… and with Joseph… and with Moses, Joshua and Caleb. He was the one who had given them God’s commandments and required them to observe them perfectly! So now, through His Living Word, God was going to go further. Now that Israel knew the depths of failure and the bankruptcy of human self-striving, God Himself came to fulfill both parts of this New Covenant… in the Perfect Humanity of Yeshua… God’s Living Word made flesh!
So ponder these promises, and their significance to the entire human race that Yeshua came to represent in God’s Eternal Covenant, in the Light of His Resurrection from the dead. If Yeshua had been executed in such horrible disgrace and desolation… and buried in a stone tomb… and a huge stone barrier had been placed at the opening to seal His remains there forever… and that was all that happened, Israel and the rest of the world would have had no hope! None of us would be able to be forgiven, redeemed, regenerated and restored to Eternal Life and Fellowship and Covenant Union with God! Because we are all fallen, Sin-corrupted children of the first Adam, no mere mortal human could have equaled or surpassed Israel’s failure-prone track record!
So, if Yeshua had been merely human, and not God made flesh, come to represent all the rest of us, as he was claiming to do, His death would have made no difference, and we would never have a chance to be redeemed or restored. And that would have been the end of our story! But it wasn’t the end; it was just the beginning!
So now we must ponder and understand and take to heart the awesome promises that God had made to Israel and the rest of the human race when He said: “I will put My Law (Torah) within them and on their heart I will write it…” Beloved, grasp what this means! Just as the food you eat becomes part of your body, so will what Father revealed, commanded and promised in the Torah become so much a part of you that you and God’s Word, who has come to be our complete Fulfillment of the Torah… will be forever ONE! But please don’t misunderstand and underestimate what God is saying here. He’s not just saying that if you read and study and memorize the first five books that Moses was inspired to write, then… you will have absorbed God’s Torah well enough to have it become inscribed on your heart! If that were the case, it would be nothing more than an extension of the Covenant of Sinai! The results would still depend on the personal intellects and self-generated performance of the Israelite people! Everything would still depend on fallen men and how diligently they could strive to do what was required. And, if they manage to do it well enough, they would earn and achieve their own salvation.
But obviously, that was the very thing that Israel had already been striving to do for many centuries… and the written Word of God tells us that they failed! So, even before Yeshua’s coming, God had already told them through His prophets that their performance fell far short of His Perfect Standards! So now, by Yeshua’s appearance and Perfect Finished Work of Redemption on the Cross, God was making it very clear that He had never intended for Israel to be able to do the required work. He knew her children would not be able to do it! But it was Israel who did not realize and would not admit that she was spiritually bankrupt! Many Israelites still believed that they had it within themselves to ‘be as God!’ They believed that if they tried hard enough, they would ‘get there.’
So God gave them the Covenant of Sinai to expose their true Adamic colors and reveal their living dead state in an unmistakable way. But still, many of them adamantly refused to admit what God was saying about them. And now, in this modern era, based on Israel’s history of failure, and our own tragic misdeeds and shortcomings, we can see clearly… that when Adam and Eve died fell into Sin in the Garden of Eden, they died spiritually. And we who are their offspring died in them and with them! (See Genesis 2 & 3)
None of us will ever be able to bring ourselves back to life, and earn the right to have true fellowship, and regain our original relationship with Almighty God! It matters not if we’re Jewish or non-Jewish; we’re all in the same boat! There is nothing any of us can do to reestablish diplomatic relations with our Creator after having fallen into total rebellion against Him and having Death always at work within our flesh. We are all hopelessly under the death penalty that Adam incurred when he tore himself (and the rest of us) away from God’s Life-giving Living Word!
So, no, beloved… God never expected Israel to achieve salvation and restoration through her own religious efforts. Regardless of how well intentioned any of us may be, we’re all, Jew and non-Jew alike, doomed to failure and eternal death. So, to bring the dead back to Life, and restore God’s enemies back to being His Perfectly Righteous, Authentic, Accurate human image and likeness, are tasks that only Almighty God Himself would be able to perform on our behalf. And that is the enormous difference that the Covenant of Sinai and the New Covenant of Messiah Yeshua are meant to drive home to us. The difference between these two Covenants is like the difference between what the living dead human race can do… in its state of lifeless bankruptcy, as opposed to what the Living Creator of all things is able to do, by His never-ending Love and Covenant Faithfulness and Omnipotent Power! This is the Power that God has promised to unleash on our behalf, through prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. This is the enormous change and transformation that the New Covenant would finally bring to pass… once it entered the scene and took effect:
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I AM ABOUT TO ACT, but FOR MY HOLY NAME, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I WILL vindicate the Holiness of My great Name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “WHEN I PROVE MYSELF HOLY among you in their sight. For I WILL take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I WILL sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I WILL cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I WILL give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I WILL remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I WILL put My Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My statutes, and (because My Living Word will be doing all of that in you and for you) you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (And because of what My Word will do in your name) You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so (I will make sure that)you will be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:22-28 Amplification and emphasis added.)
So can you see why the apostolic New Covenant writers took such pains to make sure we all understood that Messiah Yeshua is the Living Word of God that Moses and the prophets wrote about? Can you see why they keep saying continually: “That the Scriptures might be fulfilled”? God’s Living Word has to do it all! So He’s not here simply to watch over us. He is here to be our very own inner Spiritual Operating System who will impart to us His Righteousness, Redemption, Wisdom and Obedience to Almighty God! He is here to identify and be totally united to us. He is here to be so close to each one of us, that He actually becomes our New Eternal Life! And in that capacity, He intends to live within you and me, to observe and fulfill all that is written in the Torah of Moses! Whatever God’s Living Word revealed through Moses… whatever He commanded Israel to do through Moses… and whatever He promised to Israel through Moses and the other prophets… that is what God Himself must be and do and fulfill in our name! God shares His own Glory with us, thanks to this awesome New Covenant:
“Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see!” (John 1:44-46 Emphasis added.)
“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the Glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your Name, the Name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.” (John 17:5-11 Emphasis added.)
God will write His Living Torah, Messiah Yeshua, upon our innermost being. In other words, Yeshua Himself, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, will begin to live and operate and fulfill all of His Father’s revealed Truth and Reality, from within us! And He will be acting in our name, as our Eternal Blood Covenant Representative and High Priest. And God, in His Mercy, will give us credit for it, as if we ourselves had done it!
“God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us – Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” (Psalm 67)
Beloved, this is a tremendously deep and mysteriously awesome Revelation… concerning the utterly Perfect Restoration of God’s human image and likeness. This is the wonderful Destiny waiting for us. We can afford to anticipate receiving it because of the wonders of our Messiah’s Finished Works of Creation and Redemption that God applies to us. This is what God reveals progressively, throughout all of the books of Sacred Scripture, concerning His Living Creative Word. By the end of the New Covenant Restoration Process… God’s Incarnate Word will have fulfilled to Total Consummation, everything He has revealed… and commanded… and promised to Israel. By His Absolute Authority, and by the Power of the Holy Spirit that dwells and works within us, God’s Word is foretelling what His New Heaven and New Earth will be like. This Perfect Consummated Resurrection Reality will one day be seen radiating forth from our perfect eternal regenerated spirits and glorified bodies! This is what the apostles told the first-century disciples of the post-Resurrection and Ascension Era to anticipate and to train themselves to identify with this reality and to hold onto it, no matter what:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the (eternally Perfect, already-finished) things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is (from now on) hidden with (the Resurrected) Christ IN GOD! When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed (in all of His Resurrection Fullness), then you also will be REVEALED WITH HIM IN (His Eternal) GLORY!” (Colossians 3:1-4 Amplification and emphasis added.)
When we see what God is really saying to us, it’s easy to see the written Torah as a sort of repository that is filled with the revelation seeds of what God intends to sow within the hearts, minds, and lives of His Word’s Last Days New Covenant disciples. After those seeds are sown into us by the Holy Spirit, God will abide within us permanently… to garden and cultivate those seeds until they grow to full maturity. Then we’ll bear the Fruit that God’s Word produces… from within our spirit, soul, body, and interactive relationships and circumstances! And we will be the Consummation and Fulfillment of God’s awesome promises of Reconciliation, Redemption, Regeneration and Total Restoration!
This Perfect God-created Fulfillment was what our Heavenly Father always had in mind, from the time that He sent His Word after fallen Adam and Eve, to cover their nakedness! And, underlying all of the revelations, commandments, instructions, and promises that God gave to Israel through Moses, was the promise that God would restore mankind’s total union with His Word, the union that our first parents destroyed when they rebelled and disobeyed Him. And through their new union with Yeshua, the Living Word of God, God’s people will finally be one with each other and serve as the priestly servants of God who will reap and gather the full, mature Harvest of redeemed, regenerated Gentiles that God commissioned His Word to create, sustain and bring to full fruitful maturity.
At this point, I’d like to share an idea that occurred to me as I was pondering this message. As I mulled over the texts, this became vibrantly alive to me:
When the Holy Spirit is free to fulfill these New Covenant texts with us… thanks to our corresponding faith and expectations… He will actually cause the resurrected Yeshua to be seen in us! His Presence will become electrifyingly real and active and alive in us and through us! Yeshua Himself will be God’s awesome Supernatural Fruit as He is revealed through us. And we will bear His awesome God-glorifying Fruit in all of its Last Days Fullness and Perfection. And when He does it… the world around us will not be able to deny or ignore or explain the fact that God’s Living Word is appearing in us and around us and is working through us! Thus, to the Eternal Glory of God… we will actually serve as His Body on Earth… working out the Power of the Holy Spirit that is active within us, and demonstrating and proving the Truth and Glorious Reality of Yeshua’s Resurrection Presence!
The Holy Spirit will take us far beyond the point at which we merely used to mouth these things, as dry static articles of ‘Christian Belief.’ In those days, we won’t be merely saying it… we’ll be showing it and proving that God’s Promises are True! At that time… the disciples will be on Fire with their Master’s Resurrection Presence… and God Himself will proclaim and preach the Glories of His beloved Son… into this stony-hearted, spiritually deaf humanistic world.
That will be the culmination of what began in the first century among the apostles. They did not merely give pious platitudes and nice speeches and classes to their unbelieving Jewish brethren. They had a lot more Fire Power to impel and move them to fulfill God’s will than mere talk! The original Messianic Jews of the post-ascension first century were filled with the Holy Spirit… and He was the one that made Yeshua’s Resurrection Presence real and alive and obvious to their unbelieving neighbors. God’s Power will always outlast and overcome every regime and era of every tyrant and empire this world will ever manage to muster throughout the centuries. Those created things always arise and thrive for a season, and then they reach their zenith… and then they all die and pass into oblivion. But the Word of God continually makes the world aware of His Electrifying Eternal Truth… by proving through God’s Spirit-filled people… the awesome Truth of Yeshua’s Resurrection! The Holy Spirit equips and empowers and moves God’s regenerated sons to prove that Yeshua is truly alive and present by the way He manifests Himself and proves that His actual Perfect Presence is in their midst!
“Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the Kingdom of God does not consist in words but in POWER!” (1 Corinthians 4:18-20 Emphasis added.)
The Authority and Resurrection Power of Yeshua were working in and through the disciples of the first century… at the very beginning of the New Covenant Era. So… what do you suppose it will be like when this Last Days era reaches its Ultimate Fulfillment? Will it not be something so enormous and climactic and unprecedented that all of Creation will be reduced to total silence and awe-filled worship?
“… the Wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory, but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God!” (1 Corinthians 2:8-10)
Yes… the prophets of Israel who wrote down God’s promise to establish His New Covenant Era were announcing future events that would have to come into existence, in order for God’s Plan and promises to Israel to be perfectly fulfilled. And so, at His Last Seder (Passover celebration meal), just before He offered Himself in sacrifice to His Father on the Cross, Yeshua announced the following to His disciples:
“… This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way, He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My Blood!” (Luke 22:19-20)
And so, when God’s appointed time arrived, for Yeshua’s disciples to begin to proclaim their Master’s Resurrection, God Himself authorized, commissioned and spiritually equipped them to prove and demonstrate the Truth concerning their Master’s Resurrection from the Dead! How did He do it? He did it by putting His own Holy Spirit into them… so that the Spirit of God could make all that pertains to the Living Word of God… real and actively productive and fruitful from within their circumstances and interactions and circumstances!
Remember what Moses said to the children of Israel before his final departure. He commanded them to choose Life over Death. He revealed that he already knew that Israel would not succeed in their efforts to keep the commandments of the Sinai Covenant as revealed in the Torah. And that is why He was inspired to prophesy in Deuteronomy 18:15-20, that God was going to send Another after him, who would cover Israel’s failure and make all things right between them and God:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, You shall listen to him! This is according to (will be the Fulfillment of)all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die. ’The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a Prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My Words in His Mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which He shall speak in My Name, I Myself will require it of him!” (Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Emphasis added.)
And then, toward the end of that same book, the last book of the Torah, or ‘The Law’ that God inspired Moses to write, Moses left Israel with this stern injunction:
“I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you Life and Death, the Blessing and the Curse. So choose Life (that is, allow God’s Living Word to live in you and to be your Eternal Life) in order that you may live, you and your descendants…” (Deuteronomy 30:19 Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, I believe this is what John kept referring to throughout his Gospel. He was continually drawing our attention to what Moses had warned about in the Torah:
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:3-5)
“He who believes in the Son has Eternal Life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see Life, but the wrath of God abides on him!” (John 3:36)
“He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from Heaven is above all!” (John 3:30-31 Emphasis added.)
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have Eternal Life; it is these that testify about Me, and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have Life!” (John 5:39-40 Emphasis added.)
The Reality and Truth God conveys in His Scriptures is described as the choice that mankind must make between eternal Life or eternal Death. And it concerns whether or not we will believe, embrace and follow Messiah Yeshua and allow Him to live in us and through us, or whether we will choose to disbelieve and reject Him and remain radically independent! And for us New Covenant disciples, it is the choice between whether or not we will follow Him when He summons us into His service. And if we choose to follow Him, we must deny and forsake our self-life and its flesh-driven independent tendencies. That’s why the Lord commands us to take up our personal crosses, so that our radically independent self-life may be joined to His atoning death… This must happen… SO THAT HE MAY REVEAL HIS RESURRECTED LIFE IN US… IN PLACE OF WHAT WE WERE BEFORE HE CALLED US!
And this reminds me of something that is contained in our Follow Me website’s introductory welcoming article that explains our purpose and intent as a ministry. This is part of what is said concerning the paradoxes involved when we’re confronted with having to make that choice between Life or Death:
“The paradox is, that when we choose Life, we automatically choose to ‘die daily’ to our old radically independent ways so that our Master can live His Resurrection Life from within us. But if we choose Death, we’ll require the Lord to ‘die daily’ so that we can bypass Him and operate as independent agents, doing our own thing, in our own, soul-driven, self-adoring, ‘living death’ way.”
So, the first five books of the Bible contain the seeds for all that we New Covenant disciples are commissioned to fulfill in the Last Days. Yeshua must increase in us, even as we decrease in Reality, and not just in our platitudes and routine religious rituals. And, if that level of God-Present Reality is really going to be seen working within us, then, as the seeds of this Revelation are properly sown into our hearts, the Holy Spirit will ‘garden’ those seeds and cause them to grow and develop to full maturity from within us. Thus, ultimately, one day we will transform into living embodiments of what God put within the seeds that are growing within us, from all eternity. We will transform into God’s fully ripened and mature Last Days Messiah-Revealing Salvation Harvest! This is what God promised that the powers of Darkness and all of the rest of God’s Creation would one day see!
“The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the Woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)
“… So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
“Now after this, the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves!” (Luke 10:1-3)
These are most precious and profound nuggets of divine information beloved! Through Moses, God revealed that Israel would be ‘The Woman.’ And He revealed that into her womb, He would plant His own Seed. And the Fruit of their Covenant Union is what produced the coming of God’s Living Word into full participation in the human race… except for its Rebellion and Sin. In place of that, God’s own Word supplies Perfect Righteousness and Obedience to our Father.
So now we can see that not only does the Torah contain the seeds of revelation concerning God and His nature and His ways, but it also reveals that God’s Living Word (the Living Torah) will personally, by the Power of God Himself, fulfill everything that is revealed and commanded and promised to us in the written Torah. When God’s own Word is free to live in and work through us, He becomes our Total, Perfect Fulfillment of everything that was written! This is what God promised to do for Israel and those who would join her in His service. God’s own Living creative Word, acting as our Perfect Blood Covenant Representative and Champion, is the one that has been sent to abide within us in order to honor, obey, uphold and fulfill the infinitely Perfect Standards and Requirements of Almighty God’s Righteousness, Truth, and Justice! And this is what is packed into the Reality of the Resurrection we celebrate. In addition to celebrating it… we’re equipped to embody and display it!
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life; NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME!” (John 14:1-6)
But, if people read Scripture superficially, in the flesh, they only see themselves and other fallen humans in the picture. So they assume that everything is up to us to understand, perform, create and work out… and so, by their own wits, ingenuity, and efforts to be ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual,’ they strive to be ‘good’ and ‘holy’ and ‘righteous.’ And so of course, because what they are assuming isn’t actually real or genuinely attainable by human means, the efforts of such people are doomed to total frustration and failure. They’ll fail because God’s Eternal Covenant with Israel isn’t about our fallen, utterly imperfect human flesh. It’s not about whether or not we can work hard and well enough to improve and save and justify ourselves! It’s about how God has thoroughly bypassed all fallen flesh (Sinai Covenant) and sent His Living Word… to do all of the required (New Covenant) work in our name… so that the Work can finally be done to absolute Perfection, according to God’s Infinitely Perfect Standards of Righteousness and Truth and Justice! This is the Glory of God’s True, Selfless Love and Covenant Faithfulness!
And Yeshua’s Glorious Resurrection and the Freedom He now has to bring us into His Resurrection Glory is what the Last Days Era will open up for us. And that is what is able to restore and fulfill all of the original Potential that God put into His awesome Creation. The Resurrection proves that Light has overcome the Darkness, and that Truth has swallowed up the Lie, and that the Eternal Life of Almighty God has exposed, discredited and debased His demonic enemies… and neutralized and reversed the Death they inflicted upon God’s beautiful Creation. God has driven his demonic enemies and all of their destroyed works into a perpetual state of total futility, failure, and helplessness, once and for all! That’s what we celebrate during this New Covenant Era!
“And (the resurrected Lord) Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All Authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth! Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” (Matthew 28:18-20 Amplification added.)
Beloved, we’ve seen that when people read Scripture through carnal eyes, they automatically block out the Lord from their mental pictures and try to bypass all of the New Covenant spiritual ability and Fire Power that God promised to supply for us by His Holy Spirit. Carnal people are not equipped to pick up God’s Heavenly Frequency Signals. So they can’t be aware of His nearness, nor can they hear His voice or realize that He is here to make His promises and commands and revelations come true from within us. Thus they remain ignorant of His Eternal Heavenly New Covenant Kingdom Resources that He promises to impart and make available to us who allow His Living Word and Holy Spirit to abide within us.
People who remain ignorant of this will remain self-reliant and thus radically independent of God. Therefore, they will not be spiritually equipped to see and consider things in Scripture in the Light of God’s New Covenant Truth. So they’ll remain self-centered and humanistic, habitually assuming that we humans are the main characters in every story and that God (if there is a God) will always require us to improve and work on ourselves… striving to observe, perform, embody, maintain, and fulfill whatever the Scriptures are saying. But God has already said clearly, that all the Torah promises that God made to Israel and the rest of the world will be completely and perfectly FULFILLED by God Himself, in this awesome New Covenant! And He gives His Holy Spirit to Yeshua’s New Covenant disciples so they may discern and understand and enjoy and embody what He promised to give them… with total Peace, Rest and Freedom as they glory in the Total Adequacy of our Messiah’s Finished Works of Creation and Redemption:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The Covenant God made with His people at Sinai introduced tremendous, miraculous world-changing events and ingredients to this fallen world. Those monumental changes began to take place as a result of Yeshua’s Perfect Presence in the midst of His disciples! Every society in world history has, in one way or another, been influenced and blessed and vastly improved as a result of the influence of the Torah and the Covenant of Sinai. HOWEVER… despite the best efforts of Israel’s most holy and erudite prophets, leaders, sages, and devoted people… as long as she relies on her own created efforts… Israel will never meet God’s Perfect Standards perfectly. Chosen and blessed and special as she is, her people remain just as weak and helpless as everyone else. We are all the fallen, Sin-corrupted, dying children of fallen Adam. So the Death and its corrupting process that we all inherited from our first parents, continues to run its course… within the children of Israel… and within all other peoples of this fallen, broken world.
So, we can see that the Covenant of Sinai that Israel introduced and demonstrated to the world was the very best that our fallen flesh could do. But it falls far, far short of where God’s Infinitely Perfect Standards begin! And that is why God’s New Covenant with Israel was, and is, so vitally necessary. And this is part of the awesome Significance of Messiah Yeshua, and what His Father sent Him into our midst to do. He is the Fulfillment of the New Covenant! And therefore, He is the Fulfillment of everything God has revealed through His Torah and all of the other writings of the Bible.
“… I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the Covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My (Sinai) Covenant WHICH THEY BROKE, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:31-32)
Now we can see why that one time ‘Pharisee of Pharisees,’ Saul of Tarsus. who later came to be known as ‘Paul, the New Covenant apostle to the Gentiles, wrote the words that follow to New Covenant Gentile believers living in Rome. They had recently been grafted into Israel’s New Covenant Olive Tree and the Lord had made them part of that blessed New Covenant that God had promised to Israel and to the rest of the world. But, because of their foreign background and upbringing, they couldn’t possibly understand the Spiritual Depths and the Supernatural Glory of what God had made available to them by grafting them into the New Covenant Remnant people of Israel. They had no way of knowing in advance how much more training and discipline and purification they would need to undergo before the seeds that had been deposited within them would begin to show up and be adequately understood, so they could finally begin to produce the fruit of this awesome Covenant:
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give Life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh (the radically independent self-life that you inherited at conception), you must die; but if by the Spirit (then by joining your Messiah in His Death, you allow Him to live His Resurrection Life from within you and thus) you are putting to death the deeds of the body (and therefore), you will live!
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.
“For the anxious longing of the Creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the (fully mature Last Days New Covenant) sons of God. For the Creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the Creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the (Final, Ultimate Last Days) Glory of the children of God.
“For we know that (even though our Messiah has launched and instituted God’s New Covenant with Israel, nevertheless, at this time) the whole Creation (because the time for the New Covenant’s Total Fulfillment has not yet arrived, still) groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we(apostles and first century worshippers, who are at the beginning of the New Covenant Era, and who experience some of that Glory in) ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even (so, it is not yet completely fulfilled because) we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our (full and complete Last Days Fulfillment, Restoration) adoption as sons, the (full Resurrection, the Last Days total)redemption of our body (that will be ours when everything in this process has finally been completed and all things have been made new).” (Romans 8:9-23 Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved… that Total Last Days Fulfillment is getting closer and closer to us! When the events that the Book of Revelation speaks of, have run their complete course, then everything that God inspired Moses to write in the Torah… and what He inspired the prophets and wisdom writers of Israel to add to it by way of supplemental explanation, will be completely fulfilled… IN US! And then we will fully understand the words that God’s Living Word, the resurrected Messiah, spoke to us through Mark and John:
“Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table, and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart BECAUSE THEY HAD NOT BELIEVED THOSE WHO HAD SEEN HIM AFTER HE HAD RISEN. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed (My Resurrection) and has been baptized shall be saved, but he who has disbelieved (My Resurrection Presence) shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed (that I am living within them), in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord (who was living within them) worked with them, and confirmed the (Resurrection of God’s Living) Word by the signs that followed.] (Mark 16:14-20 Amplification and emphasis added.)
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