Saturday, January 25, 2014

Messianic Gentile Manifesto

A new friend of mine recently asked me to provide the basis for One Law.  So without further ado...

THE ONE-LAW PROPOSITION

All covenantal members of Israel are bound by "One Law" (Exodus 12:48,49;  Lev. 24:22; Numbers 9:14; Numbers 15:15-16).  This is binding precedent.  Since the Apostolic Writings confirm that non-Jewish Believers are covenantal members of Israel, precedent dictates that non-Jewish are bound to this One-Law.  Furthermore, the Apostolic Writings, in agreement with the Prophets, hold that non-Jews are covenantal members of Israel compelled by the Ruach haKodesh to keep the "One-Law".

OVERVIEW OF EVIDENCE FOR THE ONE-LAW PROPOSITION

(1) Yeshua's community is called the "Ekklesia" in the Greek source text of Matthew 16:18-19.  Although Christianity has mistakenly translated this term as "Church", Ekklesia, in its Hebraic context, refers specifically to Israel (Acts 7:38, also see LXX of Dt 9:10; 10:4; 18:16; 5:22).  This means that all Believers, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, belong to Israel.

(2) Ezekiel 36 explains that the New Covenant involves a washing with water, a cleansing by the Spirit, a compulsion to keep Torah (both chukim and mishpatim), and offers permanent forgiveness of transgressions.  In Acts 2, on the day of Shavuot, the day commemorating the giving of the Torah at Sinai (known in the Torah as "the day of the Kahal"), Peter explained that the gift of the New Covenant was being offered not only to the Jews who were present but also to the non-Jews who were "far off" (Acts 2:39 and Ephesians 2:13).  In Acts 11:15, Peter recalls his amazement that the Ruach had been given to non-Jews just as it had been given to Jewish Believers on Shavuot/Pentecost ("...the Holy Spirit fell on them as it had fallen on us at the beginning").  That the Apostles Peter and Paul considered this to be proof that the non-Jews were covenantal members of Israel is further evidenced by passages such as Ephesians 2:12 and 1 Peter 2:9-10.

NOTE:  The term in Ephesians 2:12 mistranslated as "commonwealth" is "politeia" which is a term that Luke himself uses in Acts 22:28 to refer to citizenship.  Shaye Cohen explains further, "The Greek word politeia means in the first instance 'citizenship,' the quality of being a citizen," (Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness).

(3) In Acts 15, there is a debate over covenantal initiation:  was it circumcision or faith that was initiatory?  Peter argued that it was faith (Acts 15:9) and grace (Acts 15:11).  He also argued that these Gentiles had become "a People for God's Name", an expression that refers specifically to Israel.  It is evident in the Tanak that only Israel is called by G-d's Name (see Deut. 14:2 and Isaiah 63:19) and Peter himself makes this explicit in 1 Peter 2:9-10 by applying exclusive titles of Israel to Gentiles.

Also important to note is that James' Speech which appears to misquote the LXX version of Amos 9:11-12 is in fact a reference to many Prophetic passages (note James' plural use of "prophets" in Acts 15:15), each alteration to the LXX text forming a linguistic connector to many related Prophetic passages (see my previous blog post here).  Here is one of these many references which communicates that the non-Jews are grafted into Israel as covenantal members:


"And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee," (Zechariah 2:11)


For more on the significance of the Fourfold Decree, see here and here.








10 comments:

  1. Excellent summation! May I copy to my blog with credits and link?

    Eph. 4:4ff... One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father... But, two laws? nah!

    Been pondering unjust scales. On my short list is to write a piece concerning the unjust scales of the church... i.e., God has a different standard for post resurrection believers than He did for pre-resurrection believers...

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  2. Sure thing, brother. G-d bless!

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  3. And again, (thank you Pete for the thought!), "Excellent summation! May I copy" to CF's Messianic Forum with credits and link?"

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  4. Great summation!


    I would personally change the title to something like, One Law perspective concerning Gentiles, but that is just my opinion.

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  5. Glad you found it useful. You can always use anything on this blog for any purpose. G-d bless you!

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  6. How about "Messianic Gentile Manifesto"? Let me know if that's terrible...

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  7. He does every day. Thank you Peter.


    There is a group there that toes the UMJC party line. I Think a link to your exposition on that topic will be useful too!

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  8. Thank you. It will be up tomorrow. An overview of 'unjust scales' went up today. The topics go hand-in-hand.

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  9. As I am want to do, I often retreat to the teachings of Messiah. My favorite verses on Gentile inclusion can be found in Mat 23. So the the "Rabbis" of UMJC and like bodies I simply say, "8 But you are not to let yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’; because you have one Rabbi, and you are all each other’s brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ because you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to let yourselves be called ‘leaders,’ because you have one Leader, and he is the Messiah! 11 The greatest among you must be your servant, 12 for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

    13 But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so. 14 [a]

    15 Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you succeed, you make him twice as fit for Gei-Hinnom as you are!

    16 Woe to you, you blind guides!"

    I recently had someone respond that this scripture wasn't relevant because "Jewish rabbis of today don't go out and convert people." So I responded that is exactly the problem. My heavy emphasis here on is "hypocritical Torah-teachers" of which you are one...

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  10. Sounds good. It's catchy.

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