Laws concerning the priesthood, or kings, only applied to those of priestly and kingly descent
In your articles you mention the New Covenant but it seems different that what is taught in Christianity.
What is the New Covenant then? - Gary
A. You are right in noticing the biblical concept of the New Covenant, or "testament" is different than what is generally taught in churches or Messianic synagogues.
To understand I will go back and try to show what it is and then you will see what it isn’t.
The New Covenant in Hebrew is called the "brit chadasha" which means a renewed or rebuilt covenant.
When God gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai the people agreed to keep the commandments, ordinances, testimonies and judgments contained in it (Ex 19.8).
God wrote his 10 commandments on stone and gave the rest to Moses to record on scrolls.
This covenant was ratified in blood (Exo 24.1-18) because a covenant is not considered legal or binding unless it is ratified in blood.
In Deut 10.16 the Lord told the Israelites to circumcise their own hearts and obey Him.
Well, the people didn’t obey and we know what happened to them in the wilderness.
Now, here is a point which is largely overlooked in Christianity but it is important in understanding what the Renewed Covenant is.
In the Mosaic Covenant the people were to circumcise their own hearts, but you can’t and they failed.
Paul brings this point out in Hebrews 8.8 and said God found fault with the people.
The covenant is perfect, righteous, holy and good (Rom 7.12) so he wasn’t talking about the Torah.
He was saying the people were corrupt.
So, God makes another covenant in Deut 29.1-30.14 called the Moabite covenant (that’s where it was made-Moab means "of the father"), besides or along side of the Mosaic Covenant not invalidating it, where He says that He will circumcise the hearts of the people giving them the desire to keep His commandmants (30.6).
Jeremiah picks up on this theme of a renewed covenant in Jeremiah 31.31-34 where he says that the Torah (Mosaic covenant)will be written on the hearts of the people.
He doesn’t say it will be a new law, but a new place for the same law.
Instead of stone it will be written on the heart, giving them the desire to keep the commandments.
This is known in Jewish thought as being "born again" or "rebuilt" (chadash)as in the covenant being rebuilt, renewed in our hearts. Ezekiel mentions this covenant in Eze 36. 24-27 where the Spirit will be within us causing us to walk in His commandments.
That is another way of saying being born again.
Yeshua said the same thing in John 3.1-21.
Paul is contrasting the Law written on stones with the Law written on the heart in Hebrews 8.
He said it is better to have the Lord circumcise our hearts (Spirit coming within and being born again) than to have it written on stone.
He says the same thing in 2 Cor 3.6-7.
The Law written on stone didn’t do anything because it wasn’t in the heart and it lead to death.
The New Covenant promises God will circumcise our hearts because we have life ( the Spirit=born again) and that is why it is better.
Paul is contrasting the Mosaic covenant written on stone (which didn’t work out to well) with the Moabite, or renewed covenant, that is written by the Spirit on the heart.
That’s why the Law kills but the Spirit gives life (Jn 3.5).
Notice in Chapter 8 of Hebrews he doesn’t say it is a new "law" being written because the fault was not with the Law but with the people (8.8).
He then quotes Jeremiah 31.31-34.
This proves the Law being talked about is the Mosaic Law because that is the Law Jeremiah had in mind when he wrote it.
Paul merely says the main difference between the Mosaic covenant and the Moabite/New covenant is not the content (the Torah) but where it was to be written.
That can only be done by being born again by the Spirit of God.
There is one Law for Jew and Gentile(Num 15.14-16) with the Gentile being grafted into the commonwealth of Israel (Rom 11.16-24, Eph 2.11-22).
Some groups in Messianic Judaism teach that the Torah is only for Jews and Gentiles don’t have to keep it, but that is not true and is not supported by scri pture.
God writes His Law on the heart, He doesn’t care if it is a Jewish heart or not. Remember there were Gentiles present at Mt. Sinai and He repeatedly said these commandments applied to them as well.
Ruth followed the God of Israel and His commandments and said so.
There weren’t separate laws for Jew and Gentile.
You followed the Torah as it applied to you.
Sabbath, festivals, sacrifices and other laws applied to everyone.
Laws concerning the priesthood, or kings, only applied to those of priestly and kingly descent although everyone had to know them.
One of the biggest organizations in the Messianic movement is called the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and they don’t believe the Torah applies to Gentiles.
Many Gentiles go to their synagogues and support them without realizing they are being lied to.
They will tell you a Gentile can keep the Torah if he wants to show his love for the Jewish people but they don’t have to because that is not the Gentile’s culture.
Deep down they really wish they wouldn’t.
It’s based on what is called covenantal covetousness Jews have had for centuries and is still alive today.
You see it in the book of Acts and it was at the root of the problem in Acts 15.
They just did not like Gentiles keeping the Torah unless they were circumcised (converted to Judaism).
They will take Gentile money, however.
I know many Gentile people who go to UMJC synagogues who have no idea what they really believe and it is racist at its core.
They are rebuilding the walls of man’s tradition which separated the Jew and Gentile in the first century.
These synagogues are just churches with a kippah and a prayer shawl.
They know Jewish people will not accept the church so they come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (talit’s are made of wool by the way) and they present the Gentile/replacement gospel in a Jewish context to win Jews.
I know of a leader of this organization who said their calling is not to teach the Torah to Gentiles.
I’m sorry, but that is exactly the calling of the Jewish people.
I personally know some of the leaders and have dealt with them before so this isn’t just an opinion.
They get this idea from Christian theology about what the New covenant is because a lot of them were trained in Christian Seminaries.
So, they keep the Gentiles at arm’s length by telling them that the Law doesn’t apply to them and then give them another lie about the so-called Seven Noahide laws.
These are rabbinic concoctions which state that Jews keep the Torah and Gentiles these seven laws.
In that way, the Jew can be on one side of the fence and the Gentile on the other side.
So, now you have the dividing wall of partition rebuilt again by man-made tradition.
All of these beliefs stem from a basic misunderstanding of what the New, or renewed, covenant really is.
So, here it is in a nutshell.
The Mosaic covenant was given but the people did not circumcise themselves and became stiff-necked.
God makes another covenant in Moab before they enter the land, only this time He says He will circumcise their hearts, giving them the desire to keep the commandments.
Yeshua comes and ratifies this covenant with his own blood after the resurrection (Jn 7.39), the Holy Spirit now comes upon us and we are born again.
As an evidence that we have truly been born again, we have a desire to keep His commandments.
This is because the Torah is being written on our desires (hearts) now.
If one opposes the commandments and says he doesn’t have to obey them because of some freakish theology foreign to the scri ptures, he probably isn’t born again.
He can go to church or synagogue, sing, dance ,pray, work miracles, cast out demons but none of these are evidence he is born again (Mt 7.21-23).
There is only one biblical evidence for being born again and that is obeying the Lord according to what He has written.
When one comes in faith he keeps the commandments as they apply to him (1Cor 7.18-20).