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The Early Church and Old Covenant Jewishness

 

Joseph Shulam is a Bible teacher in Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry and he has written a teaching called: The Early Believers in Yeshua & the Second Temple (In the light of the New Testament and the Ancient Jewish Literature). Shulam's teaching is not accordance with the message of the New Testament (Covenant), because among other things he claims that the Early Church believers did not see a conflict between the validity of Jesus' sacrifice and worship in the temple and that Jesus' sacrifice did not annul the Old Testament (Covenant) sacrificial system, but was the perfection of the sacrificial system.

Shulam's teaching is in conflict and against the message of the New Testament and it is another gospel, not the Gospel accordance with the New Covenant. I hold Joseph Shulam as my very beloved neighbor and I have nothing against him as a person, but his certain teachings are deceiving and wrong, which lead believers under the wrong yoke. This subject is very important, because it deals with the foundation of the salvation. Study and test my teaching from the word of God (Bible) in the prayer.

 

Contents:
Foreword
The Early Church believers and the temple of Jerusalem
Paul and the days of purification and the offering
Conclusions
 

 

 

Foreword

Before I wrote about the subject, I want to bring out a few important things, which is very good to recognize before you read my writing. I don't approve and support the theology of compensation, which says that Christian Church has replaced the Jews as the nation of God. The God of Israel didn't forsake the Jewish nation when the era of the New Covenant began on the day of the Pentecost, when God shed the Holy Sprit into the hearts of Jesus' disciples. The first congregation of the New Covenant consisted of the Jewish people who were Jesus' (Yeshua) disciples. God has not forsaken the Jews, and He will never forsake them and the evidence of this is when in the time of the last days God shall save the third part  (remnant) of the Jews, and they all believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

I know that my writing, shall cause very powerful reactions among the people who believe that Joseph Shulam represent genuine and original teaching of the New Covenant. Some people have earlier accused me that I'm anti-Semitic person, when I have brought out problems and conflicts concerning the teachings of Joseph Shulam. I'm not anti-Semitic person, but on the contrary in my heart, I bless Israel and pray peace (peace of God through Jesus - Yeshua) for Jerusalem as the Bible advices us to do.

I'm not writing for the sake of quarrels, because quarrels are the fruit of sin, not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. My motives to write this writing is that the death of Jesus, His atonement and sacrifice has annulled the order of the Old Covenant, because God established a better Covenant on better promises through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus.

God Himself has given in His word to believers of Old Covenant a prophetic message and revelation, that He will abolish the order of the Old Covenant and establish the New Covenant:

Jer 31:
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Everyone who says, teaches or believes that the Old Covenant is still in the power in the time of the New Covenant has personally risen up in rebellion against God. This kind of person resists the prophetic revelation and words of God of Israel, who has said that He will take away Old Covenant and establish the New Covenant. My prayer and wish is that everyone who believe Jesus (Yeshua) as the Lord and the Messiah, but believe that the order of the Old Covenant is in the power at the same time with the New Covenant would give up from his rebellion against God and would believe in the Lord Jesus as the Scripture (the Bible) says (according to the order of the New Covenant).

The apostle Paul wrote the Letters to Galatians that everyone who base on his faith in God through the works of the law (the order of the Old Covenant) are under the curse, unless they keep all things that are written in the book of God's law. No one can keep the whole law of God and Jesus annulled the order of the Old Covenant, so it means that if someone try to live according to the order of the Old Covenant, he is cursed. This shall speak and say that what is my motive to write this writing:

Gal 3:
1 ¶ O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The Early Church believers and the temple of Jerusalem

Joseph Shulam brought out how the Early Church believers held the temple of Jerusalem as a very important thing. Shulam wrote his observation concerning to the Early Church believers and their relationship with the temple. Shulam brought out through the Acts of the Apostles, that he can make some observations and comments that will bear an application to our times.

Joseph Shulam refers Acts 2:46, saying that Jesus' disciples continued to meet together in the temple courts. Shulam puts forth a question: Was the Temple in Jerusalem the usual place of meeting for the disciples of Yeshua the Messiah.

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

The Bible gives us very clear answer that the Early Church believers gathered daily in houses (home) and the temple. The temple of Jerusalem had very important meaning in the hearts of the Early Church believers, but anyhow they also daily gathered in the homes.

Joseph Shulam says that one of the most ridiculous arguments that he have ever heard from Christians is that Peter and John, and Paul, would not go up to the temple to pray, but they would go to “hunt” for souls.

According to the teaching of the Bible the Early Church believers prayed God of Israel in the temple in the name of the Lord Jesus. At the same time and simultaneously they were in the temple hunting souls to God.

Acts 5:
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

The Early Church believers didn't merely pray in the temple and temple courts, but they very actively tried to preach and tell the Gospel of Jesus to priests, scribes, Pharisees and to all Jews.

God sent the Early Church believers to the temple  to preach and teach about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus in the temple was the command of God, because He had abolished the order of the Old Covenant, and for this reason also in the temple and temple courts Jesus' disciples must preach the New Covenant Gospel from Jesus the Messiah.

The Acts of the Apostles records in the third chapter that Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. In the gate called Beautiful was a certain man who had been lame from his mother’s womb, whom God healed when Peter said: " Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."

After this event Peter and John were on the porch of Solomon, in which Peter preached the Gospel of Jesus to the Jews who were there. Testimony of the Bible is that the Early Church believers pray God of Israel in the temple and temple courts, but they also hunt souls to God through the Gospel of Jesus. Joseph Shulam admit this when he wrote that the angel of the Lord gave them instruction to stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life (in Jesus).

Paul and the days of purification and the offering

Joseph Shulam brought out Acts 21:26-29, in which apostle Paul went with Jewish men to purify and he also intended to participate to act of offering after the days of purification.

Into question was Nazarite vow and offering related to it.

Shulam wrote that the elders of Jerusalem told to Paul that in Jerusalem was thousands of Jews who believed in Jesus and have zeal for the Torah (the law). Shulam continues and says that the elders told this to Paul to set the stage and confront him with the rumours that Paul had been teaching Jews to turn away from Moses, telling the Jews not to circumcise their children, or live according to the customs of the Jews. Shulam wrote that in order to remedy these rumours Jacob proposed that Paul should join with certain men in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so everybody will know there is no truth in these reports against Paul, but that Paul is obedient to the law.

Shulam wrote that the elders of Jerusalem were afraid of the reaction of the Jerusalem church concerning to rumours of Paul's teaching not to circumcise their sons, and take light the law of Moses.

Joseph Shulam wrote: The church in Jerusalem saw going to the Temple and participation in “purification vows” as a test of “faithfulness” and “orthodoxy” of their faith in Yeshua. In other words, Paul’s going to the Temple and paying for the “purification vows” of these four men, would be a proof to the Jerusalem church that the rumors about his teaching Jews against the Law of Moses, would be totally dispelled. The early church in Jerusalem looked at Temple rites as an authoritative station for the authenticity of their faith in God and in His Messiah. They continued to frequent the Temple and to participate in the normative Jewish practices as all the rest of Israel did at that time.

Shulam brought out how some Christian commentators have said that Paul's approval concerning to request of Jacob was an indication about the weakness of Paul's faith. According to Shulam it was an indication about Paul's commitment to the temple and to the Jewish standards of faith in the law. Shulam wrote that how Paul number of times after this occasion (Acts 21) repeats the claim: I believe all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.

Shulam wrote how the apostles of Jesus went to the temple offering sacrifices and giving money in the temple. Shulam says that Paul went to the temple in Jerusalem, making offerings and giving gifts to his people (Jews).

If you read from the Bible only passages that Shulam took up and you read them through Shulam's explanation, so you can end up such conclusions what Shulam said. If you read the whole Bible and you allow the Bible explain the Bible, so the explanation of Joseph Shulam is wrong about the faith of the Early Church believers.

It is true that Paul intended to participate Old Covenant offering after the purifying:

Acts 21:
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
27 ¶ And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

The Bible says that when the seven days were almost ended and an offering should be offered, so the Jews from Asia saw Paul in the temple, they stirred up all the Jews against Paul. According to the Bible those seven days haven't finished that needed to offer the offering. This means that Paul didn't make it and not participate in the offering of the Old Covenant. I personally believe that God prevented that Paul didn't fall into offering of the Old Covenant and therefore God allowed that the Jews caught Paul, and he didn't make it and didn't participate in the offering of the Old Covenant. The testimony of the Bible is indisputable that Paul didn't participate in the offering of the Old Covenant in the Acts of Apostles chapter 21.

The Jews of Asia didn't believe that Paul observed the whole law of God. They didn't believe it even though that elders in Jerusalem Church try to give to the Jews such an impression that Paul would observe the law. The Jews of Asia had a knowledge that Paul taught everywhere the Jews to act against the law of Moses. This was the reason why they provoked the Jews against Paul. The Bible says (Deut 19:15) that one witness is not enough to give the testimony, but if any sin or iniquity shall be testified at the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. Because the Jews of Asia obeyed the law of Moses, so they didn't have permission to lie or believe rumours against Paul, but they have to be sure that Paul was transgressor of the law. This detail and many other things prove that Paul didn't observe the whole law of Moses. I bring later more proofs to show that Paul didn't observe the order of the Old Covenant in the time of the New Covenant era.

Indeed, in Jerusalem were thousands Jews who believed in Jesus (Yeshua) and they were zealous for the law of Moses and offerings. I see that this was the result of the period of transition of the hearts of the Old Covenant to the New Covenant and therefore the Church in Jerusalem tangled with this thing. When we read the Letters of Peter we cannot see even smallest hint to favor the order of the Old Covenant and offerings.

Peter wrote in his first letter to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The strangers were the Jews who believed that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Messiah. Peter wrote to the Jews (believers) that God the Father elected them according to His foreknowledge, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah. Peter continued saying that God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter continued saying that And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

In the letter (letters) of Peter is not any mention to observe the law of Moses and offerings. Peter says that God has not redeemed them by the tradtion of their fathers (the order of the Old Covenant and the law of Moses), but by the precious blood of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah. Peter was the apostle of the Jews, but he didn't teach even once in his letters that Jesus' (Yeshua) Jewish disciples must observe the law of Moses and offerings. The letter (letters) of Peter proves very clearly that God had cleansed the hearts of the Church leaders in Jerusalem to turn away from the observance of the law of Moses and offerings and led them live according to the order of the New Covenant, in which the focus and the center point is Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah. When you read the complete Bible, so it is very clear that observing the order of the Old Covenant do not pertain to believers of the New Covenant.

Gal 2:
11 ¶ But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The letter to the Galatians, Paul brought out how Peter fell into the sin of hypocrisy (dissemble). Paul said that Peter and brothers walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, because Peter was a Jew living after the manner of Gentiles, and not as the manner of the Jews, so why he compelled the Gentiles to live as the manner of the Jews when he feared the Jews. In this passage the Bible proves that Peter didn't observe the manner of the Jews, but in certain situations when he feared the Jews, so he even compelled the Gentiles to observe the manner of the Jews. This shows us how Peter and elders in the Church of Jerusalem from the fear towards the Jews advised Paul to participate in the Old Covenant offerings. It was not the command of God to participate offering ritual, but the advice of men who feared the Jews.

Paul said to Peter that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Paul also said that if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. From this Paul meant that if you build up again the order of the Old Covenant, which the blood of Jesus have annulled, so you shall break against the law and the order of the New Covenant. Paul said that through the law, he is dead to the law, that he might live to God. I believe that Paul meant that through the law of Christ (Jesus the Messiah) he is dead from the order and the law of the Old Covenant, because the law of Jesus the Messiah is the same thing than the law of God according to the order of the New Covenant.

Peter fell into hypocrisy (dissemble) and walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel. Paul fell into disobedience towards God in the Acts of the Apostles. The Bible is an honest book, because it exposes to us the errors of Peter and Paul. The Bible says that God alone is sinless, infallible and perfect. Errors of Peter and Paul were humane, because every believer makes sometimes errors. Despite of their errors God gave the pure Gospel through them when they wrote their letters, because God protected and preserved their teachings as pure and true according to the order of the New Covenant. We can see from the letters of Peter and Paul that their letters based on the order of the New Covenant. The Letters of Peter show to us that Peter and the elders of the Church in Jerusalem were released from the order of the Old Covenant and offerings. Even though Peter and Paul made their errors, so we have to remember the fact that God chose them as the apostles. No man shall have ever same kind of honor as God gave them, because God gave them mercy and honor to write the word of God in the Bible. We all have a lot to learn from the God and Jesus and also from Peter and Paul.

When you study the letters of the New Testament, which Paul, Peter, Jacob, John and et cetera wrote, so nowhere in their letters they don't teach the order of the Old Covenant and the offerings to be a power in the order of the New Covenant. The reason why they don't write about observance of the law of Moses and offerings is it that God annulled the order of the Old Covenant when the New Covenant came in the power through the atonement and the blood of Jesus (Yeshua).

Acts 24:
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

Some people teach that Paul participated in the offerings of the Old Covenant, because Acts 24:17 says that Paul came to Jerusalem to offer the offerings. When we study this passage in the light of Greek language and the whole teaching of the Bible, so we can see that Paul didn't mean in this passage offerings of the Old Covenant. In the Greek language the word alms is eleemosune, which means mercy, pity, a donation to the poor, alms. In the Greek language the word offerings is prosphora, which means the act of offering, that which is offered, a gift, a present, a sacrifice, whether bloody or not: offering for sin, expiatory offering.

Paul refers in Acts 24:17 to Acts chapter 21, in which he paid expenses of four men concerning to Nazarite vow. Paul's sacrifice (offering) was giving of money to four men, because Paul didn't participate in offerings of OT and offerings word means also a gift, which you give as a sacrifice. If Paul would participate offerings of OT, so he would mock and made unnecessary the atonement of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah, but he didn't make it, because God prevent it allowing the Jews catch him. Thus, it is very clear that in the light of the whole teaching of the Bible Paul's "offering" was a gift as expenses of four men and not animal offering.

When the apostle Paul said: that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets; so he meant that he believes all things which are written in the law and the prophets and he worship according to (Jesus -Yeshua) way the God of his fathers. I also believe that all things in the Bible (OT and NT) are the words of God, but despite of it, I believe that the order of the Old Covenant has been annulled and I believe in God through Jesus (Yeshua) according to the order of the New Covenant. I believe that Paul believed in the same way as I do, and I bring out the evidence of it through the word of God.

Eph 2:
11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The apostle Paul taught that Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah has broken down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles, making both the Jews and the Gentiles as one through the faith in the atonement and the blood of Jesus, when He abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments (the order of the Old Covenant) contained in ordinances, for to make in Himself of two (Jews and Gentiles) as one new man. In this passage Paul taught annulling of the order of the Old Covenant. 

2 Cor 3:
4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
6 ¶ Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

The apostle Paul taught that we are ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Paul said that letters which kills is the ministration of death through Moses (the order of the Old Covenant), but the ministration of the Spirit (the order of the New Covenant) is much more glorious as compared to the ministration of death (the order of the Old Covenant). The apostle Paul didn't teach and observe the order of the Old Covenant, but the order of the New Covenant.

Fil 3:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 ¶ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

The apostle Paul said that he is an Israelite, the tribe of Benjamin and he was as concerning the law, a zealous Pharisee, but things that brought to him gain, those he counted loss for Jesus (Yeshua). Paul said that he counted all things as loss for the knowledge of Jesus, because he had suffered the loss of all things, and he counts them as dung, that he may win Jesus. Paul continued saying that he would be found in Jesus, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law (the order of the Old Testament), but that which is through the faith of Jesus (the order of the New Covenant), the righteousness which is of God by faith.

When you study very precisely verses of Acts 3:5-9, so you notice that Paul held the order of the Old Covenant as the loss in the knowledge of Jesus. The only reason why Paul was capable to say like this way was the result from that the order of the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus annulled the order and offerings of the Old Covenant.

Gal 3:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 ¶ Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

The apostle Paul told how God gave His promises to Abraham and how after four hundred and thirty years God gave His law to Moses. Paul said that Gentiles (also the Jews) shall have the blessing of Abraham through Jesus the Messiah and through faith they shall get the promised Holy Spirit. Paul said that the law (Old Covenant) can't annul the promise given to Abraham from the Messiah Jesus and the faith in Jesus brings childhood of God, because the inheritance of God don't come by the law (order of the Old Covenant), but by the promise given to Abraham. After this Paul says that the law (the order of the Old Covenant) was added till the seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise was made. The Lord Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham and when Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross and resurrected from the dead, so through His atonement and blood the order of the Old Covenant was annulled and the order of the New Covenant replaced the old order.

We can see very clearly that the apostle Paul didn't observe the order of the Old Covenant and its offerings. If you only read Bible verses that Shulam took up through his explanation, so you shall be deceived to think and believe that the order of the Old Covenant still exists in the era of the New Covenant. When you read the whole teaching of the Bible, so you understand and know that the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant is not in the power anymore, because the blood and the atonement of Jesus the Messiah annulled the order of the Old Covenant. In the light of the whole teaching of the Bible Peter and other leading brothers and Paul didn't observe the order and offerings of the Old Covenant.

Matt 27:
50 ¶ Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Luke 22:
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The veil of the temple was torn into two from top to bottom, when the Lord Jesus died for the remission of sins and through His blood the era of the Old Covenant was finished and then began the era of the New Covenant. The blood of Jesus and His death caused that the veil of the temple was torn into two from top to bottom. This was the sign of God that the God Himself annulled the order and the priesthood of the Old Covenant and started the New Covenant.

If the order of the Old Covenant would still remain in the power, so God couldn't tear the veil of the temple, but because He did it, so it is God's own testimony that the blood, the offering and the death of Jesus finished the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant. The testimony of the Bible is indisputable that the order of the Old Covenant is not power anymore in the era of the New Covenant.

Joseph Shulam wrote: In Paul’s defense before Festus the Roman governor, in Caesarea by the Sea, Paul repeats the same refrain as he did before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. In Acts 24:14, “I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets.

Shulam bring out that the attitude of Paul concerning to the temple and his behavior was consistent with the law of Moses.

Acts 25:
8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

In Rome the Caesar has a status of a god, but Paul never ordered or advised anyone to worship Caesar or hold him as a god. Did Paul lie when he said that he didn't offend Caesar anything at all? He didn't lie, because we ought to obey God rather than men. So in the eyes of God, he has not broken against Caesar. And when Paul said that he hadn't broken the law of the Jews and the temple, so he said it before God from the perspective of the New Covenant order and the law, which was now the law of God before God. This is the only explanation, because we have seen in the letters of Paul that he said that the order of the Old Covenant was cancelled and he didn't teach the order and offerings of the Old Covenant in his letters.

The teaching of the letters of Paul is crystal clear proof that he didn't teach, that the order of the Old Covenant would be in power in the  time of the New Covenant. All things that Paul wrote in his letters about the law must understand and see in this light, because the apostle Paul didn't conflict with himself.

Conclusions

Joseph Shulam write in the end of his teaching summary and conclusions about the Acts of Apostles concerning to the temple of Jerusalem. He says that we should make some observations from the evidence.

Joseph Shulam says: The Early Church did not see any conflict between the validity of Yeshua's sacrifice and the coexistence and worship in the Temple. Yeshua's sacrifice must have been considered the completion or perfection of the sacrificial system of the Temple, but not the annulment of it

Hebr 8:
6 ¶ But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

The teaching of Joseph Shulam is another gospel (false gospel), not the Gospel of the Bible. Hebrews chapter 8 has a reference from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The word of The Bible in Old Testament and New Testament proves that when God makes the New Covenant  with the tribe of Judah and Israel (also with Gentiles), so He will not make the same kind of Covenant than He made by those whom He lead out of the land of Egypt. This means it that when the New Covenant came to the power, so then the order of the Old Covenant was annulled, because the New Covenant has been established to better promises by the blood and the atonement of Jesus (Yeshua) Messiah.

The last word in Hebrews 8:13 is aphanismos, which means vanish away, disappearance and destruction. According to the teaching of the Bible the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant was annulled and abolished, when the New Covenant came in the power through the blood and the atonement of Jesus the Messiah.

Hebrews chapter 8 has also such kind of meaning that when it has been said through the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of the New Covenant with the tribe of Judah and Israel (also to the Gentiles), so the Old Covenant was near to vanish away when the prophesy was given to Jeremiah. Finally, the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant was abolished and annulled when the New Covenant came in the power. The letter to the Hebrews was written in the era of the New Covenant and this means that the Old Covenant was already abolished in the time when the letter to the Hebrews had been written down.

Hebr 10:
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

The letter to the Hebrews says very clearly that through Jesus the Messiah the Old Covenant (the first) has been abolished, that God may establish the New Covenant (the second).

Joseph Shulam wrote: Prof. I. Yadin, held the opinion that the letter to the Hebrews was written to a group from the Essene community who accepted Yeshua as the Messiah and were disappointed and desperate almost to the point of giving up their faith. If Prof. Yadin’s theory is correct the attitude of the letter to the Hebrews on the Temple in Jerusalem reflects the “dead sea sect’s views.” These views of the Essene community could have been different from those of the Pharisees who became believers.

Joseph Shulam falls into classical sin in there when he tries to prove his doctrine as the correct interpret from the word of God through a few verses (which are partly understood in a wrong way). When a man doesn't want to believe the whole truth of the Bible, so he tries to abolish the passages, verses, books and letters that are against his doctrine. Shulam alludes that the letter to the Hebrews is not Biblical text, but the views of Dead Sea sect's. This kind of claim is an arrogant claim and sin against God.

Hebr 13:
22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

Timothy in the letter to the Hebrews is the same Timothy, who was with Paul servants of God. Paul and Timothy weren't members of the Essene community, but they were members of the New Covenant Church. The testimony of the Bible is very clear that Essenes didn't write the letter to the Hebrews, but the servant of God in the New Covenant Church wrote it to Jewish believers who believed in Jesus the Messiah. The letter to the Hebrews cancel and abolish very clearly the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant. I'm not sure who wrote this letter, but he could be Paul or some other person, but it is very clear that he was a Jewish man who believed in Jesus the Messiah.

Salutation from the saints of Italy proves that it has been written in Italy, perhaps in Rome. This also proves that into question is not Essene community views. The apostle Paul was in Rome and it would advocate with the text type of Paul, that Paul could be the writer of the letter to the Hebrews.

The crystal clear fact is that the writer of the letter to the Hebrews is a Jewish man who believed in Jesus the Messiah. The letter to the Hebrews brings out very clearly that the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant has been abolished through the blood and the atonement of Jesus the Messiah (the order of the New Covenant). The letter to the Hebrews has been written to the Jews (Jesus' disciples) that they would forsake the order, the offerings and the priesthood of the Old Covenant and would believe in Jesus the Messiah according to the order of the New Covenant.

Matt 5:17 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Hebr 7:
11 ¶ If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

The Bible teaches that the priesthood of the Old Covenant (and the whole order with offerings) has been abolished for the sake of change of the law, which occurred by the blood and the atonement of Jesus the Messiah, which established the order of the New Covenant in the salvation history of God.

The Lord Jesus (Yeshua) didn't destroy the law of God, but He fulfilled it, living on the earth sinless life, being perfectly in all things obedient to His Father. When Jesus the Messiah lived on the earth, He didn't destroy the law of God (OT law), but through His blood and atonement happened, the change of the law, in which the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant was abolished. The blood and the atonement of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah is the foundation of the New Covenant and there is no other offering in the New Covenant than Jesus' offering in the Calvary.

Hebr 10:
1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 ¶ Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Bible says that the offerings of the Old Covenant have been abolished, because we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah once for all. This is the reason why the order of the Old Covenant was abolished and annulled. It is very arrogant heresy to claim that the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant are still valid at the time of the New Covenant.

Joseph Shulam is riding on with the doctrine of two covenants, because he believes that the Old and the New Covenant are valid at the same time. The teaching of the Bible has abolished and annulled it very clearly that the Old Covenant was abolished when the New Covenant came in the power.

Joseph Shulam says: The Apostles went to the Jewish Synagogue every Sabbath when they were in the Diaspora, they went to the Temple and met to worship God and the Messiah in the Temple courts when they were in Jerusalem. They kept the Jewish holidays, and customs, and they did welcome their Gentile brothers and sisters as equals and one in the Kingdom of God. It seems to me that when we speak of the restoration of the New Testament Church we need to take these points into account.

Joseph Shulam believes that God restores the New Covenant Church to the original faith of the Early Church and restoring of the Old Covenant. For this reason Shulam believes that the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant pertain to the restoration of the New Covenant. The teaching of Joseph Shulam is falling away from the truth and the deception. The deception of Shulam is in there when he through a few verses of the Bible tries to connect the Old and the New Covenant to be in the power at the same time. In the light of the complete teaching of the Bible, I can write that Joseph Shulam is a deceiver and preacher of the wrong gospel.

God shall restore the New Covenant Church back to the condition and the order of the Early Church, but according to the order of the New Covenant, in which is no space and room to the Old Covenant, because the New Covenant abolished the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant.

Hebr 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebr 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebr 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Joseph Shulam's teaching about uniting the Old and the New Covenant is a great deception concerning restoration of the New Covenant Church and most of all it defames the offering of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah.

The Bible teaches that the offering of Jesus is the only accepted offering, which leads people to sanctification who believe in the Lord Jesus. Joseph Shulam places the offerings of the Old Covenant beside of Jesus' offering, which means that he believes that Jesus' offering is not enough to sanctification, but there is also needed Old Covenant offerings. From this thought is only a short step to forming such heresy, that Old Covenant offerings ought to give the power and influence that the OT says they have. Forming of this kind of doctrine would be consistent development with teaching of Joseph Shulam.

Romans 3:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

1 Cor 9:
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

The apostle Paul taught that the faith in Jesus does not annul the law of God, because by the faith the law of God would be established and confirmed. Paul didn't mean by this the law of the Old Covenant, because the New Covenant abolished it. Paul meant that the establishing of the Law means the law of Christ (the law of Jesus), in which is in the power the law of the New Covenant; All of the Ten Commandments, those teachings of the Old Covenant that are mentioned to be in the power in the New Covenant and also command that came with the New Covenant, which weren't in the Old Covenant (Jesus' offering, the royal priesthood, believers are the temples of God and et cetera).

The apostle Paul taught to the Corinthians that he is to the Jews as under the law, but however he is under the law of Christ (Messiah Jesus). Paul was not without the law of God, because he was under the law of the Messiah Jesus. Paul didn't say that he was to the Gentiles as under the law of the Old Covenant, but under the law of the Messiah Jesus. Being under the law of the Messiah Jesus means the change of the law, in which the Old Covenant has been abolished and the faith in God goes by the order of the New Covenant. Thus, it is very clear that Asian Jews in Acts chapter 21 were right concerning to Paul that he taught all men everywhere to act against the laws (OT laws) of the Jews, because Paul taught in everywhere that in Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah the order of the Old Covenant has been abolished.

Room 2:17 ¶ Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

Room 6:
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Paul's letter to Romans exposes to us that in the Church of Rome were Gentile and Jewish believers who believed in Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah. Paul taught to belivers of the Church of Rome (to the Jews and Gentiles) that they are not under the law (Old Covenant), but under the grace, because grace and truth came through Jesus the Messiah (the order of the New Covenant). Also this passage proves to us that Paul taught all men everywhere to act against the law of the Old Covenant.

Matt 9:
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
14 ¶ Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Hos 6:
4 ¶ O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.
6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

The Pharisees were in their hearts attached to observe the law externally through the offerings and other regulations, but they didn't understand the goal of the law, which is the mercy (knowing of God) and not sacrificing of the offerings. Therefore, Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah said that the Pharisees should go and learn what the mercy means, because God wants mercy, not the offerings.

God said through the prophet Hosea how He wants more mercy and knowing of God that the offerings. The animal sacrificial system has not never been God's final plan, but temporary solution. Through the blood and the atonement of Jesus the Messiah. God abolished the Old Covenant animal offerings, because through Jesus the Messiah came the truth and the grace. Through Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah came the final solution to the atonement of sins. God abolished the order of the Old Covenant, because through Jesus came in the power better Covenant, which has made for the better promises through the blood and the atonement of Jesus.

Mark 15:
37 and Jesus cried with a loud voice, and expired.
38 and the curtain of the door of the temple was rent, from the top to the bottom.

Why did God tear the veil of the temple, did He it as the sign that the order of the Old Covenant was the same and unchanged or was it as the sign that the order of the Old Covenant was abolished and annulled? If we are honest in our hearts before God, so we would believe that the broken veil meant abolishing of the order of the Old Covenant, because the broken veil doesn't give the message that the Old Covenant order would remain in the power, but it gives the message that the Old Covenant order was abolished. God Himself chose that the broken veil was the sign, in which He first announced and published that the Old Covenant order was abolished and the time of the New Covenant has begun (Jer 31:31-34). We should accept His decision and resist and rebel against the work and order of God.

Luke 22:
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Hebr 10:
19 ¶ Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

The breaking of the veil through the blood of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah opened the way to the New Covenant abolished the order of the Old Covenant. The breaking of the veil led to the change of the law, in which the order and the priesthood of the Old Covenant were abolished.

Hebr 7:
11 ¶ If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

The word of God says very clearly that the chancing of Old Covenant priesthood caused also the change of the law. This means that the Old Covenant priesthood and animal offerings was repealed and annulled, because nowadays the law of God works and is in the power, according to the order of the New Covenant and the order of the Old Covenant is not in any way in the power at the time of the New Covenant. The message of the letter to the Hebrews is to Jewish believers of Jesus the Messiah and it says that the order of the Old Covenant has been annulled, because the order of the New Covenant is in the power through the blood and the atonement of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah.

Lastly, I want to say to everybody that let us keep our faith accordance with the order of the New Covenant, because the blood and the atonement of Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah abolished the order of the Old Covenant. Jewish Early Church honored the Jews and the temple, but the Early Church did not believe the existence of the order and the offerings of the Old Covenant, because the New Covenant abolished it. Gird your heart in faith from the grace of God to the same kind of faith that the Early Church had.

 

 

Petri Paavola 16.8.2015

Sources:
33/38 Raamattu
Biblia 1776
King James Version 1769
netivyah.org/article/the-early-believers-in-yeshua-the-second-temple


 





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