Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
(John 4:14)

ISSUE: #157


(Messianic Email Message)
Psalms 119:97 - 104
Seeking The Truth
MEM Index
Article Index

And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
(Rev 22:1)

For His Glory!


Go Make Disciples

(Discipleship Part One)

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (NAS unless noted)

ESSAY: The Biblical Basis for Missions (Articles may have been edited for length with bolding for emphasis.)

We see God's missionary purpose and heartbeat in three key elements of the Gospels: the Great Commission, the Great Commandments, and the Great Compassion. In the Great Commission, Jesus charges His followers to make disciples of all nations by going to them… baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all He has commanded (Mt 28:18-20). In Matthew 22:33-40, the Great Commandments teach us to love God and our neighbor. If we love God, we will obey His commands and strive to see the whole world worship Him. If we love our neighbor, we will want him to have eternal life. As we seek to imitate Jesus, the Great Compassion that characterized His life will shape ours also. Mark 6:34 shows that Jesus had compassion for the crowds who were like sheep without a shepherd. He said in Luke 19:10 that He came to seek and save those who were lost. Our compassion should lead us to go to them and preach the gospel, disciple believers, teach leaders, and plant New Testament churches among them. (Holman NKJV Study Bible)


Most of us call ourselves Christians - Yet that term can cover a variety of well-meaning people. To be lumped into a group of dedicated followers of a "Christian Denomination" does not make one a true follower of Christ (that is The Messiah, The Anointed One, The promised Savior of mankind, The Way, The truth and the Life).

Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples to go make disciples. What did He mean by that? What is a disciple? Are we then His disciples today? Are we to do as He commanded His disciples?


Barnes' Notes (disciples)

Matt 28:19 (KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teach all nations. The word rendered teach, here, is not the one that is usually so translated in the New Testament. This word properly means disciple, or make disciples of, all nations. This was to be done, however, by teaching them, and by administering the rite of baptism. All nations. The gracious commission was the foundation of the authority to go to the Gentiles…

(MEM comment; Properly Rendered in the New American Standard Version.)

Matt 28:19 (NAS) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…

Matt 8:21 And another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."

And another of his disciples, etc. The word disciple properly signifies learner; and was given to his followers because they received him as their teacher.

Luke 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord's word, seated at His feet.

Sat at Jesus' feet. This was the ancient posture of disciples or learners. They sat at the feet of their teachers-that is, beneath them, in a humble place. Hence Paul is represented as having been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). When it is said that Mary sat at Jesus' feet, it means that she was a disciple of his; that she listened attentively to his instructions, and was anxious to learn his doctrine.

Luke 6:39 And He also spoke a parable to them: "A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The disciple is not, beyond them in attainments; that if they were blind, their followers would be also; and that therefore it was important for them to understand fully the doctrines of the gospel, and not to be blind leaders of the blind.

John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…

The Christian… is devoted to the Savior for life. He is to toil without intermission, and without being weary of his work… The Savior never called a disciple to serve him merely for a part of his life, nor to feel himself at liberty to relax his endeavors, nor to suppose himself to be a Christian when his religion produced no fruit. He that enlists under the banners of the Son of God does it for life. He that expects or desires to grow weary and cease to serve him, has never yet put on the Christian armor, or known anything of the grace of God. See Luke 9:62.


Holman Bible Dictionary

D - DISCIPLES - Background of Disciple

In the Greek world the word "disciple" normally referred to an adherent of a particular teacher or religious/philosophical school. It was the task of the disciple to learn, study, and pass along the sayings and teachings of the master. In rabbinic Judaism the term "disciple" referred to one who was committed to the interpretations of Scripture and religious tradition given him by the master or rabbi. …question and answer, instruction, repetition, and memorization, the disciple would become increasingly devoted to the master and the master’s teachings. In time, the disciple would, likewise, pass on the traditions to others.

D - DISCIPLES - Jesus’ Disciples

In the New Testament 233 of the 261 instances of the word "disciple" occur in the Gospels, the other 28 being in Acts. Usually the word refers to disciples of Jesus, but there are also references to disciples of the Pharisees (Matt. 22:16; Mark 2:18), disciples of John the Baptist (Mark 2:18; Luke 11:1; John 1:35), and even disciples of Moses (John 9:28).

…In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus cites generosity "from him that would borrow of thee" as one example of an unexpected, loving response (instead of the typical self-protective response) to others’ demands and abuses. In each example the disciple’s primary concern is the other person, not protecting one’s own vested interests. The second person singular in verse 42 makes clear the personal nature of this response to the would-be borrower. This passage is part of Jesus’ consistent emphasis on absolute loyalty to the way of God’s kingdom, which necessitates a carefree regard for one’s possessions (Matt. 6:24-34) and personal security (Matt. 5:43-48) as one unselfishly loves the neighbor. (Read all of Matthew chapters 5-7 for His dissertation to His disciples).

D - DISCIPLES - All Followers of Jesus

All Followers of Jesus The Book of Acts frequently uses the term "disciple" to refer generally to all those who believe in the risen Lord (6:1-2,7; 9:1,10,19,26,38; 11:26,29). In addition, the verb form "to disciple" as it appears in the final commissioning scene of Matthew’s Gospel (28:19-20) also suggests a use in the early church of the term "disciple" as a more generalized name for all those who come to Jesus in faith, having heard and believed the gospel.


Some Scriptures about Disciples in the NT -- the Bible in Basic English (BBE)

Matthew 10:25 (BBE) It is enough for the disciple that he may be as his master, and the servant as his lord…

Luke 6:40 The disciple is not greater than his master, but everyone whose learning is complete will be like his master.

Luke 14:26 … If any man comes to me, and has not hate [less love] for his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and even for his life, he may not be my disciple.

Luke 14:27 Whoever does not take up his cross and come after me may not be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 And so whoever is not ready to give up all he has may not be my disciple.

John 1:43 The day after this, Jesus had a desire to go into Galilee. He came across Philip and said to him, Come and be my disciple.

John 19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, made a request to Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate said he might do so…

John 21:24 This is the disciple who gives witness about these things and who put them in writing: and we have knowledge that his witness is true.

Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias…

Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, that is, Dorcas: this woman was given to good works and acts of mercy at all times.

There is so much more to being a true disciple of Messiah - All of Yeshua’s teachings in the Gospel accounts are for our learning. Let us be one of His true disciples by being a learner, a scholar, the follower of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes His doctrine, (2) rests on His sacrifice, (3) imbibes His spirit, (4) imitates His example, and (5) keeps His commandments.

What should a Disciple of Messiah look like and what should they do?

John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 8:31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Therefore a Christian should = a Disciple).

Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples

Acts 14:21 And after they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

(Next Issue: Discipleship part Two)


Proverbs and Discipleship

Study the proverbs to understand as Yeshua (Jesus) spoke in parables to the crowds that gathered to hear Him. Matt 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"

Study the proverbs, Because the Proverbs are given for us …

Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.

Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city, she utters her sayings: 22 "How long, O naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.


"At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done."
Thomas à Kempis

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 apart from Me you can do nothing.

John 15:8 "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Essence of Message

Luke 6:40 (BBE) The disciple is not greater than his master, but everyone whose learning is complete will be like his master.

Did you know?

"The Folded Napkins - A Truck Stop Story"

[Bearing Fruit]
I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counsellor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features
and thick-tongued speech of Down’s Syndrome.
I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers
because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter
is good and the pies are homemade.

The ones who concerned me were the mouthy college kids traveling to school;
the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear
of catching some dreaded 'truck stop germ';
the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every
truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with.
I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie
so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger,
and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration.
He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how
hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was
disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their
Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop.
Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often,
admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight,
and what I paid him was probably the difference between them
being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home.
That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August,
the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart.
His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems
at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come
through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word
came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little
dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this
50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Bell Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. 'OK, Frannie, what was that all about?' he asked.

'We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.'

'I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?'

Frannie quickly told Bell Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth
about Stevie's surgery then sighed: 'Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK,' she said.
'But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills.
From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is.' Bell Ringer nodded
thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.
Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really
didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office.
She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

'What's up?' I asked.

'I didn't get that table where Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left,
and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,' she said.
'This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.'

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it.
On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed 'Something For Stevie'.

'Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,' she said, 'so I told him about Stevie and his Mom
and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.'
She handed me another paper napkin that had 'Something For Stevie' scrawled on its outside.
Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes,
shook her head and said simply: 'Truckers!!'

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work,
and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called ten times in the past week,
making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. 

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot
and invited them both to celebrate his day back

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through
the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting

'Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,' I said. I took him and his mother by their arms.
'Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!' 
I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we
marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder,
I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession.
We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups,
saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins
'First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,' I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins.
It had 'Something for Stevie' printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware,
each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.
'There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table,
all from truckers and trucking companies that heard
about your problems. 'Happy Thanksgiving.'

Well, it got real noisy about that time,
with everybody hollering and shouting,
and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? 
While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other,
Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face,
was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table...

Best worker I ever hired.

Lighter Side


I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her.  I would point out something and ask what color it was.  She would tell me and was always correct.  It was fun for me, so I continued.  At last she headed for the door, saying, 'Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!'

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, 'I'm not sure.'  'Look in your underwear, Grandpa,' he advised. 'Mine says I'm four to six.'



(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own.  They like other peoples.

A grandfather is a man and a grandmother is a lady!

Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them.  They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They don't say, 'Hurry up.'

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

Grandparents don't have to be smart.

They have to answer questions like 'Why isn't God married?' and 'How come dogs chase cats?'

When they read to us, they don't skip.  They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us.

They know we should have snack time before bed time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even when we've acted bad.

Study Notes about Disciples

Holman NKJV Study Bible - (These Study notes from the Sermon on the Mount are basic principles for the disciples of Messiah) Notes may have been edited for length and bolded for emphasis.

Matt 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Salt has many uses, but in the OT it is most often a purifying agent (Ex. 30:35; Lev. 2:13; 2 Kin. 2:21; Ezek. 16:4). As the salt of the earth, Jesus' disciples are to purify a corrupt world through their example of righteous living and their proclamation of the gospel. However, contaminated salt does not promote purity. The verb translated loses its flavor indicates foolish and immoral behavior. It refers to a professing disciple whose unrighteous lifestyle promotes destruction rather than purification. Such salt is only good for spreading over ground where you want to kill vegetation. Such is the fatal effect of an unrighteous disciple's lifestyle. Nothing grows where they go. The verb thrown out describes the disposal of something worthless, and the verb trampled alludes to the treatment an immoral disciple receives from the world.

Matt 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

This is an allusion to Isa. 9:1-2; 42:6; 49:6-texts that describe the ministry of the Messiah, Servant of the Lord. It indicates that Jesus' disciples are to be extensions of His ministry, carrying salvation to the ends of the earth. Such ministry is intrinsic to true discipleship. A disciple should no more conceal his righteousness or the gospel message than a glowing city should douse its light at night. The reference to giving light to all combines with the reference to the world to show that Christ's ministry is intended for all people. This anticipates the Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20. The disciple is not the ultimate author of his good works. If the disciple were the author of his good works, he would justly receive praise. However, Jesus taught that only the Father in heaven is to be praised for a disciple's good works, for He is the true source of such works. This must not be overlooked. The righteousness demanded by the Sermon on the Mount is a divine gift that God imparts to Jesus' followers. (MEM comment: this gift is the grace of Elohim.)

Matt 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Since the true disciple prays for a heavenly rather than a human audience, privacy is ideal for genuine prayer. Jesus described the Father as the One who is in the secret place. The disciple can encounter Him in the most obscure locations.

Matt 6:11 'Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Daily bread was the amount of bread necessary to survive for a day. Jesus wanted His disciples to live in a state of constant dependence on God and His provision (Prov. 30:8-9). 6:12 The Greek grammar indicates that the disciple prays for forgiveness from God only after having first expressed forgiveness to others.

Matt 6:21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jesus taught that a person's heart truly belongs to what it most treasures. Since a disciple is to love God with all his heart (22:37; Deut. 6:4), love for material possessions and riches is a subtle form of idolatry (Col. 3:5).

Matt 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

The disciple who values the reign of God over his life and who diligently pursues righteous living can trust God to satisfy his needs.

Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

By referring to Himself as Lord and depicting Himself as the ultimate Judge of humanity, Jesus asserted His deity. True disciples affirm Jesus' lordship, submit to His authority, and obey His commands. Jesus insisted that a person is confirmed as a true disciple not by prophecy, exorcism, or working miracles but by living a transformed life made possible by God. The disobedient lifestyles of evildoers are inconsistent with genuine discipleship. Jesus' words, I never knew you, show that these were never truly disciples.


Easton's Illustrated Dictionary

D - Disciple

A scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist (Mat 9:14), and of the Pharisees (Mat 22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes His doctrine, (2) rests on His sacrifice, (3) imbibes His spirit, and (4) imitates His example (Mat 10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69).

E - Elisha

God his salvation, the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, who became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1Ki 19:16-19).

T - Tabitha

(In Greek called Dorcas), gazelle, a disciple at Joppa. She was distinguished for her alms-deeds and good works. Peter, who was sent for from Lydda on the occasion of her death, prayed over the dead body, and said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes and sat up; and Peter "gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive" (Acts 9:36-43).

T - Timothy

Honoring God, a young disciple who was Paul's companion in many of his journeying’s. His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are mentioned as eminent for their piety (2Ti 1:5).

Life in Messiah


Do you like to have a plan in mind and all the details worked out before you move ahead with a major decision? Abraham was called to get up and get moving toward a destination that would be shown him later. The original disciples were called to follow Yeshua (Jesus). Do you see the same principle in operation at the founding of these faiths? You are familiar with Yeshua’s promises and you find security in them but His call to follow Him was given without a plan, agenda, schedule, or destination. Abraham committed to these terms and his belief was reckoned unto him as righteousness. This is a universal principle of faith, and a call to all who believe. Can you commit to follow The Messiah without knowing where He will lead you?

(Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)


Why these Ten Words

(MEM: They are to be written on the heart of Messiah’s disciples)

And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:1-3)

The Ten Commandments function in a most special way within holy scripture. You may not be aware that they are never actually called the "ten commandments," but rather, "the Ten Words" (see Exodus 34:28). Obviously the Hebrew is indicating that this is much more than a list of ten individual words. Rather they are ten unique divine utterances; unique in several ways.

First, the Ten Words were the only part of God's revelation to Moses that was given in the direct hearing of the people (Exodus 20:18-21). It isn't clear if they heard the actual words, but whatever they heard, they were so terrified, they never want to experience it again.

Second, of all that Moses received from God, only these Ten Words were written by God's own finger. In fact, he did so twice, due to Moses destroying the first set in reaction to Israel's rebellious activities while he was with God on the mountain (Exodus 31:18; 34:1).

Third and perhaps most important way the Ten Words are unique is that they, in particular, are called "the covenant" (Exodus 34:28). This would be why they were among the items that were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant.

There was of course more to the covenant given at Mount Sinai than just the Ten Words. The Ten served to point the people to the details of the entire covenant. They weren't necessarily more important than any other of God's directives, but what they do is capture the essence of the whole covenant, while the rest of Torah elaborates on them. The ten, then, especially as a collection, have an essential symbolic function in that they represent the whole Sinai covenant.

Biblically speaking, the Ten Words first and foremost function as covenant, not moral principles. They (as much of the rest of Torah) are full of morality, but primarily they establish the basis and parameters of God's relationship with ancient Israel. That is why the Ten Words begin with "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Exodus 20:2). Israel was to obey God's commands on the basis of their having been rescued from Egypt, something which no other nation can claim. Note that Israel's salvation and relationship to God were established by God first before he gave them directions to live by. Biblical morality was never intended to be a pathway to God, but rather a response of God's people to his love and faithfulness.

Living God's way under the New Covenant is similar in that it too is a response to God's salvation. This time not only as the nation of Israel who were in physical bondage to Egypt, but people of all nations who have been released from the greater bondage to sin and death through faith in the Messiah.

But as those who have a relationship with God through Yeshua, how do we live? While many have adopted the Ten Words as their moral code, others have rejected most, if not all, the commands given through Moses as being relevant today. Some claim that Yeshua replaced an older notion of hundreds of commands with only two (love God and love your neighbor) as if God is now lenient instead of strict. But that's not what is going on here at all. Yeshua's answer to the question concerning the greatest commandment (see Matthew 22:36-40) provides perspective and priority in relating to God. These two commands therefore serve as a summary of everything God calls us to.

But what does he call us to? Under the New Covenant, Torah, which was at one time written on tablets of stone, is now engraved upon our hearts (see Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:3). That which was external has been internalized. This transformational change brought about by Yeshua's death and resurrection allows us to live out the essential elements of God's revelation through Moses including the Ten Words, but within a new covenantal arrangement.

The New Covenant as promised by the prophet Jeremiah, the constitution of God's people underwent a major transformation. That which was given on tablets of stone has been internalized. The life that God had called Israel to live was no longer something outside and out of reach, so to speak, but instead to be lived from the inside out. The alienation from God which had prevented Israel from living up to the Sinai covenantal demands was resolved once and for all by the forgiveness of sin brought about through Yeshua's sacrificial death.

The main contrast between the Sinai and New Covenants, therefore, is found not primarily in their practical details, but in the constitutional arrangements within which the details are given. The older covenant provides for the organization of a national entity; the newer one enables for the inclusion of all nations without requiring specific membership in Israel. The great change in the sacrificial system from ongoing and temporal to final and permanent makes the older priestly function obsolete and thus allows believers to approach God directly.

But just because the covenantal foundations have changed, that doesn't mean that every God-given directive through Moses is no longer relevant. For it is in the Torah that we encounter almost every aspect of life from God's perspective. Discerning which elements of God's teaching (that's what "Torah" means) were for ancient Israel alone and which ones are for all people for all times can be a challenge, but a worthwhile and enriching one.

Through Torah we are reminded that relationship with God is not something detached from life's practicalities. While abstract notions of love and forgiveness are essential, it is through the directives of Torah that the core of our faith is expressed in very practical ways. The subject of slaves in the Bible …what we actually have here is God's speaking into a world where slavery was taken for granted. The boundaries and regulations God established through Moses emphasizes the value of all human beings. This would have been radical for those days and sets the stage for its eventual abolishment. How's that for being practical?

[We] continue by addressing the subject of personal liability. We are privileged to be given God's mind regarding common issues like these that people have faced throughout history. We neglect God's word on these matters to our peril.

[We also] see the consequences for certain types of social behavior, including premarital sex, bestiality, sorcery, as well as dealing with the vulnerable members of society: foreigners, widows, and orphans. As with the slavery section, modern readers might too quickly react to the prescribed consequences for certain behaviors rather than glean from God's perspective. The determining of consequences is subject to the jurisdiction of civil leaders, which while regulated under Sinai for ancient Israel, is not expanded to the nations under the New Covenant. What we can derive from this is the destructive nature of the things addressed, so that they can be avoided among believers and discouraged within the cultures in which we find ourselves.

This is what Yeshua meant when he told his followers that they are "salt and light" (see Matthew 5:13-16). As the great Master Rabbi he expounded the teachings of Moses, so that they (and us!) can learn the practical details of Torah within a New Covenant framework.

By Alan Gilman
TorahBytes Communications

*(This document may be edited for length)

Psalm Promise

Psalm 24:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 143:8 Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to Thee I lift up my soul.

Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High…)

Bible Trivia

27 Facts about Angels

1. They are mentioned 273 times in 34 biblical books.

2. They were all created by God. (Gen. 2:1; Neh. 9:6; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16)

3. They report directly to God. (Job 1:6; 2:1)

4. They were present at the Creation of the world. (Job 38:1, 4, 7)

5. They announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds. (Luke 2:10-14)

6. They do not marry. (Matt. 22:30)

7. They were created to live forever. (Rev. 4:8)

8. Their purpose is to glorify God. (Rev. 4:8)

9. Some angels help human beings. (Heb. 1:14)

10. Some angels harm human beings. (Mark 5:1-5)

11. They are spirit beings. (Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7, 14)

12. They are invisible beings. (Rom. 1:18-32; Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; 22:9)

13. They are innumerable. (Deut. 33:2; Ps 68:17; Dan. 7:9-10; Matt. 26:53; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11)

14. They possess intelligence. (Dan. 9:21-22; 10:14; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9)

15. They possess will. (Isa. 14:12-15; Jude 6)

16. They display joy. (Job 38:7; Luke 2:13)

17. They display desire. (1 Pet. 1:12)

18. They are stronger than men. (Ps. 103:20; 2 Thess. 1:7; 2 Pet. 2:11)

19. They are more intelligent than men. (Dan. 9:21-22; 10:14)

20. They are swifter than men. (Dan. 9:21; Rev. 14:6)

21. They are not omnipresent. (Dan. 10:12)

22. They are not omnipotent. (Dan. 10:13; Jude 9)

23. They are not omniscient. (Matt. 24:36)

24. Some are cherubim. (Ezek. 1:1-28; 10:20)

25. Some are seraphim. (Isa. 6:1-8)

26. The majority remained true to God. (Rev. 5:11-12)

27. They will join all believers in the heavenly Jerusalem. (Heb. 12:22-23)

The Complete Book of Bible Lists.