The Four Covenants Part I

Today’s article is about the Four Covenants God gave. Not all the covenants apply to every person as God makes it clear in his word on who the covenant is directed at. The covenants highlight, for Gentiles, that God has a plan for the entire world. In his love, mercy, and grace, these covenants show that his will is for as many of his children to be close to him and do not suffer eternal death. It’s an interesting perspective that runs contrary to the current dogma spouted by most Christian denominations. This article does use the terms Non-Christian and non-Jewish to differentiate between those that follow the Covenant established by Christ and those that follow the covenant given to Moses.

After God sent the flood and destroyed all but Noach and his family, he established a covenant with Noach and his descendants. This covenant has never been fulfilled or abolished, except in two instances. More on that later. The Noachide Covenant is about what God expects from everyone to live a righteous life and to avoid falling into the traps of legalism and doing evil. The Noachide Covenant are just 7 simple rules that non-Christians and Non-Jews to live by.

Do not deny God.
Do not blaspheme God.
Do not murder.
Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
Do not steal.
Do not eat of a live animal.
Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.

As one can see, that the Noachide laws provides the baseline for two future covenants that God will establish. If a person, non-Jewish and non-Christian, fails to adhere to these laws they have committed sin or evil in the eyes of God. I’ll give a quick commentary on each law to give the proper Jewish perspective, so everyone can understand exactly what the law means.

Do not deny God is just a simple law that says we are not to deny that God exists. We are to admit that he exists and by doing so are doing his will.

Do not blaspheme God. This one is more confusing to many Christians as they have been taught in the Pagan Gentile tradition and not the Jewish perspective. To blaspheme God is to act contrary to his will, in the more open definition, or to speak contemptuously of God, in the most narrowest sense. In the instance of the broadest sense, to act contrary to his will is to simply ignore what he wants for our lives. In the narrowest sense, it is to speak evil (contempt) of the Lord. To adhere to this law, a non-Christian, simply just has to follow the other six laws while not speaking ill of him.

Do not murder is pretty straight forward. We’re simply not to murder a person. Murder is defined in Hebrew as being premeditated or accidental. Premeditating to kill someone is to plan and perform the specific act of removing life from another individual. An accidental murder is when someone hits a person crossing the street with their car and dies. The intent of both is different with one being an intentional and the other was wholly unintentional.

Do not engage in illicit relations. Engaging in illicit relations is simply incest, sex outside the confines of marriage, pedophilia, bestiality, and other types of sexual relations outside of the confines of marriage. The purpose of marriage is simply to adhere to God’s commandment to be fruitful and multiply, so this also excludes same sex relations. The body is made in God’s image and he gave men and women a natural purpose for its use. It is simply procreation. Now, there is a caveat here, it doesn’t mean that a husband and a wife that either are infertile is a violation of this law. On the contrary, since God gave us our body’s to enjoy sex, but it must be done properly within the confines of marriage. Fertility plays no role in defining what is licit and illicit relations. Being in a licit relationship is pleasing to God while an illicit one is not.

Do not steal is really straightforward. It is just the matter of not taking anything without the permission of another to your benefit. Theft takes many forms and encompasses many different things that can be stolen.

Do not eat of a live animal. The strictest sense, this means to cut pieces of meat off of a living animal and consume it. It doesn’t matter if the meat is cooked or raw when it is consumed. It is a prohibition against causing the suffering of animals while showing mercy for following God’s word. The most open interpretation holds to the former that it is to avoid animal cruelty, but it also means that any meat eaten must be fully cooked with no blood remaining. The key is showing mercy for the creatures were have been given control over. Just like God gives us mercy and compassion, we too are to show it to his other creations that are lesser than us.

Establishing of courts is pretty straightforward. The law that is referenced here is not the Law of Moses as that hadn’t been given yet. It is laws for the running an orderly society to the benefit of all. Laws must be just as God is just as an unjust law shows that God is not just. This is not a contradiction of God stating in the Tanakh that all good and evil come from him, but rather it is his mercy and justness are what we are to adhere to. Being unjust is not being righteous and shows that a person is using their free will to commit evil on others for only their benefit. Just laws are for society’s benefit as a whole because they show mercy, love, and grace as God is merciful, loving, and full of grace. We are created in his image and it is righteous for us to act accordingly.

The next covenant God gave was to Abraham. This covenant was fulfilled when God created the nation of Israel and brought Abraham’s descendants home to the promised land of Canaan. This covenant did not change or add to the Noachide covenant. It just simply a matter of God saying this is what he will do because of Abraham’s faith in him.

The first two covenants given were the Law of Noach to all of his descendants and the Abraham Covenant. Gentiles are descended from Noach’s line as are Jews. The Law of Noach is what God expects for everyone that is not part of the Mosaic or the Christ Covenants to do. It is simply the baseline of what God says on what is pleasing to him. The Abraham Covenant is meant only for the bloodline that comes by him and Noach. It is an assurance that as part of God’s plan that he will take the bloodline from Abraham and make them his chosen people. This meant that being chosen was to separate themselves from the Gentiles and the world as a whole.

In the next part, I will be going over the Covenants of Moses and of the Messiah. This plays a major role for today’s world and shows the error in current Christian doctrine as it pertains to those that do not follow the covenants of Christ or Moses.

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Understanding Man in God’s Plan

I would like to apologize to everyone for the lack of my continued posting. Life has been hard for me and dealing with that has kept me away from posting.

Today’s post is an interesting one because it will serve as a guiding light on future posts. I will set this down as the cornerstone for First Century Restoration. I’ll be coming from the Jewish perspective which is unfamiliar to most Christians today, so they can gain understanding that the doctrines they are being taught are false ones. It will, also, set up further posts about where the Christian church has been in error.

When God created the universe, He created man with free will. He had already created the angelic hosts as completely subservient to Him. Free will is the difference between man and an angel. An angel has no choice but to do what God wants them to do. It also means that we are given a choice to follow Him or not. By following Him, we enter into a relationship that He desires. It is pleasing to Him. However, this choice must be done by our decision and with a joyful, subservient heart that truly desires Him.

This decision is the basis for sin. By following our own needs, wants, and earthly desires, we are doing evil. Previously, I commented that all things come from God. This includes that good and evil come from Him. He gives us tests to overcome to grow in our relationship with Him. If we do evil or fail our tests then we have sinned. Sin is simply not following God freely of our own free will with a joyous heart to be His servants. Sin is further detailed in three of the four covenants that God has given mankind, but for this discussion I will leave sin as being in rebellion to God and His will.

Now man is born without sin and is not held accountable for it until they reach the age of accountability. According to Judaism, the age of accountability is 13 years plus 1 day for a boy and 12 years plus 1 day for a girl. Since Christians are to be the wild branch planted into the root of Israel then we must adhere to this. Once a child reaches their age of accountability, they are responsible for any sins they acquire. They have the free will to choose to serve God or not. Thus, Yeshua’s teaching on the children remains scripturally sound. A child will not be destined for hell in the final judgment because they do not know the difference between right and wrong. It also puts to rest the current tradition and heretical doctrine about Original Sin.

God is the source of all good and evil which is what Yeshua taught in accordance with the Tanakh. He does this not be cruel or angry, but to allow us to grow as people that are faithful to Him. It also teaches many lessons, especially love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. By nurturing the good through the use of tests of faith that we are able to be more pleasing to Him. We learn and grow from these tests. Yeshua and the apostles taught using the words of trials and tribulations instead of tests of faith. However, both terminology is correct in that God tests us in our resolve to overcome the evil that we may commit. We are tested just like the Jewish people were tested to see if we will follow God willingly with a joyous heart. An excellent book in the Tanakh is Job where satan is tasked with testing Job’s faith in God to not blaspheme Him.

Since we’ve covered the basics about sin and service to God it’s time to discuss the biggest lie that is in Christianity today. That lie is the one concerning Satan/Lucifer being a distinct individual. Everything that the Christian Churches teach about it is unscriptural. Satan in the Hebrew means adversary that can be a person or the title of an angel tasked with testing the faithful. Satan functions as the prosecuting attorney for God and levies the charges of not following God against us in God’s court. Now many Gentile translations of the Bible capitalize Satan/Lucifer to indicate that this pertains to a fallen angel. It doesn’t since Hebrew makes it clear that adversary is both a title or a person. In the case of the word Lucifer, in the Tanakh it refers specifically to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar put himself higher than God which is a sin. If we trace back the Greek word used for Lucifer to the original Hebrew, which Christianity is a sect of, it is referring to people that put themselves higher than God.

It is very, very important that as Christians that we take everything from the New Testament back to the source. In this case, the source will always be Judaism and the Hebrew language. Yeshua and all of the apostles were Jewish. Their teachings and writings on scripture are entirely from the base of Hebrew and the Tanakh. The New Testament had no yet been written when Yeshua ministered to Israel, so every teaching was done in accordance to the Tanakh. This is very important to remember since the scripture echoes the Tanakh.

The early church fathers, as previously posted, were originally pagans and divorced themselves from Judaism. Their point of view is wholly incompatible with the Judaic point of view. By turning Lucifer/Satan into a second deity to oppose God, they mirrored other dualistic religions like Zoroastrianism. It removes the wild branch from the root and turns it into a dualistic religion. It also says that God is a liar in contradiction to scripture. God is not a liar, but mankind is. In doing so, they introduced a heresy that Yeshua and the apostles warned us against.

One question I get asked frequently about by Christians or people who are interested in becoming Christians, is how do I determine what is sound doctrine and what isn’t. I always give the same answer which is the answer Yeshua gave to the Israelites. The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all that you are and to love your neighbors as you love yourself because the Law and Prophets all hinge upon it. I look at the writings of the early and later church fathers to determine if they lived their lives in accordance to those commandments. Invariably, I have found complete and total disregard for them to put forth doctrines that are alien to Judaism.

A follow up question that I am asked, is how do I determine the doctrine itself in regards to its scriptural basis. I answer them that I test the doctrine against scripture and if it is totally compatible with Judaism. I ask the questions of how, why, when, where, and what the doctrine contains. I test it against the Word of God, the historical record, and Judaic thought. If it fails in any of the criteria then it is a false doctrine. I get told that what I’m saying is a heresy to mainstream Christianity. I calmly reply that what mainstream Christianity teaches is the one teaching the heresies. I give my scriptural, historical, and Judaic sources to explain why the trinity and other mainstream doctrines are a heresy.

Another common question I get asked is, “What holy days do I adhere to?” I tell them Shabbot, the feasts, and the festivals because they are the holy days that Yeshua and the apostles observed as they were given by God for man to follow. However, I am not held to the same standards that Jews must follow as they are still under the Law of Moses which pertains wholly to the Jewish people. I observe them in a way that is in accordance to what Christ and the apostles taught. They key understanding of these holy days must be remembered. All of them are to observe the love, mercy, grace, and abundance of the Lord while keeping a family and community together. This is not Gentiles co-opting Jewish culture because we are grafted into the root of Israel as the wild branch.

Modern Christianity uses pagan/man-made holidays as a substitute for what God mandated because the early and later fathers completely divorced themselves from scripture. We are commanded to separate ourselves from the world. The only scriptural way to do that is to observe the holy days that God handed down, not ones that pagans created to worship their gods. This is repulsive to God since we are not following His will and committing evil. Evil is a sin as I originally stated in this article.

Peace be with you and may the Lord keep you in His light.

Rev. Richard L. Littles