MESSIAH CAME TO FULFIL
PROPHETS, THE TYPES,
ETERNAL PLAN of REDEMPTION
“Y’shua said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to
finish His work’.” (John 4:34). “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your
Son, so that Your Son may glorify You ... I glorified You on earth; I have
accomplished the work which You gave Me to do.”
#7 IN A SERIES ON THE NEW
COVENANT BY DON STANTON
A QUESTION that once weighed on my
mind was ...
AS WE ARE UNDER THE NEW
COVENANT, WHY DO
WE RETAIN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN
The simple answer is because both the
Old and the New Testaments are the Word of God.
The apostles had no New Testament, and
they fully accepted, and referred to the Tanakh (the Old Testament) as the
Scriptures – the Word of God.
Paul wrote to Timothy:
“From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make
you wise in respect to salvation through faith in the Messiah,
Y’shua. All Scripture is divinely-inspired - God-breathed, and is profitable
for teaching, for conviction and reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate and complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2
That should be enough to convince the
believer that the Old Testament is divinely-inspired, and is essential for
our understanding and growth in our spiritual lives.
We are indebted to the “Jewish Bible”
for important historical records from the creation to the birth of the
Messiah, and for valuable background to our faith. But much more! The
Messianic prophecies in the OT confirm Y’shua as the Messiah. The
prophecies concerning the endtimes and future are also invaluable. Moreover,
our civil law has for centuries been based on the ordinances and precepts of
both Old and New Testaments. And the promises and blessings in the Old
Testament we would never like to discard! So to ignore or downgrade the Old
Testament would simply add to our own detriment.
Another question I had, was …
WHY ARE THERE ONLY 66 BOOKS IN
The O.T. has 39 + N.T., 27 making a
total of 66. But for a compilation of books that are the divinely-inspired
Counsel of God, these numbers do not seem to be complete! Why not, say, 70
(In Scripture we see the significance
of 70. Moses appointed seventy elders - Numbers 11:16-25; seventy ‘weeks’
were appointed for Israel - Daniel 9:14; Y’shua appointed seventy disciples
- Luke 10:1, 17).
Then, I learned that the Bible is, in
fact, composed of 70 books.
The Book of Psalms is actually five
books, although they are not usually printed as separate books. The five
books have been clubbed together, evidently for convenience. The divisions
are shown, however, in most of our Bibles.
Book One: Psalms
1 – 41
Book Two: Psalms
42 – 72
Psalms 73 – 89
Book Four: Psalms
90 – 106
Book Five: Psalms
107 – 150
Now another question that used to
concern me …
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH RITUAL IN
THE OLD COVENANT,
AND VERY LITTLE IN THE NEW
I have come to realise and appreciate
that the rituals were shadows and types of the Messiah and His redemptive
plan. Now, since the Messiah has come, there is little need for rituals, for
we have the realities. But we must confess that there are quite a few
rituals practiced in the NT church – many of them without scriptural
warrant. Some rituals are not wrong – they are simply our modus operandi
– the way we work and express worship and remembrance.
In the Old Testament, many of the
rituals were essential for remembrance, and for spiritual edification.
Likewise in the New Covenant. But what is wrong is to accept and practise
rituals for rituals’ sake, or simply to imitate someone else’s practices.
The terms of the Old Covenant which
were binding on Israel, are not binding on the church because Messiah “makes
all things new.” (Rev 21:5). And in Messiah “all things have become new.” (2
Then what did the Master mean when He
not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to
abolish but to fulfil. For truly I say to you, until heaven
and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke will by any means
pass away from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
(Matthew 5:17-18) ?
Does He mean the Law will continue to
the end of the world? No, His words indicated that the Law would be annulled
when it was fulfilled. And when Y’shua, the Pesach Lamb of God,
completed the work of atonement and redemption, He proclaimed victoriously:
“It is finished!” (John
That is when He made us alive in Him,
and “cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us
… having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15)
Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes
in Him.” (Romans 10:4)
you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. … If then the Son
makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
(John 8:32, 36)
But does “free” mean we now have
freedom to do whatever we want? No! It is freedom to live unto God by His
grace - in the power of Messiah’s resurrection.
We are not lawless! Many of the
principles and guidelines of the Old Testament are repeated in the New. And
the New Testament itself has some 1050 exhortations and commands.
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its
lusts, and do not present the members of your body as instruments of
unrighteousness to sin; but present yourselves to God as those alive from
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under
grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)
In the New Covenant we are under a
higher law ...
for the law of the Spirit of Life in the Messiah, Y’shua, has set me
(you) free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law was
powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, the sinful nature,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness or guise of
sinful man to be an offering for sin. And so He condemned sin in the
flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled
in us, who do not walk according to flesh, the sinful nature, but
according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:2-4)
So this brings me to one more question
WHAT ABOUT “HOLY DAYS” AND
The children of Israel were obliged to
keep Shabbat - the Sabbath – and the seven annuals festivals - THE FEASTS
Most Christians celebrate two
festivals – Christmas and Easter, and they feel they should attend church
for communion and worship on Sundays if possible.
More traditional churches observe the
fast of Lent, Pentecost, All Saints Day, and some extra “holy days.”
Some of the “Christian” special days
have no Scriptural basis, and some have aspects that are pagan in origin.
The apostle Paul, who has more to say
on church practices than other writers, seems to encourage the observance of
“Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new batch without leaven
- because in reality you are unleavened. For our Passover Lamb, the
Messiah, has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore celebrate
the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the leaven of malice and
wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1
This was the 8-day season of
Unleavened Bread including Passover that Paul was referring to.
On one occasion Paul was hurrying to
be in Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 20:16). In First Corinthians
Paul wrote, “Let us celebrate the feast (Passover),” but in Romans, he
declares that believers are not bound by special days!
are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or
falls. And he will stand, for the Master is able to make him stand. One man
regards one day as more sacred than others; another man regards every
day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who
observes one day as special, does so to the Lord; and
he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.”
All the festivals of the Old Covenant
looked forward to their ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah. And indeed,
Y’shua fulfils them all.
The festivals are
not mandatory for the church,
but we can learn a lot from them. And if one desires to observe and enjoy
the Festivals of YHWH – by remembering and celebrating the work of Messiah,
he is free to do so, and is encouraged to do so. (2 Corinthians 5:7-8).
But the New Covenant does not arbitrate for, or against, special days.
WHAT ARE THE FESTIVALS OF
In Leviticus 23 we read of
THE LORD’S APPOINTED TIMES.
These times were the weekly Sabbath, and the seven annual convocations
(festivals or feasts, but one was a solemn day of humility).
These times were appointed for, and
mandatory for, Israel. All Jewish males were required to make a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem three times a year to appear before the LORD. Usually their
whole families would go with them, and they were very joyful occasions as
the people enjoyed immensely going up to Zion, the City of God. And it was
possible for most people as it was no more than 5 or 6 days journey on foot
from the most remote parts of Israel to Jerusalem.
Today, Pesach is very special
to Jews all over the world, and all the hotels of Jerusalem are packed with
privileged Israelites from around the world, for the Passover week. But for
many Jews in the Diaspora (outside Israel), a journey to Jerusalem is a
once-in-a-lifetime experience – as it is for most Christians.
It’s just as well that visits to
Jerusalem are not mandatory today; there would not be enough planes to carry
everyone, and not a fraction of the hotels needed to accommodate them!
Let’s look at the festivals and see
their significance for believers today. We read about them in Leviticus 23
and Numbers 28 & 29. The first three are in the first month of the Biblical
calendar - Nisan.
1. PESACH - PASSOVER.
14th Nisan (in March-April)
Pesach commemorated God’s great
deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. The roots of the Pesach
lamb and Pesach meal are in Exodus 12. The name comes from the fact that on
the night that Passover was established, the Angel of Death moved over the
land of Egypt slaying the eldest child in each Egyptian family. The
Israelites were spared because they obeyed God’s command to slay an
unblemished lamb and to apply its blood to their front doors. When the Angel
saw the blood he “passed over” that house.
Israel was commanded to observe the
ordinance of Passover perpetually - forever. (Exodus 12:24-25)
The significance of Pesach for the
believer is REDEMPTION.
“Christ our Passover has been sacrificed” for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you
were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down to you from
your forefathers, but with the precious blood of the Messiah, a Lamb without
blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
“The Lord’s Supper” of which Paul
writes about in 1 Corinthians 11:17-28 clearly has its origin in Pesach,
for during the Passover meal ... Y’shua took bread ...
when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take eat; this is My body
which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way,
after supper, He also took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the
new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you
proclaim the Master’s death until He comes’.”
(1 Corinthians 11:24-26)
In this passage Paul is concerned
about the event
rather than the
He makes no specifics about when, or how often, the “breaking of bread”
should take place. The early Christians evidently celebrated the “breaking
of the bread” during their fellowship meals.
The “breaking of bread,” like
Pesach, is a remembrance
occasion. Pesach looks
back to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The “breaking of bread” looks back
to Calvary and the believer’s deliverance from spiritual Egypt – the kingdom
2. THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED
BREAD. 15th to 21st Nisan
(falls in March-April)
This seven-day season began on the day
after Passover. It was a period when no leaven was permitted in the homes of
the people. Leaven in scripture represents sin or evil, so the removing of
leaven signified the removal of all defilement from Israel. These eight days
were to be a time a renewal and commitment to the ways of the LORD.
The significance of this season of the
Lord, for the believer, is “HOLINESS
TO THE LORD.” The command
is in the New Covenant as well as the Old …
SHALL BE SET-APART (HOLY), FOR I AM SET-APART (HOLY).”
(Leviticus 11:44. 1 Peter 1:16)
sanctifying work of the Messiah
is constantly operating and producing
holiness in our lives. But we, like Israel, are called to remove sin from
our lives and homes. And more, we are to present our bodies as a living
sacrifice to God. (Romans 12:1-2)
It would be tremendous if all churches
today had a special season of ministry at least once a year, with the theme
of holiness, sanctification, surrender, and walking in the Spirit. Selah!
now having been freed from sin and having become servants of God, the fruit
and benefit you receive is in sanctification; and the outcome
is eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)
3. THE WAVING OF THE SHEAF –
This falls on the day after the
Sabbath which follows Pesach – so it was always on the first day of the week
(Sat sunset to Sun sunset). It involved the waving – or presenting - of a
sheaf of the first fruits
of the barley harvest to the
LORD. It expressed thankfulness to God for His provision, and it
acknowledged His Hand of blessing on the crops of the land.
The significance for the believer of
the Waving of the Sheaf on “first day of the week” is the
of Y’shua the Messiah.
“Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who
are asleep. For just as all through union with Adam die, so all
who are in union with the Messiah will be made alive, but each one in
his own order. The Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong
to the Messiah, at the time of His coming.”
(1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
And of course, Y’shua rose from the
dead on the first day of the week – sometime after sunset on Saturday, and
before dawn on Sunday morning.
So the significance of this event, is
I serve a risen
Saviour, He’s in the world today.
And more …
being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even
when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with the
Messiah - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up together, and
made us sit together in the heavenly realms in Messiah Y’shua.”
We are “in Christ” and are called to
walk in newness of life.
( Romans 6:4)
4. SHAVUOT - THE FEAST OF
WEEKS - (PENTECOST)
(falls in May-June)
The fourth festival, Shavuot falls on
the 50th day after the waving of the barley sheaf. The Greek word Pentecost
means “fifty days.” Shavuot means “weeks.” It occurs in the third month,
Sivan (May-June), but the date is variable. It depends on the waving of the
sheaf during the week of Unleavened Bread. So it also fell on “the first
day of the week.”
Shavuot was a wheat harvest festival
and a holy convocation. Two loaves of
bread were presented to the
The Jews have a tradition that Shavuot
was the day when God gave the Law at Mt Sinai, and the two loaves represent
the two tablets. Exodus 19 indicates that Israel arrived in the wilderness
of Sinai in the third month (Sivan), but there is no scripture to support
the belief that the Law was given on Shavuot.
Prophetically, Shavuot looked forward
to THE HARVEST – THE FIRST FRUITS (the formation of THE BODY OF MESSIAH)
which was the result of the Messiah laying down His life. As Y’shua said:
telling you the truth; unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and
dies, it remains alone - all by itself. But if it dies, it bears
much fruit.” (John 12:24)
result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied. By His
knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify many, as He will bear
their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)
“Having purposed, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, so that we might
be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.”
The two leavened loaves typify both
Jewish and Gentile believers presented together, to God. The leavened bread
indicates the church is comprised of redeemed sinners who will not be
sinless until the Saviour returns.
(1 John 1:10)
The formation of the Church happened
exactly on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) when the Holy Spirit came to
indwell and unite the believers in one Body. (Acts 2)
The Waving of the Sheaf and Shavuot
are inextricably linked. Christ the firstfruits of the Resurrection, and the
Church, the redeemed firstfruits of Y’shua who is “the Resurrection and the
The last three appointed seasons were
in the seventh month – Tishrei. (they fall in Sept-Oct.)
5. YOM TRUAH – THE DAY OF
TRUMPETS. 1st Tishrei.
The first of Tishrei is also called
Rosh Hashanah (New Year), as this day begins the new year of the civil
calendar. The Biblical new year, however, began on 1st of Nisan.
The Biblical festival was the
day of blowing trumpets.
The exact reason for this day is not given except to say that it was “a
reminder.” In Israel, trumpets were blown on feast days, and for special
occasions, including, coronations, processions, announcements, warnings,
awe, the Day of the Lord, and the preparation for war.
A general Jewish explanation is that
the trumpets on this day called the people to prepare for the Day of
Atonement which would occur on the 10th of the month. The 1st to 10th were
called “days of awe,” and “days of penitence.”
For the believer Yom Truah foreshadows
the great prophetic event - the coming of Messiah, with the sound of
trumpets, to gather His Bride to the Father’s House and to the Marriage of
the Master Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. Then the dead in
Christ - those who died in union with the Messiah - shall rise first.
Then we, the living believers who remain, will simultaneously
be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the
air. And so we will be with the Master for ever.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
6. YOM KIPPUR – THE DAY OF
10th Tishrei. (falls in Sept-Oct.)
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day on
the Jewish calendar. It looks back to the old dispensation when the High
Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on this day, with the blood of the
bull and the goat, to make atonement for the sins of the people committed
over the past year. Kippur comes from the word “covering.”
This is a day when the people are
obliged to humble themselves and to “afflict their souls.” The Scriptures
do not call it a fast day, but by the time of the second temple, fasting
became common on Yom Kippur.
For the believer, atonement has been
accomplished, once and for all, at Calvary. Read Romans 5:17:
if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His
Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And
not only this, but we also exult in God through our Master, Y’shua the
Messiah, through whom we have now received the atonement – the
reconciliation.” (Romans 5:17)
(Y’shua) does not have the daily necessity that the Aaronic high
priests had, of offering up sacrifices, first for their own sins and then
for the people’s sins, because Y’shua offered Himself
once and for all as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.”
when Christ, the Messiah appeared as High Priest of the better things
to come, and that are now here, He entered into the greater
and more perfect tabernacle, not made with human hands, that is to
say, not of this material creation. He entered once and for all
into the Holy of Holies in Heaven. And He entered, not by
virtue of the blood of goats and calves, but by virtue of His own blood,
having secured eternal redemption for us.”
Christ has for sin
HalleluYah! What a
For Israel, a day is coming when their
eyes will be opened, and they will enter into the blessing of the atonement
that Y’shua has made.
that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.”
The significance of Yom Kippur for the
believer is that we now have the privilege to come into the Most Holy Place
in Heaven through Y’shua our great High Priest because He has made
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the Most
Holy Place by the blood of Y’shua - by a new and living way which He
consecrated and opened for us - a way through the curtain,
that is, through His flesh - His torn body, and since we
have such a great high priest ministering over the
household of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full
assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)
7. SUKKOT – THE FEAST OF
15th to 22nd Tishrei.
This is an eight-day season which is
also called The Feast of Tabernacles. It looks back to the wilderness
journey when Israel lived in booths (or tents). But the festival has a
prophetic theme. It looks forward to the time when “the tabernacle of David”
will be raised up, and it also looks ahead to the kingdom age when Messiah
will sit on David’s throne and rule the earth with a rod of iron, and when
Israel dwells in safety. It anticipates the time when God will once more
tabernacle – dwell - amongst His people. (Ezek. 37:26-28)
The tragedy is that when God
tabernacled in Israel, in the Person of the Messiah, most of the leaders of
the Jews did not recognise Him, but rejected Him. Y’shua was indeed the true
temple of God, and was filled with the Sh’khinah - the glory of God.
The significance of Sukkot for the
believer is real; every believer is a tabernacle, and God dwells in them.
you not know that you are a Dwelling Place (tabernacle) of God, and that
the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1
And there is this glorious prophetic
significance of Sukkot – the Millennial and the Eternal reality:
I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘See now, the tabernacle of
God is with men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His
people, and YHWH Elohim Himself shall be with them - their God.”
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom,
and might and honour and glory and blessing.”