The Hebrew Love Story

 

The Introduction

 

 

 

The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant.  The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series.  In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand!  The Hebrew Love Story consists of…

 

 

The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction

 

Part One - Abram the Hebrew

 

Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai

 

Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut

 

Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!

 

Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?

 

Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!

 

Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation

 

Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!

 

 

Note:  If you have not read the 'Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage' article it would be good for you to take the time to read it.  It is the framework of understanding from which I have written 'The Hebrew Love Story' series.

 

    The more I regard the faith of my Savior and Messiah Yeshua the more I realize the need for a proper understanding of the Hebrew process of marriage. My title for this paper may be a bit misleading; I’m not here to write about romance per se but rather the Hebrew foundation for the romance that ensues. The reason for writing this is that I see in discussions between believers, statements which make it obvious there is a fundamental lack of understanding in regard to what constitutes a marriage covenant, you see, The Hebrew Love Story is all about ‘covenant’! In developing the proper framework for marriage we can then, and in my opinion, only then, go to the Scriptures and draw solid conclusions as to what we are expected to keep in the way of commandments as we seek to become the Bride of Messiah Yeshua via His wedding proposal during this time of exile.

 

     First off... It should be understood that in the days of old the parents sought out good marriage candidates for their sons and daughters. They were deeply involved as to whom their children married. They would go to their own family to seek out marriage partners as can be seen in the story of Abraham sending his servant Eleazer back to his distant family to seek a bride for his son Isaac. As a matter of fact through the Abrahamic Covenant Yehowah establishes a family He calls His own. That family is known as ‘Hebrews’. As Yehowah sends forth His Ruach haKodesh to seek out a Bride for His Son the Ruach haKodesh will go back to the Hebrew family of Abraham to find Her. In Galatians 3:29 the Apostle Paul said,

 

“And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Abraham, and heirs according to promise.”

 

     Secondly... Once a suitable marriage candidate is found within the family a proposal is made. This proposal includes what is known as a ‘ketubah’, it is the ‘terms’ that the bride must accept if the marriage betrothal is to become a reality.  In today's western world mindset a pre-nuptial agreement is rather taboo but it was not so in yesterday's Middle Eastern world, it was standard operating proceedure!  If she doesn’t accept the proposal terms we need go no further, there will not be a betrothal to the groom. However if the woman accepts the ‘terms’ of the proposal she will then drink from a cup that is also presented to her either by the prospective groom or the one who represents him. Once she has drunk from that cup she has accepted the ‘terms’ of the marriage proposal and the beginning of a marriage covenant is now in place. We can see the terms of Yeshua’s proposal to His Bride in what is known as The Book of the Covenant.  The Book of the Covenant can be found in Exodus 19:1 to Exodus 24:18 and the amendment to the Book of the Covenant is found in Deuteronomy.  In The Book of the Covenant we discover one covenant with two distinct bodies of law that correspond to two distinct phases of the marriage covenant between Messiah Yeshua and His Bride.  The first body of law applices to the Bride living 'outside the land' and can be kept 'anywhere at anytime'.  The second body of law applies to the Bride living 'in the land'.  At The Master's Table (The Lord's Supper) when Messiah Yeshua says,

 

"If you love Me you will keep My Commandments." (John 14:15 NRSV)

 

He is referring to The 10 Words Covenant contained in The Book of the Covenant.

 

     Thirdly... With the acceptance of the marriage proposal ‘terms’ by the betrothed bride the groom will then return to his father’s house to build an addition for him and his bride to live in. In John 14:2 Yeshua says,

 

“In My Father’s house are many staying places. And if not, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

 

When the father sees the addition has been finished to his standard the father tells the son to go get your bride. Of course we see this in the case of our Heavenly Father and His Son Messiah Yeshua. This is beautifully portrayed in the fall feast of Yom Teruah. When the bridegroom comes to get His bride, messengers go before him to announce his coming. The bride needs to be ready! The bridegroom will take his bride to his bridal chamber where the end of the betrothal phase of the marriage takes place; this is known as the ‘consummation’. Consummation means ‘end of’, in this case it is the ‘end of’ the betrothal phase of the marriage covenant. This is a time of judgment and from this point on the marriage will either go forward into the bound phase, at which time it can longer be broken, or, it will at this moment end in divorcement via the judgment imposed at the consummation. Legitimate divorcement can only take place during the betrothal phase, that is a very important point! In Ezekiel 20:33-38 there is a prophecy of a judgment which takes place at the end of the Greater Exodus when the people have returned to the Promised Land, this judgment is also pictured in Matthew 7:21-23, there is no doubt this is Yom Kippur.  There can be no doubt that the righteousness of this judgment depends upon the laws found in The Book of the Covenant.

 

     Fourthly... If the bridegroom’s judgment upon his bride, after the consummation process has taken place, is favorable, there will then be a marriage supper. At this marriage supper the bridegroom will drink from a cup and in doing so he accepts his betrothed bride as his bound wife. The marriage covenant between them is no longer terminable save the death of one of the two. Notice the ‘act of consummation’ takes place ‘before’ the marriage supper where the bridegroom drinks from the cup thereby accepting his bride as his wife! Yeshua says in Luke 22:17-18,

 

“And taking the cup, giving thanks, He said, “Take this and divide it among your-selves, for I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of the fruit of the vine until the reign of Elohim comes.”

 

When is it then that Yeshua will drink this cup? This is a clear reference to The Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

     So then with that in place I turn full circle to my premise that because we don’t understand the above or read our Scriptures with the above as a framework for interpretation we get confused about what we are to keep in the way of commandments, instructions and laws during our exile until the return of Messiah Yeshua.

 

The focus of this is really on the area of betrothal.

 

Is the betrothed bride bound to keep both bodies of law in the ‘proposal terms’ of the marriage covenant while she still lives in her father’s house and waits for her bridegroom to come get her?

 

The obvious answer is ‘NO’!

 

The Bride will not be judged by a law she cannot keep!  The laws designed and intended to be kept 'in the land' cannot be kept 'outside the land'.  Now it may well be that she will choose to show her heart’s desire to keep the terms of her bridegroom’s proposal in any way she can, that is all well and good, but she is not yet ‘obligated’ to keep the ‘proposal terms’ of her Bridegroom that apply to living 'in the land' and require a functioning temple and priesthood. It is only when she is taken to the house of the Bridegroom that she is then ‘obligated’ to keep the ‘proposal terms’ that she committed herself to when she drank from the cup at the time of betrothal.

 

     So then how does this all play out in our faith as we strive to become the Bride of Messiah Yeshua? First of all the Bride of Messiah Yeshua will be of the family of Abraham, she will be a member of the Abrahamic Covenant.  On Mount Sinai Messiah Yeshua proposed the terms of His Marriage Covenant to Israel via The 10 Words Covenant.  The 10 Words Covenant is a covenant that stands upon the Abrahamic Covenant, it is a foundational covenant, together they are the foundation of The Everlasting Covenant!  The betrothal phase of the covenant, i.e. The 10 Commandments must be in place before the establishment of any marriage covenant. Why? Because there must be a law in place by which the Bridegroom can judge His Bride at the time of ‘consummation’.

 

     As it turns out the marriage covenant between Yeshua and those who stood at the foot of Mount Sinai ends in divorcement during the betrothal phase. There is no doubt in my mind that this divorcement is recorded for us in Numbers chapter 14. The Israelites broke the first three commandments of the 10 Words Covenant showing no faith in Yehowah Yeshua, desiring rather to return to the gods of Egypt.

 

     That of course is not the end of the story as Yehowah Yeshua brings the children of the deceased into the covenant in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua. It is according to this amended covenant that the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua finally entered into the Promised Land.  Unfortunately, the Israelites continued their old ways after entering the Promised Land and for the very same reasons their mother was divorced back in Numbers 14 the Israelites were eventually driven out of the land.

 

     Now then to bring it home to you and I living here in exile today.

 

Are we, as people who believe Yeshua is the Messiah and desire to become His Bride, obligated to keep the entire set of ‘proposal terms’ here and now?

 

The answer is a resounding ‘NO’!

 

If we are to become the Bride of Messiah Yeshua then it is incumbent upon us to ‘accept’ His entire proposal terms, both bodies of law for living 'outside the land' vs. living 'inside the land' here and now but we’re not ‘obligated’ to keep the laws for living 'inside the land', a body of law that we cannot presently keep here and now. We will do that once we enter into the Promised Land which is His bridal chamber. Having said that lets be clear about one thing, there is recorded somewhere the actual ‘ketubah terms’ of Yeshua’s marriage proposal. We must be able to read these ‘terms’ if we are to be able to ‘commit’ to these terms. If the Book of the Covenant does not contain the ‘ketubah’ then someone needs to come up with where they are because you can not commit to something you’ve never seen. Yehowah is very specific, he is not nebulous or diffuse in any way. Covenants by nature are contracts that are extraordinarily specific.

 

     At this time in our exile as betrothed believers in Messiah Yeshua, that is ‘if we actually are betrothed believers’ in Messiah Yeshua, we are not ‘obligated’ to keep that portion of the ‘ketubah’ that applies to living 'inside the land' but that shouldn’t stop us from showing the desire of our heart. There are many commandments that we can keep today. Things like eating clean foods rather than unclean foods, you can expand the list as you see fit but I think you get the point. In doing so we are only showing our heart’s ‘desire’ to follow His ways, but let's not get judgmental about it and force others to do what we are doing based on our own choices. No one should think that when we go to Sukkot we’re actually keeping the commandment; rather we’re showing our heart’s desire to keep the commandment.

 

     Also, let's not forget the admonition given in Acts 15 to believers in Antioch by Ya’aqob, the half brother of Messiah Yeshua, who stipulated that the new believers should not be troubled with any greater burden than these necessities,

 

“that you abstain from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring.”

 

This begs the question, ‘Why only these things?’ The people of Antioch were not burdened with keeping a law they could not keep because they lived outside the Promised Land,. What they were expected to do was to abandon their pagan ways which were represented by the four practices listed. So what does that mean to you and me? I don’t eat meat offered to idols or drink blood or eat strangled birds or animals and I don’t give it a go with temple prostitutes, so what does it mean to me? It means giving up ‘my’ pagan ways, a pagan calendar, christmas, easter and whatever else I might be doing that has pagan origins and please believe me, there is still a truckload of paganism within the faithful. Lets show Messiah Yeshua our heart’s desire and abandon our pagan ways and follow Him!

 

     Nevertheless there are commandments that we do need to keep here in exile if we’re Abraham’s seed. It is by The 10 Words Covenant that we will all be judged at the time of ‘consummation’ (Yom Kippur) prior to entering into the Bridal Chamber of Messiah Yeshua (Ezekiel 20:33-38, Matthew 7:21-23). There is nothing about The 10 Commandments that is conditioned upon being in the Promised Land. We need to pay attention to that!

 

     It is my opinion that if we could wrap our minds around what I’ve written above we could drop the squabbles about what law we need to keep and what we don’t need to keep. It all depends upon being in the Promised Land; if you’re in the land then you keep all of the commandments. If you’re not in the land then you are not ‘obligated’ to keep the commandments of the marriage proposal that pertain only to living 'in the land' but if it is your heart’s desire to keep as many as you can then feel free to do so but don't judge others who are not making the same choices. But please understand, you will not be judged by a law that you cannot keep at this time!

 

     I truly hope this article will set a number of my brothers and sisters free from the constant debate as to what we’re to keep in the way of commandments as believers in Messiah Yeshua who seek to become His Bride.

 

Keep in mind the simple picture of The Hebrew Love Story...

 

1) Believe in Messiah Yeshua as your Master and Redeemer, in doing so you are of Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise, as such we are to weed out all paganism from our lives.

 

2) Keep the 10 Words Covenant out of Love for your Master knowing your justification does not come through keeping commandments but rather through the atonement of Messiah Yeshua.

 

3) Accept the marriage proposal of Messiah Yeshua found in The Book of the Covenant by eating the bread and drinking the cup of ‘The Master’s Table’!

 

The Hebrew Love Story is without question the most important work of my life.  I urge you Brethren, give it a read; I know you will be blessed by it if your mind is open!  It may very well be the most important series of articles you will ever read!

 

Once again, the titles of 'The Hebrew Love Story' series are,

 

The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction

 

Part One - Abram the Hebrew

 

Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai

 

Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut

 

Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!

 

Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?

 

Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!

 

Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation

 

Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!

 

Until Messiah Yeshua returns for us as His Bride may we live in peace with one another and peace of mind knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that we have entered into His marriage covenant!  Shalom Brothers and Sisters, I'll see you on the other side!

 

 

May the Ruach HaKodesh lead you as you read!  Amein and amein!

 

 

 

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