Bed-rock of our Faith
Yeshua said in Luke 6:48-49 Everyone who comes to me, hears my words and acts on them- I will show you what he is like: he is like someone building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the torrent beat against that house but couldn’t shake it, because it was constructed well and Matt 7:24-25 “So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock.”
Bedrock is defined as the fundamental principles on which something is based.
The fundamental principles of our faith is as explained by Yeshua in John 3 “unless a person is born again from above he will not be able to enter the Kingdom of God”. And in John 3:5-7 ….”Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
1.To be born from the Spirit is to receive the revelation from Elohim that Yeshua is His Son.
In order to explain “to be born from the Spirit”, we need to consider the Word of God spoken through Yeshua the Messiah in Matthew 16:18. But we need to dig deep to find the truth, so consider the argument below.
The matter of what language was spoken in the time of Yeshua, seem to be an intellectual debate based on historical facts, and yet within the Bible, whether translated from Hebrew to Greek or any other way, there is definite Hebrew/Aramaic words that the translators did not translate, a definite reference to Hebrew as the spoken language of that time, whether of the common people or not is not the debate.
Being so, we should not argue about what language was spoken, but should rather focus on what Yeshua said to His disciples, so that we can understand Him as our Lord and Saviour. It is about understanding Elohim and His Word that He spoke to us through His only begotten Son Yeshua, the promised Messiah.
If I want to bring an important message to a people, I would like to bring it in a perfect understandable way. Yeshua as the Son of Elohim, had no problem with language as He made it, but in the Bible in Acts 4:13 it is clearly stated that Simon Peter and John was uneducated.
Acts 4:13 “When they saw how bold Kefa and Yochanan were, even though they were untrained ‘am- ha’aretz, they were amazed; also they recognized them as having been with Yeshua.” CJB.
Based on the above I believe that Yeshua would have addressed His disciples in a language they would clearly understand, so that there would not be any misunderstanding, but what language would be the language spoken by the common people. Maybe we can return to the Bible to find the answer. Apostle Paul found himself in a difficult situation in Jerusalem and asked if he could address the people (Jewish and religious, not the pharisees but common people). I believe that in the situation that he found himself and being known to the people of Jerusalem, he would address them in the language he knew they would understand. Even though he was well capable of speaking Greek he addressed the people in Hebrew/Aramaic.
Acts 21:40 “Having received permission, Sha’ul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When they finally became still, he addressed them in Hebrew:” CJB
The Word that Yeshua spoke to “Kepha/Peter” in Matthew 16:17 was Simon BarYona, reflecting that Yeshua addressed Simon in Aramaic/Hebrew בן/בר means son pronounced as “bar“ in Aramaic and “ben” in Hebrew. The translators did not change the mentioned and I therefore believe that if one part of a sentence is Aramaic/Hebrew the rest would have been in the same language. Mt 16:18 “I also tell you that you are Peter, a and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” WEB
ואף אני אמר אליך כי אתה פטרוס ועל הסלע הזה אבנה את קהלתי ושערי שאול לא יגברו עליה׃
The Hebrew letter ‘Peh’ is also the word for mouth. The reason why Yeshua called Shimon ‘Pehter’ at that time takes us back to Sh’mot (Exodus)13:2. ” Set apart unto Me all the firstborn, whatever “pehter ha rechem”, opens the womb, among the children of Israel, of man and animal: It is mine.” Based upon the Hebrew/Aramaic translation of the Word of Elohim, let us consider Matthew 16:18 to provide more proof of “Peter” being the firstborn (first to be born from above) as Elohim gave him the revelation of His Son, Yeshua.
Yeshua explained to Nicodemus that in John 3:3-7 “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”Nakdimon said to him, “How can a grown man be ‘born’? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above.” CJB
Consider what Yeshua said unto Peter in Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed (גלה to disclose, discover, lay bare to make known, show, reveal) this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Even in the mentioned context it is clear that Yeshua explained that the disclosure of who He is, is a revelation from above, and is the focus of the context in verse 18. Peter was the “first born” who received this revelation, and through the Apostolic teaching all of us who have been privileged to receive the same revelation by faith. Looking at Acts 8:37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He answered, “I believe that Yeshua the Messiah is the Son of God”
Based upon the last mentioned and many other confirmations within the Apostolic teaching, we need to be born from above in Spirit before we can be born from water (to be baptised). Yeshua commissioned the Apostles and said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.” Even in this commission it is clear, that first to make talmidim (disciples) and then to baptise them. In Jewish culture a disciple chooses the teacher/rabbi he wants to follow with the intent to do according to his teaching – John 1:38.So before we can follow Yeshua the Messiah as the Son of the Living Elohim, we need to know Him as the Son of the Living Elohim. This knowledge is only given by revelation from Elohim, and by faith in the message, the good news that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of the Living Elohim through Whom we have received redemption of sin and is reconciled to Elohim.
2.To be born from water is an act of faith acknowledging that you have received the revelation and commit yourself to die so that you can live a recreated life in Yeshua.
After receiving the revelation and thus becoming a talmid (disciple) we need to testify concerning our faith. Acknowledging that faith is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see, therefore the first act of faith is to be born again from water, testifying that we died with Yeshua and have been raised to life (recreated) in Yeshua the Messiah, and that we no longer live but that Yeshua lives within us. 1 Peter 3:21″ This also prefigures what delivers us now, the water of immersion, which is not the removal of dirt from the body, but one’s pledge to keep a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah.” and Ephesians 2:10 “For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.” and Galatians 2:20 “When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
This baptism is not the baptism of John the baptiser, but a baptism of faith. Faith that Yeshua is the Messiah the Son of the Living God in whom we have received redemption of sin, being reconciled to God through the new covenant validated by the Blood of the Lamb. Acts 2:37-38 … “Brothers, what should we do?” Kefa answered them, “Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh.” Also Paul in his letter to Titus 3:3-7 states that baptism is an expression of our faith as we acknowledge that Yeshua delivered us by His mercy and not on the ground of our own deeds of righteousness, but by faith in Him we have been renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit. “For at one time, we too were foolish and disobedient, deceived and enslaved by a variety of passions and pleasures. We spent our lives in evil and envy; people hated us, and we hated each other. But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, he delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of his own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (Baptism) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh, whom he poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer. He did it so that by his grace we might come to be considered righteous by God and become heirs, with the certain hope of eternal life”
By baptism, you have been made part of the Household of Elohim, the common wealth of Israel, a spiritual Jew recreated in Yeshua and circumcised in the heart. Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow- citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family. You have been built on the foundation of the emissaries and the prophets, with the cornerstone being Yeshua the Messiah himself. In union with him the whole building is held together, and it is growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord. Yes, in union with him, you yourselves are being built together into a spiritual dwelling- place for God.” and Rom 2:29 “On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.”
By baptism of faith in Yeshua you show remorse in your repentance and acknowledge that you have died to your sinful nature. Rom 6:2-6 ” … How can we, who have died to sin, still live in it? Don’t you know that those of us who have been immersed into the Messiah Yeshua have been immersed into his death? Through immersion into his death we were buried with him; so that just as, through the glory of the Father, the Messiah was raised from the dead, likewise we too might live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was put to death on the execution- stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.”
By baptism you are no longer identified with the old nature, but are continuously renewed by identifying with the recreated nature of the Holy Spirit as in Rom 8:5 “For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
3. A new covenant (Ketuva/marriage contract) validated by the blood of Yeshua. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God”
After being baptised we need to partake in the Seder that Yeshua showed us and commanded us to keep in remembrance before Elohim. The Seder is the passover meal, confirming that we have passed over into the new covenant, validated by the Blood of Yeshua. Luke 22:15-20 and he said to them, “I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.” Then, taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.” Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup (the cup of redemtion) is the New Covenant, ratified (validating it.) by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” We do not drink the blood of Yeshua as some say, we drink the cup, the cup of redemption validated by the Blood of Yeshua (the Lamb of God).
According to Isaiah 42:6-7 Elohim ordained that Yeshua would become a covenant for us.”I, ADONAI, called you righteously, I took hold of you by the hand, I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people, to be a light for the Goyim (nations), so that you can open blind eyes, free the prisoners from confinement, those living in darkness from the dungeon.”
According to Jeremiah 31:33-34 Elohim predestined the new covenant. “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says ADONAI:”I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know ADONAI’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.”
The new covenant have two distinctions to it. That Elohim will put His Torah within the heart of man and that all who enter into this new covenant will know Adonai (meaning will have a relationship with Elohim). This is the meaning of the new covenant validated by the Blood of Yeshua that we have been redeemed (forgiven our trespasses of the past) and reconciled (brought into a relationship). In John 14:15-23 Yeshua explains that the purpose of the new covenant, is a covenant relationship where we show our love through obedience to Yeshua and the Father, and in return the Father shows His continued love by giving us the Holy Spirit, living within us. It is through our union with the Holy Spirit that we have been made able to walk in obedience. “If you love me, you will keep my commands; and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counsellor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you. I will not leave you orphans- I am coming to you. In just a little while, the world will no longer see me; but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. When that day comes, you will know that I am united with my Father, and you with me, and I with you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
The above-mentioned is the result of the bedrock of our faith as proclaimed by Peter(Kefa) in Acts, and it is only the beginning.
Acts 2:38-42 Kefa answered them, “Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh! For the promise is for you, for your children, and for those far away- as many as ADONAI our God may call!” He pressed his case with many other arguments and kept pleading with them, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand people.They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries, in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers.”