Salvation By Allegiant Belief

Written by Michael

July 27, 2023

Many people ask the question, “How did the Israelites in the Old Testament receive salvation when they did not have Jesus?” I’m sure each one of us has asked that question, and usually, it ends with a supposition that God will sort it all out in the end.  What if those answers were staring us in the face, but we never took the time to see it because of our Christianese and thoughts of salvation being relegated to the New Testament only…

There is more written about what the Messiah does in the Old Testament than in the New – mostly through the major and minor prophets. Remember something: There was NO NEW TESTAMENT when salvation in the New Testament began to occur…The Resurrection, Acts 2, Paul’s journeys, etc. All of that was written later – some by many decades.

Let’s create a starting point: Luke 24 – The Complete Jewish Bible says it this way when Yeshua came upon the two on the Road to Emmaus:

“They approached the village where they were going. He made as if he were going on farther; but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us, for it’s almost evening, and it’s getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. As he was reclining with them at the table, he took the matzah, made the b’rakhah, (blessing) broke it, and handed it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. But he became invisible to them. They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn inside us as he spoke to us on the road, opening up the Tanakh to us?” They got up at once, returned to Yerushalayim, and found the Eleven gathered together with their friends, saying, “It’s true! The Lord has risen! Shim‘on saw him!” Then the two told what had happened on the road and how he had become known to them in the breaking of the matzah.

They were still talking about it when — there he was, standing among them! Startled and terrified, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, “Why are you so upset? Why are these doubts welling up inside you? Look at my hands and my feet — it is I, myself! Touch me and see — a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see I do.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. While they were still unable to believe it for joy and stood there dumbfounded, he said to them, “Have you something here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, which he took and ate in their presence.

Yeshua said to them, “This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah of Moshe, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds so that they could understand the Tanakh, telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day; and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Yerushalayim. You are witnesses of these things. Now I am sending forth upon you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been equipped with power from above.”

So while salvation comes through repentance – leading to forgiveness of sin – in Yeshua – is there a difference in the Old Testament in how that pans out than in the New? I would argue it does not. Now, we cannot exhaust the subject in just a few words, but let’s start with this. Jesus describes WHO He IS to these two disciples from the Torah (1st five books of Moses), the Prophets, and the Psalms…NOT the “Romans Road” – or the “4 Spiritual Laws” or “Asking Jesus into your heart”.  (Are hairs on your neck rising yet?

Jesus here explains who He is – and these disciples’ eyes were enlightened AFTER they received the covenant of bread and wine (communion).

These were Jews who knew a Messiah was to come – they expected Him…generation after generation – from the promises of Abraham – through Moses – and the priesthood.  There was no Jesus incarnate, yet.  There was only a commitment of allegiance to the God of Israel, His Covenant, and His Code.

The example of the disciples on the road to Emmaus gives us the portal to see the perspective of those who believed – already – without the person of Jesus having been revealed as Messiah yet – JUST LIKE ABRAHAM – who was called the “friend” of God. So the idea of allegiance without the person of Messiah in place – with only the descriptions of who He is and will become – was enough for righteous ones in Israel to believe through a commitment to these promises.  They had the opportunity for repentance once a year through the Day of Atonement.  While the priesthood and perspective changed, the Person has always remained the same – He just became revealed as one of us on earth for a season.

So, for Israelites to be righteous, they had to have their belief not only as a knowledge of the truth but as a lifestyle of allegiance to remain in right standing with God. Unrighteous Israelites who knew the truth and traded it for a lie, were unrighteous and not deemed in right standing before Yahweh solely based on their natural ethnicity. Let’s look at what the Messiah does and did accomplish as written by the prophets:

The Messiah will be in this exalted position not only as a king but also as a priest. Just like Melchizedek who was king and priest of Salem at the same time. (Genesis 14:18)

“Yahweh has sworn, And will not change his mind, You are a priest forever, After the order of Melchizedek…” Psalm 110:4

This is what Zechariah had to prophesy about Messiah:

“He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne, So he shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between Them both…” Zechariah 6:13

In the context of Zechariah 6 this throne is Messiah’s throne, but he is sharing in God’s authority. As Messiah is sitting at The Father’s right hand, which is the counsel of peace; meaning, the divine and sovereign plan to give real peace is made between He and The Father.

We see this in the representation of how the high priest would approach the Bema and draw near to the Glory on Yom Kippur once a year with the blood of a sacrifice. This is how Yahweh could come into the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies, God’s throne room on earth, with the high priest offering a substitute for atonement on behalf of the people.

In the same way, the Messiah entered heaven itself, even taking his place next to the Father on his heavenly throne. There he presented the perfect sacrifice of his own righteous life -and blood, which makes him a better intercessor on behalf of Israel from the previous repeated protocols.

Jeremiah also prophesies about the new “David” (Jeremiah 30:9); “But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise for them…”  meaning – Israel’s leader, the Messiah and then says:

“Their leader shall be one of them, And their ruler shall come forth from their midst, And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me; For who is he that gives his heart in pledge to approach Me?’ declares The Lord…” Jeremiah 30:21

What will be the result of this priestly intercession of the Messiah? The result will be a restored, a new covenant between God and Israel: “You shall be my people and I will be your God” Jeremiah 30:22

You see, one’s knowledge of this truth does not save them. A simple acknowledgment of believing in Jesus is not enough – there has to be a repentant heart and turning from the ideal of anything else that governs the soul, life, and heart of a person. I think we can all agree on this.  So was it any different in the Old Testament for those living in Israel? I submit to you it was not.  Therefore Israelites of the Ancient Near East had to ascribe allegiance to the belief – and as a result allow the Word of God to be the governor of their lives, as they held to the promise to come in a Messiah – who did arrive – Yeshua.

John the Baptist baptized in water – this was a common practice in Ancient Israel – a sign of repentance…Jesus was not known to many who repented and were immersed before Jesus was immersed by John to commence His ministry.  We need to understand that the WHOLE entirety of Scripture is one complete covenant – not 2 separate covenants – and the logistics of belief are identical – even though what is revealed in the natural is different between the two.

In encourage you to allow this lens of Allegiant Belief to help you as you study Old Testament Scripture – much of what is written will come into a fresh light with this foundational understanding as you see the hearts of those who were righteous in Israel believe with great faith.

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