Ephraim’s Shifting Paradigm

Category Ephraim

Most historians believe that a good solid understanding of history is the best guide in terms of understanding the future. History often stands as a beacon of things to come because humanity has not always excelled at not repeating its mistakes. And so it has been between Christian/Jewish relations for the last 2000 years. Where these two peoples should stand more united against their common foes, they remain at odds usually over poor conclusions, bad definitions, and false assumptions. This has been a two –sided coin in terms of fault, but it also might be safe to say that the coin lands on one side more often than the other. Though the Christian means well, his evangelical paradigm brings with it a line in the sand which he uses to determine who he can and can’t call brother. Couple this with the fact that most Christians tend to live out of the “New Testament” (NT) and don’t study the Tanach or “Old Testament” (OT) as much, it then becomes easier to understand why these two people who have far more in common than they realize seem to stand at odds with each other more often than not.

Whether Christians realize it or not, Christianity began as a sect of Judaism.[1] There was a Jewish rabbi, a teacher, whose name was Yehoshua[2] (Yeshua being the short form, commonly known today as Jesus) and he had many followers. He taught from the Torah (the law, God’s instructions), and he was believed to have walked out the contents of the Torah to perfection, as intended by the author. The book of Acts declares that as many as 20,000 or more Jews believed that Yeshua was messiah[3] and, though this may come as a surprise to some, many people now believe that the Jews were not necessarily his main target audience. While his message and work would appear to apply to all, the weight of his message was aimed specifically at the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.[4] What has been widely misunderstood for a very long time is just who the lost sheep of the House of Israel are.

The question, “Who are the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel,” seems to have two widely accepted answers. The first is the dominant opinion of evangelical Christianity and it states that the Lost Sheep are anyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This view sees the world as lost and it sees the Great Commission, more or less, as a call to convert the world to Christianity as its primary objective. This answer, whose adherents tend to believe that there were none righteous before Yeshua, thus falls short in dealing with the bible calling certain people “righteous” even before Yeshua accomplished his mission.[5] The second answer is the minority answer but an answer that is quickly growing in acceptance. It believes that the Lost Sheep are the remnant (those who are left, still alive) of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and those who are otherwise grafted into to Israel. Those who hold this view tend to be somewhat less evangelical and more centered on how to walk out the walk as modeled by Yeshua (which would include doing all the things he did, to include the Sabbath and Feasts). This view sees the Great Commission as a call to live in a manner that reflects Yeshua’s walk while being ready to teach those drawn by God to that individual. The weight, for these people, is on the walk first rather than evangelization first. It should be noted that BOTH opinions are centered on love; it is just that these two groups read the same material and come away with a differing conclusion. That is possible when two people read the same material but who each read from a different paradigm, a different perspective.

The Minority Opinion

After the Kingdom of Israel split into two nations (Judah in the south, Israel in the north) the Northern Kingdom fell deeper into the idolatry that was already a way of life for them. Deaf to the warnings from Prophets sent from God, the Most High allowed the Assyrians to come into Israel and wreak havoc, ultimately taking the Northern Kingdom into captivity. There, Israel did not fall to its knees before the God of Israel, begging for forgiveness, rather, they seemingly assimilated into the Assyrian culture, marrying into their families and taking for their own the many gods of the Assyrians. Eventually, the God of Israel was no longer even a thought in the minds of those Israelites and the God of Israel cut the final tie, He let them go. God gave them up to their idols and along with their having accepted other gods in His place; it would take only one generation for Israel to entirely forget that they were Israelites. With them no longer seeing themselves as Israelites, the stage was set for the final act of punishment. God drove them from Assyria into the nations, scattering them like a farmer sows seed. While some historical sources suggest that 20,000+ returned, the majority of Israel (perhaps well over a million Israelites) went into all nations where they remain to this day. Israel, specifically the Northern Kingdom, is now represented by all colors, all nations, and they speak all languages, but they don’t know they are Israelites, they lack their root identity. They are as lost sheep[6], but they are a sheep with a promise, a promise to be returned. And that misunderstood point is very much a factor when it comes to a Christian’s awareness of who they are in biblical prophecy while affecting their current view of, and relationship with, the Jewish people.

Most Christians do not have a solid working knowledge of biblical history. That is not meant in any way to be an indictment on anyone nor should that be taken as a demeaning comment, it is a simple fact. Most Christians are raised in the NT, in the Apostolic Writings, and many churches do not teach, and might not even be aware of, the depth of relationship between the NT and OT. It should be noted as well, that most Christians when being discipled are only taught facts as understood by whoever happens to be teaching them. There is no methodology being taught, nor any research techniques that allow the Christian to work out his own answers, he is instead simply taught to repeat what he has learned from others. Thus when he reads the word “Israel” anywhere in Scripture, he assumes it is a reference to the Jews because that is the belief of the Christian culture we are born into. However, while the Jews are most certainly a part of Israel, they are not all of Israel. When the Northern Kingdom went into Assyria, the Southern Kingdom, Judah, did not. In fact, they essentially continued walking in the commandments and statutes of God. They had their moments, and ultimately they too would find themselves captive to another nation (Babylon), but their end is clearly different then the end result of the Northern Kingdom. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, came home from their dispersion, they returned from Babylon. Because of this, we have a clear historical line from before the time of Babylon to today’s modern Jew. It is accurate, both historically and biblically, to say that the House of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) is very clearly the Jewish people and the Jewish religion that we see today. Yet, the Northern Kingdom, Israel, went into captivity 140 +/- years before Judah went into Babylon. And with a prophesy spoken by Hosea proving that Israel hadn’t come back at that time[7], we know the lost sheep as referenced in the Apostolic Writings to be those Israelites still in the nations promised to one day return home. That is key because, again, Yeshua said, “I have not been sent BUT to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”

To put this history into simple terms, what we have is one nation that was split into two nations and one of those two has, for the most part, continued to walk with God. It was the other nation, Israel, which squandered its inheritance and became lost in the nations. What was just in italics should sound somewhat familiar to most Christians. There is a parable known as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” that appears in Luke 15:11-32. The gist of the story is that there are two sons, one who is the elder of the two and who has remained on his father’s farm and the younger that left the father primarily to feed his flesh and live according to his own desires. Traditionally this parable has been interpreted through the paradigm of the more evangelically inclined. Thus the conclusion has been that these were two Christians with one of them being a devoted Christian who worked daily on the father’s farm while the other was a backsliding Christian who became a lost sheep because he had left the Father. However, I submit that this parable is speaking about the two Kingdoms, Judah and Israel, with the elder brother being Judah who, though not perfect, remained in covenant with God. Israel, or prophetically known in other biblical references as Ephraim or even Joseph[8], is the younger brother who was cut off and said by God to be “not my people.”[9] What many Christians miss, and why I believe this parable is clearly speaking about Judah and Israel is that the prophesies that pertain to Israel being punished always include the promise to bring them back home, back into the fold or “farm” if you will, just like the Prodigal Son. Consider:

Deuteronomy 30:3 then the LORD your God will turn your captivity. And He will have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you. (4) If you are driven out into the outermost parts of the heavens, the LORD your God will gather you from there, and He will bring you from there.

Hosea 1:10 yet the number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered. And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are the sons of the living God.

Isaiah 10:22 for though your people Israel are like the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return; the full end which is decreed shall overflow with righteousness. (Compare Romans 9:27)

Again, the Southern Kingdom, Judah, returned from their captivity and remained in covenant with God. It was Israel who broke the covenant, was scattered into the nations, was given up for idols, and yet mercifully promised to be returned. Two people, not one, which is why Ezekiel has two sticks that he is told to make one,[10] and why Jeremiah prophesies about two Houses[11] which are part of the new covenant. Two people, who ultimately become one:

Ezekiel 37:21 And say to them, So says the LORD: Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and will gather them on every side, and will bring them into their own land. (22) And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel, and one King shall be king to them all. And they shall not still be two nations, nor shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

Christianity has truly not understood these promises predominantly because it has seen Israel as Jews only. By extension, they then see the Jews as either cut off entirely and replaced by Christians or they see that the Jews are accepted as still being part of God’s people but are seen as lost because they do not accept Yeshua as messiah and thus the Jews remain an evangelical target by most Christians. Whichever of the two conclusions are drawn, the Jews are seen as an evangelical target of the Christians.

Misguided Love?

Because many Christians see the Jews as having been cut off and not as a people still in covenant with the God of Israel, they feel a deep draw to reach out and share their understanding of the gospel with the Jews. This is done from a position of love because the Christian truly sees himself as being saved and the Jew as being lost. Since the belief of the Christian is that those who are not saved will perish in Hell, then the Christian feels a divine duty to reach out to the Jewish people and make sure they hear the gospel so that they have the information and ability to make a decision for Christ, or not. But I ask, is this manifestation of their love warranted or misguided?

Love is more than just an emotion; it is also the physical manifestation of an emotion. One of the problems surrounding love, at least as it relates to one’s religion, is that it is limited to the information one might have at their disposal to work with. In this case, if a Christian is raised believing the Jewish people are no longer a part of the family of God, then their love of God and His truth as they understand it, will cause them to reach out to the Jewish people in order to present to them what they believe will save them. The Jewish person, especially the one who practices the faith in earnest, then asks the question when confronted with the gospel, “saved from what?” He already sees himself in covenant with God and he has a great case to base that conclusion on. Not only does he have many promises in the Tanach (OT) to stand on, but what if Judah is the older son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son? If that is true and he hasn’t left the farm so to speak, then despite whatever imperfections he may or may not have, he hasn’t left the covenant and he is still doing the work of the Father. Perhaps he isn’t doing our work because we have been given a unique calling, but he is still on the farm. Even if he continues to decay and die and ultimately needs the redemptive work of perfection applied to him, that doesn’t mean he isn’t walking with God. Perhaps there is a greater question, “What does it mean to walk with God?” Is our walk summed up only in a profession of faith, or is our walk summed up in our willingness to walk as God desires us to walk? Does our walk begin and end with confessing with our mouth the Lord Yeshua,[12] or is it manifested in our walking according to God’s commandments? If the Jewish person is already walking in the commandments then he is walking as God desires and this would explain Yeshua’s words in Luke 5:32 which state:

“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

According to the modern online Webster’s Dictionary as well as the 1828 edition, “righteousness” is defined as, “to conform to divine law.” 1 John 3:4 then defines sin for us as the breaking of commandments or walking in a lawless manner. Thus Yeshua was not calling those who were already walking the walk; he was calling those who weren’t. Again, that is NOT to say that those walking the walking have worked their way to salvation or do not need perfecting, that is not what is being said here. Rather, a Christian is told to come in faith believing but THEN to begin to manifest his faith and love in the form of obedience.[13] A righteous person is doing just that, thus Yeshua didn’t see that person as sick and in need of his attention. He came, rather, to call the sick, the sinners, the ones walking off the desired path.
Yeshua said he came for the Lost Sheep of Israel, he sent the disciples to the lost sheep of Israel,[14] and he quoted Jacob’s blessing over Paul as a commission.[15] The Great Commission was then to the nations, not to Judea.[16] Our call was to the Israel, to the Lost Sheep, not necessarily to the brother who remained on the farm but to the younger brother lost in the nations who was not on the desired path. The weight of the gospel was to take the message of repenting[17] which in Hebrew is really the idea of returning,[18] to the lost sheep of Israel who were in the nations and promised repeatedly to be returned. Verses like Romans 11:11 are not telling Christians to provoke the Jews to jealousy; it is a call for the lost sheep to provoke the lost sheep to jealousy. Otherwise, Romans 11:11 and Isaiah 11:13 are contradicting one another which we know cannot be the case.

2000 Years of Christian Love

Friends, 2000 years of Christian love has not always been fair to the Jewish people. There have been forced baptisms, some Jews have been forced to eat unclean foods, there has been an overwhelming amount of ridicule, and God forbid… even deaths in the name of Jesus.

It is time ladies and gentlemen, to leave the Jewish people alone! It is time to concentrate first on our own walk, and then to continue with what was started by Yeshua, the reaching out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel provoking THEM to jealousy so that they come back to what they unknowingly lost so long ago. That isn’t to say that if a Jewish person asks about your walk or about Yeshua that you don’t answer, you most certainly give an answer for the hope that is in you,[19] but how is it that we have forgotten a basic principle shared by Yeshua, “He that seeks will find”?[20] Unless somebody is seeking, asking questions, whether Jew or Gentile, they won’t hear any answer you give. We can’t lose sight of that principle, someone must be seeking, asking questions, or anything we say falls on deaf ears. We can’t force anyone to believe anything, it has to be that somebody is seeking or they simply won’t hear you. In fact, force will only cause them to flee, not be drawn to you so that they might hear. The Great Commission reflects this understanding. The word for “Go!” is a participle, it is “going” not “Go!” Thus the commission is a call to walk in a manner that reflects who we serve, “As you are going, teach!” If we have to tell others what we are and they can’t hear it or see it in our words and deeds for themselves, we have already failed at the mission given to us.

I submit to you that it might be time to ask forgiveness from our Jewish brothers and sisters for trying to force them into looking, acting, and thinking like we do. Perhaps it is time to cease trying to make the older brother conform to the appearance and practice of the younger brother? I think of Joseph here who must have looked so Egyptian that none of his brothers recognized him at all. And yet, when they finally realized that Joseph was indeed their brother, they embraced him, as he was, without demanding he change his clothing before they embraced him. We need to be more like that, willing to walk with the Jewish people in mutual respect and understanding knowing that, ultimately, God will correct whoever is in need of correction, in His time![21]

The Christians and Jews are both waiting on messiah to come and usher in a time of world peace. They are both waiting on the messiah to reign as King over the nations with perfect and fair justice. Both await the time that messiah will bring in all exiles from wherever they are in the world today. Perhaps, just perhaps, we look outside our current religious paradigm to see that since we seem to be waiting on the same events to take place that we also see that we are really waiting on the same messiah! When we do we might just see that it is only the word “again” that truly separates us as we await messiah to come again, and they seek his first coming.

We are witnessing an awakening today, a revival started not by man but by God. Knowing now that God is indeed going to make these two people one, then perhaps we should walk toward the coming Kingdom together, knowing that ultimately God will perform the promises He has made concerning these things.

1 For a more detailed explanation of the Hebraic origins of Christianity, see (http://www.united2restore.com/2014/10/11/why-did-christianity-stop-looking-so-jewish/)
2 Strong’s Greek – G2424; Hebrew H3091
3 Acts 21:20 – note: the word for “many thousands” is μυρίας (murias), the Greek word for 10,000, and it is in plural form in this verse
4 See Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 10:5b-6
5 Matthew 9:13, Matthew 13:17, Luke 1:6
6 Psalm 119:176, Jeremiah 50:6
7 Hosea 1:11 – note, there has not been a head of king over a united Israel since Solomon
8 Genesis 48:19, Ezekiel 37:19, Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 4:17, Amos 5:15, Zechariah 10:6
9 Hosea 1:9-10, Hosea 2:23, Romans 9:25-26
10 Ezekiel 37:15-28
11 Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:8-11
12 Romans 10:9
13 John 14:15, John 15:10
14 Matthew 10:5b-6
15 Paul’s commission is found in Acts 9:15. Notice in the Greek that there are two different words translated as “and” but the second one, “te” means “both” and is never translated as “and” anywhere else. Knowing “ethnos” can translated as “gentiles” or “nations,” then replace the second “and” with “both,” use “nations” rather than “gentiles,” and now compare Acts 9:15 to Genesis 35:11
16 Matthew 28:19
17 Matthew 4:17
18 Brown Driver Briggs, H7725, shuv – 1) to return, turn back
19 1 Peter 3:15
20 Matthew 7:7-8
21 Jeremiah 30:11, Jeremiah, 46:28

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19 comments on “Ephraim’s Shifting Paradigm

  1. Thank you for writing this! It helps me formulate better how I want to communicate this truth to others. Great article! :0)

  2. Excellent write up Ken helps to clarify the way most of us are thinking these days. If we all could share this in the various places we go on the internet then perhaps those that are starting to see things in a different way, towards this restoration of all things, we might find this ‘movement’ will grow and grow just as He is guiding us towards.

  3. I had not thought of the parable of the prodigal son in this manner but it certainly does fit hand-in-glove with the prophecies. My understanding of the Samaritans, courtesy of the Assyrians, is they were a mixed bag of the ten tribes who intermarried with foreign nations. If this is the case, then I’m unclear as to why Yeshua instructed His disciples not to go to the Samaritans where the lost sheep would be.

    Mat 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    1. I think Mike that the reason he told the disciples not to go to the Samaritans is because even though the Northern Kingdom has been referred to as Samaria (along with Joseph, Ephraim, Israel, etc.) they were no longer there. Some came home from Assyria, and those that did lived as Jews while most didn’t come home and went into the nations from Assyria. So why send them to the place where the Northern Kingdom lived when they no longer live there? Some may have but I am thinking he was speaking in terms of the symbolism of Samaria and the bigger picture being portrayed by him and by the Prophets. Israel was in the nations not Samaria, why send them to the Samaritans? Thanks for the comments!

  4. While I think this is a great article and encapsulates many truths that Yah has been pressing on us (especially those who have come out of or are coming out of the “evangelical christian” movement)… I don’t think it completely address a few things that, in my mind, are “stumbling” blocks for some of its premises. One, what are we to do with such verses as “No one comes to the father except through me”??? As well, what about the broader outpouring of the Holy Spirit after Yeshua’s ascension, and how it is to instruct and aid us to the finer points of Torah? (like which aspects of it are “weightier” than others?) – does this only come to believers that come through believing in Yeshua? And what of the atoning effect and rebirth due to the sacrifice of Yeshua for our past sins? And what about Orthodox Judism? Aren’t they still putting the oral traditions of man above God’s commandments? And finally, what about the verse, “there is none righteous”?? I would love to see a part 2 of your wonderful article that incorporates some of these truths and why, because of them, we should still pray for and share Yeshua with our Jewish brethren… But, your main premise of focusing first on one’s own walk first, is a vital one. One last point – I haven’t been to the nation of Israel (YET!), but many of those whom I have talked to that have been, have mostly gotten the impression that there is only a remnant of Jews in the land, who are actually keeping Torah at this point. Your article leads one to believe most Jews are keeping it. Shalom!

    1. Well sis, what does it mean “through him?” How do we define that and remain consistent with all of Scripture? Personally, I see him calling people to walk according to God’s instructions. “The words I speak are not mine but his who sent me” and “If you love me keep my commandments.” So, his words are the Father’s, his commandments are the Fathers thus a call back to Torah. If getting to the Father through him means learning to walk in a manner consistent with God’s character and His Torah, then Jews who practice the Torah now are walking that walk. Don’t forget, Yeshua said that he had “not come to call the righteous but rather the sinners unto repentance.” That means he wasn’t concerned with those who were keeping Torah, he was concerned with those who were breaking it. Are the Jews perfect in their walk? Of course not, neither are we and so God said through Jeremiah regarding all of Israel, “I will correct you in due course.”

      There are many things I can share to address you points but I am not sure this is the format, maybe it is? But when you ask about the oral law, well, I have the same concern but I also know many Jews and most of the oral law in practice doesn’t stand opposed to the Torah as we accept the Torah. The fences built around commands are there because of their love of God and their fear of breaking commandments. So the fences are done in respect, not in order to muddy the water of God’s word. I once thought that, until I began to ask and study this out.

      I will share one more thought for now. 🙂 The “none righteous no not one” verse that Paul shares? He is quoting Psalm 14 and that Psalm begins with, “The fool has said in his heart that there is no God.” The “none righteous” is a reference to foolish atheists, not followers of God’s ways. I footnoted a few NT examples of people being called “righteous” BEFORE Yeshua accomplished his work. Please check them out as you have time.


  5. I would like to leave well enough alone, as I agree this is probably not the forum to have this discussion; but your response has opened more cans of worms than it has closed. I will suffice to leave it at this: your position and tone makes fuzzy the clear line between righteousness by walking out one’s faith by keeping Torah (in letter and in spirit, which comes through faith in the Son, and yes, God communicated through the Spirit how to walk in Torah as evidenced to individuals in the OT) and being justified (being truly forgiven for sins) which is only through the imputed righteousness through the sacrifice of the long-awaited the Messiah.

    And, While you didn’t answer what all the “through Him” versus mean to you other than to say it means to walk out Torah, many versus tell me it’s deeper than that, for the Jews already had the Torah, so what did they need a Messiah for? I believe it is faith in both the Father and the Son that Yahweh desires for all His believers… I believe it has to do with his Torah about having two witnesses to establish something to be true In order for a word to be established there is a need for two or three witnesses. Based off Deuteronomy 17:6, Mat 18:16 says, “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” And in John 17 Yeshua is praying to the father for His believers and he in essence is saying just this idea… let them believe in your name and let them believe in my name. One of the many reasons God came in the flesh is to establish His truth. Yeshua came to establish the truth… He is the Word made Flesh. The Father needs us to be witnesses (agree with) to BOTH the Word and the Word made flesh. Two witnesses. This is also why we have so many verses that speak of worshiping God in truth and in Spirit in the New Testament and why it’s so important that God bring the two sticks back together. It very well could be the very reason he separated us in the first place – He needed two witnesses to establish His truth on earth. This idea of the two witnesses is EVERYWHERE in scripture…. Think of the two spies who came back and gave a good report from the promised land, who were they? Joshua (from the tribe of Judah) and Caleb (from the tribe of Ephraim) But to your point, because God is so merciful he will go as far to bring a third witness, Christ’s second coming. So for us who already have the two (Word and and Word made Flesh/Spirit of the Torah) we’ll have the third. For Christians who only have half of the whole now, the Word Made Flesh/Spirit of Torah but no Torah, they will have a second Christ that will bring them into walking Torah at His Second Coming; and for the Jews who also only have half, the written Torah, but not the Word made Flesh or Spirit of Torah, they will be shown the Messiah they missed the first time in the flesh and receive Him this time around and they too will learn of the Spirit.

    Finally, again, I agree with your conclusion, that the best way we can witness to our Jewish brethren is to burn our light bright by the spirit, walking out Torah, but yes, using words when necessary and when called. I most heartedly disagree with how you come to the rational for why however. Yeshua was called to ALL 12 tribes of Israel, despite the verses you quote about not coming for the righteous. Perhaps he meant he didn’t have time for those who had made up there minds they had no need for him, they were “all set” in their minds. I know this to be true for several reasons. One is from Romans 3 which you correctly point out has a verse quoted in it from Ps 14 . But the context is one of Paul talking to Jew and Gentile believers and their equal need for salvation or forgiveness of sins, due to everyone of them falling short of the Glory of God. That is the point of the whole passage. And the whole point of why we need to believe in Christ. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir with that point, but on to the ‘proof’ text you employ to further your premise that Yeshua didn’t come for Judah.

    I can only find two lone verses that have “The House of Israel” and they are both out of Matthew (10:6 and 15:24). As you well know, the term ‘House of Israel’ can be either the Northern Kingdom OR the WHOLE Kingdom, North and South. In context of both of the above, it’s obvious Yeshua is talking about the whole house. The comment in chapter 15 was directed to a Canaanite woman wanting some crumbs from the table while Yeshua was seated at a table full of Jews. Why would he say you can’t have any because the ‘food’ is only for the Northern Tribes and then proceed to continue feeding the Southern Tribes seated before him? Mike, in one of the other comments above, was also right to question your take on Mt. 10:5, where in Yeshua tells his disciples NOT to go to Samaria OR to the gentiles. The whole section reads to me that he was talking about sending them out to the “believing” Israel which was primarily Judah of course… which means they too were lost. Further confirmation they were going to the Jews, comes a few verses later from Mt. 10:13. It tells us the Jewish disciples were going to go into people’s houses – into gentile houses? This is impossible according to the Oral Torah of the day, how could they go in and stay with gentiles when it was forbidden to even eat with a gentile? 10:15 also mentions councils and synagogues? Gentile synagogues? But the clincher for this erred premise came to me though when I re-read your post and saw you mentioned that Jews are in covenant. Really? Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:8 say otherwise. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; WHICH MY COVENANT THEY BRAKE (all the tribes broke it), although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD” That covenant as you may well know, began being fulfilled with Yeshua’s death and resurrection and the coming into belief of Him by by 10’s of thousands of Jews, and is still continuing on as He brings us all back to covenant… us to Torah, and Judah to Yeshua… and will be completed in the future. For ALL of Israel. Yes, Yeshua came for the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel – all of Israel.

    I guess what I am trying to convey is that by stating that there are no doubt, some Jews that are “righteous” by following Torah, but then to turn around and say they will continue to “decay and die”… is confusing. It’s like telling us, “hey, don’t worry, they’re not drowning at the moment, they’ve got a life jacket on, their savior will come for them eventually”, as you pass on by nice and dry in your powerboat (Yeshua). If God is calling a Torah-walking-Yeshua-believing Christian to minister the Gospel of Christ to jews in love and respect, they should be encouraged not discouraged.

    Having said that, I whole-heartedly agree with your statement that God will bring everyone that is of the book, into the fold, when it is His time, not ours and – people who only have half of God’s truth (non-Torah pursuant Christians) shouldn’t be lecturing other people (Jews without Messiah) on how they only have half the truth! It’s the essence of hypocrisy. And while I realize there has been a world of hurt caused by “misguided” Christians who want to share the Messiah with their Jewish brethren, I find it interesting that in your comment back to me that Jews who add to the Torah thus breaking the commandment of Deut. 4:2, somehow get a pass from you “because of their love of God and their fear of breaking commandments.” It’s this double standard that I find so prevalent and so frustrating in the Hebraic Roots community. It’s almost like taking a pendulum and swinging it from one side (holding Christian beliefs as sacred) all the way to the other (holding Rabbinical teachings as sacred). We best not make idols of either. Shalom, and keep on keeping on – you’re a great writer.

  6. Andrea, you wrote so I will address a couple of things now and perhaps come back another time. Starting at the top we have the word “righteousness” which seems to divide us somewhat. You assert I am making fuzzy the line between imputed righteousness (something being counted as righteousness, like Genesis 15:6) and one walking out righteousness. Words have more than one meaning and we cannot force a word to mean one thing all the time. I am not suggesting you are doing this, I am simply making sure this is understood. Abraham’s faith (hearing God and doing what he was told) was counted as righteousness, but this is not a unique thing in the OT revealed in it’s fullness in the NT, it is more appropriate to say that this has simply always been God’s desire. Shema (translated as hear but truly meaning “hear and do”) is the number one command (Deut. 6:4) and is the definition of faith. Paul wrote, “faith comes by hearing” and James said, “faith without works is dead.” So we hear (the unseen) and then we act or do which is the evidence of the unseen, what we heard. What has changed? Nothing… this is the way God always desired it to be, it is, in essence, SHEMA. So Abraham heard God and did what he was told and that was credited to him as righteousness. That is just as much an example of imputed righteousness as the strangers coming out of Egypt with Israel and being considered “native born” is an example of somebody being grafted into Israel. These are not new things, yet because we focus so heavily on the “NT” we don’t make the connections. Most Christians would argue (and this is mainly because most Christians just don’t spend enough time studying) that the Great Two Commandments, Love God and Neighbor, are new commandments found in the NT when both are simply re-quoted from the Torah. I digress… so we have the OT examples of imputed righteousness which we known in the NT comes from “faith” (hearing and doing) in Messiah. We are to HEAR his words (he speaks the words of the Father, Torah) and do them and when we do it is imputed to us as righteousness. And yet we know that people walked righteously before he came because, again, he said, “I have not come to call the righteous but rather the sinners unto repentance.” If he didn’t come for them, they clearly existed and they were not a concern for him. Why? Because the word righteous means, “to conform to divine law.” That does NOT MEAN Abraham walked to perfection… he didn’t. He married his half sister, he acted in the flesh with Hagar… but he desired perfection and was correctable and willing to walk in God’s ways. That is what God seeks.

    As far as “through him” is concerned, allow me to throw a few thoughts out. What does “through him” mean? Does it mean “through his Spirit” and do you then believe that nobody had the Spirit before Pentecost? Because if you do I share a number of examples to show otherwise. I think through him means that we do as he did. Matthew 5:17 is often used to say the law is not for today (an interesting claim but that interpretation causes the verse to contradict itself) but the word for fulfill (pleroo) which means to “fill up” or “make full,” is merely showing us that Yeshua walked it out as God desired. Meaning, the Torah has expectations that we cannot meet in a fallen state. This is why we cannot work ourselves into God’s grace because ultimately we will fail, we have to, we are imperfect by nature. But we seek perfection, HIS perfection, and Yeshua becomes the example to follow because he walked out the Torah as God desired. So he fulfilled it, not ended it, but walked in it’s fullness as the living example to follow. I know we agree with this.

    From your perspective, the Jews lack this example and I am not so sure I disagree. However, that doesn’t mean a Jew can’t walk righteously, it just means he lacks the example to follow. However, and remember, WE are the ones in the nations. WE are the ones who were not following God AT ALL. I was an agnostic at best until I was 29 years old. I had to learn about a God that the Jews (those practicing, I am certainly not talking about secular or atheist Jews) followed. In other words, they were on the Father’s farm, and I was the prodigal that had to come home… broke, hungry, and homeless (so to speak) with my tail between my legs humbling myself before a God I did not know previously.

    There is a balance sis, between Christianity and Judaism…. we have one who understands law but who may live in a realm that has added to it…. and one who understands grace but perhaps to the near exclusion of law. I think the balance is between he two and currently the two act as bookends with an amazing picture presented when they ultimately come back together. Shalom! 🙂

    1. Andrea, one last thing. Here is a link to a note I wrote on back in March. It is another view of the reason we have been given the Spirit. I think you’ll see in this that I agree the Spirit teaches, guides, comforts, etc., but that there is also a “bigger picture” that we have overlooked. You may not agree with this, you might… just throwing it out there as something that I think supports the greater work God is currently doing. Again, shalom! 🙂

  7. Wow. I have read the whole article and all the comments. I love the dialog and peaceful way we can discuss our differences in they way we see things. God is the One Who ultimately will correct every one of us. The one thing I will contribute right now is that each one of us must become like a child to come to Him. I realize that at some point we must put away childish things and grow up, but as I heard Batya say, the meat is walking all of this out, not talking about it. Our longing must be to please the Father in all we say and do knowing that we will receive loving corrections when we need them. I have gotten a few spankings along the way and I want to see less and less of that as I hopefully enter spiritual adulthood, but learning a lot of this has made me realize, I’m still just a babe in so many ways.
    Ken, on scripture that keeps ringing in my ears is “He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son will not see life.” That verse tells me that everything hinges on the Son. I would love some further dialog on this verse as well as the warning from 1 John:
    Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)? This is the antichrist [the enemy and antagonist of Christ], the one who denies and consistently refuses to acknowledge the Father and the Son.
    1 JOHN 2:22 AMP
    What do we say about those who only acknowledge the Father, but not the Son? I have a strong love and desire to have respect for my brothers and sisters of Judah and want to know how to best love them. I have had opportunity to share that I am learning to walk in Torah (slowly and steadily learning) and have been blessed by the response from Judah, but still wonder why I would not share Yeshua with them? He is our Pascal Lamb and our Atonement. Never another sacrifice is needed. I understand the story of the Prodigal Son. But I also know that if a man keeps the whole law and stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all and so is in need of atonement. Gah. I’m starting to confuse myself.
    I will leave it at what I’ve already asked. Thank you. Your articles always provoke deep thoughts.

  8. Hello, great article brother Ken! I’ve been over and around this from so many different teachers and I’m just tired of the conversation. The Messianic Restoration Movement is into a generation now…We should all be wearing head scarves, tzit tzit, kippah keeping Shabbat and the feasts and have been moved into populated Jewish communities for mission work; ie. walking out Torah in Spirit and Truth and manifesting Yah’s power in great humility and love for our Jewish brethren to be won to their Messiah King Yeshua…it’s like you have two gold coins and one is shiny from manual polishing…the other glows from inside…that is our commission to the Jews. Only thing is it’s gonna take a lotta love to make it work out right…and that’s after we can all agree and stop the talking. Shalom in Messiah M Davis.

  9. Great word Ken. I’ve read through most of the comments and can see that people either “get it”, or they don’t, and when they don’t it’s on to defense of their position on why not…

    I have had the same opinion of brother Judah for a long time, even before I got into this walk I think, but then again I did read (multiple times) the tanach when I first gave myself to YAH (as a christian). Most of what I see you bringing up is and has been the same premises for my own convictions, and I thank you for the confirmation!

    Be blessed Brother!!!

    1. Then you can imagine that there are days when hearing what you have just shared is needed and today is one of them. I am convinced this is the right path, two sticks drawing near but remaining unique until God makes them one means not imposing my view on them or theirs on me. God is big enough to work out the details in the end. Unfortunately, people I hold dear to my heart do not understand this and that makes this not an easy walk at times.

  10. Ken, I too feel, at times, alone amoung friends, as a found, lost sheep. It was also the insolation of God’s Prophets. This state of reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim is the declared path. Galatians 3:29
    “The testimony of Christ/Messiah is the Spirit of prophecy” Rev 19:10… Your path is anointed and is the path of the true remnant. Thanks my brother

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