Evangelizing Judah

Category Ephraim

What if long ago certain conclusions were made by leaders who may have been sincere but who failed to look upon the Jews with much favor? Perhaps their bias didn’t allow them to fully see God’s plan as revealed in the Prophets. Their conclusions were passed on to subsequent generations and came to form the tradition of how we today perceive the Jewish people: with a slightly negative undertone that causes many to view them in a manner inconsistent with God’s truth.

The Lens of Tradition
Tradition is defined as an inherited thought or practice; a belief or structure of beliefs passed down through generations. It is the collection of various customs and beliefs that are already in place when we are born; thus tradition is the underlying basis for our family structure and cultural and religious practices. Tradition, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad; it is simply what one generation passes down to the next.

One result of tradition is the concept of assumption: We assume what has been passed down is correct. In fact, not much thought is generally given to tradition—it just exists in the background, part of the culture we are born into. When a particular tradition is found to encompass error, we face an exceedingly difficult task to confront it. This is due in part to an individual’s natural tendency to personalize tradition; again, we are born into it and don’t even realize there is anything to question.

When I was a young basketball player, I competed against a young man born without a left hand. He was not hampered by his handicap; in fact, he didn’t know he was handicapped because he had no frame of reference to understand what it might be like to function with two hands. When from birth we lack something, whether an appendage as in this case or perhaps a depth of information applying to certain religious beliefs, we simply have no way of gauging how new insights into our situations might affect any potential outcome.

Because tradition is something we are born into, it forms the lens through which we interpret all we are faced with in life, whether religious or secular. Thus tradition defines us and is very much part of who and what we are as individuals and as a culture. Because it is so personal to us, and because we tend to be creatures of habit, when another addresses an error that might exist within our tradition, it often leads to a reaction. The result is often dissension and conflict, and nothing edifying ever comes from such matters. It is quite natural to become defensive when your tradition is questioned.

An error within religious tradition is the most difficult to confront. It is almost never realized by those holding to it because we are raised to regard as incorrect any viewpoints that differ from our own. And because religious tradition is held so closely to our hearts, attempts by others to point out fallacies within our traditions are almost always met with negative reactions. This is one of many reasons for the existence of so many denominations and sects—divisions, if you will—within Christianity. We are not raised to see outside the boxes we are raised in; and yet in order to prove all things and hold fast to that which is true, we need to see ourselves and others through eyes beyond our own.

 

Tradition Forms Our Biases
As more and more Christians begin to identify as part of Israel in the nations, prophetically known as Ephraim or Joseph, we are confronted by another tradition that is deeply embedded in our religious psyche: the evangelization of the Jewish people. Our tradition tells us that we are to offer them salvation through Yeshua. Yet what if that tradition lacked a depth of understanding? What if long ago certain conclusions were made by leaders who may have been sincere but who failed to look upon the Jews with much favor? Perhaps their bias didn’t allow them to fully see God’s plan as revealed in the Prophets. Their conclusions were passed on to subsequent generations and came to form the tradition of how we today perceive the Jewish people: with a slightly negative undertone that causes many to view them in a manner inconsistent with God’s truth.

For a very long time, this view from the Christian lens has assumed that Christians alone are saved and everyone else is destined for hell. But what if such a vantage point reflects a darkened lens, and only now is God lightening the tint so we can see a little more clearly? We might find, if we seek truth and have a teachable spirit, that some of the traditions we were born into have led us to miss certain truths. What if Yeshua’s work, while accomplished for all, might manifest itself in differing ways?

Consider that Israel was divided into two nations—Judah (the Jewish people) to the south and Israel to the north. Israel, the Northern Kingdom, fell into a downward spiral of idolatry and ultimately was taken captive by Assyria. They remained unrepentant and would not return to the Land they were exiled from. The Southern Kingdom also distanced itself from God and His will at times, and ultimately they, too, were taken into exile—in this case, to Babylon. But Judah repented, and God brought them home.

So one Kingdom was scattered into the nations and needed to be called back not only to the Land but also to the God its people had forsaken for idols. The other Kingdom returned to the Land, and despite not being perfect, they remained in covenant with God. From this understanding we can derive that Yeshua is the Door through which all will come, but the two nations will come from different directions. In the end, we believe, they will still go through the same door and reach the same destination in spite of starting off from distinct geographical and theological positions.

 

Seeking a Better Answer
Our tradition tells us that the Jews rejected Yeshua as Messiah. Unfortunately our tradition has so greatly blinded some of us to seeing that not only was Yeshua Jewish but so were all of His followers. We even find in Acts 21:20 that many thousands of Jews believed He was Messiah, and they continued being zealous for Torah (God’s Law). An interesting side note to this passage is that the Greek word for “many thousands” is murias—the numerical value of ten thousand. It also appears in the plural form, meaning that perhaps as many as twenty thousand or more Jewish people believed that Yeshua was Messiah. This concept is not consistent with our tradition; in fact, it stands in stark contrast to it.

Throughout most of the last two thousand years, many Jews have seen Yeshua as the promised Messiah . . . but it is true that most haven’t. And if most haven’t, and if our God-ordained job were to convert them to our understanding of Scripture, then some important questions would surface. Have we failed? And in light of the fact that the Holy Spirit was given at Shavuot (Pentecost) to those who followed Yeshua, has God failed? Or is it possible we have lacked some additional understanding and that a different paradigm might help us draw a better conclusion? Obviously God has not failed—God is not capable of failure. I submit that we simply have been born into certain traditions and a paradigm that is not consistent with the first-century followers of Yeshua, and as such, we lack context that might allow us to form more accurate conclusions.

As we begin to see outside of our paradigm and beyond those traditions that might not have allowed us to recognize certain biblical truths, we begin to consider new possibilities. What if the main focus of Yeshua’s ministry was not the Jewish people but rather those in the nations whom God promised to call back? Perhaps the paths of Judah and Ephraim were scheduled to intersect at a later date? Maybe we have inadvertently added to Scripture in the form of “time” where none existed or given an antithetical statement to a verse that lacked one.

I probably need to clarify before going on: I am not suggesting that Yeshua’s work does not apply to Judah. I am not saying they have one way into the coming Kingdom and we another. I am suggesting that we look at certain aspects of Scripture to see if we have simply missed where and when God was placing certain priorities. If today we understand ourselves to be Ephraim, then we know that when Yeshua said, “I have not been sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” He was speaking specifically about us—the House of Ephraim—and not about Judah. Since Yeshua singled out Israel in the nations and not Judah, does this exclude Judah from needing the work of Yeshua? God forbid! But Judah came home after their exile to Babylon; it was Israel who never returned from Assyria.

The single most prophesied event in Scripture is the calling out of Israel from the nations and the reunification of both Houses, never to be divided again. Yeshua’s mission was already outlined in the Prophets, which is why He stated He was coming to call the lost sheep of the Northern Kingdom. He placed so much weight on that call that when He sent His disciples out, He told them not to go to Samaria, the former capital of the Northern Kingdom and a place Israel could not be found, but instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel in the nations. This is why the Great Commission is to go to the nations and make disciples. Our tradition has not allowed us to conceive that we are part of Israel, let alone understand the weight Yeshua placed on calling us out from the nations in which we are scattered.

 

The Paradigm Shift
This slight paradigm shift that we see happening today—this peering outside of our born-into tradition that allows us to understand who we are in God’s prophetic plans—is allowing us to see other matters that perhaps we have also misinterpreted. Earlier I mentioned God giving the followers of Yeshua His Holy Spirit. We have been rightly taught that the Spirit was given to teach, comfort, and guide, leading us in the ways of righteousness. But there is likely another reason that has been overlooked and might give us an additional witness in terms of the weight being on Israel and not Judah. What if the Spirit was given on that day to begin the construction—or perhaps better stated as the reconstruction—of a house? There is precedent in Exodus 35 when Bezalel the son of Uri was given the Holy Spirit to aid him in his work on the Tabernacle . . . the house of God. Our tradition has a hard enough time dealing with the fact that someone mentioned in Exodus even had the Holy Spirit, and yet Bezalel was given the Spirit “in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; and to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work” (Exodus 35:31b-33, KJV).

With this in mind, we return to Yeshua’s words, “I have not been sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” He sent His disciples to the same lost sheep. Yeshua was building a house; He was rebuilding a house, the House of Israel, and He was doing it through all those who follow Him through the Spirit. The House of Judah, though having past faults that God dealt with and present faults he will continue to address, was not the house being rebuilt.

Our paradigm continues to shift when we read this statement by Yeshua in three of the four Gospels: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32; NKJV). How is that even possible? Our tradition tells us Paul was very clear: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10, NKJV). Unfortunately, our tradition hasn’t done us many favors in this respect, as Paul was quoting Psalm 14. The Psalmist was speaking about those who were declaring “there is no God.” Context matters, and context is often the missing link that a faulty tradition tends to hide from us.

Consider the line from Yeshua above: “I did not come to call the righteous.” It begs the question, Who are the righteous, and do we have a good definition of that word? As much as context matters, so does how we define words and concepts. In this case, the word righteous means “to conform to divine law.” So Yeshua is literally saying, “I have not come to call those who conform to divine law.” Who might He be referencing here? would be a good follow-up question. The Gentiles? No, they weren’t conforming to divine law. Israel in the nations? No, they were following idols. Only Judah was conforming to divine law—not every individual, mind you, but as a people, as a culture, they abided by the law. Not secular law—this wasn’t about Roman law. Righteousness is following God’s instructions, God’s laws. So when Yeshua said, “I have not come to call those who conform to divine law,” who else but righteous Jews fit that description? What about the rest of His statement—“but sinners unto repentance”? Again, a sound definition is required, and thankfully 1 John 3:4 provides us with one: “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (NASB). Yeshua specifically stated He was not concerned so much with those who were daily centered on practicing God’s will as stated in Scripture; rather, He was concerned with those who were living without care for or knowledge of God’s Law.

Does this mean that following the commandments perfects our decaying and dying bodies? God forbid! It simply means that when one comes in faith believing, the next step is not to pitch a tent at the Cross and remain there. Instead, we are to pick it up, so to speak, and be about the business of learning God’s will for our lives and then living it. If Jews in Yeshua’s day were not breaking commandments and were praying and living for God, then He wasn’t concerned with altering their walk; they were already living according to divine Law. But those who weren’t—like Israel in the nations—they were the ones in sin (without Law) upon whom He placed the greater weight to reach!

Perhaps the Jews have some fences—commands around commands that we don’t understand, appreciate, or agree with—but a practicing Jew follows God’s Torah out of love, not because he thinks doing so earns him salvation. Our tradition has given us the notion that Jews believe works save, but the reality is they await a Messianic Kingdom—a coming Messiah and a time of peace and perfection—just like we do. It has also filled us with pride to the extent that after coming to Jesus, many of us were directed by pastors and teachers to “provoke the Jews to jealousy,” completely missing the context of Romans 11:11 by assuming the verse is speaking of provoking Jews to jealousy. It isn’t. It is speaking about provoking the House of Israel to jealousy, the ones in the nations who are without hope. Since Isaiah 11:13 declares that Ephraim is jealous of Judah, how can we provoke the Jewish people to jealousy when it is prophesied we will be jealous of them? Tradition can often be a great blessing, but it can equally become a cloud through which we cannot see.

 

A Cloud of Confusion
Often a cloud of confusion creates a climate of confusion. Sometimes it so pervades our paradigm that we unknowingly add to Scripture to support the conclusions that have been handed down to us. Generally we add time or an antithetical statement to a verse. For example, in John 3:16 we are told God so loved the world that He gave His Son, and all who believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Where in that verse does it say that we must believe now, at this point in time? If our interpretation of Zechariah 12:10 is correct, doesn’t it seem to indicate a time in the future when God might reveal Yeshua to the Jews? If there is no specific point in time for the fulfillment of John 3:16 or even John 14:6 (“No one comes to the Father but through Me” —NASB) and God seems to indicate in various verses that He has a future plan for Judah, then where else but through our traditions did we inherit the idea that we have the right to impose our timetable onto God’s work? Our tradition even weakens words so they no longer resemble their original intent. For example, what about the word believe as used in John 3:16—is it passive or does it demand action? Yeshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV). So does belief prompt action, obedience? What if a Jewish person who has not heard of Yeshua is already keeping the commandments? Isn’t that what Yeshua was desiring His people to do? By definition I believe that person would fall into the category of the righteous that Yeshua said he did not come for.

The parable of the Prodigal Son might be one example of tradition clouding our visibility. Traditionally, Christians have understood this story to be speaking about, who else, two Christians. One was more mature and walked righteously, while the other was immature and, if it weren’t for the grace of God, would have no hope. A good Christian and a bad Christian if you will. But what if this story is speaking about something else? Considering Yeshua’s statement that He came for sinners and the lost sheep of the House of Israel, then what if the younger brother in this story is Ephraim? And what if the older brother, the one who never left his Father’s fields (read “covenant”), was Judah? We then have the older brother representing the Jewish people, who, though not perfect, have by and large remained in a covenant relationship with God. And Ephraim, the younger brother, has been squandering his inheritance in the nations and caring for earthly pleasures over heavenly treasures.

If this interpretation is correct, it is quite interesting to ponder that Ephraim, the younger brother who walked away from God and found his way back only by the grace of God, nearly immediately sets out to correct his older brother, who has never left the Father. Such license was given to us through our tradition. The understanding we have of the Great Commission is one that doesn’t even follow the Greek used in this New Testament verse. “GO!—and make disciples” is how we in the West tend to read Matthew 28:16. We see it as a command to convert the world, including the Jews, to whatever form of Christianity we belong to. This is another example of unknowingly adding to Scripture. The Greek word translated as go is a passive participle; most scholars agree it is best rendered as going and should be paraphrased to say, “As you are going, teach.” The idea of the Great Commission is actually in line with Deuteronomy 6:7: “You shall teach them [God’s commandments] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (NKJV). So it isn’t a command to convert the world to Christianity; it is really a call to walk in a manner that reflects the will of God, and as we go, as we live—in all we do—to teach!

We have a duty, an obligation to give an answer for the hope of our calling. We are to share Yeshua and His work with anyone who is seeking, because only when one seeks can he find. We have a responsibility to answer questions that have been asked, but we do not have the authority to virtually force others to accept our beliefs. Somewhere along our history highway, we reoriented the process described in Scripture. It is God who draws a man to Himself (John 6:44), and when he is drawn, when he begins to seek, only then will he find. Answers to questions that have not been asked will almost always fall on deaf ears.

We cannot force another to accept our views, but throughout much of our Christian history, we have done just that to the Jewish people. Over the last two thousand years, we have seen forced baptisms; we have seen Jews forced to eat unclean animals; we have even witnessed the murder of Jewish people in the name of Jesus. These are acts of true heresy, but tradition, unfortunately, has also given us an alternate definition of heresy. Today it means “to not agree with orthodoxy,” but in the past the Greek underlying word (hairesis) meant “to storm a city; to take by force.” When we attempt to force another to accept our views, whether religious or secular, we are acting as heretics. An interesting side note to consider is that historically heretics were not those burned at the stake or those who lost their heads on chopping blocks; instead, heretics were the leaders who gave orders to light the matches and swing the axes!

Religious tradition begets religious pride. For two thousand years, Christian love has not always been kind to brother Judah. We have not discerned that though our two Houses see the Father through differing lenses, we are indeed family and are being drawn according to His purpose and in His timing toward a common series of events that includes the coming Messianic Kingdom. I have an Orthodox Jewish friend by the name of Hanoch Young. We have filmed videos together and are currently working on a book that will illustrate how our two Houses can indeed get along. What he and I have learned in discussing our faith understandings is that we truly are separated by only one word—again. You see, we both believe there is a coming Kingdom, a King who will reign from David’s throne. We both foresee the exiles returning from the nations and a time of world peace when Torah will be taken to the nations by God’s united Kingdom of Israel. What divides us is that I believe Messiah has been here once and will come again, and Hanoch is waiting for His first appearance. But He is still the same Messiah, and we are still being drawn to the same place in history. Consider this illustration:

Kingdom

The arrows pointing toward the circle show that God is drawing all who are His toward the coming Kingdom. Whether scattered in the nations or living in modern-day Israel, the whole House of Israel—its members appearing in every color and speaking every language—is being drawn to a single place in time. While the illustration should make sense on this rudimentary level, here is an aspect that does not: Imagine, if you will, that Ephraim is on the left side at 9:00 and Judah is on the right side at 3:00. Ephraim’s interpretation of the Great Commission and other aspects of the New Testament compels us to leave our place at 9:00 and go to Judah at 3:00, only to bring him back to our location to make him look, act, and think like we do—in spite of the fact that God is already bringing us both toward the Kingdom at the center. Our destination is the same, and God twice promised through Jeremiah the prophet that He would correct us in due course. All of us need correction, and God promised to provide it. Yet we as Ephraim still feel compelled to conform others to our viewpoint.

 

Treating the Two as One
There is a wonderful picture provided for us in Ezekiel 37. The prophet is told by God to take two sticks—one for Judah and the other for Joseph (Ephraim). Ezekiel holds them in his hand as if they are one stick, and then God makes them one in His hand. The point is that before God does His work, He expects Ezekiel—and I believe Judah and Ephraim by extension—to treat both sticks as if He has already made them one. It will take a massive pride dump in order to treat the two sticks as one when you consider that (1) we as Ephraim have a hard enough time treating our own stick as one; (2) Ephraim sees Yeshua as Messiah; and (3) the stick of Judah does not hold this same belief. Yet until God makes the sticks one, we remain two individual sticks, two individual peoples. That means we need to look beyond any theological differences for the good of the body as a whole so we might actually treat the two sticks as if they are already one.

Think about how difficult an assignment that is. Think about the barriers of tradition that must be overcome in order to do the will of God in this task. It is, for me, one of the most humbling undertakings I have ever faced. It is perhaps the greatest undertaking that has stood before all of us. We need to learn how to belong to a people who are scattered among the nations, accepting that our nation is larger than what we can currently see; we must also acknowledge that when it comes to theology, we have great differences of opinion with the other house. And yet still we are to treat the two as one.

Humility and prayer are the keys: learning to live with mutual respect and understanding. Judah will remain Judah and Joseph will remain Joseph until God makes the two one. No longer can we engage in theological shoving matches. No longer can we afford religious posturing. If what we believe about Yeshua is correct, then we must trust He will fully reveal Himself to Judah in His timing. Perhaps that is what Zechariah 12:10 is declaring to us.

And what if we should learn we arrived at certain conclusions in error? Well, that is a possibility no one ever desires to entertain. Yet one thing is clear: Both Houses have fixed their hearts and eyes on the God of Israel, and when Messiah comes, we will all stand corrected on more issues than we will be comfortable with. Until that day, my dear brethren, let us just walk together in unity, treating our two sticks as if they are already one—and may this tradition become the framework we hand down to those who come after us.

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41 comments on “Evangelizing Judah

  1. Amein!! Well said. Challenging to so many ingrained paradigms, but true, and we need to be a people who walk in live while seeking truth.

    I’ll be reposting on natsab.com later today!!

  2. This was fantastic! One of the most comprehensive articles on the Judah/Joseph paradigm that I have ever read. Great job Ken!

  3. It saddens me that so few of Ephraim as a whole will read this. I have forwarded it to many I know in hopes that what you’ve written will shed some light on many of the paradigms they hold on to. I know it will help me in talking to Ephraim.

  4. Mr. Rank;

    your article is skillfully written. I apprecite that it asks the reader to consider rather than what to think/believe. It demonstrates well what the LORD asked us to do, :”Come and let us reason together.” I might add for flavor, you bring the bread and I’ll serve the wine; perhaps we can light up the night together.

    May We Honor All Those Who Have Plowed The Fields Before Us
    All Honor and Glory to the King of Kings
    Ms. Jan

  5. This is a very needed explanation. It clearly allays long-held concerns that believers in Yeshua have had. Some of these concerns are regarding the belief in “dual covenant” theology. This excellently breaks down Scripture to show there is only one covenant and one Kingdom and He is bringing us all to that place. Let Avinu Malkenu (our Father, our King) work on our hearts to seek that which is true. For it is in seeking that we shall find, and it is in knocking that the door is open to us. I pray others will read this with open hearts.

  6. Ken, kudos! This is a wonderful precis of the undeniable truth of the Two Houses and what they must do in order to obey YHWH’s commandment to unite. I do have one question, though. You say that Matt. 15:24 refers uniquely to the House of Israel. How do you reconcile that with Jer. 50:6, which appears to me in context to be saying that ALL of YHWH’s people have become lost sheep? I believe that Yehudah in the nations is being called home equally with Ephraim…and I don’t believe that lessens the immediacy or the applicability of the scriptures that appeal to Ephraim specifically. This is not intended to dilute the statement that you’re making — which I see as being earth-shaking and appropriate — but rather to broaden our understanding of YHWH’s command to include ALL Israelites in the call homeward.

  7. You have beautifully expressed some things that I have been pondering. I would like to know your thoughts concerning the strong exhortations from John in 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:2-3; and 2 John 7-10. Someone brought these verses up recently and they have given me much to consider as a counter balance to what you have shared in this article. If you have time to reply, I would appreciate it.
    Shalom!

    1. These are sensitive verses because they are so near and dear to our hearts. However, I know that in that day there were Gnostics that were denying the resurrection and even spiritualizing the time in the flesh of Yeshua. So I tend to see this being what is being addressed in verses like this but let’s assume the worst, and let’s apply this to today. 1 John 2:22 for example states that anyone who denies Yeshua is messiah is an anti-Christ himself. What does it mean to deny Yeshua? Are we talking about a case of mistaken identity, or outright rebellion? In other words, if I saw the picture of the dress and I insisted it was black and blue (which I did) and really it was gold and white (which is was) was I denying the actual color of the dress or mistaken? (link below in case you don’t know what I am talking about) I think for somebody to fall into the category of denying Yeshua they have to first know Yeshua. How can any of us deny the work, office, and even life of somebody we didn’t know to begin with? So, some Jews in the first century KNEW, I think perhaps some in the leadership KNEW and their power was more important. I pray that isn’t the case for them but I recognize it looks that way in the text. They, if that turns out to be the case, will have to answer for that because they took an active stance against something they knew to be true. However, your average modern Jew who has heard of Jesus because he was confronted by catfish eating – Christmas keeping Christians who see Saturday as Game Day and says, “no thanks,” is he really denying Yeshua or the modern representation that no longer resembles the first century reality? I have Jewish friends who see Yeshua as a great teacher, even a Prophet, but because their tradition says messiah will bring in the exiles, they just don’t see Yeshua as having done that. And quite frankly they have a case… because here we still are. However, I think it is also clear that for the last 2000 years we have been being turned back to God and in these last days, to an identification as part of Israel to include the following of His Torah. I see this as Yeshua’s work progressing through time… and if this ends as I believe it will, my Jewish friends will certainly accept Yeshua as messiah. 🙂 However, if I am wrong, well… (sigh) not a thought I enjoy entertaining but if I am, I will stand corrected by God. Until then…

      http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_slatest/2015/02/26/the_dress/150226_SLATEST_TheDress-proof590.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge.jpg

      1. Ken, with regard to your reference to the Jewish viewpoint on Y’shua’s messiahship, I think that once Yehudah sees Y’shua bringing the exiles home, Jews will line up “around the block” to “sign up” for His messiahship…the minute they see Him fulfilling the prophecies that they have been insisting on…

        1. Yes that would be good. In the process of engrafting an olive tree, the place where the original tree and wild tree are cut is called zion. Looking at the trunks where the cut is made looks like an eye, then clean cloth, linen, is wrapped over both cuts, so to keep out insects, disease and retain moister, the placing of the of the cloth is called ‘blinding’. Let me ask you who does the engrafting? Jewish or Ephraim? Neither, only the Master gardner removes the blinding, when and how He sees fit; He is the expert Gardner in Gan Eden. We have been given a measure of sight; we all still have a degree of blindness. Father will take care of it all.

  8. Am I missing something? Can you help a brother out? I am having a very difficult time, trying to understand a couple things. To start, I am concerned with the way this teaching has been worded … how we have been “set up”, so to say. You attempt to make a point by saying “if we seek truth and have a teachable spirit” … as if to say that if we do not agree with what you are presenting, we are not seeking truth and we do not have a teachable spirit. Point, set, match … game over. How can we disagree with what you have said when you word things this way?

    Below, please find a few references to things that were stated in this article … and then followed with what could be called a “clarification” … a matter of setting the record straight. It should be noted that these things were pointed out by my children. They brought their concerns to me. The first part of a “portion”, is what was written by Ken … the following comments are from my children.

    1. Our tradition tells us that we are to offer them salvation through Yeshua. Yet what if that tradition lacked a depth of understanding? What if long ago certain conclusions were made by leaders who may have been sincere but who failed to look upon the Jews with much favor? Perhaps their bias didn’t allow them to fully see God’s plan as revealed in the Prophets. Their conclusions were passed on to subsequent generations and came to form the tradition of how we today perceive the Jewish people: with a slightly negative undertone that causes many to view them in a manner inconsistent with God’s truth.

    1A Just a logical error … Christianity has been focused on evangelizing all of humanity, not just the Jews. Evangelism, as we are defining it, is sharing Yeshua with those who do not believe in Him. If sharing Yeshua with the Jewish people is the result of an anti-semitic attitude or looking at them in a “slightly negative undertone”, it is only logical to assume the same purpose is motivating those evangelists who reach out to the non-Jewish people groups. Thus all evangelism is a product of erroneous tradition.

    2. Throughout most of the last two thousand years, many Jews have seen Yeshua as the promised Messiah . . . but it is true that most haven’t. And if most haven’t, and if our God-ordained job were to convert them to our understanding of Scripture, then some important questions would surface. Have we failed? And in light of the fact that the Holy Spirit was given at Shavuot (Pentecost) to those who followed Yeshua, has God failed?

    2A Romans 11:25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

    3. If today we understand ourselves to be Ephraim, then we know that when Yeshua said, “I have not been sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”

    3A. Yeshua was speaking to a Canaanite woman, not a Jewish person. He was making the distinction between His people (Israel as a whole) and those who were not part of them. If He were only sent to Ephraim and not Judah, why would He spend any time and effort on the Jewish people?

    He also instructed his disciples whom He was sending out, in Matthew 10, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Obviously He was not referring to scattered Ephraim, as we know them today, but to those in the nearby areas who were part of Israel – BOTH to remnants of Ephraim and to Judah.

    Moreover, if you are going to use the argument that Yeshua was only sent to Ephraim, then the Jews who accepted Him obviously made a mistake. And what about those Gentiles who are not descendants of Israel at all? Are they not allowed to inherit eternal life?

    And on that note, it is self-contradictory to say that we know Yeshua was speaking about us (Ephraim) and not Judah when He said ““I have not been sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” … and then say “Since Yeshua singled out Israel in the nations and not Judah, does this exclude Judah from needing the work of Yeshua? God forbid!”

    4. “which is why He stated He was coming to call the lost sheep of the Northern Kingdom”

    4A. He did not say this. He used the term “Israel” which was also used to refer to the Jewish people (John 3:10, Acts 2, Acts 4) or to the physical land (Luke 4).

    5. He placed so much weight on that call that when He sent His disciples out, He told them not to go to Samaria, the former capital of the Northern Kingdom and a place Israel could not be found, but instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel in the nations. This is why the Great Commission is to go to the nations and make disciples.

    5A. The word being used for “nations” in the Great Commission is the same word used in Matthew 10 when He told them to not go to the “nations”. If the “nations” of the Great Commission were actually lost sheep of the house of Israel, then Matthew 10 should really be written, “Do not go into the way of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” ???

    6. “but a practicing Jew follows God’s Torah out of love, not because he thinks doing so earns him salvation.”

    6A. Maybe not a big deal but the accuracy of this statement is very questionable. I know that many religious Jews can testify to the fact that following “Torah” did not give them peace and fulfillment and accepting Yeshua did.

    7. It has also filled us with pride to the extent that after coming to Jesus, many of us were directed by pastors and teachers to “provoke the Jews to jealousy,” completely missing the context of Romans 11:11 by assuming the verse is speaking of provoking Jews to jealousy. It isn’t. It is speaking about provoking the House of Israel to jealousy, the ones in the nations who are without hope. Since Isaiah 11:13 declares that Ephraim is jealous of Judah, how can we provoke the Jewish people to jealousy when it is prophesied we will be jealous of them?

    7A. This chapter is speaking of Jewish Israel and not Ephraim, as we can see in the first verse when Sha’ul says, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” As a Benjaminite, Sha’ul identified with Judah, not northern Israel.

    8. So when Yeshua said, “I have not come to call those who conform to divine law,” who else but righteous Jews fit that description?

    8A. Considering that many of Yeshua’s words were directed against these “righteous Jews” (i.e. scribes and Pharisees, as that is to whom He was referring in all three texts) … and that He spoke very strongly about their manmade rules and regulations, about them making the law of no effect through their traditions, about their fathers killing their prophets, about them being whitewashed tombs … I think it a little presumptuous to say that He was condoning them in these passages!

    If they really were righteous, why would He have directed so much of His ministry against their religious system? It makes much more sense to believe that He was saying this with irony, because they believed themselves to be righteous. Also consider John 7:19 – ““Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”” It does not seem to be an accurate statement to say that these Jewish people to whom He was referring were “conforming to divine law” – in fact, He says quite the opposite!

    The HUGE issue that was not addressed is: what about secular Jewish people who do not keep the Torah? If Yeshua didn’t come for the Jews because they are “conforming to divine law” and “Righteousness is following God’s instructions, God’s laws” therefore they are “righteous” … the MAJORITY of people today who claim Jewish heritage would fall in the “unrighteous” category. Jews who follow the Torah (and that’s even a questionable claim) are by far the minority. So what about all the rest? Based on the premise that has been put forth, they obviously are “unrighteous”, therefore they are the ones for whom Yeshua came. So it is okay to share the Gospel with them, just not with the religious “practicing” Jews, right?

    Also just a few references that indicate the fallacy of the doctrine that the Jewish people are righteous because of their observance of Torah …
    Acts 13:38,39, ““Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” These were Paul’s words to a synagogue … to Jewish people.
    Romans 3:20-22, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Yeshua Messiah, to all and on all who believe.”
    Romans 9:30-33, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

    So that is my children’s “brief” take on the subject. I would also add that we Ephraimites seem to forget that in Acts 2, Peter was talking to religious, observant Jews who were in Jerusalem to observe the Feast. He said that they need to repent and be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah. We forget that Paul says that he is not ashamed of the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah, because it is the power of God for salvation, for everyone who believes, for the Jew first …

    My children see that it seems that too many people are ashamed, because they are not only refraining from following in the footsteps of Peter and Paul … they are forbidding others to do so. It is one thing to say that we need to be wise in our words and actions and not follow in the footsteps of those well meaning Christians … and maybe not so well meaning. It is another thing to frame the argument in such a way that makes someone seem ignorant … stuck in their traditions … in error … following in the paths of those who have “evangelized” in error … not understanding the text … etc.

    I want to be clear and say that I understand that we do not necessarily need to proclaim verbally, in every conversation with our cousins from Judah, that Yeshua is the Messiah. I can say that you might be in error to not be doing it at all. I can say that you are dead wrong to forbid others to do so. Maybe you haven’t worded things that strongly … “I forbid you to share Yeshua” … but to be a part of some organizations, you have to take an oath that you will not “proselytize”. Would you like the names of many Jewish people I know personally, who are eternally thankful that someone “proselytized” them?

    I will leave you with something that one of my daughters wrote. She said, “I’m not sure if this should be addressed or not, but I believe that we as a family have probably experienced “Israeli Judah” on a much larger spectrum than anyone else involved with BYNA right now. We’ve connected with them on many different levels … whether shopping in the shuk or meeting with Rabbi Greenbaum. It’s not like we’re just expressing thoughts or ideas – we are drawing on personal experiences and the knowledge that many Jewish people WANT to hear about our faith and respect and love us even more when we share. We’re also drawing on our experiences of having witnessed corruption and unrighteousness among many so called observant Jews. I don’t think anyone else has had these experiences … and it would be important for them, especially the leaders, to expand their view of and experience with Jewry instead of just Hanoch, or those who want to come raise funds among “evangelicals”.

    If you have any comments, concerns, questions, gentle reproofs or harsh rebukes, please let me know. Shalom to your hearts and homes, Tom

    1. 1. Christianity has indeed attempted to evangelize the world and that is part of my point. The Great Commission was not a license to convert the world to Christianity but that is what has been passed down to us. And, we continue the tradition now attempting instead to convert others to our current system of beliefs. We all have done that Tom…. We believe we have this new superior understanding and as soon as began to learn new things we took it to our churches, pastors, and family. In the process we were kicked out of churches, polarized our pastors, and in some cases, caused great division within our families. Over what? Superior knowledge that GOD GAVE US? We took a gift God gave us and used it as the litmus test to determine whether or not one even belongs to God… and all that, by comparing them to US. We use ourselves as the yard stick, if they don’t look, think, and act like we do we assume they need the truth we carry. That is the height of arrogance and I dare say profanes the gift God gave us… and perhaps Him in the process. In the end, it becomes “you are right, I am wrong, and I need you to come and save me.” It doesn’t matter to you, and perhaps you don’t even grasp this, that the Jew came HOME from Babylon while YOU remained in the nations chasing false gods.

      We all need the work applied to us that Yeshua earned the right to do in giving himself for us. One of the problems many face is the addition of your timetable to the equation. God said the stick of Judah will become one in His hand with the stick of Joseph. God said He will make new or renew (depending on your view) the covenant with Judah AND with Israel. So God is going to do this not because of anything you or I do or don’t do, He is going to do this because He said He would. Whether His action stands in harmony with MY understanding is of no consequence, God said it therefore it is the reality whether I agree, understand, or accept it, or not.

      2. The fullness of the gentiles as spoken of by Paul in Romans 11:25 and mentioned also by Yeshua is not “gentiles” as in non-Israelites. The word “gentile” means” pagan, heathen, someone who is neither Jew NOR Christian.” (Webster’s 1828) That is what the word meant when first translated in English version, but the word NOW means, “Anyone who is not Jewish.” There is no covenant with gentiles, they either turn to the God of Israel and accept His ways, or not. When they do they become part of Israel like the ger who came out of Egypt with Israel. The “fullness of the gentiles” when rolled back into Hebrew is melo hagoyim,” which means “fullness of the NATIONS” (the word ethnos, translated as gentiles, is also the word for nations) and it was Ephraim’s blessing… a prophetic look at Israel in the nations. So Romans 11:25 is speaking about Israel in the nations, not pagans. Our eyes have been seeing through a dark glass but we are now beginning to see a little more than before. And some of what we are seeing is that Judah and Ephraim will indeed become one in God’s hand and that HE is the one doing that work. Since we are both under His control, and since He is who makes us one, I see it as fruitless to make others think and act like us when God is already in the process of making us one.

      3. If you read the article you know that I stated that Yeshua came first to the Jew and that they need him as much as we do. However, the WEIGHT was on the lost sheep, because, that is what the Prophets declared the weight to be on. The call of Israel from where they have been scattered to is the single most repeated prophecy in Scripture. And because we have a historical record (as accounted in Scripture) of Israel splitting into two nations with one nations going into captivity, being given up for idols and not coming home (earning them the title “Lost Sheep” or “Lost Tribes”) and the other going into captivity but coming HOME from it…. Then we can see by phrases like “I have not been sent BUT to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” that he was placing the weight on the call out to the scattered in the nations. That doesn’t mean the other nations (Judah) gets a free pass or has another door, it simply means we both have the same door but are coming to it from two different directions. Again, God will make the two sticks one even if nobody raises a finger to do anything else. He will do the work.

      4. Actually, in that day Tom is was culturally accurate to call all of Israel “Jews.” This is why we see Passover called, “a feast of the Jews” and not “a feast of Israel.” The only face to Israel in that day, the only Israelites keeping any feasts (predominantly) was the Jews. That cultural trend from back then has extended into our culture today and this is why the vast majority of Christians see all of Israel as Jewish that misunderstanding is generally the basis for why most Christians do not identify as part of Israel when they are. So for Yeshua to specifically say “Israel” he was speaking about the Northern Kingdom and not Judah. Any Jews in the nations might be encompassed in the term “Israel” in that context, but the cultural practice as seen even in the NT was to call all of Israel Jewish!

      5. The “nations” in the great commission was any land and people other than the Jews. Israel (the Northern Kingdom) was scattered into all the nations, Judah in Yeshua’s day, was living in Judea under Roman rule (and in other places too, but still). He did not come, as he clearly stated, to call the righteous, the ones already walking according to God’s commandments. Not that anyone was perfect, not that any who did the commandments weren’t decaying and dying and in need of Yeshua’s work applied to them, but as far as their WALK he wasn’t concerned with the ones keeping Torah properly, the righteous… he was concerned with the sinners (1 John 3:4). And before you quote Paul’s “there is none righteous” do note that A. he was quoting Psalm 14 which is speaking of atheists and B. a simple word search in the NT shows that MANY people were called righteous.

      6. I believe that ultimately everyone walks through the Yeshua door. However, when it comes to Judah, I think it is fairly evident that they take a slightly different path to him. Heresy? No… we have an older brother who was on the farm (in the land, in covenant) and we have a younger brother (us) who didn’t know God and was in the nations out of covenant. To get to the same point (the Kingdom) these two people are simply coming from two different directions, but they will get to the same place. If it is your view that Jews who have not made whatever profession of faith you believe they should are incapable of peace and love for God, then I suggest you reach out and try to talk to more Jews instead of proselytize them. Scripture shows Spirit filled Jews before Yeshua, which stands against our tradition but is no less a fact.

      7. We simply disagree here, I don’t see a reason to comment.

      8. I agree Tom that Yeshua addressed hypocrisy within Judaism in that time. However, if you know your first century history you know that there were two schools of Pharisaical thought and in EVERY case but one (Divorce) it was those who were adherents to Beit Shamai who were rebuked, those that taught and clung to the letter of the law. But the other school, Beit Hille which taught the Spirit of the Law, was virtually untouched by the rebukes. We have 80,000+ Jews living in and around Jerusalem in that day and predominantly the leaders, who were tied to Shamai, who were rebuked. There is a difference between “righteous Jews” as related to those who believed they achieved righteousness through their works, and those Yeshua called righteous, the ones HE SAID he didn’t come for, who walked the walked according to the proper heart set. That is the underlying difference here, where is the heart aimed? At the God of Israel or the world? If I see somebody with their heart aimed at God but who might hold differing doctrine than I do I simply trust in HIM to deal with his own servant.

      Tom>> If they really were righteous, why would He have directed so much of His ministry against their religious system?
      Ken>> You have 3 years recorded, some of which, SOME of which, is geared around rebuking certain people at certain times. And yet somehow you see this as a major part of his ministry.

      Let’s assume he walked for 3 years in this calling. Basically 1000 days. How many times does the NT record a unique rebuke aimed at some Pharisee? 10? 20? 30? 50? That is not a large part of his ministry. Matthew 4:17 states, “From that time on Yeshua began to preach saying, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” That is where he spent his ministry.

      Tom>> The HUGE issue that was not addressed is: what about secular Jewish people who do not keep the Torah? If Yeshua didn’t come for the Jews because they are “conforming to divine law” and “Righteousness is following God’s instructions, God’s laws” therefore they are “righteous” … the MAJORITY of people today who claim Jewish heritage would fall in the “unrighteous” category.
      Ken>> Agreed. True righteousness is done from the heart. We eat clean or set the 7th day aside why? Because we love God. If a Jew who is secular has his heart trained on the world and not God then he is LOST. But the message to him isn’t, “Join Christianity” (or whatever form of it we happen to want them to join into) but rather, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That was Yeshua’s message, how is it not ours?

      Tom>> Jews who follow the Torah (and that’s even a questionable claim) are by far the minority. So what about all the rest? Based on the premise that has been put forth, they obviously are “unrighteous”, therefore they are the ones for whom Yeshua came. So it is okay to share the Gospel with them, just not with the religious “practicing” Jews, right?
      Ken>> Tom, while I agree that most Jews do not follow Torah, I also believe that most Christians seem to care more about a football game than God. Furthermore, when it comes to the mighty Messianics, pretty much NONE of them keep Torah perfectly because we are in the nations, under secular rule, and there is no Temple. So, we don’t travel to Israel for the feasts, we simply do what we can under the conditions we are in. But we are still in sin, conditions aside, God commanded we do certain things and if the mechanisms are not in place the command still exists. Thankfully we are extended grace over issues like this however, the point is… you do not walk Torah perfectly, neither do I. And yet you want to make sure that Jew who isn’t doing it as you think he should, gets in line with your understanding.

      Tom>> Also just a few references that indicate the fallacy of the doctrine that the Jewish people are righteous because of their observance of Torah …
      Ken>> Nobody is justified by the Law Tom, but that doesn’t abrogate the Law. God expects us to come to Him in faith with an open heart for HIM…. But then He also expects us to obey Him. It isn’t obedience that saves, it was HIM and our heart aimed at Him. The obedience comes because we love Him. “If you love me, keep my commandments” Yeshua said, and John, “This is the love if God, that we obey his commandments.” We are not righteous because we keep Torah, but keeping Torah out of love is righteous!

      You do whatever you feel led to do, Tom. My belief is that we have been slowly awakened to our identity as part of God’s Israel. Each day more and more Christians reach this conclusion and now more and more Jews are looking at us and believing we are Ephraim. The recent letter by the group of Rabbis declaring how God will redeem the world through Christians and Jews, and other groups sprouting up led by Jews that see us as Ephraim… though they sadly believe we should convert. But, clearly something is happening, it is from God, and in the end He will make the two sticks one. Since we are already headed toward the Kingdom to come, and since Ezekiel seems to treat the two as one BEFORE God makes them one… I am simply suggesting we walk in mutual respect allowing God to correct whoever is wrong in HIS TIME.

      Be blessed brother.

      1. Shalom Mr Rank, there is so much in your reply that I could reply to but I don’t have time and I don’t know that it would make a difference since you seem to not be interested in discussion or hearing other viewpoints, but rather expounding on your opinion/understanding. You made the comment “if you read my article” … and I did – I read it very thoroughly. But it seems that you didn’t fully read, or at least comprehend, what we shared. Many of your replies indicated that you didn’t understand our comments or had made inaccurate assumptions about what we were saying. I can’t address all of that now but I did want to let you know that your reply revealed a lot of misunderstanding … perhaps that can be resolved in the future but if not, please be aware of that.

        I would like to point out two things …

        You wrote “So for Yeshua to specifically say “Israel” he was speaking about the Northern Kingdom and not Judah.” Do you really mean to say that when He called Nicodemus “a teacher in Israel”, He was referring to the northern kingdom? And when the disciples spoke to the “men of Israel” in places like Acts 2 and 4, they were actually talking to scattered Ephraim? This just isn’t accurate!

        You also didn’t seem to understand/address the point put forth in #5 … that in Matthew 10, Yeshua told His disciples to not go to the “ethnos” but to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And yet you say the ethnos is the lost sheep of the house of Israel (and anyone else who isn’t Jewish). Which is it? They were supposed to not go to the ethnos but they were supposed to go to the ethnos? This makes no sense!

        We understand that we may not agree on this issue and that’s OK … we’re not trying to force our opinions on you. Our concern is that you’re putting forth a statement that contains errors and loopholes … not to mention there is plenty of support for a differing viewpoint … and yet you present it as if it is truth and everyone else is wrong.

        I’m all for allowing people to come to their own conclusions and beliefs, and even being able to discuss how they got there without having to agree on the details. But my overall impression of this article (and remember, I read it thoroughly!) was confusion and contradiction. I know others feel the same way. I think this is an issue that needs to be more thoroughly researched and discussed among BYNA, rather than allowing a few people to set the standard for everyone else. Just my thoughts! Look forward to seeing everyone this weekend!

        1. Greetings Hannah. I am not trying to ruffle feathers, these are not conclusions that I have come to quickly nor without great study and prayer. Perhaps I should have held off on the article. This is a topic so deep that Frank Houtz has even created a 12 hour seminar to go through the material related to this topic.

          Anyway, I just wrote a general reply to all, so please scroll down and read that. We will see you all in Florida and can sit down and chat then. I am fairly certain we are not as far apart on our beliefs as it seems. I have simply pinched a few “traditional cheeks” and like I said in the article, that will always cause a reaction. See you soon.

    2. EINENI BOSH! (I am not ashamed) Romans 1:16…… Here is link to a song below, Eineni Bosh, written by a friend of ours who is a Messianic Pastor in Israel, Tony Sperandeo, and sung by Chuck King. Enjoy!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4pHAc-pUs

      Tom, we appreciate and agree with much of you and your children’s comments here. If our motives are right, in line with Yah’s word, and we are filled and led by the Ruach HaKodesh, we will be speaking the Truth in Love, being wise as serpents gentle as doves, being quick to listen and slow to speak.
      ….Romans 1;16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
      …1 Peter 3:14-16 But even if you do suffer for being righteous, you are blessed! Moreover, don’t fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts;[a] while remaining always ready to give a reasoned answer to anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you — yet with humility and fear,16 keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are spoken against, those who abuse the good behavior flowing from your union with the Messiah may be put to shame.
      …2 Corinthians 2:15-17 For to God we are the aroma of the Messiah, both among those being saved and among those being lost; 16 to the latter, we are the smell of death leading only to more death; but to the former, we are the sweet smell of life leading to more life. Who is equal to such a task? 17 For we are not like a lot of folks who go about huckstering God’s message for a fee; on the contrary, we speak out of a sincere heart, as people sent by God, standing in God’s presence, living in union with the Messiah.

      In Acts 26:15-20 it states that Paul was rescued from BOTH Jewish people AND Gentiles and then sent to them BOTH to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan(Belial) which these verses in acts seem to correlate with the words in 2 Corinthians 15:14-15. The commission Paul was sent with is in Acts 26:19, was to declare to both Jew and Gentile that they should repent and turn to God, performing the deeds appropriate to repentance. Paul was one that kept the commandments and had the testimony of Yeshua and was sent to BOTH groups, but aligned/partnered himself with neither as did others such as Peter, and because of this position both suffered much as did our Messiah and we are told we will as well….as the dragon will be against those who keep BOTH the commandments of Yahweh AND have the testimony of Yeshua, Revelations 12:17.

      Continued blessings upon you as you and your family keep shining your lights and being living examples of walking the gospel of Messiah Yeshua.

      Love in Yeshua,
      Bill and Laura

  9. Regarding Yeshua as a “failed messiah’: that is He did not bring in the exciles. The punishment for the House of Israel found in EZ 1-1-5, is 2730 years. That was our “jail time’ so to speak. That means not until 1996, 2006 or some count 2010; the jail doors were not opened. We had to do the time for our crime before we could even hear the voice to tishuvah. HaShem and Yeshua are ONE, they are Kings, Kings make a decree they may not annual it. Yeshua said His Fathers words were His words; He cannot contridict the instructions of Father which said, punishment is 2730 years. How many times do we forgive our brothers. Yeshua said, 70 x 7; this is allusion to Judah’s time in excile; when the their time was up they returned. So, your brother Ephraim must also do his time; just like you. Once our time was up; the Ruach began to move different people out at different times. I liken it to the scattering of seed, Our FAther had a very long arm to scatter us to the ends of the earth, and different seed germinates at different times; some are buried deeper than others, and some seeds are of different tribes; remember how they were arranged around the tabernacle; or in this case arranged in the world; when we broke camp we marched in tribes and in an order, when we return, it will be similar; even if we do not know which tribe will end up in. If a Jewish were to ask me why did Yeshua fail to return all the exciles; this would be my answer. Hopefully I’d take them to scriptures so they could read for themselves.

  10. When we ask questions about how come Jews this or Jews that; we need to consider what Yeshua said, I believe he gave an instruction to Peter, and one other student said something like well what about ME? He told them basically to mind his own business, Peter will do what I tell him and you I have other plans for. The bibical equality is that everyone young old, male female brings 1/2 shekel to the Tabernacle. We all have equal value, and we have different roles and assignments. The equality we demand in Greek democracy is not the same as the Kingdom.
    Also, I beleive Yeshua said, not to argue. I know Joseph told his brothers, do not argue on the way. They were returning the land My goal is to be a better listener than talker. I need to understand the other; more than I need to be understood.

  11. I had written a longer reply but there really is no need. I have no desire to debate this and if one doesn’t agree, then they don’t agree. That just means one or both us is wrong, and one or both will stand corrected on this issue. I am ok that, we all have error and we ALL will stand corrected on many things we currently hold near and dear to our hearts! 🙂

    I personally see God making certain promises that pertain to the Jews that will happen whether somebody evangelizes them or not. God is NOT slack when it comes to His promises and if He includes Judah (the Jews) in the covenant (Jer. 31:31-34) AND they are one of two sticks that become one in His hand (Ezk. 37) then that is going to happen, period. Whether we get off the couch or not, this will happen because God said it will.

    So my one comment is in reference to something said in another reply from a different thread, namely, that the Jews are not reconciled to the Father. By definition that means they are not compatible with, or in harmony with, God. The word reconcile even contains the concept of submission, which would then mean the Jews are not submitted to God, at least as some Christian minds understand it.

    This then means the Jews do not currently belong to God, at least unless they have come in faith through one understanding of Yeshua and his work, by those same Christian minds. Here is the problem, if they do not belong to God then they are not holy (set apart) which also by definition means they are common. However, God entrusted the oracles (His utterances, His WORD) to them (Rom. 3:2) and in Genesis we see that the scepter (a sign of royalty AND authority) will never depart from them. This would mean that God has taken that which is holy (His Word) and entrusted it with that which is not (the Jews). God is then guilty of mixing the holy and the common. Is it true? God forbid! Therefore, perhaps our view is skewed by the tradition we are born into.

    Our traditions often cause us to reach conclusions that, when applied BACK to Scripture, causes dissonance. I personally see Yeshua as messiah, as the door… but I also recognize that the door might be approached from different directions and still allow those who come to it to come through the same door. We have a mindset that says we all have to walk through in perfect public school order, from the same one direction. But that is too literal a view of the abstract concept being shown through the word “door.” One coming through that door from ANY direction still goes through that door.

    Shalom!
    Ken

  12. Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen!
    Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen!
    That’s about how many times I said amen when I read this! I will be posting it, sharing it and saving it on my computer for future reference. My prayer is for many to read this, experience a paradigm shift, embrace it, and act on it.

    Thank You Ken for taking the time to write these very important truths!

    Shalom and Blessings!

  13. The Jewish people have not received a bill of divorcement, Ephraim did.
    Therefore, the man had to die before the woman could be married AGAIN …

    But, I do not know any Jew who yeshua know if his / her savior who is not happy with that .. “It is better for you that I go” Yeshua said, referring to the Holy Spirit could live in each of us ..

    So, we want what will give Yeshua the Jews, do not give them?

    1. Interesting thought Hank and thanks for chiming in. One of the traditions we have had is that the Holy Spirit did not dwell in Israel before Yeshua. However, we can walk through the Tanach (OT) and see many places where the Spirit of God dwelt in either a particular person or Israel as a whole. Psalm 51:11 for example, states, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. ” What we have today is not this fullness it is preached to be. And I am not trying to diminish God’s Spirit and involvement in our lives, but even Paul said we were given but an earnest, a down payment, toward something more (2 Cor 1:22 and 5:5). I think the Spirit was given to help us find our way back to God and His will for us, but the weight of the Spirit given at Shavuot (Pentecost) was really centered on rebuilding the House of Israel. Like Bezaleel and others who were given the Spirit to build the House of God (the Tabernacle), we have been given the Spirit to rebuild the House of Israel that was destroyed through your previously mentioned divorce. Judah wasn’t divorced and wouldn’t need the Spirit for the same reason we did.

      1. The difference is that the spirit upon people under the first covenant was for a particular task, including groups of people such as in the book Nehemiah.
        In the new covenant the Spirit can dwell in us.
        That is the difference that yeshua knows like no other …
        He wants us (humans) they all experienced.

        Israel (Judah and Ephraim) make one in the spirit is God’s purpose.
        Then the Goyim are the forfeited ..

        1. Yes, but it is still only a earnest, 10% down, not all we get. That is what “arrahbon” in Greek means. Arrahbon is the Greek word used in 2 Cor. 1:22 and 5:5. Not that it matters Henk, but I also don’t see this as a “new” covenant. The word in Hebrew translated as new in Jeremiah 31:31 is chadashah, the adjective form of a verb that means “to renew.” When in the Greek, the word for new is kainos, as opposed to nehos. The latter means “brand new,” whereas kainos means “to renew or make fresh.” God is renewing an everlasting covenant, not making something brand new. But again, that is off topic and my own view, it doesn’t have to be yours. 🙂 Shalom brother.

          1. Shalom u2 brother.
            For me;The difference between the 1st and the renewed Covenant:
            One sacrifice, Yeshua.
            No temple outside but in us.
            The spirit teaches us His Torah,no “rabbi”..only One is..

            Under the first Covenant was a piece of a man asked, in the new Covenant required YHWH complete dedication.

            best regards hEnk, its whit a E..

  14. Ken, great word, and as I mentioned on FB you articulated very well (much better than I could) my own beliefs on the issue.

    I wanted to recount a chance encounter with brother Judah I had a couple years back, shortly after United 2 Restore was formed. I had been praying to the Father to use me in some way, to be a part of this restoration. In December I was in Walmart with my wife and I run into an orthodox brother from Miami. He saw my tzitzi and asked if I was “Jewish” to which I answered no, not to my knowledge. He then asked why I was wearing tzitzi and I told him for the same reason he was…

    That began a 45 minute conversation about halakah, how we fellowshipped, and Yeshua. During the whole time neither of us approached the subject of conversion, no proselytising, and we left with a hug, proclaiming how great it was to run into each other.

    To me, this is how two estranged brothers act when they bump into each other, and I keep looking forward to the “chance” encounter.

    How different would that have looked if my only mission was to try and add another notch in my belt (so to speak) by trying to convert him? So for what it’s worth I really appreciate you spending the time and effort in putting this out there for us to consider.

    Be blessed, I look forward to meeting you this weekend!

  15. Ken and Tom, your passion for the Word of truth is evident and I love and appreciate you both. But when two seekers of truth disagree, and when after a discussion there are still disagreements and a lack of reconciliation over doctrine, it simply means that the whole truth has not been presented.
    The Holy Spirit promised to guide us into all truth and show us things to come. Dear Lord, please bless the reader and I with wisdom and spiritual understanding.
    Just as Tom did, I reacted very negatively to Ken’s article and to his subsequent response to Tom and his children. The article left me no choice but to conclude that from Ken’s perspective, because Jews are already righteous it is not a biblical requirement to witness to them. If pushed for an answer, I am certain Ken would say that it is OK to witness if we do, but he made it very clear in his article that it is not necessary and it is OK if we do not. This is an unbiblical, and sadly, a very destructive theology.
    Both Ken and Tom have interacted over several extremely important doctrines which cause serious divisions in the messianic movement on several fronts and require clarification. The root (among others) of the disagreement and the failure for the two brothers to be united2restore, lies in the failure to consider the very serious implications of the difference between both the biblical concepts of individual redemption and national redemption, and of misapplying the verses relating to each of these two concepts. Not only in individual and national terms, but also in their application and timing as it relates to Ezekiel 37 and other verses. I will not address these issues here as they demand much more than a post on a blog. I will only address the fruit produced by the root which in this case, produced a division over righteousness and the requirement to witness or not witness to the Jew.
    To defuse Ken’s argument that God considers the Jews as already righteous, Tom quoted Paul’s statement “there is none righteous no not one” (Romans 3:10-13). In defense of his theology, Ken mentioned that this applied only to atheists. This is a very hasty and superficial exposition of Psalm 14:1-3, and Psalm 53:1-3 which he was referring to because the words “none righteous no not one” do not appear there making Ken’s argument of no effect. The only common words in those three passages of Romans 3 and Psalms 14 and 53 are “there is none who does good.” To further make the argument of no effect Yeshua said “no one is good but God alone,” (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) I am certain that He did not mean only atheists! Conclusion: no one does good because, as Yeshua said, no one is good! “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.”
    Paul (whose writings Peter says, are hard to understand) is the one who developed and added “there is none righteous no not one.” He formulated his theology from many places in the Hebrew writings including “there is not a righteous man upon earth, that does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20); “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). He added the words because the Holy Spirit revealed to him that now that the blood of the Lamb of God had been shed, the time had arrived for all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to discover and learn the difference between the righteousness of the law as given to Moses and the righteousness of faith as imputed to Abraham.
    Paul discovered that, while the law is definitely not abolished, the righteousness of the law could not save anyone. Only the righteousness of faith could because it imputes the righteousness of God in the repentant sinner as a gift. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17). That is why Paul wrote: “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).
    Conclusion: we MUST witness to unredeemed Jews; they too need to be saved. National salvation is another issue altogether. If you agree with this brother Ken, and all of those who have forwarded and praised the article, please prayerfully consider to remove the teaching before it spreads further. If you think that my understanding is wrong, please correct me; but you need to disprove biblically what I wrote. I seek nothing but truth. Be blessed.

    1. Greetings Jean-Claude. I appreciate your contribution and kind spirit. I have a couple of items I would like to address, the rest I will just let stand as it is and others can read both of our words and come to their own conclusions. 🙂

      You wrote: “But when two seekers of truth disagree, and when after a discussion there are still disagreements and a lack of reconciliation over doctrine, it simply means that the whole truth has not been presented.”

      I would respectfully disagree with that statement unless of course, “whole truth” is a more inclusive category. Neither Tom nor I can force each other to comprehend how each of us define certain words, or how we view certain situations. I can tell you, and I don’t think Tom would mind me sharing this… that after a 2 hour sit down discussion on this topic with his daughter and with another elder from my own congregation, we still walked away with a different definition of what evangelism even is. That word itself, evangelize, like any word, can mean one thing to one person and another thing to another person. Now I do believe Tom and I have come to an understanding. I think we still see things a little differently, however, I also believe we both agree that the “bigger picture” that God desires regarding reunification means that placing an evangelistic target on Judah is not part of God’s desire. Beyond that, Tom and I might differ on some finer details… but I prefer not to focus on them in favor of the bigger picture. So I don’t believe the truth hasn’t been shared, I believe that our paradigms are inconsistent on this topic and we simply have reached an impasse.

      Regarding Romans 3:10. Most commentators agree that Paul was quoting Psalm 14 and 53. However, Paul is one of those who seems to quote things we can’t find. In part that is due to his willingness to quote non-biblical sources. In fact, many things he has stated as being “it is written” have been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, there are times he quotes the Septuagint which I think means he was quoting the Hebrew the LXX was based on, but that is my personal view. Anyway, when you look at the LXX you will find that Romans 3:10 aligns in principle to Psalm 53 and not Psalm 14. So it is a worthy argument to go here with this connection. Besides brother, there are plenty of people being called “righteous” before Christ and even some called the same while he walked the earth. The bible can’t say “there is none righteous” and then speak of many people being righteous unless our interpretation of Paul’s words are skewed. Both can’t be correct.

      Shalom to you, I have heard some fine things about you.
      Ken

      1. KEN SAYS: You wrote: “But when two seekers of truth disagree, and when after a discussion there are still disagreements and a lack of reconciliation over doctrine, it simply means that the whole truth has not been presented.” I would respectfully disagree with that statement unless of course, “whole truth” is a more inclusive category.

        JEAN-CLAUDE ANSWERS Thank you Ken for taking the time to answer. Of course I meant the whole truth. So we agree – as long as we both conclude that “a more inclusive category” leaves no room for relativism. The reason I made the above statement is simply because in the end, there can only be one truth about the issue. Either we have a mandate from God to share the gospel with our unredeemed Jewish brothers or we do not. I do not see anywhere in the Scriptures that it was left up to us to decide.

        As you correctly pointed out, when two people disagree, each may operate from a different understanding of what a particular word mean. It seems to be the case between you, Tom and Hannah. You wrote: “I believe that our paradigms are inconsistent on this topic and we simply have reached an impasse.” This obviously cannot remain this way.
        We have the promise to be lead into ALL truth by the Holy Spirit. It is not possible to lessen the meaning, intent, or purpose of this clear promise. So more work is needed to arrive at the truth about this issue.

        KEN SAYS: Besides brother, there are plenty of people being called “righteous” before Christ and even some called the same while he walked the earth. The bible can’t say “there is none righteous” and then speak of many people being righteous unless our interpretation of Paul’s words are skewed. Both can’t be correct.

        JEAN-CLAUDE ANSWERED: The fact is the bible does say “there is none righteous no not even one” (Rom 3:10). The statement is not conditional. It says what it says. It leaves no room for another meaning. Should we cut out these words? God forbid. This is a perfect example of the same words having different meanings. In this case, because they refer to two different types of righteousness. Paul made it very clear that the intrinsic nature of righteousness before and after Yeshua is different – and so did our Lord Himself.
        As I wrote in my post, Paul speaks of two different kinds of righteousness. The righteousness derived from the law and the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith (Phil 3:9). One is human righteousness which cannot save; the other is imputed righteousness which restores the believer to the condition that existed in Adam before the fall… and then some. In the end, salvation is an issue of holiness. Unredeemed Jews who only have the righteousness of the law must be given the opportunity to respond to the gospel. Individual salvation and national salvation are two completely different issues.

        I am in the process of writing a paper which will address the serious issues dividing the Hebrew Roots movement. I would appreciate your prayers toward this. Hopefully it will serve to shine more light toward the truth so that “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:13-14).

        Shalom brother Ken.

        1. Jean-Claude, we have the same heart and I am not trying to cause strife. So, I will not reply regarding anything else, but I feel I can’t let this one go. Not just for you but for others reading.

          Paul said that “it is written” that “there is none righteous, no not one.” Most scholars believe he is quoting Psalm 14 and 53, however, if you look up the Greek in Psalm 53 in the Septuagint, I think you will see a clearer tie to that Psalm. The context is atheists, the fools who say there is no God.

          Now, you contest this which is your right but you continue to take his line from a perspective that places your conclusion at odds with Scripture. If, “there is none righteous, no not one” is meant to stand alone and there simply cannot be ANY righteous people on earth before Yeshua completes his work (and then we are righteous through him) then how do you account for this:

          Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

          Matthew 1:19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

          They can’t be righteous, because there are no righteous, no not one!

          Matthew 9:13b I did not come to call the righteous, but rather the sinners unto repentance

          If there are no righteous as your conclusion states, then Yeshua’s comment that he didn’t come to call the righteous makes no sense because there weren’t any. We now have confusion Jean-Claude… we have a brother(s) saying Paul’s word means there were no righteous people at all, and the bible saying Joseph and Elizabeth and her husband and even more I can list were righteous. This is why the tie to Psalm 53 is so important just as a proper working definition of what it even means to be righteous is as well. I submit to you that since “righteous” is an English word chosen to depict the concept found in a Hebrew and Greek word than we do indeed need to make sure we have an accurate definition of that word. The modern Webster’s and even the 1828 Webster’s carry the same meaning. Perhaps as you find time, you can compare both. There is an 1828 online if you don’t have one built into your Bible software.

          I will indeed pray for your work on the article as related to the Hebrew Roots Movement. It must be a work of the Spirit since myself and another teacher I know are working on a similar article.

          Shalom.
          Ken

  16. Interesting that I should happen upon your website tonight reading this. You see, I had just finished watching a really good teaching, and had the first thought, “Oh! I need to send this to my kids! They will love it, and it will be so good for them to hear it!” Well, the problem with that is that a few years back Abba told me, “Leave your children alone. Stop teaching them. Trust Me to teach them.” My children are grown adults; therefore, no longer my children to teach. Yes, if they come to me and ask me to teach them, I would be free to. I also made the mistake a few years back, after coming to the new understanding of my Hebrew Roots, of pushing them to believe the same things, thus pushing them away. Today each of my children, believers in the Messiah, seek Him in the way that they understand.
    As I considered whether or not I would be able to send the teaching to them tonight, I debated in my mind all of the reasons why I surely missed Abba’s “command” to me to NOT teach them: God has told us to share the Gospel: I am not ashamed of the Gospel!; He has told us that if we do not share it, then their blood will be upon my hands!; And on and on the debate went in my mind. I finally deleted my email to send the teaching, and said, “Okay, Abba. I trust You! And I know you will let me know if I am wrong.” And then, I “happened” onto your website.
    As I read it, and the comments, I quickly saw the similarities. I was also reminded of a couple of other thoughts: Remember the lame begger who Peter healed? Yeshua surely had walked past him while He was still on the earth. Why didn’t He “speak” to Him? Why didn’t He heal him? And, the other thought was a statement that a friend made to me just today: iron sharpens iron–it cannot sharpen plastic, metal, wood, etc., but rather it will hurt it.
    What is my point? There are many today: Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who are coming to faith in Messiah. We rejoice in that fact. There are also many Christians today that are coming to a knowledge of Torah. We rejoice in that, as well, knowing that it is also important. (Yes, we could debate the salvation issue here, but stay with me—maybe you will see my point.).
    Why did Abba tell me to leave my children alone? Perhaps the same reason that He told Yeshua to not speak to the lame beggar. It was and is a timing issue. Our Abba knows when a heart is ready to receive. And, it is at that very point that He will send some ONE (the iron to sharpen the iron) who has His Light to bring that person to salvation, and to a greater knowledge of Him. If we are all out preaching to everyone we think needs to hear it, and when we think they need to hear it, we won’t be as effective, and perhaps we will even delay their giving their lives to Him. There are times in all of our lives that Abba will send us to the “wilderness” to learn how to become more effective witnesses for His Kingdom. Could that have been the purpose of Paul’s time in the desert of Arabia for 3 years? It is all a timing issue. We must be willing to trust in His perfect timing, and not ours. May we allow Him daily to brighten the Light within us in order that when He does send us (or even transport us as He did Philip), it will on be His Light that is seen and heard, and will produce the purpose for which he/she was sent.
    Yes, the Jews need to hear about Yeshua. Yes, my children need to hear about Torah. Yes, we have a responsibility to Abba to “go into all the world and teach, make disciples.” We’ve learned that the “go into all the world” is actually saying “as you go…as you live your life…” Yes, we have examples in Acts of what the apostles did, and how many came to believe in Messiah as a result of their preaching and calling out those who were walking in “unrighteousness”.
    I submit to you that it is all a timing issue. When we step into our timing and neglect His, chaos, division, war, etc. takes place. Doing things in His timing shalom and love are birthed…bridges are built…two become United into One. May we be led according to His timing… Thank you for your time…

  17. Shalom chaverim,

    We don’t need to evangelize Juda with an christian input…please let us not do.Most of us are just coming from a christian background with a Greek view of thinking.We don’t need to push Juda into this. First we as seed of the house of Yosef need to loose all our Greek view and that takes time. We as family personally are decades out of christianity,we started with shabbat in the year of 1987 just on our own by revelation, but it took so many years to loose our Greek view of thinking and still we think we could have Greek view of thinking. For 3,5 years we had a young men from the Middle East in our house, living with us as family. He told us a very important fact…The people from the Middle East don’t look to people what they say but what they show. Greek view is mostly the opposit.
    We know the Washburns have lived among Juda, many of us didn’t have that taste. Please let us take attention to that precious experience.We in 2003 had a very special contact with a young jewish woman on erev shabbat in the land. We didn’t search for it, we have asked ABBA YHVH to lead us in the land to people He wanted us to have there so that we could witness about our live, sharing just sharing, not evangelize. And we didn’t go on the street with flyers or what…and still we have the same meaning about that. Just share in a spontanious situation led by the Ruach…We first need to think about coming together as a full coloured robe of Yosef.A really life changing challenge…to become one with Yosefpeople who are so different.If we find the key to become one in the house of Yosef, the first who will see it is Juda…On this very moment we are still not one, let us work to it, so that we first become one as mispacha, even with our different view of thinking, and after that, I think, we dont need to reach out to Juda, because Juda is serious looking to that one full coloured body and will ask us really special questions.Hope my comment will help somebody and if I am wrng please correct me, brachot,

  18. The book of Job, gives a clear answer to who speaks to the Jews. The first three “friends” do it without result, after Elihu speaks is God with Job speak..

    From the Catholic, Protestant and charismatic churches, the Messianic municipality.
    People from the 3 denominations now form the House of Joseph/Efraim..

    Job, אִיּ֣וֹב his name in Hebrew is an Alef (Yeshua) a Yod (10 tribes/hand) a waw (connection/connection) Beth (2 tribes/House) all this makes in the name of Job (אִיּ֣וֹב) In God’s hand will be the two houses of Judah and Ephraim 1. (Ezechiel 37.19)

    The Gospel is so bring … not by Christians, but by the friends of the House of Judah …

    This is one of the stories the Lord give me about the two housses.
    There are many more things too tell about de chuch history and the house of Judah from the book of Job and in all histories of genesis are stories with specific references to the two houses, Judah and Ephraim.
    Please exuse me for my bad Englisch…
    Love You All,henk.

  19. RESPONSE TO B’NEY YOSEF EVANGELISM OF JEWS PROHIBITION
    I need to preface this response with who I am. I am a believer in Yeshua from a child, Holy Spirit filled for about 25 years and Torah Observant for about 13 years. I love Israel, visited once, and desire to make aliyah if it is ever possible, even presently taking an online Hebrew course to get prepared. I have studied extensively the possibility of being physically a part of Judah or Ephraim. I have been following this B’ney Yosef movement.
    However, I am concerned that the desire to be able to live in the Land of Israel legally could cause us to compromise our mission as believers in Yeshua.
    The articles of Declaration state:

    “We will stand ready to give an answer for the hope of our calling, willing to share what we believe with anyone who desires to hear; this is our responsibility. Yet we acknowledge there is a difference between giving answers to questions asked and trying to convert another to our way of understanding and practice. Therefore, B’ney Yosef North America cannot and will not support or defend any attempts to evangelize the Jewish people.”

    I feel like this is COMPROMISE.

    Yeshua’s words should be our ultimate guide and any discrepancies in our opinions should bow to His Words.

    So, what did Yeshua say about the evangelizing of Jews?

    [Mat 10:23 KJV] 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, YE SHALL NOT HAVE GONE OVER THE CITIES OF ISRAEL, TILL THE SON OF MAN BE COME.

    [Luk 24:44-49 KJV] 44 And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

    (THIS DOESN’T SOUND LIKE JUST WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO ASK YOU QUESTIONS. Also, who would have been in Jerusalem but Jews? It does sound like THE PREACHING IS TO BE WITH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BEING MANIFESTED, however! Weren’t there about 3000 Jews that accepted Yeshua when the power of the Holy Spirit was poured out and shown initially? (Read Acts 2: 22-41 attached for Peter’s example of how to preach to Jews!)

    I absolutely don’t think we should force Jews or anyone else to accept Yeshua! BUT, THEY CERTAINLY SHOULD BE OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY! Having one’s name written in THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE is necessary to avoid the Lake of Fire and to be able to enter into the New Jerusalem!!!

    [Rev 20:15 KJV] 15 And whosoever was not found written in THE BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire.

    [Rev 21:27 KJV] 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.

    BELIEF IN YESHUA, THE LAMB OF YHWH ELOHIM, IS THE MOST IMMEASURABLE GIFT!!

    So, this is definitely not about persecution of Jews if they don’t accept him. We are always to bless the seed of Abraham! I personally pray for those who don’t get the revelation that Yeshua is their Messiah, the Son of YHWH Elohim, that they will be one of those on whom he pours out grace when He returns and saves them!:

    [Zec 12:7-14 KJV] 7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah. 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, THE SPIRIT OF GRACE and of supplications: and THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, AND THEY SHALL MOURN FOR HIM, AS ONE MOURNETH FOR [HIS] ONLY [SON], AND SHALL BE IN BITTERNESS FOR HIM, AS ONE THAT IS IN BITTERNESS FOR [HIS] FIRSTBORN. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

    IT WAS JUST REVEALED TO ME TODAY, HOWEVER, THAT WE NEED TO KEEP READING. ZECHARIAH 13:8-9 MAKES IT CLEAR THAT NOT ALL OF JUDAH WILL BE SAVED WHEN YESHUA RETURNS AND THEY SEE HIM – ONLY 1/3 WILL! TWO THIRDS WILL BE CUT OFF AND DIE!

    [ZEC 13:8-9 KJV] 8 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, [THAT] IN ALL THE LAND, SAITH THE LORD, TWO PARTS THEREIN SHALL BE CUT OFF [AND] DIE; BUT THE THIRD SHALL BE LEFT THEREIN. 9 AND I WILL BRING THE THIRD PART THROUGH THE FIRE, AND WILL REFINE THEM AS SILVER IS REFINED, AND WILL TRY THEM AS GOLD IS TRIED: THEY SHALL CALL ON MY NAME, AND I WILL HEAR THEM: I WILL SAY, IT [IS] MY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL SAY, THE LORD [IS] MY GOD.
    I don’t know what criteria The Father will use to determine who the one-third will be. But, it certainly seems to me that it would be better for the Jewish people to hear the true, full gospel of the kingdom now and have an opportunity to be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    So, for now, we are still in the period of time that we are to be PREACHING the gospel of Yeshua ha Maschiach! Its hard, as much as we want peace in the family, but we need to remember that Yeshua said that it would be a time of division, not of peace! The division will be over those who believe in Him and those who don’t, even among the Jews.

    [Mat 10:16-25, 32-36 KJV] 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and THEY WILL SCOURGE YOU IN THEIR SYNAGOGUES; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 AND THE BROTHER SHALL DELIVER UP THE BROTHER TO DEATH, AND THE FATHER THE CHILD: AND THE CHILDREN SHALL RISE UP AGAINST [THEIR] PARENTS, AND CAUSE THEM TO BE PUT TO DEATH. 22 AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL [MEN] FOR MY NAME’S SAKE: BUT HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above [his] master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. IF THEY HAVE CALLED THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BEELZEBUB, HOW MUCH MORE [SHALL THEY CALL] THEM OF HIS HOUSEHOLD? … 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO SEND PEACE ON EARTH: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, BUT A SWORD. 35 FOR I AM COME TO SET A MAN AT VARIANCE AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND THE DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND THE DAUGHTER IN LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER IN LAW. 36 AND A MAN’S FOES [SHALL BE] THEY OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD.

    Of course, we also need to right the wrong that BELIEVERS IN YESHUA have preached for 2000 years that Yeshua preached against the Written Torah and supposedly fulfilled it. But, we do need to give them Yeshua’s words about how THEIR ( THE JEWS) additions and subtractions from the Written Torah have caused them to become blind.

    DEUTERONOMY 4:1-2, ISAIAH 29:13-14, ISAIAH 6:1-10. MATTHEW 15:1-20

    [Deu 4:1-2 KJV] 1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do [them], that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. 2 YE SHALL NOT ADD UNTO THE WORD WHICH I COMMAND YOU, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH [OUGHT] FROM IT, THAT YE MAY KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD WHICH I COMMAND YOU.

    [Isa 29:13-14 KJV] 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but HAVE REMOVED THEIR HEART FAR FROM ME, AND THEIR FEAR TOWARD ME IS TAUGHT BY THE PRECEPT OF MEN: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

    [Mat 15:1-9 KJV] 1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, WHY DO YE ALSO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD BY YOUR TRADITION? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to [his] father or [his] mother, [It is] a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. THUS HAVE YE MADE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT BY YOUR TRADITION. 7 [YE] HYPOCRITES, WELL DID ESAIAS PROPHESY OF YOU, SAYING, 8 THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH [THEIR] LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. 9 BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING [FOR] DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.

    I BELIEVE THIS POSITION ON NOT PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF YESHUA TO JEWS, NEEDS TO BE REVERSED – BASED ON YESHUA’S COMMAND!

    HOW TO PREACH TO JEWS ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLE PETER AFTER DISPLAYING THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

    [Act 2:22-41 KJV] 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29 Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

    Also read Acts 13 whole chapter to see how Paul preached to the Jews.

    TANACH VERSES THAT CONFIRM OUR PREACHING:

    Psalm 16:8-11 Yeshua will be resurrected
    Psalm 110 Yeshua is David’s Sovereign and also his son and the High Priest after order of Melek Zadik
    Psalm 69 Prophecies that Yeshua fulfilled
    Isaiah52:13- Isaiah 53 Yeshua is the sacrifice for Israel’s sins (Isaiah 53:4,5,8,10)
    Psalm 22 Prophecies that Yeshua fulfilled
    Psalm 2 Yeshua is the Son of Elohim
    Psalm 118:22 Yeshua claims to be this stone the builders rejected
    Psalm 118:26 Yeshua comes in the Name of YHWH
    Deuteronomy 18:18-19 Yeshua is the Prophet that is like Moses that was promised
    Psalm 49:15 – Resurrection
    Joel 2:28-29 Ruach ha Kodesh will be poured upon YHWH’s servants
    Isaiah 55:3-5 Yeshua was given the sure mercies of David
    Isaiah 49:5-6 YHWH extends this salvation even to all people (foreigners)- not just the tribes of Israel-through His Servant, Yeshua
    Isaiah 56:1-8 YHWH extends this salvation even to all people (foreigners) who enter into covenant with Him and keeps his Sabbaths
    Psalm 17:13-15 – Resurrection
    Isaiah 62:11 Yeshua is coming!

    1. Greetings sis. I appreciate your comments and I am not going to try to sway your beliefs. You need to do whatever you are convicted of. I will share for others reading, just a couple of points that are pertinent. You called the Evangelistic bullet point “compromise.” I don’t grasp this at all. That point says to be ready to give a hope of your calling and that sharing what you believe with those who ask or want to hear is our “responsibility.” But when we go beyond sharing with those who ask or seek and move into the realm of forcing others to accept our view, we are then bordering on heresy. The underlying Greek word that we translate as heresy means, “to storm a city; to take by force.” In context, a heretic is NOT one who disagrees with the Orthodoxy which is how it is defined TODAY, a heretic is one who attempts to force or manipulate another to accept his/her own views. If somebody isn’t asking and you insisting on giving them answers you think they need even when they aren’t asking, that is right on the line of heresy as the word is defined in the underlying NT Greek.

      Beyond heresy, the idea is simply to not place the same TARGET on the back of the Jews that mainstream Christianity has. This targeting has caused animosity and division between a people who serve the same God. That makes us family, whether or not we can currently reconcile that. Christianity’s targeting of the Jews has also caused forced baptisms, forced eating of unclean foods, even death to Jews who don’t accept our views. We have acted like heretics throughout history and all it has done is burned bridges and closed doors. It is time to stand up and change that… that isn’t compromise, that is understanding that living in mutual respect with those who serve the same God that we do is God’s will. If Ezekiel is to hold the two unique sticks close BEFORE God makes them one, then we should do the same and hold them close knowing and trusting that God will indeed correct whatever needs to be corrected.

      Secondly … just throwing this out for consideration. You mentioned the Luke 24 verse about “to Jerusalem first.” Paul also wrote, “to the Jew first.” We take that as the need to take the gospel to the Jew before taking it to the rest of the nations. That is true, however, we have a definition issue. If we insist that the gospel is ONLY “Jesus died so that I might have eternal life,” then you need to keep doing what you are doing and believing what you believe. However, if the gospel includes the calling of Israel out of the nations (a seed no man can count), the restoration of ALL things, the Kingdom and King, the promised land (all of it), etc., then perhaps there is another meaning to “the Jew first.” How about both Israel and Judah (the Jews) get taken into captivity because of their sin and Judah comes home, back to the promised land FIRST…. to the Jew first. And then, to the nations… which is where you and I still are, waiting to be called home. We now know WHO we are, but there is still work to be done by God. So, Judah came home, we did not, “to the Jew first.”

      And last, you keep saying we have to believe in Yeshua. I agree… but belief in the Hebraic mind calls for action. One doesn’t “believe” or say a little prayer and then is good to go. You can’t believe and then sit on the spiritual couch, so to speak. Belief requires action, “If you love me keep my commandments.” OK, well, since Yeshua didn’t give us new commandments (“The words I speak are not my own”) but rather he was encouraging us to follow Torah… then what do you do with the Jew who is already keeping Torah out of his love for God? If us believing means we love, and if our love means we follow His word…. then those following His Word already don’t love? “I did not come to call the righteous but rather the sinners unto repentance.” All you have to do is go and define the words “righteous” and “sinners” and you’ll see that Yeshua said, “I have not come to call those following Torah, I have come to call those who aren’t.” We weren’t, but righteous Jews were and yet you still think they need to be converted to something else? God makes the covenant with Judah and Israel… so whether we do anything or not, whether we force our view on them or not, whether we remain on the couch or not… God will renew the covenant with Judah (the Jews) and Israel (us). If that doesn’t jive with our paradigm, it doesn’t make it any less true. God will make the two sticks one, HE WILL DO IT, because He said He would.

      So my PERSONAL position is simply to answer when asked but otherwise to LIVE in a manner that reflects the Lord I serve. And when asked, I answer, otherwise I am content allowing God to do His own job, the job He said He would do. That is consistent with the Great Commission which is “GO!” in English, but “going” (as in, “as you are going”) in Greek.

      Shalom.
      Ken

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