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Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:16 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:16 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
One of the most frequent comments I hear concerning the Messianic movement 'thing', is the assertion that we are rebuilding a wall (the wall being the 'law') that the Messiah tore down in Ephesians 2:14-15:
"For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us], having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, to make in himself of two one new man [so] making peace."
Perhaps one of the not so obvious details about verse 14 and 15, is the fact that they are preceded by 13 other verses, not to mention 7 more verses after that. I suppose including some insight from these passages is too much to ask. This chapter in Ephesians is salted with all kinds of words and phrases that must be defined from previous revelation of the One who wrote the scriptures. The immediate context should, under normal conditions, be enough to define what Sha'ul is saying, but for the sake of our dear 'Christian' friends who have been educated by recent graduates from the Wheaton and Dallas areas we will take the time to adequately identify Sha'ul's use of the term 'the middle wall of partition'.
The 'good news' is, by now, spreading to the uttermost parts of the earth. Ephesus is in modern day Turkey, and is dominated by Gentiles or non-Jews. Sha'ul's letter is to remind, if not encourage, those faithful in Ephesus of who they are and their position in Messiah. These Ephesian believers are not to forget what Yahshua has done for them, and of their relationship with him as a bride. Remember that it was the believers in Ephesus that were commended for exposing the unfruitful works of darkness, but were prone to leaving their first love (Hitgalut 2:1-4). In Ephesians 2:1, Sha'ul reminds them of who they were BEFORE they were redeemed by the blood of Messiah. It is at this time that we should remember the words of Sha'ul in Romans chapter six and Colossians chapter two, for example. Every time Sha'ul is about to teach something concerning Torah, he precedes his teaching with a reminder that the Messiah died and rose again for our trespasses and sins. Before the infamous 'no longer under the law' comment Sha'ul exclaims:
"'Elohiym forbid. How shall we, that are DEAD TO SIN, live any longer in it? . . . For he that is dead is free from SIN."
Sometimes it is as if Sha'ul foreknew that ignorant Gentile expositors would confuse the masses with the whole legalism issue. So Sha'ul, using his intuitive intellect, begins his discussion of the broken wall of partition with the following reminder:
"And you [hath he made alive] who were DEAD in TREPASSES AND SINS; In which in times PAST ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of DISOBEDIENCE; Among whom also we all had our MANNER OF LIFE in times PAST in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind, and were by NATURE the children of WRATH, even as others."
The context established from the beginning concerns the condition of these Ephesian believers BEFORE they were redeemed by Messiah. They were no different than the sons of disobedience are now. They walked according to this world. Their former manner of life was in the lust of the flesh and of the mind. This 'former manner of life' appears later in this epistle as well, referring to the same 'old man' that we identified in Romans chapter six.
"This I say, therefore, and testify in YHVH, that ye henceforth WALK NOT as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being ALIENATED from the life of 'Elohiym through the ignorance that is in them, because of the BLINDNESS of their heart; Who, being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all UNCLEANNESS with greediness. But ye have not so learned Messiah, if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Yahshua: That ye put off concerning the FORMER MANNER OF LIFE the OLD MAN, which is CORRUPT according to the deceitful lusts, And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after 'ELohiym is CREATED in RIGHTEOUSNESS and true HOLINESS."
As we study Ephesians chapter two, we are going to discover alot of not so coincidental similarities between 'our former life' and the prophecies concerning the house of Israel. For it is the foreknowledge of the scriptures of 'earlier times' that identify who the 'two' are, that have now become 'one' (Ephesians 2:15). Meanwhile, let's read on to reap some more information about these former aliens of the commonwealth of Israel.
"But 'Elohiym, who is rich in MERCY, for his great love with which he LOVED us, even when were were dead in SINS, hath made us alive together with Messiah, (by grace ye are saved;)"
It is by the mercy of 'Elohiym and His love for his true people that they have been made alive. And we are again reminded that they WERE dead in sins. I am highlighting alot of words that will become significant in the identification of these people, for they are words that have been used many times before.
"And hath raised [us] up TOGETHER, and made [us] sit TOGETHER in heavenly [places] in Messiah Yahshua; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] KINDNESS toward us through Messiah Yahshua."
These last two verses have some overtones of a parent who knows that it is time for his two feuding sons to sit down and eat at the same table. This scenario is perhaps better illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. This parable pictures what is predicted in the Tenakh concerning the division of the two houses of Israel. The prophetic description of the different directions these two houses take is, in my opinion, graphically revealed in the Brit Chadashah. I want to take the time to search out these prophecies in light of the description Sha'ul gives us of those who were far off but now made near by the blood of Messiah. I hope to show that the two 'peoples' that YHVH is bringing together into one new man is a fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the reuniting of the house of Israel and the house of Yehudah (Yirmeyahu 31:31, Hoshea chapter 1-3). I pray that after this study you will see that this chapter is a reuniting of two brothers, pictured as a building, a household and a temple, and that the fulfillment of the 'New Covenant' will not take place until we all come in the unity of the faith, unto a perfect man, and a completed temple for the habitation of the Ruach HaQodesh.
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:17 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of 'Elohiym - not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yahshua unto good works, which 'Elohiym hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:8-9 are probably memorized second only to Yochanan 3:16. As a former rabid Mormon basher, I am very familiar with these two verses as well. It soon became obvious to me that verse 10 was left out of this trilogy of truth. I believe and tenaciously teach that man can only be delivered by the mercy and grace of the Creator, and there are no works that man can do to attain salvation. However, there is a natural process to this lofty goal which involves producing what 'Elohiym has formed within us. Which brings me to a vital point of all this that I might as well touch on now. One of the essential features of this lesson that I wish to highlight concerns prophecy. We are told that "... the testimony of Yahshua is the spirit of prophecy" in Hitgalut 19:10. I believe that verse is more profound than is commonly taught. It fits perfectly with the first part of Yeshayahu 46:10 "Declaring from the beginning, the end ..."
The questions that I would like to propose before we continue in this chapter are simply this: Did YHVH know in advance that He would go to the Gentiles to call out a people for His name? Did He know WHO they were in advance? Did He declare in His word WHO these people were? Are the faithful people of YHVH in the end declared from the beginning? I believe that the answer to all these questions is YES! I believe that the Gentiles, referred to as strangers and aliens, are known by YHVH and foreknown by YHVH, and are not just chosen willy nilly and helter skelter.
Alright, now that I have that off my chest, let's get back to the text. We are told that we who WERE disobedient and children of wrath, are now His workmanship created in the Messiah unto good works. The word 'workmanship' is poiema in the Greek. The word poiema comes from a Hebrew expression used several times in the Tenakh. The word in Hebrew is po'al yaday, or 'the work of my hands'. Here are a few examples from Tenakh:
"Thus saith YHVH, the Holy One of Israel, and his maker: Ask me of things to come concerning my SONS; and concerning the WORK OF MY HANDS, command ye me."
"Therefore, thus saith YHVH, who redeemed Avraham, concerning the house of Ya'akov (Israel): Ya'akov shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow pale. But when he seeth his CHILDREN, the WORK OF MINE HANDS, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Ya'akov, and shall fear the God of Israel.
"Thy people also shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the WORK OF MY HANDS; that I may be glorified."
The use of the word 'workmanship' in Ephesians is not randomly chosen, but rather known and foretold long ago. YHVH knew exactly who was the work of his hands and who was ordained from the beginning unto good works. This is why Sha'ul begins the salutation of this letter by saying, "... According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world ... " YHVH foreknew of a people who would disobey Him, and as a result, would be scattered throughout the nations. They would mix with the nations physically and spiritually. They would no longer be called 'my people' and YHVH would no longer have mercy on them. Their brother Yehudah (Judah) would also disobey, but would maintain his tribal identity. YHVH foreknew that these two peoples would be reunited, made fellow citizens, and would once again be a household of 'Elohiym.
"Wherefore, remember that ye, being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands - that at that time ye were without Messiah, being ALIENS from the commonwealth of Israel, and STRANGERS from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without 'ELohiym in the world."
All my life I have heard variations on the popular expression that there are two kinds of people in the world. According to scripture however, there ARE only two kinds of people in the world. From HIS point of view there are 'my people', and the Gentiles or the nations, which basically boils down to the fact that one is either His people or not His people. This is the bottom line and has been from the beginning. This is clearly seen in the scriptural use of the number two or 'bet'. There are two masters, two kingdoms, two gates, Cain and Abel, Yitz'chak and Ishmael, Ya'akov and Esav, he that hath and he that hath not, heaven or hell, natural and spiritual, flesh and spirit, 'Elohiym and satan, belief and unbelief, bondman and free, foundation of rock or of sand. I could go on and on. It is from the mouth of YHVH that we are told that those who were His people, would, because of rebellion, NOT be His people. Then we are told that those same people, who were not His people, would someday be His people.
Hoshea 1:6 to 2:1
"And she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And ['Elohiym] said unto him, call her name Lo-ruhamah; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Yehudah, and will save them by YHVH, their 'Elohiym, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. Then said ['Elohiym], Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your ['Elohiym]. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, YE are the sons of the Living 'Eloyim. Then shall the children of Yehudah and the children of Israel be gathered TOGETHER, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land; for great shall be the day of Yezreel. Say ye unto your brethern, Ammi (my people) and to your sisters, Ruhamah (have obtained mercy)."
Those who are the people of YHVH are identified by several names or terms. The people of YHVH are called Israel (Sh'mot 4:22, Acts 2:36); the congregation, assembly or church (D'varim 23:1, Acts 2:47); the holy ones or saints (Mizmor 50:5, Romans 1:7); His children (Sh'mot 7:4); His firstborn (Sh'mot 4:22, Ivrim 12:23); and My people (Sh'mot 6:7, 1 Kefa 2:10). These are all terms that refer to the same people of 'Elohiym. Those who are not His people are also not His assembly, not His church, not Israel or His saints. They are referred to as the nations, the heathen, or the Gentiles. Those who call themselves Israel, but are not called of Avraham or of Yitz'chak are not really Israel. This is why Sha'ul says that "... they are not all Israel, who are of Israel ..." (Romans 9:6). If one is not of the faith of Avraham, whether they call themselves Israel or not, then they are NOT His people. If you are NOT His people, then there is only one other people you can be, the nations, or the Gentiles. This is an important concept to grasp. Let me attempt to put it another way. The house of Israel was prophesied by 'Elohiym to rebel and turn from the one true God. They were scattered among the nations and mixed with the Gentiles, and because they were no longer the people of the God of Israel, they were numbered among the Gentiles. However, YHVH knew that the Messiah would be responsible for bringing back His people from among the Gentiles and reuniting them with their brother Judah. Listen to the words of Ya'akov in Acts 15:14:
"Symeon hath declared how 'Elohiym first did visit the Gentiles, to take OUT of them a PEOPLE for His name."
The people referred to in Ephesians 2:11-13, WERE Gentiles in the flesh, they WERE without the Messiah, they WERE aliens, and they WERE strangers. It is the house of Israel that was foreknown by YHVH to estrange themselves from Him and turn away, but then to turn back and be His people once again. It is within the Gentiles, or the nations, that the people of YHVH would be taken from.
"That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all ESTRANGED from me through their idols. Therefore, say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith YHVH 'Elohiym: REPENT, and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the STRANGER that sojourneth in Israel, who separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me, I, YHVH, will answer him myself . . . and they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even like the punishment of him that seeketh unto him, That the HOUSE OF ISRAEL may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions, but that they may be MY PEOPLE, and I may be their 'Elohiym, saith YHVH 'Elohiym.
The house of Israel has separated itself from YHVH and has rebelled against His commandments and ways. The temple, by the time of the Messiah, is governed primarily by the Yehudiym (Jews). If one is a Gentile and has not been redeemed through the blood of the sacrifices, or circumcised in the heart, then, according to the law, that person cannot enter into the inner court of the temple. When a Gentile was ready to worship and serve the God of Israel, and their sins had been atoned for, then they were no longer considered a Gentile, were numbered with Israel, and could now enter the inner court.
"Thus saith, YHVH 'Elohiym: No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel."
We are now going to get to the meat of the matter. The middle wall of partition is not just a wall set up to divide the uncircumcised from the circumcised, but was prophesied to be the means, through it's removal, by which the house of Israel is reunited with the house of Yehudah. See you next time.
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:21 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
"But now in Messiah Yahshua ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Messiah."
We have established, at this point, that those who are NOT followers of the God of Israel and of the commonwealth of Israel, are without God in the world. One is either of the commonwealth of Israel or they are not. Strangers and aliens in the Tenakh became part of Israel through faith in the God of Israel. They came to the God of Israel as strangers and sojourners and by further definition, those who are 'far off'. The contrast is to those who are 'near'. Before reading the next verse, you must ask yourself, "Did Sha'ul make these two terms up?" Sha'ul is using these two terms to describe what the Messiah has done by and through His blood. Those who are 'far off' is a description of the previous 'aliens' and 'strangers'. Would it be logical that Sha'ul is assuming some knowledge of these terms from his audience? Is it probable that YHVH foreknew these strangers?
"Hear ye the word of YHVH, O house of Ya'akov, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus saith YHVH, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone FAR FROM ME, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain."
Yirmeyahu 30:3, 10-11
"For, lo, the days come, saith YHVH, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Yehudah, saith YHVH; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it ... Therefore, fear thou not, O my servant Ya'akov, saith YHVH; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from AFAR, and thy SEED from the land of their captivity; and Ya'akov shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith YHVH, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations to which I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee, but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished."
"Hear the word of YHVH, O ye nations (gentiles), and declare it in the isles AFAR OFF, and say, He who scattered ISRAEL will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock."
(Keep that word 'shepherd' in mind, as we will see him more clearly in the defining of the 'middle wall'.)
The whole idea of those who are 'far off' is always associated with the gathering of HIS PEOPLE from among the Gentiles, who are synonymous with the regathered house of Israel. Those who are 'far off' are also equivalent to the nations, the scattered, the disobedient, and the wicked.
"... that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be FAR from thee."
"YHVH shall bring a nation against thee from AFAR ..."
"So that the generation to come of your children who shall rise up after you, and the foreigner who shall come from A FAR land ..."
Something declared to be 'far from me' is that which is wicked, or something that someone would not do.
Sh'mu'el Bet 23:17
"And he said, Be it FAR FROM ME, O YHVH, that I should do this ..."
M'lakhim Alef 8:41
"Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of thy people, Israel, but cometh out of a FAR country for thy name's sake."
"Salvation (Yahshua) is FAR from the wicked; for they seek not thy statutes."
"I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from FAR ..."
YHVH gives prophetic descriptions of those people in Hoshea who would turn from Him and be scattered throughout the nations. They would do abominable things and mix with the ways of the nations around them. These same things will be said of the believers in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, and the uttermost parts of the earth. Listen to further insight into those who WERE far off but are now made near.
"Again the word of YHVH came to me, saying, Son of man, thy brethern, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the HOUSE OF ISRAEL wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, get you FAR from YHVH; unto us is the land given in possession. Therefore say, Thus saith YHVH 'Elohiym: although I have cast them FAR OFF among the Gentiles, and although I have SCATTERED them among the countries, yet will I be to them a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, thus saith YHVH 'Elohiym: I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come there, and they shall take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances, and do them; and they shall be MY PEOPLE, and I will be their God."
YHVH, by the prophetic utterings of His servant Yechezk'el, will bring the whole house of Israel back from whence they were scattered and He will cause them to walk in His ways. He will be their God and they shall be His people, and because His Spirit dwells in them, they will turn from the unclean and detestable things. Now listen to what YHVH, by the utterings of His servant Sha'ul, says to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 6:16 to 7:1
"And what agreement hath the temple of 'Elohiym with idols? For ye are the temple of the Living 'Elohiym; as 'Elohiym hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith YHVH, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith YHVH Almighty. Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of 'Elohiym."
In Acts chapter one we read that Yahshua had a mission for His 'Jewish' disciples before the kingdom was to be restored to Israel. They were first to begin in Jerusalem, then in Judea, Samaria, and to the UTTERMOST parts of the earth. That is because the 'far off' places is where His people, the house of Israel carefully described in the Tenakh, are at. Luke also reveals to us WHO are the 'far off' in Acts 2:36,39:
"Therefore, let ALL the house of Israel know assuredly, that 'Elohiym hath made that same Yahshua, whom ye have crucified, both Adonai and Messiah ... For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are AFAR OFF, as many as YHVH, our 'Elohiym, shall call."
Luke describes those that are 'far off' in his gospel in the form of the parable of the prodigal son. The father in this parable has two sons, one of them remains at home (i.e. not scattered) and the other goes into a FAR country.
"And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a FAR country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living ... And he went and JOINED himself to a citizen of that country ..."
This story could not be more descriptive of the prophecies of the destiny and history of the two houses of Israel and Yehudah. This helps us to identify who those are that are 'far' off. In the eyes of YHVH, all those who do not follow Him are by the analogy of the prodigal son, rebellious children, who have chosen to forsake the ways of their Creator, follow another way, and are called those that are 'far'.
In contrast, we must scripturally define what it means to be 'near'. These two terms are understood in the Hebrew culture to describe a familial relationship. In the story of Yitz'chak, Ya'akov, and Esav, we have an ancient taste of the use of this word. The firstborn son is normally the one that is nagash, or 'brought near' and blessed by the father. The whole ordeal of Ya'akov 'tricking' Yitz'chak into the 'nearest' son blessing is replete with this word.
"And Yitz'chak said unto Ya'akov, Come NEAR I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esav or not."
"And his father, Yitz'chak, said unto him, Come NEAR now, and kiss me, my son. Therefore he came NEAR, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which YHVH hath blessed."
Yoseph, a type of the Messiah, pleads with his brethren to come NEAR to him in B'reshith 45:4. Ya'akov (Israel) blesses his grandsons in B'reshith 48:13-14, and knowingly places his right hand on the second born rather than the firstborn. This is because YHVH guides him, prophetically knowing the destiny and history of the tribe of Ephraim. This tribe will be the banner tribe representing, you quessed it, the house of Israel.
"And Yoseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them NEAR unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly; for Manasseh was the first-born."
The idea of being 'near' is virtually antithetical to being 'far'. The close and obedient son is in contrast to the far and disobedient one. In the Passover feast, the stranger who desires to worship and follow the God of Israel is called to 'come near' and keep it.
"And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him COME NEAR and keep it; and he shall be as ONE BORN IN THE LAND; for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One Torah shall be to him that is home-born and unto the stranger that sojourns among you."
Notice that when a stranger, or one that is 'far' away, desires to follow the God of Israel, expressed here by his desire to keep the passover, then the stranger is no different than one that is 'etzirach, or home-born, with one Torah for both, and made ONE by the blood of the lamb. Gee whiz, can you begin to see a pattern here? The picture painted by the exercise of family relationships is used to describe our relationship with a much more important father.
"And Mosheh spoke unto Aharon, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, COME NEAR before YHVH; for he hath heard your murmurings."
"Hearken unto me, ye stubborn in heart, that are FAR from righteousness: I bring NEAR my righteousness; it shall not be FAR off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel, my glory."
YHVH knows that those who are far off and those that are near will once again be made one. This is what the two sticks (trees) of Yechezk'el are all about. Much of the phraseology of Yechezk'el 37 is employed in the Brit Chadashah in many of the parables of Yahshua and the writings of Sha'ul. It is imperative that we have a good foundation concerning what it means to be near and far before we can comprehend what 'wall' must be broken down in order for YHVH to create a 'new man' in the Messiah. The brotherhood of Ephraim (house of Israel) and Yehudah was broken, but Messiah will bring them back. Two separated brothers, one near and one far, will be united and joined together into one.
"In those days, and in that time, saith YHVH, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Yehudah together, going and weeping; they shall go, and seek YHVH, their 'Elohiym. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward it, saying Come, and let us join ourselves to YHVH in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten."
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:22 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]."
Before mentioning the middle wall, Sha'ul calls the Messiah 'our peace', and follows that with the essential teaching of this entire chapter: 'who hath made the both one'. Sha'ul, the trained Yehudah that he is, employs one of the literary methods of Mishlei (Proverbs), categorized by Hillel as a kelal upherat, to open verse 14. (This is a rule that places a specific statement after a general statement.) He begins by saying that the Messiah is our shalom and follows that with the very definition of shalom. Shalom means 'harmony', 'completeness', 'wholeness', perfected, and 'finished'. There are many words in Hebrew whose meaning is very similar to shalom. The sending of the Messiah is the means by which the prophesied division of YHVH's people are being brought back together again, to once again be one people.
It is important to grasp why Sha'ul used the word shalom in the midst of this teaching. With the kingdom of YHVH divided, there is no peace. (Yechezk'el 13:10, Yirmeyahu 6 and 8) The future regathering and reconciliation of the whole (shalom) house of Israel is uniquely associated with this word 'peace'.
"As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, YHVH shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity (sound familiar?); but PEACE shall be upon Israel."
"And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel, for a meal offering, and for PEACE offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith YHVH.
"The word which ['Elohiym] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching PEACE by Messiah Yahshua (He is Adonai of all)."
"And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of 'Elohiym."
"Pray for the PEACE (shalom, completeness, wholeness) of Jerusalem; they shall prosper who love thee. PEACE be within thy walls and prosperity within thy palaces. For my BRETHREN and companion's sakes, I will now say, PEACE be within thee. Because of the HOUSE of YHVH 'Elohiym, I will seek thy good."
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our PEACE was upon him, and with his stripes WE are healed. All WE like SHEEP have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and YHVH hath laid upon him the iniquity of us ALL."
Remember the words 'sheep' and 'gone astray', for they are the exact descriptions given in the Tenakh concerning the destiny of the two houses spoken of in the new covenant.
"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my PEACE be removed, saith YHVH who hath mercy on thee."
Here are a few examples of how shalom is used in it's verbal root.
"YHVH recompense thy work, and a FULL reward be given thee by YHVH 'Elohiym of Israel, under whose wings you have come to trust."
"A false balance is an abomination unto YHVH, but a JUST (PERFECT) weight is his delight."
Divre-HaYamim Bet 8:16
"Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of YHVH, and until it was finished. So the house of YHVH was PERFECTED."
Sha'ul specifically uses this term to describe this very important function of the Messiah in bringing that which was divided back together, so that once again the children of YHVH can be called His 'firstborn', i.e. in the singular. In the Tenakh, before the separation of the two houses, the people of YHVH are collectively called 'Israel, my first born' (Sh'mot 4:22). YHVH foreknew that His 'son' would be divided, and He also foreknew that one day, the same 'son' would be one again. This knowledge inspired Sha'ul to once again write of the fulfillment of this foreknowledge.
"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of 'Elohiym, unto a PERFECT (shalom) man, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS of Messiah ... But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Messiah; from whom the WHOLE body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Once again the body is growing into one PERFECT man, restoring the two sons of Luke's parable. The purpose of using the word shalom, is to make the both one. The orthodox Christian position that salvation is now open to Gentiles as a group of people is somewhat puzzling at best. This implies that salvation was not available to the 'Gentiles' before Yahshua's resurrection. Salvation was always available to Gentiles. According to the constant and consistent testimony of the scriptures, once a Gentile decided to follow the God of Israel, he or she was then numbered with Israel, for there is only ONE body, ONE Spirit, ONE hope, ONE YHVH, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE 'Elohiym, and ONE Father (Ephesians 4:4-6). These familiar verses follow, not by coincidence, Sha'uls teaching on the middle wall. It is the WORD (seed) in you that brings you into the commonwealth of Israel, for there is only ONE Israel. The Tenakh pictures the division of this ONE Israel, as two estranged brothers, to eventually be brought back together again as one perfect (shalom) man. All of this is to be accomplished by the restorer of the breach, the Messiah Yahshua! This is also why the Messiah is called the BRANCH in Yesha'yahu 11:1 and many other places. The word 'branch' is the Hebrew word netzer which literally means 'restored'. Restore what! Why is it that the one who is to prepare the way for the Messiah is the one who came to 'restore all things'? (Mattityahu 17:11). The restorer, the God of peace, provides the everlasting covenant to His true sheep, the restored house of Israel and Judah.
"In those days, and in that time, saith YHVH, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah TOGETHER, going and weeping; they shall go, and seek YHVH, their 'Elohiym. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward it, saying, Come, and let us JOIN ourselves to YHVH in an EVERLASTING COVENANT that shall not be forgotten. My people have been lost sheep ... "
"Now the God of PEACE, that brought again from the dead our Adonai Yahshua, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the EVERLASTING COVENANT, make you PERFECT in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Yahshua haMashiach, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen"
Sha'ul lays the foundation for understanding the middle wall of partition by using terms and phrases that are already well known by his listeners. Being a good Berean is important to his teaching, otherwise the scriptures can be wrested to our own destruction. Sha'ul will now continue his teaching of the two being made one, with the middle wall of partition. Next time we will see how this wall is intimately tied with the Great Shepherd, sheep who have gone astray, strangers, sheepfolds, walls, and the 'new man'.
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:22 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
I pray that up to this point I have established certain scriptural truths that must be understood in order to move on to this middle wall of partition. YHVH has revealed to us the end from the beginning in the Old Testament. In the New Testament He is revealing mysteries that were not known to the sons of men in the Tenakh. The prophecies of the regathering of the house of Israel and the house of Judah are all over the Tenakh. Both houses are blind to the reality of the identity of these two houses. The mystery of the house of Israel is that YHVH will gather them from among the Gentiles as He foretold He would do in the prophets, particularly Hoshea (Ephesians 3:6). The middle wall of partition stands between two entities, the far off and the near.
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]."
Sha'ul is now going to use a familiar term in the Hebrew to describe what the Messiah has done in giving Himself for us in His death, burial, and resurrection. Yahshua's life is to restore what disobedience, rebellion and desires of the flesh (doing things our own way) have corrupted. (Remember that this is how this chapter begins.) In the culture in which the scriptures were written, there are two kinds of walls that are being referred to as the 'middle wall of partition'. I believe that both are pictured here. The first one is called the m'chitzah. This is the wall in the temple area that separated the Yehudim from the Gentiles. It is understood by some commentators that this wall was 'spiritually' removed, thereby allowing Gentiles to enter into the inner court. This same word, which means something that 'divides', is used in Yechezk'el 37:22 in describing the union of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
"And I will make them ONE nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and ONE king shall be king to them ALL; and they shall be no more TWO nations, neither shall they be DIVIDED (chatzah) into TWO kingdoms any more at all."
However factual this wall was, I believe that the two Greek words used in this verse, to describe this wall, is much older and more well known by the rich and the poor - the city slicker and the country folk. The Greek word used for the 'middle wall' is the word mesotoichon. This word is used in the Septuagint to translate the word tavek, which simply means, 'something in the midst of', or 'in the middle'. The Greek word used for the partition itself is phragmos. This word translates the Hebrew word gadar. This is where it begins to get interesting and alot of dots get connected. The gadar is a wall, fence, fold, or sheepfold, but is not just any ole wall, fence, or hedge. It is used to describe the placement of a barrier to separate one thing from another and is the primary word used to describe the wall placed between sheepfolds. Here are a few examples of how this word is used by the culture that Sha'ul was raised in.
"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and CLOSE UP the breaches of it; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."
"And they came near unto him, and said, We will build SHEEPFOLDS here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones ... "
"Build you cities for your little ones, and FOLDS for your SHEEP; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth."
"And the seacoast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and FOLDS for flocks."
"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a WALL that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now."
The prophetic verses in Hoshea just happens to follow the prophecy of the scattering of the two houses of Israel, and the foreknowledge of their history and destiny. Sheepfolds and shepherds are ancient, familiar subjects in most cultures. This is why I believe Sha'ul is using this as a reference so that all at that time would understand the prophecies he was referring to. The use of sheep, sheepfolds, and true and false shepherds are used quite liberally throughout both testaments to describe the true people of YHVH. When shepherds would enter the cities with their sheep, they would put them in special areas designed just for the various flocks. Each shepherd's sheep would be placed in a 'fold' and separated from the next shepherd's sheep by a wall. There was one door as an entrance to the sheepfolds. The shepherd would call for his sheep, and because his sheep recognized his voice, only his sheep would leave their fold and come out the door. The other sheep would not come because they would not recognize the voice of a 'stranger'. Listen to the words of Mikhah.
"I will surely assemble, O Ya'akov, ALL of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of ISRAEL; I will put them together like the sheep of Bozrah, like the flock in the midst of their FOLD; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them; they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their king shall pass before them, and YHVH at the head of them."
Now listen to the words of our Shepherd.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth in some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers ... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And OTHER SHEEP I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD."
The sheep have been separated by a wall. The 'other' sheep have been following strangers, i.e. other shepherds, but now, because of their desire to 'come out of Babylon' they 'know' His voice and follow the true shepherd. Most 'Christian' commentators agree that the 'other' sheep are the Gentiles. But it is much more awesome than that. These 'sheep' were foretold of their destiny in the writings and the prophets.
"The word of YHVH came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick ('etz - tree, Romans 11), and write upon it, For Yehudah, and for the children of Israel, his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Yoseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the HOUSE OF ISRAEL, his companions; And JOIN them one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand ... And say unto them, Thus saith YHVH 'Elohiym: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the Gentiles, to which they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land ... Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions, but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; so shall they be MY PEOPLE, and I will be THEIR GOD. And David, my servant, shall be king over them, and they all shall have ONE SHEPHERD; they shall also walk in mine ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them."
"For thus saith YHVH 'Elohiym: Behold, I, even I, will both search my SHEEP, and seek them out. As a SHEPHERD seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are SCATTERED, so will I SEEK out MY sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good PASTURE, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their FOLD be; there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a rich pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will seek that which was LOST, and bring again that which was driven away, and will BIND up that which is broken, and will strengthen that which was sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with justice."
Listen now to more of what the Messiah said concerning his first coming.
"But go, rather, to the LOST SHEEP of the house of Israel."
"For the Son of man is come to SEEK and to SAVE that which WAS LOST."
"I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find PASTURE."
The relationship between the removal of the walls that separated the sheep and the remarks of Yahshua the good shepherd are striking to say the least. The prophecies concerning the destiny of the two houses and the revelation of the Brit Chadashah are more than just coincidence. Specifically the house of Israel is to come forth from the Gentiles or the nations in which they have been scattered and mixed with.
"Symeon hath declared how God first did visit the Gentiles, to take OUT of them a PEOPLE for HIS NAME."
"... and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the SONS OF THE LIVING GOD. Then shall the children of Yehudah and the children of Israel be gathered TOGETHER, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up OUT of the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel. Say unto your brothers Ammi (you are my people); and to your sisters, Ruhamah (I will have mercy)."
1 Kefa 2:9-10
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a people of his own, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you OUT of darkness into his marvelous light; Who in time past were not a people but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
"But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the CHILDREN OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name;"
The wall that has separated these two houses has been removed, just as the prophecies said it would. The removal of this wall, according to the prophets, would renew and restore the divided 'firstborn' son of God. This wall is contained in the law and ordinances, and has been removed by faith in the blood of the Messiah. We will continue our discussion of this wall in our next study.
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:23 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
Before we tackle the next few verses, please allow me to take just a short paragraph or two to put in plain English where we are at this point. The typical 'Christian' view of the middle wall is that the 'law' has been removed by the Messiah's death and resurrection, thereby allowing the Gentiles to come into the covenant by virtue of the free gift of grace, and that from this point forward 'Jew' and 'Gentile' enter into the kingdom of God through the Messiah. This statement is partially true. The bottom line is this: The people of YHVH are called the 'seed of Avraham'. The seed was to come through Yitz'chak and eventually through Ya'akov. Ya'akov had twelve sons that were collectively called the children of Israel. According to Sh'mot 4:22, these children are personified as one man called 'my firstborn son.' The God of Israel, from the beginning, has only had ONE son. The earthly representation of this son, Israel, disobeyed (sinned) and was divided into two 'sons' (Ephraim and Judah) or kingdoms, the Northern kingdom made up of ten tribes and the Southern kingdom, made up of Judah, Benjamin and a good portion of Levites. These two kingdoms, called the house of Israel and the house of Yehudah had two distinct prophecies told of them according to Hoshea chapters 1-3. The kingdom of the house of Israel would dissolve and be scattered throughout the nations (Gentiles). They would no longer be the people of YHVH and YHVH would no longer have mercy on them. Hoshea also says that the kingdom of Yehudah would also disobey, but the nation would remain intact, and YHVH would have mercy on them. But YHVH, by virtue of His omniscience, knew that one day these two houses would be reunited and would once again be His people, with one shepherd, one head, and would be renewed again as ONE man, Israel, His firstborn. There was however, a mystery, that both houses were blinded of, that is now revealed to the holy apostles and prophets. The 'mystery' of the Messiah is WHO the house of Israel is. Sha'ul reveals this mystery in the chapter following the removal of the middle wall. The house of Israel comes from among the Gentiles. The very people that YHVH prophesied the house of Israel would be scattered and mixed among. Part of the bottom line is that YHVH's knowledge of both houses becoming one, is more detailed than is commonly taught.
"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances ... "
Keeping in mind that it was sin or disobedience which divided the two houses and divides us from YHVH for that matter, let us go on to the abolishing of the enmity. Sha'ul tells us that the Messiah has abolished in His flesh the enmity. The context of verse 14 and 15 tells us 'what' has been abolished. The answer is the wall of verse 14. Every teacher and student of scripture should ask themselves, "Is the wall that is being abolished, Torah?" The word 'abolish' is the Greek word katargeo. This word means to 'make useless', to 'waste', or to 'make idle'. Sha'ul uses it in Romans 3:31 in the same way that Yahshua uses it in Mattityahu 5:17.
"Do we then make void (katargeo) the law through faith: 'Elohiym FORBID; yea, we ESTABLISH the law."
The primary use of this word is harmonious with the 'old man' and the 'body of sin' that Sha'ul taught us was slain in Romans chapter six. Here are a few other examples of katargeo in context with that which Yahshua abolished, destroyed, or put to death.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [Him], that the body of sin MIGHT BE DESTROYED, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
2 Timothy 1:10
"But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior, Messiah Yahshua, who hath ABOLISHED death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
1 Corinthians 15:26
"The last enemy that shall be DESTROYED is death."
As you can see, Sha'ul tells us in other places that the death and resurrection of the Messiah in the flesh has abolished sin and death and that THEY are the enemies. Sha'ul also tells us in our study text that this same Messiah has abolished the enmity or the enemy 'in His flesh'. Where in all of scripture is Torah the enemy of mankind? From the very beginning there has been a very well established historical enemy of the Messiah and mankind. The enemy has always been hasatan. It is more than interesting to me to witness the Torah, which is good, righteous and holy, being turned into the enemy. But this too was prophesied to happen (Yesha'yahu 5:20). Hasatan and death, the penalty for sin, have always been partners. The epistles are replete with teaching that it is sin and death that have been destroyed by the Messiah. It is disobedience or sin that separated the two houses, and it is sin that separates us from YHVH.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear."
It is the Messiah's death and resurrection that restored the firstborn son by uniting His people into one body once again. When anyone, Jew or Gentile, repents and believes on the Messiah, their sins are forgiven, the penalty has been paid, and the wall has been removed. It is by virtue of His death that those who were 'not my people' are now His people. Remember that it was the gadar, or wall that separated the sheep. The unredeemed sheep were listening to a stranger or another shepherd. For those who repent and are willing to follow the Good Shepherd, the wall has been removed and they have become part of 'one' fold. A stranger who has made the decision to follow the God of Israel is no longer a stranger. This is why Israel was commanded not to turn away a stranger at the gate, for this is an idiom that speaks of someone who is 'knocking at the door'. Once the stranger has committed to staying with the people of YHVH, he is no longer a stranger, but one with the homeborn. Listen closely to the narration of Sh'mot 12:44-51:
"But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou has circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. In ONE house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth any of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone of it. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a STRANGER shall SOJOURN with thee, and will keep the passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come NEAR and keep it; and he shall be AS ONE BORN IN THE LAND; for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is home-born and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you."
If a stranger chooses to remain a stranger, then he cannot partake of the passover meal. If, however, a stranger desires to sojourn, a phrase meaning to stay with them, then he is now no different than one who is home-born. What is not obvious in these passages is that in reading the rest of the exodus you realize that these strangers are no longer referred to as strangers. The people that follow YHVH in the wilderness are called the children of Israel. Even the testimony of the Brit Chadashah confirms this.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, that ALL our fathers were under the cloud, and ALL passed through the sea, and were ALL baptized unto Mosheh in the cloud and in the sea; and did ALL eat the same spiritual food; and did ALL drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Messiah."
There is no distinction between Jew and Gentile or stranger and home-born, they are all regarded as the same.
Jude (Yehudah) 5
"I will, therefore, put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, that YHVH, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
The distinction here is really the only distinction the scriptures are consistent about, those who believe and those who do not.
"This is that Mosheh who said unto the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, A Prophet shall YHVH, your 'Elohiym, raise up unto you of your brethren, like me; him shall ye hear. This is he that was in the CHURCH in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with OUR FATHERS, who received the living oracles to give unto us;"
There is only one 'church' or 'assembly' of YHVH from the beginning. Let me point out another interesting aspect of the passover narration. We are told that once a stranger makes the decision to 'sojourn' with the children of Israel, then that person becomes as one 'born in the land'. A person who is born in the land is called an 'ezirach. This word comes from the root word zera'. Does that word look familiar? It should, for this is the word for SEED! Remember that according to Sha'ul in Galatians 3:16, there is only ONE SEED. If there is division and separation then there is no unity and oneness and the kingdom cannot stand (Mattityahu 12:25). This is why the Messiah came. Sin and disobedience divided the seed, but the Messiah came to restore all things and to conquer sin, death, and hasatan Himself so that the children of Israel can be one again. This is the prayer of Yahshua in Yochanan 17. Listen to His cry to the Father:
I have manifested thy NAME unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have KEPT THY WORD ... Holy Father, keep through thine own NAME those whom thou has given me, that they may be ONE as we are ... I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them was LOST ... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word; That they all MAY BE ONE ... And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they MAY BE ONE ... I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made PERFECT IN ONE ... "
Now listen to the prophecy of Yechezk'el 37 again:
"Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Yehudah, and for the children of Israel, his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Yoseph, the stick of Ephraim, and from all the house of Israel, his companions; And JOIN them one to another into ONE STICK, and they shall become ONE in thine hand ... Behold I will take the stick of Yoseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Yehudah, and make them ONE stick, and they shall be ONE in mind hand ... And I will make them ONE nation ... And they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided ... And they shall all have ONE shepherd."
It is important to keep in mind that the wall that divides is written in Torah. According to the commandments and ordinances, if you sin then you are separated from YHVH. There are penalties in Torah for sin and disobedience. There are NO penalties for keeping Torah, only for disobeying Torah. It is absurd to conclude that Torah itself has been abolished, but rather the ultimate penalty for breaking Torah which is DEATH! Remember that both houses were dispersed because of sin, and so it is that both houses will be restored by trusting and following the Messiah, the restorer of the breach.
"... to make in himself of two one new man, [so] making peace."
It is here that we have more confirmation that it is two things that are made one. It is usually understood that Sha'ul is referring to other places where we are told that there is no longer Jew or Gentile in the body of Messiah. I am going to make a very bold statement here. I believe that once a person, Jew or Gentile, has been reconciled to YHVH by faith, then he or she is no longer a Jew and no longer a Gentile, but rather Israel. If you search the scriptures you might notice a subtle change in terms. The children of YHVH are called the children of Israel before the kingdom is divided. The word 'Jew' does not appear until AFTER the kingdom divides. Hmmmm. There is now a prophetic distinction between the house of Israel and the tribe of Judah. All the tribes were simply referred to as the children of Israel before the divided kingdom. The term 'Jew' or Yehudah is a product of the division of the kingdom and this is why you do not see the term used before the separation. In 'Christian' terminology the 'three' terms Israel, Jew, and Gentile have united under the term 'Christians' when they become 'born again'. To a modern day 'Jew', a 'Christian' is anyone who is not a semite. But this understanding is right out of ecclesiastical kindergarten. I hope I am speaking to an audience mature enough to keep me from having to explain that one. However, many 'Messianics' will be the first to proclaim that once you are grafted into the natural tree, that you are no longer a Gentile. There is some hesitation however in refraining themselves from referring to the believing Jews as 'Jews'. In fact many proclaim to the Christians that just because a 'Jew' believes on the Messiah, does not mean that he or she is no longer a Jew. So what is wrong with this picture? I believe the phrase, 'no longer Jew or Gentile' perfectly fits the prophesies of the Tenakh. I am only speaking of how YHVH sees His own people, and not how people often see each other.
The term 'new man' is, of course, the same term that is used of the 'new covenant'. This word is kainos, and not neos (new with respect to time). This Greek word is carefully chosen because it best represents the Hebrew word chadash, which means to 'renew', 'restore', or 'refresh'. It's etymology goes back to the nature of the moon and it's monthly cycles. This also confirms the prophecies of the great prophets as well. YHVH is renewing or restoring what has been separated. The Messiah makes in Himself of two, one renewed or restored man. In other words, we are back to the 'firstborn son'. This, of course, could only be achieved by the Messiah, the only begotten Son of 'Elohiym. This 'Son' is the physical manifestation of the seed of the woman revealed to us from the beginning. From the beginning, if one is not one with the 'seed', then one is not a child of the God of Israel, for there is really one 'only begotten son', pictured as a seed in the Tenakh, and revealed as Yahshua the Messiah in the Brit Chadashah. Is this not awesome? Have you ever wondered how YHVH can have so many children but yet there is only one begotten Son of God. It is by virtue of that 'Son' that anyone is redeemed.
Very simply put, the middle wall of partition that has been abolished is the very thing that always divides: sin, disobedience, and the penalty of death; that which has always divided the sheep and caused separation between YHVH and His people. Sha'ul finishes this verse by revealing again that this reunion has made shalom or completeness of that which has been broken and scattered.
Posted: Jul 29 2009, 09:23 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
"And that He might reconcile both unto 'Elohiym in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby, and came and preached to you who were afar off, and to them that were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
These three verses continue to sum up the main point of this chapter. YHVH has reconciled two entities unto Himself, having slain the enemy, and has now made peace. It is clearly taught in verse 16 that the cross (i.e. the execution tree) was where the enemy was destroyed. The Brit Chadashah is replete with teaching that it was the body of sin, the old man, personified universally by hasatan himself, that was slain (Ivrim 2:17, Romans 6:1-10, Colossians 2:11, Ivrim 9:26, 1 Yochanan 3:8). According to verse 17 we read again that Messiah came and preached to those who were far off, the scattered sheep among the Gentiles, and to those who are near, His own brethren, the house of Judah. This truth is captured in Yochanan 1:10-13:
He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew him not. He came unto His own, and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the children of 'Elohiym, even to them that believe on His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of 'Elohiym."
Whether 'Jew' or 'Gentile', when the seed of the Messiah is received by faith, then you have become a son of the living God (Hoshea 1:10). Both of these houses, or sons, now have equal access and inheritance from the Father. Both sticks are now one in the hand of the Father, with one shepherd and one head. All His sheep are still scattered throughout the earth to someday be brought together in the land.
"Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of 'Elohiym; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua the Messiah Himself being the chief corner [stone], in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in YHVH; in whom ye also are built together for an habitation of 'Elohiym through the Spirit."
This statement has always been historically true for individuals who desired to follow the God of Israel. As I stated earlier in this study, once the stranger (ger - gentile, alien, foreigner) has elected to follow the God of Israel, then he or she is no longer a stranger, alien, gentile, or foreigner, but is counted as the child of Israel. This is because YHVH is ONLY the God of Israel, the God of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov. This household of YHVH began in the beginning, built upon the testimony of the apostles and prophets with the Messiah, the seed of the woman, the creator of all things, as the ROCK or cornerstone of this most magnificent building. The cornerstone is placed first and must precede all of the building. The cornerstone is not something that is laid down somewhere in the middle of the project, otherwise the building would not be built upon a trustworthy stone.
The God of Israel has been gathering His people and preparing for the time very soon when He will bring all unto the land. It is at this time when all of His children will dwell together in the land of Israel. In the meantime, YHVH is calling His own sheep to come out of Babylon. He is calling out the children of Israel, and He is calling out the children of Judah. YHVH is washing her in the water of the word. He has broken down the dividing wall that she may be one.
1 Corinthians 6:17
"But he that is JOINED unto YHVH is one spirit."
"In those days, and in that time, saith YHVH, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping they shall go, and seek YHVH their 'Elohiym. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward it, saying, Come, and let us JOIN ourselves to YHVH in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place."
"He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even of the children of Israel, a people NEAR unto Him. Praise YHVH!"