YOU are part of Bible prophecy being fulfilled as your return to the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. Here’s what the Scriptures have to say about this:
Deuteronomy 30:3, From all the nations to which YHVH … has scattered you. The Scriptures over and over again record that the house of Israel (Ephraim) would be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Ezek 34:6, 12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52), and that YHVH will regather them in the end times and return them to the land of Israel (Deut 30:3–5). Deuteronomy 32:26 says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash comments, “This refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes, who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again.
On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men. …” the same Chumash states, “This is a reference to the exile of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.” It goes on to say that though nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely, YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it” (pp. 1105–1106).
Nineteenth orthodox Jewish scholar S. R. Hirsch in his commentary on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner …,” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner ….” He, too, relates this fate to the Ten Tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (p. 650).
Some in the Christians deny that these Scriptures passages pertain to the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and instead insist that they are speaking about Judah (the Jews) only. They insist that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel starting in 1948 is the fulfillment of these prophecies and the ten tribes of Israel are lost forever. How can this a correct understanding in light of the Scriptures and the Jewish sages interpretations of those scriptures that states again and again that the ten tribes will return at the end of the age to be reunited with the Jews under the reign of Messiah Son of David (Ezek 37:15–28)?
I don’t know anymore if we can or must talk about the “Hebrew roots of the Christian faith.” If there are any “Hebrew roots there, there should be some Hebrew fruits.”
At the Council of Nicea they clearly seperated from the Hebrew roots and did everything possible to kill those roots to establish a new religion. Any roots have been killed, thus the need to “come out from amongst them and be seperate” as well as Romans 11. Be grafted INTO what יהוה has already established.
Just a thought I’ve been pondering on. Shalom
Let’s be careful about throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water. It’s a strong tendency among people in our movement. There are many biblical truths that the Christian church both teaches and promotes. There are many Christians (not the majority) who live a biblical lifestyle the best they can and YHVH has blessed them for it. Many lives have been transformed globally over the millennia by the preaching of the gospel through the church. The world has been made a better place, in most cases, where the gospel has been preached. This cannot be denied. Anything that points people to Yeshua and the cross and promotes the Bible is as a good thing.
Instead of focusing on the negatives of Christianity with all of its false, pagan traditions and doctrines of men, and there are plenty, let’s focus on the good that they do and practice and encourage them to come to the higher levels of truth.
You know what our problem is — those of us in the Hebrew roots movement? We idolize head knowledge and have gotten away from the basics truths of the fruit of the spirit (the weightier matters of the Torah, as Yeshua called it) and have, too often, become legalistic, arrogant Pharisees. Shame on us. Many of us have missed the heart of the Father. Not only have we largely overlooked love, but we’re not preaching the gospel to the lost, feeding the hungry and reaching out to the poor. This the Christian church has us beat in. Without love, Paul in 1 Cor 13 says we’re zero. So how does YHVH view us? Perhaps, in some respects, our Christian brothers are further ahead in the areas of most concern to the Father than we are. We could learn from them. Just food for serious some thought.
As a Christian drawn by the Holy Spirit to re-discover the “Hebrew roots” of Christianity, I make the following observations re: Judaism vs. Christianity.
1) The Father’s covenant with Abraham (Jewish) established the fact that God would redeem Mankind from his “fallen” state through a Messiah born from the Jewish people (Yeshua himself said “Salvation is from the Jews”.)
2) The story of the Bible is about the “Kingdom of God”. The Kingdom was created and established in Eden where God dwelt among His people – Adam and Eve. God was King, Adam and Eve were subjects of the Kingdom and Eden was the place of the Kingdom. God was removed from His earthly throne and Satan assumed the position through the Fall of Man. The rest of the Bible is about how God will regain His rightful throne through redeeming His people, culminating in the 2nd return of Yeshua, when He will once again assume the throne and dwell among His people.
3) King David, ruling over united Israel, is a foreshadow of Yeshua ruling over all the earth in the age to come. This is why the Messiah was prophesied as the “son of David” and why the book of Matthew gives the genealogical line as per heirs to the throne of David.
4) God has NOT rejected the Jewish nation and He has NOT changed from the OT to the NT. The Jewish nation’s experiences in the OT are pictures of God choosing a people, teaching them to live and worship as “set-apart” (holy), leading them to a promised land (the place of His kingdom), and ruling over His people in the Kingdom (David in Israel). The exile of the people is a picture of us living in the present world and age (Babylon), but we will be re-gathered in the age to come. The NT is the Messiah and the King appearing on Earth.
5) In the OT, the Jews represented the “chosen people”. At the culmination of this Age, the “chosen people” will be all who believe in Yeshua as the sacrifice for their sin and the future King to come. That will be people from any and all races, both Jew (orginally chosen) and Gentile (grafted in).
The religion of Christianity that I’m referring to has disconnected itself from its Hebrew roots a long time ago. The roots of this RELIGION established by the church fathers is genetically modified, filled with half truths separated from the Vine.
I believe that as a victim of the system I can (and thank Him!) that I’m able to seperate the religion I was a part of for so long, from HIS PEOPLE still caught in it. The Father in His mercy uses crooked and skew people, like us to point the lost into the right direction through whatever means – and I praise Him for that!
Walking in love towards my neighbor doesn’t require me to lay down truths. In actual fact, it requires me to uphold it through the fruit of the spirit that carries the Seed of Truth that points to Yeshua, the true Messiah.
If my “walk of love” is void of Truth, I have simply fallen for the love walk of a jesus that was invented by Satan himself. (2 Thess 2)
To underscore your point, I would add this: YHVH is calling HIS people to come out of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4). His people are the Christians and Jews caught up in manmade religious systems that are a mixture of truth and error. It’s time for us to discern the set-apart (holy) from the profane and start feeding exclusively from the tree of life as opposed to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is how we prepare to be the unspotted bride ready for Yeshua’s return.
I believe the major advantage of returning to the “Hebrew Roots” of Christianity is that one is able to see that the OT promises the Gospel, and the NT realizes the Gospel.
Therefore, a) the Bible is one unified, progressive Word, b) Christians and Jews worship the same God (God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and c) all true believers of Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice for us (both Jew and Gentile) are the “chosen people” of God.
Shalom Natan Lawrence,
Although we may seem a bit new to the site, we just have been involved in this topic for years and took some time away to help rebuild our local community.
In regards to your post, you wrote: To underscore your point, I would add this: YHVH is calling HIS people to come out of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4). His people are the Christians and Jews caught up in manmade religious systems that are a mixture of truth and error. It’s time for us to discern the set-apart (holy) from the profane and start feeding exclusively from the tree ofunmited gull life as opposed to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is how we prepare to be the unspotted bride ready for Yeshua’s return.
There are few concerns about your post; however, let us say for now that we disagree with this above statement. To elaborate, we believe it’s necessary to see how Chasidic Jews see E’phraim’s return. To begin, the Midrash (oldest Jewish Oral Torah) tells us that the Ten Tribes were exiled to three places:
…Some were exiled to the land behind the Sambatyon River. Another group was exiled to a distant land behind the River (this land was twice the distance from Israel than the first Land); the 3rd group was “swallowed in Rabbeslah.”
The Midrash then describes the manner in which some of the 3rd Group, who were “swallowed”, will return (the others are already with Judah):
G-d will make them underground tunnels and they will travel through them, until they reach the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. G-d will stand on the mount causing it to split, and the Ten Tribes will emerge from within.” (Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah 469)
The underground tunnels would be the darkness of Eliezer, as stated in the Talmud (not sure whether Palestinian or Babylonian):
“Rabbi Eliezer says, just like a day is followed by darkness, and the light later returns. So too, although it will become “dark” for the Ten Tribes, G-d will ultimately take them out of their darkness.” Mishnah in Sanhedrin (110b)
They add in interpretation the mountain will go to the north and south drawing from Zechariah.14.4 likely. We see Matt.24, where the disciples asked Christ: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of Your coming and the close of the age.”
E’phraim’s rebirth seems to be the sign, but to move forward we must first go back.
The Church of the first century had to enter into Hebraic darkness (Parting of Ways Theology) beneath the earth and into the “tunnels” of Goyim (gentile) lips and tongues, as mentioned in Is.28.11-12. It was our Miztrayim (narrow place) and part of HaShem’s plan. So the question of the apostles is the same many are asking again today.
To continue, E’phraim’s punishment started in 722CE when Assyria took them into exile. According to Ez.4.6-7 they were to be punished 390 years. However, they continued to sin; thus, it seems Lev.26 standards were introduced- seven times and their punished now was 390 x 7 or 2730 years.
This would imply their punishment ended in 1996, and afterward it was not men, not even a man as great as Moshe (Moses), but HaMoshiasch who gave us the Torah again. Christian churches may have given us a heart to keep laws, but Hahalacha (Jewish code of Law or 613 Miztvos/Laws) must be present to show E’phraim is the brethren of Judah!
“Causing it to split” the Hebrew movement will place Hahalacha at its foundation. All other Messianic organizations place genealogy as their foundation and refuse to recognize E’phraim. They go to the north toward Rome (or Christian laws/foundation) whereas we head south toward Tzion (Jewish Hagalacha/foundation). This is the song that none but E’phraim can learn (Rev.14.3) because it’s a Christian Jewish song and requires Hahalacha to be internalized; part of the very fabric of our lives while remaining true to our our origins or roots (the dry bones coming together and having life, Ez. 37).
“The Ten Tribes will emerge from within.” Separating from the body of HaMoshiasch is, in a sense, a denial of Him! Rather, we need to emerge from within His Body in order to show it is He who taught E’phraim through foreign lips and alien tongues (see Jer. 31.8 and Is. 28). Separating ourselves from the church would undermine the purpose of HaShem’s plan (also consider the story of Joseph, the fulfillment of the number of descendants of Avraham, Yitzak, and Yakov, and again Ezekiel 37 for the reviving of the dry bones leading to the joining of the sticks). HaShem’s actions and timing are perfect; nothing is irrelevant.
Read about this topic form the Orthodox sites, such as torah.org and chabad.org. They see E’phraim’s return tied to the Moshiasch coming. The above prophecies come from them. If we remove ourselves from the Christian root we also will lose the connection HaShem took 2000 years to make and why He brought His Son 2000 years ago, and not today!
However, if we instead create this Hebrew movement within the Christian body and our movement grows, as we suspect it should, it will lead people in both groups (Judah and the Church) to ask, “will you not show us what you mean by these (Ez. 37.18)?” Or “explain yourselves,” and probably not nicely if history is any guide. By then we suspect we all will have enough chutzpah (audacity) to tell them, whatever the consequences.
C & C
I’m not exactly sure what point you’re trying to make. Are you saying that the emergence and return of “Ephraim” must occur through the aegis or vehicle of rabbinic Judaism and copacetic to their oral tradition and halakah?
If this is so, I would point out that I don’t find that this view is not supported by the divinely inspired biblical prophets who predicted “Ephraim’s” regathering and return in the first place.
I have written extensively about this elsewhere and analyzed every scripture in the Bible on the subject. I have also analyzed what the rabbinic Jewish sages say on the subject and have quoted them at length siting all my sources. Some in their ranks, of course, would like to co-opt this divine move of Elohim to regather his people, but let’s be primarily informed by the Scriptures on this subject, and not man’s questionable oral traditions. That is my position, and on this point, we may need to respectfully disagree.
Thank you for your comments.
Thank you for your response and we are sorry you found what we wrote unclear. In your response you asked:
“Are you saying that the emergence and return of “Ephraim” must occur through the aegis or vehicle of rabbinic Judaism and copacetic to their oral tradition and halakah?”
Not exactly; however, we can see why you might have come to that conclusion. If you do not mind we will to explain, starting with the reason Ephraim needs to come to life in the first place. We begin with Paul who called this truth a mystery (thus hard to understand):
For I do not want you to be ignorant, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening is coming upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and so all Israel will be saved; as is written: “The Deliver will come to Tzion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” Rom.11.25-26
This was a mystery in the first century and many scholars have come up with different potential meanings for this mystery. A hardening was placed on the Tribe of Jacob (from quote in verse 26), so that most failed to recognize the Messiah. Further, this hardening will end when the “full number of the Gentiles comes in.” This is the region for many different ideas as to its meaning. However, we believe becomes clearer if you look back on Gen. 48.10-19.
When Jacob grew old and his sight failing, Joseph brought his two sons to him, placing Manasseh on Jacob’s right (because he was older) and E’phraim on his left. Yet Jacob crossed his arms placing his right had onto Ephraim and left on Manasseh, thus giving the birthright blessing to Joseph’s younger son. Joseph was upset and said his dad got the wrong son, but Jacob explained Manasseh would be a great nation: “Nevertheless, his younger brother (E’phraim) will be greater than he, and his descendants will become the fullness of the gentiles.” (melo HaGoyim).
Furthermore, the word for “come in” (icelthe) not only means “come in” it also means, “to arise,” Ez.37.10. So the passage from Romans could be rewritten:
For I do not want you to be ignorant, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening is coming upon part of Israel, until E’phraim arises, and so all Israel will be saved; as is written: “The Deliver will come to Tzion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” Rom.11.25-26
If this is correct, then when E’phraim arises all Israel, including the house of Jacob, will be saved. How?
The first clue is found Is 28.11-13. First, however, we need to put that passage into context. Is.28 begins with HaShem condemning E’phraim for their idolatry (1-4, drunk on idols, literally) and warning of their coming exile, 1Kgs.14.1-15 (the “fading flower) Then He tells of when the same army, that destroyed the northern kingdom, will come down upon Judah. Judah was weaker than E’phraim so when the Assyrian King parked his army outside Jerusalem, Judah was scared.
On seeing and after being threatened by Assyrian leader of the army, Hezekiah went to the Temple to pray and the L-rd seeing his faith told him not to fear. Then the L-rd sent an angel down who killed every other member of the army. The army woke to find each man on either side of them dead. Thus, the Assyrian army fled back home and Judah celebrated, Is.28.5-6, 2Kgs.18.13-19.
Next, HaShem condemns Judah as he did E’phraim, using much the same language (Is. 28.7). E’phraim’s guilt of drunkenness was idolatry, so Judah’s drunkenness is likely similar. One issue is found in 2 Chron. 30.12. Briefly, Hezekiah cleaned out the Temple and removed all the false idols in Judah. He condemned his people’s sins and commanded all in the Tribe of Jacob to keep that years’ Passover.
Then he sent a message to the few thousand E’phraimites that did not end up in exile. In this letter he warned them to stop sinning and being stubborn, and invited them to come to Passover in Judah. He then implied if they did this Hashem would be merciful and send their brothers home (they stumbled in giving judgment).
Fact was Judah had just stopped sinning after the Assyrian nation left. Furthermore, his claim that E’phraim’s obeying Hahalacha would bring their brothers back contradicted Isaiah’s own prophecy to Ahaz, his predecessor, “within sixty five years E’phraim will be broken to pieces so that it will cease to be a people”, Is.7.8 (they err in vision).
Another possibility is found in 2 Kgs.20, where Hezekiah got deathly sick and HaShem healed him. Soon after, Babylonian emissaries came to Judah and Hezekiah foolishly showed them all the gold and gems Israel had in the palace and the Holy Temple (Thus Judah are confused with wine). He let the foxes into the chicken coop and was surprised when Isaiah told him this would cause Judah’s exile. Then HaShem asks the question:
“Whom will he teach knowledge and to whom will he explain the message? Those weaned from milk, those taken from the beast. For it’s precept upon precept, measure upon measure, a little here, a little there.”
Nay, by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue the L-rd will speak to this people, to whom He has, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear.
Who will teach E’phraim? Not Judah who were weaned from the beast. Judah may know the Law but they tend to expect more from an adult beginner and they tend to overlook mercy, justice, and faith which are also important points of the law. They also show poor judgment when they think they are made holy and thus perfect by keeping Hahalacha perfectly. As a result HaShem chose gentile teachers who started with Paul’s teaching on mercy and formed the Church we see today. Only “they would not hear.”
Who would not hear? Only two families are mentioned in this text, besides the brief mention of those gentile teachers (grafted-in), this story is about Judah (the Jews) and E’phraim (the Hebrews).
So Judah will not hear the Gospel and why not? Because the Messiah is suppose to bring the E’phraim home, and Jesus the Christ didn’t when He came. He had a different plan. So He says:
“Therefore the Word of the L-rd will be to them precept, upon precept, precept, upon precept, measure upon measure, measure upon measure, here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken and snared, and taken.” 13
The word for “Word” is D’var or “command.” So this is a command to E’phraim. These commands will be “tzo”, upon “tzo”; where “tzo” is a commandment. So He is commanding us to learn His commandments, one commandment at a time, one upon another upon another upon another upon another. Then there are the “ko” upon “ko”, which means measure in the sense of making a connection. Clearly these measures connect to those commandments/precepts learned the same way.
Some measures are found right after the commandments that they are found with (Duet.16.3-4), but far more are scattered throughout in the Torah of Haftorah and in highly symbolic language.
Although your response states “let’s be primarily informed by the Scriptures on this subject, and not man’s questionable oral traditions,” the Madrish, Talmud and Tumgums have within them these measures and often show the debate of how the rabbis made their decisions. Furthermore, Y’shua not only upheld this oral Law (Matt.23.2-4), He said not even the vowels which the rabbis added after Babylon (thus their addition was by oral law) would not depart till all is accomplished.
Thus there is support for the choices the rabbis have made. Of course this does not necessarily mean everything they did or chose is fine, but equally we cannot simply brush it aside. Scripture shows that Y’shua upheld the authority of Moshe’s seat through the descendants of the scribes and Pharisees, but also added “so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on men’s shoulder’s; but that they themselves will not move them with their finger.” Matt.23.2-4
Also consider, Jeroboam was so intent on not risking our people going to Jerusalem for the three Feasts of Ingathering, he set up two Temples, one in the north and one in the south and placed into each of these golden calf’s. Then he replaced the Levites with his own secular priests, 1kgs.12.26-33. These acts of blocking E’phraim for any interaction of Judah was what led to exile in the first place. 14.
Consider, Jeroboam’s sin was not only setting up those altars but also that he did not trust HaShem would protect him from Judah influence. He feared if his people kept Hahalacha and the Feasts of Ingathering they might leave him, (26) which was behind that foolishness setting those altars up in the first place.
Therefore, trying to navigate Torah without its source upheld by the Moshiasch (Moshe’s seat, oral Torah, etc…), we may unwittingly be trying to re-invent the wheel. There is a reason for the Spirit to inspire the writers of Scripture as well as the leaders throughout the years.
Nevertheless, getting back to Rom. 11.26, if this is indeed the House of Jacob (the Jewish people) who were hardened then E’phraim must become visible (arise) in order for them to see that Moshiasch Y’shua came to bring us to life. Yet, how do we get there (“yet they would not hear”, Is.28.12 to hear) by following the path of Is.28.13 without that oral law?
Window dressing (only appearing to be like them) is not going to accomplish this; they’d just see this as well meaning goyim (gentiles) or an attempt to convert. Trying to convert our Jewish brethren would be unacceptable because they have a relationship with HaShem and we would then be acting like the MJJA whom Judah rejects. The result has to be honest so E’phraim would be recognized and accepted, even by the most Orthodox.
Still, whatever we glean using these sources we must always be careful not “bind heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on men’s shoulder’s”. Burdens we ourselves “will not move” even if mercy or justice or faith states otherwise. We must also practice what we preach, infusing Hahalacha with the Gospel.
Shalom C & C