Why Yeshua Had To Die
One New Man
- The Final Purpose
- One New Man
- Olive Trees
- The Gentiles
We have learned so far that Yeshua our Messiah came in the flesh looking for us, the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. We have been scattered throughout the earth after the exile in 722 BC, and have become like the Gentiles. But, Yeshua came to find and redeem us alone, the Lost Sheep, so that we could be His people again. In Part 4, we learned the real reason why He had to die. It was so that He would be able to remarry us and forgive our sins. It was the only way to reunite us, Israel, with our husband and our sister Judah.
He has been known and loved for 2,000 years as “Jesus,” “the Savior of the World,” and has redeemed many souls. Amazingly, it was despite the fact that we have been worshipping the “ever green tree” (Christmas Tree) on the birthday of the sun god, Baal, on December 25th. Not only that, we have been also celebrating his wife’s fertility on Easter, “Ashtaroth” or “Ishtar,” every year, instead of Passover. It has been His grace that allowed it, and, the time of testing at the same time. He has been testing us and observing our discernment and zeal for the truth. But, the time is coming rapidly to wrap up this task of finding the lost ones with a palatable Gospel; the time of grace is coming to an end. There is more that is expected of us at this hour. I will further discuss what it is that is expected of us, the true followers of our Messiah, particularly in Part 6. But, I would say for now that there would be a separation of sheep from goats. And now, we must prepare for the next step towards the final restoration before the coming of our Messiah: Reunification of two sisters -Israel and Judah.
Although the House of Jacob will not be truly whole and complete until our Messiah actually returns, YHVH has begun the restoration process in small increments before the final fulfillment, as He had done throughout the Bible and the history. One of its prophetic manifestations is the Hebraic Roots Movement in the past 10 to 20 years, particularly the last 5 years. He is reigniting our Hebraic DNA in us, and reactivating our original relationship with Him, according to the Covenant He made with our forefathers. And He is doing that by showing us the importance of the Torah and His Feasts.
The restoration of all things has already begun.
But, restoration of all things for what . . ? Some of you may be asking this brilliant question.
We have talked about Israel and Judah very much exclusively in this series. Actually, some of you may be slightly offended, or perplexed, about my bold statement that Yeshua came “only” for the Lost Sheep of Israel. But, that is simply a biblical fact, as I have shown; it is YHVH’s will and plan for the whole humanity. That is, He has chosen the Children of Israel to refine them and to make them “a kingdom of priests” (Ex 19:6), and to carry out His plan on this earth through “them,” and that means “us.” The rest of the nations cannot have a relationship with YHVH, or be blessed, without His priest nation, which has been sanctified and refined for His purpose.
Let us see what His final purpose of this 6,000 years of epic drama, and literally, of a biblical proportion.
The Final Purpose
So, what is YHVH’s final goal through the restoration of the Nation of Israel? Why was YHVH so determined to split, scatter, and make His people go through so many trials taking thousands of years, and bring them back together again?
The Nation of Israel is His prized possession. He chose Abraham, and through Isaac and Jacob, He created His people, the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In His marriage proposal, He said to all Israel that they would be “a special treasure” and “above all people,” if she would keep His Commandments (Ex 19:5). But, for what purpose, other than for loving them?
It was so that He would also save “all nations” through them:
Isaiah 56:6-7 (NKJV)
(6) “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants–Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant– (7) Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
(10) “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. (11) “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
(16) And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (17) And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
“Many nations . . . shall become My people” — that is what He plans to do, and will do, after thejudgment is completed. All nations will be required to go up to Jerusalem every year to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and they will have to call the Feast, “Sukkot,” as everyone else, I imagine. Then, who would know how to carry out the Feast properly, serving King Yeshua and our Father YHVH? That will be the people of Israel, His priests, who have learned to serve Him because of the relationship they have had throughout the generations, having learned to “live” according to Torah and been refined through trials and tribulations. The Tribe of Levi in the Old Testament is the type of the role of the Nation of Israel in the Millennium, and among the Levites, there were families of priests, namely, the sons of Aaron. And, their position of high priest is the type of the High Priesthood of our Messiah, Yeshua (Ps 110:4; Heb 5:10; 6:20; 9:11; et al.). It will be an awesome responsibility and surely require the highest level of holiness to serve the Most High. That is why we need to be regenerate, tested, and tried, or it would not be possible.
Now, finally, we can fully understand John 3:16:
(16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
What I am doing by writing this series is basically “unpacking” this famous and profound verse every Christian knows by heart. I am explaining “how” YHVH has been and will be accomplishing it. As I said in the “Introduction” of this series, this verse does not mean that Yeshua came and died so that every one of the mankind would be saved automatically and unconditionally. This is a prime example of a bad case of “taking a verse out of context.” Needless to say that immediate contexts of the passage, chapter, and the book, etc. are essential factors in a proper exegesis, but ultimately, every verse has to be understood in light of the context of the whole Bible. That is the exegetical foundation to which I strive to adhere when I study the Scripture, because that is the way YHVH wrote it.
Through the intercession by His people, the restored Nation of Israel, YHVH the Father wants to be the God of all nations. And He will do it through His Son, Yeshua our Messiah, and His elect who have been refined through tribulations (Da 11:35; Re 7:14-17; et al.). They are the Kingdom of Priests and the Holy Nation to Him (Ex 19:6); Peter calls them, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation” (1Pe 2:9). It is not only for the future, but the Hebrew people have already done so much for the world: They brought the Word of God to the world and kept it faithfully, gave birth to the Messiah, and brought the Gospel to the world. As a matter of fact, all the Disciples of Yeshua were Jews. Through them, the world came to know the existence of the Almighty God; and through them, we know what time it is in terms of the world’s prophetic time clock, which is ticking towards the end of this age.
Nevertheless, they needed to be refined and had to go through many tribulations in solidarity with their Messiah, as if a woman in a labor pain for thousands of years so that she could birth her Messiah (Is 40-53; Re 1:2). Jerusalem was attacked and destroyed multiple times. Even after His First Coming, the House of Judah, in exile, also travailed to give birth to the modern Israel as a sovereign country in the land that had been given to their forefathers. It was the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel in May 1948 (Is 66:8). And, yet, the exile of the majority of Judah still continues.
Judah’s sister, the House of Israel, also has been in exile 2,700 years. We know so well of the destructions and captivities Judah had to go through from the Bible, but Israel has her own story to tell. The most recent tragedy is that, unfortunately, many Christians are still being trapped in the pagan world without knowing their true identity. This is the test and trial for us to overcome at this hour. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which we discussed in Part 3, the younger son (the House of Israel) was so down and out that he had to eat swine’s feed (the pagan culture and value system) in a miserable state. If a Christian is still observing pagan holidays and celebrating the fertility of the sun gods, it is equivalent to eating swine’s feed according to this parable. Or, we could compare that to the current famine of the Word of God, Torah, among Christians. Only when the younger son “came to himself” (Lk 15:17), he was able to realize his true identity and to go home to his father’s house, so that he would be able to eat plenty of good bread (the Word of God). We must come to ourselves now and go home to our Father and eat His bread, Torah. We have been His people from the beginning; we were not strangers who happened to have found God.
But, one thing that is certain is that, because of the scattered House of Israel who became Christians, the entire world has now heard of “Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.” This was surely one of the ways He has used the House of Israel to save many, including the Gentiles. As we can see, YHVH has been working “through” His people throughout the history from the beginning. And now, out of the Great Tribulation to come, He is raising up His special elect among them who are pure and perfect and will obediently carry out His wishes on the earth (Rev 7:14-17).
After all these hard times of refining, what is His next plan for both Israel and Judah towards the restoration of all things? Let us find out.
One New Man
Here is a brief summary of the current status of His people:
Yeshua came, laid down His life, and was resurrected. And He is now sitting at the right hand of His father (Mt 26:64; Mk 14:62; Col 3:1). For almost 2,000 years, the Holy Spirit on earth, with the Father and the Son in heaven, has been working with Christians to find the rest of the Lost Sheep to regather them. It is estimated, as of 2012, that there are about 2.18 billion Christians (including Catholics) in the world, while the entire world population is approximately 7 billion, according to The Pew Forum, and the known Jewish population is about 13.75 million according to The Jewish Press. There is no way for us to estimate the actual number of the Lost Sheep, but we could assume that the majority of the “born-again” Christians are the Lost Sheep. Also, the good part of the Jewish population still considers YHVH as their God and practice circumcision, and many keep the Sabbath and observe the Feasts. We can roughly assume that they are the House of Judah. In addition, as we all know, there has been a significant increase of the Messianic Jewish believer population, especially since 1967 when Jerusalem was restored to the Jews by the Six-Day War. They are the Jews who believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, the born-again Jews, while the rest of the Jews still reject Him. The Messianic Jews is another special group that is worthy of a full discussion. But, for the purpose of the theme of this series, I would mention one point: They are the “firstfruits” of the rest of the House of Judah to come; they represent the “complete” House of Judah as they become fully restored, believing in Yeshua as their Messiah. Again, we see that YHVH has already begun the process with small increments.
This means that we have, now, some of Israel who are born again, and some of Judah who are born again. And they are growing in number, being stirred up and drawn by the spirit of YHVH!
Then, the next step of His plan is to reunite the two groups, Israel and Judah, and make “one new man”:
(13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far offhave been brought near* by the blood of Christ. (14) For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, (15) having abolished in His flesh the enmity**, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, (16) and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
* “you who once were far off have been brought near” — Remember the “code words” I discussed in Part 2 – “Far and Near“: The Lost Sheep of Israel – Identity? The “far off” represents Israel, and the “near” represents Judah.
|The Lost Flock
— the ones who are “far” — House of Israel — “Lost Sheep of Israel” — out of Covenant
The Flock that Came Back
— the ones who are “near” — House of Judah — “The Jews” — still in Covenant
And now, Paul is saying that the Messiah has “made both one.”
In Part 4: Messiah’s Marriage and Divorce, we learned that Yeshua’s death has made possible for Him to re-marry us, the Lost Sheep. Our Messiah, Yeshua, accomplished another essential redemptive work only He can accomplish: He became the curse of the Law, which is the penalty of death, by His “perfect” death on the Cross (Ga 3:13), because He is the Law (Torah) Himself and knew no sin (2Co 5:21); the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) without any blemish. The atonement for ALL sins of ALL of us, before and after His death, was finished (Jn 19:30; He 9:11-15, et al.). This is what this phrase, “having abolished in His flesh the enmity,” means. It does not mean Yeshua’s death “abolished” the Law (Torah), but it means that it nullified the death penalty of the sin and broke down the enmity between man and YHVH (this will be explained in more detail right after this). Paul is saying that this had made it possible for Israel and Judah to be made one again in Messiah. But, it is possible only if both are “in Messiah,” if we believe in Him and receive the forgiveness, so that our sin nature is covered under His blood. Although Judah has remained in the Covenant, their sin must also be atoned for. They both must believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, only then, they can be reunited in the “Renewed Covenant,” by “the Blood of the Covenant.”
And, here is the most important point: Although the atonement for sin can apply to ALL men who believe, this particular passage “only” applies to “Israel and Judah,” to be exact, and not to the Gentiles in a general sense and the Jews. The Gentiles here is the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
Ephesians 2:13-16 is often and commonly interpreted as “the Jews and the Gentiles” coming together by the Blood of Yeshua, which tore down the curtain to the Holy of Holy. That is partially true; His shed blood makes possible for us to boldly enter the Holiest because His flesh represented the veil, or the curtain, which was broken (Heb 10:19-20). But, the phrase, “reconcile them both,” in verse 16 is not exactly talking about “the Jews and the Gentiles.” Or, by the word, “the Gentiles,” Paul must have meant “the Lost Sheep of Israel.” If Paul did not chose the wording consciously, YHVH surely meant it to be the House of Israel, as all the Scripture is the inspired Word of God (2 Ti 3:16).
To explain how that is true, I would like to discuss this word “reconcile” in more detail:
(16) and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
In order to “re-concile,” you would need to have had a relationship before, would you not? You would not use this word to describe two strangers coming together.
Let me further explain:
In order to understand it in this particular context, we also need to know the biblical meaning of the word, “enmity,” at the end of the verse. That is “the enmity” between YHVH and man, is caused by “sin”:
(7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So, “carnal mind” does not and cannot keep His Commandments, the Torah. Both Israel and Judah could not keep them because of their carnal mind. Actually, they proved this verse is true, that the carnal mind cannot keep the God’s Law. It was one of the reasons that the Law was given to them (Ro 5:20-21; Ja 2:8-9). They sinned against their God, and it caused “the enmity.”
And, “sin” is also defined as not keeping the Law:
1 John 3:4
(4) Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
The word “lawlessness” means not keeping the Torah, and violating the Law of God; therefore, “sin” is to violate the Torah. And, what was the Torah at Mount Sinai when they first met their God? It was also their marriage contract; it was given to the Twelve Tribes, and them alone (Part 4: The Messiah’s Marriage and Divorce – “Marriage“). They were “once” in a right standing with God, which means, in covenant with Him, then they broke it (Jer 31:32), causing “enmity.”. But, Yeshua came in the flesh and died, and “the enmity” was put to death so that He could re-marry His people. Correct?
And, that is reconciliation, is it not?
Where are we going with this? . . , you may ask. What I am trying to show you is that, unless you once were in the right standing with YHVH by keeping the Torah, and in covenant with Him, the word “reconcile” is not appropriate to describe your salvation.
Let me explain from the other angle:
If you have never had a relationship with Him like Israelites and their descendants according to the Covenant, you have never been in the right standing with YHVH, and were always in “enmity” with Him. The true Gentiles had never been in covenant with YHVH until they became believers in Yeshua. Then, when they are saved, their relationship with Him is the first time relationship, and it can not be called a “reconciliation.” For example, you would not say, “I reconciled with him/her,” when you married your spouse for the first time. But, it is appropriate to say that you were “reconciled,” if you had been married once before and were separated or divorced for a time period and got back together. Correct?
|Therefore, the word “both” in Ephesians 2:16, who are to be “reconciled to God” through the Cross, can be none other than Israel and Judah. This cannot apply to the true Gentiles who have never been in covenant with YHVH. Accordingly, “one new man” is the newly formed House of Jacob, the whole House of Israel, who has been forgiven of the sin and born-again through the Blood of their Messiah, Yeshua.|
The word, “redeem,” is also used often to describe the salvation. This is a good opportunity to define it now in relation to the word, “reconcile.”
The definition of “redeem” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the following:
- 1 a : to buy back : repurchase; b : to get or win back
- 2 : to free from what distresses or harms: as
- a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom
- b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
- c : to release from blame or debt : clear
- d : to free from the consequences of sin
- 3 : to change for the better : reform
- 4 : repair, restore
Just as the word, “reconcile,” you would need a history of having been sold by someone “to be redeemed,” would you not? And, you had to have belonged to that “someone” before you were sold. You would not “redeem” a stranger, would you? According to the definition, you cannot; you had to have been sold to another party by the original owner, then you can be restored back to him. The definition No. 2 above, regarding sin, was obviously added because of the traditional understanding of the biblical word, “redeem.” But, it is not very accurate because it does not explain the situation before one had gotten into the captivity, debt, or sin. One still had to be in the right standing with God “to be redeemed” from sin. The definition No. 3 and 4 are the same. The person or the thing had to have been in the right or perfect condition, and has gone astray or become broken, then, he/she/it can be reformed, repaired, or restored.
Also, in the Scripture, silver represents redemption (Nu 18:16; Lev 5:15; 27:3; et al.), and Yeshua was sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zc 11:12-13; Mt 26:15; 27:3, et al.). He was sold so that He could “buy back” His people who had been sold. Yes, YHVH did sell His people as you can read in the following Scriptures:
(1) Thus says the LORD: “Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce, Whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
(3) For thus says the LORD: “You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money.”
Now, to whom did YHVH give the certificate of divorce? . . . Yes, He gave it to the House of Israel (Jer 3:8; Part 4: Messiah’s Marriage and Divorce – “Divorce”). That means that they are the ones who were “sold.” They were sold to the Assyrians, who is the type of Satan. And, you read in Isaiah 52:3, YHVH promises that He would “redeem” them “without money.” And, that is exactly what He would do.
The Prophet Hosea, being a type of the Messiah, redeemed his divorced adulterous wife, Gomer, who represents the House of Israel, with silver and barley:
(1) Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.” (2) So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley*.
* “Barley” represents the Messiah’s Body.
We can conclude from these Scriptures, also from the abundant evidence presented in the previous parts of this series, that the House of Israel was the wife of YHVH/the Messiah who was “sold,” and is the new bride to be “redeemed.” Therefore, the word, “redeem,” only applies to the Lost Sheep of Israel to be exact. They were indeed redeemed “without money”; Yeshua our Messiah paid for them with His own life. Probably, “redeem” could also apply to those who are of the House of Judah that left the covenant, but, it cannot apply to the original Gentiles who have neither had a covenant relationship with YHVH nor been “sold” by YHVH before. It means, a true Gentile person may be “saved,” but it is not appropriate to say, “I was redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.” It may sound like a minor technical point, but is a significant definition when it comes to understanding the plan of YHVH. This is another piece of undeniable evidence that Yeshua came for the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel alone.
“Reconcile” and “redeem,” both words are explained away by traditional teachers saying that they apply to the salvation of all sinners, because all human beings once belonged to God, and when Adam and Eve sinned, we became slave to Satan. Although it seems to be widely accepted by Christians, there is no Scripture that substantiates this claim. In the Bible, only the Israelites have had a covenant relationship with YHVH, and only the House of Israel has been divorced and sold. And, as I have shown above and previous parts, these two words are used specifically for the salvation of the House of Israel, and them alone.
Now, it has been further established that the “redeemed” Israel is us, the born-again Christians. And we are about to be “reconciled” to YHVH together with Judah as “One New Man.”
1. Paul’s Olive Trees
Apostle Paul explains the reunification of Israel and Judah in a more illustrative way in Romans 11, using Olive Trees seemingly as metaphors. But, this olive tree metaphor was not Paul’s original creation, and it is not a metaphor. YHVH was who originally called the Israelites an “Olive Tree,” as a “code word”:
(8) But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
(16) The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, And its branches are broken. (17) “For the LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”
The “Green Olive Tree,” as you can see, refers to the original Kingdom of Israel (twelve tribes), which includes both the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah (Part 2: The Lost Sheep of Israel – Identity). And the two kingdoms are represented by “its branches.” They were broken because they worshipped other gods and broke the Covenant between YHVH and them. In order to understand the background more clearly, I recommend that you read the previous context of the chapter: Jeremiah 11:1-17.
And, although He broke the branches off of Himself, YHVH kept one branch, the remnant of Judah, in the Covenant, and brought them back from the exile in Babylon (605 – 536 BC), but the other branch, Israel, has never come back since 722 BC. It is because YHVH eventually divorced the House of Israel, as we studied in Part 2-3, and they became “out of covenant” and have been living among the Gentiles. In Part 4, we also learned about the YHVH’s perfect plan of finding and regathering the scattered sheep to save them. And, remember? — YHVH “sowed” them in the world among the peoples (Ho 2:23; Zc 10:9).
This is the background on the original “Olive Tree.” Now, let us get back to Paul’s Olive Trees.
The Book of Romans is not an easy book to comprehend, I admit. But, one trick I have learned is to always pay attention to “to whom” Paul is speaking in the particular context so that I would not be lost. And, in Romans 11 we are studying now, Paul is speaking to the Gentiles. In the context of the chapter, he is telling them that, by the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews, a benefit of salvation came to the Gentiles.
Here, I must clarify one thing, however; Paul calls the Jews, “Israel,” as a nation in the context beginning in Chapter 9. He does not specify Israel or Judah in the way we have been discussing in this series. One of the reasons is that the context of Chapters from 9 to 11 pertains to the rejection of their Messiah as the Nation of Israel as one entity, being represented by the Jews. Paul is trying to make a clear contrast as he addresses “the Gentiles.” Paul also proudly includes himself in representing Israel as a Benjamite (Ro 11:1), not as a Jew. And, he explains why God blinded Israel (the Jews) and made them stumble and fall (Ro 11:4-12), and tells them that the rejection of the Messiah resulted in such a benefit to the Gentiles (Ro 11:11). His main point here is that the Jews were cast away for a particular reason, so that the Gentiles might be saved (Ro 11:25).
So, the backdrop is where Paul is comparing the Israelites and the Gentiles in terms of YHVH’s plan of salvation. Then, he brings in this “Olive Tree” illustration:
(17) And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, (18) do not boast against the branches*. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
* “Boast against the branches” is exactly what the replacement theorists did and boastfully asserted that YHVH forsook the everlasting Covenant He had made with all Israel and Yeshua died to create a new people, the Gentile Church. May be a creative scenario, but a total lie.
He calls the Gentiles “a wild olive tree,” which was “grafted in” to the “fat” “olive tree,” and:
(24) For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
He calls the rich Hebraic roots, the faithful people of YHVH rooted in Him, “a cultivated olive tree.” Then, who are the “the olive tree which is wild by nature” actually?
In this verse, Paul is not talking about the Lost Sheep by name, the House of Israel, when he speaks of “the Gentiles.” But, I believe that the Lost Sheep are obviously included in the Gentiles, as we have learned from the study in the previous sections. And, in fact, the vast majority of the Gentiles to whom Paul is addressing is probably the Lost Sheep. Whether he knew it or not, the Lost Sheep was the target of YHVH by sending Paul to the Gentiles anyway. This truth regarding the Lost Sheep being among the Gentiles is a new end-time revelation from YHVH as He is awakening our spirits in preparation for the restoration of all things. I am just one of many to teach this truth in this hour. It was not for those who were saved in the first century. Was Paul aware of it? I would not know. But as we saw in Ephesians 2:13-16, He seemed to have been given the revelation of YHVH’s plan to reunite the two houses. Although Paul addressed them as “the Gentiles,” being their own identification, and called them “wild olive tree,” I believe that it means “the Lost Sheep,” according to the biblical definition of the word, which has been established in this series so far. The word, “the Gentiles,” in the context of salvation, means “the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” in the Bible. And, let me also point out this fact: No one else but the Israelites is called “olive tree” in the Old Testament. They may have grown in the “wild” but are still Israelites.
When it was broken and a branch was “sown” in the Gentile soil, they became the “wild olive tree”: the Lost Sheep.
Another important point for us to be aware is that Apostle Paul was specifically sent to the Gentiles (Ga 1:1), as opposed to the case of Peter, who was commissioned by Yeshua originally to “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 10:6), and was told by Him even after the Resurrection to tend and feed “My sheep” (Jn 21:15-17). Peter’s First Epistle was also clearly written to the “dispersed” ones (1 Pe 1:1), the “known” Lost Sheep. Therefore, it is very probable that Paul assumed that the Gentiles were the pure Gentiles, and “the Lost Sheep” were the known descendants of the House of Israel. By the time Yeshua came, it had been at least 750 years since the exile of the House of Israel. The Apostles had no way of knowing who among the Gentiles were actually descendants of the Lost Sheep of Israel; they were the “unknown” Lost Sheep to them. And, it is reasonable to assume that it was beyond Paul’s imagination that “the Gentiles” would eventually mean to be the hundreds of millions of the descendants of the Lost Tribes, as the Scripture says, as many as “the sand of the sea” (Ge 32:12; 41:49; Ho 1:10). I gather from his other writings that Paul was not clearly aware of this fact, unless he intentionally treated them as the pure Gentiles, knowing their true identity. Nevertheless, it was YHVH’s plan from the beginning that it was to be hidden until the appointed time, which is now.
Again, it seems that the term, “the Gentiles,” in the Bible usually points to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. They were simply “unknown” Lost Sheep to the Apostles: The “wild olive tree.”
Finally, we know who the “wild olive tree” is as a people group. Now, we are ready to understand the part, “grafted in,” properly.
Paul’s conclusion in Romans 11 is that “all Israel,” which is “Israel and Judah,” also called “Jacob,” will be saved:
(26) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; (27) For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” <Is 59:20; 27:9>
(28) Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers*. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
* Verse (28) means that the Jews rejected Yeshua as their Messiah and was complicit in the killing of Him, but it was meant to be, so that the Lost Sheep would be saved. And, eventually, all Israel will be saved.
This passage means that “Jacob,” which is the “all Israel,” will be saved by “the Deliverer” from Zion, but Judah had to reject Him for a season in order to save Israel who were spread among the Gentiles. And, the final purpose is that Israel and Judah both will be forgiven of their sin and be put back together in the Messiah.
So, where is the Judah branch in Romans 11 Olive Tree? We find it in the last part of the scripture in question. Paul was talking about the House of Judah, when he said:
Romans 11:24 (last half)
“how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”
Earlier, he also spoke of Judah being the broken off natural branches because of their unbelief:
(20) Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. (21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Accordingly, there seem to be “two” kinds of branches to be grafted back into the “cultivated olive trees.” These are the decoded Paul’s Olive Trees:
- “Wild olive tree” branch = Israel
- “Natural” branch = Judah
Although Paul might not have been consciously speaking about the House of Israel in this illustration of the “wild olive tree,” the facts that the Messiah unequivocally said He had come only for the Lost Sheep and that YHVH’s ultimate plan is to reunite Israel and Judah support this conclusion.
One more thing I must mention in relation to this topic. It is a rather complex issue that requires much more detailed study, but it is important to be aware of this fact.
The Bible clearly tells us that the “wild olive tree” branches to be grafted back will be only “a remnant” of “the sand of the sea”:
(22) For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
Paul also refers to this verse in Romans 9:27.
The word, “remnant,” is used 92 times in the King James Version, and it is a recurrent theme throughout the Bible. The word itself means “a small remaining part or member” and “surviving group” (Marriam-Webster Dictionary), and it is used also in the Scripture exactly as it is defined. When a small group of the House of Judah came back from Babylon, it was called “the remnant” (Neh 1:3), and Isaiah said, the remnant of Jacob shall return to the mighty God (Is 10:21). A New Testament’s equivalent word for “the remnant” may be “he who overcomes” (1 Jn 5:5; Rev 2:11; 2:26; 3:5; 3:12; 21:7), which will be further discussed in Part 6.
So, please keep in mind that, as we continue to study, the branches to be reunited are “the remnants” of Israel and Judah, not all the genetic descendants of them. They are the born-again overcomers who are faithful followers of the Messiah among them.
2. Ezekiel’s Sticks
Jeremiah 11:16 speaks about the branches of the Olive Tree (all Israel) being broken off, alluding to the fact that Israel and Judah both will be exiled. Ezekiel, on the other hand, speaks about two “sticks” being put together, prophesying the end-time reunion of Israel and Judah: The Restoration.
Immediately after the famous passage of the “Valley of the Dry Bones” (Ez 37:1-14), which is the prophecy of the resurrection of the whole house of Israel, comes this passage:
(16) “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ (17) “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. (18) “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’– (19) “say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ‘ (20) “And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. (21) “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; (22) “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.
Here, “sticks” are clearly the House of Judah and the House of Israel. As discussed in Part 2 -4, “Houseof Joseph” or “Joseph,” “Ephraim” his son, are different names for the House of Israel, representing the Ten Tribes that have been dispersed, lost, and spread all over the world in the last 2,700 years. And the original Hebrew word for “stick” is עֵץ “etz” <H6086>, meaning “tree.” Two “trees” are put together (“grafted into”) each other: the Olive Trees. This is also an allusion to the Cross, just as the words such as “stick” and “tree” in the Old Testament. For example: The “Tree of Life” in Genesis 3:22, and the bitter water turns sweet by a touch of a “tree” in Exodus 15:25, both allude to the Cross. Yeshua is also called the “Branch,” which grew out of the stem of Jesse (Is 11:1). “Tree” is also a “code word” for a person or a people throughout the Bible, and is such a profound and meaningful word to study.
But in this passage, it is used as a clear message from YHVH that He will reunite and restore the Two Olive Trees, the remnant of the House of Israel and also the remnant of the House of Judah. And, they will be reunited with each other in His hand, which is the root of the original Olive Tree. And, this will be possible when they are spiritually reborn or resurrected, as described in the preceding passage, Ezekiel 37:1-14, where the dry bones of the “whole house of Israel” (Ez 37:11) are resurrected. They will be one nation under One King and One God, which will never be divided again.
By the way, speaking of “two sticks,” I would like to remind you what I wrote about the last letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, ת “tav,” in Part 1: Deity of Yeshua – “Aleph-Tav”:
“Also, each Hebrew letter has a pictographic multiple meanings. And, א is a picture of the head of an ox, and it means “God” and “strong”; and ת is a picture of “two sticks” put together in a form of a cross, and means “cross” and “mark.” Therefore, two letters put together את can mean “God on a Cross.””
“Two sticks put together in a form of a cross” is the last letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. And, Yeshua died and shed His precious Blood on the Cross, so that Israel and Judah can be put back together again . . . another amazing revelation of את.
In addition, the letter ת has much deeper meanings: One of the root words of the word, “Zion” is צִיּוּן “tsiyuwn” <H6725>, which means “signpost” or “monument,” such as a “mark.” This is basically the same meaning as the letter ת, the last letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. And that is our final destination: Zion.
. . . . . . . . . just a hint of a preview of the final part of this series.
3. The Two Witnesses
This reunion of the two houses, Israel and Judah, will be prophetically lived out by the Two Witnesses in the Last Days:
(3) “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
These “anointed ones” (Zc 4:14), one person representing Israel and the other Judah, empowered by the Spirits of YHVH (“lampstands”), will prophesy and warn the people of all Israel of the impending Great Tribulation, calling for repentance being “clothed in sackcloth.” They will be vexing the enemy led by the Anti-Christ for 1260 days (Rev 11:3) using their awesome power granted by YHVH (Rev 11:5-6). At the end of their three-and-a-half-year (1260 days) ministry, they will be killed by the Anti-Christ, but after “three and a half days,” they will be resurrected and be caught up to ascend (Rev 11:7-9, 11). It is prophetic of the three and a half years, which is “time, times, and half a time” (Dan 12:7), of the Great Tribulation. The current State of Israel will go through this unprecedented magnitude of oppression and destruction by the troops of the Anti-Christ from that point on.
Daniel 12:1 (mid section)
(1) …… ; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. ……
Israel, particularly Jerusalem, will be utterly annihilated by the Anti-Christ and will be as dead for three and a half years. Many will be killed and others will be taken into captivity (Dan 11:33; Zc 13:8-9; et al.) But, the Two Witnesses, by their own death and resurrection, also prophesy of the nation’s resurrection; which means that, after the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” the new and perfect House of Jacob will be resurrected (Jer 30:7) when their Messiah returns and executes the Judgment on the enemies. Then, the Two Olive Trees will be reunited in the Renewed Covenant forever.
(4) “In those days and in that time,” says the LORD, “The children of Israel shall come, They and the children of Judah together; With continual weeping they shall come, And seek the LORD their God. (5) They shall ask the way to Zion, With their faces toward it, saying, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to the LORD In a perpetual covenant That will not be forgotten.’
I can hardly wait for that day.
Now, we have seen how important for YHVH and for His purpose to reunite Israel and Judah. But, where are the Gentiles who are not descendants of the Israelites in all this? As I have pointed out in various places, it is clear that the non-Israelite Gentiles are included in the plan of salvation. As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons YHVH sowed His people and spread them all over the world was to let all the people on the earth know about His Son, Yeshua as Jesus, and to make them His people. And, the truth is that, once they believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, repent from their sins, and participate in the Covenant by keeping His Commandments, they are “Israel” (Ro 11:26)! It has been the pattern throughout the Scripture from the time of Abraham:
(6) And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
That was the original provision for salvation, and it has not changed. As it is written, “by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ep 2:8-9). Abraham was not an Israelite, of course, but was a pagan from Ur of the land of Chaldee (Ge 11:26-28) near the site of the Tower of Babel, the birthplace of Babylon. He was a Gentile in a purest sense. But, he believed in YHVH by faith, and was considered righteous, and became the father of the Israelites.
And even after the Torah was given, those who among the Gentiles believed in YHVH and obeyed by keeping the Torah, they were included and became “His people.” The following scene occurred as the children of Israel left Egypt at the night of the first Pesach (Passover), after witnessing the mighty power of YHVH:
(37) Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. (38) A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds–a great deal of livestock.
After that, this “mixed multitude” is never mentioned in the Bible, because they became YHVH’s people. There are many other examples such as Rahab in the Book of Joshua, who helped the two Hebrew spies to escape from Jericho (Jos 2:1-3; 6:17-25) and became an ancestor of the Messiah (Mt 1:5), and Ruth, who was also in the line of the Messiah and the prophetic type of the faithful Gentiles who would become YHVH’s people. They were “grafted in” to the rich root of YHVH through the “Olive Tree,” which is the Israelites, whom He chose to use and save “all” those who would come to Him (Jn 3:16). Let us pay attention to Ezekiel 37 again:
(16) “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’
Judah and Israel will be put together with their “companions.” I believe it means roughly the same as the “mixed multitude.” By spreading the “seeds,” The Lost Sheep of Israel, throughout the nations, and bringing them home, He would and is saving even more “mixed multitudes” of the faithful Gentiles with them in the process. And, He calls them, “My people,” as they call Him, “My God” (Ru 1:16).
Copyright © 2018 Olivet Journal
- Israel and Judah were portrayed as brothers in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. And it is natural to call them brothers according to the flesh. But, through out the Old Testament, they were prophetically and spiritually called sisters (Jer 3:3: 8; 10; Ez 16:44-46; et al.), and called by the female pronoun “she” and “her.” It is consistent with the biblical “code words” I have been pointing out throughout this series: “Woman” is used to prophetically call a body of people as a religious and political entity. Therefore, I choose to address them as sisters from now on. <↩>
- The time of Abraham was around 2166-1991 B.C. Chaldee, where Sumerian Empire was in 4500-2200 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumer), was where Nimrod built the Tower of Babel in rebellion against God. Later Babylon and Persia, and currently Iraq, all the nations built there were pagan and anti-YHVH. Also, you may find some more information here: http://bibleatlas.org/ur.htm. <↩>