One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49



Once, But Not Now!
No Longer a Gentile

Ephesians 2:11
Therefore remember, that once you, the gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands;

There was a time before YHWH called His people out of the world that they were known as “gentiles.”  However, as soon as one repents of his sins and becomes a talmid (disciple) of Yeshua, and begins following Him with his whole heart, he is no longer considered a gentile in the flesh.  Therefore, one should not consider other talmidim or even himself as a gentile.  Please consider this passage by YHWH our Elohim. 

Galatians 3:29 
And if you are Mashiach’s, then are you Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.

Let us recall that before Avraham left Ur of the Chaldeas he was no more set apart than any other person.  He was a gentile.  However, because he chose to hear and obey the Voice of YHWH, he became the father of a set-apart people.  Those promises that were given to Avraham were passed on to his heirs according to the promise given to Avraham by YHWH.  Who are the heirs according to the promise?

B’reshit 17:7-8
7 “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be an Elohim to you and to your seed after you.
8 And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land of your wanderings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their Elohim.”

According to Scripture, when we believe upon Mashiach for salvation, if we were not the literal physical seed of Avraham before, we become descendants of him at that point.  This is what Shaul is getting at in Galatians 3:29 above.  Furthermore, when this happens, we then become joint heirs with those who already know that they are inheritors of the covenant and promises of Avraham.

It is time for those who trust in the name of Yeshua to stop thinking and acting like gentiles in the flesh, and step up and live like an heir to the promises that He has so richly bestowed upon all those who will partake by obeying His commands and hearing and obeying His Voice.  Each person who knows that he belongs to Mashiach should stop living in sin and come completely out of the Babylonian system of life, service, and worship, to serve YHWH only.

Yochanan (John) 14:15 
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”


No Hope for Gentiles as a Gentile

Ephesians 2:12
that you were at that time separate from Mashiach, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world.

Before a person comes to Yeshua as Mashiach, he is not a part of the commonwealth of Israel.  He is completely and utterly lost.  He does not have a portion in the covenants of the promise, and in this world he is without any hope at all.  What a terrible way to live, without any hope in this world!  This is a gentile: part of the world and separated from the promises and covenants of Israel.

But the whole point of what Shaul is writing is that when a person comes to Mashiach and is adopted into His family called “Israel,” then he no longer is without hope.  He is no longer alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.  He is no longer a stranger to the covenants of the promise that YHWH made with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’aqov.  In Mashiach, one has hope.  In Mashiach, he is a part of the commonwealth of Israel.  In Mashiach, he is a fellow partaker of the covenant of promise.  In Mashiach, he has Elohim in this world!  In Mashiach, one is not a gentile.


Brought Near

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Mashiach Yeshua you that once were far off are made near in the Blood of Mashiach.

How is all this possible?  It is only through the Blood of Mashiach.  When He shed His own Blood and made it available to any who would receive it by faith, then Yeshua our Mashiach brought those who would trust in Him near to the covenant of promise and into the nation of Israel.  Those coming into Israel from the outside do not replace Israel; they become a part of it!

Ruth 1:16 
And Ruth said, “Do not entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your Elohim my Elohim.”

Remember Ruth; she came into the promises and covenants of Israel from the nation of Moav.  Forsaking all her former life and gods, she chose to worship the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzchaq, and Ya’aqov, and to serve only Him.  As a result, she was brought fully into the promises and covenants of Israel.  Formerly, she was a Moabite, but now she was an Israelite.


Both One?

Ephesians 2:14
For He is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,

He made both one?  Who is the “both” of whom Shaul is speaking in this passage?  He broke down the middle wall of partition?  What is the middle wall of partition?  Now of what is Shaul speaking?  First, the middle wall of partition was erected in the temple courtyard so that those gentiles who became proselytes could come into the outer courtyard but could not proceed beyond that partition.  This partition was something that YHWH never commanded and never intended.  It was just one of man’s ways to exercise control of his fellow human beings.

Yechezqel [Ezekiel] 37:22 
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 into two kingdoms any more at all;

When Sh’lomo (Solomon) died and his son Rehoboam became king, he was an unrighteous and foolish man.  Because of his greed and foolishness, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms, two nations:  the nation of Yehudah (Judah) in the south, and the nation of Israel (also known as Ephrayim and sometimes Yoseph) in the north.  The rift between these two nations has never been healed (yet!).  How do we know this?  We know this because in this chapter of Yechezqel, we learn that before these two nations can become one nation again, they have to be two nations; i.e., each has to be its own stick.  The nation of Israel, the ten tribes of the north, has not existed as a nation separate and distinct for more than 2700 years because of its sin of idolatry.  However, one of the tasks of Yeshua as Mashiach was to bring back these lost tribes into a covenantal relationship with YHWH.  This is what Shaul is dealing with in this portion of Scripture in Ephesians.

But what we need not to miss in this portion is that in order to be a part of His Kingdom, then, we must be a part of one of these nations:  either the nation of Judah or the nation of Israel.  Please note, that there is no mention of some group called “Christians.”  Christianity was only the vehicle in which YHWH hid the nation of Israel for a season.  That season is ending as the world is in birth pangs as it gives birth to the nation of Israel (the ten tribes of the north).  The nation in the land called “Israel” today is actually Yehudah (Judah), the two tribes of the southern nation.


What Did He Abolish?

Ephesians 2:15
having abolished in the flesh the hostility of the law of commandments in ordinances; that He might create in Himself of the two one new man, making peace;

When Shaul says, “…of the two,” who are these two?  The “two” consists of the two houses of Israel, the house of Yehudah and the house of Ephrayim.  Please note that it is the work of Mashiach Yeshua to take these two houses and form them into one new man, one new house. 

Furthermore, Yeshua did not come to do away with the Torah (Law).  This is what He Himself taught!

Matithyah [Matthew] 5:17 
“Do not think that I came to do away with the Torah (Law) or the prophets; I came not to do away with, but to verify.”

Many English versions render the last word as “fulfill”; however, in our translation above we render it as “verify.”  We do this because many today do not understand the context of what it means to “fulfill” the Torah.  Many attempt to propose the idea that because Yeshua somehow fulfilled the Torah, this fulfillment somehow releases His followers from fulfilling it as well.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  So, for clarity we use the term “verify,” which is a much clearer term for this context as well as the meaning of the words used in the original text. 

When we read and study the accounts of His life, this is exactly what He did at every possible occasion; He verified the Torah.  Never once did He teach anyone to break any of the commandments of Torah.  In fact, He taught us to keep and obey these commandments.  So then, exactly what did He do away with that Shaul is referring to here?

Colossians 2:14 
having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees that was against us, which was hostile towards us; and He has taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;

The passage in Ephesians 2:15 and 16, and this one in Colossians seem to be saying the same thing.  Let us carefully and prayerfully consider what our debt was.  The debt one owes is because of his sin.  It was a debt that no one could pay, except with his own life.  The record of one’s own personal sins was so great that each person was under the sentence of death.  Literally, what Yeshua our Mashiach did, was to cancel the warrant that was sworn out against each person.

Those who teach that it was the Torah (Law) that was nailed to the cross are actually teaching that one is still in bondage.  Why?  The death certificate, the warrant for your arrest and execution has not been done away with (according to this false teaching).  According to this false teaching the only thing that was done away with was the source of the warrant.  Those who teach that the Torah was nailed to the cross are actually teaching lawlessness (being without the Torah).

Let us remember that Yeshua Himself taught that He did not come to do away with the Torah (Law) as was quoted above.  So if He did not come to do away with the Torah, but yet preachers and teachers teach that it has been done away with or made of no effect in some way, then they are, in effect, calling Yeshua a liar.  Consider this question.  Is it wiser to listen to the Master, that is, the One who died for you so that you would not have to die, or to listen to someone who calls our Master and Savior a liar? 


Again, Both One

Ephesians 2:16
and might reconcile them both in one body to Elohim through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby;

Throughout this whole passage Shaul repeatedly is using the word “both” as a reference to the two houses of Israel, the house of Yehudah and the house of Ephrayim.  Without the Blood of Mashiach it is not possible to have a united kingdom of Israel once again.  However, with His Blood, both nations, the nation of Yehudah (Judah) and the nation of Israel, will once again be reunited.  Please read again the above verse.

Please prayerfully consider this next passage.

Yechezqel [Ezekiel] 37:16-17 
16 “And you, son of man, take 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 for all the house of Israel his companions’;
17 and you join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand.”

When we read the context of the above passage we learn that YHWH is telling Yechezqel to take two sticks.  One stick is for Yehudah and all those with him and the other stick is for Yoseph and all those with him.  As we continue reading in this passage we learn that each stick is representative of a nation.  One stick is representative of the nation of Yehudah which consists of two tribes in the southern part of the land.  The other stick is representative of the nation of Ephrayim which consists of ten tribes in the northern part of the land.  Now let us carefully consider the joining of these two sticks.

Could it be, that what Shaul is saying to us in this verse, is that it is through the two sticks of the cross that the nations of Yehudah and Israel will become one new man?  Could it be that this is what YHWH was telling Yechezqel was going to happen; that it would be through the cross of Mashiach that the kingdom would be reunited again?  It is a very real possibility that we need to consider.  As one considers this matter, also realize that Yechezqel was in the priestly order.  YHWH told him to take two sticks and put them together.  Likewise, it was in large part the priestly order that was responsible for trying Yeshua and hanging Him upon those two sticks called a cross.  They used the Romans to accomplish this, but it was the priesthood who arrested and dragged Yeshua before the Roman governor.


Far and Near

Ephesians 2:17
and He came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were near;

Who are those far off?  It is those of the northern kingdom of ten-tribe Israel who YHWH scattered into all the nations of the world.

Who are those that are near?  It is those of the southern kingdom of two-tribe Yehudah who never completely left YHWH or His Torah.

Yeshua our Mashiach came and preached the good news.  And what is that good news?  The good news is that He came to reunite the two kingdoms and to bring back into the covenant those who were no longer a part of the covenant, namely, the ten tribes of northern Israel, whom YHWH had divorced and sent away from Him and His land.



Ephesians 2:18
for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Both?  Yes, both those of the house of Yehudah and those of the house of Israel have access to the Father through Yeshua our Mashiach.  We both have access to the Father above because He fills us with His Spirit when we come to Yeshua as our Mashiach. 

Romans 1:16 
For I am not ashamed of the good news; for it is the power of Elohim to salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Aramean.

Yeshua came for those who would be His people in both houses of Israel.  One does not replace the other.  Neither does one exclude the other.  Both are legitimate heirs of the promises and covenants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’aqov.  The southern house of Yehudah is the tame olive branches and the wild olive branches are those from the northern house of Ephrayim.

These two factions of the same nation, yea, of the same family, have been at odds with one another for millennia.  There has been an ongoing family feud. 

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 11:13 
“The envy also of Ephrayim shall depart, and they that vex Yehudah shall be cut off; Ephrayim shall not envy Yehudah, and Yehudah shall not vex Ephrayim.”

There is coming a day in which this family feud shall come to an end.  What a great day that will be.  May it be soon and in our day!

Both houses need to understand the right of the other to exist as a nation in the land.  Neither house has the right or authority to police the other house.  Each house needs to take the log out of his own eye first before he has the ability to take the speck out of his brother’s eye.  Only then will the two houses be ready to be reunited.


Fellow Citizens

Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no more strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow-citizens with the set-apart ones, and of the household of Elohim,

Ever since the kingdom of Israel was divided in the days of Rehoboam, the northern and southern kingdoms have been at odds with one another, much of the time, even at war.  We need to put aside these animosities and love our brothers and come alongside them and support them.  The enemies of one house are the enemies of both houses!

If one is a citizen of a country or nation, then that is where his citizenship and loyalty lies.  If one is a citizen of the New Jerusalem, then he is in fact a part of the kingdom of Israel and not a gentile.  Let us work to build our Master’s kingdom and not the kingdoms of this present world.


Being Built?

Ephesians 2:20
being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Mashiach Yeshua Himself being the chief corner stone;

Just exactly what is being built here?  He lets us know in the next two verses.  It is that we are the pieces of the spiritual Mishkan that YHWH is putting together to fill with His own Spirit.  This spiritual mishkan has physical pieces.  Those physical pieces will one day be seen in the reality that He sees them now.  May He give us eyes to see as He sees.


A Proper Fit

Ephesians 2:21
in whom the whole building, fitly framed together, grows into a set-apart temple in YHWH;

We know that YHWH does all things well and for good.  Each person who trusts in Yeshua as Mashiach is a part of this building project.  Each piece of the building has a specific place and task.  It must be created and shaped so that it fits perfectly for the task it has been assigned by YHWH.  The rough edges must be chipped off so that the pieces it fits next to will be a good fit and function properly.  YHWH is taking each person through this fitting process.  That process can be painful at times, but it is completely necessary.

Romans 8:28 
And we know that to them that love YHWH all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to His purpose.

So those who YHWH brings into one’s life who rub him the “wrong way,” must be there to knock off the rough edges in his life which are not pleasing to YHWH.  However, how often does one do as Shaul did and kick against the goad?

Ma’aseh [Acts] 26:14 
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, “Shaul, Shaul, why are you persecuting me?  It is hard for you to kick against the goad.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, the irritation that one is experiencing is not from the other person at all; perhaps it is from within oneself.  Perhaps, it is from the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) pointing out that which is within which is not pleasing to YHWH.  How wise Yeshua was when He taught the following principle.

Matithyah [Matthew] 7:3 
“And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not even see the log that is in your own eye?”

Whenever one experiences an irritation of any kind from any source, whether that irritation is from a spouse, a child, or other family member, or from another of His people, Yeshua taught that one should carefully consider why it is that this is irritating.  Oftentimes the thing that irritates one the most in others does so because he is vaguely (or perhaps even sharply) aware of that same characteristic within himself.  Since one cannot stand to see it in his own life, it just really bugs him in other people’s lives.  Therefore, one often kicks against the pricks of the goad.

Yeshua’s Spirit is bringing us together as He sees fit.  Please know, that each person whom He brings into your life, whether he is there for a very short time, or for the rest of your life, or anywhere in between, has something to teach us.  This is true, whether he be great or small.  May each one of us always be in tune to His Spirit so that we miss nothing He wants to say to and teach us in our daily living!


Built Together

Ephesians 2:22
in whom you also are built together for a Mishkan of YHWH in the Spirit.

Each person who accepts Yeshua as Mashiach and does his best to live by His commandments is a part of this Spiritual Mishkan.  Yes, even those with whom one does not agree are a part of His Mishkan, a place for His Spirit to dwell. 

Here is the thing that is striking about this:  if a person is a constant irritation to those around him in which he is always attacking others and causing disunity, then it will not be those he is trying to “whip into shape” that may be excluded from the body of Mashiach; rather, it may be him.  One should be careful who one decides to “cut off” as it may end up being himself.

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 10:12 
Therefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Brethren, each person needs to make sure that he is standing properly in Mashiach at all times.  If one is not, then how can he possibly help those around him to stand properly? 

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians 13:1-3] 
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Sometimes one is required, yes even compelled, by His Spirit to go to a fellow believer; but when those times come, and they do come, one needs to make sure that he goes in the love of Mashiach, and that every single word that comes forth from his mouth, is bathed in His love at all times; for the person being confronted is a part of the Mishkan that He is building, just as He wills.

Sometimes one rises up in defense of another who is being attacked.  However, while this is well and good, let it be realized that one needs to be careful not to be guilty of the same infraction that he has just witnessed and in coming to the aid of the other person being attacked, one attacks the attacker.

ABBA YHWH, may the mortar between us as brethren be the mortar of love and not a mortar of harsh legalism; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach.  Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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