January 13, 2009
An Ephraimite Speaks Out Regarding Messianic Jewish Bias Against ‘Ephraimites’
by Aviel E. Rodriguez
The Sad truth is that, generally, people tend to evaluate and judge matters on a very superficial level… all too often, on the basis of appearances and emotions. As a matter of fact, ‘Madison Avenue’ has counted upon this particular human proclivity for decades with respect to their prime target… i.e., ‘the American Consumer’. Yes, the public’s inclination to ’superficially appraise’ things has enabled Madison Avenue to rake in decades of massive revenues. Revenues obtained by their alluring and seductive promises to endow the consumer with some sort of power, sex-appeal, security, love, acceptance… or whatever; and all by means of the product that they happen to be advertising.
Madison Avenue counts on the ‘passive mentality’ of the American Consumer to accept their claims as authoritative. However, what if Madison Avenue had to suddenly deal with a vast new breed of ‘knowledgable’ American Consumers? I believe that then the chances of maintaining the status quo would be greatly diminished. Their profits would take a sharp dive in very short order. Nonetheless, let us in additon consider- in relation to this illustration- that though a manufacturer’s intentions and advertising might be sincere his product, nevertheless, may be faulty and lacking in its promised results.
You may be wondering what does any of this have to do with the topic of ‘Messianic Jewish Bias Against ’Ephraimites’? Well, there is a slogan that’s popular in Messianic circles today. It is, essentially, propagated as “Jew and Gentile… One in Messiah… One new man.” It is definitely promoted from the pulpits; and often advertised on televison by a particular Messianic ministry.
Please understand that I wholeheartedly believe that my Messianic Jewish brethren have the very best of hopes and sincere intentions when they go about promotiing this slogan; and of course, that the slogan is rooted in Scripture:
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace… (Eph. 2:14-15)
However, they consistently fail to notice that the Apostle Paul prefaced that statement by declaring to his hearers that they were once “Gentiles” (strangers to the covenants and the commonwealth of Israel); and concluded in declaring that they were now full-fledged citizens in the ‘Israel of God’. This is an ‘Ephraimite’ perspective.
Unfortunately, Messianic Judaism’s promotion of the “one new man” Gospel truth has been tinged by an essential ’Dispensational‘ belief, namely, that the Church and Israel are two separate entities. Consequently, Messianic Judaism’s ’interpretation’ and subsequent pronouncement of this particular Gospel truth becomes– due their interpolation vis-a-vis Dispensationalism– fraught with what I’ve come to call “Messianic double-speak”. In a nutshell, despite the pronouncement that “Jew and Gentile are one in Messiah…one new man”… nevertheless, in the same breath- so to speak- they’ll declare that the Jewish people are God’s ‘Chosen People’; but, Gentile Believers are part of Christ’s “Called-Out Assembly”…??? Moreover, many Messianic Jews rejoice in declaring that Yeshua actually made them more ‘Jewish’ (“Completed Jews”) after coming to faith in him. On the other hand, they say that Gentile Believers should not seek to become ‘Jewish’; but rather, be content with that identity which they were born into. Thus, logic dictates that all things being equal (i.e., one new man) that the “Gentile Believers” should, therefore, somehow, be able to joyfully proclaim the following: ”Yeshua has actually made us more ‘Gentile’ (strangers/aliens to the covenants & the commonwealth of Israel) than ever!” I think that you would agree with me in saying that… that does not compute!
Please take a moment to consider the following verses of Scripture; and then read on…
“…for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1Sam. 16:7)
“Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.” (Isaiah 63:16-17)
I now address myself, specifically, to those who have this yearning to see the ‘one new man in Messiah’ promise truly be fufilled in our day. That unquenchable desire to be united with your brother, Judah, in the quest of “Kiddush Hashem” (the Sanctification of the Name) is not a coincidence nor an accident. It’s been put in your heart by the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) for a reason… a very prophetic reason. Though our Messianic Jewish brethren can’t seem to recognize us as ‘Ephraim’; nevertheless, YHWH knows all the places to which Abraham’s seed were driven to. He knows who Abraham’s seed are; and He hears their hearts cry (Jer. 31:18-19). Therefore, I believe that our Messianic-Jewish brethren’s dismissive attitude towards the “Ephraimite/Two House” teaching is something that- for the most part- is rooted in emotional and ‘superficial assessments’ by them; as well as, a presumed authoritative position on their part. Nonetheless, I believe that a sincere, objective, and diligent study of the ”Two-House” teaching will continue to result in thousands upon thousands of non-Jewish Messianics becoming ‘knowledgable’ adherents to the Ephraimite position and understanding.
I am not seeking to divide brethren… i.e., to divide the non-Jewish Messianics (aka Christian Zionists) from their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters. God forbid! Rather, I am seeking to awaken them both; and to enhance their unity! However, there exists an emotionally charged postulate (even if only implied)… i.e., that ‘Messianic-Judah knows best’; and this continues to hold many Zionist Christians [i.e., dormant Ephraimites] in a passive state. They’re unwilling to provoke Messianic-Judah’s ire by questioning his particular slant on the ’one new man’ motto… which, simultaneously, placates and anesthetizes other dormant Ephraimites into accepting “one-ness” while, pardoxically, branding themselves with the stigma of “gentile” (i.e., one who is “of the nations… an alien to the covenants” and, therefore, “not of Israel!”).
Unfortunately, just like many passive-minded American consumers, it would appear that many Christian Zionists (“dormant Ephraimites”) find it much simpler to accept the status quo of misconceptions, misperceptions, and misinterpretations that are leveled against ‘Ephraimites’ by Messianic Judaism- than to sincerely and diligently pray about, investigate, and study the matter for themselves. Instead, they continue to neglect and ignore their promised heritage as full-fledged born-again Israelites… available to them through the New/Renewed Covenant in Yeshua’s blood! [Jeremiah 31:31]
Sadly, these Christian Zionists are like the woman in the following parable:
There was a young Gentile woman named Ruth Smith. She married her beloved Jewish fiancée, named Boaz Goldberg. In this story, it happens that the young Jewish man had been alienated from his family for many years prior to their meeting. After several years of married bliss, it happened that one day a distant relative of his contacted him to inform him that his Orthodox Jewish family desired to be reconciled with him. After all that time, the announcement came at long last as a hopeful promise for a joyful reunion with his parents and brethren. So he and Mrs. Goldberg promptly packed their bags and were on the next flight out to see his family… the Goldbergs. Now, his wife was very happy and excited in knowing how her husband longed to be reconciled to his blood relatives. Moreover, she recognized that she, too, was now a member of the family. She, too, was a ‘Goldberg’; and so, she was very excited about meeting her kin.
They arrived at the Goldberg family home and Boaz took a deep breath as they stepped upon the porch and approached the door. Ruth lovingly glanced at her husband and gave him her full love and support- for they were one. He knocked, and the door opened. There stood the entire Goldberg family apparently ready to receive him back despite what they had formerly viewed as his non-conformist religious views. Boaz crossed the threshold and embraced each one. Then he turned to introduce Mrs. Goldberg; but instead, in a fraction of time, he envisioned a very real potential threat to the tenuous reunion if he should suddenly introduce this non-Jewish woman as his wife. In a moment of selfish expediency, he turned back to his family and said “this is my very close friend and co-worker, Ruth Smith.”
But YHWH’s word says:
And other sheep [of the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel] I have,
which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall
hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions:
And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. (Ezek. 37:16-17)
And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they
all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statues, and do them. (Ezek. 37:24)
Sadly, I’ve come to believe that it’s a “Boaz Goldberg-like” perspective on the part of Messianic Judaism; and something of a ”passive-consumerist” mentality on the part of Christian Zionists, that keeps Messianic Judaism from honestly and sincerely communicating with those in the ‘Ephraimite movement’. It keeps them from openly and honestly discussing these matters in their congregations… i.e., with the use of equal weights and measures.
It would appear true in this instance that where a need is not felt, a desire is not birthed. Therefore, Messianic Judaism seems to have asked of itself this question:
“What, if any, is the need for such a teaching?”… to which it’s apparent response has been: “None… unless you aim to confuse and upset Jewish and Gentile believers… None… No, none whatsoever!”
Sadly, I would call Messianic Judaism’s perspective on this issue one of ’selfish expediency’. By way of an admittedly crude analogy, I would liken it, somewhat, to a benevolently-inclined Plantation owner living back in the ‘antebellum South’; who might’ve questioned himself, and said: “What purpose would it serve for me to consider my servants as equal to me… i.e., as native-born Americans? Afterall, as we’ve interpreted the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, they have their place and we have ours. Moreover, identifying them as equal to “Americans” would only upset the status quo, anger my fellow plantation owners; and confuse the servants. So why create a problem where none exists?!” Yes… blind, selfish, expediency!
Despite our Messianic Jewish brethren’s apprehensions, the Christian Zionist/Hebraic Roots movements are returning to the ancient paths prescribed by their Heavenly Father; and they’re seeking to support and exhort their brother, Judah, to a place of true unity as the “one new man” in Messiah’s household… i.e., the Israel of Elohim. They are indeed demonstrating that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is at work in Ephraim. The Ruach HaKodesh is awakening them to their true heritage and to their true identity as “born-again Israelites”! Thus, as they are led of the Spirit, they are beginning to fulfill their part in YHWH’s prophetic word that’s found in Isaiah 11:13. Therefore, they’re returning to Torah (the Kingdom’s constitution) and ceasing from all former “replacement theology” perspectives- as they move forward in support of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people worldwide- to the praise and glory of YHWH!… b’shem Yeshua HaMashiach!
We, simultaneously, have seen many in Traditional Judaism being deeply moved by the testimony of ‘Ephraimites’; and consequently, opening doors of communication to both Christian Zionists and “Aware-Ephraimites” alike. Tragically, however, there are still so many in Messianic Judaism that unwittingly (yet stubbornly…like the elder brother pictured above) resist the fulfillment of the latter portion of that prophetic verse- which reads as follows: “… and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”
Nevertheless, YHWH’s word says:
On that day, God will again [reveal] His might to redeem the remnant of His people – those remaining in Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia, Elam, Shinar, Chamath, and the isles of the sea.
He will signal to the nations, assemble the exiles of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Ephraim’s jealousy will cease, and their enemies in Judah will be destroyed. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not trouble Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:11-13)… [taken from a Jewish translation... 'The Living NACH', Moznaim Publishing Corp., NY/Jerusalem 5756]
As the Living NACH translates it (above) “Ephraim’s jealousy will cease, and their enemies in Judah will be destroyed.” I’m of the opinion that the “enemies” being spoken of here most likely alludes to elements within Rabbinic Judaism that may someday- I believe- both vehemently and violently oppose Ephraim’s prophesied return back to the Land of Israel. Notwithstanding, I continue to believe that it would very much behoove our Messianic Jewish brethren to recognize, from the verses above, how very important and serious the matter of this ”Two House-into-One House of Israel Restoration” is to our Abba YHWH.
In the meantime, Christian Zionists need to hearken to the voice of the Shepherd of Israel and to indeed awaken! They need to cast off their “gentile-ized” grave-cloths; and, through Yeshua Tzidkenu (Yeshua our Righteousness), put on their new biblical identity as “returning Ephraimites”… i.e., as born-again Israelites!
Click on the ‘WATCHMAN’ icon below… to AWAKEN!