United Israel Theology vs Two House Theology
James Scott Trimm
One of the problems with "Two House Theology" is that it seeks to establish the House of Israel (Ephraim) as a separate and independent entity from the House of Judah as an entity apart from Judah. This is done with terms like "Messianic Israel" or "Nazarene Israelite" etc. This theology seeks to establish an Ephraimite entity as an equal or superior alternative to the House of Judah. At this point I should state that the true representative of the House of Judah is not Rabbinic Judaism, the true representative of Judah is Nazarene Judaism. This is not replacement theology because Yeshua did not come to replace Judaism a new and different religion, he came to be the Jewish Messiah of Judaism.
This theology is flawed, and in many cases crosses the line into Israel replacement theology, The problem is that YHWH's plan is not one of two separate Houses, but of one united house. This is why I teach "House United Theology" rather than "Two House Theology". Let me explain House United Theology:
THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM
After the death of Solomon the Kingdom of Israel was divided into a Northern Kingdom and a Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom became known as the House of Israel; Joseph or Ephraim. The Southern Kingdom became
known as the House of Judah. The Northern Kingdom rebelled against the rightful king, High Priest and Temple. They established their own non-Davidic King, their own High Priest and their own Temple at a new location in the Northern Kingdom. They were unwilling to submit to the rulership of the House of Judah. They, in effect, started their own new
religion. An Ephaimite religion, under Ephraimite authority.
EPHRAIM GOES THEIR OWN WAY APART FROM JUDAH
In Jeremiah Chapter 3 the two houses of Israel are discussed. Notice that Israel and Judah are allegorical sisters in this prophecy (Jer. 3:6-7) In Jer. 3:8 YHWH says:
And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Yisra'el
had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her
a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Yehudah did not fear,
but went and committed whoring too.
(Jer. 3:8 - The Scriptures Version)
However YHWH did not divorce Judah as well, as that would have left no remnant. Instead the Prophet Hosea compares the two Houses of Israel this way:
"Ephrayim has surrounded Me with lying,
and the house of Yisra'el with deceit.
But Yehudah is still wandering with El,
and is true to the Set-apart One."
(Hosea 11:12 - The Scriptures Version)
While the House of Israel abandoned the one true faith, a remnant of the House of Judah remained faithful to the one true faith. Since the one true faith had now become the faith of only the House of Judah, it had come to be called "Judaism".
No one knows just when the one true faith came to be known as "Judaism". The earliest known usage of the term "Judaism" in written literature is 2Maccabees 2:21 where it is said that the Maccabees, fighting the Greeks are described as "those who strove zealously on behalf of Judaism". The term Judaism was in common use well before the first century being commonly used by writers such as Josephus and Philo.
Paul himself uses the term "Judaism" in Galatians 1:13 to describe his own faith (see Acts 23:6 for proof that this passage was comparing Paul's former life in Judaism with his current life in Judaism).
THE REMNANT OF THE HOUSE OF JUDAH
In the first two chapters of Isaiah we see a prophetic rebuke of each of the Two Houses of Israel. Isaiah 1:1-23 contains a prophetic rebuke "concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (1:1) while Isaiah 2:5-22 contains a prophetic rebuke directed at the "House of Jacob" (2:5).
The House of Judah ("Judah and Jerusalem") is observing Torah in some way... they are offering sacrifices and incense and observing new moons and sabbaths and the calling of assemblies (1:13). But note that Isaiah 1
calls them "YOUR new moons" and "YOUR appointed feasts" but the Torah calls them "My appointed feasts" etc..
This is why YHWH's nefesh (soul) HATES their appointed feasts (1:14). The House of Judah is observing Torah, but in an empty way (because they have violated Deut. 18:15-18 in rejecting Messiah). Their Torah observance is
empty and meaningless because it has lost the Soul of the Torah the Messiah himself.
The House of Israel (also called the "House of Jacob") is rebuked for having turned from the "light of YHWH" (2:5) (i.e, the Torah see Isaiah 8:20); forsaking "your people" (2:6) and turning to idolatry (2:7).
But in Isaiah 1:9 there is a key passage:
Except YHWH of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant,
we should have been as Sodom,
and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Note that this verse takes place in YHWH's rebuke of the House of Judah. While the House of Jacob abandons the Torah and their own people (the House of Judah) and turn to idolatry, and most of the House of Judah observes Torah in an empty way (having rejected the Messiah) there is a remnant of the House of Judah which has not rejected Torah or the Messiah.
In a footnote to Isaiah 1:9 the Ryrie Study Bible has the following comment:
"Quoted in Rom. 9:29 with reference to Christian Jews."
Now I do not always agree with Ryrie's comments and I certainly do not agree with the usage of the term "Jewish Christians", what Ryrie would call "Jewish Christians" I would identify as "Nazarene Jews". However it is very important that Romans 9:29 does quote Isaiah 1:9 with reference to Nazarene Jews. The "remnant" of theHou se of Judah in Isaiah 1:9 does in fact refer to Nazarene Judaism.
ONE FAITH ONCE AND FOR ALL DELIVERED
Now at this point I want to establish that their is only one true faith (Eph. 4:5) which was once and for all delivered to the set apart ones (Jude 1:3) and that one true faith is the Nazarene sect of Judaism.
This brings us to the encounter between Yeshua and an Ephraimite woman (a Samaritan). There is no doubt that this Samaritan woman is to be counted as an Ephraimite because she refers to "our father Jacob" (Jn. 4:12) and
Yeshua makes no attempt to correct her on this point. (Note she mentions the two different places of worship on different mountains in 4:20). Then Yeshua tells her her religion is false and that the Jewish religion is the one true faith saying:
"You worship what you do not know.
We worship what we know,
because the deliverance is of the Yehudim.
"But the hour is coming, and now is,
when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth,
for the Father also does seek such to worship Him.
(Jn. 4:22-23 - The Scriptures Version)
Yeshua makes it clear that the "true worshipers" are the Jews who practice Judaism "in spirit and truth" as opposed to an Ephraimite religion. ("in spirit and truth" - a reference to the Torah - see Ps. 119:142, 151; Ezek. 36:27).
Moreover Paul writes:
"...what is the advantage of the Jew? Or what is the profit of
circumcision? Much in everything!..." (Rom. 3:1-2)
EPHRAIMITES TAKING HOLD
Now the question is: What is the prophetic hope of the House of Israel? Is there to be a last days restoration of a distinct and separate House of Israel (as opposed to the House of Judah) or is the hope of divorced Ephraim to be joined to the House of Judah?
One of the most beautiful prophecies of the reunion of the two houses of Israel is the "two sticks" prophecy in Ezekiel 37:15-20. In this prophecy each of the two houses of Israel are symbolized by two "sticks" which are brough together and made as one (Ezek. 37:15-18) the text goes on to specify that YHWH will:
...take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim,
and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him,
even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick,...
Notice in Ezek. 37 the two Houses are not united by being brought together in the middle, nor by Judah being brought over to Ephraim. Instead we are told that the union results from Ephraim being brought over to and joined with Judah.
Now lets look at another prophecy in Zech. 8:23:
Thus said YHWH of hosts, 'In those days ten men
from all languages of the nations take hold,
yea, they shall take hold of the edge of the garment of a man,
a Yehudite, saying, "Let us go with you,
for we have heard that Elohim is with you ."
Now lest anyone think that the "Jew" (Yehudite) in this passage is a certain Jew, such as the Messiah, I must point out that in the Hebrew the word "you" in "let us go with "you" and "Elohim is with you" is PLURAL and therefore refers not to an individual Jew, but to the House of Judah. No doubt the number "ten" here implies the lost ten tribes of Ephraim. Not that Ephraim says to Judah:
"let us [Ephraim] go with you [Judah]
for we [Ephraim] have heard that YHWH is with you [Judah]."
Finally let us look at the olive tree prophecy of Romans 11. This prophecy parallels the two "sticks" prophecy of Ezekiel 37 (note that the word STICK in Ezek. 37 is ETZ which also means "tree").
Rom. 9 begins the contrast of the "Jews" and "Gentiles" by quoting Hosea 2:25(23); 2:1 (1:10) in Rom. 9:25-26. But if we look up the context of the people "which were not my people" which he calls "my people" in Hosea we find that they are the "children of Israel" (Hosea 2:1 (1:10)) as opposed to "the children of Judah" (Hosea 2:2 (1:11)) So if Paul is quoting Hosea in context and contrasting Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 9:24) using Hosea 2:1-2 (1:10-11) then the "Jews" of Rom. 9:24 are the "Childern of Judah" of Hosea 2:2 (1:11) and the "Gentiles" of Rom. 9:24 are the "children of Israel" of Hosea 2:1 (1:10). If this is true then as this contrasting pair advances into Rom. Chapter 11 the two trees are the two Houses.
Now the uncultivated olive tree in Romans 11 is clearly therefore Ephraim and the cultivated olive tree is clearly that of Judah. This prophecy tells us that branches from the tree/stick of Ephraim will be broken off and grafted into the tree/stick of Judah, are to be fed by the root of the tree/stick of Judah and are not to boast against the natural branches (Jews)."
The House of Judah is the cultivated olive tree that Ephraimite branches are being grafted into.
Judaism is the one true faith that was once and for all time given. Messiah did not come to create a new religion whether Christian or a new Ephraimite religion. Messiah came to be the Messiah of Judaism.
Many of those of Ephraim and the Gentiles being drawn to Torah truth and taking hold of Judah are being troubled by those wishing to discourage them from geing grafted into Judah. These would have Ephraim return to the initial Ephraimite error of creating an Ephraimite faith apart from Judah and Judaism.
As you know this ministry has been under attack from the Oppressor. For those who do not know, my wife Inga ("Kitty") was rushed to the emergency room (Harris HEB) Sunday afternoon.
As some of you may know, back in July my wife had a rare gall bladder issue. Her gall bladder had fused to her intestine and a gall stone had worn a hole through, connecting the two. The stone went into her intestine, traveled down a ways and lodged creating a blockage. In July that blockage had to be removed surgically. At that time they left the gall bladder in, because, for reasons to long to explain here, it was the best thing to do at the time. We knew there was a chance that she would have further complications and have to have it removed later, and it now appears that was the case. She had to have a major surgery Tuesday afternoon because the gall bladder was fused to an important and irreplaceable part of the small intestine. It required two surgeons working together and took nearly three hours, as some reconstruction of this key part of the small intestine was required. .... it was be a delicate surgery. She had to have a very large incision and she will
have a long road to recovery. We are expecting to be in the hospital for another five days (maybe more). And then several weeks of recovery at home,
I have been by her side at the hospital since Sunday. I have brought several books and a laptop to the hospital, and so the work continues while I am there.
This is not a time that I need to be worried about ministry funds.
This has created some additional expenses for us at a time when we can least afford it.
And if you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work, now is the time!
Is this work worthy of your support? What other ministry provides this kind of teaching?
What other ministry is reaching the Jewish people with Messiah and the world with Torah like this ministry is?
Now is time to step up to the plate!
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