Having a solid foundation is crucial, but when it comes to foundations, it’s more than just about having a solid foundation. From an engineering perspective, you can have a strong, solid foundation, but if that foundation is not properly aligned, even if it is a few feet off to the left or right, it is wrong.
This is why so many people today, maybe even yourself, miss some important truths in the Bible. It’s also why two people can read the same verse and one see it clear as day, “See, we should be keeping Torah,” but the other has an entirely different take on it. How we interpret scripture is based on our foundation. If we allow doctrines of men to invade a biblical foundation, even if our foundation remains strong, it’s still going to be wrong. However, if we only hold onto biblical truths and let the Bible interpret itself then our foundations will not only be strong, but they will be properly aligned as well.
The modern Christian view is that Y’shua (Jesus) came to put an end to the Old Covenant and set up the New Covenant. In doing so, he opened up the New Covenant to Gentiles, which does not contain all the rules and regulations found in the Old Covenant that most people call the Law or Mosaic Law. Of course, there are varying views, but this is the foundation that most all Christian denominations are built on. Let’s test this foundation to see if it is properly aligned with scripture.
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands,
Here we see Paul make it clear that he is talking to people who were “once Gentiles” who were known as ‘the uncircumcision.’ We should point out a proper biblical definition of a gentile. One of the Hebrew words for Gentile is Strong’s H1471 gowy, it is defined as a nation, people (usually of non-Hebrew people) the Greek word for Gentile is Strong’s G1484 ethnos, defined as foreign nations not worshiping the true God, pagans, Gentiles. The word nations is a more accurate translation of the Hebrew and Greek words used for Gentile. For a more in-depth study on Gentile and other important Biblical words, please visit our Definitions Page. So what Paul is saying is that these people were once not in covenant with YHWH but now they are! It’s also important to understand that some of these Gentiles were once part of Israel and were under the covenant (the ten tribes that were divorced by YHWH see Jeremiah 3:8), and others had never been part of Israel.
Ephesians 2:12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without God in the world.
These people were excluded from citizenship in Israel and were strangers to the covenants of promise. Paul is talking about the covenant made with Israel as YHWH led them out of Egypt and bondage.
Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Messiah Y’shua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, and to completely restore to favor both of them unto God in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it.
We could write a separate resource just on these four verses, but the point these verses are conveying is Y’shua fulfilling prophecy (see Jer. 23:3; Isa. 11:11-12, 16; Jer. 31:7-8; 32:37). This is speaking of the scattered tribes and how Y’shua’s death and resurrection paved the way for the lost tribes to return to and once again have access to the promises of the covenant made with Israel.
Ephesians 2:17-18 And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near. Because through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
The Good News is that these scattered tribes that YHWH divorced, who were far off and considered Gentiles (of the nations and not in covenant with YHWH), can now come back into covenant.
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim,
These Gentiles are NO longer Gentiles, but are now fellow citizens with the set-apart one’s (those from the Southern Kingdom who were not divorced by YHWH) and are now members of the household of YHWH, or Israel. Not part of something new called the Church.
Ephesians 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Y’shua Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in YHWH, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
These verses make it clear that Gentiles, both those who were not part of Israel and those who were divorced, are now able to come into the fold and be YHWH’s people (Israel) and have access to the promises of being under that covenant.
Let’s take a look at Romans 11 where Paul talks about being grafted into the olive tree.
Romans 11: 17-24 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them, and came to share the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. And if you boast, remember: you do not bear the root, but the root bears you! You shall say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Good! By unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by belief. Do not be arrogant, but fear. For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, He might not spare you either. See then the kindness and sharpness of Elohim: on those who fell sharpness, but toward you kindness, if you continue in His kindness, otherwise you also shall be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for Elohim is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Paul uses an analogy to describe what is going on. The Olive tree represents Israel. The root of the tree is Y’shua, and the branches are those of us who are in covenant with YHWH. Paul explains that YHWH cut off some of the natural branches (the tribes that He divorced) and grafted in wild olive branches (former Gentiles) into the original tree (Israel). This is contrary to what most Christians believe. Most believe that Y’shua came and established the Church and that it is different from Israel, and that the Jewish people have to accept Y’shua and become Christians in order to be saved. Paul did not teach this, as we can see from his Olive tree analogy. Believers are grafted into Israel, and the covenant made with them has never been done away with. Paul also makes it clear that grafted in believers should not be prideful, because if YHWH cut off some of the natural branches (because they did not keep his commandments) then surely He would have no problem cutting off the grafted in branches.
Paul describes Israel as an olive tree and talks about how some branches (the ten tribes divorced by YHWH) were cut off (because of disobedience to the terms of the covenant by not following His commandments), and wild olive branches were grafted into Israel. He then talks about how the branches that were cut off can also be grafted back in if they believe (in Y’shua and what He did on the stake for their sins). If they are grafted back into the original tree, the same olive tree that the Jewish people were never cut off from, and the same tree that former Gentiles are grafted into, then it doesn’t make much sense to separate Israel and the Church into two distinct brides with two different sets of rules. Everyone is part of the same Olive Tree, which is and always has been Israel.
Let’s look at Romans 7 which reveals more context about what we just looked at in Romans 11.
Romans 7:1-4 Or do you not know, brothers – for I speak to those knowing the Torah – that the Torah rules over a man as long as he lives? For the married woman has been bound by Torah to the living husband, but if the husband dies, she is released from the Torah concerning her husband. So then, while her husband lives, she shall be called an adulteress if she becomes another man’s. But if her husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah, so that she is not an adulteress, having become another man’s. So my brothers, you also were put to death to the Torah through the body of Messiah, for you to become another’s, the One who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to Elohim.
Right off the bat let’s point out that Paul very clearly states that he is speaking to people who “know the Torah.” He’s telling his readers that if they do not know the Torah then what he is about to say will probably not make much sense to them. Paul is using an analogy of marriage to explain what Y’shua did. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was divorced by YHWH because they committed adultery by whoring after other God’s (II Kings 17). According to Torah (Deut. 24), if a man divorces his wife, he cannot remarry her if she marries another man. YHWH divorced the Northern Kingdom, so the only way for them to come back into covenant was for YHWH to come in the flesh (Y’shua) and die so that the lost tribes could come back. Paul is using the analogy of a marriage and the Torah instructions concerning divorce and adultery to let these people know that the Good News is that they can come home.
Some people try to twist these scriptures and say that Paul is stating that the Torah no longer applies to Gentile believers. There are two major problems with this line of thinking. First, Gentile believer is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a Gentile believer. A Gentile is someone who is of the nations and NOT in covenant with YHWH. Secondly…there is some truth to the idea that Torah does not apply to Gentiles. It never did. Torah was given as the instructions for those who wish to be in covenant with YHWH. It was never given to Gentiles, so the question is… If Torah has no dominion over Gentiles…when did it ever? How are Gentiles freed from something that never applied to them? How can Gentiles be delivered from something that was never given to them?
Not even the Ten Commandments were given to Gentiles…they were given to Israel, along with all the other commandments, statutes, and ordinances given by YHWH. It’s always been about Israel. Israel is YHWH’s covenanted people, not Christians, Jews, Catholics, Baptist, or any other of the nearly 40,000 denominations. It’s always been and always will be about Israel. If you’re not part of Israel…how can you be delivered from something that never applied to you?
The plan has always been for YHWH to have one bride, Israel. Not two brides with two separate sets of rules. Our households have rules that we have laid out for our children. If we were to adopt other children into our families, the same rules that apply to our natural born children would also apply to the adopted ones. Why would we require our natural born children to follow one set of rules, but not require the adopted ones to follow them? Once they are grafted into our family…the same rules would apply to everyone whether natural born or not. It’s the same with YHWH. He has one set of rules for anyone who wants to be in covenant with Him (Exodus 12:49, Num. 15:29).
If your foundation is not correctly aligned, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into the building, it’s never going to be right. Let us rephrase that. If your understanding of the bible is not based on proper biblical understanding, it doesn’t matter how much you read and study the Bible, your interpretation is never going to be right. The idea that Israel or the Jews had their chance and blew it, and now YHWH’s chosen people are the Christian Church is not backed up by scriptural facts. This belief has caused many to have a foundation that is not correct.
Israel is YHWH’s chosen people, not the Church. From the beginning of the book till the end it has always been about Israel. Not the land of Israel, but the people known as Israel. People who are in a covenanted relationship with him, whether natural born or those of us who are grafted in. So the question is not “Are you a Christian?” The question is, “Are you Israel?”
For more information on who Israel is, who the Jewish people are and who Torah applies to, please read Who Are the Jews and is Torah just for them.
For more information on the covenants, please read Are We Under a New Covenant.
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