Conversion is a hot topic between Jews and non-Jews, AKA the ‘House of Israel’, ‘Gentiles’, Noahides and some other titles. The conversion pipeline is full and running both ways. Jews are converting non-Jews to Judaism and non-Jews are converting Jews to various forms of Christianity. Is this kosher?
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THE CONVERSION TEETER TOTTER
By Kimberly Rogers-Brown
Conversion is a hot topic between Jews and non-Jews, AKA the ‘House of Israel’, ‘Gentiles’, Noahides and some other titles. The conversion pipeline is full and running both ways. Jews are converting non-Jews to Judaism and non-Jews are converting Jews to various forms of Christianity. Is this kosher?
Sometimes it seems like it’s “Jew hunting” season among non-Jews. Christians and non-Christian/non-Jews alike delight in bagging themselves a Jew! The bigger the better, of course, like a 10-point buck. I’m surprised people don’t take their bagged Jew to the taxidermist instead of church.
Missionary Jews, too, enjoy the hunt and have bagged non-Jews to Judaism as they escape the Church. The problem with this is that the Jews must first convince their prospect that Yeshua is neither divine or the Messiah. Judaism has the widest acceptance of every religious idea. There are even synagogues for atheists, but they cannot, and will not, allow a person to convert to Judaism without first denying Yeshua. It’s a ‘Peter’ moment. Three encounters with a Rabbi who specializes in missionizing Christians may be all it takes for that believer to deny Yeshua in order to make Aliyah. And Aliyah is the carrot on the stick.
Neither side’s conversion tactics are pretty. Nor are they necessary. In fact, conversion in both directions is a dangerous gambit. One man I know, who converted to Judaism, is now disillusioned to find that the rules laid on him by his Rabbi are not kept by his Rabbi. That is only the beginning of his complaints.
I know another convert who missionizes Christians – no one is better at this than a convert. This man presents himself with ferociousness that I believe belies his regret over his decision. He is sometimes mean-spirited when his Christian prospect is uncooperative with his missionary efforts. With me, he reverted – LOUDLY- to the Christian threat of ‘hell’ if I didn’t convert. He wasn’t counting on that I had dumped that particular false doctrine and was not fazed by it.
Yes, I have experience with the conversion pipeline. Sometimes I imagine people waving at each other as they move along inside the underground tunnel from one sheep pen to the other.
The main point to remember is that conversion has to do with religious ideology. YHVH does not advocate religion. People create religions. YHVH advocates covenants, agreements between Himself and His chosen people. That is what today’s broadcast is about.
Who are YHVH’s chosen people? Almost everyone will answer that question by saying, “The Jews!” But they are wrong.
WHO ARE YHVH’S CHOSEN PEOPLE?
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Jacob had twelve (12) sons that became twelve (12) tribes, patriarchs, of YHVH’s people group which was named after Jacob’s spiritual name, Israel.
Gen 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
Act 7:8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
The history of these tribes is long and complicated. This was, and still is, a dysfunctional family of Hebrews, people who came from and were connected to YHVH through Abraham.
YHVH made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 when he questioned God about how the promise of a son and descendants to inherit the Promised Land would be fulfilled. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was barren. The only possible inheritor of his property was his servant Eliezer.
To this point, God’s promises had only been spoken. But now was the time when YHVH would make His promises legal by drawing up a formal agreement, a covenant, as such were accomplished in the ancient Near East.
Sacrificial animals were split in half and laid open. This left a path for both parties to walk through to indicate their willingness to die horrible deaths if the covenant was broken. This was a common covenant in the ancient Near East. It was called the “covenant of the pieces”.
Abraham, though, did not get to walk through for his part. He was put to sleep by God who proceeded to walk through the pieces on behalf of Himself and Abraham’s descendants. This God that walked through those pieces is none other than Yeshua. Here is the beginning of Israel, the Hebrew people, and the everlasting covenant of Abraham.
The first time the descendants of Abraham broke covenant with YHVH was at the golden calf incident. Things went downhill from there until ten of the Tribes were finally carried away into Assyrian captivity.
2 Kings 12 tells the account of how those ten Tribes found themselves being carted out of the Promised Land and into Assyria. It all starts with a split in the Kingdom like the split in Abraham’s sacrificial animals.
When Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son and successor, was crowned, Jeroboam met with him as a representative for the ten northern Tribes over a particular issue.
1Ki 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
The grievous burden was heavy taxation of all Israelite Tribes. Rehoboam’s ultimate response was to threaten the tribes with an even bigger tax burden. The northern tribes seceded from the “United Kingdom of Israel” and made Jeroboam their first king (1Ki 12:20).
Jeroboam was an evil king who led the people into idolatry with two golden calves. The Northern Kingdom went into Assyrian captivity in 721 BC as punishment by YHVH. This was not just exile. These tribes were cut off from the covenants of Abraham and Moses.
Jer 3:8 I saw that even though I had sent unfaithful Israel away for all her adulteries and had given her a divorce decree, her treacherous sister Judah didn’t fear, and she, too, committed adultery.
The composition of the two Kingdoms was as follows:
In the South –
1Ki 12:20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
1Ki 12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
1Ki 12:23 Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people…
2Ch 15:9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
The Southern Kingdom, also called the “House of Judah” in scripture, was comprised of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, some who were faithful to YHVH from the Northern Tribes (though not a minion, meaning not enough of them to be counted as tribes within the Southern Kingdom) and the Levites.
The Levites are not mentioned here because they do not receive a land inheritance, a territory, per the Torah because YHVH is their inheritance (Deu 18:1-2). But the Levites are listed with Judah in Babylon and after they returned to the Land.
Ezr 1:5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.
Neh 11:36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
In the North were all the other Tribes. They became known as the “House of Israel, Ephraim(ites), the “Northern Kingdom” and the “House of Joseph”.
Jeroboam’s rebellion resulted in Rehoboam’s intent to go to war against Jeroboam, but YHVH stopped him (1Ki 12:24). The fractured Kingdom is still suffering from this split. The two factions have been at war ever since, over 2,737 years to date.
The scattered House of Israel began its exile in Assyria, but the tribes assimilated into the Assyrian culture. When the Assyrians were conquered by Babylon, the people scattered throughout Asia Minor, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Among the Assyrians being scattered was a heavy population of Hebrews, the House of Israel, who forgot their heritage and began to call themselves ‘Gentiles’.
It is from this context that Judaism and Christianity were both born. Judaism did not exist as a culture or religion until after the Kingdom split. In fact, it was not until the Jews were in Babylonian captivity.
Judaism is weighed down, as a religion, by cultural context and traditions that are viewed as superseding the Law of Moses. The Jews developed their culture around the Temple with its functions and services, and the Sanhedrin’s rulings, and the voluminous commentaries written by Rabbis. Today, Judaism is a complicated religion, something that YHVH did not create. He made it simple and easy to follow Him. Man makes it complicated and difficult.
Christianity is a manmade creation, too, bearing no resemblance to the actual covenants in practice, but in name only. Religious elements are not from Abraham or Moses, but from ancient Babylon and Egypt. The Constantine church kept the brand name: Yeshua or, later, Jesus. Everything else is a fraud within which are trapped House of Israel descendants who believe they have returned to Abraham, but who, in reality, have not. Abraham was not in the practice of incorporating any other religious observances surrounding him in his day into his worship of God. Moses strictly prohibits God’s people from worshipping Him as the nations do. But then, Christianity makes no bones that the Mosaic Law is null and void for Christians.
The Jews are not the entirety of YHVH’s chosen people. His chosen is all Israel, all twelve tribes. The fact that the Jews claim to be the sum total of God’s chosen is the foundation of their Replacement Theology that was in place long before Christianity created its Replacement Theology.
Jewish Replacement Theology uses anachronism as its tool to make this claim. What is anachronism? Appropriating something to a period other than that in which it exists. Every time a Jew says, ‘Abraham was the first Jew’, the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai (and leave out mention of all of the other tribes), that Israel is a Jewish nation and appropriate the term ‘House of Israel’ only as being Jewish when scripture indicates clearly that the common usage of the ‘House of Israel’ is a reference to the ten Northern Tribes that were divorced, they are practicing and reinforcing their Replacement Theology.
Christians claim that Israel, meaning the Jews, were replaced by the Church. Thus, continues the fight between these two religions as they vie to steal people away from each other as if believers constitute trophies.
Christian Replacement Theology damaged us while we were inside the Church and holding onto it as dogma continues to damage us along with damaging our relationships with the Jews, our brethren.
Yeshua told a story, a parable, that I will paraphrase hoping you get the point.
There is a House. In it lives a Father and a Son. Every day, the Son goes to work in the Father’s fields. One day, while he was out working, his younger brother, whom he had not thought of in a very long time, approaches. Before the brother even gets to the door of the House, the Father sees His Son and comes out to meet him. The Son asks for forgiveness for squandering his fortune. He tells his Father he only wants a place as a servant because he knows His Father’s servants live better than he had been. He came from the pig pens and squalor.
The Father not only welcomes him, but forgives him, puts a robe around him, sandals on his feet, and a ring on his finger, then tells the servants to kill the fatted calf because there will soon be a big celebration.
In the meantime, in the middle of the celebration, the older brother nears the House only to hear music. When he gets inside, he sees dancing. Looking around, he is shocked to see his evil younger brother is there and dismayed that the Father has so easily forgiven him for being so dastardly. Not only that, the Father is throwing a party to celebrate the brother’s return. The older brother is understandably incensed.
The Father tells him, “Son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours”, and encourages him to rejoice that his lost brother has returned.
That is a paraphrase of the Luke 15:11-32 passage. Let’s now look to see how Christian Replacement Theology changes this story.
Everything in the story is the same until right after the Father puts the robe on his younger son, sandals on his feet and the ring on his finger. As soon as this happens, and the son has these items in his possession, he hurriedly removes some of the furniture from the House, rearranges what he decides to keep and locks the doors.
The locked doors make the older brother very upset when he comes in from the field. Where is the Father? Well, the younger brother has hog-tied Him and put Him in a back bedroom, gagged and bound, so the he doesn’t have to hear his Father talking about the House rules all the time!
The older brother is angry now and wants to kill the younger brother to get his Father’s House back. The younger brother calls out to him and says, “If you will convert to doing things my way, you can come in”.
Get the point? This is Christian replacement theology.
Can anyone not see how jumping from one sheep pen to the other is simply to add the problems of the other while hanging onto your own? Let’s see if we can sort out what conversion really is from what it is purported to be from within each error-riddled sheepfold.
Christian doctrine says every believer is mandated to make disciples for Jesus. The Church’s proselytizing effort toward the Jews for the last 1700+ years has been anything but pretty. The Christian Jesus killed them, or chased them all over the planet, for resisting conversion.
Yet, we know that Yeshua gave the Disciples a mandate called “the Great Commission” when He ascended to heaven.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Many other scriptures are given about discipleship, but the command to make disciples starts here so let’s examine what is being said by Yeshua.
It is really simple. He told His Disciples to go to all nations to baptize people and teach them to keep the commandments. Who or what are the nations?
Probably from G1486; a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan): – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.
Are the Jews a “nation” or are they “Hebrews”? The Bible gives only two kinds of humans: Hebrews and Gentiles. Hebrews are YHVH’s people. Gentiles are not. (There is a third category called ‘ger’ or ‘stranger’. A ‘ger’ is one who is in the process of converting from being Gentile to being Hebrew).
The first use of the Hebrew word for ‘nations’ is in Genesis, in the ‘Tower of Babel’ account.
Gen 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
The Hebrew word for ‘nation(s)’ is ‘goy(im)’.
The first use of the word ‘Hebrew’ is also in Genesis.
Gen 14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
A Hebrew is connected to Abraham, the first Hebrew, not the first Jew. Gentiles have no connection to Abraham. Did you notice that the ‘goy’, the Gentiles, are mentioned first? Why would that be?
It is because ‘Hebrews’ are chosen and called to come out of the Gentile population. Abraham was chosen by God to come out of the Gentile population. Yeshua, at the time that He gave the “Great Commission”, was repeating a pattern that He started in the beginning with Abraham. The “Great Commission” was not new. It always was a call to Gentiles to do what Abraham did and convert to being Hebrew. He sent the Disciples to make Hebrews, ‘children of Abraham’, out of the Gentiles.
Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
What kind of judgment will Yeshua bring to the Gentiles?
From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law…
YHVH’s plan is to give His divine law to the nations through the Hebrews who reach out and convert them! These former Gentiles, then, become the spiritual seed of Abraham.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
This was Paul’s message to the ‘ger’ who attended the synagogue in Galatia. Isaiah 42:1 is speaking of how God, Messiah Yeshua, will arrange for all the nations, the Gentiles, to be brought into His Righteous Kingdom.
Now we need to know who Yeshua really came for because it looks like He came for Gentiles, and He did, but there is a caveat to this Gentile population.
Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Yeshua came for His people, lost sheep who are now intermingled among the Gentiles. The shame is that His physical Hebrew people actually believe they are Gentiles. But, Yeshua speaks of having two sheepfolds, one which has sheep that He must also bring.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
When Yeshua said this, He was already in one of His sheepfolds – the House of Judah, or Jewish, sheepfold. He was in Israel. There are lost sheep from another sheepfold that He is also required to bring.
Bring where? Back to the Abrahamic covenant.
Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Psa 105:9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
Psa 105:10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
Psa 105:11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
Psa 105:12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
The House of Israel, and the Gentiles they were mixed with, are brought back to the beginning by Yeshua, to the Abrahamic covenant where they also take delivery of YHVH’s divine law from the Mosaic covenant. How we express our relationship to Abraham, and our citizenship in the Hebrew congregation of Israel, is through circumcision of the body and heart (the inward sign of the covenant) and by obeying the Laws of the Kingdom given by Moses (the outward sign of the covenant).
The covenant made with Abraham was for his descendants, although he will partake of its promise later. Those descendants stood at Mount Sinai and vowed to keep the Laws that are part of the Abrahamic covenant. The Mosaic covenant is a covenant within the context of the Abrahamic covenant. The Law of Moses would not make sense aside from the covenant with Abraham.
So, when Yeshua gives the ‘Great Commission’, after having taught that He came for His lost sheep from the Tribes, He used the word ‘nations’, ‘goy’, also called Gentiles, as the people whom the Jewish Disciples were to go after. Even though the Jewish Disciples witnessed to the Jewish population, that was not their target audience.
God makes the best of everything.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God’s purpose for the split off tribes of the Hebrew congregation of Israel was for them to be scattered and sown as seeds. In other words, seeds must be buried as if dead in order to sprout anew. YHVH scattered the unrepentant House of Israel among the Gentiles of the earth where they could sprout and bring forth a harvest of the nations they are in.
Hos 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
YHVH sowed the House of Israel as seeds among the ‘goy’, the Gentiles, so that He could harvest them and the Gentiles to Himself. Remember, the Gentiles of the earth now include exiled, excommunicated, people with physical DNA and blood ties to Abraham. God has to bring them back as part of his promises to the Patriarchs. He accomplished this through sending His divine Son to the earth to fulfill the promise of the Abrahamic covenant so that all the true Gentiles, those with no physical Hebrew ancestry, could come into the Kingdom with the lost sheep.
Think about the correlation between the split animals at the Abrahamic covenant and the split Kingdom. Yeshua walked through the split pieces in Genesis 15 and later He died to restore a split Kingdom by hanging on the cross, dying a horrible death, to restore that split Kingdom back to the covenant of Abraham. It’s like He healed those animals to restore them to full functionality. The sacrificial animals always represent YHVH’s people. They were cut in half and, when Messiah returns, they will be restored fully whole again and they will have the nations with them.
When YHVH divorced His people, He sealed His fate as the One who must die. That divorce sealed the fate of the ten Tribes who became no longer Hebrews, but Gentiles, for a larger more glorious plan of salvation for the whole world!
CONVERSION BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES
Did Yeshua send His Disciples to the Jews? No. He sent them to the Gentiles. Yet, the Jewish Apostles preached the risen Yeshua’s Gospel to the Jews at the Temple and probably everywhere else, too. Here is what Peter preached to the Jews in the Temple.
Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Act 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
That Peter was preaching is the point here. These were Jews preaching to Jews. Peter preached the same message as Paul regarding the Jewish connection to the covenant of Abraham. The Jews are connected to it by birth.
Nowhere in the New Testament do we find an example of anyone from the returning House of Israel or the Gentiles trying to convert a Jew to believing that Yeshua is their divine Messiah.
We do, however, find some converts attempting to bring Gnosticism and Greek idolatry into the congregations. One such example is in 1 Corinthians 11. Another is 1 Timothy.
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
A controversy has ensued having to do with a woman who was usurping authority over a man.
1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a [the] woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
This is not about all women and how they should behave, but about A woman, the woman, who was perpetrating some sort of bad situation with a particular man in that congregation. From the context, she was likely a Greek woman wearing her finery to the Synagogue and flaunting herself to a particular man in the guise of teaching him something. Paul puts a stop to it because ‘ger’ have no right to teach Jews.
The Jews sought to convert the House of Israel and Gentiles, though.
Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Judaism is wrong on what constitutes salvation. Circumcision is the sign of the covenant of Abraham, but not everyone who bears this sign in his flesh will be saved. That is because salvation comes from having a personal relationship with the God of Abraham that includes “works”, the keeping of the Mosaic Law. Not all Jews have chosen to have a relationship with God, nor do they all keep the Law of Moses. Unless their hearts are also circumcised, they will not inherit the Kingdom.
Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
So, James made a decree.
Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
James’s speech fulfills Yeshua’s requirement about preaching Him to the nations, the Gentiles, and teaching them to keep the commandments.
Paul’s Epistles deal a lot with the Judaizing happening to the ‘ger’, the new converts to the covenant of Abraham. The Books Ephesians and Galatians, particularly, have to do with keeping the two sheep pens separated even though the believers attended the same synagogues.
Paul found it necessary to go to the synagogues in each city to reason with the Jews about allowing the converts to attend Shabbat services, as per James’s edict, and learn from the Law of Moses.
Act 18:19 And he [Paul] came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
He might have been reasoning with the Jews about the divinity of Yeshua, but he almost certainly was also reasoning with them about allowing the converts to attend services.
Although there are no examples of a House of Israel or Gentile ‘ger’ witnessing to a Jew about the need to believe in Yeshua as divine Messiah, there must have been a controversy within the Roman synagogue about this between some of the ‘ger’ and the Jews.
Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Paul would not have needed to bring this up with the grafted in branches, the House of Israel and Gentile ‘ger’ converts, if there had not been a problem. So, how does Paul instruct these converts?
Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they [the Jews] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they [the Jews] are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Paul is talking, not to the Jews of this synagogue, but to the House of Israel and Gentile converts. We know this because “they” refers to Jews in the third person. Let me paraphrase what Paul is telling the new converts in today’s common vernacular, “Come in, sit down and shut up!”.
Paul also makes it clear that the Jews are already in the covenant of Abraham whereas the House of Israel are converted back to it and the Gentile ‘ger’ are entirely new to it.
Nowhere do any of the Apostles teach the House of Israel and Gentile converts to preach Yeshua to the House of Judah, the Jews. That begs the question of ‘why’?
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
1Ch 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
1Ch 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)
All soldiers will understand the concept of a command structure, a chain of command. Judah has the scepter to this day. This tribe is the rightful ruler over the others. Authority always rolls downhill. It never rolls back up the chain of command. Judah rules. Judah is the Kingly Tribe. Those who are of Judah may speak to others of Judah about Yeshua, but no one from the House of Israel, Gentiles, the Noahides, etc. may do so. To do so oversteps our authority. To do so means we are usurping authority.
The Jewish Apostles, then, constantly called to the Jews to believe the truth about Yeshua being their Messiah. And the Jewish Apostles also called to the House of Israel who were among the Gentiles, as instructed by Yeshua.
The hierarchy is like this: The Jews are at the top of the Kingdom structure. The House of Israel is next. The Gentiles follow after.
Yes, there is the doctrine that there is no difference between Jew and Greek, male and female, etc. This is a spiritual application Paul is making to help the Jews and the House of Israel and Gentiles to understand their status before YHVH. But on the earth, and within the Kingdom, there is a structure.
It is a necessary structure. The King of Kings, the Sovereign, is always at the top. Vassal Kings are listed next. The people are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Those people with special offices in the Kingdom may be placed somewhere between the Vassal King and the people.
To this day, the Tribe of Judah is the Tribal authority for all twelve tribes. This is difficult for believers leaving Christianity behind where they learned that the Jews must believe in Jesus, i.e. become Christians.
The Jews were never cut off from Abraham. There is nothing for them to convert to that will lead them back to God in the way that conversion leads the House of Israel back. The Jewish line is unbroken. They have an inherited relationship with YHVH that the House of Israel does not. They don’t have to ask to get back in. It is the House of Israel that must ask to be let back in.
Rom 11:28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they [Jews] are enemies for your sake, but as far as election is concerned, they [Jews] are loved for the sake of their ancestors.
It is wrong-headed, and usurping authority, for a ‘ger’, a Torah returnee, to ask a Jew to convert to something he already has: The Abrahamic covenant and the promised Messiah that comes with that Abrahamic covenant even though he may not believe in the divinity of that Messiah. These already belong to them! Continuing to call the Jews to convert is to continue in the false doctrine of Replacement Theology. Yeshua did not replace the Jews with the House of Israel.
Furthermore, asking a Jew to convert to Christianity in any of its forms is like asking them to begin following Jeroboam. The House of Israel is trying to return from the mess made by Jeroboam. We are in the process of rejecting Jeroboam and all that he stood for, him and his successor evil kings and all of our ancestors who preferred idolatry over righteousness. Let us not put out a call for the Jews to commit such a sin.
The people who do have the authority to call Jews who do not believe in Yeshua are other Jews. Today, they are called ‘Messianic Jews’. These are Jews who believe Yeshua is the divine Son of God. We, from the House of Israel or the Gentile nations, just need to leave this work to them.
Then why do we not convert to Judaism? We are not to convert to Judaism because it is not a pure stream. Paul spent a lot of time talking about this issue. Judaism is religion based on cultural context and traditions. While the basis for these may be Biblical, their application is viewed as superseding the Law of Moses. Whether a believer says the Law is superseded by something else, in this case Rabbinic tradition, or is reduced to ashes, as in Christianity, the point is that neither way is correct or closer to God than the other. We both have elements in each sheep pen that the other needs.
Yeshua called the Jews to return to the pure Torah without the Rabbinical burdens.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The “rest” Yeshua wanted to give His Jewish people was rest from the requirements of Judaism which they called “law”.
Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Luk 11:46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
It is this “law” that Paul separates the new converts from. The difficulty people have understanding what he is saying about the law is that the Greek language only has one word for ‘law’, but Paul speaks of two different laws (in fact, there are more, but we’ll sick with these two). The first is the Law of Moses which he proclaims to be holy, just and good (Rom 7:12). Then there is the ‘law of the Jews’ that includes centuries of understanding about the Law of Moses, some of it good and edifying and some not and burdensome.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Jewish law is different from the Mosaic Law. Again, Jewish law is cultural, built around common national problems both within the land and in exile. Their law, which we should be grateful for, and even study to learn from, kept them together as a culture, allowing them to return to the Land in 1948, a feat never accomplished by any other people in history!
We must drop our “‘House of Israel’, “non-Jew”, “Noahide” or whatever identity we use to try to convert Jews. We must stop trying to force authority that we do not have UP the chain of command!
There are many things we do not have authority to do. We do not get to set the calendar. That right belongs to the Levites and Sanhedrin alone. We are not permitted to manipulate the blood of a sacrifice. The Priests handle the blood after we slay the animal. These are just two of the areas of authority that the House of Israel usurped under Jeroboam and his successive Kings. When we usurp the authority given to Judah or Levi by YHVH we are in direct violation of the covenants of Abraham and Moses.
Even in war, Judah will lead the way in the end of days.
Zec 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
Judah’s bow, the lead war instrument, will be filled with us!
The reason the House of Israel and the Gentiles they are with are able to return to the Abrahamic covenant is because Yeshua fulfilled His promise to die for them if they broke the covenant. And they did.
There are only two kinds of people – Hebrews and Gentiles. Hebrews are not in need of conversion, but Gentiles, the nations, are.
Biblical conversion is not about religions – Christianity vs Judaism – or the House of Israel sheep pen vs the House of Judah sheep pen. It is about the covenants of Abraham and Moses.
The Jewish Hebrew tribes, Judah, Benjamin and Levi, have an unbroken connection to the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants. The House of Israel, all the other tribes, were cut off and need a way to come back.
Neither Judaism or Christianity have pure doctrine. Neither sheep pen is clean. Denying Yeshua’s divinity, and that He is the promised Messiah, in order to jump the fence between the two religions, is of no effect spiritually. It only results in adding baggage to that which you already have. We are all waiting for the Messiah to come and remove our extra baggage, so it makes no sense to take on another culture when there is so much nonsense there and in our own that we will be taking with us when we leap across.
Jewish Disciples are the only ones with the proper relationship to other Jews, and the authority because of this relationship, who have the right to speak to a Jew about Yeshua. A returning non-Jew does not have the authority to bring up the subject about the divinity of Yeshua, much less to try to convert him away from his religion to ours. If a Jew asks you about your belief, feel free to share, kindly, but do not demand that he accept your theology.
Messianic Jews, who believe Yeshua is the divine Messiah, are the only believers who have the right and authority to evangelize Jews. They are today’s equivalent of the Jewish Disciples of the New Testament who preached to the Jews in the Temple.
Those non-Jews who are returning to the Torah are simply to learn the Law of Moses, after which we may go get other non-Jews, but not the Jews.
YHVH’s chosen people is all Israel which has twelve tribes united under one banner, not three tribes, two of which are hidden under the banner of only one – Judah or the Jews. The entire twelve tribes will be restored under Messiah’s banner, not Judah’s.
May we learn to be lights to the world. Remember, lights don’t speak. They shine and dispel the darkness.