John 2:12-25, “After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
13Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
18So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19Yeshua answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple [it has been 46 years SINCE this Temple building project began in 32 BCE], and will You raise it up in three days?”
21But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Yeshua had said.
23Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24But Yeshua did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”
Were Yeshua’s disciples saved? I believe so. Why? Because they believed the written Word of Yahweh and the spoken, or rhema, Word of Yeshua. They believed the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. They believed the Old Testament prophets and the fulfillment of those prophecies, Yeshua the living Word of Yahweh. They believed in the Old Covenant kingdom of Israel and the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by Yeshua.
Were the crowds saved? Hard to say, they believed in the outward signs of Yeshua and in His name. But Yeshua did not commit to them, because they did not believe the whole of Scripture, the Old and the New. We know Yeshua was committed to His disciples and they were committed to Him. They each gave their lives for the other. The crowd just wanted to be around the glitter and glamour of a charismatic person. Make no mistake, Yeshua is not committed to the mob, or the crowd, but only to a few disciples. Are you one of the called and chosen few?
Jews today believe the Old Covenant, the Tanach, but reject the New Covenant. Christians today believe the New Covenant in the blood of Yeshua, but reject the rules of the Kingdom found in the Old Covenant. How do Christians expect to live in the Kingdom of Yahweh for all eternity without knowing the rules, or Torah, of that Kingdom? That could be a tough row to hoe.
So tonight we begin to celebrate Shavuot, with the waving of the two leavened loaves, which represent sin-laden Judah and Ephraim (the lost 10 tribes, Gentiles, including believers in Yeshua). Ephraim and Judah, though brothers in the same Kingdom, are still at enmity with each other. The Feast of Shavuot reminds us of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and also of the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Both happened at Shavuot, Pentecost. The Old and New Covenants come together at Shavuot. Being leavened bread, neither Jew nor Ephraimite can be offered up as a burnt offering to Yahweh. Lev. 2:11-12, “No grain offering which you bring to Yahweh shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to Yahweh made by fire. As for the offering of the firstfruits, you shall offer (wave) them to Yahweh, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma.” In ourselves, we’re not acceptable to Yahweh. Thank Yeshua, that through His blood, we both can now come into the presence of Yahweh. We can sing and dance and worship before Yahweh as sin-ladened bread, but we can only enter into His presence and minister to Him as sinless holy people.
The two leavened loaves remind us that Judah and Ephraim are still separated by our sin, but through following the written and spoken word, we can become one in Yahweh’s hand, as Ezekiel described in Eze. 37:16-22, “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
18“And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’—19say to them, ‘Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
21“Then say to them, ‘Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.”; John 10:16, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” How will we become one in His hand? By repenting, by forgiving each other, by joining together in the One Covenant of Yeshua.
Yeshua is returning to earth soon to establish His kingdom on this planet. It will be comprised of Jews and Ephraimites, including those sojourning with each. The disciples of Yeshua understood that Yeshua fulfilled the Scriptures and spoke words that completed the Torah of the Old Covenant. So now we have the completed whole of Scripture, the Old and New Covenants, or Testaments. Now, we have two main houses in the church of Yahweh, the house of Judah and the house of Ephraim, including the sojourners in each house. These two houses will become one house through the restoration of all things that Yeshua brings. We need to be praying and working toward the same goal that Yeshua is working towards. It’s time to learn to love all of Yahweh’s people, Jew and Ephraimite, and their sojourners. Shavuot provides us that great opportunity to show the love of Yeshua to our fellow man. Don’t miss out. It’s Yahweh’s feast. Leviticus 23:1, “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
One Mighty One, one house, one covenant, one Shepherd, one feast on one day. . .the fiftieth day, sundown May 26 through sundown May 27, 2012, which ends the Passover season.
Gene Benjamin II
May 26, 2012 CE