Shalom-Shalom. Peace in the name of Yeshua. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program. Today is the first day of the week, Sunday, May 6. And we are going to go ahead and start the program with prayer.
We thank You for being God, the King of the Universe, and King over heaven and earth. All the kingdoms of the world belong to You. There is none above you in mercy, compassion, or love.
We thank You that today we have the freedom to proclaim Your name on the airways. I am not sure how long that will last, but we will teach while we have opportunity.
I confess the sins of this nation before You, Father, abortion, child molestation, child sacrifice, murder, adultery, idolatry, fornication, zoophilia, witchcraft, charismatic witchcraft, drug addiction, human trafficking, hatred, obsession with self-gratification. We are a hard hearted people, we ask that You would remove the stony places from out of our hearts, and replace our hearts with hearts of flesh that are flexible, hearts that would desire You and Your ways.
Remove the scales from our eyes and open our ears that we may see You and hear you; help us to practice Your teachings of righteousness and justice.
We pray our president that you will give him Your wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We ask you to protect him, his wife, and his children. We pray for Israel. We pray that You would convict them by Your Holy Spirit, and their Arabs neighbors. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Amen
We are still in the days of the counting of the Omer and today makes Day 37 of the Counting of the Omer. Christians will observe the feast of Pentecost May 20th, and the Jews will observe the Lord’s feast of Pentecost, or Shavuot on May 19th.
We will do a brief summary of last week’s program on the Omer. The Omer follows the Lord’s feast of Pesach, or Passover, and concludes at the Lord’s feast of Shavuot, what we call Pentecost fifty days later.
The Lord instructed Israel in Leviticus 23:15 to count 7 weeks from the Barley Harvest to Shavuot, or Pentecost which is the wheat harvest. At the completion of Shavuot to have a wave offering of two loaves of bread, and of course, these two loaves of bread represent the House of Israel and the House of Judah. We would know the two loaves as the House of the Gentiles and the House of the Judah.
Before the Lord’s instruction given on the counting of the omer in Leviticus 23, the history of the counting of the Omer is said to have begun when the Hebrews left Egypt.
The sages teach (in the Midrash Rabbah), when the Israelites left Egypt, Moses told them that in 49 days they would receive the Torah.
After having been slaves in Egypt, the people were so excited at the prospect of this spiritual emancipation that they kept a count of the passing of days ending with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
I ended the program comparing some of Exodus with Yeshua’s post-resurrection appearances to the women folk, to His disciples, and to 500 at His ascension.
Today we will examine the two loaves of bread offered on the day of Pentecost, or Shavuot. It is the fulfillment of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Shavuot on both Jew and Gentile. Leviticus 23:15-17
And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; and you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They shall be firstfruits to the Lord.
So, in this passage, the Hebrews have one offering of two loaves of wheat bread. These two loaves of bread represent Gentiles and Jews being waved before the Lord at Pentecost as one offering; they make an offering of two loaves at Pentecost; and this one offering of two loaves is symbolic of them becoming one new man as it states in
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Notice that it says that being a Gentile is something that is considered to “in time past” but now gentiles who are in Messiah are no longer strangers; and Paul makes it clear in the next verse:
- wherefore remember that you, being in time past Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—12. that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
- For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15. having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, thus making peace
- and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And he came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Isn’t that interesting? So, years ago, God had a mysterious plan to bring the Gentiles in with the Jews and together form one new man under the blood of the Yeshua; to end the enmity or hatred between the Jews and Gentiles.
When Paul says this verse 14: For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
This wall of separation was the prejudices the Jews had against the Gentiles. Paul was a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, from the tribe of Benjamin, and none was more zealous (enthusiastic) than he when it came to the oral law and the Torah; and certainly before his conversion thought of the Gentiles as unclean.
There was also a physical wall that separated the Gentiles from the Temple in Jerusalem. The International Standard Bible encyclopedia reads:
In the year 1871, while excavations were being made on the site of the temple by the Palestine Exploration Fund, M. Clermont-Ganneau discovered one of the pillars which Josephus describes as having been erected upon the very barrier or middle wall of partition, to which Paul refers. This pillar is now preserved in the Museum at Constantinople and is inscribed with a Greek inscription in Capital or uncial letters which is translated as follows: NO MAN OF ANOTHER NATION TO ENTER WITHIN THE FENCE AND ENCLOSURE ROUND THE TEMPLE, AND WHOEVER IS CAUGHT WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME THAT HIS DEATH ENSUES.”-ISBE, “Partition, the Middle Wall of”
This barrier was set up in the court of the Gentiles so that they would not enter through the gates into the holy areas of the Temple. This court of the Gentiles was where the oxen, sheep, and doves were sold and the tables of the money changers were overturned by Yeshua:
So they came to Jerusalem. Then Yeshua went into the Temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the Temple, and overturned the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares (Temple vessels through the Temple: He tried to stop the sacrifices) Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of thieves.’” So, this was God’s will to include the Gentiles in serving Him at His house, the Temple. Mark 11:15-18 and the gospel of John chapter 2: 13-16. I was listening to Rabbi Judah and he said the possibility was that every time Yeshua went to the Temple he would whip the money changers and drive them out from the Temple.
Acts 21:27-32, reports that a Jewish mob nearly killed Paul because they thought he had taken a Gentile past the barrier that had been built to keep the Gentiles out.
Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on Paul (Sha’ul), crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.
Okay, so back to Ephesians 2:15, and this passage is the passage where two loaves become one offering
- having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, thus making peace
Now you have to be really careful with the portion that says: the law of commandments contained in ordinances. This does not mean that Torah is abolished. Yeshua said He did not come to destroy Torah but to fulfill it (meaning he came to give perfect, or complete, interpretation of the Laws or Torah). The death of Yeshua does not do away with the Torah, or the prophets, but with enmity from grievances of separate parties who love the same God.
It seems like strange language in verse 15; the law of commandments contained in ordinances . . .
The Jerusalem Bible has it translated this way: destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the law
3551 Nomos- LAW-to parcel out through the idea of prescriptive usage also of the gospel a principle
1378 COMMANDMENTS –Doctrine is dogma a law ceremonial ecclesiastic decree, to be of opinion an opinion expressed with authority
1785 entole ORDINANCES–authoritative prescription, injunction, the law containing the precepts a general rule to regulate behavior or thought
I broke it down and so here is the new format: the Teachings of God that are fundamental, and ceremony given by opinion of those that are in authority, to regulate behavior or thought.
That is as elementary as I can make it.
So, what I am thinking is this: Those in authority 2500 years ago had followed certain rituals that evolved from scriptures. But the scripture, the purity of it, became eventually lost to the traditions that evolved from it. That is not the fault of the scripture; it is the fault of human opinion, interpretation and observance.
The Jews looked at the Gentiles with disdain and the Gentiles looked at the Jews with contempt, but Yeshua is looking at us both as one new man; the one offering of two loaves on Pentecost. The scripture said in Leviticus 23:17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves.
It is up to us to agree with Yeshua and see ourselves as an offering along with the Jews and vice-versa. That is the plan from the beginning. We are a grafted in people to Israel—not the other way around Romans 11.
I am at the end of the program. I tried to squeeze as much understanding in this as I could. If it be God’s will I will teach next Sunday and in the mean time, have a blessed week. Ask God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness every day. Keep your spiritual garments clean from blemishes, spots and wrinkles; walk by faith and not by sight; love God, love your neighbor.
The Temple was for all nations. And there are other challenges for instance the Jews consider themselves of a special status being the chosen people to have received the Torah on Mt Sinai. There is this Jewish pride at being chosen. Gentiles resent that pride.
There is also Gentile envy and hatred of the Jews. There has been circulated for years a perverse teaching called replacement theology, where the church is supposed to have replaced Israel. The nations and churches have worked diligently through the years to destroy the Jews thinking to erase them they can replace them. The words are blunt but history is history and it has a most bloody past.
There is a mutual dislike of each other’s customs. This is a common cause of friction between cultures, but in this instance, Jewish customs are different for a unique reason. They did not merely evolve; rather they were the Jewish people’s response to the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. And I say this in their observance of the Lord’s feasts, their purity laws, they eat kosher foods, wearing tallit, their day of worship is Friday evening to Saturday evening. So, different cultures sometimes resent people following that close to Torah.
So, what verse 15 is saying is that Christ put to death the friction of these culture clashes, that the Jews should accept the Greeks that loved God and teach the Greeks, or the Gentiles, the ways of God. The Greeks, or Gentiles, have God’s permission to observe all the ordinances of the Torah, as well, as the Jews.
In Isaiah 6:5
“Woe is me, for I am undone!”
Jew and Gentile are equally undone before the Messiah. Jew and Gentile have to meet at the same place—the foot of the cross.