One New Man
It is common to hear Y'shua the Messiah referred to as the "Son of God" (and rightly so, except that "Son of Elohim" is more accurate*). But the New Testament says the same thing about Adam. (Luke 3:38)

In fact, Yahshua's favorite title for Himself was "the Son of Man". In Hebrew, that's Ben Adam (as used frequently in Ezekiel). So Yahshua bears a special relationship to Adam.

  "Elohim created Adam in His own image: in the image of Elohim He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:27)

Together they were called Adam even before there was an Eve:

  "Male and female He created them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam on the day in which they were created." (Gen 5:2)

Once He separated them, He intended that they voluntarily come back together into one. (2:24)

This is the history of the world from start to finish, in a nutshell. An Ancient Hebrew conceptualization of creation portrays the Infinite One wishing to share Himself with someone else, but being unable, since He was All there was. So He withdrew a space within Himself that was not Himself (much like a womb), created a universe within it, then injected into it a light that refracted to reveal as much of His nature as can be known by finite beings. (Compare John 1:4-5 and 1:18) This began a pattern of expansion also seen when Eve was separated from Adam. That refracted light is also described as a "body" known as the "Ancient Adam"--mankind, when the image of Elohim was complete.

But not satisfied to be merely His "image", Adam tried to fit into himself what only Yahweh's infinite nature could contain, just as Lucifer had done (Isaiah 14), and the "image of Elohim" shattered like a wineskin that had burst.

Though mankind had forfeited the intimacy Yahweh intended to have with us, He immediately began restoring that "image of Elohim", but meanwhile imposed vicious cycles of laboring and getting nowhere (one theme of Ecclesiastes) to set the stage. He "subjected the whole creation to vanity, in hope [of being] freed from the slavery to corruption, into the glorious freedom of the children of Yahweh." (Rom. 8:20)

Humanity became impatient and tried to unite at the Tower of Babel and break free from Yahweh's "oppressive" limits and "make a name for themselves" (Gen. 11:4)--just as Lucifer had.

Yahweh had told men to fill the whole earth; it was too soon to unite. He said, "'The people are unified; ...nothing that they plan to do will be out of their reach.'" (Gen. 11:6) So He scattered us (expansion again) so we would not be utterly ruined before He could complete the restoration. (Acts 17:26-27) Then, in contrast to Babel, Abraham was given the promise that Yahweh would make a name for him. His obedience of faith began a special counter-history that would come to be called Israel. Yahweh set clear parameters within which His people had to remain so His image could again begin to be seen. He provided the Torah ("instruction") by which order could be held together in a disjointed world.

Isaac Luria, A wise Jewish scholar, wrote, "Woe to the man who sees the Torah as anything more than a garment, and fails to see the Man that lies beneath it." The Hebrew word for "garment" emphasizes that it is something that "takes the shape" of what it fits over. (I.e., it, too, is an "image".) So all the particulars in the Torah are meant to teach us what that "Man" (that image of Elohim) is like. Perhaps he knew Yahshua after all.

When all the tribes of Israel were together at Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah, the reunited image of Elohim did flicker into flame for a moment when the whole nation agreed "with one (united) voice" to obey His commands. (Ex. 24:3) On another occasion, all of Israel was said to "assemble as one man before Yahweh". (Judges 20:1) But these were still mainly previews; the expansion was not yet complete.

After King Solomon's reign, the northern tribes of Israel seceded, but Yahweh said this was from Him. (1 Kings 12:24) The northern kingdom kept the name of Israel, but went off into idolatry, and, for that, was scattered all over the world and mixed with all nations, ceasing to be a nation. But even in the type of punishment He chose, Yahweh had the larger interests of the world in mind. (Rom. 8:28) Afterward, He said, He would reverse the process and make Israel one people again (Hosea 1:9-10)--a contraction following the expansion, like a rubber band.

The southern kingdom (Judah--i.e., the Jews) retained David's throne, the Torah, and the Temple. They lost the Temple, but it was restored after the Babylonian captivity when they repented. When the altar was rebuilt, "the sons of Israel ...gathered together as one man." (Ezra 3:1) Again, when the Torah was read again to those returning from exile, they "gathered as one man". (Neh. 8:1)

At the "fullness of time", the framework for our liberation became complete when Yahshua perfectly kept the Torah and defeated death. A "new man" began to be formed, which would restore the image of Elohim that Adam had failed to maintain. He is called the "second Man" (1 Cor. 15:47), the "Last Adam" (15:45). In Hebrew, "new" and "renewed" are the same, so this "New Adam" is not necessarily a different entity, but a restoration (like the New Moon and the New Covenant)--a "Renewed Adam":

  "As by one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, ... much more did Yahweh's favor and the gift through [His] provision overflow to many through one Man, Yahshua..." (Rom. 5:12-19)

Y'shua is the Head of that restored image of Elohim. In Hebrew, "head" is from the word "first"; the head is the part of the body born first. With His resurrection on the feast of Firstfruits, Yahweh made a down payment guaranteeing that the rest of the "new Adam" would indeed be born:

  "Since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead ... each in his proper order: Messiah the firstfruits, and after that, those who belong to Messiah." (1 Cor. 15:21-23)

But His followers were Jews; the restoration could not be complete without the other, scattered part of Israel returning also. Restoring them in particular was one of the Messiah's jobs (Isaiah 49:6). He said He had come "only for the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matt. 15:24), and He sent His disciples out to finish the job of finding and bringing them back. They did get busy reuniting the Northern Kingdom and Judah into one house (Rom. 14:19), proclaiming that

  "In Messiah Yahshua you who were once far off have been brought near by [His] blood, since He is our peace, who has made both one, having broken down the barrier, having abolished in His flesh the cause of enmity--the rule of commandments through a threat of judgment--so as to create in Himself one new man from the two...and completely restore both of them to favor..." (Eph. 2:13-16)

Like Abraham, those who responded were known as the "Called-out Ones" (ekklesia). They were called out from the Gentile lifestyles they'd assimilated to. If you belong to the Messiah, you are meant to be part of this reconvergence. The "body" of this new Man must "hold fast to the head" (Col. 2:19) in order to finish rebuilding the lost image of Elohim. Part of the process of restoration is taking on the selfless attitude of Yahshua, "who, [though] being in the form [similar to "image"] of Elohim, He did not consider [full] equality with Elohim something to be seized" (Phil. 2:6), as Lucifer, then Adam, had.

But Y'shua had said an enemy would plant false wheat in the Kingdom (Matt. 13:24ff). That counterfeit "man" that had begun at the Tower of Babel never disappeared; it only suffered a setback. Babylon (the Greek form of "Babel") is its head. This "dynasty" continued through the Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires. (Daniel 2:31ff) Rome brought this "mystery Babylon" back into the ekklesia. (Dan. 7:25) So yet another separating out must still occur before there can be a true unification. (2 Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:4) The dragnet has been pulled back in; now it's time to sort out what it has caught. (Mat. 13:47-48)

Many have tried without success to resuscitate the Roman Empire. (Dan. 2:41) But when all is ready, it will be permitted one brief reunification so it can be proven to have "feet of clay". The other side (e.g., the New Age Movement) is again saying they are "gods" in their own right--just what Satan told Eve. (Gen. 3:5; Isaiah 41:23) "Unity" and "peace" are their themes. (Dan. 8:25)

Soon everyone will merge into one or the other. But the counterfeit man will attack the true, and be executed for it, by stoning. (Lev. 24:10ff; Dan. 2:35) Then there will be only one. (Zech. 14:9)

  "Then comes the end, when He delivers up the Kingdom to the... Father, when He has rendered every principality, authority, or power inoperative... When all things are subjected to Him, the Son Himself will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so Elohim may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:24-28)

Y'shua is indeed the "son of Elohim", but that's not where it stops.  Hosea promised the prodigal Northern Kingdom would also one day be called "sons of the living Elohim". (1:10; cf. Heb. 2:10)

Just before His arrest, Y'shua had prayed, "I ask...that they may all be one, even as You, Father, are in me, and I in You--that they also may be in us... The authority which You have given me I have given them, that they may be one, just as we are one, I in them and You in me, so that they may be perfected in unity." (Jn. 17:20ff) We are to become all that he is!

In His Kingdom, the Messiah will be called "Yahweh [is] our Righteousness". (Jer. 23:6) But at that time Jerusalem will also be called by that same name. (Jer. 33:16) Why? Because Jerusalem is His Bride! (Rev. 21:2) The bride takes on her husband's name. The Messiah's Body is also called His Bride. In both metaphors we become one with Him. (2 Cor. 11:2) All the analogies converge--a full reversal of the expansion, except that this time Yahweh has someone to share it with--by drawing us into His unity so we can partake of His nature after all (2 Peter 1:4)--but in His way, not our own.

By looking into the mirror of Torah, we can see our "natural face"--that we are indeed Israel, and what that's supposed to look like--then act accordingly, rather than forgetting what that "Man under the garment" is shaped like. (James 1:23ff) As we recognize the face in that mirror as Yahshua's, we will be changed into the same image! (2 Cor. 3:18) "Now we are called sons of Elohim... but ...when He is made manifest we will be like Him." (1 John 3:2)

Paul called the Galatians "my little children, of whom I labor in childbirth again until Messiah is formed in you..." (4:19) So we, too, need to become that Man--not as individuals, but corporately:

  "Speaking the truth in love, [let us] grow up into Him who is the Head--Messiah--out of whom the whole Body (fitly joined together and united through what every joint supplies, as each part operates to its proper extent) produces growth that lets the Body build itself up--by means of love [commitment]." (Eph. 4:15-16)

We all need so much refining, and it takes a long time to change. How will we ever get to the point of having twelve tribes function together as one unit and move "as one man"? 

The unifying of all Israel won't come about overnight. But it also won't occur by magic. It has to start somewhere. Where? 


An Ideal Training Ground

The practical place to begin is with those with whom you already meet for the Sabbath and festivals--but take it up a notch. 

Just as you can never become great at a sport if you play alone, no one can really practice Torah without other people, especially if you want to receive instruction and feedback for your actions. Community keeps us accountable in a way that is just not possible if we only see each other once a week. If we're only together for Scriptural study on the Sabbath, we won't be able to sharpen one another in the other practical skills that are needed for the job of building a physical nation. 

Functioning as one unit requires getting in order. And as nice as that sounds in theory, anyone who trains children knows that this really only comes about through discipline. Yes, there is self-discipline, but that's the slow road. But look at how quickly an immature youth can become honorable and responsible when he joins the army. The key to that kind of order is being under authority. In other words, we need leaders.

That grates on modern ears. For those used to personal rights, it seems like several steps backward, especially for those who had to break away from the tyranny of the Church. But our goal is not freedom for its own sake, but pleasing YHWH. There's a right context for rules added by men; when they're founded on wisdom, they keep us from even coming close to violating the Torah. If we want to get past a certain point in our walk, there's no choice but to trust YHWH to keep the leaders He's chosen from abusing their position.

"Iron sharpens iron", and there's no faster track to that than community. Becoming "one bread" requires much "grinding" that sets our individual idiosyncrasies straight, keeping us from "majoring on the minors". 

Each local "cell" is small enough to know one another well enough to do that fine-tuning. It gives us a practice-ground in which to make our mistakes early on so we'll be ready when it really counts. 

But these humble beginnings are also prototypes for when we merge into the gathering of all Israel. In ancient Israelite cities, the gate complex was the place where rulings were made on how to apply the Torah to specific situations. By establishing "gates"-particular, cohesive communities--we can start restoring the ancient authority structures around which the Torah was built, so we have a context to live out what would otherwise be abstract commands. It makes our knowledge of the ancient ways practical again. As communities begin to interact with one another, the small beginnings-the "rulers of ten"-can then build back up to the Torah's ideal of rulers over hundreds and thousands--and finally form a single people. 




*It is best to use Hebrew terms to avoid inadvertently having the names of pagan deities on our lips (Exodus 23:13). "God" was not just a generic term but a particular Germanic deity, and it also sounds exactly like the Hebrew "Gad", which means "Luck/Fortune", whom Isaiah 65:11 specifically forbids any connection with.
A Tale of Two Men

Just after YHWH gave Aaron instructions for how to care for the menorah and showbread in the Tabernacle, we read this strange account:

"Now the son of an Israelite woman, being [also] the son of an Egyptian man, went out among the sons of Israel, and a man of Israel and the son of the Israelite woman struggled with each other in the camp... "

This unnamed man had left Egypt along with the Israelites, but he still carried “Egypt” within himself. He ended up reviling YHWH's name, and was sentenced to be stoned to death

The Israelite woman who is called the “mother” of some of YHWH’s people but goes after other lovers shows up again in Isaiah 50:1 and Hosea 2:2. Because of her sin and her children’s, they have to be “put away” from YHWH for a while. Though it was Assyria who took the Northern Kingdom captive, in YHWH’s eyes, they were nonetheless returning to "Egypt"! (Hosea 8:13) So "Egypt" is a code-name for the world system that enslaves us wherever we are.

In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:31ff) we see another image of this “man” who is “stoned to death”. Babylon (the Greek name for "Babel") is the head. The “mystery Babylon” that shows up over and over in Scripture is indeed a continuation of this theme that began with Nimrod’s Tower of Babel, when most of the human race decided to unite against Heaven and “make a name for themselves”. (Gen. 11:4)

In contrast, Abraham is called out from that Babylonian culture and promised that YHWH would make a name for him. Big difference.

Nebuchadnezzar’s image continues through the Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires. Finally Rome blends into the “feet of clay”--the weakness that allows the stone “cut without hands” to topple it. That stone is Israel, which was not made by mankind but by YHWH--a counter-history that will ultimately reclaim what Adam lost.

Wherever there's a counterfeit there must be a “real thing”. Since the fall of Adam, YHWH has been in the business of restoring the true “image of Elohim” in a “second Man” (1 Cor. 15:47), the “Last Adam” (15:45). In Isaiah, we see this poetically and mysteriously prophesied:

 “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the Land be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born all at once? For as soon as Zion went into labor, she bore her children." (Isaiah 66:7-8)

So this "child" is a nation whose "mother" is Zion. The Messiah Yeshua, the head of that restored image, is born in a “daughter of Zion” (Micah 4:8)—an idiom for a suburb of Jerusalem, but in a larger sense this detail is an integral part of this big picture, for the exact spot is at the Tower of the Flock.  

In Hebrew, “head” is related to “first”, because the head is the part of the body born first. With Yeshua’s resurrection on the feast of First Fruits, YHWH made a down-payment guaranteeing that the rest of the “new Adam” would indeed be born also. The “body” of this new man must “hold fast to the head” (Col. 2:19) in order to finish rebuilding the lost image of Elohim. Paul calls the Galatians “my little children, of whom I continue to ‘labor in childbirth’ until Messiah is formed in you...” (4:19)

Another allegory was lived out by Rachel, the ancestress of the Northern Kingdom:

Now they pulled up from Beyth-El, and while there was still a considerable stretch of land to go before they came to Efrath, Rachel went into labor, and had great difficulty in the delivery of her baby. And ...when her labor became most difficult, the midwife told her, ‘Don’t be afraid, because this child is also a son for you!’” (Gen. 35:16-17)

Efrath means “fruitfulness”. So the labor begins while Israel’s fruitfulness is still a long way off, but it is at the very location that Yeshua would be born (35:21) that her story breaks off. It resumes at that very same Tower of the Flock. The Messiah was the man-child brought forth long ago. But the birthpangs are yet to come.

 The apostles were already working to reunite the northern and southern kingdoms. But Constantine seduced the church into resuscitating the pagan empire by granting Gentile believers a legitimacy of their own, and the Kingdom was divided once again. To hide its true agenda, paganism adopted a veneer of Christian terminology, and forged an alliance that parallels the iron mixed with clay in the statue’s toes. Baal’s (a.k.a. Mithras’or Saturn’s) birthday was now called “Christ’s”. Ishtar’s festival was linked with Yeshua’s resurrection just because they sometimes coincide.

The Torah forbids such mixtures: There is to be no cross-breeding of animals. Animal and plant fibers are not to be mixed in the same garment. A field is not to be sown with two kinds of seed (Lev. 19:19). The Northern Kingdom is depicted as “scattered” by YHWH (Hos. 1:4-11); it did mix with the nations (Hos. 8:8). But in Hebrew, "scattered" can also mean “sown”—like seed. In Yeshua’s parable (Matt. 13:28), an enemy comes along after the field is seeded. He adds darnel, a plant that can't be distinguished from wheat until both come to maturity. This is a picture of the hybrid church--part Hebraic/Israelite and part-pagan—a field sown with mixed seed!

As the time draws near for the two houses of Israel to reunite into “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), the counterfeit is keeping pace. The Gospel has been co-opted by Babylon. Little by little the proclamation that there is amnesty for the Northern Kingdom, and that others may join Israel if they so desire, has been watered down to “God loves everyone, whether they obey Him or not.” The Holy Roman Empire was one of the many attempts to rebuild Babel. Many who no longer know Scripture well enough to see any reason for the continued rift are now heeding Rome’s invitation to take advantage of her amnesty and rejoin the “mother church”. 

 Of the counterfeit Messiah who will 
come to the forefront as the counterfeit’s figurehead, Daniel says, “By peace he will destroy many”. (Dan. 8:25) And indeed, everywhere we hear cries for "peace", “unity”, and “universal brotherhood”--a unification on the political level which makes it possible for the “other man” to coalesce.

This “fourth kingdom” (Daniel 2:40) correlates with the fourth beast (Dan. 7:7), who shows up again in Revelation 13 requiring everyone on earth to be branded as part of his system, apart from which no one can buy or sell. But “this calls for the endurance of the holy ones...” (Rev. 13:10; 14:12) Israel is not to be counted among the nations (Num. 23:9)--i.e., not part of this coalition. There is no reason to compromise with Mammon except to ensure our security. But YHWH can provide manna as easily as He did before. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from YHWH’s mouth.” (Deut. 8:3)

Its true colors show up when YHWH starts to apply pressure. It turns on the part of the "church" that prostitutes itself with it. (Rev. 17:16) Then it will so hem in the true Man that it appears that it has all been in vain: “The children have been brought to birth, but there is no strength to bring forth.” (Isaiah 37:3) This is the stage in a woman’s labor where she feels like it is impossible to go on. But YHWH says, “Shall I bring to the birth 

Revelation 12:1 depicts a woman clothed with the sun and a crown of 12 stars. Genesis 37:9-10 identifies the 12 stars as Jacob's 12 sons. So this woman is reunited Israel when she is reunited. After her birthpangs, the dragon tries to destroy her child, but she is sheltered in the wilderness. (Cf. Isa. 26:20) Verse 17 says her seed are those who “keep the commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah.” 

 Both. This is not a forbidden mixture as people on both sides of the fence that exists now might think, but a reconvergence of two components of the same entity which were separated by men, not YHWH. So what is brought forth at the birthpangs is Messiah’s Body, the “one new man” built of two peoples who because of him are no longer estranged (Ephesians 2:19), though he, the Firstfruits, was born earlier.  

A woman in birthpangs has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” (Jn. 16:21) 

It is at this time when Israel is back in the wilderness that the throne will be established. (Isaiah 16:4-5) Both Houses of Israel together will have one shepherd, [the son of] David. (Ezek. 34:23; 37:24) The new man will be complete.

But the birth pangs signal a transition for Babylon also: “They shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman who is giving birth.” But there is really no birth for Babylon. (Isa. 13:8; 26:18) The “image of the Beast” that all mankind is coerced into worshipping is no "man" after all. It is only a projection of haSatan’s wishful thinking. One Hebrew word for “idol” means “a mere image"--something with no relation to reality; it only seems real, taking a grain of truth that YHWH has created, and sponging off it like a parasite. 

"To deceive the many", Satan's counterfeit "man" will probably even say he is “Jesus Christ”. We know he will claim to be God (2 Thess. 2:4), and the entrenched but late Christian doctrine that “Jesus is God” will only make it all the easier for many to buy into his lie. This “different Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4)--the hybrid version "created" by mixing Biblical truth with pagan tradition--is also only a distortion of the true Yeshua, but will finally be embodied in a personality diametrically opposed to him.

Ephraim and Menashe were the sons of Joseph (son of Jacob) and an Egyptian woman. They were mixed, but since their father was an Israelite, they could still inherit as Israelites; the same does not hold true if one’s parentage come from the opposite mixture, as with the man in Leviticus 24. There are some of each (Israel and Egypt) in the church --some who have been exiled there, sown by YHWH, as well as infiltrators, planted there by the enemy.

"Overlooking the times of ignorance", YHWH has allowed much good to be accomplished by His people while they had not yet made a complete break with paganism; He let the wheat and darnel grow together so the good crop was not damaged. (Mat. 13:25-30) But as we approach the end of the Age, the time to draw lines is here. One "man" will soon be all evil, the other all good. (Rev. 22:11) Anyone associated with Babylon at that point will be judged along with her. (Rev. 18:4) Our motives might be impeccable, but we will be found to be building the wrong house--the one built on sand. (Luke 6:49)

Daniel recognized when the time of his exile was due to be up. While others were comfortable in the luxury of Babylon, he took practical steps to in fact bring the exile to an end. Now our exile (that of the Northern Kingdom) is nearly over. It is time to "come out of her, My people” (Rev. 18:4) before the whole world that is under the power of the evil one (1 Jn. 5:19) goes down with the Beast. The church has served as a lifeboat in the 
interim, but it is time to get back to "land" (literally as well)--to being who we were truly meant to be. After twenty centuries, it is time for Jacob to stop building up the household of "Laban", who proves to only want to get rich at our expense, and put our energy into our own people--Israel. (Gen. 30:30)

YHWH has no covenant with the church as such, and certainly not with Babylon/ Egypt/Rome. The New Covenant is only with the House of Judah and the House of Israel. If you are not aligned with one of these, what promise do you have of sharing in it?  

It's time to put away the “hybrid man”, and live as the pure Nation we were meant to be.