7 Scriptural Proofs For Two House (Theology), following up on Zac Bauer

One of the large theological stumbling blocks in Hebrew roots and Messianic circles today is a doctrinal position termed ‘Two House theology.’  It is a topic I have covered on this blog before, but recent conversation has led me to understand that we need to go over it again.  I firmly believe that Scripture, and especially prophecy, cannot be rightly understood until one fully grasps and embraces the Two House position.  That is not to say one cannot be saved, but I do not believe one will understand what is happening and how prophecy is being fulfilled until they fully understand and embrace Two House.

Here is an opening video that will begin our discussion.  Please watch, then read on…

Zac begins with seven verses that clearly demonstrate that the idea of two houses, and the meaning of the phrase, is not only entirely Scriptural, but connected to multiple significant future prophecies and many doctrines.  What Zac didn’t mention, and he should have, is that in 1 Kings 12:24 God clearly says,

“this thing is from Me.”

God’s plan from the beginning was to divide the Kingdom in order to display HIS glory and that this is all HIS plan.  Only He can bring restoration and He will do so in a most amazing and literal fashion, thus proving Himself the Author and Finisher of all!  But, I am getting ahead of the story.

To fully cover this topic would require a large book, but I am going to simply expand what Zac has done to a larger teaching that helps validate what he has pointed out.  Further, beyond my previously stated reasons, I want to postulate why God did it this way.

Before we can completely dig in, we need to identify some terms for the houses used throughout Scripture.  Zac pointed to several verses that specifically state, ‘two house,’ or ‘both houses’ and names them as ‘the house of Judah’ and ‘the house of Israel.’  Scripture uses a number of other terms and to really study this topic, one must know and recognize the terms.  This requires a little Biblical history.

1 Kings 11 and 12 are critical reading, but I want to point out several specific verses to bring definition to several common terms.

Ephraim, house of Ephraim:  Often in Scripture the Northern Kingdom is simply called ‘Ephraim’ or the ‘house of Ephraim.’  When Solomon’s Kingdom was divided, ten tribes were given, by God, to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:31).  Jeroboam was from the tribe of Ephraim (1 Kings 11:26) and he became their king, thus, his kingdom began to be referred to as ‘the house of Ephraim,’ or simply, ‘Ephraim,’ just like the terms ‘house of David,‘ ‘house of Judah,’ and ‘Judah‘ are used for the Southern Kingdom.

House of Joseph:  There are a number of places that we find the term ‘house of Joseph’ used interchangeably with ‘Ephraim.’  This connection is because Ephraim was the younger son of Joseph, seen in Genesis 48 to be prophesied as becoming an innumerable multitude in the midst of the earth.  First Kings 11:28 clearly connects at least the tribe of Ephraim as ‘the house of Joseph,’ but we know Manasseh is part of Joseph and later all ten tribes are referred to as the house of Joseph, or B’ney Yosef. 😉

House of Israel:  Because Ephraim received the double portion blessings from Israel (Jacob) in Genesis 48, he received the name, ‘Israel.’  Thus, we see Jeroboam’s kingdom also referred to as ‘Israel’ and ‘the house of Israel.’  See 1 Kings 12:16-20.

Whole house of Israel, and House of Jacob: Generally, these terms refer to all twelve tribes.

Israel:  This is a very tricky one because context must be employed to understand the term.  Sometimes it means only the Northern Kingdom (see 1 Kings 12:16-20 for clear examples), though, more often it means all of Israel.  Context and careful analysis must be employed.


To recap:

YHVH divided Solomon’s kingdom into two parts:

House of Israel                                                                 House of Judah

Ephraim                                                                             Judah

House of Joseph                                                              House of David

House of Ephraim

Israel (sometimes)

 

Together, they can be called Israel, all Israel, Jacob or house of Jacob.

A good study is to search your Bible for each of these terms and highlight with colors specific to each term, then watch Scripture begin to unfold.


Scripture has countless verses that demonstrate a clear and abiding distinction between the two houses.  Generally, Judaism, and especially Messianic Judaism, try to say the terms are all synonymous.  We can address possibilities for their reasoning in a minute, but first we need to clearly see that Scripture defines the two houses against each other at numerous points, often connected with future/unfulfilled prophecy.  Consider,

Hosea 1:6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And [a]the Lord said to him, “Name her [b]Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.”

One does not need a course in logic to understand that the house of Israel cannot possibly be a synonym for the house of Judah in this verse, despite the teaching of many messianic and rabbinic Jews to the contrary.  Similar verses just from Hosea are 4:15; 5:5; and 6:10-11, where the whole book is about Ephraim/house of Israel and Judah.

In stating future prophecy, Isaiah 11:12-13  says,

12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart,
And those who harass Judah will be cut off;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
And Judah will not harass Ephraim.

This prophecy is yet future!  If you continue reading the passage, it has not been fulfilled.  In order for it to be fulfilled, there will have to be a clear distinction between Judah and Ephraim and there will have to be division/enmity/jealousy between them.   There is no group among the Jews today who consider themselves to be ‘Ephraim.’  Further, notice the language in v. 12.  Some might call it splitting hairs, but Israel was banished, while Judah was only dispersed.  More specifically, Israel was divorced, Judah was not.  Ever.  (That is not to say that Judah doesn’t have things they need to get right, because they do.  It is to say we need to clean our own house and let the Father deal with the older brother.)

Besides verses that clearly mention both houses and draw distinction between them, there are numerous passages where the indictment against Israel does not fit Judah.  We read one today in our Torah study!

Ezekiel 36:16 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they had shed on the land, because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 Also I scattered them among the nations and they were dispersed throughout the lands. According to their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name, because it was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord; yet they have come out of His land.’ 21 But I had [i]concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went.

Who profaned God’s name among the nations?  The Jews?  Hardly!  the Jews kept the Torah and honored the name of YHVH.  Maybe imperfectly, but they honored it.  It was the house of Israel who took their idols with them into the nations and absorbed more traditions as they were assimilated into the peoples.

There are many more passages like the one above that cannot possibly apply to the Jews.

To not belabor the point, I will move on, but a proper analysis of the many verses that can’t apply to the house of Judah and the many verses that pit Israel against Judah would require many, many pages.  go study it out.  Notice the distinction.

God Himself said, “this thing is from Me.”  He was not surprised by the division in the family.  In fact, I believe there are multiple prophetic pictures of this in the Torah.  He had a plan to divide the family for a time and I believe He has a particular reason.  Consider:

  • Genesis 29-33 relate the story of Jacob during his time outside of the land.  During his sojourn with Laban, outside the Land, he acquires two wives.  The elder, Leah, has something wrong with her eyes.  She can’t see something (Yeshua?).  The younger is beautiful and favored, but she has idols (Christendom?).  [Notice the menstrual connection with the Ezekiel passage above.]  Then comes the ‘time of Jacob’s Troubles’ and to protect the family, Jacob divides them into two groups (houses) and sends Leah (with Judah) ahead into the Land first, then he sends Rachel (with Joseph) into the Land immediately before he wrestles the Angel of the Lord.
  • Genesis 37-46 relates the story of Joseph.  While I have strongly argued for Joseph as a picture of Yeshua, this story is also a picture of the house of Joseph, sent from the land in chains, and not recognized by Judah until Jacob is in deep trouble.  Ultimately, Egyptian-looking Joseph is recognized by his circumcision, proving he keeps the commandments, exactly what we see happening among “Egyptian-looking,” Torah-keeping non-Jews.

Why would God cause this division?  This calls for a little speculation, but consider several things.  First, this is His-story and He can write, produce, direct, and even act in it in any way He chooses.  But second and maybe more specifically, if this was a division man could heal, then He would not get the glory.  By dividing the family for the last 2000+ years, one branch of the family has kept Torah and proven the written Word for the whole world, despite pogroms, persecution and gas chambers, while the other branch of the family has carried Yeshua and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the ends of the earth!  Each branch has its own mission and will receive rewards from the King for how they fulfilled it.

Ezekiel 37:15ff clearly identifies the two parts of the family in unfulfilled prophecy and verse 22 even refers to them as two nations, two kingdoms.  Who but Judaism and Christianity (especially those returning to the Covenant) fit this description?

15 The word of the Lord came again to me saying, 16 “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join [technically, draw them near, not ‘join’] them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18 When the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their [a]dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.

The Apostles realized what was happening.  James begins his letter as follows,

[a]James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are [b]dispersed abroad: Greetings.

He had no delusion that the tribes had already been gathered.  Yeshua himself said,

24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

While batting this topic with good friend and fellow blogger, Al McCarn, today, he offered this astute observation,

WAIT A MINUTE!!!! If non-Jewish believers are never called “Ephraim” in scripture, why do Paul, Peter, and James refer to the prophecies of Hosea and Amos about Ephraim’s redemption in the context of non-Jewish people coming to faith in Yeshua?

BINGO!!!  The Apostles had this figured out, they just didn’t realize that our exile had 2000 more years to go!  As Al asserts, the Apostolic assumption was that the Gentiles were/are the fulfillment of Ephramite redemption as prophesied by multiple prophets.

God’s plan and purposes are being fulfilled by the division and He will receive great glory when the breach is healed!

So why doesn’t Judah ‘see’ this?  Well, while there are many reasons that include fear of assimilation, fear of being duped, etc, the bottom-line is simply that God caused this division to happen and He will have to be the One to ‘un-cause’ it.

What is ironic is that in Jewish, and particularly Messianic Jewish circles, we are witnessing an exact reversal of what happened in 1 Kings 12:16ff,

16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,

What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”

Then, Israel walked out and blew off Judah declaring, “what portion do we have?”  Today, it is often the Jews who blow off the non-Jewish Torah-keeping Messianic and Hebrew roots believers with declarations that we have no part in Israel.

Al pointed out these verses from Ezekiel 11,

14 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brothers, your [a]relatives, [b]your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the Lord; this land has been given us as a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’

Ultimately, the truth of Two Houses and God’s plan is irrefutable in Scripture, though HE has to open eyes, not us.  Further, our right of return is something that is in HIS Hands and not in those of any other.  He will, in His time, according to His plan, restore us and give us a heart of flesh with the Torah written on it.

Both houses need cleaning up.  Both houses have repentance and reconciliation to work on.  Both houses need to look to Him and not toward each other.

Much more could be written, but these are a few thoughts to further support what Zac had on his video.  I pray they bless you and encourage deeper study on the matter.

Shavua tov!!

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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20 Responses to 7 Scriptural Proofs For Two House (Theology), following up on Zac Bauer

  1. Sue in Aqaba says:

    Reblogged this on The Lamb's Servant and commented:
    I am reblogging this excellent article by Pete Rambo of Natsab blog for one reason: I want to keep it handy for my own reference!! Thanks, Pete, for a great compendium of information on this topic of the Two Houses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. loammi says:

    Also loving McCarn’s observation!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Barry Miller says:

    Anyone who tries to teach without this understanding must use illogical arguments. The prophet’s writings are especially impenetrable without this simple but profound concept.
    Well done!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Reblogged this on The Barking Fox and commented:
    Last week I had the pleasure of being in a meeting with Frank Houtz, one of the most accomplished Bible scholars I have known. In that meeting, Frank noted that doctrines are often established on surprisingly few Bible passages – five or less, and some as few as two. These would be considered strong doctrinal positions even though their scriptural basis might be considered flimsy at best. Why, then , is the idea of Two Houses of Israel considered heretical and wacky?
    As you will see in this post by my seminary-trained colleague Pete Rambo, there is far more scriptural evidence for the existence and prophetic significance of Israel’s Two Houses than there is for the pre-Tribulation rapture. Pete starts building his case by referring to a recent video from Zachary Bauer which in itself is a powerful presentation simply because he lets the Bible speak for itself. Watch, read, and ponder these things prayerfully.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Rod Raines says:

    Thanks Pete,
    I’m going to print your paper out and glue it in the back of my Bible for my own reference. Believers who can’t see the “Two House” must have spiritual blinders on. It’s just not logical for the reader to miss it. Before awakening to Torah I had those blinders. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Pete Rambo says:

      I seriously recommend a really nice set of highlighters. Then dedicate colors to specific topics… my Bible is a sea of color, but helps me make connections and see themes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jean-Claude Chevalme says:

      ROD RAINES writes “Believers who can’t see the “Two House” must have spiritual blinders on. It’s just not logical for the reader to miss it.”
      And this is absolutely true ROD.

      The Two House issue being fought over today is not the issue addressed by Zac in his teaching. He may follow with a “part B” I don’t know. No one denies that the Bible clearly teaches that there are two houses; indeed one would have to have “spiritual blinders on” to not see that. The 21st Century Two House controversy does not revolve around this irrefutable truth.

      Here is what it is about:

      The Two House opponents, contend that God is dealing with only one house today: the House of Judah. They teach that over the centuries following the dispersion, the House of Israel (Ephraim) eventually returned to and was absorbed by the tribe of Judah and adopted the term “Jews” to designate themselves. After 70 AD, they were dispersed and scattered throughout the world. Two House opponent (many but not all Messianic Jews) contend that Jews all over the world include the descendants of the northern tribes. This is how they justify saying “144000 Jews” in their teachings when Scripture speaks of 12000 from each of the 12 tribes.

      The Two House proponents contend that while some of each tribe moved back to Judah, most of the biological descendants of the scattered northern tribes remained scattered in all the nations. These are responding to a call of God and coming back to the faith once given to the saints; many from within traditional Christianity. The gentiles who are not biological descendants of the northern tribes and have come to faith in Yeshua are incorporated in Ephraim, thus fulfilling the prophecy given by Jacob to Joseph.

      This is as clear and as simple I can present the issue. It is much more complex than this because there are many variations and misunderstandings on both sides; specially when it comes to the obligation or not for those in Ephraim, to live by Torah. But in essence this is the two house issue which causes so much ink to flow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Craig and Lorie Zulauf says:

    This is an excellent teaching and we agree wholeheartedly, HOWEVER, we believe that the issue is that once Ephraim, (whether blood or not) is awakened, he is NO longer Ephraim, but Israel as a whole. As long as we continue to consider ourselves as a different tribe, we are not focusing on becoming ONE. In Gen what is the purpose of Yah separating things? He separates to regather. We are to come together as like mind and like kind. Yeshua has come to make us ONE new man. Let’s take that enmity (hatred) that Yeshua nailed to the tree 2,000 years ago and LEAVE it there.
    Eph 2:14 For He is our peace, who has made both ONE (echad), and has broken down the wall of separation between them, (As you see here the regathering is already in place, we just need to start acting like it and recognize our older brother Judah as the leader)
    Eph 2:15 in His flesh He has caused to cease the enmity due to the (manmade) laws in regulations, that He might in Himself create the two into ONE NEW MAN, making peace,
    Eph 2:16 and He reconciled both in ONE body to YAHWEH and destroyed the enmity through the crucifixion.
    Eph 2:17 And coming, He proclaimed “Peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near.” (Isa. 57:19)
    So I think to bring this excellent teaching all together, we need to focus on what is the end result and goal of our Father?
    Eze 37:22 And I will make them ONE (echad) nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one King shall be for a king to all of them. And they SHALL NOT BE TWO nations anymore. And they will NOT BE SPLIT into TWO KINGDOMS ANYMORE.

    So above we read that we are NO longer to be two, but ONE. Although your teaching is 100% correct, it is not stating the heart purpose of Yeshua. Yeshua has come to bring the uncircumcised back together with the circumcised.

    My question is, how many “Hebrew Roots’ people would follow Yeshua originally, if they knew that they would be following Judah? Guess what people, your Messiah is a JEW. Let’s put the hatred to rest once and for all and call ourselves “Israel” and be ONE with our brother Judah and honor and respect his authority until Yeshua returns and sets us all straight,

    We see this as an authority issue, not a doctrinal issue. Most Messianics do not like authority. What moved the prodigal son to leave the house? Rebellion!
    Remember, the root bears you, you do not bear the root.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Thank yo for your reply and I think we agree that the end result is ‘one,’ but you may be leaving out some parts that are supposed to happen in the middle.

      Ezekiel 37:17 “And join (H7126: qarab) them one to another into one stick and they shall become one in thine hand…. The word mistranslated as ‘join’ actually means ‘bring them near, approach, draw near’. We are to draw near, but not until HE joins us, will we be echad.

      Even being echad does not mean we cease to be Ephraim. It simply means we walk together as one and in peace. Think: The two shall become one (echad) flesh… they don’t become one singular, but one unity.

      Another and broad proof through out the prophets is that Ephraim is a separate group at the time of Messiah’s coming: Isaiah 11:13-14 as one of many examples. We each have a particular destiny and role to play. That cannot happen if we assimilate.

      Lastly, the New Jerusalem has 12 gates for twelve tribes and each of the 12 are identifiable in Revelation…. Ephraim (10-Israel) will be composed of every tribe, tongue and nation, and we will worship as one (echad) before the throne… It is then we will be Israel.

      So, yes, we agree on the end result and the broader parameters, but I think there are steps in between awakening and joining that still have to happen. Until then, we are and remain, Ephraim!!

      Many blessings,

      Pete

      Liked by 2 people

  7. zachreynm says:

    Just a quick hint. If you see any of the words “Israel” or “Ephraim” or “Jacob” and you are not sure who it refers to, pay attention to a few verses before and after the word in question. If it is referring to all twelve tribes, there generally will not be another name nearby. It is usually something like ” ‘Judah’ did this and ‘Israel’ did that…”. But if you just see “Israel” and no mention of Judah or its synonyms, then it probably is referring to all twelve tribes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pingback: Important preparation for the wilderness… | natsab

  9. Jean-Claude Chevalme says:

    ROD RAINES writes “Believers who can’t see the “Two House” must have spiritual blinders on. It’s just not logical for the reader to miss it.”
    And this is absolutely true ROD.

    The Two House issue being fought over today is not the issue addressed by Zac in his teaching. He may follow with a “part B” I don’t know. No one denies that the Bible clearly teaches that there are two houses; indeed one would have to have “spiritual blinders on” to not see that. The 21st Century Two House controversy does not revolve around this irrefutable truth.

    Here is what it is about:

    The Two House opponents, contend that God is dealing with only one house today: the House of Judah. They teach that over the centuries following the dispersion, the House of Israel (Ephraim) eventually returned to and was absorbed by the tribe of Judah and adopted the term “Jews” to designate themselves. After 70 AD, they were dispersed and scattered throughout the world. Two House opponent (many but not all Messianic Jews) contend that Jews all over the world include the descendants of the northern tribes. This is how they justify saying “144000 Jews” in their teachings when Scripture speaks of 12000 from each of the 12 tribes.

    The Two House proponents contend that while some of each tribe moved back to Judah, most of the biological descendants of the scattered northern tribes remained scattered in all the nations. These are responding to a call of God and coming back to the faith once given to the saints; many from within traditional Christianity. The gentiles who are not biological descendants of the northern tribes and have come to faith in Yeshua are incorporated in Ephraim, thus fulfilling the prophecy given by Jacob to Joseph.

    This is as clear and as simple I can present the issue. It is much more complex than this because there are many variations and misunderstandings on both sides; specially when it comes to the obligation or not for those in Ephraim, to live by Torah. But in essence this is the two house issue which causes so much ink to flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lavadatblog says:

      Thanks for that clarification, Jean-Claude! That does make sense. The thing that gets me is how vehement the “opponents” of the Two House issue get whenever the subject is brought up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jean-Claude Chevalme says:

        Here why I think it is so vehement LaVada; and you are absolutely right it is vehement; even very vehement:
        Seemingly unbeknown to some Messianic Jews in leadership (and sadly the sheep follow), it is a spiritual issue of the highest order because it has to do with God’s planned effectiveness of His own revelation to lost humanity that He, the God of creation, IS the God of Israel, and that Yeshua is His messiah and Savior of the world – to the Jew first.
        There is more; but the visible expression of the unity of the faith (which WILL be expressed – Eph 4:13) and required by the Torah on the part of all who belong to YHWH – and this includes biological descendants of Abraham through Isaac and the strangers who came to know Messiah (Num 15:15-16) – poses the gravest threat to the agenda of the kingdom of darkness who does not want its prisoners to come to the God of Israel, and unredeemed Jews to come to Yeshua.
        We are not fighting against flesh and blood, and this is the last thing the principalities and powers want – hence the spiritual source of vehement reaction.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hadassah18 says:

    Thank you for this article and comments included! Its a refreshing. I myself realized we need to repeat what we have received form the Father. Because in the Netherlands there is a discussion between them who see it clear about the 2Sticks and some don’t…I have shared your link, maybe some issues will become more clear with shalom…
    greetings and blessing from Holland,
    Hadassah

    Liked by 3 people

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