Exodus 10:1-13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-28; Mark 3 (complete)
In this chapter, we will be discussing Parasha Bo, according to our 2022 Parashiot Schedule, in which we want to share with you some especially important things that all believers in the Hebrew Messiah Yeshua (‘Jesus’) the Nazarene, must be aware of.
We are rapidly entering into the End Times and there are things to know that genuinely make a difference as to whether we live or die. More importantly, these things determine whether we please Yeshua our Messiah or not.
Torah Portion: Shemote 10:1-13:16
We rejoin the history of our forefathers in the beginning of Shemote (Exodus), in chapter ten. This is where Yahweh is getting ready to bring even more plagues on Paro (Pharaoh).
The first few plagues did not impress Paro because his magicians and sorcerers could do similar things through their dark arts; causing the same kinds of destruction. However, by the time we reach the eighth plague (locusts, Exodus 10:1-20) Paro’s diviners can no longer duplicate the plagues, turn the plagues back nor stop them from happening.
Shemote (Exodus) 7:11
11 But Paro also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so, the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments
In fact, they could not even stand before Moshe because of the boils.
Shemote (Exodus) 9:11-12
11 And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians.
12 But Yahweh hardened the heart of Paro; and he did not heed them, just as Yahweh had spoken to Moshe.
Yahweh strategically and progressively hardened Paro’s heart by upping the ante a small amount at a time with each plague; making each plague a little more unbearable than the last. Thus, deceiving Paro into becoming increasingly confident that he could get through Yahweh’s attacks. Therefore, because Paro thought of it as a mere trivial challenge, he would not admit defeat.
[Yahweh of hosts effectively used a psy-op (psychological operation) against Paro.]
Need for Priestly Covering
In this Parasha we arrive at the tenth plague which is the death of the first born. This is the plague in which Egypt will thrust Israel out suddenly, after the first occurrence of the feast of Pesach (Passover).
[If you want to know more about the Pesach that we are supposed to be keeping while we are in the dispersion, please watch our video Melchizedekian Pesach, or read chapter seven of our study Feasts of the First Month: The Melchizedekian Pesach.]
At the start of Exodus, in chapter thirteen, Yahweh establishes the first-born priesthood inside of Israel. He commanded that just as Paro’s nation lost all their firstborn of their children and livestock during Pesach, Israel was therefore to set-apart all their firstborn unto Him. Thus, creating the very first priesthood inside of Israel; the priesthood of the firstborn.
Shemote (Exodus) 13:2
2 “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.”
Elohim (‘God’) first established this set-apart priesthood inside the nation at this juncture in Israel’s history; just after leaving Egypt. Before coming to Egypt, the nation of Israel had the patriarchs serving as the priests of their households. Even earlier in history, in B’reisheet (Genesis), Avraham paid tithes to the king and high priest Melchizedek who served as the external priesthood (which is something completely different than the Melchizedekian Order we have now).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 14:20
20 “And blessed be Elohim Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he [Avraham] gave him a tithe of all.
When Israel went down into Egypt, the Egyptian priesthood served as their covering (an awfully bad priestly covering, but none the less it was a priestly covering). Then, Elohim brought Israel out from under the covering of the Egyptian priesthood. Next, Yahweh implemented the order of the first-born priests for Israel to have their own priesthood (since Israel must always have a priestly covering). Even though the man of the house serves as the priest of the house, it does not negate the need to have a priesthood for the nation.
[That is what the independent Messianics keep forgetting, is that even though we are a nation of kings and priests, that does not mean we do not need a priesthood for the nation.]
This situation of Israel leaving Egypt clearly parallels what we as Ephraimites are experiencing spiritually and eventually, even physically. We are leaving the Egyptian/Roman/Babylonian system behind and like the Israelites at the time of Exodus, we must come back to a fully Hebraic model to satisfy our Adon Yeshua. As those wanting to be a part of His body on earth, we must understand that if we are Israelites, we must adhere to the Israelite model that is patterned in Scripture.
This is one of the things that our brothers in Judah (Jews) do get correct (although they use voting inside of their council meetings which is incorrect since they are supposed to hear from the Spirit inside the council meetings instead of adhering to Babylonian democracy, as they follow).
Refining in Egypt
Surprisingly, there are some particularly important reasons why it benefited Israel in the long run, to go into slavery in Egypt.
Consider, before going into Egypt, Israel (the person) was both the priest and the governor of the nation (which was, at that time, essentially just his twelve sons and their families). While Joseph was alive, they were all well provided for, but after his death a new Paro arose who did not understand the need to provide for the nation of Israel.
Shemote (Exodus) 1:8
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
As difficult as living in the iron furnace was, being in Egypt for 430 years helped transform Israel from a heap of different family lines with no single common ancestor, into the strong, singular nation that we read about in the Torah. With Moshe HaNavi (the prince) operating as the governmental office and the firstborn priesthood (later replaced with the Levitical Order) as the internal priestly office.
[It is important to notice that, as we progress in this Parasha series, each Parasha takes us one step closer to true organization of the internal Melchizedekian Order established by Yeshua HaMashiach.]
Those who consider themselves Ephraimites or Messianic must consider the parallels in this Parasha to the House of Ephraim’s situation today. We want to leave spiritual Egypt, so we need to organize just like they did in Torah times, during Exodus.
Yahweh has sent Moshe (Moses) to act as a governmental figure as the anointed judge. Historically, there has always been three main offices in Israel.
1. The king.
2. The priests and prophets.
3. The anointed judge (which is a special combination of all three offices.
However, it is better to have a separate set-apart priesthood which solely serves Yahweh. Elohim is always going to give Israel their own separated priesthood because Israel must always have a priestly covering in order to be accountable to Yahweh.
The man of the house serves as the priest of the house, but that does not change the fact that you must have a priesthood as a nation to unify all the families. Similarly, even though we are a nation of kings and priests (1 Peter 2:9) that does not mean that we do not need to follow Yeshua’s instructions to establish the kind of global government He wants.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 5:23
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Mashiach is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
If we will follow the prophetic pictures of Moshe’s Torah (Instructions) as well as Yeshua’s Torah, not only will we grow Messiah’s true unified kingdom, but it will also turn into a government that lasts forever and ever.
44 And in the days of these kings the Elohim of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
The Firstborn Priesthood and Listening in The Spirit
Since Yahweh slew all the firstborn in Egypt, the Israelites were to offer their firstborn males to Yahweh; redeeming every human child so that their lives would be dedicated to serving Yahweh.
Shemote (Exodus) 13:15
15 ‘And it came to pass, when Paro was stubborn to let us go, that Yahweh killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of men and the firstborn of beasts. Therefore, I sacrifice to Yahweh all the males who open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons, I redeem.’
Although we do not have a lot of detailed instructions regarding the firstborn priesthood, what we do know is that Yahweh emphasized that those dedicated unto Him should hear and obey His voice. Just like in any priestly office, if they could not hear and obey His voice, they had no business being in any part of leadership.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:1
1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your Elohim, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that Yahweh your Elohim will set you high above all nations of the earth.
This also is the key thing that we, as His body, are all supposed to strive to do and that is what unifies the nation. We must all abide in the vine.
Yochanan (John) 15:5-6
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
What we need to learn from this is what Yahweh really wants; for us to hear and obey His voice. It is so important to remain in connection with Yeshua. There needs to always be an awareness of Him. When we stay in connection with Him, we stay conscious of Him; no matter what we are doing. We have righteous fear of Elohim, but we also love Him and want to serve Him.
It must be our pleasure to stay connected to Him and to know that we are in His favor; which is like the most valuable riches you could ever have.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 13:44
44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
If you want to be set apart unto Yahweh Elohim, then it is essential that we do the things that Yeshua says to do and nothing contrary to that; especially with regards to the faith.
We are supposed to seek all spiritual gifts, but especially the gift of prophecy.
Qorintim Alef (1 Corinthians) 14:1-3
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to Elohim, for no one understands him; however, in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.
3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
To prophesy is to hear Yahweh’s voice and it takes a lot of discipline to speak only according to it. To do that we have to differentiate between our thoughts and what we are hearing. The heart is desperately wicked and plays tricks on all of us.
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 17:9
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
When Torah Changes
It is vital to understand that the Torah has always changed slightly with the implementation of each new priestly Order (since each order has their own specific instructions). However, the main principles and precepts have always remained the same and is never altogether abolished (as many Christians would like to believe).
That is why King David said in the Spirit that he could walk at liberty; because he obeyed Yahweh’s precepts.
Tehillim (Psalm) 119:44-45
44 So shall I keep Your Torah continually, forever, and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.
We understand His precepts by the voice of the Spirit and by our conscience. We know when we are doing right and wrong when we are paying attention to Yahweh Elohim, because He lets us know in our conscience when we are walking righteously or when we do not truly have Shalom.
Firstly, Israel had the Firstborn priesthood with the Torah (instructions) to listen and obey Yahweh’s voice (which is the foundational command that He expects all His people to strive for). Secondly, The Levitical Order took over as the internal priestly covering for the nation of Israel after the rebellion of the golden calf at Mount Sinai. They were given the Levitical Torah which includes sacrificial laws that can only be followed when in the land of Israel, when there is a Temple in Jerusalem. Lastly, after the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, the priestly covering was transferred to the saints of the Jewish sect of the Nazarenes, under the Melchizedekian Order; in which the command was to go into all nations and immerse disciples in the name* of Yeshua.
Elohim’s greater overall mission for us is that we establish a kingdom for His Son, and it has always been our mission; to serve as His Son‘s helpers. Depending on what phase of that mission Israel happens to be in, Yahweh can modify the Torah accordingly, to help further the mission.
As a foundational precept, Israel has always been commanded to band together as a nation and organize itself internally. Yahweh seeks a single unified ministry where all His lovingly-committed-ones work together to serve Him according to the five-fold ministry protocols and according to the foundation of apostles and prophets of Ephesians chapter two.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 2:20
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua HaMashiach Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Haftara Prophetic Portion: Jeremiah 46:13-28
This portion is particularly important to study if you are from the Jewish side of the house. If you are not genetically Jewish, then let us get to know our brother in Judah through this Parasha, because we are eventually going to be merged and unified with this remnant of them (the purified sons of Levi) after the tribulation (in Armageddon).
Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 37:19-22
19 say to them, ‘Thus says Yahweh Elohim: “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.”’
20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says Yahweh Elohim: “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;
22 and 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.
Sadly, until that point in time (until they recognize Yeshua as Messiah) they are going to be at enmity with us. All the things that we see happening in the news is the result of a jealous envy that Judah holds toward Ephraim/Joseph/House of Israel, because Yahweh has shown Ephraim much favor for simply believing on Yeshua (even though most have not obeyed the Torah). In that way, Ephraim is the prodigal son of Luke 15.
Luqa (Luke) 15:11-32
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.
12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So, he divided to them his livelihood.
13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it and let us eat and be merry;
24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
26 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
27 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore, his father came out and pleaded with him.
29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.
30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
Judah is the kingship tribe which means that they control the gold, the guns, and the governments.
In 2 Kings 23:29 the King of Judah, Josiah, had formed an alliance with the king of Assyria (which is a kind of sin for a King of Jerusalem to do because he is supposed to rely on Yahweh his Elohim and not make earthly alliances). Then, Assyria went to war with Egypt and King Josiah went out to battle against Egypt in support of Assyria. The Egyptian king ended up killing Josiah in battle at Har-Megiddo (Armageddon) (which is also prophetic, but we will cover that another time).
Melachim Bet (2 Kings) 23:29
29 In his days Paro Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Paro Necho killed him at [Har-] Megiddo when he confronted him.
In punishment for Paro Necho having killed King Josiah, by the mouth of Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) the prophet, Yahweh now prophesied that he would bring Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon against Egypt in judgment and punishment against them and against all her false elohim (gods).
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 46:25
25 Yahweh of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, says: “Behold, I will bring punishment on Amon of No and Paro and Egypt, with their elohim and their kings, Paro and those who trust in him.”
Now we can see a parallel here with the first exodus from Egypt. Yahweh says he is going to bring punishment upon Egypt as in days of old. Keep in mind that Egypt is symbolic of those who are lost in the world system.
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 46:26
26 “And I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of his servants. Afterward it shall be inhabited as in the days of old,” says Yahweh.
Before Yahweh brings His people back home to the land must become be purified. Just like it was the garden of Eden, if we want to live in His land, we must do things His way; applying the highest standard to ourselves. That is why discipleship is such an important process.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:48
48 Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.
Yahweh then says that His servant Jacob (referring to the House of Judah) should not be afraid. Then He says the House of Israel (Ephraimites) also should not fear, because Yahweh will save them from far away (because they are outside the land of Israel).
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 46:27
27 “But do not fear, O my servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; no one shall make him afraid.
Even though both the House of Israel and the House of Judah are outside the land of Israel in spiritual captivity, Yahweh promises that their offspring shall again return from the land of their captivity and come back to His land.
The House of Judah, which is referred to in this passage, as well as the House of Israel are clearly not in the land of Israel when this prophecy comes to pass, because it says that their “offspring will return from the land of their captivity.”
[If you want to learn some more basic foundational principles on what is called the two-house theory of Israel and Judah, please read the Nazarene Israel study in which we cover it in more detail.]
History of The Two Houses
There was a division of the nation of Israel into two parts. The northern part consisted of ten tribes, and it was called the northern House of Ephraim (or the northern House of Israel). It was named after one of Joseph’s two sons (Ephraim). They are also sometimes called the lost ten tribes of Israel, the lost ten tribes of Ephraim, or the lost 10 tribes of Joseph, because they have become lost to secular history. However, even though the secular historians do not know where the tribes are Yahweh knows where all the tribes are, and the prophecies say that they will return one day. And as we outline in the Nazarene Israel study, we see the time for that to happen is right about now.
Hoshea (Hosea) 14:7-8
7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’ I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.”
The northern kingdom of Ephraim was not obeying the Torah correctly. They started establishing idols, as well as changing the places and the dates of worship. This is a point for point prophetic picture of what the church system would later do after the death and resurrection of Messiah.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 12:28-29
28 Therefore the king asked for advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your elohim, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!”
29 And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
Yahweh continually sent prophets to try to get the people of the northern kingdom to turn back and repent, but the people did not listen. Rather, they continued to break the Torah.
That is why, starting around 722 BCE, Yahweh sent the Assyrians to take the Ephraimites into both physical and spiritual captivity in what is called the Assyrian captivity (or dispersion); in which Yahweh allowed this scattering to take place so the northern House of Israel or Ephraim might be mixed into the world like seed, thus fulfilling the prophecies given to the patriarchs. That every family, and every nation and every clan would have their genetics.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 26:4-5
4 “And I shall increase your Seed like the stars of the heavens, and I shall give all these lands to your Seed. And in your Seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
5 because Avraham obeyed My voice and guarded My Charge: My commands, My laws, and My Torot [plural of Torah].”
For this reason, those of all nations and tongues could be heir to the promises of salvation in Yeshua HaMashiach. It is indeed a two-way salvation, but it is open to everyone.
Galatim (Galatians) 3:15-16
15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.
16 Now to Abraham [genetic component] and his Seed [faith-based component] were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.
In addition to taking the northern House of Israel (Ephraim) into captivity, they undoubtedly also took many Jews from the southern kingdom into captivity in Assyria at that same time.
Melachim Bet (2 Kings) 18:13
13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
This will explain a lot as we go through prophecies concerning this topic of leaving Babylon. We are going to see that there are a great many Jews from the southern kingdom who are sojourning with the House of Ephraim in the in the Assyrian Dispersion. They might not even know that they are Jewish. That goes for most of the heirs of the promise made to Avraham, in Babylon. They either do not know they are Ephraimites, or they do not know they are Israelites, yet there will be many more coming to that realization after Armageddon. In addition, using the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we calculated that ninety percent of the Jews who went into exile in Babylon never returned.
They are lost now, but Yahweh’s plan has always been to call them back as a refined remnant who love Him and submit to His Spirit.
The principle take-away from all this is, while Yahweh does historically use certain ethnic groups or certain families to fulfill certain prophetic roles in Scripture, but in the end our genetics are not the thing that is important because what matters in the end is going to be our obedience to the Spirit of Elohim.
Yochanan (John) 14:15
15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
General prophecy tells us that during the tribulation it will not be safe either in the land of Israel or in the United States. It would be wise to plan on not being in the either of those places during the tribulation period because of the judgments that will come upon those two lands as Yahweh cleanses His land and His people (Judah and Ephraim). While we delve into the topic of how to stay safe during the great tribulation with more detail in our study Revelation & The End Times (and also, in our YouTube series Revelation Simplified), the safest place to be is always in Yahweh’s will.
Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:17
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of Elohim abides forever.
Continuing in Shemote verse twenty-eight, Yahweh only addresses Judah who is in the dispersion. We do not know exactly which Jewish groups Yahweh is addressing in this verse. He could be addressing the Jews in the Assyrian dispersion, the Jews in the Babylonian exile, or Jews still in the Roman exile. However, Yahweh is clearly addressing Judah here and not Ephraim, but we do not know why.
As we explain in Revelation & The End Times and in Revelation Simplified, Elohim promises to cleanse His land by fire. He will purify and refine the sons of Levi as silver and gold (that is a lot of heat and a lot of flame).
Malaki (Malachi) 3:3
3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to Yahweh, an offering in righteousness.
During the tribulation and Armageddon, the land of Israel as well as the United States are going to get nuked hard. This takes place about the time the world system collapses. When the Babylonian system comes down, the world is going to be looking for new spiritual leadership. Keep in mind that this is part of His plan. That is why we have such important things to do together before that time.
It is after that destruction when the stone is cut out of the mountain, without hands, smites the image of king Nebuchadnezzar on the feet. The statue is then blown away and the image then grows to become a great mountain or great government that fills the whole earth.
Daniel 2:34, 44
34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces.
44 And in the days of these kings, the Elohim of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall never be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
It is before this great tumultuous period that we need to be getting ready for when Yahweh brings His people home. Both Ephraim and Judah.
The traditional Messianic rabbis (if we can call them that) have chosen Yochanan (John) 19:1-37 for the Brit Chadasha (Renewed Covenant) portion.
I am not exactly sure why they chose that passage, except that verse thirty-six tells us that not one of Yeshua’s bones was broken, which almost relates to the Pesach (Passover) in the Torah portion in Shemote.
Yochanan (John) 19:36
36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”
Although, the verse that tells us that none of the Paschal animal’s bones would be broken, is given in Bemidbar (Numbers).
Bemidbar (Numbers) 9:12
12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Pesach they shall keep it.
Since we are here in Mark chapter three, we just want to answer a frequently asked question, regarding the use of the term “Apostle”. I am not sure where the doctrine originates, but a lot of churches teach that there were only ever twelve apostles, and that there can never be any more. While it is an exceedingly popular teaching, it is undoubtedly wrong. It is wrong in a bad sort of way because it leads us as a people away from the structure and organizational style that our Husband and King Yeshua commands us all to use.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 2:19-20
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua HaMashiach Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Firstly, there are more than twelve named apostles in the Brit Chadasha and there is a reason for that. Here in Mark 3:13-14, we see what are called the twelve pre-ascension apostles.
Marqaus (Mark) 3:13-14
13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those who He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.
It is true that there will never be any more than twelve pre-ascension apostles, because these are the apostles that Yeshua chose as apostles before He ascended (and went back up to heaven). There cannot ever be any more.
Marqaus (Mark) 3:16-19
16  Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter;
17  James the son of Zebedee and  John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;
18  Andrew,  Philip,  Bartholomew,  Matthew,  Thomas,  James the son of Alphaeus,  Thaddaeus,  Simon the Canaanite;
19 and  Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
[In Hebrew, Judas’ name would have been Yehudah (Judah), and that is symbolic of a greater struggle between the Two Houses of Israel (and we talk about that in the Nazarene Israel study).]
In Acts 1:26, the disciples were casting lots to replace Judas Iscariot, and the lot fell on Matías. So Matías was numbered with the 11 apostles, so that there would still be 12 (which is undoubtably symbolic of the 12 tribes, to which they would later be sent).
Sometimes people say “Well, okay, sure, Matías was a 13th named apostle…but after him there weren’t any more!”, but that is wrong again, because in Acts 14:14, we see Shaul, and Bar Naba are named as apostles (so that is 15 named apostles).
Ma’asei (Acts) 14:14
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Shaul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out,
Let us look at the Strong’s Concordance definitions, to see what the words mean (so we can know what we are talking about, since that is always a good thing).
We do not believe that the Greek texts are the originals, but we also do not believe that any of the Hebraic or Aramaic sources that we have (such as the Peshitta Aramaic) are the originals, for several reasons (and if you are interested, we have more information on the website). Although, we do believe in a Hebraic or Aramaic inspiration of the Renewed Covenant; which soon had to be translated into Greek, because that is what the Church fathers all spoke (besides Hebrew). Keeping that in mind, it does seem like the Greek texts are the oldest texts that we have still with us, so we use them for textual analysis.
In Strong’s Greek Concordance, the word for “apostle” is G652, apostolos which is from G649 meaning a delegate.
G652 apostolos (ap-os’-tolos) from G649; a delegate; specifically, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Messiah (“apostle”), (with miraculous powers): -apostle, messenger, he that is sent.
A messenger (or a runner) can also be an apostolos. That is because, while a runner may not have been sent out by Elohim, the runner is always sent out, or dispatched with a message to deliver (whether by Elohim or from someone else).
When we look up the root word at Strong’s Greek 649, we see that it is ap-os-tel’-lo, which refers to someone who is set apart for a certain mission and is sent out on that mission; literally or figuratively.
G649 apostello (ap-os-tel’-lo); from G575 and G4724; set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively: -put in, send (away, forth, out), set (at liberty).
When the Spirit puts someone in a certain place, appoints them, sends them away, or sends them out on a mission (or to do something for Elohim), that is an apostello, or an apostolos.
That can refer to an apostle like we think of an apostle, or it can also refer to a messenger (or a runner).
Ma’asei (Acts) 22:21
21 Then He said to me [Shaul], “Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.”
Because we believe in a Hebrew inspiration of the Renewed Covenant, we recognize that this Greek word apostolos corresponds to the Hebrew word shaliach (which is Shin, Lamed, Yod, Chet). The word shaliach is derived from the root word shelach, which means simply, “to send”. And shaliach can refer to anyone who is sent, for any purpose, such as a messenger (or even an angel), an emissary, an agent, a courier, or a runner. By logical extension, it can refer to a missionary, a delegate, or a legate (which is someone appointed to handle matters of law).
Notice that in Acts 13:3, the apostles Bar Naba (or Barnabas) and Shaul (or Paul) were selected by the Spirit to be sent out, to complete the work that the Spirit had for them.
Ma’asei (Acts) 13:2
2 As they ministered to Yahweh and fasted, the Set-Apart Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Shaul for the work to which I have called them.”
That is exactly the definition of a shaliach, in the biblical sense. The Spirit (or Elohim) selected them for a work, and then they were set apart for that work, and then they were sent out.
Ma’asei (Acts) 13:3-4
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Set-Apart Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
When Babylon falls at trumpet seven, the set-apart apostles and prophets are supposed to rejoice over her fall. The fall of Babylon at trumpet seven is still a future event (at the time of this writing, 2022), so by logical extension, we will have apostles and prophets that are set apart unto Yahweh during that time. Otherwise, how can we fulfill this verse?
Hitgalut (Revelation) 18:20
20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for Elohim has avenged you on her!”
Here in Mark 3:13, Yeshua called those to Him that He Himself wanted.
Marqaus (Mark) 3:13
13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.
Keep in mind that He will have favor on whom He has favor (and it does not always make sense to human beings, but He always has perfect reasons).
Shemote (Exodus) 33:19
19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Most Christian and Messianic ministries get the offices and the gifts completely wrong. There is also no office of a “pastor”, in Scripture. There is a gift of pastoring, and any one of us can have it—but there is no “office” of a pastor. That means, pastoring is not a position, it is something you do.
In Orthodox and Messianic sects there is an office of a rabbi, and no gift of being a rabbi. Furthermore, in Yeshua is clear that we are not to take the title of rabbi for ourselves because the term means, my Great One, and Yeshua is our only Great One.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 23:8
8 But you, do not be called ‘rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren.
If pastoring is not a position, and we are not to be called rabbi how are we supposed to order ourselves in the Renewed Covenant?
In Ephesians chapter four, Yeshua Himself gave us five main ministry gifting’s that any one of us can be given.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:11
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Now, just because He gives you a gift, you still must receive it, and once you receive it, then you must develop it. But the five main ministry gifts are those of apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and pastors, and teachers.
The apostolic gift is like the gift of being a spiritual CEO. The most important thing is that the apostle hears in the Spirit, and speaks according to the Spirit continually, which makes his position like an extension of the prophetic office.
In addition to speaking according to the Spirit, an apostle also has a special gift for establishing the correct doctrine. These two things together are what give him the ability to do work independently for lengthy periods of time, and still end up building the same kingdom the same way, even under different circumstances.
For example, Shaul and Bar Naba were apostles. Because they also heard in the Spirit, and spoke according to it, they could out into the Dispersion, and take independent action. Since they both heard from the same Spirit, and spoke according to it, they still ended up building the same kingdom, and the same body of Yeshua. And, because they understood the doctrine, they were able to go places, and raise up well-ordered congregations. The only difference between an apostle and a prophet is that a prophet does not necessarily have the same gifting for working with the doctrine that the apostle has.
Why might some believers NOT want there to be apostles and prophets for today, when Revelation 18:20 clearly commands the set-apart apostles and prophets to rejoice at Babylon’s fall (which is still a future event)? Why does the church NOT want there to be apostles and prophets today? Is it perhaps because apostles and prophets hear in the Spirit, and speak according to it—and the Church finds that threatening, somehow?
And why do the Messianic rabbis prefer the Babylonian title of “rabbi”, rather than using the terms and the organizational structure that Yeshua commands, in Scripture?
Is it not amazing that we look at the children of Israel disobeying and grumbling in the wilderness, and we wonder how anyone could be so hard-hearted, and so stiff-necked, as not to obey the letter of the word of Yahweh? Then look at what we do…
Yeshua clearly tells us how He wants us to be organized, and time after time we do something else. Then we teach against the model that Scripture says and how our Adon Yeshua commands us. Oy!
Ephesians 4:12 tells us that the reason Yeshua gave us these five ministerial gifts is so that the saints could be well-equipped for the work of ministry, and for building up the body of Messiah.
Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:12
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,
Then verse 13 tells us that the fivefold ministry model is designed as a catalyst for unity. That we are supposed to order ourselves by the fivefold ministry catalyst until such time as we all come to the unity of the faith (which we have not come to yet!).
Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:13
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;
Is the body unified all around the world? No, not yet.
Then Scripture says Yeshua wants us to continue ordering and organizing ourselves according to the fivefold ministry model.
[Does some Pope or some Church pastor or some rabbi think he knows better than Yeshua?]
May Yahweh please show us all how He wants us to organize and help us to reorder and reorganize ourselves according to suit His Word. To please Him and not to please ourselves.
In Yeshua’s name,