The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you cannot believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis are literally true, how can you possibly believe that John 3:16 is literally true?

It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Caricature of Rick Sawyer pointing to the paragraphPlease Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

Caricature of Professor Rick Sawyer pointing at the text“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout this website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture — both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah, nor do I consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

The Commonwealth of Israel

Some have strenuously objected to my use of the term “Commonwealth of Israel”[1] when referring to the Body of Messiah, assuming (incorrectly, of course) that I am referring to the modern State of Israel. They say, for example, “I am a Christian! How dare you refer to me as an Israeli! My salvation has nothing to do with the State of Israel!” In Ephesians 2:12 (that is, to the mixed Jewish and Gentile community living in Ephesis), Rav Sha'ul says, “… remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (NASB 1995) The J.B. Phillips NT renders the phrase, “utter strangers to God’s chosen community,” and the Complete Jewish Bible says, “estranged from the national life of Isra’el.”

By “commonwealth of Israel” I am referring (as does Rav Sha'ul) to the reunified Body of Messiah, consisting of all the physical and spiritual descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whether sons and daughters of the covenant by birth (Jews) or by adoption (non-Jews) — the restored twelve tribes plus the “mixed multitude” who, like Ruth, have joined themselves to the people, the Land,[3] the covenants, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“Don’t press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” (Ruth 1:16, CJB)

When any person who is not a physical descendant of Jacob (whom HaShem[GN] re-named Israel) comes to faith in Israel’s Messiah, that person is adopted into the family of Israel just as Manasseh and Ephraim (the Egyptian sons of Joseph) were adopted by their grandfather Jacob and were thus made full heirs to the covenant (Genesis 48) and heads of their respective tribes.

11Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth-- called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised-- 12at that time had no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Isra'el. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. You were in this world without hope and without God. 13But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood. 14For He Himself is our shalom-- He has made us both one and has broken down the m'chitzah [soreg][2] which divided us 15by destroying in His own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with Himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom,[GN] 16and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus in himself killing that enmity. 17Also, when He came, He announced as Good News shalom to you far off and shalom to those nearby, 18news that through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God's people and members of God's family. (Ephesians 2:11-19, CJB)

Verse 19 says that Gentiles who have come to faith in Messiah have become “fellow-citizens.” One is forced to ask “fellow-citizens” of what? Fellow-citizens with “the Circumcised,” who were citizens of Israel. So the two groups, the believing Circumcised and the believing Uncircumcised have become “a single new humanity” (v. 15), are “fellow-citizens with God's people [Israel] and members of God's family” (v. 19).

I believe that the term “commonwealth” best describes what the reunified body of Messiah actually should be. In the words of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (for example): “The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws [in this case, the Torah] for the common good.”

Furthermore, a “commonwealth” is also defined as:

If I understand the Scriptures correctly, I can simply find no better word in the English language to describe what the unified Body of Believers should be like under the Kingship of Yeshua HaMashiach.

The Israeli Revelation I
The Secrets of the Spiritual Israelis!
Jonathan Cahn Sermon

If you are a blood-bought, born-again child of God, you are an Israeli!

  1. When I began using this term, I thought it was something that God had revealed to me personally, as I had never heard it used by any other Bible teacher. I have subsequently heard some other teachers that I respect using it in the same context. [BACK]

Layout of the Second Temple Courtyards
Layout of the Second Temple Courtyards
Click to view a larger image

 2. The m'chitzah [soreg] was was boundary/partition a wall in the Temple approximately four and one-half feet (three cubits) high separating the Court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Jews. In Wars of the Jews, Jewish general and scholar Flavius Josephus (around 75 CE) says:

When you go through these [first] cloisters, unto the second [court of the] temple, there was a partition made of stone all round, whose height was three cubits: its construction was very elegant; upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that “no foreigner should go within that sanctuary” for that second [court of the] temple was called “the Sanctuary,” and was ascended to by fourteen steps from the first court. (A description of the temple – Book 5, Chapter 5, Verse 2)

Beyond this point, entry was permitted only to Jews who were not impure through exposure to death. The soreg featured signs in a number of languages that warned these unauthorized people against entering the area of the Holy Temple. Some of the signs which were placed on the “soreg” have been discovered … The inscription says “No outsider shall enter the protective enclosure around the sanctuary. And whoever is caught will only have himself to blame for the ensuing death” – (Translation by K. C. Hanson & Douglas E. Oakman)

Source: Accessed August 17, 2019.

An alternate translation of the inscription reads: “No intruder is allowed in the courtyard and within the wall surrounding the temple. Whoever enters will invite death for himself!” [BACK]

  3. One cannot be committed to the Kingdom of God without being committed to the people of Israel. And one cannot be committed to the people of Israel without being also committed to the Land of Israel. By this I do not mean that is necessary for non-Jewish followers of the Jewish Messiah to live in the Land, rather it is necessary for them to be committed to the right of all Jewish people to dwell peacefully in the Land that God gave to Abraham and to his descendants forever. (Zechariah 2:8) [BACK]

Page revised on Saturday, 17 August, 2019
Minor revision on Thursday, 23 September 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 23 June 2024 04:42 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9