Those who are familiar with Ardelle Brody’s Torah commentaries know the depth and breadth of her understanding of the Scriptures. We were pleasantly surprised this week to get a note from Ardelle asking to use quotes from Ten Part in the King in her weekly commentary. You will be blessed to read the lessons she has drawn from the annual counting of the omer – the 50 days between First Fruits and Shavuot (Pentecost). And, of course, we a blessed to read the kind words she includes about our book.
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Kingdom Implications of the Agricultural Progression of the 50 Days
Torah Commentary on Counting the Omer
April 4, 2018
Once again, due to the week of Unleavened Bread, there is a skip in the regular Torah readings.
Yeshua spoke more about the Kingdom than any other topic. Why is this? Because the Kingdom is the completion of the covenant made with Avraham. We can expect that the evil one would be all about preventing the realization of the Kingdom. The 50 days of the counting of the omer are important days that picture the process of the restoration of all of Israel. Last year, I sent out the agricultural progression which occurs during these 50 days. It begins with the wheat seed and ends with the two loaves of leavened bread waved on Shavuot. I’m repeating this information and following it with a summary of a book that I would highly recommend you purchase, read, and share.
These fifty days are not a time to relax. This is a time to go to work. The barley farmers would be in an intense mode of knuckling down, because if the barley is not harvested, they could not tend to the wheat crop, which came hard on its heels. These days are a time to transform us into more refined people, so we can more easily be mingled into unified “loaves” for יהוה to enjoy. To learn our place in the scope of things, let’s take a close look at all the jobs that are involved in the process of making a loaf of bread and preparing it for the “wave offering” (which happens on Shavuot):
1. Sowing or Planting the Seed: the same Hebrew verb for “sowing” or “planting” translates as “scattering”. It was a common ancient practice to “broadcast” the seed from a bag hung over one’s shoulder, but this should also catch our attention, because we are a people “scattered” over the whole earth, longing to be re-planted in our native soil. Nothing can be reaped that was not first sown, nor will we reap something different than what we planted. Everything we reap is what we have sown – whether with our attitudes, thoughts, actions, or priorities. We should not expect to get something out of the harvest that we did not put into it. There are many promises made to the “seed” of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’acov. When sown among the nations, the seeds that must eventually sprout are Israelites. How do we prove this? By the fact that they bear Israelite fruit. This seed has lain dormant for centuries, seldom even showing up in the last generation, but because the season is right, finally it is springing forth. If we walk in Torah, Israelite seed can only produce Israelite fruit. יהוה said He would scatter both houses of Israel (Jeremiah 31:27ff), yet would watch over us, and when enough growth is evident, replant us in the Land from which He took us. We would be scattered among the people, yet He said we would remember Him while still in those far countries, and He would bring us back until there was no more room left there. (Zechariah 10:9ff) After Yeshua sent his students to look for the lost sheep of Israel, His brother Ya’acov addresses his letter clearly “to the twelve tribes of Israel that are scattered abroad.” (James 1:1).
2. Growing: there is a long season between sowing and reaping. The purpose of our exile into other lands (Jeremiah 16:12-19), as with a “time out” imposed upon children, is not merely punitive. It is so that we will think about what we did wrong and learn how to do better. Since we did not do well while we lived in the Land, we have to learn the hard way. The key to overcoming our exile is to grow, and to grow, we must know that we have often gone our own way. We will also learn of יהוה’s power and His Name. We will learn of the importance of walking in Torah, as taught to us by Yeshua. As love for יהוה and for one another grows, we can outgrow our exile. When we have grown strong enough, like a plant, we will be dug up and transplanted back to where we belong.
3. Reaping: separating the harvest from the field it grew in. The grain must be reaped or it cannot be used. Like our ancestor Avraham, we must leave circumstances and often families into which we were born. The grain is gathered into storehouses; the equivalent for us is Israelite communities, for how much bread can a single kernel make? Once we are gathered to one another, the real preparation begins. This is not the final stage, but is really only the beginning. The next steps shape us into what we need to be to be presented to יהוה.
4. Threshing: little wonder that most want to stop with reaping, because who wants to be threshed? It sounds like “thrashing”, because it is! The purpose of threshing (applying pressure to grain, whether by beating it, grinding it with stones, running over it with wagon wheels, or letting heavy animals trample it) is to loosen the shells and separate the grain from the chaff – the stalks and husks, which at this stage are useless. The stalk is what attached us to the field we came out of, and we certainly do not want it to be an ingredient in the bread. Most of what we bring in from the field – doctrines, moralities, priorities, we picked up along the way – is no longer useful once we have grown enough to be studying the Torah. The omer is to be filled only with kernels, and each kernel has a husk which must be removed, because too often we use them to hide from one another. We cannot be part of the bread if we hold onto the hull. Be honest and “account for yourself”. What am I still attached to that is useless to the Kingdom? Allow your brothers and sisters to help loosen your “kernel”, because, after all, it is people who do these jobs. Each of us is responsible to help one another through these processes. This is a great honor, but it requires trustworthiness. Whatever we learn about them must be used only to help them, never to harm them. Isaiah 28:27 speaks of different ways different grains are threshed, and the same holds true for people. Some require a heavy hand; others need to be shown hospitality and made to feel at home before they will open up enough to have the useless things removed. It is often the job of teachers to reveal to Israel what is useful and what is useless.
5. Winnowing: with a fork that looks much like a rake, one throws the grain high up into the air to expose it to the wind (ruach/spirit), which will blow away the lightweight materials and let what is heavier (Hebrew is kaved meaning important or authoritative) come back to us. It works best on a hilltop, for the ruach can seldom do its job well on the ground. This is elevating one another and letting what is useless be blown away. Now we have only the kernels and no chaff.
6. Parching: as we are separated from the lighter elements, the heat is now turned up. Once we are taught – people who have been elevated – we can be exposed to things we never would have considered before. It would be useless to parch a single kernel, so we are all parched together. No one has to go through it alone. This is not burning the grain! It is a careful process of removing moisture from the kernels. It was usually done in a metal pipe with holes in it to provide an even temperature. This makes the grain lighter still. We no longer give as much weight to “me and mine” but instead consider what is best for one another and the whole. It is difficult to give up our individual rights unless we are all in it together.
7. Crushing: this is even scarier. In ancient times, all bread was “stone ground”. At archaeological sites, many millstones have been found. The grains are crushed between two stones – a picture of the two stone tablets of the Torah. Far from being destroyed, the kernels are made fully usable this way. Now we are all part of one flour – a people with the same purpose. No longer can a bird come along and steal a kernel away, for there is no way to identify the parts of one kernel when they are mingled. As we obey the Torah and love יהוה and one another, we become inseparable.
8. Sifting: in second-Temple times the wheat for the offering was put through 13 sieves, each one finer than the previous. Thirteen is the numerical value of the Hebrew word echad (one, unified). The closer we get together, the more refined we become. Those who are crushed with us are our true neighbors.
9. Testing: the Temple treasurer would plunge his arms into a container of this flour, and it needed to be so fine that no flour could be seen on his arms. If any adhered to his flesh, it all had to go back through the sifter. It was thus not someone else’s problem – until all of us are sufficiently refined, none of us can become the bread. It is everyone’s responsibility.
10. Baking: the leavened loaves of bread are now presented on Shavuot to יהוה as firstfuits of the wheat. They are leavened because they have been fully permeated with the Kingdom (Matthew 13:33), not with sin (as leaven represents during the Feast of Unleavened Bread). There are two loaves, representing both houses of Israel which were once scattered, but are now being brought back, ready for the Kingdom!
This is the season to prepare to be a part of the two loaves, permeated with the leaven of the Kingdom! So let’s get going!
Now, to give us a greater understanding of these “two loaves”, I’d like to share with you a few quotes from the book, Ten Parts in the King, The Prophesied Reconciliation of God’s Two Witnesses” by Peter G. Rambo, Sr. and Albert J. McCarn (you can order the book here – https://tenpartsintheking.com/). This is an excellent book that will help you in many ways to understand Yah’s prophetic plan for establishing the Kingdom, the obstacles, and a way we can be a witness for the Gospel of truth. Following are some quotes from the book:
The evidence of scripture indicates that God created only one covenant entity: the family, congregation, body, nation, and kingdom called Israel. His purpose since the days of Abraham has been to establish a way for all nations to be brought into fellowship with Himself through the nation of Israel. From the beginning, Israel was destined to become a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6) that would serve as a vehicle of salvation for all the nations.
What we have not recognized, until now, is that to complete His work, the family had to be divided . . . it is an understanding that Jews and Christians each play a part in God’s plan, and that the two must join together to display the fullness of His Counsels. Christians do not replace the Jewish people, but instead join with Jews in the fulfillment of God’s plan for all humanity.
God is not finished with Israel. In fact, Israel is much bigger than both Jews and Christians commonly suppose . . . if the testimony of scripture is true, then there are two parts to the nation of Israel – two Houses, each with a distinct mission, but together destined to complete a single, united Kingdom in the age of Messiah’s reign from Zion.
For those of us who wait for Yeshua to return, it is the Gospel of the Kingdom that we are waiting for:
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
What the authors of Ten Parts in the King explain, is that the Gospel of the Kingdom is incomplete without the testimony of both witnesses . . . the Jews (Judah) and the non-Jews (believers in Yeshua, also known as Yosef, or Ephraim in the prophecies) who together comprise the covenant nation of Israel. More quotes:
The prophecy is specific: there are two parts of Israel which must be restored. Both have been scattered to the four corners of the earth, but whereas one (Judah) has been dispersed, the other (Ephraim) has been banished. The difference is this: although the Jewish people have been driven from the Promised Land into every part of the world, they have retained their Israelite identity. In contrast, Ephraim (non-Jewish Israel) was not only exiled from the Land, but cut out of the Kingdom altogether (Jeremiah 3:6-8; Hosea 1:6-7). Yet God promises to bring them back as a distinct entity, rejoin them with Judah, and restore His Covenant Nation in the Messianic Kingdom of the Son of David.
The Kingdom and the way it would be restored was the last question Yeshua’s disciples had before His ascension:
Acts 1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Adonai, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Ten Parts in the King answers the question, “what does it mean to ‘restore the kingdom to Israel?‘” It also speaks of the dilemma in the division of the Two Houses:
Judaism has emphasized the physical component: actual genealogical lineage traced to Abraham, or completion of a rigorous process of conversion to Judaism. Christianity has emphasized the spiritual component: a new Israel distinct from the old physical kingdom, but retaining the same name because Messiah, Son of David, is its king. Each part of the Kingdom defines itself in opposition to the other part. Judaism cannot admit followers of Yeshua because they cannot trace their lineage to Abraham, and because Yeshua himself is perceived as an apostate. Christianity sees the Jewish people as excluded from salvation until they acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah, and believes that the church in its various manifestations is the “Israel of God.”
It seems there is no reconciliation of these two positions. But what if both are right? . . . we are persuaded that this is the case.
יהוה’s vehicle of redemption is the Covenant nation of Israel. The authors do an amazing job of taking you from Bereshith/Genesis to Revelation to see how the divided kingdom, the two witnesses, the two houses, was His plan from the beginning. On The Remnant Road (http://www.hebrewnationonline.com/) this week with Al McCarn, Barry Phillips, and Mike Clayton, the following comment was made in reference to the kingdom/covenant:
There’s a human component to it . . . that’s the people of Israel. There’s a territorial component to it . . . that’s the Land . . . a spiritual component to it . . . it’s made and sealed with the blood of the God of Israel.
Recently, the B’ney Yosef Congress was held in Ariel, Israel. This Congress brings together the “two witnesses” of the Kingdom, both non-Jews and Jews, to find common ground and discuss restoration. In his blog, Pete Rambo gave a report on the conference and relates a moving moment during the talk of Rabbi Harry Rozenberg – Bney Yosef Congress.
There’s only one place in the Scriptures where the Almighty speaks of doing something with “all His heart and with all His soul”. We should take notice of how important this is to Him. It is a prophecy given to the people of Israel and the people of Judah concerning the restoration of the covenant and the return of His people to the Land of Israel.
Jeremiah 32:41 ‘Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.