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It’s not unusual to find a messianic believer (usually a Gentile) who holds to both two-house (a/k/a messianic Israel/Ephraimite) theology and what is known in most places as “one-law” theology.

Two-house theology basically teaches that when a Gentile becomes a believer in Yeshua, he/she becomes an Israelite. Thus, as Israelites, the former Gentiles (or discovered Israelites) are now required to obey the Torah in all its aspects, including the Sabbath, dietary laws, etc.

“One-law” theology holds that the Torah is applicable and binding on all believers because:

  1. Of several verses in Torah, such as Numbers 15:16, which state that there shall be “one law … for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
  2. Of the belief that the difference between Jews and Gentiles has been obliterated in Messiah (Ephesians 2:15) in such a way that Gentile believers must be like Jews and keep laws formerly kept only by Jews..

What I have come to find interesting is that both of these theologies (two-house/messianic Israel and one-law) can be held by the same person or even congregation. Or, rather, that one person would want to hold and push both of them.

Especially since they each render the other unnecessary.

Sure, they both come to the same conclusion, that all believers in Messiah should keep the Torah, no matter who they are. But to hold both viewpoints, what I’ll call a 2/1 (two-house, one-law) viewpoint, appears to be inconsistent, or contradictory.

If you believe that all believers in Messiah are automatically Israelite, then there is no question that they must keep all of the laws in the Torah addressed to Israel, such as the dietary laws, the Sabbath laws, the festival laws, and on and on, even the purity laws and sacrificial laws in the presence of a Temple.

So why do some of these people who hold to a two-house theology also stress the verses that command that “there shall be one law for you and the sojourner”? If they’re already Israel, then claiming a one-law position is beside the point. The one-law theology stresses that the Torah is fully applicable both to those who were born Jews (native members of the House of Israel) and to Gentiles. If you hold to a two-house theology, then the “Gentiles” in your frame of reference are unbelieving Gentiles, and you don’t need to prove your point regarding the need for believers to be Torah-observant in all aspects from the “one-law” verses.

If you can clear this up for me, I’d appreciate it.

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