Dear Brian – simply put – to answer your question: What exactly is meant by the terms: Yes Distinction – No Separation?

Ephraim and Judah have distinction but Ephraim and Judah are NOT separated.  Likewise, the definition of what constitutes Israel is exceedingly important as far as its present interpretation(s).

It’s better understood when we compare this simplistic definition as we examine Replacement Theology wherein there is NO DISTINCTION and, consequently, NO SEPARATION – i.e., they do NOT see the distinction between Ephraim (aka, “the Church”) and Judah (aka, the Jews) or in their case between Israel and the Church – there’s no distinction and no separation because the Church subsumes Israel and becomes the SPIRITUAL ISRAEL and/or the TRUE ISRAEL of God defines today’s totality of the “Church.”

Frankly, the Church is the ONLY ISRAEL OF GOD – so NO DISTINCTION, NO SEPARATION – the Church is the “continuing Community of Grace” throughout the ages – no need for a Millennium and certainly no prophetic destiny for the Jews (and, by the way, they could care less if Ephraim were subsumed by Judah and the lot of them are just Jews) – and certainly, there is no significance (prophetically) for the State of Israel; therefore, why not Boycott, Divest, and Sanction – go for it!! The Jews were REJECTED because they rejected the Messiah! All “covenants” have been abrogated! There is no Abrahamic, Palestinian (land), Davidic (future Millennial reign) or even New Covenant – and as far as the Mosaic Covenant concerns: It’s extinguished as well!


Dispensationalism teaches that there is distinction between “Israel and the Church” (of course, in so saying this, there is NO EPHRAIM, the Church has nothing to do with Israel and/or Ephraim because as far as the dispensationalists are concerned (e.g., Dr. Watson [although under consideration] and Bro. Franz [although not a strict dispensationalist]) – is fairly well set that Ephraim was swallowed up primarily by Judah; not so much by the nations–although that as well; S. Douglas Woodward, and my beloved sister, Jerri Tuck–all embrace some, not all, forms of classical Dispensationalism).  Today’s Israel are simply “the Jews” (all 12 tribes are referred to as “Jews” – one can be a “Christian Jew” or one can be a “Jewish Jew” but still Jewish, still a Jew – it is an ethnic designation – some “Jewish Jews” take offense that one can be described as a “Christian Jew” – therefore, some Christian Jews preferred to be called “Messianic Jews”).

Again: Judah (the “Unbelieving Jews”) have subsumed Ephraim and what’s left is the Church (the “Elect from among the nations” and also Jews (defined as all the 12 tribes of ancient Israel, aka, the Jews–brought into the “Church”:) which has nothing to do with Ephraim, ipso facto Ephraim has nothing to do with Israel – the Church is comprised of Jew and Gentile–saved by the blood of Jesus–the “Elect from among the Nations” is NOT Ephraim, for why should Jews of Judah be joined unto Ephraim?!

So, with Dispensationalism there IS DISTINCTION – but it is a “dispensational distinction” as so described between “Israel” [so defined] and the “Church” [so defined]. In Dispensationalism there is total SEPARATION between the Church and Israel (forget any definition having to do with Ephraim being a part of ALL ISRAEL (Rom. 9:6; 11:26) or the ISRAEL OF GOD (Gal. 6:16) – that’s because the Church cannot be defined by Ephraim–she is TOTALLY SEPARATED from the “natural branches”). The Church is separated from the unbelieving Jews (Jews which are comprised of the subsumed Ephraim into Judah from history past.

Furthermore, forget Romans 9:20-28 (it’s naught but an allegory or at best a metaphor)–notwithstanding, mercy shown to the:

“. . . vessels of wrath . . . of the Gentiles . . . ‘I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved, and it shall come to pass IN THE PLACE where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God‘” (Rom. 11:24-26; Hosea 2:23; 1:10).

Likewise, the prophecy found in Ezk. 37:15-28 – the Two Stick prophecy – is irrelevant or, at best, this prophecy has already taken place (Ephraim has been subsumed by Judah and there weren’t that many 10-tribe Israelites “swallowed up” by the nations in the first place). Moreover, Ephraim (now swallowed up by Judah) will be miraculously taken out of Judah in the “latter days” just before the Second Coming when the Almighty makes them ONE STICK in the Hand of the LORD. [I know, sounds a bit redundant since the two are in their minds already joined together.]

But there is YES DISTINCTION and YES SEPARATION – even into the Millennial Era where the Church (having nothing to do with Ephraim because those are just Jews/Judah/All Israel) is like a Satellite orbiting above the Earth as the Bride of Messiah (Walvoord) for 1,000 years; all the while the Jews/Israel are/is upon the earth ruling and reigning with the “David, My Servant” – although they confirm that the saints rule and reign with Christ a thousand years like good ‘ole Chialists once affirmed.

On the “downside” – the Jews rejected the KINGDOM offered at Messiah’s First Coming – “it [the offering of the kingdom to Israel] has been postponed” until the Jews cry out “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!“
Jews today (all 12 tribes) are outside of the Commonwealth of Israel–they have their own prophetic destiny but are not included in the Bride of Messiah and will, by themselves, undergo the 70th Week of Daniel and their own “Jacob’s Trouble” – neither this unbelieving “prophetic Israel” – nor, in point of glaring fact, the Old Testament saints from Adam to the Cross, will participate in the Marriage of the Lamb nor the Wedding Feast (just as guests to the “Wedding Feast”); and they are NOT the Bride of Messiah in any way, shape or form – they have their own New Covenant which is NOT the same as the Mediator of the New Covenant or the New Covenant offered to Christians–TOTAL SEPARATION is the norm! Jews after the Church’s rapture will preach “this gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 24:14) which is NOT the “gospel of the grace of God” which is in view in Acts 20:24 – why? Because the gospel that the Jews will preach after the Rapture will NOT produce the Bride of Messiah–only “tribulation saints” – and no more!

You can see then:



They either place Israel in subsumption (RT) or, and forgive me to say this, ghettoize the Jews keeping them apart from the Elect from among the Nations both prophetically in the latter days, up through the reign of “David, My Servant” (Ezk. 37:24-25). In their interpretations concerning WHO IS ISRAEL?–neither one (RT or Dispy) sees today’s Israel as Ephraim and Judah – neither one.


YES DISTINCTION – Yes we see there is Israel and the Church but we see Israel as Judah (the Jews – both unbelieving and believing) and Ephraim (the Church, or the ELECT FROM AMONG THE NATIONS)…We see DISTINCTION but NOT the same way that the Dispensationalists see distinction, in that they have Ephraim subsumed by Judah – NOT SO WITH CT!!

NO SEPARATION – We affirm (but NOT like the Replacement Theologians) that there is no separation between Judah (the Jews) and Ephraim (the Christians) – this is a profoundly prophetic statement in that unbelieving Jews/National Israel shall come into full prophetic fulfillment in accordance with Romans 11:25-27 when ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE DELIVERED – meanwhile, we wish to keep both believing Judah (Jews) and Christians in the One New Man, the ONE BODY, the New Creation, the Bride of Messiah.

BUT, and here’s our little twist – BOTH PROPHETIC JUDAH/JEWS and the ONE-NEW MAN (Jews and Christians) are NOW within the Commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12) – why? Because even in unbelief they have a most peculiar prophetic destiny and God Almighty is gathering them NOW back into the Land and the fact that they are but “blinded in part” – so they are not as the other tribes of the earth! Ultimately the Natural Branches are wholly grafted in again into the ONE ROOT with the wild branches – the Prodigal (Ephraim) is in the house of the Father WITH the Faithful Son, Judah (Note: Judah was NEVER divorced, but Israel/Ephraim was but then mercy would be shown on her–Ezk. 6:9, Jer. 3:8; Hos. 1:6-7, 9-10; 2:2, 23; 2 Kings 17:18-23).

So – defining these terms is incredibly important – so, when we say under CT: YES DISTINCTION – we mean it differently than the NO DISTINCTION of RT and, for that matter Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism’s YES DISTINCTION is not the same as the YES of CT because the definition of the term Israel is different. When we say NO SEPARATION we mean it differently than RT (which subsumes Judah/Jews which they see as just an ethnic designation of “Jews” or worse, “fake Jews”); and Dispensationalism, of course, which demands their own brand of “separation” between National Israel and the Church – can you follow me?

I would be happy to explain this more clearly if need be; however, in my two articles and additional material, I have attempted to explained it – but thank you for inquiring.

NO, it is NOT easy to explain this due to the millennia which have distorted the FACT OF THE MATTER. The doctrines (esp. eschatology) embedded in Commonwealth Theology are, I believe, SUPERIOR to those of the Replacement/Reform theologians and their anti-chialism eschtologies which disinherit the Jews of Judah and distort any distinction between Ephraim and Judah.

Furthermore, the many doctrinal inaccuracies within dispensational theology are resolved by the insightful and moderate proposal embedded in CT – in essence, CT embellishes and clarifies the distinctions between “Israel and the Church” by clarifying the identities of Judah and Ephraim; and, simultaneously, adheres to the singularity of NO SEPARATION espoused within Reform thinking (e.g., the New Covenant is NOW a New Testament reality – not just the “spiritual blessings” of the New Covenant but the New Covenant as described in the O.T. passages is enjoyed today–Jer. 31:31-37; 32:40; Ezk. 36:16-38).

Fundamentally, it must be understood, today’s Jews (Judah) who are brought into the ONE BODY OF MESSIAH, the ONE NEW MAN, the NEW CREATION where there is “neither Jew nor Greek” are altogether A NEW CREATION. The phenomenon of Messianic Congregations where Jewish-style practices take place and where there is a greater recognition of the Torah in daily living are NOT separate from the “goyim” who are members of the One Body–there is “neither Jew nor Greek” – however, just as there is neither “male nor female” – there abides Jewish Christians and Christians who are non-Jewish–it is what it is.

The “assimilating influences” of the overwhelming number of “goyim” within the ONE BODY tends to “swallow up” the Jewish Christians; however, with the rebirth of the State of Israel, that mitigating influence (i.e., the loss of “Jewishness” juxtaposed to “the Elect from the Nations”) has been diminished – and all the more with the rise of “Messianic Judaism” – which is readily recognized by Christians of non-Jewish backgrounds but vociferously resisted as a branch of Judaism by non-believing Jews (however, not like it used to be – an encouraging development indeed!).

Messianic Congregations which wholeheartedly welcome BOTH believing Jews and folks with non-Jewish backgrounds provide extraordinary examples of true unity in Messiah and should be encouraged to thrive!

Bless and Shalom – Doug Krieger

Comments are closed.