Last year at the first B’ney Yosef National Congress in Ariel, on the mountains of Ephraim, we examined the reconstitution of our Identity as a nation. A number of relevant topics were presented and then submitted to round-table discussions. The Congress was followed by several summit meetings in Europe and the United States, which yielded more discussions and… - not surprisingly – also criticisms - yet there have been constructive gatherings in individual nations and states in order to locate and find one another for the purpose of building positive relationships.
The purpose of last year’s Congress was to explore ideas on how to reconstitute ourselves as the stick/nation of Yosef/Ephraim, prior to attempting to unite with Judah. Within the Ephraimite body there is a great need to bring unity to families and communities and thus to the Israelite nation as a whole. We do not want to duplicate what is being attempted by other organizations such as Kol Hator (Judah) and Commonwealth of Israel (Ephraim), who convened in Jerusalem immediately after Shavuot 2016 to try and reconcile with each other. If we do not have a semblance of unity in our own house, how do we expect Judah to trust us and respond to our desire to draw near to them?
It was stated many times in last year’s Congress that first and foremost the restoration is a heart matter – and for it (the restoration) to go forward we must have the heart of our Heavenly Father. YHVH warned our ancestors thousands of years ago that, He hated their feast days, new moons and Sabbaths etc because their hearts were not right before Him: “…Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear… Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:13b-17). “These are the things you shall do: speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates [at the door of your home] for truth, justice, and peace; let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor [or brother]; and do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,' says YHVH" (Zechariah 8:16-17).
Ephraim’s jealousy of Judah (see Isaiah 11:13) was largely aroused by the latter’s leadership via the throne of the House of David. Ephraim must repent of the desire to rule the house of Jacob, he must humbly return as a servant and not aspire to a kingly position. His role is a priestly one, to bring righteousness to the House of YHVH/Jacob through the New Covenant established by his High Priest and Redeemer, Yeshua the Messiah.
If we say we have returned to the Torah which the Spirit has etched in our hearts, then it must be evidenced by the fruit. This Torah, written on our hearts through the New Covenant is, “to love YHVH with all our heart, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves”. Without this resultant effect any pursuit of external initiatives will fail. Unity is founded on these two Torah laws. If we have this Light of Torah in our hearts through Yeshua’s indwelling Spirit, we can have differing opinions on a verity of issues, but those differences will never break the bond of peace between us, whether it is between husband and wife (in families) brothers and sisters in Messiah (in community), nor in the greater community surrounding us.
The ripple effect of last year’s Congress cannot be ignored. As mentioned above, there were very positive responses and outcomes, but also negative ones which came to the fore, accentuating real problems that exist within the Ephraimite community. Hence we believe that at this coming gathering we should examine our hearts through the lenses of relevant scriptures, and hear what the Spirit is saying to the “kehila of Israel’s Northern house” regarding those matters that historically and currently are still at work, as well as discover together where Abba is at in the process of the re-gathering. We definitely do not want to lag behind, but also not to run ahead of Him.
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