Sunday, November 30, 2014

Restoring Elohim's Convenants

“For when Elohim made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you’" (Hebrews 6:13-14).  The Elohim of Abraham made a covenant promise to our forefather.  It is backed by a very judicial signature, His own Name.  The first part of this covenant promise is found in Genesis 12:2-3:   I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." When Abram was 99, Almighty Elohim identified Himself again, “I am” and said: “I will multiply you exceedingly” (Genesis 17:2).  One life, in one sperm, in one dead womb, of one mother -  Sarah - to whom the same Elohim promised:  "And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her"  (Genesis 17:16).  Do you believe that YHVH kept this promise naturally and literally?

Anyone who believes in this Elohim of Abraham and Sarah, must in this generation bear witness to the reality of His word and His faithfulness to keep covenant.  Replacement theology has made a mockery of Elohim and He who is His Word).  The Almighty Elohim has accomplished what He said He would do.  The seed/life that was birthed from Sarah's womb was never meant to be marked by religion, of one kind or another (Judaism, Christianity, or some hybrid of those two).  YHVH promised a “nation,” a people living under the government of Elohim.  If there is to be a so called religion, it can only be a personal relationship with the Elohim of the fathers, a relationship that issues from a circumcised heart that is obedient to the Word of Elohim.          

 YHVH’s covenant with Abram was sealed by a sacrifice of animals that were divided into two halves.  This was the first evidence of what would happen to the one nation that was promised.  Jacob, who epitomized the chosen nation, divided his household into two camps, two peoples, and later YHVH divided it into two nations.  This was done because judicially YHVH requires two witnesses who are to bear witness to the One who walked between the sacrifices and swore by His own name  - the “I am.”   In the past 150 years YHVH has moved and maneuvered nations in order to bring the first stick (Judah) back to the land and establish them again as a nation among the nations.  He is now doing the same thing to the lost tribes of Israel. He is saving them, gathering them into families, and the families into communities, and to these communities He is granting or restoring their specific national identity as the Nation/stick of Joseph in the hand of Ephraim.  

We cannot take lightly these covenant statements that the Almighty Elohim made with our forefather Abraham and wife Sarah. YHVH will have two nations living side by side in the land that is promised to each of them, and ultimately they will be joined together as one Holy Nation with King Messiah son of David ruling over them to be a blessings to the rest of the nations, fulfilling what He promised: “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rachel's Children Restored

Two weeks ago I sent out a letter called “Northerners and Southerners,” which had to do with YHVH’s ‘two state solution’ to the Middle East conflict.  This week I would like to continue on the same theme, especially as we look forward to the B'ney Yosef National Congress.  

Reading Jeremiah 31, I was arrested by the following verses and have been contemplating some of the points stated there: “Thus says YHVH: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.’ Thus says YHVH: ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,’ says YHVH, ‘and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.  There is hope in your future,’ says YHVH, ‘your children shall come back to their own border’” (Jeremiah 31:15-17 emphasis added). When read in its context, it is obvious that the partial quote in Matthew 2:18 and its then-application was far from being the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.   

What stood out to me in this excerpt were the words, “and they shall come back/return.” Notice the first time it says where they will return from, and the second where they will return to (indicated in bold).  But who are these ones whom Scripture calls the “children of Rachel”?  I’m sure it is not referring to the babies that Herod murdered.  Let us ask ourselves again, who are Rachel’s children? Most would answer “Yosef and Binyamin,” but shouldn’t we also take into consideration the other two who were born on her knees through Bilhah her handmaid (see Genesis 30:3)? Thus, all in all the children that Rachel is ‘weeping for’ would be Yosef (i.e. Ephraim and Menashe), Binyamin, Dan and Naphtali (although in the wider context there is no doubt that the reference is to all of Ya’acov’s lost children).  Hence Rachel is weeping because those children “are no more,” just as YHVH foretold through Hosea, who pronounced that they would become “not my people (am).” And further, that they would be “sown,” and from the above Jeremiah scripture we learn that this sowing is in the land of their enemy. Who is the enemy in this regard? The answer is simple and straightforward, all the nations that are gathered together “to do away” with Israel as a people and nation (see Psalm 83).  There is more here (in Ps. 83) than doing away with the name; the intent is to destroy the people and to possess the land of their heritage - “Zion” – the dwelling place of YHVH (see also Ezekiel 36).

Above we read that “Rachel’s children” (those lost ones) would be returning to their “borders.”  Hence we must also ask, where are those borders?  For the answer let us turn to Ezekiel chapters 47 and 48.   First from chapter 47: “Thus says YHVH Elohim: ‘These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions.  You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance’” (Ezekiel 47:13-14).  Interestingly, the land is divided equally among the tribes.  In comparing several renditions of the Ezekiel map, I was struck by the placement of the tribes.  All the (literal) children of Rachel were in the northern territories, except for Binyamin.  Instead, Asher, Leah’s concubine’s son, was in the north placed between Dan and Naphtali, as if there had been some tradeoff with Binyamin. 

This territorial shift from the old order is also confirmed by the prophecies of Zechariah and Micah, on the recovery and return of the lost tribes of the House of Yosef in the last days:  "I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside…  I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them… and they shall remember Me in far countries; They shall live, together with their children, and they shall return… I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, until no more room is found for them” (for full context see Zechariah 10:6-10 emphasis added).  “Shepherd Your people with Your staff, the flock of Your heritage, who dwell solitarily in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in days of old” (Micah 7:14 emphasis added).  As of yet these prophesies have not been fulfilled.  According to the maps, the border between Northerners and Southerners is around the southern end of the Carmel range, which means that the Galilee area will be part of Ephraim.

The above map shows the approximate boundaries during the time of the future transition, until all that is promised to the forefathers, including “all the land of the Hittites” (Joshua 1:4) and the land up to the Euphrates River, will be inherited.  How many years will it take? Only YHVH knows.  It could be similar to the number of years of Judah’s restoration (which isn’t finished yet).  YHVH had to maneuver nations and peoples then, in order to set the stage for our brothers to return.   As history reminds us, only a remnant of Jews took heed to the prophets.  We know what happened to those who remained in the land(s) of their enemies, thinking that they were safe. However, saying that, let us not overlook the fact that quite a few (many of whom perished beforehand) had the foresight to believe that they would return and so started to make practical preparations while still in the nations.  We, of the House of Yoseph, need to take note of where YHVH has us at this time.  These are some tentative subjects to be presented at the B'ney Yosef National/Zionist Congress. Please let us know if you are interested, even if you can’t come you can pray, which would be greatly appreciated.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baton of Elijah

This past week I watched a very passionate speech delivered by one of the most popular Messianic Jewish rabbis.  He related his topic to the song “These are the Days of Elijah”.  The rabbi exhorted his listeners to take the baton (I assume he meant of Elijah) in order, “To raise up the tribes of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:6).  But how can the tribes of Jacob be raised if there is no knowledge (or acknowledgment) of who they are, or if their identity is attributed solely to the Jews?  Both Isaiah and Hosea issued a warning regarding “my people [who] perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6; see also Isaiah 5:13). Without seeing that the majority of Israel has lost its identity and is still scattered in the nations, hundreds of scriptures will be misinterpreted and many will perish.  The   Ephesians 1:18 prayer is certainly applicable for our day and age: “That the eyes of our/your understanding being enlightened; that we/you may know what is the hope of His [Yehsua’s] calling”. The Messiah’s calling was mainly to raise up the tribes of Jacob. He is raising them up to become a nation and not a religious system (ref.1 Peter 2:9).

 Elijah was an anointed prophet and, again, not a religious leader and was never called “rabbi”.  As a matter of fact, Yeshua, as we all know, said to call no man rabbi.  I wonder what Yeshua thinks of those who use this title today…  Yeshua described the religious leaders in the following words:  "They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi. But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, Messiah” (Matthew 23:6-8).  Obviously this statement does not pertain to those who do not believe in, or accept Yeshua as their “Rabbi” - teacher.

The afore-mentioned speaker made an interesting statement concerning the Messianic Jews of the first century, terming them the “Alpha” company, and named the Messianic Jews of this generation the “Omega”.  I wonder what Paul, Barnabas, James, Peter and John would have thought of being compared to the present Messianic believers.  But that is not the point; if today’s Messianic Jews are to carry the baton of Elijah then they would have to convene, in a manner of speaking, the whole house of Israel to Mount Carmel and confront the prophets of Baal.  But before they could do that, they would have to extricate themselves from the same religious spirits. They would also have to acknowledge the whole house of Israel and exhort them to, "Remember the Torah of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments...” so that the Spirit may “…turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (Malachi 4:6).  

To hold the baton of Elijah at this time, one would have to know that the Word of Elohim has been governing the history of the House of Jacob. One would also have to realize that the majority of Israel has lost its identity, and is well mixed in all nations and needs to be brought back to the Torah of Moses by receiving the promised New Covenant in Yeshua.  Why? So that their hearts can be restored to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  As I asked in last week’s letter, how will Ephraim know to smite his thigh in repentance for the sin of his youth if he is ignorant of his identity? (See Jeremiah 31:18-20). 

The Elijah company certainly needs to confront the prophets of Baal! These prophets serve many lords of the religious and philosophical systems of the world.  We may infer from what is described in Revelation that, religion is part of “Babylon the great harlot”. The redeemed of YHVH, however, are called out of religion and into a relationship in which they are to be joined to Him.  Being in Messiah is not a religious affiliation. It is to be a manifestation of the face of our Heavenly Father (Bread of the Presence), that is, of His Light, His Life, and His nature.

How are we to live outside the precincts of a religious organization? If we turn to the words of Ezekiel, we find that it is not a proverbial baton that he is referring to, but sticks (nations) - “two sticks in the hand of the prophet”.   A true prophet of the Omega generation must hold up these two sticks with the understanding that YHVH is identifying these two nations and will be gathering them into one nation with a kingdom government (see Ezekiel 37).  This was the reason for the summons to go to all nations and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, which was proclaimed by Yeshua and the “Alpha” company. He came to redeem, restore and bring back the tribes of Jacob.  He came to establish His Lordship over the whole house of Israel.  He came to sit on the throne of His father David and set up an everlasting kingdom (ref. Luke 1:31-33).  That is what the Omega company needs to understand and proclaim about the days of Elijah.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Returning to our National Consciousness

As we approach Yom Kippur, our thoughts are directed toward the biblical and traditional meaning of this day.  There is no lack of material on the subject, articulated from the perspective of teachers in the Hebrew roots movements, from the Jewish Sages and many others.  At this time, however, the essence of this day may be taking on an additional significance, as during the next twelve months three blood moons are supposed to be seen and all of them on YHVH’s Feast days.

Probable scriptural interpretations, along with current world conditions are such that, tribulation like the world has never seen could be just around the corner.  Yet in spite of these, there is another aspect to this looming scenario, one which we should not ignore.  Thus the words of Jeremiah 30:7 could become most relevant for this season: “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”  Yes, trouble could be in the offing, but the latter part of our verse is loaded with great meaning: “He [Jacob] shall be saved out of it.” Does this mean that a rapture will take place and Jacob will be caught up into the air and disappear?  Or is the prophet pointing to something even more significant?  Let us go back and read the introduction to this chapter: “’For behold, the days are coming,' says YHVH, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says YHVH; 'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it’” (Jeremiah 30:3 emphasis added).   For those who choose not to accept the biblical division within the House of Jacob this prophecy may seem “generic,” as the prophet’s declaration are viewed as if already fulfilled when the Jews returned to the land after the Babylonian exile, or upon the return of the Jews to the land of Israel in modern times.  Many view the House of Jacob as being the Jewish nation only, with many still residing in the nations. 

However, the return of the Jews to the land, and the future return of many more of them, is only a partial fulfillment of this prophecy.  It does, however, indicate the fulfillment of the gathering of the first stick/nation of Ezekiel 37:16. Yet Judah’s return does not fulfill the prophetic destiny of the stick/nation of Joseph in the hand of Ephraim (v.16).

YHVH pledged to bring back Israel (both houses) to the land that He promised and gave to the forefathers.  The land at this point in time is far from being occupied and settled in all its entirety by the whole house of Israel. If we check the relevant scriptures, the land promised is from the River Euphrates to the border of Egypt (see Genesis 15:8; Deuteronomy 1:7).  Then “all the land of the Hittites” is also part of the promise, a land which is in present day Turkey (ref. Joshua 1:4).  Another point to note about the timing of the return to what rightfully belongs to YHVH’s people, is the sequence of what takes place in the 49th Shmittah and 50th Jubilee year. 

In all Shmittah years debts are forgiven, but in the 49th year, at Yom Kippur a “great shofar” is blown, consecrating and heralding the coming of the Jubilee year when the inheritance is to be reclaimed and all debts are forgiven.  If we are in the year of Sh’mittah, then we should be preparing to receive all that YHVH provides at such a time; that is the double portion of supply.  The parable of the Ten Virgins makes for a good illustration of this point (ref. Matthew 25:1-12), keeping in mind the following verse: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).  Since no one knows for sure whether any of the calendars that we use today are accurate, we have to be on ‘our spiritual toes.’

Back to Jacob’s salvation from the great tribulation. In bringing Judah back to the land, YHVH has made them a nation and a mighty horse in battle (ref. Zechariah 10: 3-4).  Their return is a sign that He is going to save the house of Joseph (ref. Zechariah 10: 6), and that He will whistle for them and gather them (ref. Zechariah 10:8). The question is, gather into what?  Are they all to be gathered into Judah’s nation at that point?  Or are they to first discover their own prophetic destiny as the second stick/nation of the House of Joseph/Ephraim?

The house of Israel/Ephraim has lost its national identity as Elohim’s people and as a nation which is distinct from Judah.  Hosea, who was a prophet to Israel/Ephraim, declared that Ephraim/Israel would be “swallowed up”:  “Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which is no pleasure” (Hosea 8:8).  We, like our brothers the Jews in the course of their history, must return to the Zionistic ideal of national identity.   YHVH was faithful to gather Judah and restore them to the land.  How much more so will He do for the “nation/stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions”? (Ezekiel 37:16).  Remember He takes no pleasure in us in the lands that will come under judgment for having swallowed us up (and for their many iniquities): “Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey” (Jeremiah 30:16).

“Vindicate us, YHVH our Elohim according to Your righteousness; and let not the nations rejoice [gloat] over us.  Let them not say in their hearts, ‘Ah, so we would have it!’ Let them not say, ‘We have swallowed him up’” (Psalm 35:24-25). 

“’Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says YHVH, 'nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid.  For I am with you,' says YHVH, 'to save you’” (Jeremiah 30:10-11).  

During Yom Kippur may the Holy One of Israel establish you/us in your/our true national identity, and prepare our hearts for the day of our return to our forefathers’ inheritance. This is what the Jubilee is all about and we should have a passion for it, even as great as for the return of our Messiah Son of David: “They/we shall serve YHVH their/our Elohim, and David their/our king, whom I will raise up for them/us” (Jeremiah 30:9). 

Please read Jeremiah 30 during Yom Kippur, as you also go through the traditional reading of the book of Jonah (who, like some of us, tried to escape his prophetic destiny…).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Two States Solution

In the past few decades the world body of nations has been in an uproar over the ‘most serious’ issue that has ever faced the modern world, it is known as “the Arab Israeli conflict.”  What is that conflict and what has been the suggested solution?  We all know that it has to do with “two states living securely side by side - a Palestinian State and an Israeli/Jewish State.”   It seems that the international body of nations feels that if it could only solve this one problem, peace would descend upon their world. 

Well, I think they are right, and so does the Almighty One of Israel.  The only difference is that in this drama one of the players has been replaced.  The “two states” that YHVH is desiring to put together and make into one, are the state of Southern Israel (the house of Judah) and the state of Northern Israel (the house of Joseph/Ephraim).  This is His two state solution, and this is the only union that will bring His peace to this “major conflict if not to the world.”  

For the past one hundred years the Almighty has been gathering the people of the Southern Nation of Judah, resulting in a Jewish state (est. 1948) which has its place among the nations of the world. This has been in accordance with the prophecy of Zechariah, who predicted that “… YHVH of the Armies will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle” (Zechariah 10:3).  I don’t think that any would dispute that ‘Southern Israel’ has a military next to none here in the Middle East.  But what about Northern Israel?  Who are its nationals?  Where are they?  Are they a people, and do they even know who they are? With Judah occupying its own (present) territory, when the time comes for the return of the other house, which territory will the latter occupy? For a (partial) answer see Zechariah 10:10. Elohim declares emphatically through the mouth of His prophet: "Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of YHVH” (Jeremiah 8:7).  

The judgment of YHVH is clearly seen in the Torah of Moses:  "Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where YHVH your Elohim drives you, and you return to YHVH your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that YHVH your Elohim will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where YHVH your Elohim has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there YHVH your Elohim will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then YHVH your Elohim will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.  And YHVH your Elohim will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:1-6).

Driven nadach, meaning: to impel, thrust, drive away, banish, outcast.

Scattered poots, meaning: to scatter, be dispersed (like a seed).  

These two words, respectively, are typically descriptive of the prophetic destiny of both “Israels,” as seen in Isaiah 11: “He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts/rejected [from the same root as “nadach”] of Israel, and gather together the dispersed [“naphats” - to break in pieces] of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12). Certainly Judah has been a scattered and broken people throughout history, not least when YHVH tore the northern kingdom off of them (see 1Kings:11:30-31). This is still very grievous to the soul of Judah.

The above Isaiah scripture states that YHVH will lift a banner, or an ensign (‘end sign’), a banner that is seen in the hand of the prophet Ezekiel (37:16).  That description depicts two olive trees/sticks (“etzim”) that are being lifted by the “son of man,” the prophet, and are being held in front of the sons of his peoples, until they ask:   “Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?" (Ezekiel 37:18).  In a way we also lifted that ensign before the people of Judah, when over a 100 of us marched through the streets during the Succot 2014 Parade, with the declaration of “United 2 Restore.”

Before Succot we had already announced plans to have an Ephraimite/Northern Israel National Congress, and in the wake of the march it seems that the momentum should not be lost.  The fast moving world events and more so the YHVH’s Spirit’s stirring point to the need for the people of Am Israel (Northern Kingdom) to begin to define themselves as a ‘national entity,’ a single “AM/people” in spite of the current dispersion. Such a move will enable B’ney Yosef to deepen and extend the groundwork for their eventual return. We know without a shadow of a doubt that Abba will not allow Israel/Ephraim to return in the same heart condition that characterized them before their banishment. Thus, the success of any kind of practical undertaking will depend on the depth of the heart transformation and true repentance (the proverbial black, blue and yellow marks on one’s smitten thigh):  " I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained bull; Restore me, and I will return, for You are YHVH my Elohim.  Surely, after my turning, I repented; And after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth'” (Jeremiah 31:18-19).

At the moment we are working on the details of the Congress and agenda and are hoping to send it out to those who have a sincere interest.

This event, Yah willing, will take place in the Eshel HaShomron Hotel in Ariel, from the 25th through the 27th of May (immediately after Shavuot which is on the 24th. We are hoping that most will be able to be there from Friday 22nd so as to enable us to fellowship and bond during the Shabbat and the Feast).  We are proposing that organizations, communities, home groups, congregations, etc. which identify with the message presented above, will send delegates to this historic Zionist Congress.

If you are interested in coming or supporting this effort, please write us. For obvious reasons, the congress will not focus on theology, but will be based on Deuteronomy 30:1-6; Exodus 20:1-6; and 1John 1:1.  The prayer Psalm for the Congress is Psalm 80.    

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Has the Word of Elohim Failed?

I have been really challenged this week with some questions about the Ephraimite identity. As most of you know, recently there have been some more attacks against this teaching, and the teachers who are espousing, advocating, promoting the true history of the Word of Elohim and its connection to the house of Jacob or the whole House of Israel. 

In order to build a structurally sound house, firm foundations have to be laid. It is with this thought in mind that, I am in the process of reexamining the Ephraimite/two house truths and movement.  Does it have those firm, rock-solid foundations?  I think most of us have exhausted the proof from the Tanach (“Old Testament”) and Yeshua’s parables and other sayings from the Gospels, but that is not sufficient without the apostolic writings.  One has to have at least two or three witnesses in order to establish a matter. The apostolic ingredient, therefore, is the catalyst, or agent that makes this mixture firm and hard to disprove.  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua the Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-20).  Yeshua is not only the cornerstone, He is the foundation as He is the Spirit of the Word and the Messenger that proceeded from Elohim:  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Yeshua Messiah [and His anointing](1 Corinthians 3:11).

Since Yeshua is the Word, we have to be very careful that we do not pull Him apart into a “past” or “old Yeshua” and a “new Yeshua”.  “Yeshua Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  The consistency of the Tanach and Renewed Covenant must be flawless.  However, with two thousand years of a non-Israelite/Gentile Christianity it is very hard to alter, change, or even modify the commonplace interpretations and translations to a recognizable connection between the Torah, the Prophets, the Gospels, and apostolic writings. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to try and do so, with the help and guidance of YHVH’s Spirit.  If this is not attempted, the present move of His Spirit, of turning the hearts of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob back to those forefathers, will be stolen by religious spirits and taken to Babylon/Rome or worse, given over to the hunters’ sword. We heard an Anglican Bishop (charismatic assigned to the Vatican) quote that scripture but meaning back to church fathers. 

“But thanks be to YHVH, ‘For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because YHVH will make a short work upon the earth.’ And as Isaiah said before: ‘Unless YHVH Tzeva’ot had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah’” (Romans 9:28-29).   What seed/sperma is YHVH Tzeva’ot concerned about? Would it not be the one that He Himself singled out, when He said to Abraham that, “in Isaac your seed shall be called” (Genesis 12:21; Hebrews 11:18).  What is so special about Isaac?  Why does the apostle make such a big deal about pointing out this seed of Abraham that came forth from Sarah’s womb?  But not only Sarah’s (womb), also Rebekah’s, who gave birth to a “chosen nation” - Jacob (ref. Romans 9:9-12). Why is YHVH so concerned that His word would be of “no effect” in relationship to this special seed in the Adamic race? 

Many foreigners who were not related to the called and chosen seed had linked themselves with Israel over the centuries and assimilated.  Additionally, there were also those from Abraham’s other wives who had joined Israel. Thus the apostle had to clarify and deal with this issue of Israel’s true identity:  “But it is not that the word of Elohim has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.  For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son’” (Romans 9:6-9, emphases added).   YHVH came to the dead and barren womb of Sarah and raised up an egg, a seed of woman in which Abraham’s “sperma” fertilized.  Thus Isaac was not only a child of Abraham, but also YHVH’s miracle child.

One of the reasons why the Tanach is not considered carefully and not taken literally is because the above scripture is interpreted as pointing to the one born of Miriam, and not of Sarah. The Church felt compelled to explain the apostles’ writings from the stand point of replacement theology or universalism, thus any seed/life will do, as long as it can be joined by and to the doctrinal interpretation of the institution. This is what Nimrod did when he built Babel and rallied all the family of Noah, except Shem’s and Ever’s family, into His kingdom of the “mixed multitude”.   If Elohim has indeed started over and abandoned His covenants and promises with the forefathers, why would He have gone through all the trouble in the first place?   Why would He replace His promised son Isaac and His “chosen seed” Jacob with a mixed multitude? 

Why should we pay any attention to the “Old Testament” prophets? Perhaps Peter gives us a good reason to do so, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of Elohim spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).  Again, in the book of Acts we find the following statement: "whom heaven must receive (in reference to Yeshua) until the times of restoration of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (3:21).

Yeshua came to redeem and restore this chosen Family of Jacob and will set up His kingdom in those whom YHVH predestined to be the called and chosen, as Moses prophesied: "… a holy people to YHVH your Elohim; YHVH your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).  Why would the Almighty abandon His call upon His people and substitute them with a mixture of some kind?  This obviously would weaken and even replace His own testimony as being faithful in keeping His covenants with and promises to the forefathers.   "YHVH delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their seed after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 10:15).  “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:6).

In examining the writings of the apostles, we have to keep in mind that they did not have the interpretations of the “church fathers” from which to draw their understanding or conclusions.  Everything that they learned was by the Holy Spirit of Messiah and was based and founded on the Tanach’s facts and truths. When encountering Old Testament quotations in the Renewed Covenant, a principle of referring to the original contexts of these verses must be followed. The apostles may only use a verse or two from an entire chapter, but without a shadow of a doubt they had read, studied, and contemplated the whole book and its message.  Let’s take for example two scriptures from Hosea, who for some reason is ‘popular’ with Paul and Peter: “And Elohim said to him, Call her name Lo-Ruhamah: for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel and I will utterly take them away” (Hosea 1:6).  “Then said Elohim, Call his name Lo-Ammi: for you are not my people, and I will not be your Elohim” (Hosea 1:9).  

Was Peter referring to the same people whom Hosea was addressing, when he wrote: “who once were not a people but are now the people of Elohim, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:10)?  Or was he speaking about a “mixed multitude”?

 What was Paul thinking when he quoted the following from Hosea: "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people (Lo Ami),' There they shall be called sons of the living Elohim" (Romans 9:26; Hosea 1:10)?  The apostle then continues with a quote from Isaiah:  “Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved’” (Romans 9:27, 10:22).  The Hebrew word translated “saved” is actually “return” (shuv), and also means “repent”.  Was Paul referring to a “mixed multitude”, or was he sticking to the literal seed of Isaac and Jacob becoming so numerous that it would be impossible to count their offspring, especially when they have lost their identity and have become “Lo Ami”?  If he were numbering non-Israelites he would have said so. Additionally, in Romans 9:6-9 Paul is defining the true Israel of Elohim: “That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.  For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son’” (vs. 8-9). Paul was not about to make the prophetic word of Elohim of no effect.  We too should not be quick to jump to the ‘mixed multitude’ conclusion or idea, as a mixture is descriptive of Babylon and replacement theology.  It also has the effect of diluting the faithfulness and righteous judgments of the Almighty Elohim.

Paul’s citation from Isaiah 10:22, in regards to the numerous multitudes, is not an allegory, nor a “type or shadow” (literary) device but a statement of fact, a reality, confirming the covenant to the forefathers as well as the blessing to Joseph/Ephraim: “…and his seed shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).  Being the One “Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth” (Isaiah 51:13), when He makes a promise YHVH also oversees His word all the way to its implementation and completion.

Did Elohim not say that He “watches over His word to perform it”? “Therefore thus says YHVH, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: ‘Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the Elohim of Israel’” (Isaiah 29:22-23 emphasis added).  “For YHVH has ransomed Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.  And they shall come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the bounty of YHVH…” (Jeremiah 31:11).  Then again from Isaiah: “So the ransomed of YHVH shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (51:11 emphasis added).

Obviously one only returns to a place if he had been there sometime in the past. So how were we in Zion? The key seems to be in the returning, first to our identity and then to the place called “Zion”, which received its name from the people who were likewise named - “Zion”.  “And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, 'You are My people"  (Isaiah 51:16).  

Let us take a look at the beginning of this chapter (Isaiah 51), as it relates to the previous quote from verse 16.  The prophet’s opening statement is very interesting: "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek YHVH: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him" (Isaiah 51:1-2).  Who is it that is being addressed here?  Why “look to Abraham” and “to Sarah”?  Is it because of YHVH’s provision of the female side of Isaac’s conception?  Was that ovum in Sarah’s womb the “pit” from which we were dug?  Is YHVH calling the female side of Isaac’s life “Zion”? Take note, this is a question, and not an unequivocal conclusion. By the same token, is the “rock” that is mentioned here the faith and life of our father Abraham?

Let us examine this label, or name, that YHVH places over the head of His people - “Zion”.  Interestingly, many in the world body of nations look upon its derivation - “Zionism” - as being synonymous with racism. In a totally different way, they may have a point… Peter quotes from the Torah in order to identify these redeemed as: “…a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Elohim's own possession” (1Peter 2:9; Exodus 19:6).  Scripture may not be politically correct in the eyes of the world and its religious theology, but YHVH does identify Zion as a race that came from the womb of Sarah. And it does say that, the redeemed will return to Zion (ref. above), as they have been “redeemed by the precious blood of their Messiah” (1 Peter 1:19), Who is their kinsman Redeemer and the very foundation of “Zion”. Therefore thus says YHVH Elohim: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation…’” (Isaiah 28:16; Mathew 21:42; Romans 9:11; 1Peter 2:6). 

Both Paul and Peter use some very significant words when describing YHVH’s point of view vis a vis His people, calling them: “foreknown, predestined, called, chosen”:  “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).  

Sometimes it is hard to wrap our brain around the fact that the apostolic writings came by revelation understanding from the Tanach (Old Testament).  The New Covenant writers didn't have a concordance with cross references to interpret things out of context.  But unfortunately we have been influenced by the church fathers’ and other theologians’ teachings that, the Scriptures prior to Yeshua’s time are mere types or shadows and allegories with the substance being fulfilled in “Christ”.  The “Old” has become irrelevant as it was “nailed to the cross” and has passed away.   According to this teaching, Yeshua and the Holy Spirit brought forth new ideas not related to the Torah and to the prophets, while this new reality is consummated by a religion called Christianity.  However, as mentioned above, the foundation is built on the apostles and prophets with Yeshua being the chief corner stone.  Paul warns: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Yeshua Messiah” (1 Corinthians 3:11), for He is the “Word”. What did Paul mean by: “Do we then make void the Torah through faith? Certainly not! Elohim forbid! May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah” (Romans 3:31)?

The restoration of our identity as the “people of Zion”, descendants of our father Isaac ben Avraham who fathered in the womb of his barren wife Rebekah a chosen nation “Jacob”, has created a great dilemma.  Most of those who have come out of the darkness of religion into Yeshua’s marvelous light are faced with a great problem, what do we do with the Torah of Moses? What did Paul mean by "we establish the Torah"? What is our relationship to it as redeemed Israelites?  As mentioned above, has YHVH’s instruction, His Word, become irrelevant as it was “nailed to the cross” and is passing away? Or are they instructions for us to live by? It is almost embarrassing to ask such a question as Yeshua, quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, says: “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Elohim.'” (Matthew 4:4).

Instead of trying to explain what our relationship is to the Torah now that we are redeemed Israelite, I would like to ask another question: why did YHVH have to appear at Mount Sinai in such a dramatic and grandiose way at the giving of the Torah? Let us revisit the account: “Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled... Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because YHVH descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.  And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder Moses spoke” (Exodus 19:16;18-19).  

YHVH’s appearance in this manner and in this way reminds me of a description in the book of Daniel: "His throne [YHVH's] was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him" (Daniel 7:9-10).  Obviously the Divine appearance at Mount Sinai was no small matter. It was as if the very throne room itself came with His presence.

The Almighty’s presence, power and authority showed up on this earth in a cosmos/world that was governed by Satan’s principalities, powers, and rulers of the spirit world of darkness.  The people could not even come close to the mountain lest they die.   YHVH’s arrival was more than just making a covenant with Israel (as important as that was), as He already knew that they were totally incapable of living by its conditions. As a matter of fact no man could live by these Spiritual Laws. Because humanity was sold out to sin, they were slaves to it and in bondage to that spiritual realm.  Thus we must take a look at YHVH’s 'arrival' from an additional spiritual perspective.  

In the first chapter of Genesis, we see that Elohim is already giving Torah instructions to His newly created Man by telling him to “be fruitful multiply and fill the earth,” and to have dominion and rule over the fifth and sixth day creatures.  However, nothing is said about ruling over one another.  Adam’s children were given instructions to offer up to Elohim their first-fruit and first born.  Where did they get these instruction?  Most likely from their father Adam who had eaten from the Tree of Life (YHVH’s instruction/Word) while he was still living in the garden before 'getting the boot'.  However, there was one Torah injunction in regards to the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17).
It is very important that we understand what actually took place there.  As we know from the creation story, “darkness was on the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2). Satan’s kingdom was not allowed to interfere in the creation, nor in the cosmos of Adam’s dominion. As long as man walked in obedience to the Creator, he would be a channel of YHVH’s life and light to the rest the living creatures.  However, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was declared deadly should the man and woman eat of it.  Why was Satan so interested in Adam and Eve partaking of this tree, what was in it for him?  He knew that if he could get the humans to partake of the forbidden tree, he would have access to their lives spiritually and would be able to build his spiritual kingdom through them - they would become his slaves.   The apostle explains: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). When sin entered this world, Satan became the prince and power of the air, while man came under his dominion being ruled by the laws of sin and death.  "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam" (Romans 5:14).

Before his 'fall' Adam was not 'under' law as his nature was the same as his Creator's and therefore the law was part and parcel of his very being. He was manifesting in every way what we call the "fruit of the Spirit": “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). However, once Adam disobeyed the consequences followed instantly; when the nature of sin entered him, the laws of sin and death came into operation. But in spite of this sad reality, this was Elohim's design. He created his son - Adam - as a natural seed that was "sown in corruption," but will be" raised in incorruptible"  It [Adam the seed] is sown in dishonor, but will be "raised in glory. It is sown in weakness," but will be "raised in powerIt is sown a natural body," but will be "raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Thus Elohim did not impute sin to humanity from Adam until Moses. He had orchestrated it, so that, the real culprit the prince of this dark world would be judged. 
When Elohim showed up at Mount Sinai a change was brought to bear in this arrangement. YHVH’s Firstborn nation Israel, a chosen seed (Jacob) that He had just redeemed from bondage and slavery and guided to this mountain, would be the first to experience this change. YHVH's appearance on the mountain was introducing a new 'factor' that He was causing to enter this world and to change its conditions. So what was it that took place then: "Moreover the Torah/law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20 emphasis added).  What does it mean “Torah entered”?  Entered into what?  The Torah entered into this cosmos/world that already had existing laws - the laws of sin and death.   For the "entrance of sin into this world" the Greek word he used is “eiserchomai,”  but for the "entrance of Torah" that word is modified to “pareiserchomai” which means, aside from "entering," also "parallel to" or "alongside of."  Along side of what?  The 'entrance' of Torah into this world implied that it would be 'alongside' of that which entered previously, that is sin. This created a new reality, a different 'arrangement.' What did this new arrangement mean legally and otherwise? Do we not observe Torah laws after the 'fall' and before Sinai? Of course we do: Cain and Abel knew to bring sacrifices and offerings, Noah knew to do the same. The latter also knew about clean and unclean animals. His sons knew that they were not to look on their father's nakedness. And it says about Abraham that he kept YHVH's Torah. So what difference did it make to mankind and his world when the Torah "entered in" at Sinai?

This is why we must see the Torah first and foremost as “spiritual” For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. (Romans 7:14).