Friday, December 26, 2014

The Bottom Line

Shalom Fellow Israelite,

As the plans progress toward the “B’ney Yosef National Congress,” with all the thoughts, actions, and discussion surrounding the preparations, we must keep in mind that this event is not about US.  In other words, this upcoming gathering is not intended to glorify man and his (our) achievements.  This letter, which is made up mostly of scripture, is for the purpose of adjusting our perspective regarding this future meeting and for putting it, and all of our efforts, in context. We must always keep in mind that, “’it is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says YHVH.”  When the Almighty One of our forefathers was about to bring the second generation of the Hebrew Israelite nation into the land, the first time, He said to them: "Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, 'Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?' Therefore understand today that YHVH your Elohim is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as YHVH has said to you. Do not think in your heart, after YHVH your Elohim has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness YHVH has brought me in to possess this land'; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that YHVH is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that YHVH your Elohim drives them out from before you that He may fulfill the word which YHVH swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that YHVH your Elohim is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people”  (Deuteronomy 9:1, emphases added).

Generations later, YHVH sent the offspring of those who were addressed in the above quote, out of and away from their inheritance and into the desert of the nations where they/we experienced the blessings and the curses. He also did this in order to multiply the seed/life of our forefather Israel, and cause us to learn obedience through that which we suffer.  In spite of their/our rebellion against YHVH’s statutes, laws, and ordinances, He promised to bring them/us back from those dry places, to our inheritance. 

The Elohim of Israel said that He would put flesh on the dry bones and cause them/us to stand up as a mighty nation and army. He also declared that He would write the Torah on their/our hearts, as well as deposit His Spirit within. YHVH pledged that He would make a New Covenant with them/us.  Yet YHVH our Elohim, the Elohim of our forefathers, is reminding us once again of what He had said earlier (in Deuteronomy), this time through the prophet Ezekiel:   "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity.  Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it.  So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.  When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name -- when they said of them, 'These are the people of YHVH, and yet they have gone out of His land.' But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says YHVH Elohim: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.  And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am YHVH," says YHVH Elohim, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.  For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.  Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.  Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim…   Not for your sake do I do this,’ says YHVH Elohim, ‘let it be known to you (Ezekiel 36:17-28; 32 emphasis added).

This is ‘the bottom line,’ for “unless YHVH builds the house [nation], they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1a).  However, He does have workmen/laborers for the task. The requirements are skill and faithfulness, as it was in the days of King Jehoash and Jehoiada the priest (see 2 Kings 12).

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