Shalom Fellow Israelite,
As we know from the first chapter of Hosea, YHVH told Northern Israel that they would become for a time “not My people”, but that at the same time they would also increase in numbers and become nations. It is there that YHVH does not only call them “My people”, He also adds an additional qualification to their identity: “sons of Elohim” (Hosea 1:10). But what about the writings of the New Covenant? Do they attest to these ‘Old Testament’ prophecies? Did the apostles, for example, know who the faith people from the nations were? Did they view them as being the same “My people” who have been destined by the Word to become the “sons of Elohim”? Is YHVH actually bearing witness to His own words and words and faithfulness to keep covenant?
For millennia YHVH hid the faith people in the nations, blinding them to their true Israelite identity while, as pointed out above, multiplying them. But now, in our day, He is connecting the dots of His truth and is raising a witness based on the words of the Tanach, which is also confirmed by the Brit Chadasha, so that the world might know that He is still the Elohim of Israel and that the Spirit-led believers from the nations are those same “My people” who are called “sons of the living Elohim”. “And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of Elohim through Messiah“ (Galatians 4:6-7).
If, as many believe, we are in the “last days” then we should take note that it is these days that YHVH is referring to, when He says that He will turn the hearts of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob back to the knowledge of their ancestral heritage (see Malachi 4:5-6), and therefore to their identity. According to Jewish understanding, only the true Messiah can bring the lost (“My People”) back to their Elohim and to the covenants and restore them to the land of promise. Are there today those who are having this experience of knowing their true identity, and at the same time are holding to the witness as to who their Messiah is? Yes, every day out of the Christian world there are those who are discovering their “Hebrew” roots and are claiming to be “His People”. But this is only the beginning.
“My people”, or “My people Israel”, is repeated over 240 times in Scripture, as YHVH is very emphatic about identifying those who belong to Him. But as such, how are we to conduct ourselves and express this identity? According to Elohim’s instructions we are to have an intimate knowledge of Him, walking out His ways and commands, believing what is true about His faithfulness and righteousness. First and foremost we are to have “yir’aht YHVH” (fear of YHVH), reverence, respect and yes, even fear (as this word can also mean “terror”). “Yir’aht YHVH”, as expressed in Proverbs 9:10 is "…the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One will bring understanding”. How much of this fear, wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Holy One do we have in our lives? We must keep in mind at all times that we are His people and the sheep of His pasture and that we do not belong to ourselves, and take stock of how well do we know this One whom we call our Elohim, or even our Father. Isaiah 26:3’s message tells us that “perfect peace have those whose eyes are on YHVH”. It appears that the most important knowledge that we are to seek and obtain is the knowledge of the Almighty, Creator, Shephard and Father of us all, and our kinsman redeemer Yeshua. Even though knowledge of the creation, the world, and of the human condition increases, it seems that just the opposite is taking place among some of “My people” (as was pointed out last week). If we lack the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Who He is, and why He calls us “My people”, we may have to face severe consequences. We can take our lesson from our forefathers: “Now all these things happened to them [My People] as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Often when Bible teachers seek to emphasize the importance of their teachings, two scriptures are brought up. I would like to combine these two into one message, as I believe these verses are referring to the descendants of the same “My people” today. This, therefore, is my combined rendition of Isaiah 5:13-14 and Hosea 4:6: “My people have gone into captivity and are destroyed because they have rejected knowledge of Elohim and have forgotten the instructions of their Elohim’s Torah. Thus YHVH has rejected them as His priests, as well as forgetting their children. Their honorable men are famished and multitudes of His people are dried up from thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself and opened its mouth beyond measure. Their magnificence [glory] and multitude in jubilant pomp and ceremonies shall descend into it” (Isaiah 5:13-14; Hosea 4:6).
The above-quoted pronouncement against His people is not a diminishing word, but one that stands before all of us in every generation of those who claim to be identified as “His people”. We cannot always rely on His great mercies to carry us along while we rebel against His instructions in the Tanach and in the New Covenant writings. Some of “My people” are still sitting in Babylonian institutions with shepherds who are leading them up their own mountains in an effort to keep them well fleeced. But when “My people” (regardless of where they are ‘siting’) realize that they are parched from thirst, even though their knowledge has increased, they must ask: what kind of knowledge (nourishment) are we being served?
Our ancestors were called Hebrews by the other nations, but YHVH only recognized them as “My people” and the Children of Israel – B’ney Yisrael. “Thus says YHVH, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me’” (Exodus 4:22-23). Notice that those words were referring to over a million Hebrews whom YHVH was recognizing as His “son” (not sons) - one son, one firstborn, one nation, one people. They were one nation in the womb of Rebekah, and they are still one nation today, even though temporarily divided into two and scattered throughout the world. Nonetheless, the Father through the Spirit of Yeshua (see Galatians 4:6), is working in a faithful remnant to reconstitute and restore the stick/goy of Yosef. But it takes the renewing of the mind to accomplish this task, because in our host nations we have been totally enculturated and have taken on national identities that are not ours. Let us pick up the challenge that was put forth by Paul when he addressed the non-Jewish Ephesians, saying to them: “formally you were of the nations…“ If that also applies to us, then what, or who are we now?