by Batya and Angus Wootten
"When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to YHVH your God and listen to His voice."
"The sons of Israel will return and...come trembling to YHVH and to His goodness in the last days."
"For not by might shall a man prevail."
"This is the word of YHVH..., 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says YHVH Tsava'ot"
(Deu 4:30; Hos 3:5; 1 Sam 2:9; Zec 4:6).
We have prayed over these and many other verses for some time now and have sought the advice of our Shepherds, Advisors, and many of our friends. Our mutually agreed upon conclusion is that, Now is the time for a change in the Messianic Israel Alliance - it is time for a new name that will better depict our renewed call and purpose!
We are changing our name to the Alliance of Redeemed Israel - because we feel a need to refocus on our Divine Redeemer, Messiah Yeshua. Our acronym will beARI, which is the Hebrew word for lion, because we feel led to lift up the Lion of Judah. He said, "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32). It is Yeshua Who will bring mankind the redemption they now need and will continue to need in the difficult days that possibly lie just ahead.
Most everyone agrees that the end times are days of judgement. It also is a time when Ephraim/Israel is awakened to the truth of his Israelite roots and rediscovers the eternal truths of Torah (Jer 31:19; Eze 37:15-28). However, some have misunderstood these twin truths and are misguided in their understandings.
For instance, some are focusing excessively on their works as opposed to the righteous-ness that is imputed to us through faith in the work of our Redeemer. As we seek to implement our God-given righteousness, to walk in the Torah-based ways of Messiah, to show forth our faith by our works, we must remember to balance our walk with this fact: "Not by might shall a man prevail" (1 Sam 2:9; John 14:15; Gal 3:11; Rom 1:17; Heb 10:38; James 2:18).
We will only be empowered to pre-vail, to overcome, to truly walk in the ways of Torah, and to have a clean heart, when we are filled and clothed with the power of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Sending the Holy Spirit, empowering us with it, having Him write Yah's commands on our hearts and minds, is the essence of the promised New Covenant (Jer 31:31-33; Heb 8:8-10; 9:15; 10:16; 2 Cor 3:6). Yeshua said to His Disciples, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised," so, "Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
We need to be empowered from on High, but, the children of Israel tend to resist the Ruach. Stephen, our first martyr, said of us, "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!" (Acts 7:51).
The evil one encourages us to be stiff-necked and resist the Holy Spirit, but it is foolish for us to listen to him - because we simply cannot get where we need to go in this hour apart from the power of the Ruach.
We have to be empowered by the Spirit, and at the same time, we must realize that we are called to be the Redeemed of the Holy One of Israel. King David said, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary" (Psa 107:2).
We need to know our Redeemer? But who is He? Is it the Messiah? If so, can a mortal man offer eternal redemption to other mortal men? Who does the Redeemer say He is? What does He redeem us from?
We need redemption from our adversary - who wants to kill and destroy us. But, "No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him - for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever - that he should live on eternally, that he should not undergo decay....But God/Elohim will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me" (Psa 49:7-15).
Only God in Heaven can provide eternal redemption for fallen man, and all of us fall short and need it (1 Ki 8:46; Rom 3:23).
Who can redeem us from our sin? YHVH Tsa va'ot, the LORD Almighty, the Holy One of Israel says He is our Redeemer. He is our King, Husband, Redeemer, God of all the earth, and He says of Himself, "I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God" (Isa 41:4; 44:6; 47:4; 48:12; 54:5).
YHVH is our Redeemer, and Messiah Yeshua was sent to "redeem Israel." Moreover, He said He is "One" with the Father. And, the "First and the Last" said He is the "only true God," and that, besides Him, there is no other. Yet, Messiah Yeshua repeatedly declared that He too, is "The First and the Last"(Luke 24:21; John 10:30; Gal 4:5; Rev 1:8,11,17; 21:6; 22:13).
The fact that the Father and the Son are "One" is a great mystery that has caused many to stumble - because they try to grasp spiritual truth with mortal minds. Scriptural truth must be received with childlike faith. Yeshua said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." And, He warned us about denying Him (Mat 10:33; 18:3). To deny His Deity simply because we do not understand it is not wise. To deny Yeshua's Divine ability to Redeem us, also is to run the risk of being counted with the antichrist (1 John 4:1-16; 2 John 1:1-11).
Why Do We See This Type of Denial at This Point in Time?
In the Messianic world, lack of faith in a Divine Messiah can be due to Ephraim's jealousy of Judah. He wants to be restored to Judah, so he compromises his faith and jettisons the very thing the Father wants him to retain and share with Judah. Ephraim's jealousy is a problem now because it is meant to come to a head in the last days. He is destined to be delivered of it when he sees the truth of his own Israelite roots and learns to truly love and care for his brother, Judah (Isa 8:14; 11:11-13; Jer 31:9, 18-19; Rom 11:25).
As Ephraim matures in his faith, he sees the truth of his call to minister the Kingdom Gospel to both houses of Israel - the call to preach without compromise, in the power of Messiah, and with grace and mercy - because the kindness of God leads us to repentance (Isa 8:14; Mat 4:23; 24:14; Rom 2:4).
But... Prior to Ephraim's coming restoration and miracle -filled walk, due to mistaken desires to give birth to a re-stored kingdom, like Abraham and Sarah, some may first give birth to an Ishmael.
Ishmael was not the son of promise. He was instead the result a desire to "help" God in His plan. But that type of help has negative consequences. Ishmael ended upmocking, or laughing in derision at the true son of the promise, Isaac - whose name speaks of laughter - ofrejoicing.
The Father planned to have "laughter/Isaac" in Abraham's tent. Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of our God (John 15:11). When we lose sight of His joy, we lose sight of our precious promise, and we run the risk of trying to help God. Such mortal actions will not produce true heirs of the promise.
As Redeemed Israel, we are called to "return," to walk in a new, yet old way. In it, we are warned to be careful, to even set up roadmarks (Jer 31:21). One such marker would surely be Messiah's warning about the Holy Spirit: "I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever...speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come" (Mat 12:30-32).
Transgressing this warning will lead to our destruction. While we must avoid counterfeit "moves of the Spirit," let us be careful not to mock nor deride the truth about the Ruach HaKodesh - or be afraid of those who do...
In our day, the evil one is thrown down from Heaven and wants to destroy those who seek to "keep the commandments ... and hold to the testimony of Yeshua." To destroy the people of this two-pronged testimony, Satan sends forth a flood from his mouth so as to cause Israel to be swept away (Rev 13-17).
Words come from the mouth. Satan used words to deceive us in the Garden, and he is still trying to deceive us with words! He is presently using deceived people to promote vain teachings. So we desperately need the discernment of the Ruach at this time!
The Ruach is the Spirit of Truth Who guides us into truth and shows us what is to come. We also need to know the Word of Truth and be workmen who correctly handle it (John 16:13; 2 Tim 2:15). We need this because "it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance." Of them it is said, "Those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience." Let us therefore not harden our hearts to the Gospel of our Redeemer and King, nor to the truth about His Holy Spirit (Heb 4:6-7; 6:4-6).
We are surely living in the end times, and the truth about those times is this:"It is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Pet 4:17).
The end times are about the Father testing us and cleaning His House. It is not about those who do not pass His test. It is about the restoration of the whole house of Israel. It is not wise for us to put excess energy into the what and whenof the fate of those who will not pass the test. We need to instead focus on having the Ruach cleanse our hearts! Messiah Yeshua warned, "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup...so that the outside of it may be clean also" (Mat 23:26). We need to truly examine our hearts and pray the prayer of King David: "Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness...blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin....Against You...I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are...blameless when You judge....You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness....Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You" (Psa 51:1-13).
To teach sinners, the inside of our cup first needs to be cleansed, and, we need to be empowered by the Ruach so we can truly walk in the ways of our Divine Redeemer.
We must cling tightly to these essential truths. In embracing them, we will find a powerful new call from the Ruach for all of us!
A Word From Angus
As stated in the above article, we have prayed over our name change for some time and sought the advice of many trusted counselors. Our mutually agreed upon conclusion is that - Now is the time for a change - now is the time for a paradigm shift in our faith and purposes. It is time for us to refocus on the Gospel of the Kingdom, and to learn how to walk in the powerful redemptive ways of our Messiah!
For years our MIA Herald Newsletter was called "The Voice of Redeemed Israel." Our hope is to continue to help lead the way in reuniting and restoring the whole house of Israel - but with greater emphasis on our full redemption in Messiah Yeshua.
We introduced the Alliance of Redeemed Israel at our 13th Annual Messianic Israel Alliance Gathering. In Jewish tradition, young people have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, symbolizing their "coming of age" and be-coming an accountable adult. Some take a new name.
New names are often given in Scripture when people are given a new call - and we have felt that we too, were being given a new name.
Scripture speaks of us leaving behind childish ways, of having our minds renewed, and of being conformed into the image our Messiah. These things happen when we are empowered by His Holy Spirit (1 Cor 13:11; 14:14-15; Rom 8:6,27-29; 12:2).
Again, we want our name to best reflect our purpose and call. We want to encourage people to refocus on our Divine Redeemer, Messiah Yeshua, and on being empowered by His Ruach, so we can better represent Him in the earth.
We pray that you too, will find our decision acceptable. If it encourages you and gives you a new sense of hope, please call or email us and share your insights.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Available in English and Spanish
We are in the process of reprinting our Primer, which is a condensed version of Batya's life-changing books, Who Is Israel? and Redeemed Israel. The essence of those classic works is included in her brief Primer. It is an encouraging book that quickly outlines the phenomenal truth about Ephraim and Judah and their restoration. It offers maps, charts, and helpful lists, as it reveals the scriptural truth about all Israel. An invaluable, inexpensive book that especially helps non-Jewish Believers to see their role in the last days.
Lost Ephraimites need to understand the truth of their own Israelite roots (Zec 10:7-9). The 98 page book, Who is Israel? Redeemed Israel - A Primer, has proven to be very effective in this endeavor. Over ten thousand copies of it have been distributed and we only have a few left. The good news is, the reprint will be rolling off the presses early in 2013. Advance orders placed now will help us meet the upcoming printing costs. The books will be available at a remarkable two dollar per copy price - in quantities of 25 or more. Order the books by mail, phone, or online at www.redeemedisrael.com
Your help with this important project will be greatly appreciated.
Don't forget to check out our new site! www.redeemedisrael.com
James wrote "to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad," and he said, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." And, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach." We want to be wise in our walk and James explained how we might do that. he said, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:1-27).
The MIA helped to support the widow of our beloved Col. David Yaniv. He was a war hero in Israel, became a Believer in Messiah and was totally healed of a medical paralysis, and David now walks on streets of gold. Before he passed away, David was concerned about his beloved wife, Sheila. The MIA promised him that we would help her. And now, ARI wants to continue in that pledge and help this widowed lioness of Israel.
Please help us to help Sheila. You can donate a specific amount on our web site, or you can send a check and specify the amount that you want us to give to her.
If we are faithful until the end, we will all get to fellowship with David, and we feel certain that he will thank everyone for their help. May Abba bless you for caring!
"I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land." And, "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,' declares YHVH. "Many nations will join themselves to YHVH in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that YHVH of hosts has sent Me to you. YHVH will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem'" (Joel 3:2; Zec 2:10-12).
Without provocation, Palestinian terrorists recently fired more than a 1000 rockets at Israel and Israel responded with air strikes against Gaza. After eight days of intense fighting they agreed to a tenuous cease fire. Then the United Nations General Assembly gathered and approved a resolution that gave "Non-Member Status" to Palestine. The UN essentially gave a "Birth Certificate" to a State that never existed.
As Believers, what, if anything should we do to help Judah in this hour? We know that our God has chosen Judah and Jerusalem forever, and that He enters into judgment with those who come against His people, Israel. So, is there anything that we can do about the seemingly never ending attacks against tiny Israel? How can we best help them? Or, should we not be involved in earthly "political" situations? Should we instead wait for the Messiah to return and solve the problem?
We believe there are Scriptural things that Believers can do to help stop the nations from their continual assaults against Israel. But, it will call for something more profound than politics, something stronger than standing together in our shared "Judeo-Christian" ethic. Specifically, the solution calls for a first step on the part of non-Jewish Believers. To help us take that step, we must first examine one of the root causes of the problem.
The turmoil we now see in the Middle East is related to an ancient sibling rivalry that hearkens back to the time of Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was born because Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill a promise the Almighty had made to them: In their old age, Sarah was to bear a son. Instead of waiting for that to happen, they decided that Abraham should have a son with Sarah's handmaid, Hagar. Then, when Sarah did give birth to the son of promise, Isaac, Ishmael began to mock, laugh at, even make sport of him. And, Sarah demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away from her son (Gen 21:1-20). Ishmael later became the father of the Arab nations and Isaac was a forefather to the people of Israel. Sadly, Ishmael has often fought against Isaac since that time.
As the late Paul Harvey used to say, "Now, for the rest of the story..."
Isaac married Rebecca and they had twins, Esau and Jacob. Here again, we see a case of sibling rivalry. We also see a struggle over a birthright and a mother and son who were not willing to wait for YHVH to fulfill His promise. Jacob (who was YHVH's choice) wanted what would normally have been Esau's firstborn birthright, and with the help of his mother he used deception to get it. Esau had no regard for the title of firstborn and sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans. Because of this, Esau missed out on a blessing, which led to him being angry with his brother, who revered the blessing. Later, Esau became the father of Edom, and the Edomites became deadly enemies of the children of Jacob/Israel (Gens 25:19-33; 27:1-40; 36:1; Joel 3:19; Mal 1:4). Thus we see more enmity, all born from not caring about something that should have been deemed important, and from not waiting for the Father to fulfill His promises. As we know, Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, who had twelve sons who became known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob chose Joseph, his firstborn son by Rachel, to be his heir, and he chose Joseph's younger son, Ephraim, to inherit Joseph's firstborn blessing (Deu 21:17; 1 Chr 5:1-2; Eze 37:19).
Some time after the Twelve Tribes went into the Land of Israel, they divided into two houses: Ephraim/Israel and Judah. With this division, came more enmity between brothers. According to Zechariah 11:7-14, the Father broke two staffs, called Favor and Union and thus "broke the brotherhood between Judah and Israel." The once united Kingdom of Israel will not be restored until their "broken brotherhood" is restored. Our hope for L'olum Habah, the Kingdom To Come, will not be made manifest until, as prophesied by Ezekiel, Israel's "two sticks become one stick in the Father's hand." It will have to wait until they are no more plucked up from their Promised Land, until they have one king over them: Messiah Yeshua, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Eze 37:15-28).
Scripture speaks of "both the houses of Israel" and calls them "two nations" and "the two families which YHVH chose"(Isa 8:14; Eze 35:10; Jer 33:24). To understand what is happening with Israel at this time we must realize that both houses were chosen for a purpose: "The whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah...[were] to be my people for my renown and praise and honor" (Jer 13:11, NIV). Yah's plan is that both Israel and Judah would be for Him, "A people, a name, a praise, and a glory" (ESV). But, some who know about both houses have little regard for Ephraim's accomplishments. They have a bias against things that are related to Christianity. This attitude impedes Yah's purposes and plan for a glorious Israel. It unfairly demeans one of His chosen families.
Some, in seeking to be accepted by Judah, have denied Messiah Yeshua's Deity. Thus they deny His ability to be our Redeemer. Scripture says, "No man can redeem the life of another," the "price for [eternal] redemption is too costly." Only "God/Elohim can redeem us from Sheol" (Psa 49:7,10,15). To deny the Deity of Messiah Yeshua is to deny the very saving power that Yah wants to use Ephraim to bring to Israel's "Restoration Table." We are destined to be called "The Holy People, The Redeemed of YHVH," the "Redeemed are to return with singing unto Zion," and it will not happen if we compromise the truth about our Divine Redeemer (Isa 51:11; 62:12; Luke 1:68).
Another problem is that some are like Esau and don't care about being a "firstborn." Like their namesake, a day will come when they will be sorry for their behavior because they will have missed out on an incredible blessing.
Still others have a limited understanding of the blessings given to both houses, yet errantly rush ahead and try to help fulfill them. Sadly, compromised or incomplete understanding of our true call will only result in birthing something that will lead to much trouble for all involved.
Others feel that Believers should not be involved in earthly matters. However, while true that our Messiah's kingdom is not of this world, the least we should do is to pray daily, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven" Yeshua's Disciples spoke to Him about when, and not if, He would restore the Kingdom to Israel (John 18:36; Acts 1:6-8). Knowing His Kingdom plan means we should, at the very least, pray every day, "Father, what can I do to help in its restoration?" If we know that restoring the Kingdom is His heart's desire we should not assume that Messiah will do all of the work when He returns-because YHVH traditionally uses His people to do His work in the earth. We do not want to do works of the flesh, but neither do we want to harden out hearts to the Spirit. We rightly refuse counterfeit "works of the Spirit," but we do not resist true works of the Spirit. Stephen revealed that resisting the Spirit was a recurrent problem in Israel when he said, "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!" (Acts 7:51).
The works that the Father plans for the last days will not be done by the might of men, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Abba said, "When you are in distress...in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice." He said He would be gracious to us when we cry for help, and that we would hear Him saying, "This is the way; walk in it." We need to have our "senses trained" in this regard, so we can discern the real from the counterfeit. It is absolutely imperative in this hour that each one of us learn to truly hear the voice of the Good Shepherd for ourselves (Deu 4:30; 1 Sam 2:9; Isa 30:19-21; Zec 4:6; John 10:16,27; Heb 5:14).
To help Israel in this hour, we need to deal with Scriptural truth, because the truth of Scripture will set us free. To see the problem and solution we need to see that Jacob gave the firstborn double portion and preeminence to Joseph, and then to his son, Ephraim (Gen 48:19-22; Deu 21:17; 1 Chr 5:1,2; Jer 31:9). A double portion was not given to the firstborn to prove that he was a favorite, but to help equip him to be a source of protection and provision for his brethren in time of need. Firstborn Joseph walked this preeminent path and greatly helped his brothers when they needed help. Joseph had more than enough food for himself, and could have refused to get involved. But he was instead a true brother and cared about his brother's needs. Moreover, the blessing of Abraham was given to Isaac, then to Jacob, then to Joseph, and finally, to Ephraim. Jacob prophesied of him, "His descendants shall become a melo goyim" (Gen 48:19), meaning, his heirs would become a "fullness of the Gentiles." It is time for Firstborn Ephraim, the Believers in the Messiah, to walk in their divine call. It is time for them to arise and care for Judah. YHVH tells us how to do that: "With weeping [repentance, supplication, and in prayer] they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn" (Jer 31:9, ESV)
It is time for Firstborn Ephraim to realize the full meaning behind the taunt of Ishmael's heirs. They are said to often sing a little song, "Today we get the Saturday people, Tomorrow we get the Sunday people." Ishmael's war against Isaac includes both houses of Israel: Jews and Christians, so we cannot be unconcerned about what is happening to our Jewish brothers and sisters. We have to help defend them. We cannot simply be quiet in the presence of an evil plan that includes the destruction of the whole house of Israel. We must not be hard-hearted and think that, since we have our own inheritance, all is well. No. True Israelites will stay in the battle until their brothers likewise have their own inheritance (Josh 22:1-9).
We should not be duped into thinking that all we have to do is to sit in a street corner and wait for a Rapture Bus to come and whisk us away. We instead need to rethink everything about the end times and realize that we are "part of Israel" (Eph 2:11-22), which means we will probably be here for a much longer time than we originally thought. Also, the end times are about judgement, and the Father says that it begins with "His house." Messiah warns us that we need to clean the inside of our cups. Outward religiosity will not please Him. He wants us to have clean hands and pure hearts with which to help our brethren (1 Pet 4:17; Mat 23:25; James 4:8).
Neither should we focus on being a Bride who has only to wait for her Bridegroom to whisk her away to a wedding party wherein we eat cake while bother Judah gets pounded. Besides, New Jerusalem is the Bride. We are the Bride of the Lamb in so much as we are part of that Betrothed City, and she does not come down from Heaven until the very end (Rev 21:2). We will not have a wedding feast without her. We need to think about staying here and being earthly Jerusalem's protective watchmen. That is our job. As Isaiah 62:1-7 says, "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness.... It will no longer be said to you, 'Forsaken,' nor to your land will it any longer be said, 'Desolate'; but you will be called, 'My delight is in her,' and your land, 'Married'; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you. On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isa 62:4-6).
We have a job to do. The Chosen City of Jerusalem needs to become the "City of the Great King." Yeshua is that King and He warned that Judah and Jerusalem will not see Him again until they first say of Him, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." We must realize that Yah's plan is for Judah to "say and then see," and "not see and then say." And we need to help them "see" Yeshua! (Zec 12:10; Psa 48:2; Mat 5:35; 23:39; Luke 13:35; John 19:37; 20:29).
Yah's plan of salvation for the whole house of Israel is outlined in Romans 11. There we see that "Wild Olive Branch Ephraim" is supposed to walk in such a way that he makes brother Judah jealous and to want what Ephraim has. Ephraim will be empowered to help Judah when he is delivered from his jealously of Judah. YHVH spoke of a day when "the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who are hostile to Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be envious of Judah, nor will Judah vex and harass Ephraim" (Isa 11:11-14). In Jeremiah 31:18-19 YHVH says He hears Ephraim "grieving." That happens when Ephraim learns the truth about himself and cries out, saying to YHVH, "You have disciplined me; but I needed it... After I was instructed, after I came to know myself, after I acquired knowledge of the truth [about my own Israelite heritage], I repented, and smote myself on the thigh. I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in younger days" (Emphasis added).
To further this repentance and restoration process, Ephraim needs to see the truth of his own Israelite roots. Some mistakenly speak of returning to our "Jewish roots," but to be accurate, we need to dig deeper. When YHVH called the people of Israel an "Olive Tree," He said He was speaking to "the house of Israel and the house of Judah." Jeremiah said to them, "YHVH called your name, 'A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form.'" Though called to be a single, united olive tree, Israel sinned and was divided, so there came to be two branches in the Tree: Ephraim and Judah (Jer 11:10,16).
The first branches to be broken off of this tree were those of Ephraim/Israel. They turned aside from the Cultivator and became degenerate, wild, foreign (Jer 2:21). To be degenerate/wild means to turn aside. Foreign, or, nokri, means to be a stranger, and thus, foreign to the God of Israel (Nokri is also used in modern Hebrew to describe the Gentile). Ephraim's branches were scattered far from their native Israel. A tree becomes "wild" when it is removed from its native habitat: so it was for Ephraim. Once scattered among the nations, and being without their Cultivator, they became wild olive trees, growing in Gentile lands. To be restored, all of Israel must be connected to its Life Source, or Root, which is Messiah Yeshua (Rev 22:16).
YHVH said, "Lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel [Ephraim] among all the nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9, Soncino). The Ephraimites, with their penchant for paganism, wanted to be like their Gentile neighbors, so Israel was "swallowed up...among the nations like a vessel in which no one delights" (Hosea 8:8). YHVH eliminated the "Kingdom of Ephraim," but not the people. He says, "I know Ephraim, Israel is not hidden from me." And, "Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him"(Hos 5:3; Jer 31:20). Yah has great hopes for a repentant Ephraim. He is the Prodigal Son of whom Messiah Yeshua spoke. The Prodigal went out and played with the pigs, then repented and came home and began to "celebrate" with his father. Celebrating with his father is what provoked his older brother to jealousy. The same will prove to be true of Ephraim.
Friends, our Father is now calling to us, "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness.... Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain....Pay attention to Me, O My people....My righteousness is near, My salvation [Yeshua] has gone forth....Do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reviling....Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'...For YHVH of hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle....Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine....For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted it with Ephraim, and made you like the sword of a mighty man." Then, YHVH will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. Soon, Judah and Ephraim will "fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; together they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; and the people of Ammon shall obey them"(Isa 11:14; 51:1-9; Joel 3; Zec 9:13-14; 10:3-7).
Arise O Israel to your great call! Do not compromise Yah's truth nor fear men. We can overcome with the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and by not loving our lives even unto death. Ask the Ruach HaKodesh to guide and empower you as you seek to help establish Messiah's Eternal Kingdom of Israel! Set your face toward His City of Truth! (Rev 12:11; Zec 8:3).
Messianic Israel Alliance PO Box 700217, Saint Cloud, FL 34770 Phone 800 829 8777
The Messianic Israel Alliance, Alliance of Redeemed Israel and Key of David Publishing, are international organizations that operate under the umbrella of the non-profit organization, House of David Inc., each entity is headquartered in Saint Cloud, Florida. House of David has been a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code Since 1982. All gifts are tax exempt. We truly appreciate your support and we will seek to be good stewards of the gifts you entrust to us. All funds are used in accordance with Ezra 7:16-18. © 2012. This article may be reproduced in its entirety and with proper credits for free distribution.
The tumultuous events that have occurred in the past several years seem to be a harbinger of the end of the world. At the very least they seem to indicate the end of the world as we have known it. Continuing Islamic terrorism, flare-ups in the never ending Arab/Israeli Mideast Conflict, plus worldwide financial problems, have shaken the earth. Its population now seems to be cloaked in a mantle of fear, a great cry for help is on the lips of many. A bitter presidential election campaign in the United States highlights deep divisions-and regardless of who wins, half of the people in the nation will continue to be upset. People are suffering from a loss of jobs, savings, coping with rising health costs, loss of educational opportunities, home foreclosures, etc., etc. They want to know how to survive in perilous times, and many are asking, "Why is a loving God allowing such awful things to happen to so many people?"
To be able to operate under these conditions we need to keep several things in mind. For example, fear paralyzes and faith empowers. Regardless of what is going on around us, we must walk in faith. We must believe that our God has a good plan for our lives, that He wants to build us up, and not tear us down (Jer 29:11). We also need to keep in mind that this world is Satan's kingdom, and unfortunately, many people are traveling his broad way that leads to destruction. On the other hand, our Father wants us to choose His narrow way, which leads to eternal life (Mat 7:13-14). To accomplish His purposes in the earth, He allows us to get into positions that we don't like and want to be delivered from. Even so, in order to see His powerful right arm of deliverance, we first have to be in a situation from which we need to be delivered.
The situation in ancient Egypt got so bad that the sons of Israel "cried out" for deliverance (Exo 2:23). The crisis we now find ourselves in is likewise leading many to cry out. The end result being that it will cause many to turn from the broad way of destruction and onto YHVH's narrow way of eternal life. Tribulation can and does produce good things in our lives. Romans 5:1-5 says, "Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through Messiah Yeshua, through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Tribulation can also help us learn to choose to walk as Messiah Yeshua walked (1 John 1:7; 2:6; 2 John 1:6).
We live in a world with some ungodly people, but this has always been the case with YHVH's people. When He delivered Israel from Egypt, they were surrounded by people who wanted to destroy them. YHVH ultimately took them into the Promised Land. Moreover, even in the New Jerusalem there will be ungodly people outside its gates, so we will find ourselves in battles even then (Rev 22:14-15).
Fortunately, as Believers, we can see some good news in our current global meltdown. As Satan increases his attempts to turn people from YHVH, we know that the hour for Yeshua's return and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth is drawing near. While we find an increasing number of desperately needy people in the world, the silver lining in this gloomy fact is that it is leading to an increase in the number of people who are now ready to hear "the Gospel of His Kingdom" (Mat 4:23).
To help establish His Kingdom, we first have a few things that we need to overcome. Again, fear paralyzes and faith empowers. In these difficult times, many are unfortunately preaching a fear-mongering gospel. While we know that Joseph stored up food for difficult times in Egypt, let us remember that "Messiah ben Joseph" left us an example of multiplying loaves and fishes when He prayed over them in faith (Mark 6:41-43). Thus, we need to balance the idea of wise storage of things for times of need with practicing prayers of faith in our Father's provision.
We cannot be talked out of this truth based on the idea that we need to "leave the work to the Messiah." We instead need to be about our Father's business. We cannot be immobilized by fear, because, in Luke 18, Yeshua taught us to pray and not lose heart, even when a wicked judge is ruling over us. He told us to persist in our attempts for truth and justice. After teaching this truth in a parable, He asked the people, "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?" (vss 1-8).
When Yeshua returns, will He find us working toward the restoration of His Kingdom? Will He find us preaching His "Gospel of the Kingdom"? We surely want to be found that way because YHVH warns us, "My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him." We do not want to be among those who shrink back to destruction, but with those who have faith to the preserving of the soul (Heb 10:38-39).
Another thing that we need to beware in these trying times is arrogance in people who think "they" understand what YHVH is doing in the earth today. Some people are condescending and even mean-spirited with those who do not yet understand the things that are happening around them. These condemning and patronizing people need to beware, because Messiah Yeshua also told a parable to some "people who trusted in themselves." They believed "they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt." So He told them a story: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:9-14).
We must not allow either fear, nor pride, to get in the way of what our God wants to accomplish in this hour. We instead need to be filled with faith that He wants to restore the Kingdom to Israel-and He wants to use us to help do just that!
May we go forth in true humility and absolute faith.
Angus and Batya
In this month's Herald, 2013: A Year of Opportunity, we asked that each one ask themselves the question, "What does the Father expect from me in order to be someone who is helping to establish His kingdom here on earth?"
In it, we share how, Batya and I, through the Messianic Israel Alliance and Key of David Publishing, are trying to answer this momentous question. We explain how books and various types of media are important weapons in our battle to help raise up Ephraim. And, effective use of these weapons by the people is our key to victory.
When Batya began to teach about "both the houses of Israel" (Isa 8:14) in a House of David Herald Newsletter in 1983, and in her first book in 1988, certain Messianic Jews began to publicly ridicule her (some still do). One leader claimed that Jews would "laugh at the notion that Believers could be part of The Lost Tribes." Some accused Batya of trying to "usurp the Nation of Israel," and some falsely accused her of teaching that every Believer was a "biological descendant of Israel." These things are not true. We have always declared that Believers need to be supportive of the State of Israel, and we have never claimed nor even thought that every Believer in Messiah is a biological descendant of the Patriarchs.
Batya wrote in her first book, "In Search of Israel" ('88) that many rabbis knew that all twelve tribes had not been fully reunited. (She included more proof texts in her later "Israel" books.) Recently, the Jewish organization, Aish.com again affirmed that many rabbis know about the "Lost Tribes" and that they are "not Jewish" (even though they would like to have them convert to Judaism). Apparently, they do not see their existence as a form of "Replacement Theology."
Aish has produced a video which you may view called "The Ten Lost Tribes"
The truth is that teaching about both the houses of Israel is NOT Replacement Theology. The fact is that neither house can be replaced in the eyes of the Holy One of Israel. Both houses are still around, and the God of Israel wants them to come together in the last days and become "one stick" in His holy hand (Eze 37:15-28). Believers in the Messiah need to realize that they are in that process now, and when Ephraim and Judah are fully regathered, they will have certain "Hallmarks" that are not yet in place. (Again, Batya offers many proof texts in her books.)
We have posted this same essential letter online on Facebook, and we are praying that the leadership of Messianic Judaism will at long last accept that we, Angus and Batya Wootten and the Messianic Israel Alliance, have always honored and appreciated their desire to be a "Jew to the Jew." What we would like to ask of them is to please appreciate that we see the need to help the non-Jew understand their unique role as "part of the people of Israel" (Eph 2:11-22).
We therefore want to once again extend an olive branch to our Messianic Jewish brethren and ask that we come together in the love of the Messiah. That does not mean that we will look alike, or do the exact same things, but that we will each respect the God-ordained call of the other.
If you have a desire to see this happen, we ask you to please share this letter with as many people as you possibly can. This month's Herald, 2013 A Year of Opportunity can be downloaded as a PDF.
Let us pray for guidance and ask the Father to please give us opportunities to make progress in helping all of the brethren of Israel to dwell together in unity.
You are important to this work and we ask the Holy One of Israel to bless you for your participation.
Teshuw'ah (Victory) b' Yeshua,
Angus and Batya
2012 has thus far proven to be an exceptionally challenging year, and it looks like 2013 will offer similar times of testing...
As Believers we need the trials we encounter. We need to see them as opportunities because they can help us to become "Overcomers," and bring us closer to the day when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our LORD, and His Son, Yeshua (Rev 11:15).
The Father has set the time when the kingdom He conferred on Yeshua, and which He in turn conferred on His disciples, will be restored (Luke 1:32-33; 22:29-30; Acts 1:6-7). Yeshua told His disciples to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. He also taught them to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mat 6:9-13; 6:33; Luke 11:2). The question we need to ask ourselves is, "What does the Father expect from me in order to be someone who is helping to establish His kingdom here on earth?"
Let me share with you how Batya and I, through Key of David Publishing, are trying to answer this momentous question.
First, we know that, to be a "kingdom" it first must have three elements: 1) a king, 2) a territory, and, 3) a people. Regarding the Davidic kingdom that is destined to one day be restored to all Israel, we know that Yeshua, the Greater Son of David, will be its King of KIngs (Ex 37:23-24; Acts 15:16). The allotted territory that is destined to be in His promised Kingdom is repeatedly outlined in Scripture. However, the last element gives us a problem. That is, how do we, the people, take possession of His Kingdom?
To take possession of the Land calls for a presence there of people who recognize Messiah Yeshua as their King. This in turn means, the people are the problem. We must realize that the Father promised to bring His redeemed people back the land until there is "no more room." Fulfillment of that prophecy calls for hundreds of millions of Israelites (Isa 35:10, 51:11; Zec 10:7). To solve this problem Israel's lost sheep must first become "found sheep." Moreover, we need to understand that, in order to be a "lost sheep," the sheep first had to "lose" something. So, what did they lose?
Israel's scattered sheep, the so-called "Lost Tribes of Israel," lost the knowledge of their heritage. To become found sheep, they need to understand who they are in the eyes of their Father. And they need to fully understand His call on their earthly lives.
YHVH says His people are destroyed for a lack of lack of knowledge. Israel lost out when they rejected YHVH's Torah-based knowledge. But when they change their ways, they begin to regain godly knowledge. They become better equipped to walk as YHVH's chosen people. When they are emposered by His Ruach HaKodesh, they are empowered to more fully represent their King in the earth (Eze 34; 37:15-28; Hos 3:5; 4:6; Dan 12:4; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9-10).
Our "people problem" is best solved by first providing the people with the understanding they need in order to make the necessary changes. for this reason, scriptural teaching about our heritage, purpose, and destiny is truly a hallmark with Key of David books and materials.
As for our call, Batya has refined our essential message down to one short paragraph: "Though people try to make it complicated, we found the truth about Israel to be simple: Long ago the Father divided Israel into two houses, Ephraim (Israel) and Judah; they were given different punishments, prophecies, and promises. As His 'two witnesses,' they were sent in different directions to accomplish different purposes, and in this last day He would have the two come together, that they might serve to confirm His truth in the earth (1Ki 12:15,24; Hos1:11; John 8:17)." [From the book, Redeemed Israel.]
We realize that a great destiny lies just ahead for the children of Israel. We understand that we too, are citizens of Messiah Yeshua's "commonwealth of Israel." We too, are "part" (but not all) of the "chosen people" (Eph 2:11-19; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9-10). And we now need to share this understanding with our brethren. We need to go to those who sense that something is missing in their lives. They are seeking fulfillment and Abba wants to use us to help guide them - to Him, His Messiah, His ways, and into His Eternal Kingdom.
Our Father swore that a day would come wherein the sons of Israel and Judah would come, "weeping," and seeking YHVH, their God. He said of this lost people, "They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to YHVH in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten." He also said, "My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place" (Jer 50:4-6).
To find our way home to Zion, we need to follow Abba's directions for our return. And, He long ago told us to, "Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts; Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities" (Jer 31:21).
To return to our cities, there are three things that we need. To find our way home to Zion, we first need to, know, understand, and be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh.
1. We need to know that as a Believer in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christed One), Israel's Messiah, we are redeemed and have been adopted into the family of our Heavenly Father, the God of Israel (Rom 8:15, 8;23; Gal 4:5, 5:10; Eph 1:5). In this way, we are full and equal citizens in Yeshua's eternal "Commonwealth of Israel" (Rom 9:4; Gal 3:29; Eph 2:11-22).
2. We need to understand that life is a "test." The Hebrew word, bachar, or chosen, also means test(ed). As part of the "chosen people," we are "chosen to choose." To be "chosen" means that, on a daily basis we will be "tested" in order to see whether or not we love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, soul, and might (Deu13:3). It also means that our Father wants His Kingdom to come to this earth, and He wants us, His chosen people, to be part of it. He wants us to be among His forerunners who help build His kingdom (Mat 6:10; Luke 11:3; Acts 3:19-21). Making His heart's desire known to His people is one important way that we can show our love for Him.
3. We need to be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh in order to be the servant priests we were created to be. We need to represent YHVH by walking as Messiah Yeshua walked, which was in the power of the Ruach. We need to help our brethren become people who are empowered to return to their own soil and fit to forever dwell in His Eternal Kingdom (Jer 1-8; 29:11-14; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 John 2:6). To do this, we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us; we must know that YHVH has promised us, "Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it'" (Isa 30:21).
These are the goals that we, at Key of David Publishing, have been working toward. Looking back, over the past several years we see that they were both trying and productive years for us and for Key of David Publishing. But despite our trials, with YHVH's help, we managed to publish three important new books: Israel Empowered by the Spirit, The Voice - Hearing the Almighty, and Who Is Israel? Redeemed Israel - A Primer. We also published five audio books, Redeemed Israel - Reunited and Restored, In Search of Israel, Mama's Torah - The Role of Women, and The Voice - Hearing the Almighty.
Looking Forward to 2013
If the Lord wills, we have a lot we want to accomplish in the next calendar year (James 4:15). For example:
We want to format our books so they can be downloaded and read on machines such as the Amazon Kindle, and to have our audio books downloadable so they can be listened to on an IPod and similar devices. We also want to make our books available in other languages. Our Primer is ready to be printed in Spanish and French as soon as funds are available. And, we need to reprint at least 10,000 copies of the current English version in order to maintain the present offering price of $2.50 per copy in quantities of 10 or more.
Our need and goal is, to let the world know that there are Messianic Believers, that there is a Messianic Israel movement, and that the Messianic Israel Alliance is a forerunner in it. Over the years our primary method of getting the word out has been by "word of mouth," and that method has been both effective and economical. It doesn't cost to forward an email, or suggest that someone visit the MIA or Key of David Marketplaces. The effective tool that is "word of mouth" advertising remains king in this field. It also makes a difference when you tell someone how a book has changed your life. Of course we encourage congregations, fellowships and ministries to carry our books and to even have a small lending library. If possible, if funds were made available to us, we also would like to increase our presence on the Internet. But we have to leave these things in the Father's hands.
In closing, I want to say that there would not be a Key of David, and we would not have published books if it were not for the support of our co-laborers. You have made these things possible with your contributions and by purchasing and distributing our books. So, with all our heart we want to thank you for your help and support, and we pray that you will be inspired to continue to co-labor with us.
Your Support of Key of David and the Messianic Israel Alliance may be made online at the Messianic Israel Alliance, or at the Key of David Marketplace. Or, mail to PO Box 700217, Saint Cloud, FL 34770. Or, by phone at 407-344-7700.
The ten days that fall between the feasts of Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are thought by many to be days of introspection, repentance, prayer, and reconciliation. For, Yom Kippur depicts a day wherein we have to give an account to our God, of ourselves and our actions toward others (Rom 14:12). In the Word we read that, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20). Moreover, Messiah Yeshua said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35)
Our Father wants us to love our fellow Believers, our brethren. Thus, it is important that we sound our united voices in prayer for the whole House of Israel during this time. We need to pray as Messiah's Body because, we are the ones who are called to sound the war alarm concerning those who come against the eternal plans of the Holy One. We are the watchmen on Israel's walls, and we are not to keep silent. When there is a problem in the land, He says, "If My people...will humble themselves and pray." When there is a problem, it is His people who are called to pray (2 Chr 7:14; Isa 11:13-14; 62:6).
While we are called to help bring deliverance to our brethren, the truth is that, just as our forefathers were in bondage in Egypt, so we too are in bondage; we are in a worldly diaspora (dispersion). And, like our forefathers, we too, will be freed when we have a deep desire for deliverance - when we literally cry aloud for it. We see this principle in that, when the king of Egypt died, the sons of Israel cried out. And, "their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to the LORD." In other words, YHVH heard their groaning - then - He remembered His covenant with their fathers and took notice of them and their plight (Exo 2:23-25). Deliverance will come if we first cry out for it.
Crying out in prayer is key to our well-being. If we sincerely call on the Holy One in true repentance and prayer, He will take notice of our plight and deliver us. He said that He would be like a lion to both Ephraim and Judah and tear us to pieces and return to His place - until - we acknowledge our guilt and seek His face. We first must admit our own sin(s), then cry out for deliverance from the Egypt that binds us. Like Daniel, if we accept the fact that we have sinned, and repent, then Abba will take notice and redeem us. If we are proud or haughty, and think we have no sin, but that the problem lies with others, we run the risk of having our sin remain. We must first humble ourselves, truly seek to honor YHVH in every way, sincerely ask Him for pardon, then praise Him because we have complete forgiveness in Him. When we humbly pray for deliverance from our situation, for ourselves, and for our brethren, then we will see Him act on our behalf (Psalm 103:12; 130:4; Hos 5:14-15; 9:5-15; Mat 6:5-18; John 9:40-41).
At this time, as we work toward the Father's reunion and restoration plan for both the houses of Israel (Isa 11:13-14), we offer ten suggested prayer outlines.
Ten Days of Prayer:
* Day 1: Pray that all Israel might come to true repentance, that they might be saved. Pray that they would put away all of their idols and be granted a new heart and a new spirit, that they might live and not die (Isa 30:15; Ezek 18:31-32). Pray that salvation in Yeshua will come to all Israel (Gen 48:19; Rom 11:25,26; Eph 4:15; Mat 1:21). Pray that the veil will be lifted from the eyes of both the houses of Israel so they will see the truth of Yeshua and cease to stumble over Him (Isa 8:14; Rom 11:25; John 2:22). Pray that as the Standard, Yeshua might be lifted up in all His Glory, and that the world may see Him in truth, and not according to manmade religion (Isa 11:12).
* Day 2: Pray that all Israel will see the truth about the melo hagoyim promised to Ephraim, and that the fullness of Gentiles will come into their fullness, or maturity. Pray that Ephraim would cease to be jealous of Judah, whether that jealousy is acted out in violence or in wishing they were Jewish. Pray that, in a positive way, Ephraim would make Judah jealous rather than being jealous of Judah, which jealousy causes Ephraim to lose his effectiveness (Rom 9:25,26; 10:19; 11:11; Hos 1:9,0; 2:23). Pray that Ephraim will learn to judge with righteous judgment, and that in their desire to be reunited with Judah they will not trade errant Christian ways for errant Jewish ways (Isa 11:13; Jer 15:19-21; 31:21-25; John 7:24).
* Day 3: Pray that all whom the Father has chosen to instruct Ephraim in this time will arise, and that Ephraim will come to repentance and be ashamed for the deeds of her youth (Jer 31:18-19). Pray that she cease to be like a silly dove without sense and move beyond the elementary things and press on, to maturity (Hos 7:11; Heb 6:1-17). Pray that Ephraim repents of following man's commands and instead accepts Messiah's eternal yoke of Torah (Jer 31:31-33; Hos 4:6; 5:11-6:3). Pray that Ephraim will fulfill her divine mandate, which is to walk in a way that honors both the written and the Living Torah (Messiah Yeshua), and thus provokes Judah to want what she has (Rom 11).
* Day 4: Pray that the sheep would be delivered from wicked shepherds who muddy the waters and feed themselves rather than the flock. Pray that the sheep be snatched out of the hands of shepherds who divide Israel's flock. Pray that all wolves in sheep's clothing and all false prophets be exposed for who they are in truth (Deu 13:1-5; Ezek 34; Jer 23:1-3; Mat 7:15). Pray that the spirit of Jezebel would be rooted out from among us, whether operating in man or woman, so that we would cease to lie and try to steal the field of others. Pray that Israel's prophets would not fear her, and that the spirit of Elijah might instead be fully released in our day. Pray that the hearts of the fathers might be turned to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Pray for godly families to be raised up in both the houses of Israel (1 Ki 21: Hos 1:4-5; 2:22; Rev 2:20-22; Mal 4:5-6).
* Day 5: Pray for the safety and well-being of those of Judah who have returned to the Promised Land; pray that their hearts would be turned toward their fathers and that angels would be given charge over them (Isa 11:11; Luke 1:17; Psa 91:11). Pray that even as the Father has gathered for a second time the dispersed of Judah, He will restore their fortunes. Pray that, as promised, the Father possess Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and again choose Jerusalem. Pray that He would enter into judgment with those who harass Judah and Jerusalem. Pray that Judah might be healed of the many hurts she experienced in her dispersion (Isa 11:11-13; Joel 3:1-2; Zec 2:12).
* Day 6: Pray that the Father would use the tragic events of our time to bring His people to repentance and faith in Him through the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua (Obad 1:12; Jer 5:12-14; Luke 13:1-5). Pray that wisdom and discernment would be granted to those who have been granted influence over the nation of Israel in spiritual, political, and financial arenas (Dan 2:21; 4:32; 5:21; Rom 13:1). Pray that they realize that Ephraim is their brother, and that the only true answers are found in the true Gospel, in the sacrificial Lamb, and in He who paid the price for our sins that we might have eternal life in Him (1 Cor 7:23; Mat 27:9).
* Day 7: Pray that the hearts of Ephraim and Judah might be circumcised with a love and respect for each other. Pray that they learn to give credit where it is due, and to objectively see the role that each house has played as part of the people of Israel: Ephraim in declaring salvation through Messiah, who is the Living Torah; and Judah in declaring the feasts and the eternal truths of the written Torah (Gen 48:19; Acts 1:8; Rom 4:15; 2 Chr 11:4; Ezek 37:15-28).
* Day 8: Pray for both houses to see the Father's plan to have a pure, overcoming army, and to give themselves to becoming that army (Isa 11:11-14; 27:6-9; Zech 8:3,7,13; 9:13; 10:7-10; Hos 11:10; Obad 1:18; Jer 50:4,5,20; 3:14-18; Ezek 37:22-26). Pray that the sons of Israel would come, they and the sons of Judah, and go along weeping in a true search for their God; pray they would turn their faces toward Zion and truly be joined in covenant with Him (Jer 50:4-5; Hos 5:14-15). Pray that Ephraim would again be like a mighty man, with their heart glad as if from wine, and that their children see it and be glad and their heart rejoice in the LORD (Zec 10:7). Pray that all Israel will seek to pay the full price for their pardon; pray that all their pagan practices and idols, from both houses, will be made like chalk stones and be unable to stand (Isa 27:9). Pray that Israel's mighty ones will be equipped with the breath of the Spirit of the Most High (Eze 37:10).
* Day 9: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that those who love her would prosper, that peace would be within her walls, prosperity within her palaces (Psa 122:6,7). Pray for her to become the City of Truth, and to acknowledge Messiah Yeshua as her King of Kings. Pray for Believers to understand that New Jerusalem is called the Bride who comes down from Heaven and her sons marry her. Pray for us to see that we are part of that Bridal City, and at the same time, members of the Body of the Bridegroom. Therefore, pray for Believers to arise, and truly become her protective watchmen (Psa 48:2; Isa 62:1-7; Zec 8:3; Mat 5:35; 23:37-39; Eph 5:30; Rev 17:14; 19:7,16; 21:2,9; 22:17).
* Day 10: Pray that the sons of Israel who are humbly pursuing the restoration of her Kingdom would go forth and be strong and courageous. Pray that the spirit of Joshua and Caleb would be upon them, that they would know that, in the strength of the Holy One they can be YHVH's witnesses and, only by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, they can possess His Promised Land (Josh 1:6-9,18; 10:25). To walk in this way, pray that they would be given knowledge, wisdom, discernment of spirits, and a double portion of the Holy Spirit as they seek to do the Father's will in the Earth. Pray that they would truly walk as Messiah Yeshua walked, and that they too, would only do that which they see their Father in Heaven doing (John 5:19).
Amen and Amen!
The essence of this "Ten Days of Prayer" is taken from the books,
Israel's Feasts and their Fullness, and,
Who is Israel? Redeemed Israel - A Primer, both by Batya Wootten.
The Fall Feasts of YHVH begin with Yom Teruah (Day of Blowing).
"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation." And, "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets" (Lev 23:14; Num 29:1).
This day of rest/sabbaton (a Sabbath Feast Day) is to be a day of blowing/teruah. Yet, many mistakenly call this day, Rosh Hashana.
However, the Word says, "This [Spring month of Abib] is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year" (Exodus 12:2).
Even as the Early Christians were influenced by pagan Roman traditions, so were the Jews influenced by pagan Babylonian traditions. While there, the rabbis began to incorporate certain aspects of the Babylonian New Year and change began to creep into the feast of Yom Teruah. We see this transition in the Book of Esther, verse 3:7, "In the First Month, which is the month of Nissan, in the twelfth year of King Achashverosh." At that time, Judah was living in the Persian Empire, which used the Babylonian calendar, and so too, did Judah use it.
That is how the misunderstanding began to grow. But now, we want to return to the truth of our roots, and to the fact that Yom Teruah is supposed to serve as a memorial, a reminder. We are supposed to "remember," to rehearse a certain sound, or teruw'ah. But what sound is it that we are to remember? What is this day really all about?
To understand this day, we need to see that voices are likened to trumpets: "Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins" (Isa 58:1).
We also see that "two hammered silver trumpets" were destined to play a profound role in Israel's destiny. And, we were instructed to blow, or sound/teruah these silver trumpets with various sounds. Such as, a shout/sound of joy, a call for the people to gather, an alarm, a war or battle cry, or a blast that is followed by the outset of a march (Strong's H8643). Yom Teruah calls for a holy convocation, one that marks us as being "set apart." In it, we do no servile work (Lev 23:25). Restated, we do not do the work of other masters, but have been set apart and belong only to the Holy One, Who calls us to a day of rest and remembrance.
We also note that Yom Teruah is unique in that it is the only feast that begins with the sighting of the New Moon. It signifies a time of darkness, and yet, it marks a time when light begins to show forth.
All other feasts occur during the Full Moon. Because Yom Teruah is tied to the sighting of the New Moon of the Seventh Month, some believe that it refers to "The day and hour that no man knows," thus, they tie it to Messiah's return (Mat 24:36-42). But, His return is a day of "judgment" and that is best represented by Yom Kippur - a day wherein our fate is decided (Lev 16:30; Rev 19:15-21). Moreover, it is decreed that a "shofar" is to be sounded on Yom Kippur, and the shofar represents the voice of our LORD (Exo 19:19). We furthermore read in 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 that we will all be changed, at the sound "the last trumpet," it being singular, like the sound of the singular shofar of Yom Kippur (see 1 Th 4:16; Rev 10:7).
Even though instructions for Yom Teruah were sketchy, we find that its sound was different. We discover its instructions when we realize that this Feast is tied to sighting the New Moon.
In the following verses, we find instructions for using the two hammered silver trumpets that Moses was told to make. These verses come alive when we see that trumpets represent voices, that there are two houses of Israel, and two trumpets, and that hammered silver represents two that have been tested and purified.
"The LORD spoke further to Moses, saying, 'Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you. But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out. When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God.' I am the LORD your God."
In these verses we see that when the trumpets are blown in unison, when the voices of both houses sound in harmony, then all the congregation shall gather themselves at the doorway of the tent of meeting. This tells us that, if we want to see the whole house of Israel be gathered, then harmony has to come to Ephraim and Judah. Even as Israel was united under King David, so they need to unite under the Greater Son of David, Messiah Yeshua. Then and only then will they find themselves at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
Priests were the only ones who could sound these trumpets. Theirs is to be a holy sound. When it comes to celebrating Yom Teruah, priestly holiness is a required "perpetual statute" throughout our generations. Personal holiness is key to being able to create this sound. It will not be heard apart from personal holiness on the part of those who seek to make it.
When we go to war in our land against the adversary, both trumpets need to be sounded in unison, in this way, we will be remembered before YHVH our GOD and saved from our enemies. This point reveals the truth that we will only find true personal salvation and national salvation when we are in harmony in He Who is Salvation: Messiah Yeshua.
All of our feasts, and New Moons are supposed to feature the united sound of the twin silver trumpets. Without their proscribed harmonious sound, our feasts will never be all that they were created to be.
Yom Teruah is called a Memorial of Blowing (Lev 23:24). In it, we are called to remember the meaning and sound of two unified hammered silver trumpets. We are called to remember and regard as holy our time of union, and a whole and blessed House of Israel. Yom Teruah is said to be the first day of the "Ten Days of Awe." It is a time for us to make peace with our brethren, before the coming of the Great and Awesome Day of Judgment: Yom Kippur.
Sadly, in our day, the role the silver trumpets were to play in the life of Israel has all but been lost to her children. Insights into this feast have been shrouded. But now is the time for the restoration of all things (Acts 15:16). Now is the time for us to better understand the little understood feast day, to cry out for, to long for our reunion.
Our point is not so much about what instrument is or is not actually blown on Yom Teruah, but about the prophetic message that is to be conveyed through this feast, and about the importance of the heart attitudes of those who wish to proclaim it. More important than the instruments used is the message that needs to be imparted, and the fact that it is to be proclaimed by priests. Traditionally, the High Priest wore an ephod on his chest that had stones on it that represented all twelve of Israel's tribes. In other words, he cared about all of Israel, all twelve tribes were ever on his heart. The same must be true of us.
The shofar ultimately came to be used in many ways, often at YHVH's command, and we do not want to detract from its many uses. (See Jos 6; 1Ki 1:39; 2 Sa 6:15; Psa 47:5.; Isa 18:3; 27:13; 58:1; Jer 6:17; 42:14; 51:27; Eze 33:3-6; Ho 5:8; 8:1; Joel 2:1,15; Amos 2:2; 3:6; Zec 9:14.) Our point is not to speak against the use of the shofar to call and draw us, but to remind us of the spiritual meaning behind the twin hammered silver trumpets. Our hope is to bring to light the all-but-lost prophetic meaning of their united voices, and the awesome glory that accompanied their sound. Our hope is to cause all Israel to long for, to even cry out for, our full reunion and restoration.
Our friends, Drs. Alex and Georgina Perdomo have written extensively about genes and genetic memory, and how it may be affecting Israel's once scattered tribes. They also tell of Monarch butterflies that have, in every fourth generation, and without ever having been there, returned to Mexico. The point being that their return is not based on what they personally know, but on a certain decreed genetic awakening. And that, the same thing could be happening to many Believers in this hour (see http://etzyoseph.org/genetic-memory-part-2/).
If you are feeling an awakening in this hour concerning the often misunderstood feast of Yom Teruah, if you feel there is something more to it, if you long for Israel's full restoration, we pray that you will respond to the call, arise and be greatly encouraged in your faith.
We hope you will join us in seeking to declare these truths. Many are now seeking the full reunion and restoration of "both the houses of Israel." Many are now working to help make their "two sticks one in our Father's hand" (Isa 8:14; Eze 37:15-28). Many are ow longing to hear the united sound of the twin hammered silver trumpets of Teruah.
Arise, O Israel. Shema, hear the great call of our Holy GOD!
The Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) is the foundation of all Scripture. These five books serve as a basis for understanding the rest of Scriptures.
For this reason the Jewish sages developed a system for studying the Torah after the Jewish captives had returned from Babylon.
During the time of Yeshua two different cycles of reading were in use. One was accomplished in one year's time, the other took three years to complete.
The common practice today is to read the entirety of the Torah and the companion Haftorah Scriptures in a one year cycle. The Haftorah Scriptures were developed during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanies (175-164 BCF) because the Jewish people were forbidden to read the Torah. However, they managed to get around the prohibition by seting up a cycle of readings in the Navi'im (The Prophets) which reminded them in some way of the Torah portion that was normally read that particular Sabbath
Likewise Believers have added Scriptures from the Brit HaDoshah (New Covenant), which remind them in some way of the Torah portion that is normally read on that particular Sabbath.
Many Jewish commentaries are available (on the internet) which can aid in this study. Additionally, the MIA has several teachers who provide a weekly commentary on each parasha.
Most people purchase a calendar to obtain a schedule of the weekly Torah Readings. However, we believe that a schedule that would easily slip in your Bible, and would be available at no cost, would reach far more people. So we have developed a four page 5x8" brochure in a PDF which can be easily downloaded.
If your printer prints on both sides it will take only one sheet of paper. If not it will take two sheets.
by Kelly Ferrari Mills
Deuteronomy 28:1-2: "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the Voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth."
Do you desire to obey the Voice of the Lord your God?
Assuming our answer is "yes," we next want to ask, "How do we hear the Voice of our God?" Most of us know and understand that His Voice is expressed to us through the Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit), who is our counselor, our guide, our helper, our disciplinarian and our comforter. I remember when I first learned about Him - at the age of 29 - in a book called The Helper by Catherine Marshall. I was so blessed and moved to learn that there was an expression of the Living God who wanted to dwell within me, to be my daily help and guide in staying on the right path. Then I read Nine O'Clock in the Morning by Dennis Bennett, and I began to pray for the gifts of the Ruach. He was generous to give them to me. 1 Corinthians 14:1: "Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts..." This is what Shaul (Paul) encourages us to do, and as we desire these gifts our Father is pleased to give them as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11: "One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills").
During the 70's many of us experienced a great outpouring of this Genuine Spirit of God, and as a result of our obedience to keep His commands and move in the Power of His Spirit, we were witnesses to miracles of healing, deliverance, and salvation. What happened to those days? Why have we walked through such a dry, desolate wilderness in the past few years, especially those of us who passionately embraced the Hebrew roots of our faith and embarked upon a deep study of the Torah? This past summer I came to a place where I realized we have been on such a quest for knowledge that we have left the Ruach in the dust. Worship had all but disappeared from Messianic congregations (that I have been part of) and I found myself at my piano in my home, crying out to Abba to restore worship
in the earth; worship that is fueled by and filled with His Holy Spirit!
Apparently I have not been alone in my heart's cry. We attended a Gathering of the Messianic Israel Alliance in Orlando, Florida last week and the focus of this Gathering was a restoration of the Ruach haKodesh in our lives. Every teaching given was focused on the Ruach, and the good and genuine manifestations of the Ruach that have been missing in our lives. I suppose the years of "charismania" with its false worship, lying signs and wonders, and demonic manifestations have caused many of us to flee anything that looked "pentecostal." What a terrible loss this has been! And what a grievous separation this has caused between brothers in search of their Hebrew foundations and brothers in the Church! I have so endeavored to keep DoorKeeper Ministries operating as a bridge of love, compassion, understanding and Truth between the two. Our "signature scripture" has been Ephesians 2:15, because we so desire (as do Angus and Batya Wootten, Founders of the M.I.A.) to see Redeemed Israel break forth as "One New Man," empowered by the Holy Spirit!
It was in this spirit of unity that we gathered in Orlando, and we were overwhelmed by the response of YHVH our God! He poured out his Spirit on our gathering in a way that most of us have not experienced for many years! Together, as "one new man," one mischpochah (family) in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we shared the bread and the wine, remembering Yeshua's sacrifice made for us; and then one person or one family at a time we went through the beautifully decorated chuppa (wedding canopy) to recommit our lives to Yeshua, and to ask for a fresh anointing of His Ruach. John and I were asked to minister to each one as they emerged from the chuppa, anointing them with oil and prophesying/blessing over them as the Ruach led. There are no words to describe to you the spilling-over, bubbling-up joy I felt as I was once again empowered to minister this way, especially with the partner God has given me. So many words of wisdom, encouragement and healing were spoken over people that we saw lives transformed before our very eyes! There were some miraculous healings that occurred that day, as well as some genuine deliverances, and quite a few youths who gave their lives to Yeshua for the first time! Oh, how long it has been since I have been a part of such a powerful time of worship, renewal, and healing. It was not because of anything the leadership did, or because of any teaching that was given, or because of anything I did or said. It was because GOD SHOWED UP IN POWER AND GLORY, in response to the fervent and repentant prayers of His people!!
There were no animal sounds, no shoving people onto the floor, no counting the number of those saved; no trace of the false "revivals" of the past years. The genuine Ruach haKodesh moves quietly, gently, lovingly. It was ALL ABOUT HIM AND NO MAN. The people who came, came to find HIM again - and not to hear a famous teacher. My heart is deeply encouraged. We are entering an age when we must be able to hear His Voice - and I believe this means shutting out a lot of other noise and voices, and setting our "dial" directly on His signal. We will need His power and strength to navigate the difficult waters ahead; we will need His instruction to know which way to turn, and when to move and when to stay still. We will need His words to witness to our enemies, as Yeshua Himself tells us in Luke 21:12-15: "But before all this [times of tribulation], they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors,and all on account of My Name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."
How shall we receive these words and this wisdom? Only by the Voice of the Ruach. If you have not heard Him in your life lately, get into the quiet place and invite Him to return. Desire to be filled again with His gifts! Cry out to him as David did in Psalm 51: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your Presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me." Even all those years ago David knew that without the Spirit he was powerless. So it is today.
Kelly Ferrari Mills
We are looking forward to fellowshipping with you at the upcoming MIA Gathering August 30th through September 2nd in Orlando, Florida. We believe that this gathering is important, as is your participation in it. As Wally Smith said in his article,Recovering That Lost Key Called . . . Unity, "To my recollection, this is the 1st national event in the entire Messianic Movement where the intended focus is on the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha Kodesh. I'm also excited at the potential of witnessing a genuine move of the Holy Spirit."
Our prayer is that our collective "cry for more" will be pleasing in our Father's sight, and that He will pour out His Spirit on us. We pray that each one present might be touched, changed, and empowered to move forward. If our prayer becomes a reality, we will surely be better prepared to fulfill our Father's desire to have a reunited house of Israel.
Messiah Yeshua prayed that we might be "one." In His High Priestly prayer He asked of the Father, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me" (John 17:22-23).
We need to be perfected in unity. And Messiah Yeshua explained how we can best do that. He said, "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17:14-21).
Yeshua's disciples spent three and a half years with Him and He appeared to them several times after His resurrection. You would think that if any people were ready to move out and fulfill their destiny they would be the ones. But, they still needed something else. The needed the Helper (John 15:26 - 16:13). Yeshua's last words to them before He ascended were, "You will receive power when the Ruach Ha Kodesh has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Like the early disciples, we too, need to be empowered in and by the promised Helper - the Holy Spirit. Even as Messiah Yeshua promised, they received an infilling of the Ruach Ha Kodesh that transformed them. They went from fearful and powerless to fearless and powerful (John 15:26 - 16:13):"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
Spiritual empowerment from the Helper was not limited to the day of Pentecost: "Paul came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' And they said to him, 'No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.' And he said unto them, 'Unto what then were ye baptized?' And they said, 'Unto John's baptism.' Then said Paul, 'John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.' When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve" (Acts 19-1-7).
Having been spiritually empowered, these disciples began to change the world! Like them, we too, want to be sure that each of us has the full measure of the Ruach Ha Kodesh - but we do not want anything that is counterfeit. We therefore want to collectively study the giftings of the Ruach, and have a Torah-based understanding of what it means for us in our day, and with our Hebraic understandings, to walk in the Spirit. We know this is an awesome challenge so we ask you to please keep our Gathering in prayer. Pray that our 2012 Gathering will help us take a giant step toward receiving the spiritual empowerment that will enable us all to fully fulfill our Father's desires and expectations for us in this hour.
We hope you can join us, and that you will please encourage other interested friends to attend. We want old and new friends alike to come together, and for all of us to have our lives changed for the better.
For more information and to register, go to:gathering.messianicisrael.com. An early registration would be greatly appreciated for planning purposes. Also, it will insure that you have the number of discounted Rosen Hotel room rates that you need.
You are important to this work and we ask the Holy One of Israel to bless you for your participation.
Teshuw'ah (Victory) b' Yeshua,
Angus and Batya, and the Administrative Staff, Shepherds Council, and Advisory Council of the MIA
Again, for more information about the Gathering and to register for it, see thegathering.messianicisrael.com or see the attached Gathering Registration Form to register by mail, or call us at: 425-745-1396.
The July Herald contains more information about the Gathering schedule and the Speakers.
Friends, I am stoked, charged up, looking forward to, and genuinely excited about the upcoming MIA gathering August 30th through September 2nd in Orlando Florida. Why? Because, to my recollection, this is the 1st national event in the entire Messianic Movement where the intended focus is on the Holy Spirit, the Ruach haKodesh. I'm also excited at the potential of witnessing a genuine move of the Holy Spirit.
My background, as most within our Restoration Awakening, is rooted in the Sunday Christian church, of which I make no apologies. I was "saved" through the ministry of the Southern Baptists. After a couple of years of study and walking with God, I found my way into the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. After several years of study and being mentored for ministry, I was appointed to pastor a church within that mainline Pentecostal denomination. Thus, I have been to many international Pentecostal conventions where I have witnessed some genuine moves of the Holy Spirit and some not so genuine. Yes, I'm looking forward to Orlando and a certifiable genuine move of the Ruach and not something conjured up as we were subliminally taught as Pentecostal ministers.
In 2009, I was honored to team up with Batya Wootten and write a book entitled; "Israel - Empowered By the Spirit". There we attempted to explain why the Messianic Movement is generally as dry as the Sahara Desert. Yes, we acknowledge that there are pockets of Holy Spirit manifestations within our congregations but generally speaking, as Messianics, we have put the Holy Spirit on the back burner because of the fact that we have been so focused on Torah. Now, of course, I'm not saying that it is wrong to focus our life and walk in YHVH's Torah because that is just what Abba has asked His covenant people to do. But generally speaking, we've been walking in our own power and intellect and not in the power that Yahweh has given us through His Holy Spirit. Our Conferences, Conventions and Gatherings within the "Messianic Movement" reflect this focus. It's been "Torah-Torah-Torah" with little or no room given to the Ruach, except for a minute or two at the end of a song service, and if the Holy Spirit doesn't show up in that allotted time slot then we move on with our set schedule of more Torah. (Don't shoot me just yet. Remember, I believe that the truths of Torah are essential to our walk!)
Yes, the Founders and the Shepherds of the MIA, through much prayer and meditation have determined to allow the Holy Spirit/Ruach haKodesh full reign and we pray that our sovereign God will rain His Ruach upon us in a genuine outpouring. Barking, belly laughing and gold confectioners' sugar coming from the air vents or any other counterfeit or conjured up "move of the Spirit" will not be found. We are looking for and in full expectation of a genuine move of Holy Spirit that will take us to our knees. I have experienced this on rare occasions in my Pentecostal walk. I have also found that a genuine move of the Spirit is conditional and it relates to the title of this article. Let me explain.
I'll use a real old joke. I almost hesitate to use this but it sets the stage for my point, so, here it goes.
"What kind of car does the Bible say the disciples drove?" Answer: "A Honda, because they were all in one accord." Go ahead, giggle a little, I know you want to.
This is a double entendre. Besides the pun, Believers are often jibed for not getting along. This has been especially true in the Messianic Movement where we have been labeled "Messy Messianics". Because of the messiness of the Messianic Movement I tend to lean more toward an identification marker of "Restoration Awakening". I didn't coin this moniker but I find it more conducive of the Messianic Israel Alliance and our stated mission of unity of the House of Judah and the House of Joseph into one united house. As Batya has often said,"We are a 'One House' movement!"
The Honda joke speaks of unity. However, far too many believe that this unity will only occur in heaven or in the age to come. Not so! Let's remember that the disciples were in the "upper room" doing what Yeshua had instructed. They waited until they were "baptized with the Holy Spirit." While together, Acts 1:24 says they also; "all continued with one accord in prayer . . ."
We assume our unity comes from the Holy Spirit, and though this can be generally true, we see clearly in these verses from the Book of Acts that the Holy Spirit had not yet descended to fill these Believers, yet they still were driving that Honda - in one accord. So, what was their point of unity?
The Bible says those who believe in Yeshua received new life in the finished work of Messiah, and the indwelling Spirit of God. Rather than get out of the Honda and argue about it, one thing is clear; these covenant children of Israel were described as being in one accord and this was before the Spirit came. They had at least some kind of unity.
Some of their 'oneness' is described in Ephesians 4:1-4 where Paul tells us to "walk worthy of our calling . . . in humility and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
We have this kind of unity even with our western/Greek thinking Christian brothers and sisters. All Believers have one hope; we know we are going to be with Yeshua when we receive our great reward.
So, why do we have such disunity now? Why do we have such a joke that needles our well-known inability to get along? It's just as I said earlier, we've been walking in our own power and intellect and not in the power that God has given us through His Holy Spirit. We've been out of balance. It reminds me of what we were taught in old Pentecostal schools: "If you have the Scriptures without the Spirit you'll dry up, if you have the Spirit without the Scriptures you'll blow up, if you have both the Scripture and the Holy Spirit, you'll grow up."
The "Messianic Movement" has been to dry for far too long and now it is time to grow up. This is exactly why we desire to have our Bar Mitzvah at the Orlando gathering in the declaration that we are putting away childish things.
Another reason for our disunity is that we have had teachers in sheep's clothing who are leaving "wolf tracks" behind them. With a re-newed anointing of the Holy Spirit, perhaps like that Pentecostal day in the 1st century, we'll be granted the "discernment" to separate the sheep from the wolves. Thus, we will grow in unity. Make no bones about it. Speaking of bones . . .
I'll conclude this article with a portion of the Preface I wrote in: "Israel-Empowered By the Spirit" in 2009:
"A new and promised outpouring of the Ruach is certain, Ezekiel defined it, and through him we'll see how it applies to us.
"The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' So I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know.' Again He said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.' So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.' So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off! Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,' says the LORD" (Ezekiel 37:1-14, NASB).
YHVH is causing our dead bones to live again. He is assembling the whole House of Israel, both Judah and Ephraim. In the years of this movement, bones have been brought together and sinews have formed - that which connects the bones, which is our Hebrew roots, our heritage. Flesh or muscle has been added- which gives strength and allows us to stand upright. Strengthening comes from realizing the eternal truths of YHVH's Torah: "You shall therefore keep every commandment . . . so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land . . ." (Deu 11:8). Skin has covered the flesh - which makes one identifiable. In the Messianic Movement this would be, Messianic Judaism, Messianic Israel, Messianic Independents, etc. However, our God does not want brother Judah, those who have yet to recognize Yeshua as Messiah, to be left out of this bone assembly. Verse 11 reads, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." Thus, both Judah and Ephraim are included.
We are on the precipice of the fulfillment of verse 14: "I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live." We are at the juncture where our God is about to put his Ruach, His breath of life, into our lives and our movement. Then, He will bring us back to our own land.
God's Word is sure. It is going to happen. We are going to return home to the Promised Land. That time is soon and very soon. We can be sure of this promise because we already see a partial fulfillment in the return of the House of Judah to the modern State of Israel. YHVH says He will "save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah" (Zec 12:7).
The tents of Judah have been and are presently being established in the Land. The Jews have been returning to the modern State of Israel in record numbers for decades now. They are truly being established "first." Logic dictates that if there is a first then there must be something that comes after. That is the day Messianic Israel, the House of Ephraim, is looking forward to: their return and the restoration of all things. One day soon, Ephraim and Judah will dwell together in the Land of Israel. Our God will have His way. His Kingdom will be established in His Land. At its center will be His chosen capital, Jerusalem. But before this occurs, there shall be a tremendous outpouring of His Holy Spirit, His Divine Ruach."
Could our Father's divine outpouring of the Ruach haKodesh be granted us at the Orlando gathering? Yahweh is sovereign thus we dare not command, but we can certainly ask. And, if all in attendance at our gathering will jump in the Honda and seek common ground, being of one mind, knowing that the Holy Spirit baptism/anointing is for our generation as much as it was for Yeshua's disciples, then at least we will have met the requisite condition . . . Unity!
That's why I'm excited about the Orlando gathering, August 30th through September 2nd. I sincerely hope to see you there.
For more information about the Gathering and to register for it, see the gathering.messianicisrael.com or see the attached Gathering Registration Form to register by mail, or call us at: 425-745-1396.