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Annual ARI Gathering, August 29th – September 2nd ,2013, Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando Florida. For more information about the Gathering and to register for it, go to gathering.redeemedisrael.com

As the Founder and President of the MIA, with a smile on my face, I want to heartily affirm the "Announcement" that is herewith being made by my wife, Batya.
               *******
    Messiah Yeshua said, "What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops" (Matthew 10:27).

     With this verse in mind, please pardon me while I climb up on my rooftop and kevetchand complain a little bit.

     With all of my heart, I believe that the Holy One of Israel, through Scripture, "whispered" the truth about "both the houses of Israel" and their full restoration in my ear (Isaiah 8:14Ezekiel 37:15-28). To me, the truth about Israel's redemption is a high and holy truth that should be treated with utmost respect. Therefore, I have something that I would like to shout and maybe even scream about. It is something that bugs me, because it is such a terrible misnomer.

     It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I tried to depict our "announcement/complaint" in the attached graphic, which Angus and I dubbed, "Two House - One House Theologies."

     If you like it, we wish you would forward it and this article to every friend you have. Please, please, send it around the world!

     I ask this because I never liked being called "Two House." I dislike the title because it was made popular by someone who copied our teachings and then added some terrible errors. I would love to be able to escape that negative association. Beyond that, I see an absolute irony in the way the title was picked up and is now often used by people who reject the truth about the restoration of Ephraim and Judah. Every time I hear us being labeled as "Two House," I feel like it is an incorrect, unsuitable name, one that does not describe us - or our ultimate goal - but it instead well describes those who oppose the truth of Scripture that we teach!

 

    An irony is said to be an expression in which the intended meaning of the words is the opposite of their usual sense; an event or result that is the opposite of what is expected. To me, the "Two House" title is incredibly ironic because those who are against what they call the "Two House" teaching, are themselves "Two House" teachers! They are the ones who do not embrace the idea of the "One House" theology that we teach! They instead want to continue with a middle wall of partition that Messiah Yeshua tore down long ago. They do not accept the fact that, in Messiah, "former" non-Jewish Believers are "brought nigh" to His commonwealth of Israel, and "now share citizenship with the saints" (Ephesians 2:11-22). They do not embrace the truth that the Messiah of Israel said, "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd" (John 10:16). These "two house teachers" reject the fact that the God of Israel has sworn that He will make the two sticks of Ephraim and Judah - and their companions - one stick in His hand (Ezekiel 37:19).

     In the Garden of Gethsemane our Messiah prayed that we might be "one," even as He and the Father are one. He prayed for His Disciples, and for those who would believe in Him through their Word (meaning, the New Covenant). He said, "I do not ask on behalf of these [Disciples] 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 17:11, 20-21).

     Messiah's last wish was that we might be one! He even declared that this is the very testimony that will convince the world that the Father has sent Him!
Friends, we need to stop opposing, stop focusing on, and stop even thinking of ourselves as being "Two House." We need to instead become "One House."
Yes, it is absolutely true that there were two houses, and to the extent that they have not entered into the New Covenant, those two houses continue to exist - even in our day. For this reason, our critique of the "Two House" title is done "tongue in cheek." We know there are two houses of Israel that have not yet been fully reunited, but "Two House" does not at all represent the stated goal of the New Covenant.

 

     We see that goal when we read of the Father's New Covenant promise, which was given to both Ephraim/Israel and Judah - however - the New Covenant was made with an entrance caveat, a conditional clause, if you will.

     In Jeremiah 33:14-15 we read, "'Behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth." The Righteous Branch of David is Messiah Yeshua. He said of Himself, "I am the root and the offspring/branch of David" (Revelation 22:16). He came, lived, and died for us, that He might pay the price for our sins, and thus offer us, a "new and better covenant" (Hebrews 7:19; 9:10; 12:24).

     Jeremiah foretold this coming New Covenant: "'Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers...which they broke, although I was a husband to them,' declares the LORD. 'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares the LORD, 'I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

     Notice that, while the New Covenant promise was given to both Judah and Israel, the Covenant was only made with the "house of Israel" (also see  2Corinthians 3:6Hebrews 8:8-13; 9:15; 12:24). The message we need to glean from this is that, while the promise was given to two divided houses, the conditional clause is, when we enter into the New Covenant, we are thereafter only to be known as the one, redeemed, reunited and restored, "House of Israel" (Ephesians 2:11-22).
    When we founded the "Messianic Israel Alliance," we knew this to be the case. When the twelve tribes come together in Messiah, they do so under the all-encompassing title of "Israel." For, it is written that, Jacob had twelve sons, whom YHVH "named Israel" (2 Kings 17:34). For this reason, we chose our title. And today, we still prefer to be called "Messianic Israel," or "Redeemed Israel." To be called "Two House" goes against the goal of the New Covenant.
    Friends, we believe that we need to have a paradigm shift. We desperately need to change our focus at this time. We need to concentrate on our Father's desire, which is to make us "One House," to make us one, united, New Covenant people. We need to realize that, those who fight the truth of the One House of Israel, are in essence fighting the declared New Covenant intent of the Almighty Himself.

     Long live the "One House!"

     I'll get off my rooftop now.

     Batya (and Angus)

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Do We Have A Kingdom Perspective

In The Messianic Movement Today?

Are we walking in Messiah's Footsteps?

Are we proclaiming His Gospel of the Kingdom? 

by Michael Arnold

           

Shalom
    In a recent issue of Zachariah's Patrol Report, there was an article regarding "All Israel" with a question posed by its author, Susan Miller: "Is Now the Time for the Reunification of All Israel?" In another article by Susan concerning Anti-Semitism in the church, she poses a statement and a question: "As Americans, we don't have a king; as Believers, do we even think about Yeshua as our King?" I think Susan poses a timely and important comment. 
    At Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a photo of Albert Einstein is prominently displayed in the orientation building. Of the many quotes captured from his life, this laboratory chose to highlight his thoughts about the importance of a question, wherein he states, "The question is more important than the answer." This is a very Talmudic thought. It speaks of man's quest to know the unknown whether it relates to science or life itself. In contrast, the questions posed by Susan are man's quest to know and understand the time of the known, the time of the fulfillment of the known events revealed to us in scripture. We know our destiny, and Susan's questions encourage all of us to be cognizant of the fact that the time for that destiny to be fulfilled is now upon us.
   
    The questions asked by Susan also point us to the very goal of our Messiah, the restoration of His "Kingdom to Israel." The last question asked of Messiah was, "Are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?" This was the most natural and important question these mostly Jewish apostles could have asked, for they were raised with the understanding and an expectation of His kingdom. They had just spent 40 days with the risen Lord and were asking the "King of Israel" when their brothers would be reunited with Judah in His Kingdom. They knew their history. They remembered how King David had gathered a group of men around him and given them positions of authority in his kingdom. So, months earlier, one of their mothers had even asked Yeshua if her sons could sit on thrones next to Him. They thought Yeshua's kingdom would also be an earthly kingdom. 

    They knew that Judah was under Edomite and Roman authority as a punishment for their transgressions, and they were looking for the end of that punishment and a return to former greatness and glory. They asked their question because they had walked with the King of Israel for the past three and a half years. They remembered His statements and teachings about the kingdom wherein He said... "The kingdom of the heavens is at hand." They were looking for the time of the kingdom restoration.

    I believe the sooner the body understands our King and His Kingdom message, the sooner we will see this Kingdom restoration in our own lives. We will not yet see it in its fullness however, but according to the measure of our obedience and our faith. To that end, I would like to add another question to those presented by Susan, and with it, present a kingdom focused teaching that will help us understand the importance of all three questions. I ask, Do We Have A Kingdom Perspective In The Messianic Movement Today?  

The Itinerant Teacher
    It was about 1985 years ago that an itinerant teacher from Nazareth walked the dusty roads of Judea, Samaria and Galilee. He came teaching about the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens. During His travels He gathered disciples and followers who had ears to hear and faith to believe His gospel, the good news that the long awaited kingdom was at hand. At times, it was only a small group of disciples which followed Him, and on occasion, He drew multitudes. From the seaside, to the hillside, to the great temple which stood in Jerusalem, the central theme of His message was always the same. It was the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens. He began His teaching at the age of 30, as was the custom of the day, and after being baptized, He spent 40 days in communion with His Father. At the end of those 40 days the adversary tried to tempt Yeshua into interfering with His own life mission. 

The Temptations
    Satan first tried to tempt Messiah Yeshua into turning stones into bread so He could satisfy His hunger, His human need. He was then challenged in His divinity, He was asked to prove that He was the very son of God and had charge over the angels. Lastly, Satan tried to tempt Yeshua concerning His life mission. Satan showed Yeshua "the kingdoms of the world and their glory." The adversary then "said to Him, all these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." The temptation was progressive. The adversary saved the most precious of all to be the subject of His last temptation. For, haSatan understood Yeshua's mission, he understood that Yeshua is the King and that He had come to reclaim His Kingdom. 

Yeshua's Kingdom Message
    After the prophet John was put into prison, Yeshua came into Galilee, preaching the "gospel of God" saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15). Yeshua taught and preached this message of the kingdom in their homes, in their streets and in their synagogues along the way. In one city, the people "tried to keep Him from going away from them. But He said to them, 'I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.'" So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea (Luke 4:42-45).

    Messiah Yeshua didn't teach about tithing in the traditional sense, but instead told the people to "give all that you have to the poor, and come follow me." His Gospel of prosperity taught them to, "store up your treasures in heaven." He did not teach escapism, but that the road would not be easy. He even warned that "the road was narrow and few are they that find it." And that, "we must struggle to enter into the kingdom" (see Footnote 1).
Following in His Footsteps
   His style of teaching was in the Greek form called "Peripetetic." It was in this style that He would walk from place to place and from town to town teaching the message of His kingdom.  This method of teaching required that His followers walk in His very foot steps, in a literal sense. It was not just a cognitive understanding that He was conveying. To be His disciple one must learn to actually follow Him in His ways, to walk as He walked, and to see things as He saw them. To accomplish this, they followed Him, ate with Him, and slept with Him. They were always with Him and He with them.

    For three and a half years these disciples followed, listened and learned from "The Teacher."  They followed the One whom a disciple said was, "the King of Israel." For three and a half years He taught them about His Kingdom with discourse - and with actual demonstrations of His power. 
 
    Yeshua also hid truth and understanding from the "professionally righteous." He taught in parables while in public and explained their hidden meanings to His disciples in private. He would not cast His pearls before swine. He instead said that "it was not given to them to know the mysteries of the kingdom." Those who only knew about Him would not receive the truth, while those who followed in His footsteps would have the truth revealed to them.

    Thirty nine parables have been counted by some, many of which begin with the words, "The kingdom of the heavens is like, unto a merchant man... unto a mustard seed... unto leaven... unto treasure hid in a field... unto a net... unto a certain king who made a marriage for his son. Yeshua said of His Kingdom message, "He that hears and believes this message is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock." The Rock on which we need to build is the "King of Israel"! His Kingdom is supernatural! Those who walk with Him in the Kingdom need to learn to walk in the supernatural - even as He did! (see Footnote 2).
 

The New Birth
    Israel's prophets had taught about Israel's coming Kingdom, and the people thought they understood it. However, Yeshua expanded their knowledge of His kingdom by reveling that it was one of peace, love, and joy in the Spirit of Holiness. He said that His kingdom was a mystery that could only be seen and entered into by faith. His kingdom became a "present reality" for those who believed in His "good news," He told the man who came in the night that, "unless he was born from above, he could not see the kingdom of God," and that, "unless he was born of water and the Spirit (of God) he could not enter the kingdom of God."  Yeshua taught this man that his focus must first be on seeing, and entering into, His kingdom.

    Yeshua spoke of our "new birth" only twice, yet this topic is widely preached in churches and congregations today. On the other hand, the good news of the Kingdom is mentioned more than 121 times, yet most teachers and pastors have difficulty explaining what it is, or what it requires of its citizens. The word "kingdom" is mentioned 54 times in Mathew, 19 times in Mark, 45 times in Luke and 3 times in John.  John chose to instead use the term "eternal life" 17 times, and "life" 19 times, in order to reach his Hellenistic audience on a level that they could understand. These terms were both metaphors for the kingdom; seeing this point is important to our being able to understand how John also presented the central theme of the kingdom. 

    When one considers the prominence given to the kingdom in the gospels and the epistles, it begs the question: Why do we not hear more of this teaching in the body today? The entire Bible is about our King, His kingdom and its restoration. Once we begin to understand more about His kingdom, the Bible becomes a different book to us. The things we thought we understood take on a much fuller and richer meaning. 

    The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens is the message Yeshua taught to the twelve and the seventy. This is the message of the Prince of Peace: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34). With the sword of His mouth, meaning the Word that He delivered, He separated light from darkness, wheat from chaff, goats from sheep. And, He did it all in order to establish His eternal kingdom.
    In our day, one can be a member in good standing of, First Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, or First Messianic congregations, and know all of the rules of our particular organization, but, if we do not choose to be a subject of the King we will not understand that the goal behind our new birth is to empower us to be able to help restore His kingdom! Unless we seek His kingdom first we miss the inheritance that is available to His subjects - right now! The Kingdom of God is here now, although not in its fullness, it is here sufficiently enough for us to be able to walk in it right now! 

What is the Gospel?
    Scripture records that the Gospel was first preached to Abraham. It was handed down from father to son to son, from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to Joseph. The promise of the Kingdom was confirmed again and again, by the Lord. "I will give you...", was spoken 8 times to our forefathers. As children of Abraham and children of the King, should the church not hear more about this promised kingdom and the inheritance that is due to its subjects?

    We read in the Word that, after John was put into prison, Yeshua came into Galilee, preaching the "gospel of God" saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15). Yeshua taught His kingdom message in their homes, in their streets and in their synagogues along the way. He did not focus on His death, burial and resurrection. He did not teach them to "say a little prayer and ask Jesus into your heart."  Our "Say a little prayer message" is found nowhere in Scripture. 
Yeshua instead taught that we must die to live and give all to gain the kingdom, that we must humble ourselves and be servants of all if we are ever to be lifted up. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and met the needs of the people. This is the gospel He demonstrated to His disciples for more than three years. This is the gospel that turned the world upside down! It is the gospel of the narrow path and the straight gate. It is the gospel of the good news that, "when we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him."  

    Who is this King of Glory Who came proclaiming His kingdom? Do we know Him as our King? Do we truly know His Majesty? Do we understand what He requires of His subjects? Do we walk in His way? Does He consider us to be subjects of His Kingdom?

Conclusion
    In Susan's concluding paragraph about the time being near, she refers to Judah and Ephraim and says, "The time for the revelation of Truth to come to both of these groups is nearing." That is so true. The gospel of the kingdom must include the truth about the full restoration of the whole house of Israel. For this to happen, the Church needs to understand the truth about both the houses of Israel (Isaiah 8:14). And, she needs to be rooted in the kingdom message that was taught by her Messiah and the Apostles. It is my conviction that revelation of Messiah's Kingdom truth will be realized when Judah sees Ephraim following the King from Nazareth and walking in His manner of love and with demonstrations of His power. 
 
    I ask again, do we have a kingdom perspective in the Messianic Movement today? Are we proclaiming the same "gospel of the kingdom" that was proclaimed by Messiah Yeshua and his Ambassadors? That is the gospel of the kingdom that must be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and "then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). 

    Shalom, 
    Michael Arnold
    Beth Simcha
    McMinnville, TN
     Copyright Jan 29, 2012
Footnotes:
Note 1. The presence and coming of the Kingdom of God was the central message of Jesus. For example, "his teaching was designed to show men how they might enter the Kingdom of God (Matt. 5:20; 7:21). His mighty works were intended to prove that the Kingdom of God had come upon them (Matt. 12: 28). His parables illustrated to His disciples the truth about the Kingdom of God (Matt. 13:11). When He taught His followers to pray, at the heart of their petition were the words, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). On the eve of His death, He assured His disciples that He would yet share with them the happiness and the fellowship of the Kingdom (Luke 22:22-30). And He promised that He would appear again on the earth in glory to bring the blessedness of the Kingdom to those for whom it was prepared (Matt. 25:31, 34)." [1]
The term "Kingdom of God" occurs four times in Matthew (12:28; 19:24; 21:31; 21:43), fourteen times in Mark, thirty-two times in Luke, twice in the Gospel of John (3:3, 5), six times inActs, eight times in Paul, and once in Revelation (12:10). Matthew actually prefers the term "Kingdom of heaven" which he uses over 20 times in his gospel.
While Matthew primarily uses the term "kingdom of heaven" and other gospel writers (notably Luke) use the term "kingdom of God," it is clear that these two expressions mean exactly the same thing (e.g. compare Matt. 5:3 with Luke 6:20). In the past some have tried to maintain a distinction between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God;[2] however, the vast majority of theologians today recognize the terms as synonymous.[3]        From Theopedia.com. Freely redistributable under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

Note 2. The supernatural character of the present Kingdom is confirmed by the words found in association with it. A number of verbs are used with the Kingdom itself as the subject. The Kingdom can draw near to men (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; etc.); it can come ( Matt. 6:10;Luke 17:20; etc.), arrive (Matt. 12:28), appear (Luke 19:11), be active (Matt. 11:12). God can give the Kingdom to men (Matt. 21:43; Luke 12:32), but men do not give the Kingdom to one another. Further, God can take the Kingdom away from men (Matt. 21:43), but men do not take it away from one another, although they can prevent others from entering it. Men can enter the Kingdom (Matt. 5:20; 7:21; Mark 9:47; 10:23; etc.), but they are never said to erect it or to build it. Men can receive the Kingdom (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17), inherit it (Matt. 25:34), and possess it (Matt. 5:4), but they are never said to establish it. Men can reject the Kingdom, i.e., refuse to receive it (Luke 10:11) or enter it (Matt. 23:13), but they cannot destroy it. They can look for it (Luke 23:51), pray for its coming (Matt. 6:10), and seek it (Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:31), but they cannot bring it. Men may be in the Kingdom (Matt. 5:19; 8:11; Luke 13:29; etc.), but we are not told that the Kingdom grows. Men can do things for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 19:12; Luke 18:29) but they are not said to act upon the Kingdom itself. Men can preach the Kingdom (Matt. 10:7; Luke 10:9), but only God can give it to men (Luke 12:32)  "The Presence of the Future"  1974,  George Eldon Ladd, Harper and Roe.
 
                        _______________________________  

     We are engaged in some serious last-days spiritual warfare. If you have not yet read our key books and made them available to your friends, we hope you will do so at this time.The Father tells us that, the things that need to happen in the end times, the things that we need to accomplish as members of His Army, will happen, "Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 2:9). Our book special this month will help us to better understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Messianic Believer. 

   
    See the books here: February Specials     



Click for: Weekly Torah Portions, February Herald

Redeemed Israel - The One New Man

by Ya'acov Natan Lawerence

 

With whom does the Bible say that the Creator of the Universe Salvation(YHVH/Yehovah Elohim) wants to have an eternal relationship? We know that YHVH Elohim (God) loves everyone and sent his Son to the earth that the whole world might be saved (John 3:16). We also know that He desires that no man should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). But there's a problem. The Bible - the Word of Elohim - also teaches that one can only enter into relationship with the Creator-YHVH Elohim - (resulting in salvation and immortality) by coming through Yeshua (Jesus) the Jewish
Messiah via a personal and covenantal relationship with him.
This begs the next question. With whom does the Creator make covenants? Anyone and everyone? No.
In the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), YHVH Elohim declares that in the end times, he will make a new covenant with the two houses of Israel (not the Gentiles or non-Israelites)-that is, the house of Judah and the house of Israel (Heb 8:8). We know who Judah is (i.e., the Jews), but who is the house of Israel?
From the time of Abraham forward, Elohim never made a covenant with the Gentiles - in either the Old or the New Testaments. Man's relationship with the God of the Bible is always based on a covenant relationship with him. At the last supper, Yeshua talked with his disciples about making a new covenant with them (and with those of his followers who would come afterwards) when he initiated the communion elements.
For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt 26:28)
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:24)
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20)

What is this new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah to which the writer of Hebrews refers (Heb 8:8)? This idea of a "new covenant" originates in the Old Testament, for Hebrews 8:8 is a direct quote from Jeremiah 31:31.
31 Behold, the days come, saith the lord [YHVH], that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the lord [YHVH]:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the lord [YHVH], I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God [Elohim], and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the lord [YHVH]: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the lord [YHVH]: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Let's review some biblical history to give us some context as we answer the question, who is the house of Israel? How did the nation of Israel/children of Israel become two houses - the house of Judah and the house of Israel?

At its inception, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, Israel was one nation made up of 12 tribes, but because they broke YHVH's covenants by violating his Torah commandments and going after heathen gods, he broke the 12 tribes apart and they become two separate nations, kingdoms or houses - the northern kingdom (called the house of Israel or Joseph/Ephraim) and the southern kingdom (called the house of Judah). We know to this day who the southern kingdom is - the Jews, but again who is the northern kingdom or house? This is important to know, since Elohim will make a covenant with them in the last days, and we can only have salvation and eternal life if we're in covenantal relationship with YHVH Elohim, the Creator of the universe.

What happened to the northern kingdom of Israel after they were split off from the southern kingdom? The biblical prophets and history tell us that they were scattered all across the earth in every direction after the fall of the northern kingdom more than seven hundred years before Yeshua (Jesus), but that in the last days, at the time of the second coming of the Messiah, they would return and be reunited with their Jewish brethren.
Ezekiel prophesied a day when these two nations would become one nation again (Ezek 37:15-28). Below, we read a synopsis of this wonderfTwo Sticksul prophecy:
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD [YHVH]; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks ... shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD [YHVH]; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
Again, who is the house of Israel?
Ezekiel's prophecy is yet for the future, for it has never been fulfilled, and David is not yet ruling as king over the reunited nation of Israel, since the resurrection of the dead hasn't happened yet, and David is still in his grave (Acts 2:29) awaiting his bodily resurrection.
To finally answer our question, let's have one more quick biblical history lesson. Let's go back to the time of the patriarch Jacob [or Israel] for some clues that will definitively tell us who this people group - the house of Israel - is. In Genesis 48:14, 16, 19, the patriarch Jacob just before his death was praying prophetically over his two grandsons (the sons of Joseph) Ephraim and Manasseh.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

While prophesying over Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob crossed his hands over their heads making the symbol of the paleo-Hebrew letter tav (like our letter t or x in our English alphabet), which resembles a cross and in that ancient Hebraic script pictographically means "sign of the covenant."1 His arms also formed the outline of the well-known Christian fish symbol. Jacob then spoke of the Heavenly Messenger (the Hebrew word malak mistranslated as "angel" in most Bibles) of YHVH (i.e., the preincarnate Yeshua) who had redeemed him from all evil (see Gen 31:11-13), and called on this Redeemer to bless his grandsons' descendants. Jacob then prophesied
that the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh would become like "fish in the midst of the land" (literal translation of Gen 48:14-16; see The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach).
In light of this prophetic symbolism, which religious group on earth today would qualify as having fulfilled Jacob's prophecy as to who the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh are? Which religion on earth today uses the fish as their symbol, speaks of a Messenger from YHVH as their Redeemer (or Savior), and has the sign of the paleo-Hebrew letter tav, which looks like a cross? The Buddhists? The Moslems? The Hindus? Even the Jews? Hardly! Only Christianity fits this enigmatic criteria. Many Christians are without a doubt the literal descendants of the scattered people of Ephraim, although they have intermarried with the nations (or Gentiles) of the world. Those who are not literal descendants of Abraham through the sons of Joseph (Ephraim and Manessah), according to the Apostle Paul, or of the other tribes, once they come to saving faith in Yeshua in some unique sense become the descendants of Abraham (e.g., Gal 3:7, 29).

Now that we know who the house of Israel is, how does it relate to you?

What did Yeshua say about the house of Israel? He declares that he came to gather them in, and He commissioned His disciples to do the same.
But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 15:24)
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:6)

Who did Paul view the Gentiles as? In Ephesians 2:11-19, he states that the Gentiles of Ephesus are no longer Gentiles, but are now Israelites who have been reconciled into one body having put to death the enmity by the blood of Yeshua (see also Zec 10;9; Rom 11:13-24). Paul calls them the one new man in Messiah (Christ) united with believing Jews! These "Gentiles," in Paul's mind, were obviously a part of this group that Yeshua referred to as "the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Furthermore, in Galatians 3:29, Paul clearly declares that if a former Gentile belongs to Messiah (Christ), then he is the seed (literally, the sperm or offspring) of Abraham and heirs to all the covenant promises YHVH made to him and his descendants.
According to the apostolic writers and the rest of the Bible, within the spiritual body of Messiah (called "the church") there are no longer any Jews nor Gentiles (Gal 3:28; Col 3:11). There is only "the one new man" in Yeshua. YHVH doesn't refer to his people as "the Gentile saints" and "the Jewish saints." There is only one body of Yeshua, which the New Testament calls the saints (the set-apart ones), the one new man, the ecclesia (i.e., the church or "called out ones"), a royal priesthood and the elect, which is made up of 12 tribes of Israel who metaphorically in the New Testament are likened to an olive tree, a building, or a temple.

Furthermore, Yeshua is coming back to marry one bride, NOT two brides - a Jewish and a Gentile-Christian bride. Yeshua is not a polygamist! That bride will be an Israelite bride - not a Gentile bride. She will have both Jewish and Christian aspects.
YHVH is preparing a bride for his son RIGHT NOW! Malachi 4:3-6 talks about this. In the last days, before the second coming, YHVH is turning the children (that's you and me) back to the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. This phenomena is currently happening all over the world among Christians.
Remember ye the Torah-law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Not every born-again believer will reap the same rewards. In Yeshua's Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1-13) the five wise virgins were allowed into the wedding supper, but the five foolish ones were not. This shows us that we can think we are a virgin, and yet wind up having the door closed on us. We must not assume anything, but instead seek to enter in by the narrow gate. In Matthew 5:19, Yeshua speaks of different levels of rewards. There will be some believers who will be the least and some who will be the greatest in his kingdom. Let us therefore not assume anything.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least [Torah] commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
What will determine one's level of rewards or position in Yeshua's kingdom? Simply this. How obedient were we to the (Torah) commandments of Yeshua? Elsewhere, Yeshua stated that those who love him will be keeping his (Torah) commandments. If ye love me, keep my [Torah] commandments. (John 14:15)

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his [Torah] commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his [Torah] commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:6-7)

The NT clearly teaches that our spiritual rewards (not our salvation!) will be based on our works of righteousness (i.e., obedience to the Word, commandments, or Torah of Elohim, see Matt 16:27; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10; Eph 6:8; 1 Pet 1:17; Rev 2:23; 19:8; 22:12; compare with Ps 62:12; Jer 17:10; 32:19; Ezek 7:27).
The Bible defines who the end-time saints, or the bride of Yeshua will be in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12. The people who will be the bride of Yeshua will be keeping YHVH's Torah commandments and will also have the testimony or faith of Yeshua.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev 12:17)
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev 14:12)
So if you have come to the Elohim (God) of Israel through the way of the cross of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah of Israel, then you are that one new man and are part of the nation of redeemed Israelites who was purchased with the blood of Yeshua. As such, you have the added opportunity of being part of that bride.
Right now, Yeshua the Messiah is handing us all an invitation to his wedding. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:20-21)

Whether you want to be his bride or not, if you want to spend eternity with Yeshua in the New Jerusalem, which is heaven on earth, then you will have to enter that heaven-sent city through one of 12 gates, which are named after the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12). There is no Gentile gate. So which gate will you enter?
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We are in a last-days spiritual war. We offer some books that we believe will help you at this time.The things that we need to accomplish as members of YHVH's Army, will happen, "Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 2:9). Our book special this month will help us to better understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Messianic Believer.

See the books here: February Specials

 

Jewish Leaders Offended by Ralph Messer's Ceremony -

His Claims Hotly Contested
    We truly dislike having to post a message like this but we feel a greater need to address the position of the Messianic Israel Alliance in relation to the recent actions of Ralph Messer of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash Congregation in Denver, Colorado. Untold numbers of people have now seen or read about the occasion. Several Messianic Jewish organizations have condemned his actions and claimed that he is part ofEddie Long Torah Scroll a "fringe" movement - and they have accused us of being in agreement with Messer and his Torah teachings. In an Internet video that has gone viral, "Rabbi" Ralph Messer wraps an Atlanta based pastor named Eddie Long in a Torah Scroll, and then has him lifted up in an elaborate ceremony. (See http://roshpinaproject.com/tag/bishop-eddie-long/)
    The Jewish community is offended by Messer's methods and a public outcry has begun that is reaching to the ends of the earth. Fox News and major Newspapers have picked up on it: (See http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/02/jewish-leaders-offended-by-ga-preachers-ceremony/) (Also see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/pastor-eddie-long-king.html .)
    We understand that Messer stated, after the fact, that he was not actually declaring Eddie Long to be a king, but was instead declaring his restoration in Messiah. We agree that sinners need to be restored and applaud sincere efforts to help restore Mr. Long, if he is truly repentant. But, knowing how dear Torah scrolls are to Jewish people, we feel that Messer's actions were not sensitive to their feelings, and in addition, many of his claims during the "anointing" service were audacious, inaccurate, and unfounded. Various refutations of Messer's assertions can now be found on the Internet. For example, see
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-wil-gafney-phd/a-biblical-scholar-rebuts-claims-eddie-long-coronation-video_b_1249602.html
    As for the MIA and Messer, when we were forming the Alliance in 1999, we invited him to speak at some of our early conferences. As a pastor, Messer offered to help us. Being a fledgling organization, we were happy to receive an offer of help. But, in our opinion, he soon began to try to take over the MIA. When it became apparent that we were not going to yield to his ways, he left and took whoever he could with him. We have not had a relationship with Ralph Messer since 2002. Nonetheless, we pray that the Holy One of Israel will continue to watch over Ralph and help him to truly walk in His way.
    In making this post, we do not want to stand in judgment of Ralph Messer as a man, but we absolutely do want to make it known that the MIA does not endorse his actions, or agree with his errant teachings.
 
Shalom b'Yeshua,
Angus and Batya Wootten
Founders
Messianic Israel Alliance
   

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