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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.
Angus

Who Is Israel? Redeemed Israel - A Digest Who Is Israel? 
Redeemed Israel
A Primer
Advance-Order
Special Offer
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
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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.

 

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

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).

Suffering

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.

Shalom 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.

Shalom b'Yeshua,
Angus

 

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