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.
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We are in the process of reprinting our Primer, which is a condensed version of Batya's life-changing books, Who Is Israel? and Redeemed Israel. The essence of those classic works is included in her brief Primer. It is an encouraging book that quickly outlines the phenomenal truth about Ephraim and Judah and their restoration. It offers maps, charts, and helpful lists, as it reveals the scriptural truth about all Israel. An invaluable, inexpensive book that especially helps non-Jewish Believers to see their role in the last days.
Lost Ephraimites need to understand the truth of their own Israelite roots (Zec 10:7-9). The 98 page book, Who is Israel? Redeemed Israel - A Primer, has proven to be very effective in this endeavor. Over ten thousand copies of it have been distributed and we only have a few left. The good news is, the reprint will be rolling off the presses early in 2013. Advance orders placed now will help us meet the upcoming printing costs. The books will be available at a remarkable two dollar per copy price - in quantities of 25 or more. Order the books by mail, phone, or online at www.redeemedisrael.com
Your help with this important project will be greatly appreciated.
Don't forget to check out our new site! www.redeemedisrael.com
James wrote "to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad," and he said, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." And, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach." We want to be wise in our walk and James explained how we might do that. he said, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:1-27).
The MIA helped to support the widow of our beloved Col. David Yaniv. He was a war hero in Israel, became a Believer in Messiah and was totally healed of a medical paralysis, and David now walks on streets of gold. Before he passed away, David was concerned about his beloved wife, Sheila. The MIA promised him that we would help her. And now, ARI wants to continue in that pledge and help this widowed lioness of Israel.
Please help us to help Sheila. You can donate a specific amount on our web site, or you can send a check and specify the amount that you want us to give to her.
If we are faithful until the end, we will all get to fellowship with David, and we feel certain that he will thank everyone for their help. May Abba bless you for caring!